AURORA, Colo. — As the game of football continues to evolve, so does the way we watch it. Now, technology is changing the way players and coaches see the game.
“From the side, sometimes you don’t even see what you’re doing,” Regis Jesuit senior linebacker Geno Macias says of the standard game film angles. “I’m a defensive player, so say I’m blitzing on the right side and the film is coming from the left angle, I can’t even see what I’m doing once I get to the line because the other players block it.”
“Our old film just showed the sideline view,” adds senior running back Kiahn Martinez. “I wasn’t able to see where I messed up or where the handoff was messed up.”
The Raiders have started using drones during games that help provide a whole new view of the field.
“It helps my vision, making my cuts and reads,” Martinez says of the birds-eye view.
“It’s able to zoom in so we can see our technique,” adds Macias. “Our defense it predicated on technique because we blitz a lot. Our lineman are always moving.”
The idea of high school football teams using this technology during games is brand new. Right now, the high school level is the only one to use it.
“CHSAA actually came out this year saying it’s permissible to use during games,” says Collin Caffrey, president and founder of Angel Hawk, a drone service based in Denver.
But the film doesn’t just help the Raiders after their game, or to prepare for an upcoming opponent.
“That’s really the technology that’s a huge benefit, is not just reviewing it after the game but during the game as it’s happening,” explains Caffrey, who operates the drone at Regis games and live streams the video to the coaches. “They can take it in the locker room and critique the players live time or do a replay.”
There are some concerns about drones, which range from the noise level to safety.
As for the noise, the players tend to notice it in practice, but not as much when the lights come on during Friday nights.
“I can’t even hear it during games, because I’m jacked up,” Macias says, laughing.
“We want to be out here making sure we’re up with all the ever-changing rules, as well as being able to implement our own safety rules that haven’t been established yet,” Caffrey says of safety concerns.
But at Regis, where the Raiders have won five games in a row, the consensus is that the view from above is a game changer.
“From the side view you can’t really see as much, but when you get that bird’s eye view you can see everything you’re doing.”
If you’re a young adult interested in becoming a drone pilot, visit the Angel Hawk Drone Academy’s website here.
For details on regulations and policies about drones, visit the FAA’s website.