VERMONTVILLE/ NASHVILLE, Mich. - New high tech helmets are the latest investment by a Michigan high school, leading the way for safety on the football field.
In recent years, studies have continued to show the affects of concussions from playing football. Helmet manufactures are responding, creating safer equipment.
Maple Valley High School has purchased new state of the art helmets for their entire team. This year will be Coach Marty Martin's first season as head football coach of the Maple Valley Lions. On the top of his list of priorities were to get the new helmets that not only fit better on the player's head, but also have computers inside that will alert the coach if they take a hard hit.
"First thing that I wanted to do is that I wanted to make sure that our kids were safe, and right now with football there is an attack on the safety of the kids," said Coach Martin.
The district supported him in his efforts, so he began research on the most top of the line helmets on the market.
"One, it had to be state of the art. Two, it had to have a type of technology that would alert us to possible concussions," said Coach Martin.
He settled on Riddell brand high tech helmets that have transmitters inside the actual helmet that alerts the coach of what player was hit and where.
Coach Martin said that the helmet's software can download every hard hit a player receives during their entire high school football career.
Martin also said that the helmets are better fitting to each player, by allowing the helmet to be filled with air in five different areas.
Martin said that the helmets were about $300 dollar each and he expects them to last 10 years.
The helmets also have a sticker on the back, promoting awareness for brain trauma and injuries. That's something that hits close to home for coach Martin.
"It also is significant to me because my brother has Parkinson's, and Parkinson's is a brain disease and what we want to do is marry these together and understand," said Coach Martin.
Coach Martin also said that the helmet manufacturer, Riddell told him his team is now the first high school, college or professional team in the entire state of Michigan who is using the high tech helmets on every player.