I think is started with MySpace, then came Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Periscope, and Snapchat. Of course, I am speaking of social media and it's seemingly endless stream of new applications. From Hollywood, to The White House, to The Vatican social media has become the rule, rather than the exception. Football Fridays in Georgia are impacted, as schools, teams and players use their favorite platforms.

A closer look reveals another group whose participation is growing. It seems that more Georgia high school football coaches are going social and with good reason. "I wasn't into social media", admits Cedar Grove Coach Jermaine Smith. "But a college coach told me that it was an easier way to keep up with the kids and now they all follow me." "It gives me a platform to spread the ideas of the culture we are creating and promoting the program", says Pierce County Coach Jason Strickland. For Calhoun Coach Hal Lamb the reasons are pretty simple. "It's just a way to communicate with our players and to share the gospel for me", says Lamb.

Mill Creek Coach Shannon Jarvis points to an incident that took place 7 years ago. There was a very talented player who wasn't getting much attention from college teams. "A college coach sat me down and showed me what the player had posted on his social media," says Jarvis. "We called a staff meeting the very next day and assigned all coaches to get on social media and monitor their position groups."

Social media is yet another hat for football coaches around the Peach State to wear. It has quickly gone from an option to a necessity and has become an unwritten part of the job description. "It's something that I will do," says Central Gwinnett Coach Todd Wofford. I know many (coaches) that don’t, but I will."  " I think it definitely may become part of the job description in the future, “says Lamb. "The younger generation definitely knows more about it than the older generation ". It appears to already be a part of the job description at Mill Creek and a part of the hiring process. "Before we interview a candidate, we look at their social media", says Jarvis. It's not the deciding factor, but it is a factor.

Game Day management of social media looms as a potential problem that coaches have to look out for.  While all professional sports leagues have pre and post-game restrictions, and many college programs shut down social media during the season, there are no such rules for high school football. Add to that the old newspaper story that used to go up on the bulletin board, back in the day, is now at the player's fingertips. Coaches have to be vigilant and proactive to head off potential troubles. "I once walked in the locker room at halftime and found a 10th grader on the phone", remembers Jarvis. “It got addressed pretty quickly, and we don't have that issue much anymore." "We pay attention to what they do after the games, " says Smith. " We talk to them about being humble, being respectful, and not getting into trash talk on social media." “I always tell them once it's sent you can't take it back," says Wofford. “That’s the part that is tough to control in high school."

Social Media education is something that all of the coaches agree is needed. Which brings the question, How far away are we from a social media class being taught? Not just for the football team, but for all high school students. “I think it needs to get to that point ASAP, “says Smith, who also coaches the Cedar Grove Boys Track team.” We try to teach our players to use social media in a positive way," says Lamb.