ACCS, Natchez High provide live footage for football gamesPublished 12:01am Friday, October 4, 2013
NATCHEZ — There is no greater feeling to an athlete than playing in front of close friends and relatives, but sometimes distance doesn’t allow it.
But schools like Adams County Christian School and Natchez High School have come up with a way for people to see their relative play a sport without having to make the long drive.
At ACCS, Jimmy Allgood and Mark LaFrancis started a film and technology class last year with goals in mind.
“For years, I’ve had that goal in the back of my mind about streaming sports, graduation and even grandparents’ day,” Allgood said. “There are so many parents, grandparents and alumni that can’t come to the games.”
That’s when LaFrancis and Allgood created ACCSlive.com, which is run by the class’ students, who are known as the ACCS Wi-Fi team.
“The technology we have is second-to-none; we are pushing the envelope,” Allgood said. “We’re one of three private schools in Mississippi that have live streaming, and we have instant replays, picture-in-picture, live interviews and commercials.”
Allgood said it not only helps the relatives of ACCS players, but also their opponents.
“When teams come from Centreville, Woodville and Amite during the week and their players’ parents are working a job and can’t make play on the Internet,” Allgood said.
ACCS football players like James Adams and Josh Smith have an extra incentive to play hard for the Rebels with more than just fans in the bleachers watching them on Friday night.
Adams’ grandfather lives in Monterey and has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Because of his health condition, he can’t get to Natchez to see James play.
“This is the first year he couldn’t see me play,” Adams said. “It makes me play a lot harder knowing he’s watching.”
Josh Smith just moved to Natchez in 2011 from Martinsville, Va., and with so many relatives back home, he said he never thought they’d get to see him play again.
“I was always used to them coming to my games,” Smith said. “They came to every one of my games, and I thought I was going to miss that. Now knowing they can see me play, I enjoy it.”
Natchez High School head football coach Lance Reed said he and assistant coach Steve Davis learned about the live stream world in a recent coaches conference.
Reed said they had to learn how to set up the feed themselves, but showing the games live has paid off.
“We had to have a laptop, and we had to get the Internet to different places so we could stream for wherever on the field,” Reed said. “Once we got the training and got a couple of students to help us, we were good. We’re off to a good start.”
Reed said he thinks NFHSnetwork.com is a good opportunity for the high school to expand itself, and it has already started streaming its Morgantown Middle School’s football games
“It creates a bunch of opportunities for relatives to watch the games, and I think a lot of people are excited about it,” he said. “We archive the games so you don’t have to watch it live — you can go back and watch it later.”
Reed said he could see the live stream extending beyond just football games into other sporting events and even school meetings.
“We would love to see all of our sports live stream,” Reed said. “We plan to do basketball, baseball and track. As much as we can do with it, we will.”
Both ACCSlive.com and NFHSnetwork.com will be available for all home games.