Burleson, Texas, April 29 2016 — April 9th is a day the Benge family will never forget. It was on that Saturday at the Ford Fields in Beaumont, TX that Connor Benge was pitching for the OTW Edge, a 12 and under competitive baseball team. During that game, a batter hit a line drive right off of Connor’s head fracturing his skull and causing him to be life-flighted to Texas Children’s Hospital. “Before you could blink an eye, it was over” said J.R. Benge, Connor’s dad.
Parents immediately began to search for a solution. “I do think there needs to be some sort of helmet for players so that they have a chance,” said Kendra Benge. “I feel like if he would have had something underneath his cap, it would have helped a lot.” Now one Texas business is stepping in to help raise money for the Benge family and raise awareness for a product to do just that.
Booya Sports, based out of DFW, is coming to the Ford Fields in Beaumont at the Nations 2016 “Best of the Best” Tournament on May 7 and 8 to demonstrate and sell SST headguards. They will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the Benge family for medical bills. “We heard about Connor’s injury shortly after it happened” Jason Miller one of the owners of Booya Sports told us. “We wanted to do something to help out this special family and also raise awareness of this great product, to help prevent this tragedy from happening in the future”.
This head protector, made by SST, is constructed from carbon fiber and is designed to slip right into the sweat liner of a baseball cap. The head guard weighs less than 3 ounces and provides the player with great protection without bulky distraction. This product is even getting the use and attention of Houston Astros very own Collin McHugh. When asked about the dangers of line drives by Cory Hepola of KARE-11 McHugh said, “As a pitcher that’s kind of your worst nightmare.”
Booya Sports is a small family business but is quickly becoming the nation’s largest retailer of this product. “We feel honored to be named the exclusive dealer of SST Headguards in Texas this year,” said co-owner Russell Givens. The company also plans to set up at other tournaments throughout the state this season to get the word out about this product. If you are unable to make it out to the Ford Fields this weekend the company will be donating a portion of SST sales this weekend on their website to Connor’s family as well. Just enter the word “Connor” at checkout”
Luckily for Connor he got to go home after spending several days in the hospital. He is now on the road to recovery and is doing much better. When asked about his future in baseball Conner’s mom said, “I know he loves the game so much, and he’ll be back out there as soon as he can.”
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