A retrospective look at some of Digital Scout's State Champion football teams
Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
January 1, 2015
2014 was a memorable year for many programs across the country. For some, the ultimate goal of a state championship was finally realized. For others, a return to glory culminated their season.
For all state champions though, a dream came true.
A dream for the players, coaches, parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, friends and community who collectively make up the family that is a high school football team.
From Florida to Washington and Vermont to California, there were over 80 programs who reached the State Championship and utilized the Digital Scout software in 2014. There were countless others to advance far in the playoffs.
Our State Champions came from all over the country
No matter the reason, these State Champions and State Runners-Up who utilized Digital Scout in 2014 made it clear – the elite programs across the nation recognize the benefits of Digital Scout.
Whether it was to save time – “Having stats done live saved the coaches a ton of time.” (Head Coach Scott Pingel of Missouri Class 4 State Champion Christian Brothers College High School)
Or whether it was to watch more film – “I spent much less time figuring stats and much more time watching film!” (Head Coach Travis White of Oklahoma Class C State Champion Tipton High School)
Whether it was to email stats directly to the parents, fans and media – “This was our second full year of using (Digital Scout) as our only stats program .. What I really like from this program is the automatic updating of season stats and the ability to email full box scores and stats directly after the game.” (Head Coach Ryan Hasselstrom of Idaho Division 1AD1 State Champion Prairie High School)
Or whether it was to incorporate their team’s fans in more ways than ever before – “Digital Scout from a fan standpoint has brought back many alumni and past supporters on a weekly basis to check in real time. The amount of praise we’re receiving from having this program has been overwhelming.” (Head Coach Lou Marinelli of Connecticut Class L State Champion New Canaan High School)
No matter the reason, it is clear that Digital Scout is an asset that the elite choose to employ. It could also be, as coach Marinelli went on to further explain, how programs gain additional supporters upon utilizing Digital Scout.
“The post-game stats and analysis provided a great deal of helpful information that was fast and easy to access,” Marinelli said. “Aside from all the football specific information, the support infrastructure they have in place is second to none.
“The whole Digital Scout team is a fan of your school and will do anything to help you.”
While the Digital Scout software alone will not make your team a Champion, it is certain that utilizing Digital Scout during your games live Friday night will only help better your team.
It is at this time, the beginning of a new year, that we want to take a look back and depict some of the key stories, moments and all around great seasons for the programs across the country that won a football State Championship in 2014.
Without further ado, Friday, January 2, will start our series of recapping our 2014 state championship teams, starting in Alabama and working all the way to Wyoming.
To all the programs who utilized Digital Scout this past season – we thank you and look forward to many years of bringing you the best statistical tracking software there is. May 2015 bring continued success to you and your program.
Bentonville, Arkansas 7A Champions (1/5/15)
Dixie, Utah 3AA Champions (1/7/15)
Pine Bluff, Arkansas 6A Champions (1/9/15)
Northside. Georgia Class AAAAA Champions (1/14/15)
Hawkinsville, Georgia Class A Champions (1/15/15)
Prairie, Idaho Class 1A I Champions (1/19/15)
Bishop Kelly, Idaho Class 4A Champions (1/20/15)
Wilmington, Illinois Class 3A Champions (1/22/15)
Ben Davis, Indiana Class 6A Champions (1/27/15)
Pella, Iowa Class 3A Champions (1/29/15)
Other Digital Scout State Champions:
Arickaree-Woodlin, Colorado CHSAA 6-Man
Victoria, Kansas 8-Man Division II
Shawnee Mission East, Kansas Division 6A
Acadiana, Louisiana Class 5A
Northwest, Maryland Class 4A
Grand Meadow, Minnesota Class 9-Man
Sharkey-Issaquena Academy, Mississippi MAIS 8-Man
Hemingford, Nebraska Class D1 8-Man
Exeter-Milligan, Nebraska Class D2 8-Man
Aquinas Catholic, Nebraska Class C2
Chenango Forks, New York Class C
Charlotte Christian, North Carolina NCISA Independent
Fargo Davies, North Dakota Division AAA
Jenks, Oklahoma Class 6A-I
Tipton, Oklahoma Class C
Adrian, Oregon Class 1A
Northwood Academy, South Carolina SCISA AA Region I
Knoxville West, Tennessee Division I Class 5A
Throckmorton, Texas 6-Man 1A D2
Okanogan, Washington Division 2B
Somerset, Wisconsin Division 4
Lancaster, Wisconsin Division 5
Guernsey-Sunrise, Wyoming Division 1A 6-Man
6 big games set to take place on Saturday, December 13
Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
December 10, 2014
The high school football season has seemingly ended in the majority of states across the nation. Missouri was finished two weeks ago, Alaska about a month ago. From both Carolina’s to even New York State and from the Dakota’s to Washington State, the high school season was here and then it was gone.
Let us be here to ensure you that your high school football viewing season is not quite over just yet. There are still several other states that are culminating their seasons this weekend with arguably none bigger than Virginia’s VHSL State Football Championships.
