SAN ANTONIO - The start of the new school year also means the start of a new football season.
“The kids are faster, they're bigger, they hit harder,” Roger Mendez told us.
Whether it's practice or a real game, Roger Mendez knows what's at stake when his son hits the field. Troy Mendez plays left defensive end for the Jefferson Mustangs. His job is to stop the run or rush the quarterback. Either way, he's looking to hit someone hard and that can be a little scary for any parent.
"Every game my wife and I are concerned about mainly his health. If he comes out without any major injuries, win or loss, it's a win for us,” Mendez said.
With a new state law in play that specifically talks about helmet safety, we wanted to know if our local school districts are doing anything new this football season to keep athletes safe.
“Our number one concern is student safety and putting our student's in the best equipment possible,” Brian Clancy, SAISD Assistant Athletic Director, stated.
A little over a year ago the Texas legislature passed House Bill 675. It requires schools to throw away helmets 16 years or older, recondition helmets every two years and keep a log of all helmets that parents can easily get a hold of.
Clancy gave us his thoughts on bill, "I think what it's trying to do is get everyone on the same level playing field so that everybody’s maintaining student safety first."
One of Brian’s jobs is to keep a close eye on all of the district's equipment. Even before the bill was passed SAISD kept a running tab of when helmets had been reconditioned and when they need to be replaced. Every year they evaluate the helmet and figure out which ones stay and which ones go. But this year, Brian tells us, they're doing a little more than what the state requires.
“This year, since the bill was passed, starting this year our reconditioners have come up with a sticker system that says this helmet was reconditioned in 2012 and its born on date was 2008,” Clancy explained.
So when you want to know about your child's helmet all you have to do is check out the back of his head.
“It feels good in the fact that you know there's someone else out there watching for your child,” Roger Mendez added.