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Regents HS uses new helmet guards in hopes to prevent concussions

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Regents School of Austin has even turned to a new protective device that is turning a lot of heads at practice.

Studies show that the majority of football-related concussions do not happen on game night, but rather on the practice field. Because of that, the Regents Knights have taken a proactive approach to limit head injuries by becoming the first school in the Austin-area to put pads on all their helmets.

"Honestly, they look a little crazy!" said Regents Football Coach Beck Brydon.

"Other than the fact that it looks ridiculous, it's been working pretty well," said Regents senior receiver and cornerback Tony Kwiatkowski.

It's called a Guardian Cap, designed by a Georgia company just last year to reduce impact to the head.

"So far, the hits haven't been as hard. When we've made helmet to helmet contact, you know that happens every now and then, it's just been a little softer, not so much of a jarring impact," said Regents Senior guard and defensive tackle Caleb Kyle.

Regents is the first Austin-area High School program to fully implement them while Pflugerville and Georgetown have bought roughly 20 each. Even college teams like USC and Colorado are using them on a trial basis.

"Now we love the game. I mean we're as passionate as anybody. We want to win like everybody else but we're starting to pay a little bit more attention to the health of the kids," said Regents Head Football Coach Beck Brydon.

Considering studies show roughly 75 percent of college football concussions occur in practice, the decision to try the Guardian Caps was a "no-brainer" for Regents Coach Brydon.

"We tell our kids 'if you're the biggest, baddest strongest, fastest dude on the team but you're on the bench with a concussion, you've neutralized all the other stuff you've got! Now the other teams win! We've got to keep our kids healthy," said Coach Brydon.

The Regents Booster Club sprung for 110 of these interesting looking protective devices.

At $60 per helmet, Coach Brydon says he'll take the function over the fashion every time.

"Will it stop concussions? Probably not. Will it help prevent some? Probably. You know, that's our goal," said Coach Brydon.

While the Guardian Cap cannot claim it reduces concussions, at the very least, it's helping these Knights beat the Texas heat.

"They now have this shell over their plastic and it's keeping their plastic cool. We haven't had a kid go down yet. We're in day four and we haven't had a heat issue. It's like 'you know ‘hey great'!" said Coach Brydon.

In addition to the guardian caps, Coach Brydon brought in former UCLA defensive back Bobby Hosea to teach his staff and players new safer way to tackle.

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