Football team utilizes new helmet technology to help prevent concussions


Gabe Smith

Select football players are using helmets like these to monitor significant impacts to the head.

Gabe Smith, Reporter

The Bellevue West football team recently purchased six Riddell SpeedFlex helmets. They look like an average helmet, but these helmets are more than meets the eye.

They are built with an InSite Impact Response chip imbedded in the padding; that chip sends an alert to a handheld device when the chip senses a significant hit to the head.

According to head football coach Mike Huffman, the helmets were paid for by an outside anonymous donor who wanted the money to go to helmet technology.

Many athletes are becoming more aware and cautious about head injuries, and these helmets will provide more information about what truly happens on the field.

“This helmet has helped me in the way of knowing how to protect myself,” senior offensive lineman Tyler Ciurej said. “If I wanted to after practice, I could go up to Ms. Gier’s and see all the hits I took during practice.”

According to Ridell’s website, the helmets also have a specially designed face mask made of stainless steel. The helmets have also taken elements from previous models; they took the side impact technology that was used in both the Riddell Revolution, and the Riddell 360 helmets.

The helmets are designed to help prevent concussions and to limit internal brain damage.

“If there was a hard enough hit during a practice or game, that would cause this helmet to set off the sensors,” athletic trainer Shannon Gier said. “Then I have a handheld device that will  go off and tell me ‘okay, this is a substantial hit; let’s check the kid out.’”