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District foots bill for locals' five-star helmets

Among topics, CV Coach thanks superintendent for getting local players best hats available.

September 21, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — The Glendale YMCA Quarterback Club, in its 69th year, meets Tuesdays at the Elk's Lodge. The following are odds and ends from the second meeting of the year.

DISTRICT STEPS UP

WITH NEW HELMETS

Crescenta Valley High Coach Paul Schilling paused during his weekly remarks to thank the Glendale Unified School District for providing a major equipment upgrade for his team, as well as Glendale and Hoover, prior to the start of the current season.

Over the summer, researchers at Virginia Tech conducted a brand-by-brand, model-by-model ranking of likely concussion resistance for all football helmets on the market with a star-rating system, not unlike the crash-safety ratings used for automobiles.

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Schilling said GUSD Superintendent Dr. Richard Sheehan contacted Schilling and his fellow GUSD coaches shortly after the study was released to inquire about how many of the Falcons', Nitros' and Tornadoes' helmets met a four-star or better ranking.

"We're panicking as coaches, like, 'Oh no, what if they don't let us play?'" Schilling said.

Many of the helmets came up short of a four-star rating, but the district responded by picking up the tab to replace all of them with the Ridell Speed model, the only helmet to get a five-star rating in the study. Schilling said, in all, each of the three programs received about 60 new helmets.

"In this day, with the state budget and there not being any money, it's really a great thing for all of us here," Schilling said.

EBERHART SEES SIGNS

OF IMPROVEMENT

Glendale High suffered its first loss of the season Friday night, 16-14, at La Cañada, but third-year Nitros Coach Alan Eberhart was impressed by several things his team did in the defeat.

"We had a good game," Eberhart said. "La Cañada is a team that beat us up for two years, so [I'm pleased with] the fact that we can compete with La Cañada. We played very well until the end and we got a lot of confidence as we were going."

A self-described "running team" out of the wing T, the Nitros ventured out of their comfort zone and into throwing the ball 37 times when the Spartans made the commitment to bracketing Nitros star receiver Mike Davis to the outside, leaving holes all over the field all night.

The Nitros only completed 14 passes, but Davis still finished with 103 yards in five catches.

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