A former Sterling football coach is turning to Twitter to find out which high school football program has the best looking helmet in the state. The #IllinoisHelmetChallenge is giving teams and communities a chance to have some friendly competition during this unprecedented time.
The helmet is the most important piece of equipment in football. However, it's now becoming one of the biggest twitter topics in Illinois high school sports, as fans vote for their favorite looking helmet. Glenbrook South assistant and former Sterling football coach Travis Myers said he came up with the idea after voting in a similar poll in Iowa. Myers said he hoped to get at least 64 teams for a March Madness-like bracket. Little did he know, he would more than double that turnout.
"Now I've got to figure out, how to run a bracket with more than 64 teams," explained Myers. "Then it got up above 100. I was like, ok, I got to push this up to 128, because math is still good and easy for me."
The final number of entrants was 164, including Stateline schools Auburn, Dakota, Du-Pec, Lena-Winslow and Lutheran.
"So to get to 164, and cover all types of schools, all locations of schools, private schools, public schools, big schools, small schools, I think that's what's been cool about it," said Myers. "I think you get to see people from different parts of the state learning about communities and schools that they never would have heard of before."
Everyone from 8-man to Class 8A took part. Myers said he did worry a little bit about small schools verse big schools.
"For the most part, people are voting for the helmets that they like, except for the people that are really tied to the schools themselves. So it's been cool to see, what I think in most cases, helmets are winning."
Myers hoped this challenge can take a little time away from real problems in the world.
"We're worried about health and safety of our family and friends, the communities and the medical world, the nurses and all the people on the frontlines," said Myers. "If this can help any of them out, distract them and let them have some fun during this time, that's kind of what the goal is."
The challenge has dwindled down to the final 32 helmets. NUIC teams Dakota and Du-Pec are the final two teams from the Stateline. The Indians and Rivermen are also in the same regional semifinals. Dakota faces Class 8A Naperville North and Du-Pec takes on Class 7A Elk Grove. Voting resumes on Monday. To vote, just search #IllinoisHelmetChallenge of find Myers' twitter account @10tmyers.