Smart helmet used by NC football players alerts sideline to impacts that may result in concussion

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Safety is becoming a top priority for football players and coaches. Nowhere is that more clear than at a Charlotte-area high school where helmets are getting an upgrade.

Every player on the Mount Island Charter football team will get new helmets in the 2019-2020 school year.

That may not sound like a huge deal, but the new helmets are special. They are packed full of technology.

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The athletes at Mount Island Charter eat, drink and breathe football. They said the hard hits and physical nature of football is just part of the game.

"It's the risk you take playing the sport," sophomore wide receiver Christian Hunter said to WBTV.

While the risk may just be part of the game, the technology in the team's new helmets will help mitigate those risks.

The helmets have sensors that track how many times a player takes a hit and where exactly that contact happened. All that information is relayed in real time to the trainers, players and coaches.

All of that data will be tracked, allowing everybody to keep an eye on the players. The idea is that this will help make sure no player is hiding an injury and no coach is forcing a player to play through a potentially serious head injury.

Each helmet costs about $400, but it's a price coaches and school administrators said they're more than willing to pay.

"There's no price tag on safety for us," head coach Robert Washington said. "We're not really big on a price tag. It's about putting our kids in the best situation and making sure they're safe."

"It gives us a piece of mind knowing that they're in the best helmet they we can put them on," Mount Island Charter Athletic Director Matter Steger said.