High School football practice began in Oklahoma on Monday and the Newcastle Racers have a few extra bells and whistles to play with this season.
This fall, every Newcastle player will have a sensor fitted next to the padding inside their helmet. Those sensors are connected to an iPad computer that will be monitored by the team trainer.
That trainer will be able to track dangerous hits, and will give coaches an extra tool to determine whether or not a player should be on the field.
"No kid wants to come out," said head coach Keith Bolles. "Even if they get their bell rang and they are a little dizzy, they don't want to come out. But this tells us to check ‘em. It takes kind of the load off and we check them out, and if that kid doesn't meet the baseline requirement they had. Then there may be something, and we take them out."
A Boston company is bankrolling the helmet sensor program this year at Newcastle. The district's superintendent says he's not aware of another Oklahoma high school team using the technology.