Ahwatukee Bowl: Social media can bring additional scrutiny to rivarly - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Ahwatukee Bowl: Social media can bring additional scrutiny to rivarly

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Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 10:36 pm | Updated: 3:28 pm, Thu Dec 13, 2012.

Head coaches never want to relinquish control.

It’s the part of their personality that makes them so successful. Sure they eventually learn to trust and delegate some of the responsibility, but, in general, they want to have a say in everything.

The difference is now the players want a say too. Not in the game plan or lineup necessarily but in a status post or tweet.

It is something coaches like Mountain Pointe’s Norris Vaughan and Desert Vista’s Dan Hinds didn’t have to worry about when they got into the business but with Facebook and Twitter such a prominent part of daily life now it could be a problem.

All it takes is one arrogant tweet or a pompus post being perceived as trash talking and it could quickly become bulletin board material.

It’s not like the old days when something negative said about an opponent showed up on the doorstep once a day.

In 2012 trash talk can happen at any second of the day –- every day – leading up to a rivalry game like the Ahwatukee Bowl.

And in reality the coaches have no control over it. They can warn and plead all they want. Yet unless they ban all phone and computer usage – something that isn’t even remotely possible – the threat of something going viral is always there.

“We tell them to stay away from it, but there is no telling what they might say,” Vaughan said. “It’s what they do today. It’s a big week and they know that.”

Hinds said it isn’t something he worries about mainly because it is essentially unpreventable.

“These kids are smart,” he said. “Honestly, it is something I wouldn’t try to blow up and show. With social media you could probably find something every day. The kids see it on their own. It is what it is. It’s part of their life.

“Really what it comes down to is whether or not you are prepared. Something (on social media) might fire them up for a minute, but it isn’t going to matter once the game starts.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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