I don’t envy the guys over at MaxPreps, the revolutionary high school sports statistical database. With rankings and their Mad Libs attempt to turn stats into recaps, they’ve always tried to expand their services to beyond that of your weekly statistical reports. But now, with the backing of new owner CBS (hence why the site now looks like CBS Sportsline) and the the help of a regional director and a few freelancers, they’re attempting to delve into actual “staff” content.
Hence, why I got a call from Steve Spiewak, a national MaxPreps writer based in Jersey and responsible for the northeast. It was at the start of summer baseball season and right between the all-star games and I was about to go on vacation. So the call caught me off guard.
Steve told me he was looking for some preliminary info on Connecticut for a brief story they were putting together. We chatted about football in Connecticut. He had some preconceived knowledge, which I augmented with my own. He admitted there was a lot he had to learn, but what we’d discussed was fine.
The product of that conversation (and others, I’m sure) is this Connecticut high school football primer, which appeared in early August.
For working off of no prior knowledge or sense of history, it isn’t bad. There are some slight misrepresentations (New London is in Class SS now) and I’m sure people will argue with the greatest rivalry (is there really a greatest rivalry in this state?), or the upcoming player (I’ve heard of Stamford’s Khari Fortt but only because his family forwards reams of football camp and college visit releases to people in the media. Apparently, Spiewak is in their address book).
However, they do a nice job coming up with an all-state preseason team. I’m not so sure we need that, but it’s still interesting, which, I guess, is the point.
Speaking of interesting, we received an email late last month from a guy named Ned Freeman from a website called calpreps.com. Apparently, the guys at Calpreps tried to preview every single high school football team in the country.
Now I’m not sure what went into this vast project, how they did it (did they call coaches on every team, or just base most of their information on MaxPreps’ databasee?), but all things considered they seemed to do a decent job with Connecticut.
Like MaxPreps, there are a lot of mistakes (Hampus Hellermarkk, it says, returns for Staples). But in this age of instant information, it’s not bad.