Hillsdale Football Association investing $40,000 to upgrade player equipment over the next two years to improve player safety.

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Over the next two years, Hillsdale Football Association (HFA) will commit a total of $40,000 towards new football helmets, shoulder pads and player monitoring technology towards player safety. Hillsdale Football Association will start its equipment refresh by partnering with Riddell, the industry leader in helmet technology and innovation, to purchase and replace all 110 of its helmets in inventory with new Riddell SpeedFlex helmets.

We're excited for our kids to be using the latest technology in youth football helmets.

Hillsdale Football Association, a local non-profit football and cheerleader program for children ages 5 – 14, today announced a significant investment in new protective equipment for football players at all levels. Over the next two years, Hillsdale Football Association (HFA) will commit a total of $40,000 towards new football helmets, shoulder pads and player monitoring technology.

This year, Hillsdale Football Association will start its equipment refresh by partnering with Riddell, the industry leader in helmet technology and innovation, to purchase and replace all 110 of its helmets in inventory with new Riddell SpeedFlex helmets. “We evaluated many helmet manufacturers, conducted extensive research, and spoke with high school athletic directors and coaches to learn what helmets were best for protecting our young players,” said Devon Flanagan, President, Hillsdale Football Association.

“It’s a big investment as a non-profit, but it’s the right thing to do,” said John Stanbury, Vice President, Hillsdale Football Association. Stanbury continued, “We are very grateful to the Brue Family, whose generous donations in the memory of Rob Brue, one of our coaches, has helped make this investment in player protection possible.” Going forward, HFA will have to continue to grow its fundraising efforts to ensure players have the best equipment available. Hillsdale Football is seeking donations to help offsite the large investment.

Riddell’s InSite Impact Response System, a helmet-based head impact alert and monitoring system, which is compatible with the SpeedFlex model was also a factor in the decision. “These helmets can be upgraded in the future to InSite, so we can monitor players during practices or games for hits that exceed thresholds.” said Robert Laudadio, Equipment Manager.

“Protecting cheerleaders from injuries is equally as important as our football players. Our girls are performing some very athletic movements, sometimes five to six feet off the ground. Our cheer programs will continue to add more professional training clinics and education to their programs,” said Jen Fronzaglia, Head of Cheerleading.

The Hillsdale Hawks Football program is one of the most competitive programs in Northern New Jersey, having joined the new NNJJFL Football League and won the inaugural championship with its Junior Team and their Senior Team came up just short in their championship game. HFA players graduate to the perennial state football powerhouse Pascack Valley High School that's been a State Finalist and 2-Time State Champion over the last 4 years.

“It’s also important we find ways to give back as well,” said, Flanagan. Hillsdale Football Association has donated all of its used Riddell helmets to Play for Your Freedom, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help care and provide wellness programs for Veterans and their families. It’s great to know our helmets will get a second life as decorative pieces in their “Real Helmets - Real Heroes” program. Our helmets will be cleaned up and some painted by artists as well as signed by veterans and NFL Alumni who attend the wellness workshops. The helmets will then be auctioned or sold to raise money for our veterans who’ve served our country so bravely.”

This is a two-year refresh program, with next year’s plan including upgrading player shoulder and rib pads. Additionally, HFA coaches will continue to improve their education with new player training and safety programs.

Hillsdale Football & Cheer is kindly seeking donations, if anyone is interested in becoming a sponsor or making donation, please contact Devon Flanagan for more information at dflanagan7(at)aol(dot)com.

Hillsdale Football Association is a nonprofit that provides football and cheerleading programs to boys and girls ages 5 to 14 years old. For more information, please visit: http://www.hillsdalehawksfootball.com.

Riddell is a premier designer and developer of protective sports equipment and a recognized leader in helmet technology and innovation. For more information, please visit: http://www.riddell.com

Play for Your Freedom is nonprofit dedicated to supporting Veterans and their families through adaptive sports and programs that lift and inspire. For more information, please visit: http://www.playforyourfreedom.org

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