Skaneateles Football Club raising funds for new helmets
By Jason Gabak
In recent years there has been a marked evolution in the game of football.
As people have become more aware of some of the physical dangers that have been associated with the game, particularly head injuries, an increased emphasis has been put on player safety and equipment.
“Things have changed from even 5 or 10 years ago,” J. D. Delmonico, president of the Skaneateles Football Club, Inc., said. “It is evolving and becoming more of a finesse game. It isn’t like it used to be. There is a lot of focus on safety these days.”
To ensure the safety of younger players, the football club is seeking to raise funds for new helmets for next season.
The funds raised will go to outfit the entire Skaneateles youth football program with state-of-the-art Riddell SpeedFlex helmets.
The fundraising goal is $20,000 to acquire approximately 60 new helmets for the youth program, Delmoinco said.
To achieve this, the football club is seeking community and parent support in achieving their goal.
Already Delmonico said about $10,000 has been raised toward this goal with plans to place the order for the helmets by March.
“We have about six weeks for fundraising,” Delmonico said.
While there has already been a great deal of support from parent and those involved with the organizations, Delmonico said there were several reason to reach out to the entire community to help reach the $20,000.
Aside from $20,000 being a large sum to raise, Delmonico said this serves as an educational opportunity, to show how football is changing.
“We have a lot of support form the community and this is an opportunity to educate the community,” Delmonico said. “This is a way to show the level of safety there is working with the kids in our community.”
This is a philosophy that the organization has been putting into practice for some time already.
This includes the Heads-Up tackling technique with coaches certified through USA Football’s Heads-Up Tackling program.
Guardian Caps – all players are required to wear Guardian Caps which are a soft-shell helmet cover that augments any helmet to make it flexible and soft and more effectively manage energy to further mitigate any contact to the head. Guardian Caps are worn by all players from the youth to the varsity program level.
And restricted full contact practices, where the organization follows a philosophy of limited practice contact that focuses more on fundamentals, skills building and repetition to keep our players healthy and happy while dramatically reducing the risks of practice-related head injuries. This is a philosophy that is practiced from the youth level all the way up to the varsity program.
The research put into new helmets was intensive and after meeting with the representative from Riddell, the company’ SpeedFlex helmets were selected.
“Riddell is well known they have a lot of experience and these are great helmets,” Delmonico said.
Delmonico said these are some of the safest helmets available and have been extensively tested.
They also have the added benefit of what is known as Riddell’s InSite Impact Response System.
In essence the helmets are able to collect and transmit data, analyzing the type and intensity of impacts.
This is relayed to coaches and players can sit out for a while if they were considered to have taken a hard hit or too many hits.
This can also help adjust approaches to practices Delmonico said.
“The sensors give us a lot of information,” Delmonico said. “If we are doing drills and there are too many hits we can say OK we aren’t going to do that drill anymore. There are a lot of benefits that will help keep our kids safe.”
Delmonico said these helmets and their associated technology will be good for at least six years and will be inspected and recertified by the manufacturer every two years.
Delmonico said families of players are welcome to donate any amount and the organization is also seeking donations at platinum, $500, gold, $250, and silver, $100 levels.
All donations will receive recognition on the organization’s social media platforms and platinum and gold levels will be recognized on a banner at all home games as well as on a commemorative t-shirt.
For more information contact Delmonico at JD@Delmonicoinsurance.com or visit skaneatelesfootballclub.com/Default.aspx?tabid=1262281.