Arcadia High School football is using their heads in the hopes of not damaging them.
The Titans are the only school in the Valley to use the Riddell brand helmet with Insite Technology.
The helmet is specially designed to help against one of football’s fastest growing concerns: concussions. Six players including the quarterback, two linebackers, a wide receiver and a special teams player have worn the uniquely designed helmets for the past two games. It’s what’s inside each one which sets it apart.
“Inside the helmet there are sensors in all different areas,” head coach Lenny Abt recently explained to Sports360AZ.com. “It’s monitored by a device that the trainer has on the sidelines which records an impact when it reaches a certain level she’ll get a warning level from the handset.
She is AHS certified athletic trainer Emily Clarke who keeps a close eye on the monitor under the Friday night lights this fall.
“I like it because [the monitor] is a second set of eyes for me,” she told Sports360AZ.com. “If I’m not watching the play or if it’s a punt return and somebody is getting hit out of the play, that’s what exciting for us. It’s just that second set of eyes…it’s neat, you can change the settings where it’s just a vibration or there’s a loud alert if there ever is a situation where that hit surpasses the threshold of a possible concussion.”
Arcadia was first introduced to the new helmets by their booster club president who happens to be a Riddell representative. Each Insite helmet features additional padding to protect the sensors. Some colleges around the country are using the helmets in hopes of diagnosing early concussion warnings, as well.
The Titan players are happy to be ahead of the curve.
“I like the security of knowing that if I have such a hard hit that my trainer will know right away,” junior linebacker Dylan Turelli said about his new piece of equipment.
Senior quarterback Jake Sheedy says it’s never too early to think about your safety, as well as your future off-the-field as players are only getting faster and stronger.
“I think everyone’s more aware and thinks about concussions more and it more safe now,” he explained. “I don’t think we’ve had any alerts [with the helmets] so far which is great. We’re hoping that we don’t have to deal with it but we know we’ll be safer and sooner to react to the concussion.”
The Arcadia staff hasn’t decided if eventually all players will have the new helmets but expect schools to follow the Titans’ lead when it comes to player safety.
The Titans (3-0) look to stay unbeaten when they host Maricopa Friday night.