Tuesday, April 12, 2016

About this project ...

Growing up, I thought I was a great player. I put my time in at Harlem. Starter as a senior in basketball. Two-year starting shortstop and pitcher in baseball as well as settling in as the No. 4 golfer.

Since that time, I've met literally hundreds of people who were better athletes than I was. I remember one night coming across an all-conference team and finding my divorce attorney was second team all-conference in basketball. I fired off a quick email to him. We exchanged several about the good 'ol days. A couple of months later, when my wife's attorney was trying to drag things out to get more money, my attorney did a couple of hearings without charging me. Was it because we bonded over basketball? Maybe.

I worked for the Rockford Register Star for nearly 17 years and didn't spend a single day doing what I
was best at ... sportswriter. Instead, I carved out a career in business, while always trying to assist sports whenever I could get away with it. The start of this project came from a question someone sent in to the paper. Matt Weber, the current Boylan baseball coach, was coming off a tremendous junior year as Titans quarterback, throwing for 1,323 yards. A reader wanted to know if Weber had a chance to set the conference passing record.

The sports department had no idea. They'd tossed all the records years before and no one on the staff was willing to find the answer. I was curious though. I called the schools and found year-by-year records were sparse to non-existent. Coaches sometimes took records with them. Or they were stored in a box that eventually was tossed to make space.

To figure it out, I compiled a list of quarterbacks who may have the record and then started going through microfilm to find the season leaders. Eventually, I figured out the record belonged to Jeff "Whitey" Anderson, the quarterback of the 1982 state champion Guilford Vikings.

Pouring through the microfilm was fun and I continued to compile stats, standings and quirky tidbits. For years, the newspaper has used my work to back up its current sports staff.

I no longer work at the Register Star and I have most of my stuff stored on spreadsheets, collecting digital dust. This project is an effort to get everything I have out in the open ... and then to fill in the rest.

Of course, finding records through microfilm will only take me so far. My hope is that former coaches and athletes will find this site and remember that they have some records stored in a box in the attic. If you are one of those people, dig them out, dust them off, take a picture with your phone and text it to me at 779-770-6919 or scan it in and email it to me at alexgary87@gmail.com.

I'd like to give thanks to those who have taken the time to send me records so far. I need this list to grow if we're truly going to make it comprehensive.
Dan Appino
Chad Barger
Scot Dobbs
Keith Hale, Paul Heitkamp, Jackie Hennally, Steve Hoover
Greg Jury
Jerry Kerrigan
Doug Livingston
L.A. Malone, John Miles
Nick Namio, Rob Nunez
Bryan Ott
John Sauter, Matthew Simpson
Matt Trowbridge
Mike Winters

1 comment:

  1. Would be nice to be acknowledged for sending you the 1991 Guilford Baseball Stats.