Trojan Countdown 2020-2021

Trojan Countdown 2020-2021

Numbers only tell part of the story 

The Trojan Countdown provides a statistical glimpse at how teams at Hampshire High stacked up this past season. Raw numbers only tell a portion of the story as the campaigns of 2020-21 were riddled with obstacles created by Covid. Nevertheless, there are some recognizable trends that warrant further examination.

Winless teams

When glancing at teams near the bottom, there are 4 sports that finished the season without a win: girls tennis, boys swimming, girls swimming and softball.

Not all winless teams are created equally. Nuance is in the details. Both swim teams had a regular season that lasted less than 3 hours as they only faced 2 other schools in their only meet of the regular season.

The tennis team was in a similar boat as they finished the regular season playing only 4 matches.

Perhaps it's unfair those 3 teams are labeled as winless, considering a sample size that minuscule would be rejected for critical analysis.

Meanwhile, softball played 26 games during the 2021 campaign, a number typical of regular seasons from the past.

Win Inequality

When the girls cross country team finished the Trojan Countdown at the top, I was somewhat surprised.

Trojan fans know the girls XC squad is solid year after year but the 2020-21 campaign was not the best in recent memory.

Many Trojan supporters would assume the boys basketball team set the standard last season, as their playoff success overshadows their early season struggles.

It is important to note that the girls cross country team earns wins based off a formula that fails to take into account the strength of the competition.

For example, when the girls finished ahead of Webster County at the Frank Young Memorial Invitational, they are given 1 win.

The boys basketball team did not have the likes of Webster County on the regular season schedule. The Hampshire cagers had to slug through a schedule filled with schools from class AAAA, AAA and AA.

This comparison clearly demonstrates a flaw in the calculation method of the Trojan countdown.

Postseason exclusion

Without question playoff games are more important than regular season contests. However the formula for the Trojan Countdown does not take into account the records of teams in the postseason.

More than ever, coaches this year were willing to sacrifice regular season games for long term success.

For example, boys basketball coach Danny Alkire decided to cancel the final games of the regular season after clinching home court advantage throughout sectionals.

The Trojans could’ve had 2 more W’s under their belt for the regular season, however, it was in the teams best interest to avoid playing those games as Covid contamination would end the season prematurely.

Considering contests in the postseason far outweigh regular season games, perhaps an added measurement of postseason success should be considered. ❏ 

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