New Browns defensive back Jason McCourty has only been in Cleveland a few weeks, but the veteran is already trying to make an impact in the community.
So on Wednesday after practice, McCourty, left tackle Joe Thomas, head coach Hue Jackson and executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown all met with members of the Maysville High School football team, who had been randomly selected to receive $25,000 in state-of-the-art helmets made possible through the HELMETS program.
HELMETS is a collaboration between the Browns, University Hospitals, Xenith and Ohio Lottery in an effort to enhance health and safety of young athletes through proper equipment, education and training.
"Obviously youth football is very important to our organization and our owners, Dee and Jimmy Haslam, do a great job of making sure that youth football is something that we really get behind and that we take care of," Jackson said.
"It's extremely important for us to support youth football here in Northeast Ohio," Brown added, "and I know Maysville is going to go undefeated this year."
HELMETS encourages and incentivizes local high school football programs throughout Northeast Ohio to strengthen their commitment to player health and safety by enrolling coaches in USA Football's Heads Up Football program. All teams registering for HELMETS — just like Maysville — must be certified or plan to become certified in USA Football's Heads Up football program.
"University Hospitals Sports Medicine is committed to supporting a safe sporting environment for athletes of all ages," University Hospitals and Browns head team physician Dr. James E. Voos said. "We are proud to continue to support The HELMETS Program and wish all of the high school recipients success in the upcoming football season."After receiving their own good news, Maysville — with the help of McCourty and Thomas — granted the Cleveland Metropolitan School District another $25,000 worth of helmets through a random drawing powered by the Ohio Lottery. With the addition of Ohio Lottery in 2016, the HELMETS program was able to be extended beyond Northeast Ohio for the first time to include other schools across the state.
The Browns partnered with Ohio Lottery, University Hospitals and Xenith to provide $25k worth of new helmets to the Maysville High School football team.
Over the past three years, the Browns have helped equip multiple local teams with more than $175,000 in donations and more than 500 helmets as part of the team's commitment to youth football, advancement of the game and player health safety in the state, much of which is made possible through the HELMETS program.
University Hospitals also works with the Browns to cover costs for more than 1,500 high school football coaches to become USA Football Heads Up Certified in 2016 and 2017.
Schools selected through the HELMETS program will receive five-star Xenith helmets as rated by Virginia Tech's helmet ratings.
Heads Up Football offers certification clinics, combined with an online curriculum, to educate coaches about Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-approved concussion recognition and response protocols, proper equipment fitting, Heads Up tackling, Heads Up blocking, heat emergency preparedness and hydration, and sudden cardiac arrest.
Registration for the next round of the HELMET program will be available at www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback in the coming months.
Browns Give Back
The Cleveland Browns give back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team's signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback.
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 18 hospitals, more than 40 outpatient health centers and 200 physician offices in 15 counties throughout northern Ohio.
The system's flagship academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, located on a 35-acre campus in Cleveland's University Circle, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The main campus also includes University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation; University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, digestive health, transplantation and urology.
UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including "America's Best Hospitals" from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development. UH is the second largest employer in northern Ohio with 26,000 employees. For more information, go to UHhospitals.org.
Developed in Detroit, Xenith is driven by a relentless pursuit to protect athletes everywhere through groundbreaking innovations and product superiority. Xenith is the industry leader in football helmet technology and the company's mission is to develop and distribute the best equipment in the world.
Founded in 2006 by a former Harvard University quarterback and Columbia University physician, all Xenith helmets feature Adaptive Head Protection, a system of patented technologies designed to mitigate rotational and linear forces featuring the Shock Bonnet® Suspension System, Fit Seeker System and Shock Absorbers. For more information, please visit www.xenith.com or engage with us on Twitter andFacebook.
The Ohio Lottery has contributed more than $23 billion to education since 1974. For more information about the Ohio Lottery and its contribution to education, visit www.ohiolottery.com/supportingeducation.