White County middle school and high school football teams will be a little safer when they take the field this season, thanks to Dr. Chad Griffin who has sponsored the purchase of splash face shields for each player.
“After reading an article about how the NFL was using face shields attached to the helmet to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, I talked to Brent Ryan to see if there was any interest,” Griffin said. “The high school and middle school coaches agreed that it was a good idea, so Brent found a supplier, and we made it happen.”
Griffin explained he wanted to see the White County players stay safe, but also have the opportunity to experience this year’s Friday night lights.
“I hope it will protect against new exposures as the players face different teams week to week,” he said.
Brent Ryan, White County schools’ certified athletic trainer, said the Schutt brand splash face shields will be clear and will attach to the inside of the players’ face masks. The shields, which are National Federation of State High School Associations approved, will allow for complete coverage of the face and will give an added layer of protection to each student athlete.
“I have been told there are a lot of high school, college, and professional football teams that are currently ordering this product to help with football player safety concerns,” Ryan said, as he talked about the growing popularity of the splash face shield. “We hope to have our splash shields by the first football game. We appreciate Dr. Chad Griffin sponsoring this purchase to help with football player safety for our middle school and high school football teams in White County.”
Jason Carpenter, head coach of the White County Middle School football team, expressed his gratitude when he was told of the donation.
“I’m not surprised because Dr. Griffin has always been very generous with our program,” Carpenter said. “The WCMS players and coaches are extremely grateful for this donation. Every step we can take to increase the safety of our young men gives us a greater chance to complete our season.”
White County High School’s head football coach, Mark Frasier, added, “Giving our students a ‘normal’ season during this pandemic has been on the forefront of our minds. Dr. Griffin’s donation has made it possible to equip every White County football player with a face shield, which attaches directly to the helmet. Implementing this type of safety measure says so much about this local doctor’s concern for the safety of our student-athletes. It truly takes a supportive community to build healthy programs, and Sparta has one of the best.”