Flower Mound soccer team opts for function over fashion

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by TED MADDEN

WFAA

Posted on July 6, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 6 at 10:39 PM

FLOWER MOUND - The girls from the Texas Spirit North 98 soccer team team are getting ready for a two-week trip to Denmark and Sweden for a huge international tournament.

"This is a lifetime experience for these kids," said coach Iseed Khoury. "This is a memory they're carry with them the rest of their lives."

Spirit 98 is sure to stand out amongst the hundreds of teams. Nearly all of their players wear headgear, to protect against concussions.

Caitlyn Aaron is one of the players on the 98s, and she took off her headgear to show us. It's not a helmet because it doesn't cover the entire head. It's more like a headband, which wraps around the head but keeps the top exposed. On the front and sides of the headgear is padding.

You'll see the occasional girl from other teams wearing headgear, but it's rare for an entire team to do it.

"We're not sitting doing nothing about an important issue," Khoury said. "We've just taken it on, head on."

When we went out to the Flower Mound YMCA for practice, there were two teams on the field. The 97s, meaning they were born in 1997, and the 98s. Almost all the girls on the 98s wear the headgear, even though it's not mandatory.

"Once you get one concussion, it could end your play or you'll have to sit out for a couple weeks," Aaron said. "And we don't want to stop playing."

Makenna Johnson is one of the few players on the 97s who wears the headgear, but only during games. And she notices a difference.

"When I started wearing it, I still got my headaches," Johnsons said. "But after a while, the headaches started going away and I actually took it back off for a while, and the headaches started coming back."

As concussion-awareness continues to grow, the Spirit 98s are addressing the problem head-on.

 

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

Twitter @tedmadden

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