Being on a high school football scout team doesn’t rank highly on a list of the fun parts of the sport.
As the team’s practice squad, most times the players on the other side of the ball are bigger and better varsity players.
And due to confusion by scout team players, there’s usually a lot of yelling from coaches toward their direction to line up in the right positions.
With new technology, Oconee County High School hopes to limit the latter.
The Warriors have purchased GoRout, a technology that will provide them with more organized practices and allow for more practice plays at a faster pace.
“Hopefully we can get more reps in a shorter period of time and not have to practice as long,” OCHS head coach Travis Noland said. “That’s the whole purpose of it.”
Out are the old days of coaches holding up cards in the middle of the field to display which defense a coach wants his scout team to mimic.
In are cell phone-like devices inside a wristband that players slide onto their forearms which signals exactly where a player should be.
With Bluetooth technology, the click of a button from a cell phone will relay the defensive look a coach wants directly to the forearms of each member of the scout team.
A player’s device will vibrate, alerting them to look down and see the defense digitally displayed on their device so they can line up accordingly.
This allows offenses, especially those that run an up-tempo style, to practice the pace it would like to use in a game-like situation. GoRout’s website says the technology allows varsity offenses to run plays at an average rep-to-rep time of 13 seconds. Warrior coaches say they’re averaging around eight seconds between plays.
“If our defense is going against you and you’re a no-huddle offense, you can now go no huddle,” Noland said. “It used to be—if you were a no huddle—you had to wait on the scout team to know what plays to run. Now they can just look at the wristband and the plays are run.”
Oconee County High School is the first high school or college team in the state to use the technology after Noland saw examples of it at a clinic last year.
GoRout inventors told Noland that the closest program to this area using the product was Samford University in Alabama.
Noland called Samford wide receivers coach Russ Callaway, a former Oconee County High School quarterback, to ask his opinion of the technology.
“He said, ‘Dude, it’s the best thing ever invented,’” Noland said. “So I said let’s get it and we made it happen.”
For more on this story, see the July. 27 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, go to oconeeenterprise.com or call (706) 769-5175.