High Schools

Stevens: Social media a challenge to high school football coaches

tstevens@newsobserver.comAugust 20, 2012 

High school football coaches used to talk about bulletin board material.

Coaches would instruct players to be careful in their comments to the local papers to guard against any inflammatory statements that might be posted on an opponent’s locker-room bulletin board.

The late Jack Gaster was an expert at such postings when he coached at Smithfield-Selma. His board would be plastered with articles with his own comments written in blue.

“Why no Spartans?” was sprawled across a preseason ranking, for example.

“No respect,” was written on another.

“Win respect,” was written in all caps.

“What????” covered some highlighted quotes from an opposing coach.

But in the age of social media, coaches never know what will show up on an opponent’s bulletin board, because players and fans have their own mini-publishing outlets.

Last week someone mused how wonderful social media is. Without it, they would have to call 458 people and tell them that they had a yummy dinner.

Once posted, comments can go anywhere, something Wakefield High quarterback Connor Mitch learned. Before he made his commitment to the University of South Carolina, Mitch jokingly tweeted to a friend who attends Elon University that he was going to commit to the Phoenix.

That created excitement.

Before last Friday’s 46-21 victory over Durham Jordan, Mitch wrote: “I can’t tweet anything about the game tomorrow cause the newspaper will put my tweet in the paper.”

Others may joke around with their twitter accounts, but high-profile athletes know that their coaches and possibly recruiters are watching. College recruiters often watch their prospect’s social media to gain insight into their character.

Most of the comments are harmless and social media is a quick way to get a message out.

Last week there was some fashion information, for example.

“Remember that your cleats should be black with white trim. The base color of the shoe is black. See you at 2:45pm. WANT SOME. GET SOME!” – Enloe football

“ATTENTION PLEASE WEAR BLUE TONIGHT!!!! Don’t be that kid who wears gold or white or black, #blueout!!!” – Garner’s Chance Corbin

But for the most part on Friday, high school football players were excited to begin the season.

“It’s game day fellas" haha....#RuntQuote...ha.” – Durham Hillside defensive back Korrin Wiggins.

“Still love my team ain’t no other option.” – Wakefield wide receiver Jordan Fieulleteau.

“Hittin me that tomorrow’s the day I’ve been waiting for since December 4th. It’s that time. Lets get it boys. Blue crew. Everybody. It’s time” – Garner offensive guard Anthony Galavotti, whose team lost in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4AA championship on Dec. 4, 2011.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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