Tablet Sports

Texas and national prep football records not always easy to maintain

Back in October, Aledo coach Tim Buchanan thought his kicker had it made.

Chance Nevarez, a senior, had just broken the state record for consecutive extra points made, which entering the season stood at 114, according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine. And he was fast approaching the 45-year-old national record of 134.

But then Buchanan ran into old friend Hal Wasson, Southlake Carroll’s coach. Wasson, whose interest was piqued by coverage of Nevarez’s pursuit of the record, decided to look into his own kicker’s extra-point streak.

“[Wasson] told me, ‘I don’t know how to tell this to you, but [Carroll kicker] Drew Brown has kicked 160 something, but I don’t want to report it because I really don’t want to do that to your kicker,’” Buchanan recalled. “Well, I said, ‘How do you think Drew Brown feels about it?’”

Ironically, Brown missed an extra point shortly after Wasson and Buchanan met, ending his streak at 172. Last week, Nevarez surpassed Brown’s mark after going 10 for 10 against Burleson, pushing his streak to 177.

But Buchanan’s and Wasson’s confusion last month was a classic example of the sometimes spotty nature of high school record-keeping, an imprecise practice, especially in a state like Texas, where records fall almost yearly and sometimes more often than that. And with a standard database of numbers lacking, even marks set by players in high-profile programs — like the one by Brown — sometimes get lost in the shuffle.

“It’s an inexact science,” said Greg Tepper, an associate editor at Dave Campbell’s. “As great as technology has advanced, it hasn’t gotten to the point where [stat-keeping] is complete. In fact, it’s not close to complete.”

Texas Football is one of several publications that keep state records. Lone Star Gridiron and also maintain online record books. A national record book is kept by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), which funnels its records through state associations, such as the UIL, said John Gillis, the NFHS associate director of communications.

A form for filing a new national mark is available on the UIL website. Once it’s verified, it is sent to the NFHS headquarters in Indianapolis.

“Basically, once it gets to us, if it’s got the signature from the state association, we accept it,” Gillis said. “Our feeling has always been, who would know better than the governing body of that state?”

Texas Football’s process of verifying state records is a bit more collaborative.

“It’s a group effort,” Tepper said. “We rely a lot on people reporting it and people calling in and saying ‘Hey, this is a record.’ We get it from coaches, fans, parents, players — we get it from all over.”

Once the claim is in, Texas Football will usually check with a local newspaper or the opposing coach to verify the information. But updating records aren’t always limited to performances in the current season or even the last decade.

Recently, Texas Football received a call from Roy Zieschang, who played for Bishop in 1955. Zieschang claimed he had six interceptions in one game that year. Texas Football requested a form of verification for the number, and, sure enough, Zieschang dug up a newspaper clipping from the game as proof, Tepper said. He was added to the list, and is now tied for second all-time in the single-game interceptions category.

One thing, though, does remain when it comes to keeping records: They change often.

During the season, Tepper said Texas Football will get a report of a record every other week or so. Gillis estimated his office receives between 300 and 400 reports — all verified by state governing bodies — each year.

“It’s the old adage: records are meant to be broken,” Gillis said. “And that’s true.”


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