BRANDON SPECK: Stop keeping folks in the dark

BRANDON SPECK

BRANDON SPECK

TUPELO

Times, they have changed. Twitter has changed the way sports journalists operate. Popular mobile apps have changed stat taking.

Change happens. We adapt. Well, most of us.

Enter MaxPreps, a national website that allows high schools to post their rosters, results and statistics. If coaches want to, that is.

“We ask schools to participate and keep their schedules and scores up to date in order to efficiently manage regular-season standings, stat leaderboards and other initiatives,” MHSAA director of development of communications Todd Kelly said, “but it has not been mandatory since Don Hinton became executive director in 2011. There are no penalties or sanctions for not participating in MaxPreps.”

The playoffs won’t be taken away from teams not using MaxPreps, but it sure would be helpful to a lot of people, especially the players getting national exposure.

Technically, MaxPreps is the official statistics partner of the Mississippi High School Activities Association. Sure, it’s a pain. So is feeling the need to update Twitter during games, even on late deadlines with more pressing things to type than what will fit into a 140-character rectangle. (Though, in full disclosure, even though it often gets me into trouble, I love the Twitter.)

But MaxPreps is helpful, for more than one reason. We put a lot of emphasis on those numbers when selecting All-Area teams, planning stories from week-to-week, etc. We’ve gone there more than once to spell a wayward name.

It’s not just for sports writers, though. Small colleges with small budgets can freely keep an eye on state scoring leaders or top pitchers all across the country.

If they look at some of Mississippi schools, they’ll see too many incomplete schedules and rosters, which cheats the leaderboards and robs the players.

No advantage

And if one more person tells me they don’t do it because it gives teams a scouting advantage, please. I don’t buy it. It doesn’t take a genius to know your best pitcher. And teams that can beat you have already gotten film from opposing coaches you didn’t think would give your film out.

Just enter the stats. If you don’t want to, there are students you can give a couple of burgers and a shirt in exchange for their services.

The MHSAA’s Kelly says most of the state has embraced the site and Mississippi’s participation level is among the highest of any other in the country. It should be noted there are only 15 other state associations in partnership with MaxPreps.

Like it or not, Twitter is part of my job. MaxPreps should be a part of yours.

And for Pete’s sake, call your results in to the Daily Journal – win or lose. It doesn’t take long. Your players – especially one who homers in a loss – deserve it.

brandon.speck@journalinc.com