This is the third in a four-part series entitled, “Scrapper Game Day: The People, The Traditions and the Memories.” Each new part of the series will be published every other week leading up to the first Nashville Scrapper game, against Hope Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
By John R. Schirmer
To many senior girls at Nashville High School, going to a Friday night football game means getting the Scrapper jeans ready, standing on the court at Scrapper Arena for the pep rally, and visiting friends at the stadium.
For Lindsay Bennett, there’s a lot more to Game Day than cheering for her team at home or on the road. Bennett operates the football program’s Endzone Camera System to video the game for later analysis by the coaches and players. The equipment was provided by the Scrapper Booster Club.
The system includes a remote-controlled Sony HD camera, a 25-foot tower, a 10-inch monitor, and related cables and equipment. The camera is set up in the endzone to provide a view of the entire field.
Bennett’s involvement with the Endzone system goes back to the spring semester of her sophomore year, when former Coach Billy Dawson saw that Bennett was among a group of softball players “going up to the field at 6 a.m. to pull the tarp for the regional tournament. Coach Dawson said I was a hard worker, and he said he wanted somebody like me to run the camera.”
The system was ready for use at the beginning of Bennett’s junior year. “It took time” to learn how to use it,” she said. Former Coach Paul Ernest “was patient enough to help me learn it. Being patient helps.”
Bennett learned to hook up and operate the system, and she enlisted help with the telescoping tower. “The tripod is heavy. Somebody helps raise it,” she said. “It has six different levels.”
When game day rolls around, “I stress worse than the players and coaches. I play each game as though it is the last. I sit with the guys at their meeting and hear the big pep talk. I calm down then.”
Before the game, Bennett sets up the equipment and checks everything out well before the kickoff. “I make sure the main control box is turned on. When it’s all hooked up, I can start filming,” she said. The entire process takes about 20 minutes.
The camera is operated by a remote control which allows Bennett to turn the device and zoom in and out. She watches the game on the monitor and adjusts the camera as needed.
During the game, “I have to mute the sound. I get really pumped up. People by me get pumped up too,” Bennett said.
After the game, Bennett takes the equipment down; the video is uploaded to Hudl. “The coaches go back and edit it, and the guys learn from it,” Bennett said.
The weather occasionally causes problems for the Endzone system. “One day in spring practice, the control device for the zoom got wet. I couldn’t use it for a whole week,” she said.
Wind “doesn’t do as much as you think it would,” Bennett said. “It doesn’t blow over on me.”
Even though setting up the video system is stressful before the game, once everything is ready to go, Bennett says it is “pretty relaxing. I like being the only girl. There’s nobody else to be ‘catty’ with. [The guys] all pretty much accept the fact that I speak my mind. There’s no problem with that.”
The hardest part of the job comes “when I know I’ve messed up and they [coaches] say something to me. They tell me to stay calm. I’m a perfectionist and want to do it right,” Bennett said.
Bennett is undecided about her college and career plans. She said doing college video work is a possibility if the coaches realize that she knows the job.
As she starts her senior year, the aspect of her video work that Bennett likes the most is “the fact that I get to help out. I’m helping the boys fix their mistakes. I’m helping to make our team better,” she said. “I like the pre-game meals too.”