When the Creekside Seminoles (9-0; 4-0 Region 4-5A Division A) take the field Friday for their final regular season game against Ola (2-7; 2-3 Region 4-5A Divison B) with a playoff berth be on the line, they will be the first full high school football team in the country to equip their entire team with the Kerr Collar.
Developed by Dr. Patrick Kerr after 10 years of research, the Kerr Collar is a revolutionary new sports technology that is designed specifically to improve neck safety and neck support in football players by reducing impact to the head and neck during a collision.
“Creekside obviously had the tragedy happen with ‘Tre Tre’ [DeAntre Turman] and what we wanted to do was bring awareness to a huge problem that kids playing football have helmets to protect their heads, shoulder pads to protect their shoulders and zero neck protection. It should be a law that these kids should not be able to play football without proper neck protection,” Dr. Kerr said. “I think it has to be a mandatory piece of equipment.”
Creekside player DeAntre Turman died tragically in August during a scrimmage game from “blunt force trauma” resulting from his neck vertebrae being broken according to the Medical Examiner’s office.
“I learned of Tre Tre’s death through a very close friend of mine, Calvin Wilson of Explosive Sports Training and I thought it would be good to start here in beginning to make the game safer for the kids at Creekside,” Kerr stated.
“It wasn’t a bad hit or a head down hit it was a normal hit and the cervical spine is just not designed to handle those type of forces,” Kerr added.
While installing the Kerr Collar to the entire team, Kerr and former Philadelphia Eagle and Georgia Bulldog offensive lineman Bernard Williams asked each player to crouch in a football position, move their head and neck in a normal football manner while asking if they felt it restricted their movement. Most players felt it did not.
“It feels different but at the same time it feels normal,” Evan Berry said after being fitted with the Kerr Collar. “You really don’t think about all this stuff once the game starts but at the same time you know it’s there.”
The Kerr Collar comes in medium, large and extra large sizes suited for the various sizes of today’s football players.