Coaches and CRHC Athletic Trainer Reflect on First Season with New Equipment

11/13/2019 | Clarinda, Iowa

Clarinda High School athletes wore new Riddell SpeedFlex helmets this season, which monitor daily impact data. (Photo courtesy of Joe Moore)

Currently, Clarinda student-athletes are trading their football helmets for basketball and wrestling shoes. During this transition Clarinda Regional Health Center (CRHC) Athletic Trainer, Logan Wood, reflects on the season’s successful implementation of several player safety projects. During his first fall in providing coverage, he recalls one of the most notable achievements was the addition of new Guardian helmet covers and the Riddell Speedflex helmets with Insite Sensor technology. In August, through a partnership with CRHC, the Clarinda Booster Club, Clarinda Youth Tackle Football Club, and an anonymous donor, equipment was purchased to improve player safety. This collaborative effort provided better protection and improved potential head injury detection and screening.

Wood states, “the Guardian helmet covers gave a visible reminder to the players and coaches to be cognizant of player safety. More importantly, it provided an added layer of head protection while these young players are still being taught proper technique.” Guardian helmet covers were distributed to both the Clarinda Youth Tackle and Clarinda Middle School teams. Clarinda Middle School coach, Andy Harris, appreciated the donation. Harris stated, “I am very thankful for the Guardian caps. Anything we can do to provide another measure of safety for our kids is important. We felt it provided reassurance to our parents that safety comes first. We want kids out and participating in our program. Football provides so many life skills beyond just the X’s and O’s of how to play the game.”   

The Clarinda High School team enjoyed playing this past season with brand new Riddell Speedflex helmets. However, beyond the pride of wearing a shiny new helmet, it was the technology inside that provided the most benefit. First-year Head High School coach Collin Bevins shared, “we are grateful to the community for the support in outfitting the entire team with this technology. Beyond promoting player safety we were able to track the impact data from both practices and games and used it to provide objective awareness to player technique in not using the head to block and tackle.”

As with any activity in life, the sport of football comes with inherent risks. As education and awareness of technique are vital components to player safety, so to enters technology into the conversation. Wood ends with, “we are so fortunate to have a community that rallies together and supports important projects like this. I’m proud to work for CRHC and having the fortune to be the liaison for this great cause.”