Pratt takes best helmet title with 910 votes

Kahrie Stegman

Add another championship to the Greenback history books. For 2020, the Pratt High School’s football helmet won the Kansas Helmet Challenge in Region 4 of the state’s high school football teams. Pratt fans and supporters from around the state voted it to victory as part of the Kansas Helmet Project.

In 2008, two Linwood coaches and educators, Scott Peavey and Rod Stallbaumer, started the Kansas Helmet Project. The project was created to determine the best helmet in the State of Kansas by using a March Madness-style bracket.

This competition was held for all high schools in Kansas, regardless of size. This year, the bracket competition officially started on April 18, and ended on Saturday, April 25.

To be entered in the competition, each school sent in their helmet submission to the Kansas Helmet Project Selection Committee. From the helmets sent in, 60 were selected by the Committee, and the rest of the schools that had not been selected voted for the final 4 spots in the bracket. The Selection Committee voted on their favorites for seeding placements, and Pratt was in the #3 seed spot for Region 4.

In the first voting round from April 18-19, Pratt beat the Valley Heights Mustangs. In total, about 7,000-8,000 people voted for their favorite helmets across the state. Since anyone could vote more than once for the first two rounds, there were 51,493 responses in the first round alone. Pratt had the most votes in the first round than any other school, with 6,498 votes for the Greenbacks.

For the second round, Pratt was up against the Ell-Saline Cardinals from April 20-21. The Greenbacks were victorious over the Cardinals, placing them in the Sweet 16 bracket. From April 21-22, voting was held for the Sweet 16. Three small schools, including Pratt, showed their school pride by knocking off the remaining 5A and 6A schools. Pratt beat the Emporia Spartans, getting them to the Elite 8.

Elite 8 voting was held from April 23-24. Fighting for the Region 4 Champion title to get them into the Championship round were the Greenbacks and the Humboldt Cubs, with the Greenbacks coming out on top.

Championship Round teams were the Labette County Grizzlies, Prairie View Buffaloes, Pratt Greenbacks, and Wellsville Eagles, voted on from April 24-25. Labette County came in 4th place with 293 votes, Prairie View came in 3rd with 601 votes, Wellsville came in 2nd place with 723 votes, and Pratt took the 2020 Best Helmet in Kansas title with 910 votes.