Concussion helmet sensors coming to Westfield schools

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WESTFIELD -- It's an extra eye on the football field!

High-impact sensors used by some football teams to detect head trauma will be offered to players at Westfield High School.

Two weeks ago during the Grange Insurance North-South All Star Game, every players' helmet had a sensor.

The sensors, created by Brain Sentry, are the size of a pack of gum and change from green to red when a player is hit too hard.

"If a helmet takes a hit and the rotating force on the helmet is strong enough, the red light goes off. As a coach, we see the red light. We pull the kid immediately and then the trainer takes a look for concussion symptoms," explained Westfield coach Jake Gilbert, who led the South team during the All Star game.

Gilbert liked the sensor technology so much, he's now offering it to nearly 150 players this season at Westfield.

"It cannot prevent concussions, but it can help us protect any kid who does have a concussion. What we worry about most is the kid who took a hit and doesn’t think about the hit and stays in the game or if we missed a hit and doesn’t tell a coach," said Gilbert.

Westfield graduate and former quarterback Nick Ferrer is one of the few Indiana high school football players who's worn the special helmet sensor.

"I think it is a good thing. A lot of guys, like coach said, try to tough it out, play tough guy," said Ferrer.

The technology has limits. The sensors blink after a hard impact, but do not give details on how forceful the hit was for the player.

Gilbert views the technology as an added "eye on the field" to help protect players.

"Football is trying to be the leader when it comes to keeping players safe. We appreciate the scrutiny, but we are doing everything possible to make the game better," explained Gilbert.

Indiana High School Athletic Association Assistant Commissioner Robert Faulkens says football coaches and program leaders can decide to use technology, like helmet sensors.

Gilbert will meet with parents and players about purchasing a helmet sensor. The sensors will cost each player $55 for the season.

Brain Sentry tells FOX59 the company has gotten calls from other Indianapolis-area high schools about using the technology.

2 comments

  • Michale Kay Clark

    Our grandson plays for Frankton High School and has had 3-5 concussions. He had decided not to play this year but now he wants to play since it’s his Sr. year. I wish we could get a sensor on his helmet, I am so glad they are taking this seriously now.

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