The Lee High School football team has new cooling technology in its shoulder pads.
The pads were made possible by a local charity honoring a Florida high school football player named Zachary Polsenberg. He died of heat stroke in 2017.
When connected to the pads, a compressor pumps cool air to the back and front of the pads, cooling players’ chest and backs.
The Zachary Polsenberg Heat Severity Charity raised donations from the public and a large donation from Degree Men, to secure funding.
The technology was installed by My Cool Air. Now every player at Lee High School has access to the cooling system when playing football.
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âIt was funny to see the kids running over to the bench to put it on,â Lee High School head football coach OJ Small said.
James Polsenberg lost his son Zachary in the summer of 2017 to heatstroke during high school football practice in Fort. Myers, Florida.
Polsenberg and his wife Claudine, a couple from Palm Coast, decided to launch the association following the death of their son.
âIt’s very exciting to be able to do this and help keep the student-athletes safe,â said Claudine Polsenberg. “My stepson died of heat stroke last year.”
Lee’s players tell Action News Jax that they are less likely to suffer from heatstroke or heat exhaustion due to the cooling technology of their new shoulder pads.
Action News Jax reported in late August when DCPS decided to move some high school football games to Saturday morning.
The decision follows the shooting on the Raines High School campus after their match against Lee.
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As a result, players and coaches say the heat has become a bigger issue for athletes with 10am kickoffs.
“I’m happy because I’m really dying,” Lee football player Ralph Mincey said. âGive it your all, as my coach tells me. “
Zachary Polsenberg died of heat stroke during football training in Fort. Myers. The Palm Coast couple launched the Zachary Polsenberg Heat Severity charity shortly after.
“The only thing we don’t want is for other parents to go through the heartache we’ve been through,” Zachary Polsenberg’s family said.
The charity is also asking the FHSAA and state lawmakers for changes to require cold water tubs on all practices and games. My Cool Air, a local Jacksonville company, designed the technology.
âYour chest, your heart, is your engine,â said Zach Williams, a representative of My Cool Air. âSo as long as you cool the engine, you’re going to cool the body. “
There will be a presentation to the team, the school and the public in honor of Zachary Polsenberg on Saturday at halftime.
Cox Media Group