Alright, I have a confession to make. I’m a bit of a stat nerd.
One of the first things I do after a game is go in and look up stats. I appreciate a good athlete, and I like to know how the good athletes fare in their games. Stats are often a good indicator of that.
Stats are also a great way for an athlete to go back and see their hard work pay off. Besides being a visual indicator of how well they did that week, stats are one of the first things that are looked at when trying to determine post-season awards and honors.
So, I went to MaxPreps, the site the NSAA uses to track stats for Nebraska high school sports, and started looking through the top 10 lists. I didn’t filter it by class, as I was curious how well our local athletes were doing compared to the entire state. I found quite a few fun facts that you can use at your next trivia night.
A few individual stats that stood out to me:
Neligh-Oakdale’s Grant White has earned a reputation as one of the top quarterbacks in the state, and the stats back that up. Through three games, he has just seven incompletions and has the top quarterback rating of anyone in the state with more than eight passing attempts.
White’s main target has been Tyson Belitz, who is currently third in the state in both receiving yards and yards per game, with 340 yards and 113.3 yards per game.
On the ground, St. Edward’s Braydon Olson and Bloomfield’s Quinten Moles are two of the top rushers in Nebraska. Olson is third in the state with 250 yards per game on the ground and his 15 touchdowns is also good for third. Moles isn’t far behind with his 248 yards per game.
Connor Croxen of Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing and Trevor Rasmussen of St. Edward have proven to be lockdown defenders, tying for seventh in the state with three interceptions each.
Alison Stracke has been one of the top offensive forces on the volleyball court this year, not just for Stuart but in the entire state, putting down 32 aces to rank fourth in the state. That number is tops for a Stuart squad that leads the state in aces as a team by a wide margin with 147.
Then, of course, there has been some great team efforts so far in 2016. Some of my favorites are:
Undefeated St. Mary’s has had a fantastic season at the net, connecting on 48.9 percent of their kill attempts, good for fourth in the state. Crofton, on the other hand, has been great defensively at the net as a team, ranking seventh in the state with 112 assisted blocks.
In football,Neligh-Oakdale and Riverside have proven to be two of the most high-powered offenses in the entire state. Both teams have recorded 14 passing touchdowns to tie for second in the state. The Chargers have scored 193 total points so far, good for sixth. The Warriors aren’t far behind, scoring 185 total points to rank ninth in Nebraska.
Two teams that should make any quarterback nervous are Stuart and Clearwater-Orchard. That’s because the two teams each have 12 sacks so far this year, good for fourth in the entire state.
Most teams have only played three games so far this year, which makes those stats even more incredible. Then, when you remember that those stats are compared to all the classes, that shows just how dominant some of the local athletes and teams have been in 2016.
GAME OF THE WEEK
There are some incredible games this week and choosing two was nearly impossible. However, you can find me in Burwell for a game that probably decides the favorite to win D1 as Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing rolls in to town. Then, I’ll be at the Neligh-Oakdale Triangular next Monday as two of Holt County’s best, Stuart and St. Mary’s, come to town.
Remember to submit your suggestions for Game of the Week. Simply let us know through Facebook, give us a call or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports Editor at Antelope County News/The Orchard News, Logan is from Kearney and has a diverse sports background, including several seasons playing semi-pro football. All columns here are the opinion of the writer only and do not represent the views of the Antelope County News or Pitzer Digital.