Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 29, 2017

football 1

Spartan football players run for the end zone in the game against Mt. St. Joseph University on Saturday, Sept. 23. The Spartans lost 31-14, but the Guardian Caps may be decreasing injuries during practice.

Photo courtesy of MU Athletics


Football Team Receives Protective 'Guardian Caps' from Donor; Leads to Fewer Head Injuries During Practice

Sha'Kera King 

The football team may have found its own guardian angels in their new Guardian Caps, a soft-shell helmet cover that helps prevent concussions. The team received a supply from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

The caps are meant for practices only, and seem to be working. “No one has had a concussion in practice since they have started using the caps,” said head coach Nate Jensen.

Senior Jon Brann has played offensive line during his three years with the Spartans, and he appreciates wearing the caps. “I love them,” he said. "I have had three concussions in the past three years and two were in practice, but since we have been using the Guardian Caps I haven’t had one in practice yet.”

Growing up and playing football since the third grade, Brann has faced many challenges with balancing everything. Last year he injured his shoulder badly but was able to recover with the support of his dad and coaches. One saying that he lives by as man is “Don’t talk about it; be about it,” which was told to him by Coach Jensen. He uses that saying with his other hobbies: wrestling, fishing and camping.

For the year there are many things he wants the team to be able to accomplish. “I want the team to win the Bronze Ball and to win conference,” Brann said. “Football has taught me how to fight through adversity, schedule things more on time, to be efficient and to be tough.” After he graduates he hopes to become a football coach or work for the service in Alaska.

Senior Noah Edelman also approves of the Guardian Caps. “They make us look goofy and make my head look big, but I like them and I haven’t had any headaches or have to take pain killers after practice,” he said.

Edelman plays outside line back and has been playing football since he was in the third grade. Why did he take up the sport? “My friends were playing and I wanted to play as well,” he said. He used to feel he was short so when he came into his height he played his heart out for the game even more. He didn’t originally choose Manchester for football, though.  “Football is a bonus,” he said. “I choose the school because of the 97% placement rate and I will be able to make money and have a job after I graduate.”

Football has had a big impact on this player, though. “It taught me discipline, kept me out of trouble, to work with others and to keep a leveled head when things get hard,” he said. After graduation he either wants to play in the leagues overseas or start running his own construction business.

Senior John Trenshaw sees the benefits of the Guardian Caps. “They look funky," he said, "but I don’t have to take medicine afterwards.” He plays inside linebacker and has also been playing football since the third grade.

Growing up, Trenshaw was always told he was too slow but his mom and his wrestling coach told him, “If it’s easy everybody would be doing it,” which got him through that challenge in his life. Why does he play football? “Football has always been the two hours of the day where you don’t have to think about life," he said. "I just have to think about the team and how to better us.” And he does exactly that. “I try not to lead by words but to lead by example, and not to be there to boss the team around but to be somebody that they know can help them when times get rough,” he said. Being a criminal justice major, he wants to work with college kids and work with those in Basher Homes which is in Alkark County.