Salina South among high school teams adding splash shields to face masks on helmets
SALINA, Kan. (KWCH) - Every day, high school coaches and athletes take several precautions to practice and compete in their sport during COVID-19.
This football season, you might notice helmets looking a little different.
Teams across the country are wearing splash shields, a piece on players face masks, that blocks the spread of potentially dangerous airflow and droplets.
Salina South is one of the local teams wearing the devices.
“We will do anything in our power to make sure that we’re able to play,” said senior wide receiver Jackson Hayes.
The two-piece shield attaches to the facemask and covers the entire face.
“They do get hot but at the same time if that’s what we’re being asked to wear to play then we’re going to wear them to play,” said Salina South head coach Sam Sellers.
In June, the district decided to provide them for all football players at both Salina South and Salina Central, as well as for the middle school teams.
“We have a tremendous superintendent that way back in June asked what our feelings were and if it was a viable thing,” said Sellers. “We decided if nothing else, we should try it because it’s better than nothing.”
The splash shields are required for all players.
“At first glance we weren’t very happy about them but it’s really not terrible after a bit you get used to it,” said Hayes. “We were all worried about them getting fogged up but it’s not that bad.”
These players said they know many teams across the state and country aren’t getting the chance to play, so they feel grateful for the opportunity and will take whatever safety precautions they’re asked to follow.
“I consider us lucky, it’s a blessing to be able to play,” said senior corner Que Hill.
They said amid so much uncertainty due to COVID-19, they’re not taking a second for granted.
“We do count our blessings every day that we’re out here practicing and playing Friday night,” said Sellers.
The Cougars kick off their season Friday with a trip to McPherson.
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