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Padecky: Web nerds make it easier for coaches to access game film

For a moment there, Dean Haskins forgot it was 2013, the age of fingertip technology. Montgomery's athletic director and head football coach was walking through the school's weight room when he spied one of his football players glued to his cellphone.

“Hey, put that phone away!” Haskins said. Time for football, you know, not for texting or Instagram or checking stock futures.

“But coach,” responded the player, “I'm on Hudl!”

In an eye blink Haskins was brought back to the present. Oops, oh yes, Haskins waved, proceed young man. His player was studying game film on his smartphone.

“And to think I can remember shoving a VHS tape into the film projector,” said Haskins, shaking his head.

Meaning: I can remember black-and-white televisions, too.

In 2006, three guys in Lincoln, Neb., developed a video transference company and, well ... let them explain it on their Hudl website.

“We're a gang of young nerds, marketers, designers and former jocks who love sports and tech. Where the two meet is our playground.”

That old business axiom — Find A Need And Fill It — may never be defined any more dramatically or successfully than what the Nebraska nerds have done for high school coaches in America. For example, just in California, 1,705 football teams use Hudl. In the Empire, 10 high school football teams are Hudl subscribers — Petaluma, Casa Grande, Sonoma Valley, Ukiah, Cardinal Newman, Montgomery, Rancho Cotate, Windsor, Analy and Piner.

What happened Saturday is the quintessential example of why Hudl works.

Casa Grande and Santa Rosa were beginning preparations to play each other Friday. They wanted to exchange game films. Saturday morning Casa asked Santa Rosa for its videos of the Antioch and Maria Carrillo games. In return Santa Rosa asked Casa for its videos of the Napa and Montgomery games.

“It took 30 seconds,” Casa coach Trent Herzog said. “I just pressed a button.”

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