Digital Edition

2009-08-06 digital edition

Special Sections

 


2009-08-06 / Sports

Football Equipment Issued

by Mike Organ

Defensive Coordinator for the Eagles, Coach Kirk Muhl, fits an aspiring Eagle with a helmet during the issuance of equipment preceeding this week's workouts. PHOTOS BY MIKE ORGAN. Defensive Coordinator for the Eagles, Coach Kirk Muhl, fits an aspiring Eagle with a helmet during the issuance of equipment preceeding this week's workouts. PHOTOS BY MIKE ORGAN. Times have changed since most of the readers were playing football. Some played with leather helmets and no face guards. Some played with a single bar facemask and web suspension as the best offered. Foam rubber pads were the next generation that offered protection to the head. Air pads were the next innovation in helmet design followed quickly by air adjustable. The hybrid helmets were next with air adjustable intermingled with foam padding. Gel replaced the foam pads and the old ear pieces that tore your ears up when you took off the helmet were redesigned to remove the removal problem.

As each of these refinements came into being the cost of the hardware increased. Helmets cost soared from around $50 in the 1970's to $320 for the hat the Sherrill twin (seen below) is wearing in the picture.

Coach Jason Holcomb says he buys from 10-12 new helmets each year and sends off 30 to be recertified annually. If the helmet fails to meet the recertification standards, they are trashed on the spot. They are not sent back to the schools where they could mistakenly be used.

Holcomb sighted an instance three years ago when 18 helmets failed the testing. Eighteen new hats had to be bought at an average cost of $300 - a $5,400 budget buster.

With this increase noted we will get an approximate cost of putting just one player on the field:
Helmet ............................$300
Shoulder Pads .................... $280
Uniforms- Game .................$100
Practice .............. $ 45
Shoes - Game ................. $ 45
Practice .....................$ 30
Hip Pads ............................. $ 20
Knee Pads............................ $ 5
Chin Strap ..............................$ 8
Mouthpiece ...........................$ 1
Total ...........................$834

This does not figure in the first aid supplies, the Gatorade drinks, the footballs, the field striping materials, travel, game video, and offcials per game. Just think, the Eagles are expecting around 70 football players this season. If all were wearing new equipment the cost would be $58,380 (834x70). That is quite an investment in our youth, but a very necessary cost to protect them as best possible. Some schools expenditure is much more, depending on the type of equipment chosen by the coaching staff. Lexington's is not the most expensive but not some cheap stuff that would put the athletes in peril.

Return to top














Today's Special Links