SAN ANTONIO — One of the big topics in sports these days are the safety of the players, especially when it comes to football players.
Concussions have become a hot button issue from the NFL, to college and of course high school programs. Local school districts are doing everything they can to make sure players are as safe as possible.
Safety is number one, so we are going to take it very seriously, we are going to make sure a protective piece of equipment , such as a shoulder pad or helmet is first class, NEISD Athletic Director Jerry Comalander said.
One way local school districts determine the best helmet is a five-star rating system designed by Virginia Tech University. The helmets are rated from one star to five stars, with five being the best.
NEISD say they use nothing but four and five star helmets for their players and that is consistent for all other school districts in San Antonio and the surrounding area.
It doesn t stop there. Helmets go through a reconditioning process every two years.
Helmets are thoroughly examined, cleaned and tested. Comalander said the district spends about $70,000 to $80,000 a year on helmet maintenance.
But not everyone is sold on the star rating system.
Where I find a problem with Virginia Tech, is where they says, this helmet is a five star rating and will result in fewer concussions than the four star helmet. There is zero science to support that, Dave Halstead, Technical Research Director at the Southern Impact Research center in Knoxville, Tennessee, said.
The coaches agree, somewhat, saying the proper equipment and the best technology is important as long as it goes hand in hand with the proper technique.
I think it is huge that you use the proper technique and I think it is huge that it gets taught at the lower level, former Madison head Coach and now NBISD Athletic Director Jim Streety said.
All coaches should put the safety of their players at the very top and honestly, I think we all do.
They must be doing it right at Madison because, of the 15 games they played last season, only one player suffered a concussion.