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New uniform and helmet trend sweeping across Michigan

By: Scott Burnstein, September 29, 2014, 11:00 pm

The elaborate uniform and helmet trend has hit the local high school football scene.

Taking its cue from the college ranks, where it seems each program is trying to one-up each other in terms of flashy gear (Oregon wears different styles every game), loads of statewide prep football teams are following suit.

From camouflage and other exotically-designed uniforms to shiny chrome-colored helmets, the fashion-show quality of the area’s gridiron landscape as of late is difficult not to notice.

Walled Lake Central unveiled gold-chrome helmets this season, while Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook came out in its 2014 opener wearing helmets that were traditional chrome-colored.

“The kids love them,” said Central head coach, Bob Meyer, of his club’s new head-wear. “I think they’re pretty sweet, too.”

Berkley still sports its classic uniforms on the road, but tie-dye blue ones at home. The helmets the team wears has a slight twist on the normal design – their Bears’ mascot on the helmet is chrome-encased.

“We switched it up a little and it seems to pump the guys up,” Berkley head coach Chris Sikora said.

That added pep in their step resulting from the garments they are dressed in has Sikora’s Bears off to only the third 5-0 start in the history of their program.

Last year, Oak Park broke out snazzier uniforms with a spray-paint explosion design on the helmet.

“Man, those helmets are awesome,” Oak Park’s all-state senior tailback Johnny Kelly said. “We look sharp out there.”

Although undeniable, the trend can be noggin-scratching to older members of the local football community.

Greg Carter, Kelly’s head coach at Oak Park, is one of them.

“When I was younger it didn’t matter what you wore as long as you could play, you could be wearing diapers and it wouldn’t mean a thing because nobody was paying attention to that aspect of the game. But that said, the kids these days want what they consider cool uniforms. They see the Oregons of the world and they want to experience that as well. I understand that and try not to fight it."

Even though Carter’s team has only been wearing its new threads for a season and a half, it’s already clamoring for another switch-up.

“These youngsters are crazy,” said a chuckling Carter. “My seniors wanted to change them (their uniform and helmet design) again before this season. They can’t get enough of this stuff.”