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August/September 2012

August/September 2012


Reliable Performer

by: AFM Editorial Staff
© August/September 2012

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A Houston-area high school chose the HME DX300 sideline communications system to deliver superior performance in critical game situations.

In the super-competitive world of Texas 5A high school football, coaches must pay close attention to every detail of program management – on and off the field – in order to achieve winning seasons. Decisions about which coaching technology to use, for example, can be just as important as which offense to install or which player to start at middle linebacker.

At Elsik High School in the Alief school district in Houston, the most important decision coaches faced after the 2010 season was how to improve their communication. It was not that the coaches had not developed a specific plan for communication between the coaches on the sideline and those in the press box, it was that their headset system had failed them at critical points during the season. In pressure-packed Texas football, where every play matters, that was simply unacceptable.

The job of finding a new system fell to Elsik’s Offensive Line Coach and audio-visual manager Paul Delesbore, a 20-year coaching veteran. Delesbore sought recommendations from other coaches, compared features and prices, and spoke to company representatives before ultimately deciding on the DX300 headset communications system from HME. After using the system for the 2011 season, where Elsik captured a District Championship, his verdict on HME’s system is clear and powerful. “They are simply the best in the business,” he said.

Elsik High School is not alone in making the switch to the DX300. High-profile schools in Texas and across the country have discovered the benefits of having a sideline communications system that is full of features and competitively priced – thanks to HME. “The DX300 system has been widely accepted by high schools and small colleges across America,” said Darcey Meddings, who, as HME’s Professional Communications Division Channel Manager, is responsible for overseeing the football market. “We listened to coaches and designed the DX300 specifically to meet their need for a reliable, easy-to-use system that fits into any program’s budget.”

HME, based in the San Diego area, has only been marketing headset systems for football since 2008, but they have been a leader in wireless communication worldwide for over 40 years. “HME actually introduced the first wireless intercom system for professional users in 1979,” according to Rick Molina, HME’s Pro Audio Product Manager. “The technology we built into the DX300 system for football coaches takes advantage of our decades of experience. HME has worked in over 95 countries and we’ve been granted 29 patents.”

For Paul Delesbore, the decision to replace Elsik’s previous system with HME’s DX300 was part of a trend. “I knew from my research that many top high schools in Texas, including Alief Hastings here in our district, had made the switch to HME,” he said. “Now, all three high schools in the Alief District are using the system with great results.” That’s no surprise, given the DX300’s exceptional performance and superior features.

AFM recently had the opportunity to speak with Coach Delesbore about the importance of having a sideline communications system that can be counted on to perform in crucial game situations and the reasons why he chose HME’s DX300 system for the Alief Elsik High School program.

AFM: All Texas 5A high schools play in a lot of high pressure games. How important is it to have a reliable headset communications system for you and the rest of the coaching staff?

Delesbore: 5A football in Texas can easily compare to many Division 2 schools, in some cases, even small D1s. Our facilities are state of the art in many cases. There are high school stadiums here that are larger than many small college stadiums. Our state’s top 10 stadiums’ capacities range from 17,000 up to 22,000. At the state championship 5A games, attendance easily can exceed 25,000 to 30,000 fans. There simply is nothing like Texas High School football.
    The communication between press box and sideline are the life blood of any successful football team. Having the ability to quickly make adjustments and share information is paramount. When you are in a tight ball game, you rely heavily on the coaches upstairs to find that one advantage that can give your team a victory. If that advantage cannot be relayed reliably to the coaches on the field, then you have wasted an opportunity to do the right thing for your players and team. Any coach worth his salt will tell you that the things seen from the press box are indispensible when it comes to decisions about play calling.

AFM: When did you begin using the HME DX300 sideline communications system?

Delesbore: We bought our system in 2011 after extensive research and consultation with other schools that use HME headsets such as Euless Trinity and Alief Hastings, which is another school in our district.

AFM: How would you compare your HME system with the previous system you used?

Delesbore: There is no comparison. Our old system was so unreliable. We never knew if we were going to have communications or not. The system constantly had to be restarted during the game. It still was not the cure as we completely lost the communications on one or both sides of the ball many times.

AFM: How many coaches on the sideline and in the press box use the system during a game?

Delesbore: We have 12 coaches on the headsets - four in the press box and eight on the field. This is up from only four on the field previously. This increase in sideline communications directly correlated with our District Championship run.

AFM: Which features of the DX300 system are most important to you?

Delesbore: Reliability was our top priority in choosing new headsets. The HME system proved to be the most reliable headsets I have ever used in my 20 years of coaching. What really impressed us was the fact that the company’s origins are rooted in the fast food industry. You know the type of abuse those headsets take and the amount of usage they get. This fact immediately answered any durability questions we had about the units. The entire system can be set up in less than 10 minutes and the battery packs charge in about four hours and last well past the allotted time of a game. This is a far cry from the previous system’s 16-hour charge time.

AFM: What has your experience been with HME customer service since you purchased your system?

Delesbore: Our local HME rep, Tim Canavespe, does a fantastic job of providing support to us. He is always courteous and willing to come out if needed to ensure that we have the best experience possible when using HME products. All we have to do is just call him and he is right there with an answer for us.

AFM: What would you say coaches who are in the market for a new sideline communications system? Would you recommend HME?

Delesbore: This is a no-brainer. I have already recommended this system to five other schools including some in our own school district. We got an excellent price. The beltpacks are very durable and the headsets are extremely comfortable. If you need a new set of headphones, look no further than HME.






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