Rockledge High athletic trainer Ian Stites saw the future of concussion management technology three years ago. Today, he will begin working with it.
Rockledge High product Laurent Robinson has become the spokesman for Shockbox, a wireless impact sensor that sends a message when the wearer has been involved in a significant impact. He will present the Raiders football program with 20 of the sensors today.
“It was never anything I dreamed we’d be getting,” Stites said. “This is next-level technology. I always thought it was 10 years away.”
For most schools, it may be, but the NFL receiver, who himself suffered four concussions last season, will be at the school today to make the presentation. The device will send a message via a smartphone application to Stites each time one of the Rockledge players suffers a big hit. He said the first 20 will be used to monitor those players who have already shown the symptoms of a concussion or been diagnosed with one. One of the biggest dangers of contact sports is suffering a concussion while still recovering from another.
Raiders head coach Larry Laskowski said he’s eager to see the former high school star, but he said it isn’t the first time the NFL player has given back to the school. He gave $5,000 to the school — a gift matched by his team at the time, the Atlanta Falcons — to redo the practice field and install a new irrigation system. “This is incredible for us,” Laskowski said while standing on the practice field after a Tuesday spring practice session. “The county guys have stepped up, and this is the best this field has been in years.”
The Shockbox sensors cost from $97.50 to $199.99. Stites said Rockledge players will undergo preseason testing in fall to provide a baseline of data for each player.