Louisville high school football team makes big investment in preventing head injuries

Updated: Aug. 20, 2018 at 11:26 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The top-rated helmet used in the NFL is making its debut at high school games in Louisville.

Right now, a private school, Kentucky Country Day (KCD), is the only high school team in Kentucky where all the players are wearing them.

Head Coach Matthew Jones said the goal is to reduce head injuries. But the solution is not cheap.

Jones said a regular football helmet retails between $350 and $400.

The new helmets worn at KCD cost $950.

They are the product of a Seattle company called Vicis. The model used by KCD is the Vicis Zero1.

As the NFL's top rated helmet, it is designed to help prevent the degenerative brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE.

Jones said outfitting all of his players cost of about $35,000 and relied on large donations.

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"That's a lot of money," Jones said. "That's a substantial investment in football and in the safety and future of our kids."

The helmets are constructed with a softer outer shell, custom-fitted interior padding and a layer of impact absorbing cones.

Seven KCD players said they had previously experienced post-impact dizziness or headaches. They said the helmets, which they've worn since July in practice and in KCD's only game so far this season, seem to have eliminated those symptoms.

A spokesman for Vicis said that while KCD is the only team fully outfitted with their helmets in Kentucky, there are also four schools doing the same thing in Indiana.

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