CEDAR PARK, Tx. (KXAN) - It could be a game changer on the football field. Hard hits are part of the game. Unfortunately, so are head injuries. A new technology called the "Guardian Cap" is helping protect players.
Cedar Park High School's football team is testing out the new gear, and wore the helmets at their spring game Thursday night.
Coming off their Class 4A Division II State Championship, the Timberwolves are out to capture the title again. This year, one focus for the team is blocking--head injuries, that is.
"As a coach, I think all coaches should be looking at not only techniques that they're teaching to keep kids safer, but also the technology that's out there," said head coach Joe Willis.
Cedar Park varsity and JV players wore the new Guardian Caps on their helmets for the spring game Thursday night.
"At first it was a little different," said Senior Quarterback Nate Grimm, "It felt a little bit heavier, but after that you get used to it and it feels normal."
The Guardian Cap fits over a football helmet. It's a soft, lightweight, padded shell. It helps reduce the force of impacts that a football player experiences by up to 33 percent, according to the manufacturers.
In addition to the spring game, the Timberwolves will wear the caps for practices this upcoming season. But come game time--it's back to just the traditional helmet.
"It is going to make us more conscious about how we teach the techniques in practice, because one thing I don't want to do is enable a kid to use a part of the helmet they shouldn't use," Willis said, "You worry a little about them feeling like that's an opportunity to duck that head and use that, and that's not what we want to do."
The Guardian Caps cost about $60 a piece, but came at no cost to Cedar Park High School.
"These were actually given to us, by the company, and they gave them to us, more or less, to study," said Willis.
The Timberwolves raised the bar with a state championship. Now, they're raising it in a whole new way..
Regent's School of Austin and St. Stephen's Episcopal school are the other high schools in the Austin area using Guardian Caps for practices.
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