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Onalaska football does away with paper playbooks, welcomes new era of technology

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Onalaska, WI (WXOW) - -

The Onalaska football team is saying goodbye to paper playbooks and welcoming a new era of digital technology to the sidelines.

Coaches and players use an smartphone application called "Huddle" to review plays, game footage and study practice film. 

"If we gave them paper playbooks, usually they got left behind of i was just cleaning them up," head coach Tom Yashinsky, said. "They weren't looked at and they could become outdated quick or you had to make copies of something new if you put something new in. "

Players say the app is convenient, as they always have their phone accessible.

"You can go home and study your plays really easily," junior offensive tackle Ryan Kujawa, said. "Or you can be in class and have some free time and whip out your phone and check your power-plays so you get everything right."

Everyday after practice, Yashinsky said he'll upload practice footage, new plays and film from the team's upcoming opponent.

"It presents to them like a slide and you can attach video clips to it as well," he said. "So they can look at the picture of the play you're going to run and then you can show them using a clip you have in your library so they can see it in action."

The app also allows coaches to attach video of plays from the collegiate or professional level.

"If I see a play somewhere that I like and I can give a visual representation of what it is supposed to look like, that really helps those visual learners," he said.

The team has used iPads on the sidelines during games for the past few years. However, last season was the first year the team utilized instant replay on the bench.

"It really eliminated a lot of the coaching we had to do after the game or on Monday because we're able to fix mistakes during the game," Yashinksy said.

"If you have a really bad series and come off the field and watch the replay, you can see what you're doing wrong and hopefully fix it the next time you take the field," Kujawa said.

Sophomore David Luck broke his femur during a freak tubing accident just before fall practice got underway. Despite being in the hospital, he said the app kept him in the loop.

"I was in the hospital for the first few days of practice and I wasn't able to get here so I was able to watch all the practice film and plays and everything they were installing, all the new schemes for this year," Luck said. "So it helped me learn everything even though I wasn't at practice."

The app also allows coaches to track which players have viewed plays and film. That way, if a player continues to make mental mistakes at practice, coaches have a better idea as to why.

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