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Injury fears hamper Minnesota youth football

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Fears of concussions and other serious injuries are contributing to declining participation in youth football programs across Minnesota.

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Minnesota Public Radio and KARE-TV report the declines range from about a fifth in some programs to as much as a third over the last five years, reflecting a national trend.

For example, the Eden Prairie Youth Football Association has seen a nearly 34-percent decline in its third- to eighth-grade league since 2008.

Coaches, parents and players cite increasing safety concerns. They also say football can be expensive, and with so many other sports to choose from, some boys are making the choice themselves to drop out.

The trend is leading some coaches to worry they won't have as deep a pool of players to choose from in the future.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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