Player safety looming concern as football season approaches |

Another look at some of the tasks performed by Operations personnel:

Football continues to hold a special place in the hearts of millions in the U.S. alone.

An annual survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations calculated that 1,085,272 high school students played on their school’s 11-player tackle football team over the 2015-16 school year.

But concerns regarding how to best protect the players has grown as well.

This spring, looking for ways to preserve the health of its football players, Valdosta High decided to take a chance on a product generating buzz around the country — the Guardian Cap.
The Guardian Cap is a soft-shell helmet cover designed for impact reduction, and according to information provided by Guardian Innovations, more than 50,000 Guardian Caps have been used on the field across youth leagues, high schools and colleges both in the U.S., as well as Canada and Germany from 2012-16.

Georgia Tech, Clemson and Florida State are among the high-profile schools to recently adopt the technology.

Valdosta director of operations DeMario Jones did research on the product and spoke with Tift County head coach Ashley Anders about the Blue Devils’ experience with the Guardian Cap throughout the 2016-17 football season. With the help of the Touchdown Club, the Wildcats purchased 50 Guardian Caps to try for themselves.

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