Ironton High School student Adam Webb was the proud senior captain of the football team during the Fighting Tigers' 2013 season. Adam's brother Tyler, a freshman, believes football is a family thing. Adam agreed.
"Football is in our blood," said the towering offensive and defensive tackle with his freshman brother, Tyler. "We live, breathe, and eat football. All we think is football."
Webb is listed as 6'6" and 315 pounds. He had been recruited by several colleges including Mount Saint Joseph's in Cincinnati and Eastern Kentucky Christian University. That is until he had to tell them he was going to change his plans for an athletic career. A step that he feels was meant to save his own life.
His doctor diagnosed a concussion early in the season, his second in two years.
"Two games after the Ashland game I was supposed to have a college coach come and look at me," said Webb. "I pretty much had to cancel all that."
After the third game of the season, an away game at rival Ashland, Adam's brother Tyler noticed he was acting out of character. Tyler said Adam was behaving erratically and complaining of a migraine headache.
"It was crazy," said Tyler Webb. I've never seen him like that."
Adam does not remember much about the game or what happened afterward. "I remember bits and pieces like shaking hands, vomiting on the field," said Adam.
After a the loss, the team returned to the Ironton facility to shower, before going home.
Two ibuprofen failed to help Adam's severe pain and dizziness, so Tyler called the boys' parents to pick them up. "As soon as he walked in, I knew that he had a concussion," recounts their mother, Nina Webb.
After few weeks of recommended rest, the doctor reluctantly cleared Adam to return to the field toward the end of the season.
An excited Adam returned to practice, only for symptoms to return during the team warm-up.
For the benefit of his health, Adam made a tough decision. Just a few weeks away from a potential scholarship, he quit football.
Adam is now considered disabled by the State of Ohio and able to get counseling and training through Opportunities For Ohioans With Disabilities which helps the disabled find work or change paths.
Adam now has set his sights on culinary school after graduation in the spring.
The injury still continues to affect Adam in his day-to-day life. "I used to be this laid back dude," he said. "They called me the gentle giant."
Personality swings are not uncommon now. Even though he comes off as a gentle person, Adam believes his mood can go from good to absolutely terrible very quickly. His brother, mother and father say they see it regularly. Adam says his organizational skills and memory have also diminished.
Adam's father, Charles Webb, credits the freshman brother, Tyler, with his ability to sense something wrong with Adam after the Ashland game that played a key role in getting Adam help.
"Every now and then, as brothers, they don't see eye-to-eye," said boys' dad. "But they do stick up for each other. They do watch out for each other."
Adam says his continuing symptoms only confirm he made the right decision by ending his football career.
As Adam walks away from the game he loved, he know it is for the best. "Having to hang that all up forever, you know, has been tough, but you gotta just get what life gives you."