Across all six divisions of Virginia High School Football – 12 teams – will take part in six games on Saturday, December 13 at either 12:00 pm, 4:00 pm or 4:30 pm, headlined by storied program, two-time defending Champion L.C. Bird against State Championship newcomer, Tuscarora.
In the 5A Championship game, the Skyhawks from Lloyd C. Bird High School entered the playoffs on the heels of losing their regular season finale on a last-second Hail Mary pass to Manchester. Bird has won seven of their last eight games and their only other loss this season had come to a Lake Taylor team who will be playing for the 4A Championship on Saturday as well.
Tuscarora enters the Championship game as arguably the hottest team in the entire state. They are 14-0 this season and have scored no less than 35 points in all but one game this season. An early season 21-8 victory over Loudon County (in which they played the game without starting quarterback Daniel Smith) was the only game in which they didn’t notch 35 or more.
Senior running back and Harvard commit Noah Reimers leads the Huskies from Leesburg, who won the school’s first 5A North Regional title last weekend by defeating Massaponax, 41-21. Reimers, the state’s Gatorade Player of the year, has accumulated 2,911 rushing yards on 333 carries and 45 touchdowns.
Reimers alone has as many touchdowns (15) in the postseason as the entire Bird offense has combined for in four games.
Bird is paced by a dynamic backfield in quarterback Jalen Elliott and running back Stephen Mines. Elliott has thrown for 1,645 yards, completing 94-of-171 pass attempts and 23 touchdowns while Mines has carried the ball 243 times for 1,949 yards and 20 touchdowns this season.
The Huskies this season have had their fair share of tumultuous times in a story-book worthy 2014 season.
In early July, beloved Tuscarora defensive coordinator Adam Fortune passed away unexpectedly, leaving behind memories, admiration and a special mantra the student-athletes have demonstrated this entire season – “Don’t strive to be good, strive to be great.”
The Huskies rallied with around their community, playing this season ‘Fortune Strong’, dedicating their field to their late-defensive coordinator and even placing a rock at the stadium’s entrance, engraved with Fortune’s name.
Congrats to @TuskyFootball for a great win tonight. For the players, thank you. You have helped me feel closer to Adam this season.— Gameday Nation (@GBNMobile) December 6, 2014
Tuscarora will look to cap off an undefeated 2014 season with a win in their first ever appearance in the State Championship game while L.C. Bird will be playing in their third straight Championship game, looking to repeat as 5A Champions for the third straight season.
The other games in no way lack interest as the 1A Championship game features 12-2 Essex High School versus 14-0 Altavista Combined School. Altavista has allowed a mere 17 points in their four playoffs games this season while Essex has averaged 41 points per game in the playoffs. Something will have to give in that game, which kicks off Saturday, December 13 at 12:00 pm.
The 2A Championship game pits 14-1 Wilson Memorial against 13-1 Glenvar. Wilson Memorial has shutout seven opponents this season, including a stretch of five straight shutout victories early in the season. Similarly, Glenvar has recorded six shutout victories this season. These two meet Saturday, December 13 at 4:30 pm.
The 3A Championship game features a 14-0 Lafayette team against 13-1 Magna Vista. Each team has prolific offenses who average nearly the same amount of points per game, Lafayette at 45.0 compared to Magna Vista at 44.8 points per contest. Safe to say points will be scored in this game which kicks off at 12:00 pm on Saturday, December 13.
Warrior Football headed to state!!!!!!!!! #WarriorPride— Magna Vista (@MVWarriorPride) December 6, 2014
The 4A Championship game squares off arguably the team’s top team Lake Taylor against offensive power Salem. Both teams are undefeated, a perfect 28-0 combined while Salem averages nearly 47 points per game and Lake Taylor holds opponents to under nine points per contest. Salem and Lake Taylor play for the 4A Championship, which kicks off at 4:30 pm, Saturday, December 13.
Salem will play Lake Taylor (Norfolk) in the 4A State Championship at Liberty University on Sat 12/13 at 4:30 pm. Let's pack the house!— Salem High School (@SalemSpartans) December 6, 2014
The 6A Championship game features nationally recognized Ocean Lakes against 12-2 Centreville from Clifton. Ocean Lakes has scored an incredible 722 points this season, while limited opponents to just 145. They have topped 39 points in each contest this season while tipping the point totals over 50 in half of their games. Centreville’s two losses can be deceiving as they lost to the Washington D.C. Class 2 Champion, and nationally ranked Gonzaga, and to cross-town rival Westfield by a mere one point.
The Dolphins will be looking for their first ever championship when they play the Wildcats on Saturday, December 13 at 4:00 pm.
The Knights, as a team, are champions on the field, role models off
Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
December 2, 2014
It’s rare in this day and age that we in the sports world don’t hear a story in the news daily that depicts an athlete or team doing some immoral, illegal or even heinous activities. From professional all the way down the ladder to even youth sports, those ‘bad eggs’ are seemingly more prevalent than ever.
