Reporting Brian New
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Injuries may be inevitable when playing high school football but, especially when it comes to concussions, parents and coaches alike are always searching for ways to better protect their students.
Richland High School head football coach Ged Kates was one of the first in Texas last year to use Guardian Caps in practice.
Birdville ISD purchased 20 of the soft outer helmet shells for all three of its high schools to test out.
While Kates doesn’t have any statistical proof, he said they worked.
“I believe in them so much now that we are doubling our number this coming year,” said Kates.
The inventor of the Guardian Caps was in Fort Worth this week at the Texas High School Coaches Association annual conference.
Lee Hanson, who is a rocket scientist by trade, said he’s not claiming his invention prevents all concussions but said the soft foam absorbs 33% of the impact from a hit to the head.
“I can’t say it stops concussions – nothing stops concussions,” he said. “The only way to stop concussions is you don’t hit. You don’t walk. You just sit there.”
While some players have been apprehensive about the way the shells look, Kates said he told his players they need to trust him and wear them.
Kates predicts within a few years every high school football player is Texas will have one.
The Guardian Caps cost $55 each.
Hanson said the caps are just the first step. He said his company is in the process of designing a helmet with a soft outer layer.
He said the technology is there but admits it will take time to convince coaches and players to accept a drastic change to the appearance of the helmet.
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