Gorman football players say new helmet pads are keeping them saf - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Gorman football players say new helmet pads are keeping them safer

Gorman football players say new helmet pads are keeping them safer

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TYLER (KYTX) - A couple months ago, an anonymous group of parents gathered the money to buy Bishop TK Gorman football players new helmet safety equipment.

The gear, called Guardian Caps, are supposed to cut down on concussions by 33 percent. Gorman football players says the guardian caps make a huge difference.  

Gorman junior Connor Hobbs is a varsity wide receiver, meaning he's known to take a beating on the field.

"I've had a couple concussions," he says. 

It's a parent's nightmare. Take it from Connor's mom Tami Hobbs.  

"Very scary," she says. "There was a point in time where he was carried off in an ambulance."

She says despite past injuries, it's hard to make your child quit his passion 

"I support him because that's his love, and I hold my breath when I sit in the stands," she says.

So she has vowed to keep her son as safe as possible on the field. Tami is one of the parents who came up with idea to get Guardian Caps for the Gorman players.  

"It's the latest out there and several of the colleges are already using it and they've seen success with it," she says.

The caps are a padded cover that snaps onto the helmet.  Connor says it lightens blows on the field.

"You don't feel it as much on your head. There's not a lot of pressure," he says. 

Connor says his teammates have had fewer injuries since they started using the caps in practice.
 
Bishop TK Gorman is the 11th high school in the state of Texas to use the Guardian Caps, and the very first middle school.

One reason more schools don't have them is because of the price. Even with a deal for buying in bulk, each of the 120 guardian caps Gorman players got, were $65 each.  That's $7,800. Tami says the caps are worth every penny. 

"It makes me breathe just a little bit easier, not to say that when he takes a hit I don't go, 'Ah! is he going to get up?' Because I do, but but anything that will reduce the potential of a concussion, I'm all for.

Right now the players are only wearing the guardian caps during practice and scrimmages.   The cap is a fairly new piece of equipment so it hasn't been approved for games yet. Local parents hope the kids will soon be able to wear them at all times.  
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