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Cumulative Stats Are the Best Determination

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A one-hit wonder is usually a reference to a musical group that only produces a single song that makes the top 100. In another context, one could say that the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was also a one-hit wonder, though the recent publication of a sequel by the 90-something year old writer may convert it to a two-hit wonder.

In the sporting world, athletes who do not consistently perform at an expected level quickly find that their level, and usually their pay, drops off. That’s what cumulative statistics are all about, and why they are so important.

This column was going to be a season-closing cumulation of details in all the high school sports played in our four-school area. Dutifully, I opened my computer to MaxPreps and began scrolling to each of the schools and the sports in which they participated. The results expected were simply not there!

Because this is a one-person sports operation, individual games are not tracked, and neither are individual performances, though I do sometimes have a fair idea of the more talented players, in at least some of the sports. That’s why a program like MaxPreps is so important to me. It was designed to provide a place for all the details of every sport to be entered, both for the athletes, families, and friends, and to provide information that other coaches might be able to use a variety of ways, from seeking employment to scouting an unknown team which may not be in their geographical area.

Perhaps the latter is why some coaches do not include these details in the space provided, for fear that another coach will  use them against him at a later date. Guess they never heard of the old fashioned way of scouting, in person, which will give an opponent a much better look at what his team might be up against.

And especially in timed events, if your team doesn’t have anyone close to the posted time, that’s not even a matter of scouting except for the coach deciding not to waste their time or energy on much slower individuals. Can’t be much of a race if the other team has six runners in the 1600-meter with times considerably less than your fastest runner. If that’s the case, then you’re just running for pride.

And statistics don’t show how much of a break a pitcher gets on his curve, or whether the running back is really as good as his yardage shows, or if the post player is taking all of his shots from six inches away. There’s a lot of room for decision making, even with all the stats in the world.

Maybe it’s just not caring on the coaches part as to why they don’t post these numbers, or laziness. It certainly can’t be for lack of help since even the smallest school has at least one student that would be content and happy putting this data into the system. A little bribe might help, of course, like a passing grade in P.E. without having to do all that sweating. That data, though, could go a long way towards promoting the players, keeping the parents happy, and even building up the reputation of the school. Take a second thought about it, coaches.

The TDFL Four-Corners Football Tournament is coming up at the end of this month. I hope that many Gallup residents will take some time to watch these youngsters from several states go head-to-head with other teams their same age. It’s not just exciting to watch, but it will be almost everywhere in town. The Gallup Sun will include an article and interview with Sammy Chioda for the Oct. 30 issue, so pick up a copy to be fully informed of where and when these games will be played.

That said, you know I will be there with my trusty Nikon, so slick down your hair or wear a hat, because you too might get included in one of my pictures. Hope to see you in the bleachers!