MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Concussions are a concern from youth football all the way to the pros.

But a Minneapolis high school thinks they may have a method for keeping players safe and for cutting down on head injuries.

It’s a new protocol that could turn into a big win for player health.

Its 30 minutes to kick-off at De La Salle High School.

Also known as the countdown to contact.

The Islanders are wearing their usual black helmets. But inside those helmets is something new.

“If it’s blinking green- it’s charged up and ready to go,” head coach Sean McMenomy said.

Head Coach Sean McMenomy has a new pre-game ritual.

It includes installing what are called “Head Case Impact Sensors” inside his players’ helmets.

“What it does is it holds a file folder with every hit that a kid has always had,” McMenomy said.

Using 3M tape, the sensor is placed between the hard plastic of the helmet.

Then the sensor is connected to a phone app that notifies coaches every time a player takes a big hit.

They measure the G-Force of every hit to the helmet, from light taps to big collisions.

And if the hit is big enough, the sensor lets the coaches know.

“What it does is it just helps us monitor big hits and say, ‘Hey, you know what? Steve just took a big hit to his head. Pull him off to the side and check him out just in case,'” McMenomy said.

The player can be put through the baseline test on the app to see if they have a concussion. And it’s all recorded as part of their injury history.

“Concussions are big, you know. We try and keep away from it,” said wide receiver Marquise Bridges. “That’s why this thing can help us a lot.”

It can help them literally keep their heads in the game.

“This I think is just another step, but it helps monitor the amount of hits that your head takes,” McMenomy said. “I think in long-term, it only helps.”

Coaches say the Head Case Impact Sensors cost around $100.

De La Salle is part of a pilot program, so there is no cost to the school as of now.

They received the sensors last week and are one of only 13 schools in the nation using the technology.

But De La Salle is part of a pilot program, so there is no cost to the school right now.

John Lauritsen

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