About 18 months ago, Tyler Anderson, who’s been the top contributor to StatewideStats.com for nearly 10 years, opened his excellent History of Whatcom County Football Facebook page. The page, which is devoted to the past and present greats playing in Whatcom County, quickly took off and currently generates tens of thousands of interactions a week.
What fans didn’t know in April 2013 was that Tyler had something bigger in store. Tyler is a stats and sports history junkie. Since he was in junior high, Tyler had been researching football, baseball and basketball. He’d go so far as to take his own stat book at basketball games. By the time Tyler started helping me hear at SWS in 2005, he’d accumulated a massive archive of newspaper clippings and stats, and his own remarkable memory of games-n-names in WhatCo football history.
All that work came to public fruition in April 2014 when Tyler launched his own website, WhatcomCountyFootball.com and his signature project, The Top 500. Tyler took all that statistical research, combined with all-league/all-state awards, team achievements, and questionnaire solicited through the Facebook page, and created an systematic way to pick the top 500 players from Whatcom County from approximately 6500 going back to 1975. Starting in May, Tyler’s been counting down with 3 or 4 players posted per day.
The countdown currently stands at 47, Meridian QB Tyler Slesk.
Once the countdown is over, Tyler says that he has other features in the works. He’s conducted one-on-one interviews with dozens of former players. Incredibly, he’s also been borrowing game film, back to the 1980s, from coaches and digitizing it.
Even if you’re not from Whatcom County, it’s definitely something to check out. And I hope that other areas might be inspired to do something similar.