High-tech mouth guards helping high school football players stay safe on the field
SPANAWAY, Wash. - High-tech computers hit a local high school football field on Friday night in a surprising place.
They're inside the players' mouths and they're tracking a danger many young athletes are facing right now.
Spanaway Lake High School is trying to tackle the concussion problem using cutting edge Vector mouth guards.
For Spanaway Lake football players, a winning game isn’t only about scoring—it’s about safety.
“I don’t want to take away anybody’s future,” said linebacker Jaylen Senon-DeGuzman. “When I come out here I’m trying to win, I’m not trying to hurt anyone and most importantly I wanna keep myself safe.”
So when the hits start adding up, coaches are measuring those hits with the Vector mouth guard which has a tiny chip that tracks every hit a player takes, then transfers real time feedback to the coaches.
“It’s an opportunity for them to really grow with coaches, grow their players, and keep them safe and monitor those concussions,” said Athletic Director Bryan Streleski. “We want our kids safe. We want our kids to have the up and coming technology to make sure they’re performing at their highest level in a safe environment.”
Senon-DeGuzman said the data helped him improve his tackling technique and where to keep his head while playing in the game.
“Concussions have been a really big thing lately,” Senon-DeGuzman said. “I’ve known some friends who’s taken some big concussions and these mouth guards are a really big help.”
Parents are on board with the technology.
"If we can expand that program even further and send it down to the youth program, it would help even more with the kids when you look at concussion protocol,” said parent David McQueen.
The mouth guards cost $200 each and the district got them with their insurance.
The plan is to get them for the other two high schools in the district.