New technology makes for efficient high school football practices

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Saturday, September 26, 2020 | 5:19 PM


All football teams have a “go route” — a deep pass — in their playbook.

But not all high school teams are using a new teaching tool called “Go Rout” in their practices.

Only six teams across Pennsylvania are using the new technology, including Pine-Richland and Ligonier Valley in the WPIAL. The others using Go Rout are Marion Center (District 6), Spring Ford (District 1) and Cumberland Valley and Middletown (District 3).

So what is Go Rout?

It is a device scout-team players wear on a belt. As a defense practices against the opponent’s favorite plays, a coach will punch in a predetermined play on his cell phone app and send it to the 11 players on offense.

The players look at the play, press the button for their position and a diagram appears and shows them what to do.

When the play is over, the coach punches in the next play instead of having the team huddle and look at cards with the plays.

“It’s an amazing tool,” Pine-Richland coach Eric Kasperowicz said. “It’s made defensive practice 70% more efficient. “In this age of diverse offenses — when you’ll see a spread one week, a wing-T the next and the power-I another — it’s very simple to use.”

The program was developed by a former limo driver, Mike Rolih, the company’s CEO.

Rolih, a former all-state quarterback from Chicago, said he was shocked to learn coaches were still using play cards instead of wireless communications. So he developed the system coaches can use on their phones.

Drew Robinson, a former college coach, is the East Coast sales rep for the company.

He sold Kasperowicz and Ligonier Valley coach Roger Beitel the system.

“I love to stay a step ahead of the opposition,” Beitel said. “I was the first to use team builder. It’s an amazing tool. You get so much more out of our practices, and we go over a lot quicker.”

Robinson said he is ecstatic to have Kasperowicz and Beitel as spokesmen for the system.

“Using the card system, teams were averaging 1.2 plays per minute,” Robinson said. “Teams using the technology are averaging 2.5 to 3 plays per minute. It’s a cutting-edge of technology.”

Robinson said numerous colleges are using Go Rout, and it is popular in the Midwest. He said he also has talked to Central Catholic and Gateway about the purchasing the technology.

The Go Rout website features the motto “No huddle. No Scout Cards. Just Reps.”

“Because of the coronavirus and social distancing, this system helps with that because you don’t huddle,” Robinson said.

Said Beitel: “After using it, I’m can’t imagine a program that will beat it. It’s the wave of the future. I’m glad I have a great boosters club that found a way to get this for us.”

Kasperowicz and Beitel said once a team purchases the program, it has it forever. Both coaches spend the weekend punching in plays to be used at practice.

“We’re using it for defensive practices right now,” Kasperowicz said. “We probably will expand it to offense.”

Beitel said it will be a great tool to use at seven-on-seven tournaments. They can send the play and go.

Greensburg Salem coach Dave Keefer said he has heard about the program, but right now he is sticking to the card system. Maybe someday they will change, he said.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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