Hanging around the high school soccer fields:
First there was one here and there. Now they're popping up everywhere. Girls wearing headgear.
It might just be a no-brainer.
The level of play is kicking into high gear. Collisions everywhere. More and more girls are using their heads to score.
''They've only been around a few years,'' said Western coach Damon Amey, who has two players wearing headgear this season. ''But I have a feeling more and more kids will start wearing them.''
Amey had three players endure concussions this season. Two players got them in 2006. What will next season bring?
''The need for headgear is because the female athlete has changed,'' said Amey. ''She seems to be more athletic, stronger and more aggressive.
''Soccer is played at such an intense level now that players are more apt to get hurt.''
Heading the ball may not be the biggest culprit. Banging heads or hitting heads on the ground may cause more injuries.
Ironically, both Amey's players were wearing headgear when they received their concussions.
Laker High phenom Kaycee Damm is wearing headgear as a precautionary measure after a tragic accident. She's given her second set of headgear to a teammate.
''I'm not sure what the state will do as far as headgear, but I had another girl wear one the other day and she was absolutely fearless in the air,'' said Laker High coach Mark Weidman. ''We've talked as a team about wearing them next year, anything that would allow us to play with more confidence would only add to improved team play.''
Soccer isn't the only game with a changing face. Several girls softball teams are putting on face masks. Right now they're just a precautionary measure. Some day soon they just might be mandated.« Back to Archive