GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Haven High School football team will take the field this season sporting the safest helmets in the game.
Grand Haven Athletic Director Scott Roberston told News 8 Wednesday that the district was able to purchase VICIS ZERO1 helmets with the help of a donation from Karl Chapel, owner of Grand Haven Custom Molding.
The five-star helmet costs twice as much as other top-ranking helmets. Robertson said it cost $72,000 to get a new helmet for every player, an expense they couldn’t have afforded if not for Chapel’s $50,000 donation.
“I felt very strongly that if there was any way possible for us to make this happen for our kids (and) to protect them the best we could, then I felt like I owed it to them to try and make that happen,” Robertson said.
According to research from Virginia Tech University, the ZERO1 helmet is the safest in the game, proven to decrease concussions.
Spectrum Health neuropsychologist Dr. Michael Lawrence agrees that the helmet offers the best protection possible. While no helmet can prevent the possibility of concussions, Lawrence said it’s great to see high school football programs making this kind of investment in safety.
He said that even though youth are most at risk to sustain concussions, they rarely receive the same caliber safety equipment given to players at the college and professional levels.
Grand Haven isn’t the only high school team making headlines for its helmets. The Fruitport Trojans football team also purchased VICIS ZERO1 helmets for the upcoming season, covering the cost through extensive fundraising efforts.
Grand Haven opens the season Thursday versus Reeths-Puffer. Fruitport plays Forest Hills Northern.