Breakdown – Chelsea uses game tapes to prepare

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 26, 2004

It’s not uncommon for oohs and aahs to echo through the locker room as early as 7 a.m. at Chelsea High School.

It’s a sound coach Watt Parker is used to hearing in the morning … and at lunch, and any other time a group of his players come in to watch game tapes of the Hornets or their upcoming opponents.

&uot;You’ll hear them laughing at someone because he got tattooed, or they’ll be talking about a big play&uot; Parker said.

Parker estimates that some of his starters watch up to 15 hours of game film a week.

Using film to break down team performance and to analyze upcoming opponents is not a technique used by Chelsea alone. The practice has become so standard that coaches routinely swap film with each other following a Friday night football game.

At Chelsea, the process begins immediately after the Hornets’ varsity football game on Friday night.

A Chelsea assistant records the game digitally onto mini-DV and the footage is transferred to VHS tape later that night.

The Hornets keep a copy and swap another copy with a coach from their next opponent.

All six coaches begin analyzing game film on Friday night and Saturday morning, breaking it down for playcalling tendencies and personnel changes.

Sometimes little things picked up by the staff early in the week can make a huge difference on Friday nights.

&uot;With Dora, there was a certain set where they would take an outside linebacker and run him to the other side of the field,&uot; Parker said.

In the Week 6 matchup, Chelsea exploited the tendency in a 47-14 upset that ended Dora’s 25-game, regular season winning streak.

But breaking down film of their own games can be just as valuable, Parker said.

&uot;I think it’s important to grade your offensive line each week,&uot; Parker said. &uot;These guys in a game situation have a tendency to be overlooked a little bit.&uot;

Aside from weekly scouting reports, Parker said many of his players watch film on their own time.

&uot;We leave the video out for them to watch because we want them to watch film as much as they can.