Big hits are a part of the game and player safety remains top of mind across all levels of football.
When Glastonbury football head coach Eric Hennessy was hired a few years ago, his goal to was to eventually have some sort of concussion tracker to ensure that his kids stayed as safe as possible. This season, with the support of the school district, the Guardians have started using a new sensor made by Athlete Intelligence.
"The sensor is placed inside the helmet," said Hennessy. "It collects data on the number of hits, the G-force during the hit and then the location of the hit on the helmet."
"It sends the info about how hard we're hitting, if we had any tough hits to the head throughout the game," said Glastonbury senior Jack Petrone.
Coaches and trainers can track individual athletes in real time. The sensor sends data directly to a computer and their watches on the sideline during the game.
"The biggest benefit is that our kids are safer and what we're trying to do is be smarter about how we coach and trying to be proactive and recognize when a kid is in that danger zone," said Hennessy.
The device, which is inserted just behind a pad in the helmet, tracks big hits and also makes it easy to recognize repeated smaller hits to the same area of the helmet.
"It's not always that one big hit that somebody is going to get a concussion," said Hennessy. "It's usually a cumulative thing."
"I think the technology is making it a safer sport, which is awesome," said Glastonbury senior Jack Hennessy.
"It just makes me feel protected," added Petrone. "I know my trainers are going to take care of me and let me know when I need to come out. My safety is pretty much the number one goal for them."