FRUITPORT, Mich. (WOOD) — The Fruitport Trojans football team took to the streets to raise money to purchase new helmets.
The players are working on getting the top-rated VICIS ZERO1 helmets. It was ranked one of the best inventions of 2017 by Time Magazine and named the number one helmet by the NFL Players Association for the past three years.
Fruitport would be the first Michigan school to outfit its football team in the helmets.
But it’s not cheap. One helmet costs just under $1,000. They hope Saturday’s drive helped offset the price tag.
Fruitport football coach Nate Smith says his off-season goal was a crazy one, but one he believed in.
“When we first started talking about it, it’s one of those things that’s just a crazy goal, almost an impossible goal, to go after but it’s something we believed in,” Smith said. “We’re trying to change the culture here, build a winning team with guys who excel on the field and off and this investment will propel them.”
Starting senior Ethan Flores says the team could use some change.
“We went one and eight last year, it sucks,” Flores said. “But we started off new. We got a new coach, and things are starting to turn around. These helmets and the belief that we can do something great has motivated us to be better.”
The football team has received donations from the Fruitport Lions Club and Fruitport Trojan Touchdown Club.
Board member Rachel Jones helped to spearhead the idea. She says the team’s old helmets weren’t cutting it.
“The helmets our boys had been using, it’s not like they are old, but the technology has changed so much recently. These are just much safer,” Jones said. “I read all the literature on it, and these have won the top three safety awards. So, I’m like why not give them to our boys and let them be the first to try these out.”
The team says a VICIS representative will come to Fruitport High School Friday to fit the players with their helmets.