The Broken Arrow football program is going above and beyond to protect its players from dangerous head injuries.
The booster club paid more than $3,000 to buy padded practice helmets.
Head football coach David Alexander says some of the scariest injuries are ones you can’t see – things like concussions and other head injuries. He says that’s why the team invested in padded helmets to protect his players during practice.
“You can’t see a brain injury so, if we can do one tiny thing to prevent a concussion, then that’s what we’re going to do,” Alexander said.
Contact sports have come under fire for the dangers they pose to student athletes.
Alexander says, “we don’t tackle and hit like we used to in practice a long time ago. We don’t do a lot of full-speed tackling.”
That’s why the head coach is going the extra mile to protect his boys.
“What they simply are is a two-inch foam covering on the outside of helmets,” said Alexander.
They’re called Guardian Caps.
Alexander thinks they’re the first high school in Oklahoma to use them, thanks to the booster club.
“It was a no-brainer,” he said. “Our kids loved them, our parents are happy about it. You know, they don’t look too bad! Looking good is a big deal for the high school kids!”
Alexander says it won’t protect his players from everything and they haven’t been cleared to wear them during games, but he says it’s better than nothing.
“Take away those small hits. It’s not going to take away the big hits, but it’s taking away the cumulative hits that the linemen, the linebackers, the running backs, they all take during the practice,” explained Alexander.
He says he wants to show his players and the community that safety is the most important part of the game.
“We want them to come back to Broken Arrow to be the fire captain or the mayor,” he said. “They’re students first, so we’re going to do everything we can to protect them.”