Instant replay comes to high school football in Blue Springs

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- It's a whole new perspective towards high school football. Blue Springs South High School football coaches are using a new system of instant replay gadgets on the sidelines.

It's an eye in the sky for high school football programs. The EVS camera system sends a live video signal directly to the home sideline, where coaches had use it as an instant replay source.

As soon as the Jaguars go from offense to defense on Friday nights, a coach, such as Blue Springs South Assistant Dan Sundberg is waiting, ready to play back images from the previous drive. Images for the sideline screen come from a small handicam that sits atop a steerable tower that stretches to 40 feet in the air.

“You see where guys are lining up, and more importantly, you see where your guys are not lining up. If you've got guys doing the wrong thing, you can see it,” Sundberg said.

The Missouri State High School Activities Association says it's perfectly legal. National guidelines were changed two years ago, allowing video replays on the sideline.

EVS replay came handy last Friday, when South upset a tough team from Park Hill by only a touchdown.

“We know everyone in this area is going to eventually figure out how to get it done,” Sunberg said, referring to use of the new technology.

In 15 seasons, South Head Coach Greg Oder has led these Jaguars to two state titles. He bought into the EVS replay system, which costs about a thousand dollars, after losing to a few schools who were using it.

“We're playing teams that have it. If they're going to do it, we need to have it too. We feel like it's a big advantage,” Oder said.

Players, such as South Wideout Briley Moore-McKinney, say seeing is believing.

“We see stuff the other team is doing. If we come to the sidelines and try to talk to the coaches or something, it can be difficult. Now, we can talk to the coaches on the sidelines at a down and we can see it,” Moore-McKinney said.

Officials we spoke with knew only of a handful of Missouri schools using the replay system. Among them -- South Callaway. That school went to the Class 2 championship game last year in only the program's first year of using replay.

Jason West, a spokesperson from MHSHAA, says non-replay schools also have this alternate course of defense: they can elect not to schedule opponents who have replay systems, but once a game is scheduled, the teams have to play.

FOX 4 News contacted EVS, which keeps its headquarters in Sealy, Texas, but we didn't hear back from our request for interview.