During a 2013 Lancer football season that brought a new coach, new uniforms and the most successful playoff run in East’s history, one East parent has found a way to offer players and fans a unique perspective on the team.
For the past four seasons, Brian Libeer has been filming and editing videos for the East football team. Designed to build enthusiasm and motivation for the team, the clips are made up of game highlights and other footage of the East football program.
Libeer’s involvement with East football began in 2008 when his son, Jake Libeer, was a freshman football player. After coaching his son before high school, Libeer looked to stay involved in the sport.
“I started making [the videos] to get out of the bleachers and down on the field,” Libeer said.
Soon after, Libeer was asked to create videos for the team’s benefit, starting with a season recap for the season ending banquet. Since then, he has made recap videos for every game and a final video covering the entire season.
Last spring, when parents had their first opportunity to meet Coach Delaney, Libeer introduced himself and provided copies of videos from past seasons for Delaney to see.
“I was a bit nervous that he might have restrictions to access, but he really embraced the videos and made me feel part of the team,” Libeer said.
Delaney took the videos a step further and asked him to create what the team calls “motivationals,” clips to energize them for the next game, in addition to the weekly game recaps.
Libeer collaborated with Delaney to emphasize the same focuses of that week’s practices in the pre-game clips.
“He would tailor the videos according to what Coach Delaney wanted,” assistant coach and East art teacher Jason Filbeck said.
Both Libeer and Delaney saw obvious benefits to post-game recaps. When selecting which plays to include in the videos, Libeer could emphasize the team’s strenths or highlight a certain player’s actions. Players responded well to teammates’ and their own highlights.
“Watching yourself make great plays reinforces the level of play required to win games and become a great player,” Libeer said.
Because the only use of the footage is to benefit players, Libeer enjoys unparalleled access to the locker room and any sideline activity. He found that when people know the footage stays with the team, they are accommodating. Officials generally allow recording of their discussions, and Libeer managed to film the opposing locker room when East faced former Head Coach Chip Sherman and the Olathe Northwest Ravens.
The players and coaching staff were not the only ones to take advantage of Libeer’s productions. The successful Lancer season increased fan interest and enthusiasm. In an all-school pep rally during the playoffs, the student body watched the team’s pregame video of the week to give students the same energy the players had. Through Twitter, students had as much access to the footage as players and got an inside look at the team.
“The videos he makes relate to us really well,” junior defensive lineman Kyle Ball said. “It shows fans a pretty good idea of what we are actually like.”
Libeer makes the videos knowing the team is his main audience, but his approach appeals to anyone with an interest in East football.
As the season continued, videos became more than highlight reels with guest appearances from East alumni and other big names, most notably Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco Forty Niners. After the team’s loss in the state championship, Libeer made the final video of the season, featuring the seniors’ messages to their teammates.
Coach Filbeck said, “ They feel like they’re in a little ESPN human interest story,” referencing not only the “professional quality” of the videos but also how personal videos are to players.
After the season, videos allow players and fans to relive the biggest plays of a record breaking season. Libeer plans to continue making videos in future seasons
He said, “The big picture goal is to design a video that, if you didn’t know any of the people in it, would be compelling to you.”
To view Libeer’s videos, click here.