ROCKINGHAM — Long after the final horn sounds on Friday nights, Cole Faulkner is still in the Richmond Senior football offices.
Faulkner divides his time between two computers in front of him. He is busy uploading that night’s game onto the Hudl.com website on one and burning DVD copies of the contest for the Richmond coaching staff on the other.
Nearly 45 minutes later, Faulkner is prepared to exchange game film with the Raiders’ next opponent with the click of a mouse. That is if the other school also uses the Hudl.com program. Otherwise, the Richmond assistant coach is forced to resort to the old method of meeting face-to-face to trade DVDs.
“Coach (Steve) Milligan will call the other coach and ask if they are on Hudl,” Faulkner said. “If they are, we generally trade the previous two games on Wednesday and then trade the latest game around midnight on Friday. Or you have to do it by hand and meet them at the designated place.”
This season, Anson and Purnell Swett were the only opponents to date which didn’t utilize the software, forcing the physical exchange.
With the first round of the playoffs beginning Friday, Faulkner was anxious for the final brackets to be released so he could arrange a film swap. To prepare, Faulkner reached out to possible opponents a few days before the playoffs pairings were announced.
“I started looking at Simmons’ predictions to see who we might be playing,” Faulkner said. “Plus we didn’t know if we were going east or west. I called Cary, Northwest Guilford and a couple others to see if they were on Hudl and about trading films.”
Because of the uncertainty of the Raiders’ placement in the brackets, Faulkner burned DVD copies of the team’s last three games following the Scotland clash just in case he, Milligan or Richmond defensive coordinator James Johnson needed to meet an opposing coach to complete the exchange.
“I was going to Catawba to watch a game, so I was going to take care of Greensboro and everything west,” Faulkner said. “Coach Milligan was going to go to Raleigh if needed and Coach Johnson was going to take care of anything around here.”
When the preliminary matchups were released early in the afternoon last Saturday, Faulkner didn’t have to worry about who the Raiders were going to play because they reached out to him.
“The Cary coach (Ben Kolstad) called Coach (Paul) Hoggard who gave him my number,” Faulkner said. “Coach Kolstad called me around 2 p.m. and asked if we wanted to go ahead and trade film even though the brackets weren’t final.”
And within moments, the coaching staffs had each other’s film and started the process of preparing for the first-round contest.
While the software has several features which helps coaches get their teams ready for the next opponent, Faulkner also mentions perhaps the biggest benefit of all — aiding players get recruited.
Faulkner added he, another member of the coaching staff or even a player themselves can tag a clip, which will be included in the player’s personal highlight reel that can be forwarded to any collegiate coach in the country.
“They (the college coaches) like to see how someone has progressed during the season,” Faulkner said.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.