Aug 31, 2023
Minnesota HS football team to wear Guardian Caps during games

A Minnesota high school football will be the first in the state—and maybe the country—to play a game while wearing Guardian Caps, a protective shell that goes over helmets.

The Park Cottage Grove head football coach has invested $11,000 over the past three years in Guardian Caps. Each cap costs roughly $70 and every player in the Park Cottage Grove program, from sixth grade all the way up to varsity, wears them during practice.

minnesotaA recent story from KARE-11 spoke with Coach Fryklund about making the switch to Guardian Caps. Below is an excerpt from the KARE-11 story.

If the Caps look familiar, it might be because you’ve seen the Vikings wear them in practice this month. Just this year, the NFL mandated Guardian Caps for all teams and all players — at all times — during practice.

“To be completely frank, if they didn’t work and they didn’t keep people safer, I really don’t think the NFL would be mandating what they are,” said Fryklund.

The Cap doesn’t prevent concussions, but they do, it seems, lessen the impact on the brain by 33 percent, according to the company.

Park High doesn’t have hard data to prove that, but the science makes sense to those who treat athletes.

“When you think about the way a concussion happens, it’s because your brain is floating inside your skull, and when you get hit or you experience a whiplash, it bounces around inside your skull,” said Mel Haupt, Park football’s trainer. “So, if we can add something on top of it to absorb some of that force, less force is going to get transmitted through the helmet, through your skull, and then into your brain to cause it to move around and slosh around inside.”

That simple science is why Fryklund decided to take team safety to the next level by wearing the Guardian Cap during games.

“Someone’s got to be the first, and it might as well be us,” said Fryklund.

The National Federation of High Schools sent KARE-TV a statement saying, “The NFHS does not endorse products, including the Guardian Cap, but it has determined that permissive use of this product is not a violation of NFHS football rules.”

To read the full story from KARE-11 about the Minnesota football team wearing Guardian Caps, click here. 

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