By Kevin Askeland
If ever there was evidence needed to prove that fact is stranger than fiction, it can be found in the National High School Sports Record Book. Some of the most astounding athletic feats can be found in this book, which is published annually by the National Federation and can also be found online at http://www.nfhs.com.
In the first of a series of lists highlighting high school sports, following is a rundown of the most amazing records to be found in the National High School Sports Record Book.
10. Greg Procell’s career scoring record
When Tom McMillen of Mansfield, Pa., concluded his historic career with 3,608 points in 1970, press releases announced that McMillen was likely the country’s all-time career high school scoring leader. But in Noble Ebarb, La., 3,608 points was just a little bit more than Greg Procell scored in his senior year. Playing in one of the smallest divisions in the state of Louisiana, Procell scored 3,173 points his senior year for a 46.7 per game average during a 68-game season. Procell finished his career with 6,702 career points, which is still 1,335 points more than the second player on the list.
9. Michael Hart’s career scoring totals
When Ken Hall graduated from Sugar Land High School in Texas in the 1950s, his career scoring record of 899 points and 127 touchdowns seemed untouchable. His record stood for nearly 35 years until Brett Law of Sheridan, Ind., scored 142 TDs and 952 points in the late 1980s. Just over 20 years later, T.A. McLendon of Albemarle, N.C., zoomed past Law with 1,076 points and 178 touchdowns. And then came Michael Hart. Just two years after McLendon put the scoring and TD marks at seemingly unattainable heights, Hart blew them away and put considerable distance between himself and second place. Hart, who went on to star at Michigan, scored 1,246 career points and 204 touchdowns.
8. De La Salle’s 151-game winning streak.
When records are broken, they are often broken in tiny increments. The new record holder often just barely surpasses the previous mark. Not so with the De La Salle Spartans. When the team from Concord, Calif., passed Hudson’s mark of 72-straight wins in the mid-1990s, it went on to more than double the old record, finishing with 151 straight victories.
7. Lisa Leslie’s amazing first half
Lisa Leslie recently captured her fourth gold medal as a member of the United States Women’s Olympic Basketball Team, but perhaps her most amazing feat on the hardwood occurred nearly 20 years ago during an incredible 16 minutes of play. Playing against South Torrance on Feb. 7, 1990, Leslie and the Morningside Monarchs put on a scoring display. With her teammates feeding her the ball on every possession and Leslie playing at the top of the full court press on defense to increase her chances of scoring off of a turnover, the 6-foot-5 phenom scored an incredible 101 points in the first half. Leslie never had a chance at the national record of 105 points, set by Cheryl Miller of Riverside Poly (Calif.) because South Torrance decided not to take the court in the second half. Regardless, Leslie still holds the national records for points scored in a half (101) and a quarter (52).
6. Choctaw’s big inning
If not for one big inning, Choctaw (Okla.) might have lost its game with McGuinness in 1977. Choctaw hit 11 solo home runs in one inning, including seven in a row, and went on to defeat McGuinness 11-1. That’s right, all of Choctaw’s runs were scored on solo home runs. In fact, every run in the game was scored on a solo shot as McGuinness scored its only run on a homer.
5. David Clyde’s near record
During his senior year at Houston Westchester High School in Texas, prep pitching phenom David Clyde was on the verge of breaking the national record for consecutive innings pitched without allowing an earned run. Unfortunately Clyde’s mark of 95 1/3 consecutive innings fell 20 innings short of the record held by – David Clyde. Clyde set the national record of 115 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run in 1972 during his junior year. Clyde still holds the top two marks in the category and is the all-time national leader in career strikeouts with 842.
4. Ken Beardslee – the strikeout ace
When Ken Beardslee took the mound for Vermontville (Mich.) in the late 1940s, his teammates rarely touched the ball. In 25 games pitched during his high school career, Beardslee struck out 425 batters for an average of 18.1 strikeouts per seven-inning game. During his senior year, he averaged 19 strikeouts per outing, meaning that only two batters, on average, put the ball in play. Beardslee finished his career with a 24-1 record, eight no-hitters and two perfect games.
3. Brandon can’t be beat
After the Brandon High School wrestling team lost to Bradenton 28-19 in 1973, it gradually worked its way over the next 15 years to a national record 176 straight wins. With the record in hand, Brandon kept on winning – for the next 20 years. Brandon’s eventual record climbed to 459 consecutive wins and 468 matches without a loss. The next closest team on the list has 221 straight wins.
2. Michael Carter’s record put
Before he was a standout nose guard for the San Francisco 49ers, Michael Carter was the greatest shot putter in high school history. He holds the national record in the event with a toss of 77-0, set in 1979. The national record is the oldest boys track record in the high school record book and no shot putter has come within five feet of the mark in the past 18 years. Carter actually holds the top two all-time marks with his second best effort coming in at 75-9. At the Golden West Invitational following his senior year, Carter had a mind-blowing put of 81 feet, 3 ½ inches. That mark is a record for a high school athlete, but is not recognized as a National Federation record since it did not take place in a National Federation sanctioned event.
1. All zeroes for Shelbyville
Smith Center of Kansas created a stir last year when it posted 11 straight shutouts before finally giving up points in its final two games of the season. While the 11-straight shutouts were a remarkable achievement, they paled in comparison to the all-time national record of 52 in a row, set by Shelbyville Bedford County Training School. The Fighting Tigers did not give up a point for nine straight years between 1942 and 1949. Due to segregation in Tennessee, the school was comprised entirely of African-Americans. The school no longer exists, merging with Central High School in the late 1960s.