Published 12:00 am Friday, November 15, 2013
When the playoffs start, coaches rush to gather information on the next week’s opponent and tap their sources in different parts of the state in order to gain intel on teams they’re not quite as familiar with.
In past years, that would have included calling the opposing team’s coach, burning a DVD copy of game film and physically meeting up to exchange game footage.
However, technology has changed the context to which coaches scout with. Hudl is a subscription service that can store a team’s video and playbooks online, making it available to anyone who subscribes. It’s widespread enough that most teams in the area have it, making it handy for the playoffs. The life of a football coach is hectic enough this time of year so the convenience of hudl is a welcome change.
North Rowan coach Joe Nixon says first-hand information from other coaches is invaluable but hudl has turned what was a time-consuming venture into something that’s a few clicks away. The service even aids the unbeaten Cavaliers, who haven’t needed much help in dismantling their opponents.
“It’s the best thing ever,” Nixon bluntly stated. “It makes your job a lot easier. I wish I would have come up with it.”
When Carson takes on Gastonia Forestview tonight, the coaches will already have already seen game tape of the Jaguars from multiple games from the comfort of their computer chair. Carson sets up a camera on top of the press box and in the end zone for multiple angles.
“It makes a big difference,” Carson coach Joe Pinyan said. “If you’re playing someone in the mountains, you don’t want to have to drive to Hickory just to meet up.”
West Rowan coach Scott Young can see the last three games of South Point’s triple-option offense in preparation for tonight. Young can watch it on a laptop, tablet or smartphone in a pinch.
“It saves you at least three or four hours a weekend,” Young said.
There’s other benefits. Hudl can be used to compile highlight films for players trying to play in college or evaluate officials.
North faces Surry Central (not Sorry Central as my phone’s autocorrect feature suggested on twitter last weekend) tonight at home. Surry’s surname is the Golden Eagles, but they probably won’t feel at home at Eagle Stadium. North’s defense hasn’t allowed any points in 10 quarters dating back to the 46-7 win against East Davidson. Kids in Spencer were picking out halloween costumes the last time a team found the end zone on the Cavs. Expect more of the same tonight as WSTP and WSAT will be on the call.
The No. 8 seed was probably best-case scenario for Carson, who gets a home game against Forestview. Forestview quarterback Logan Bradley set Gaston County records this year but is a question mark for tonight. Bradley sat out last week with a knee injury.
“We’ve got to prepare for both cases,” Pinyan said. “Either way, they’ve got athletes all over the field. Our checkers will have to be as fast as their checkers.”
WRNA will call the action
West hasn’t played on the road in the first round since a 2003 loss to Gastonia Ashbrook. South Point is the favorite but the Falcons have been traditionally stout against the run. The Red Raiders may feel jobbed they didn’t get the No. 1 seed in 3A after an 11-0 season.
“They got guys up front that will run you over,” Young said. “They give maximum effort every play. Our guys will need to play like that.”
East travels to top seed Morganton Freedom as the ultimate underdog. The Mustangs became playoff eligible with a win last week at South Rowan.
If it’s the postseason, then it must mean A.L. Brown is playing Charlotte Catholic. This is the seventh time Brown has faced Catholic in the playoffs since 2005. The Wonders are 1-6 in those meetings and face a tall order tonight as the 13th-seed.