Football helmet recall has mid-Missouri teams double checking helmets

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COLUMBIA - As coaches and players conduct walk-throughs in preparation for Friday night football, many are also checking helmets after the announcement of a football helmet recall.

Xenith, a football equipment manufacturer, is the company behind the 6,000 football helmets recall. The company said the specific types of paint styles can crack and cause a "potential impact injury hazard."

Ryan Sullivan, President of Xenith, released the following statement.

"To meet the highest standards of excellence and performance for our products, we made the decision to announce a voluntary recall of Xenith Epic Varsity, X2 Varsity, X2E Varsity and Youth football helmets with a gloss or metallic-painted polycarbonate shell sold or factory reconditioned from May 2015 through March 2016." 

Rock Bridge High School does use Xenith's helmets, but its helmets have a matte finish so those helmets are not part of the recall.

"I still trust my helmet, I think it will keep me safe," said Aiden Rodriguez, a freshman corner back on the Rock Bridge team.

Joe Collier, head football coach of the Rock Bridge High School, said his team is proactive when it comes to checking players' helmets.

"We get all of our helmets sent off to be professionally checked, and they check to make sure they are functioning properly. We make sure to keep our kids safe because this is a high impact sport," Collier said.

He also said it is important to teach proper tackling techniques.

"We tell kids to play behind their shoulder pads. So their head is suppose to be up, and their eyes are suppose to be on the target. So while the helmet is an important piece, we teach them to tackle shoulder first, in hopes of minimizing head contact," Collier said.

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 29 cracked helmets have been reported, but none of those have lead to an injury. 

Click here to find more information on which helmets have been recalled.

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