This is not to say that there aren’t some uplifting stories out there that don’t grab at your heartstrings, it just seems in this world we live in where mobile alerts and streaming updates rule your news – those dishonest and indecent stories hit your desktop, phone or tablet instantly.
Allow me to occupy your monitors and mobile displays with a truly heartwarming, feel-good story about three-time defending North Carolina State Champions – Charlotte Christian Knights.
On the heels of their second consecutive State Title, the Knights opened the 2014 campaign with much expected high hopes and their eyes on a third straight championship. While head coach Jason Estep’s time at Charlotte Christian School has been short (he became head coach in 2008), he has built a perpetual contender year in and year out for not only conference titles, but state championships alike.
“Jason Estep has built an amazing program here at CCS that has produced four state championships in his short time as head football coach,” wide receivers coach Gary Brown said. “It has been an honor to be on this amazing staff.”
The selflessness displayed by that innocent comment from coach Brown is something that sets the Knights as a team apart from others in the state, but especially depicts the kind of moral character the program has.
Take for example, offensive center and Under Armour All-American Brian Chaffin. The 6-foot-2, 280-pound lineman, who committed to Stanford University in June of this year, started the 2014 season at the center position. When starting right tackle Josh Bryant broke his hip five games into the season, it was Chaffin who jumped at the opportunity to help better the team and fill that gap.
Brian Chaffin is committed to play at Stanford next fall.
“Brian Chaffin volunteered to move from center to right tackle when Josh Bryant broke his right hip,” Brown said. “By doing so, (it) would make the offensive line stronger.”
Chaffin moved back to center for the State Championship game as Bryant would return from his hip injury to play with his team in the title game, in its entirety.
Chaffin isn’t the only top recruit on the Knights either. Defensive back Jaylon McClinton committed to play football for Army while Chaffin’s fellow offensive lineman, 6-foot-7, 260-pound Philip Walton committed to play for nearby North Carolina State University.
The buck doesn’t stop there either, as for the class of 2016, Charlotte Christian has already placed several players on either watch lists or top athlete lists for next season. Headlined by running back Elijah Deveaux, who has already committed to Duke, midway through his junior season.
Elijah Deveaux committed to play at Duke six games into his junior season, on his birthday (Oct. 10)
“We have had back-to-back Under Armour All-Americans and placed no less than 15 players in (Division I) schools over the past three seasons,” Brown said. “We have 19 (athletes) currently on college rosters.
“Considering Charlotte Christian School has less than 400 students in the 9-12 upper school – that’s boys and girls – we have an extremely high level of participation.”
Placing athletes in colleges is one thing. Having them ready to play in their first year on campus is a completely different task – and something that the coaching staff of the Knights has done very well.
That readiness and willing to help out their respective teams is a direct correlation to the coaching and preaching they receive at Charlotte Christian.
“The seniors led devotions every Monday and one of the coaches gives his insight on the topic from a personal or biblical perspective,” Brown said. “My senior receivers were always supportive and encouraging of the underclassmen all season. An amazing group of young men.”
The stories about the players are endless. What about the coaches behind them? Want to know where these athletes get their great moral character from? Look no further than the guys with the whistles and clipboards.
A long time user of the Digital Scout software, Brown credits one contributing factor of the Knights’ success to the statistical information he and the coaching staff receive when utilizing Digital Scout.
“(Digital Scout) has made it easier to compile and share stats,” Brown said. “I am able to email half time and end of game stats immediately. It used to take an hour to compile, download and email. (Now) I am able to send everything to coach Estep at the half, he has everything he wanted to know within 15 seconds.”
In his nine years of tracking stats with Digital Scout, Brown has not missed a play. When he was unable to attend a game over the past three seasons, Brown had a dad on the phone with him, radioing in plays so he could input the play-by-play data on his iPad in real time.
When he had a heart attack during the team’s championship run, Brown would not be stopped from utilizing Digital Scout and not missing a play.
“(On) November 7, I suffered a mild heart attack,” Brown said. “The cardiologist wouldn’t release me for the state semifinal game that evening, so my wife brought me headphones and the iPad to the hospital, had a dad on a headset, and I made sure the nurses weren’t to disturb me from 7:00 to 9:30 pm.
“Coach Estep had the stats both at half time and at the end and the media got everything immediately.”
The Knights finished the season 11-1, winners of 11 straight and a third consecutive State Championship – coach Estep’s fourth in his seven seasons as head coach at Charlotte Christian.
While their success is something in its own rite, the caliber of young man that the Charlotte Christian coaching staff is building in North Carolina is something special.
“I have never seen players so selfless and expressive of their love for each other,” Brown said. “It really is a greater ‘thing’ than winning games.”
From all of us at Digital Scout – we thank you Knights, for your patronage, your humility, but mainly for giving us something good and wholesome to follow along with each football season and beyond, because as coach Brown says – that’s really greater than winning.