Choctaw Football Team To Be Outfitted By Taylor Haugen Foundation and Dugas Family Foundation Grant

On May 21, the Choctaw Indians will be the first local football team equipped and outfitted in EvoShield Compression Shirts funded completely by the Taylor Haugen Foundation’s Youth Equipment for Sports Safety (YESS) Program and the Dugas Family Foundation. More than 100 Choctaw football players will be equipped with Evo Shield’s next generation technology, in an effort to protect their vulnerable internal organs, including the kidney, spleen, and liver. As part of the Dugas Family Foundation grant, the YESS program plans to outfit all local middle and high school sports teams with this state of the art equipment. “The generous grant from the Dugas Family will allow us to equip all local sports teams with next generation technology, regardless of the school’s athletic budget for new equipment,” said XX from the Foundation. “ As we look to roll the YESS program out nationally, we will require a matching contribution from the schools located outside of Okaloosa and Walton County.”

“A majority of the injuries to student athletes take place during practice, so we felt it was important to get this safety equipment into the hands of coaches, and onto the torsos of the players for spring practice, Proper fit and consistent use of the technology is THE key component for increased safety of the field, said XXXX of the Taylor Haugen Foundation. The Foundation works with coaches, principals, and athletic trainers to host these fitting events, so everyone knows the correct way to wear and care for these shirts.” Since the YESS program began in 2011, more than 1100 athletes have been equipped and protected.

Combined with a comprehensive education and training program, the YESS program is looking to significantly reduce the number of traumatic abdominal injuries nationally. Taylor Haugen Foundation Chairman Bernard Johnson adds “One of the keys to reducing traumatic injuries in athletes is insuring that kids, parents, and coaches know about the availability of this type equipment. When worn correctly by every athlete, every time they play, this equipment will help better protect our youth athletes.”