Catawba College Football Team Suits Up in Concussion-Resistant Helmets
Suited out in new and reconditioned concussion-resistant helmets, the Catawba College Football Team has participated in pre-season practices this week before the start of classes on August 15.
Fifty of the team's helmets are new and purchased thanks to funds raised in the 18th annual Catawba Football Golf Classic held in May at the Warrior Golf Club in China Grove. These 50 new helmets were put into circulation with other helmets that have been inspected and certified, then refurbished and reconditioned as necessary, helping place the majority of the team in the newest technology.
Catawba Head Athletic Trainer Bob Casmus cautions that the helmets alone are not the solution for concussion prevention. "The best prevention is to not lead with the head or spear or launch at someone with the crown of your head," Casmus said. "It should always be head up and see what you hit. Proper technique is the key."
While the concussion-resistant helmets help assure the safety of the players, but so have the changes to the rules of the game, Catawba Head Football Coach Chip Hester noted back in May. "The rule now is that you cannot target the head area of another player in tackling, and then there's a rule that the tacklers cannot spear or lead into a tackle with the crown of their head."
As another safety precaution, every athlete at Catawba, regardless of sport (except for tennis and golf), does a baseline concussion test at the beginning of their team's season. Then, there is a concussion protocol for an injured player to go through before they return to the playing field.