DeSOTO, Texas -- DeSoto High has always had fast, hard-working athletes. Now they know how fast, and how hard they work.
The wearable technology from a company called Catapult shows them.
"We're one of the first high schools to use it," said wide receiver Emmet Perry. "We gotta show that it works."
Players wear small body and GPS monitoring vests in the weight room, on the practice field, and in games.
Head Trainer Scott Galloway listed several of the the things the devices can measure: "We've got acceleration, deceleration, heart rate, heart rate exertion, total distance, high speed distance, body load, collision, and running symmetry."
Of all the measurables, top speed is the players' favorite, and wide receiver Kadarrian Nixon has been the fastest. He topped out at 25.3 miles per hour on a touchdown against Cedar Hill.
"Data don't lie," Nixon said. "So if we ever think we're not working hard, coaches will know. Can't hide it."
One of the biggest benefits to using these devices has been injury prevention. The data they collect show things that coaches and trainers can't see with the naked eye.
"Soft-tissue injuries, they manifest themselves weeks after there's been an excess load placed on the body," Galloway said. "We feel like that's helped us reduce our soft-tissue injuries and even our orthopedic injuries because we've been alerted."
Head Coach Todd Peterman has changed his practice schedule based on what he's learned from the data.
"From a Monday standpoint, Tuesday standpoint, we're working the same," Peterman said. "It's just that recovery day on Wednesday is where we're seeing the benefits."
At the highest level of Texas high school football, any edge helps, and DeSoto thinks it has a big one.
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