The Nebraska Shrine Bowl is an end-of-the-year chance for graduating high school seniors to play one last game before moving on to their next opportunities. Seniors from all over the state of Nebraska are combined into North and South teams and are coached over a one week period (13 practices) by a new Head Coach with new offensive and defensive schemes. The entire experience culminates in the Shrine Bowl Game, this year played on June 4, with all of the proceeds from the game going to benefit Shrine Hospitals.
This year, GSC wanted to be able to give back to the community and test the latest editions of the Coach-to-Player (C2P) helmet communication systems by lending the technology to both teams to be used as part of practices and in the the game itself. GSC was interested in seeing how well the teams would be able to integrate plays and strategies into both newly formed teams that had never before worked with one another.
The Shrine Bowl organization was looking forward to being the first to use the C2P systems in a sanctioned game outside of the NFL.
“Most of the terminology was brand new to the kids. The players gained a quicker understanding of the systems we ran and at the tempo we wanted to run them. The coaching staff was excited about using the technology as it allowed us to get the most out of each rep both in drills and in our team time.” Chad Fox, North Team Head Coach.
During practice, both teams used the C2P technology to install their offenses and defenses. The helmet technology was installed in the helmets of two quarterbacks and one defensive player. This allowed the coach to communicate directly with the players and get everyone on the same page faster. There was no wasted time between plays, and coaches were amazed at how far along their teams could get in the learning process. The coaches realized that by not having to stop the plays to get a point across, they were able to get more reps in and further cement the offensive/defensive schemes with this new technology.
The athletes of course, were thrilled to be using C2P. "The players loved the systems. They wanted to keep them for forever," said Alex Shada, GSC's Director of Operations. "The look on their faces when they could hear their coaches directly in their helmets was priceless. 'I feel just like Tom Brady!'"