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  • Arizona HS coach fired for post-game prayers

    CatalinaFoothills

    Catalina Foothills High School has replaced its freshmen football coach, and the reason why is a source of high controversy.

    Like many school districts across the country, Catalina Foothills School District bans school employees from leading organized prayers. The district says Gary Weiss did just that, and so it fired him. Weiss – who, it should be noted, is a volunteer, so no family is going hungry over this – insists he had nothing to do with the prayers, and instead maintains he was fired for not stopping the prayers altogether.

    “No other adult in the freshmen program led the kids in prayer,” Weiss told KVOA-TV in Tuscson. “The prayers of the freshmen team have been recited by Muslim kids, Jewish kids, and Christian kids.”

    Says the superintendent: “Nothing limits the authority of the school/district to maintain order and discipline on school premises, to protect the well-being of students, and to assure that participation in such an activity is voluntary on the part of student,” said District superintendent Dr. Mary Kamerzell.

    Without video evidence or testimony from players, coaches and parents, this sounds like a case of he-said, she-said, where the “she” is the district superintendent and the “he” is a volunteer.

    See the full report here.

  • AthletiCloud – The fastest growing team management app for high school athletics

    About six months ago we first began telling you about AthletiCloud. I had been invited to test it out and I was flat out impressed. I saw this as a way for high school coaches and athletic directors to efficiently manage their teams from their mobile devices…in short, I saw a product that every coach would benefit from. AthletiCloud is:

    • Mobile team management from your smartphone or tablet
    • Mass & group texting & emailing
    • Emergency action plan in your pocket
    • Attendance
    • Roster management
    • Task & Calendar assignments / management
    • Log and collect payments

    I recently had the opportunity to speak with Andrew Oldfield, one of the founders of the company, who told me that very Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 2.29.16 PMquickly the platform has been embraced by coaches and staff (as well as players and parents) across the country. Oldfield added that they are working closely with existing customers to introduce “Version 2″ in the near future and expects that to truly wow coaches in nearly every sport in America. Yes, AthletiCloud is multi-sport and is catching fire in some non traditional sports as well, cheerleading for example. I asked Andrew if he would put me in contact with some current users and I recently spoke with two. Here are some of the things I heard from those that have been using the platform for several months now:

    Doug Killgore, director of athletics & activities at Central Arkansas Christian, told me the following:

    • One of his coaches requested that they as a department begin using AthletiCloud.
    • Once all of the coaches buy into it and the parents buy into it, it makes the job of the coaches far easier.
    • On top of that there is the safety / emergency component which would certainly help the coaches to take the appropriate steps in the event of an emergency.
    • Having access to all that AthletiCloud does on all handheld devices is truly invaluable for us.
    • They’ve expanded their use to pretty much any group that is traveling or going to be off campus
    • His athletic trainer is one of the administrators and she has become one of the biggest users and happiest that they have this

    I also spoke with Mindy Kiser, assistant athletic director and head women’s basketball coach at Cleveland High School (TN), who told me the following:

    • They began using it on July 1. AthletiCloud replaced a messaging system we had been using for years.
    • Cleveland is a fairly large school system in Tennessee and they immediately put all of our Fall sports into AthletiCloud.
    • Once parents start using it, they love it. Same with coaches who are tech savvy, they really do well with this.
    • For data collection, this is great. Having all of the athletes information in one place is great.
    • The messaging is very functional. They use it to directly communicate with the players and with larger groups to tell them about events at and around sporting events.
    • Their athletic trainer loves having medical information stored and accessible in one place. Further, having the emergency contact information available on your device (and thus on the field) puts your mind at ease and could help save a lot of valuable time in an emergency situation.
    • From the perspective of an athletic director, “We’re better prepared to protect our students. We can be informed more efficiently.”
    • Ability to track academics in here…I mean really, this will be the greatest file “cabinet ever” for an athletic director.
    • It’s a great product and it’s just going to get better. I’m excited about “Version 2″. Once they get this perfected every team in America will use this.

    Having used the platform myself and having spoken with two early adopters, I continue to be impressed with everything that is happening at AthletiCloud. If you are a coach, an athletic director, or even an athletic trainer, this is something you have to begin using…and Version 2 is simply going to be awesome. Have a look for yourself at AthletiCloud.com

     

    Disclosure: AthletiCould has previously advertised with FootballScoop.

  • The Boston College post-game locker room video you need to see

    BC video

    Boston College head coach Steve Addazio gave a message to his team after its 37-31 upset of then-No. 9 USC on Saturday night that would be a great video in its own right. Addazio spoke to his players about how proud he was of them, to not let one game define them, about always being the best version of themselves.

    Great as that was, it was not the most inspirational thing to happen in the Boston College locker room on Saturday night.

    The Eagles traded their traditional maroon for red on Saturday to honor former B.C. lacrosse player Welles Crowther, a first responder who lost his life while trying to save others in the horrible aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Crowther’s personal trademark was his red bandanna, so the BC football team wore gloves, cleats and helmets adorned with that familiar red bandanna pattern.

    USC entered the week as 20-point favorites, and looked the part in opening up a 10-0 lead through one quarter. From that moment on, though, Boston College owned the game. The Eagles outscored USC 27-7 over the next two quarters and then held on for the 37-31 victory, outrushing the Trojans by an astounding 452-20.

    Great as that win was, the best part of the night came in the locker room. Following Adazzio, the parents of Welles Crowther, father Jefferson and mother Allison, addressed the team.

    “You have honored us greatly, truly greatly. Just to stand here in front of you and look at your faces, and see the determination that’s there…. I was just so proud of you, so proud of you. I know for my wife Allison, it means so much to us,” Jefferson said.

    “The courage and determination you showed out there on the field, and the teamwork, that went on out there on the field was breathtaking,” added Welles’ mother, Allison. “We know that the odds were against you coming out here. We read all the stories. We heard all the news. And I said, ‘Yeah, but they haven’t played the game yet.’ And this was great. What you did tonight was terrific.”

    Jefferson summed the night up perfectly. Looking down at a room full of players wearing shoes honoring his son, Jefferson Crowther simply said, “I love these frickin’ shoes.”

  • Video: How to come off the ball like a Stanford defensive lineman

    Stanford’s front seven has given the top teams in the Pac-12 fits for years now, and defensive line coach Randy Hart took home our 2012 FootballScoop Defensive Line Coach of the Year award, and here you get a peek at the technique behind why they’re so successful.

    Here, fifth-year senior defensive tackle David Parry takes you through how they’re taught to come off the ball, complete with their aiming points, visual keys, and hand placement.

  • You be the judge: Is this hit from a HS game better than Clowney’s?

    Jadeveon Clowney’s infamous hit on Michigan’s Vincent Jackson ruled the SportsCenter Top Play chart for 45 straight sessions until it was eventually dethroned by Jack Hoffman’s touching TD run at Nebraska’s spring game.

    For those that need a reminder, here’s the hit.

    That was probably the best hit I’ve ever seen…up until last night when I saw this on my Twitter feed from Tennessee commit Jocquez Bruce. I was then forced to ask myself; Which one is better?

    Perhaps the most impressive thing about Clowney’s near-perfect hit is that it not only jarred the ball loose, but he reached down to pick it up with one hand to scoop and score, which is why I, personally, have to give the edge to Clowney.

    However, Butch Jones and his staff look to be getting a young cat that can lay the wood , and you can’t teach those kind of instincts.