Year 2 for FHS ‘Beta’

Athletic video technology has caught up with the visual nature of high school students — on the football field at Farragut High School no less.

Preparing to begin its second season using software technology labeled “Hudl Beta Program,” FHS varsity football players and coaches could make adjustments after their offensive or defensive series ended, not having to wait until halftime, with almost instantaneous visual replays that could be categorized and available for players to see along the sideline using iPads.

“One of only 80 high schools selected in the country” by Hudl in 2015 to use this new technology according to the team’s video coordinator, Chase Scott, Farragut finished 11-2 ending with a Class 5A state quarterfinal appearance.

“It was a big help for us looking at things … we were able to make quick adjustments,” Ad-mirals skipper Eddie Court-ney said while crediting Scott for helping FHS acquire Hudl Beta. “You could get it instantly.”

Scott, in the pressbox utilizing Hudl Beta, “Is sitting next to our camera guy with [Hudl Beta] plugged into his laptop, and he’s tagging it as the game goes on,” Geoff Courtney, FHS defensive backs coach, said about making specific plays in a series an instant recall on the sideline.

“We can go back after every series and could see exactly what we thought we were seeing and show the kids and we can absolutely get on the same page,” Geoff Courtney added about using Hudl with his defensive backs on the sideline “while our offense is on the field.”

Players, Geoff Courtney said, “can actually see themselves, there’s a better line of communication that way. They loved it. A lot of times when you’re out there on the field you see so much at once that it’s hard to go back and recall, ‘Well, I think he stepped this way,’ or, ‘I think they blocked down’ or whatever.

“Then you can go back and show them, ‘This is what happened,’” Geoff Courtney added. “‘You’re right, that’s how they did it,’ or, ‘This is how we need to do this better.’”

Many such players, Geoff Courtney said, are visual learners. “For some guys it’s harder” to learn with verbal correction, “They have to see it to learn it.”

The head coach added, “These kids are more visual today. Everybody’s got cell phones and texts. They see things a lot faster and they learn from it quicker that way.”

Another big advantage last year: “I think most school probably didn’t know it was out there,” Geoff Courtney said.

The Hudl Beta program was free last season because FHS “was one of the few teams selected in the country. … We were like their test pilots.

“This was the first year they were trying it,” Geoff Courtney said. This year Hudl Best will cost “about $1,800. Anyone can go and buy it now.”

In April 2015, “We heard that Hudl was introducing a new technology where you could instantly shoot video from a pressbox angle [and have it] down to the sideline after every play,” Scott said.