MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Concussions are hot-button issue at every level of football, and one Middle Tennessee high school is working to reduce how many players get.
While there is nothing to completely prevent them from happening, Siegel High School is taking steps to keep players as safe as possible by using new helmet technology outfitted with impact sensors to better identify strikes.
“You know, we want to do everything that we possibly can as far as taking care of our kids, getting the head out of the game,” said head coach Greg Wyant. “We want mom to feel good about being able to send her son out here to play football.”
The coach explained there are five sensors in the helmets – one in the front, back, each side, and top.
“Depending on where you get that hit at it sends a signal to a remote monitor our trainer carries all the time with him a buzzer goes off,” Wyant said.
The monitor tells the trainer where the kid was hit and if there were multiple hits.
“So he’s able to go look at the kid, monitor [him], and find out where he’s at,” the coach added.
Siegel High’s trainer Joe Bowker told News 2 the alerts they receive is loud so they can’t miss it.
“The player’s actual number will pop right up here and we’ll get the time of the impact and where the impact occurred, and that gives us a chance to walk over to the player and check on them and run them through a protocol to make sure everything is okay,” Bowker explained.
Not only does the technology identify high risk impact, but it gives the Siegel coaching staff some support when teaching players how to tackle safely.
“We’ve had a player that’s had a couple of hits on the front side of the head the first few days of practice,” Coach Wyant said. “We’ve gone to monitor him, we’ve talked to him about getting his head out of contact a few times, and it’s something that we can really fine tune with a player to be able to make him a little bit safer.”
And the payoff has already started just days into practice. Players are already seeing results.
“I do indeed feel safer because I know that I have technology helping me, and I think it’s cool being one of the first teams to have these,” said offensive lineman Josh Burkhart. “I definitely feel myself not having as many headaches as I did last time when I had my older helmet.”
As the concussion criticism grows, technology like these helmets is more important than ever in preserving the most popular sport in America.