How Kearney High School Won Their First Soccer State Championship with Video
No team outside Omaha or Lincoln had won state in more than 30 years. The Bearcats changed all that by taking state and earning three national rankings after wins against top Nebraska teams.
National Rankings: 3
Recruited Athletes: 10
Kearney High School is Class A, but its student body is half the size of competitors. Some of the students playing on its boys’ soccer team are three-sport athletes. Among the team’s starting players, athletes were also out for football, basketball, tennis, wrestling and hockey. The starting goalkeeper is even an all-state violin player.
Since other activities demand his athletes’ time, head coach Scott Steinbrook uses every tool he can to coach more efficiently. Hudl helps him provide better scouting insights to the team and lead more focused video review.
"You can’t really control how many players you have in your school that want to play soccer. To a certain extent, you can’t even control the talent that your players have. You can control if they have a positive attitude, if they’re working as hard as they can. But preparation is another thing your coaching staff has control over."
Scott Steinbrook, Head Coach
He starts using Hudl during their second week of the season to analyze the team’s practice scrimmages. Almost half the goals in a soccer game—whether high school, college or pro—are scored on set pieces. Steinbrook prioritizes studying set pieces and gives his players goals around developing them.
Better Scouting Insights
Steinbrook aims to analyze two or three films of each opponent to understand the other team’s shape, speed, weakness, mentality and best players.
Before an upcoming game, Steinbrook gives his team a printed scouting report from Hudl that breaks down what they need to do defensively, offensively and mentally to win. The report provides a snapshot of their opponent, including descriptions of their players so the team has tangible tactics to use on the field.
They also revisit their own performance in the days following a match. Steinbrook and his coaching staff focus on reviewing the moments leading up to a goal and push the team to analyze what plays set them up to score. This preparation gives the team the confidence to play their best.
Efficient Video Review
Hudl cuts down team review time by giving athletes the chance to watch game video when it works best for them. Seniors Royce Austen and Carson Schwarz both said they watch opponents’ video and read scouting reports after they get home from practice.
"For high school kids that are wanting to learn and looking for an edge, a 20–30 minute film session leading up to a game? That can be a pretty valuable opportunity for them."
Scott Steinbrook, Head Coach
Steinbrook and his coaching staff use Hudl Assist to streamline their film review. The morning after a match, Assist has already clipped and broken down the team’s games so the coaches can easily see set pieces, goals and possessions.
More Recruitment Opportunities
Steinbrook sees Hudl as a built-in recruiting tool for students interested in playing at the college level. Student-athletes who are serious about being recruited can put together game highlights to send to recruiters.
Both Schwarz and Austen have used Hudl since their freshman years. Schwarz works on his highlight reel with his dad, while Austen’s older brother—who used Hudl during his own athletic career—helps with his highlights.
Four of the seniors on the 2018 team signed to play for college teams, and six players in the class of 2019 are being recruited.
Steinbrook’s focus on set pieces paid off. His team averaged 6.2 corner kicks and 9.7 free kicks per game, while their opponents averaged 4.3 and 9.4. The Kearney Bearcats finished their season with 18 total wins, tying the school record.
The team also earned three national rankings:
- United Soccer Coaches Association: #11
- Max Preps: #15
- Top Drawer School: #26
Using Hudl has given Austen and Schwarz so much confidence that they’re ready to take home another state soccer championship—and Schwarz, a multi-sport athlete, has his eye on state basketball too.