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Organization to honor Dana Payne with donation to Trojan Football

Star Staff Reports

Dana Payne

A very special donation event will take place in Millington Thursday, in the name of sports safety and two young athletes who died playing the game they love.
Thursday afternoon, officials from the Taylor Haugen Foundation and EvoShield will be in Millington, to outfit the entire Millington Central High School football program with some of EvoShield’s revolutionary protective football equipment.
All 149 players from the combined Millington Trojan varsity and JV squads, including players from the local junior high feeder system, will be specially fitted with EvoShield Youth Protective Rib Shirts, which are being donated by the Foundation’s YESS Program, in memory of Dana Payne and Taylor Haugen.
Haugen was a wide receiver on the Niceville (Fla.) High School junior varsity football team.  On Aug. 30, 2008, the 15-year-old sophomore died from injuries sustained from being hit by two opponents while attempting to catch a pass during a game.
A similar tragedy struck Millington High’s football team just before the start of this season, when Payne – also a 15-year-old, sophomore wide receiver – died Aug. 21, shortly after being tackled hard while going for a pass in practice.
With rising concern about organized sports injuries and fatalities, the Taylor Haugen Foundation, the only non-profit that specializes in youth protection, strives to help better protect today’s young athletes.  Its YESS (Youth Equipment for Sports Safety) Program works to provide youth sports protection gear to individuals, teams and leagues.  Since hard hits to the body led to the football deaths of both Haugen and Payne, the Foundation is providing the EvoShield Rib Shirts to Millington High with the hope that similar incidents might be avoided.
EvoShield’s signature Protective Rib Shirt offers ultra-thin, high-impact protection for the ribs.  Using a Gel-to-Shell™ technology, soft gel pads are transformed into lightweight, custom-molded, protective Shields.  The energy from impacts is dispersed by the Shields – not absorbed as with traditional foams and hard plastics – providing athletes strong protection, without sacrificing their mobility or performance. Brian Haugen, Taylor’s father and president of the Taylor Haugen Foundation, will be joined by EvoShield representatives in Millington for Thursday’s player fitting operation.


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October 2012
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