PARKERSBURG, W.Va. -- As much a part of the high school football playoffs as unpredictable November weather, the coaches' meetings at the Secondary School Activities Commission might go the way of the small-town, single-community high school.
Representatives from each of the state's 48 teams that qualify for the postseason in three different classes meet each Sunday prior to their scheduled games at the SSAC offices.
As teams are eliminated from the tournament fields, fewer are called back to the home office for subsequent rounds.
Coaches trade game films, higher-seeded teams pick game sites, lower-seeded teams pick the day and time of the game and various SSAC officials go over mileage reimbursements for road teams and host procedures for game day, and so forth.
This can be taxing for coaches, who are not reimbursed for the trip nor are they technically required to attend the meetings. Musselman Coach Denny Price, for instance, spent Friday and Saturday nights in Parkersburg after the Applemen defeated Capital at University of Charleston Stadium on Friday.
"It doesn't really make sense to drive all the way back to the Eastern Panhandle after a game just to drive back to Parkersburg on Sunday morning," Price said. "Me and our athletic director just stayed here."
A frequent visitor to the postseason, Bluefield Coach Fred Simon has only attended a handful of these meetings in the 15 years I've covered prep football. He has yet to make an appearance in 2012, and Frankfort Coach Kevin Whiteman was absent Sunday as well.
It is not simply grousing by coaches over getting up early or spending an extra day or two away from home that led SSAC Executive Director Gary Ray to briefly address the situation in meetings that set the quarterfinal fields.
Morgantown Coach John Bowers said an online service could eliminate the need for coaches to make the trip at all.
"Huddle.com is a website that's passcoded, and you can put all your films online, register your kids as users and with a valid email address they can get on there and watch films," Bowers said.
More importantly, the site offers a share feature. In fact, Bowers and Huntington Coach Billy Seals are both members of the site, and traded game films Saturday after Morgantown beat Point Pleasant in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs.