STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — Despite 7-on-7 being touch football, injuries do happen, including concussions. Marble Falls High School players now have some protection against dangerous head injuries thanks to a generous fan.
The squad sported Gamebreaker headgear during its first week of 7-on-7 play at Mustang Stadium on June 4.
“A community member took it upon themselves to care for the boys and their heads,” head coach Mike Birdwell said, adding the donor researched the equipment and purchased it for the team.
The headgear is soft yet padded with the best impact protection materials available, according to the manufacturer’s website.
“There’s foam in there that provides a lot of protection for our Mustangs,” Birdwell said.
The ones Marble Falls players wear are secured with a chinstrap and feature the school’s Mustang mascot on the side. Each comes with a four-year warranty.
Birdwell noted many of the 7-on-7 teams in Class 5A and Class 6A now use the headgear. College and NFL players also don them during low-contact walkthroughs and practices when not wearing helmets.
“They provide extra security and safety,” the coach said. “(Players) feel safe and secure, and they’re able to crank the intensity more because their heads are protected.”
As opposed to tackle football, in 7-on-7, a ball carrier is considered “down” when a defender touches him below the neck with one or both hands. However, players sometimes collide while making a play on the ball. If players hit head to head, the impact can cause a concussion or concussion-like symptoms. The Gamebreaker headgear offers an additional level of protection.
The Mustangs return to 7-on-7 action at 6 p.m. Monday, June 18, at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive.