Browns help award local high school with helmets

Posted at 4:58 PM, May 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-14 18:08:00-04

The Cleveland Browns presented football players at North Ridgeville High School with helmets valued at $25,000 Saturday at the Browns Fan Fest.

These aren’t just any helmet; they’re five star ranked by Virginia Tech helmet ratings.

"University Hospitals is committed to the safety of all athletes in our community,” the Brown’s head team physician James Voos said.

Attention on protective gear is increasing in light of more  information about the connection between head injuries and brain disease.

NFL executive Jeff Miller came out as the first league official to link football-related head trauma to the progressive brain disease CTE in testimony before a U.S. congressional committee on March 14.

Much of the attention on sports concussions has spotlighted professional football and college athletes. But there’s a need for more prevention efforts at all levels, including among the youngest players, according to Zachary Kerr, lead author of a new concussion study published May 2 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Dizziness, headaches and loss of balance were cited as common symptoms in all ages among football players. High school players, though, are more likely to have noise sensitivity and excessive drowsiness, according to the study.

The Browns have teamed up with University Hospitals and United Healthcare as part of an ongoing effort to increase safety for young athletes with equipment and training through the HELMETS program.

HELMETS signs up Northeast Ohio coaches to the USA Football Heads Up program, which awards the protective gear to eligible schools from Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit counties.

All three groups delivered the helmets to North Ridgeville head coach Luke Durbin Saturday morning before the team’s practice at FirstEnergy Stadium.

North Ridgeville was chosen because it is an outstanding example of a high school and coaching staff that give students protection resources, according to Ohio UnitedHealthcare official, Tom Sullivan.