Whether a play takes place at kickoff or in the middle of overtime, the football team statistician is responsible for knowing every gainage or loss of yards that happens during the game. The position calls for a keen eye and the ability to watch football with a more attentive attitude than the average person.
“The first time we [had a statistician] several years ago, he was amazing, and it happened that he had played varsity football his freshman year,” said Mu Alpha Theta coach Mr. Richard Rovere. “That’s when I realized, you can’t do the job unless you have a fairly comprehensive understanding of football. You have to know the game. You have to have an appreciation for actually seeing what’s on the field, knowing the significance of it and recognizing when there’s an error.”
Juniors Logan Kapit and Arnav Kumar, when offered the opportunity, met every criteria for the position. Both actively compete as a part of the Mu Alpha Theta math team and have two state championships and one national championship under their belts.
Kapit and Kumar attribute their ability to work together to their long-lasting friendship. Kapit has attended Heritage since fifth grade, and Kumar since sixth. They met in the Lower School Accelerated Integrated Mathematics (AIMS) program upon Kumar’s arrival at Heritage and have continued with math competition and their friendship since.
“We’ve always been really competitive, and now Arnav’s better than me at math, but we’re still competitive with whatever we do together,” Kapit said. “We make each other laugh a lot. Even if we mess something up, we just move on to the next play and try to get better as we go along.”
Unlike previous holders of the position, Kapit and Kumar are co-statisticians, meaning they share the workload evenly and can check their findings with each other.
“It’s really hard to keep track of everything, especially when the plays go so quickly,” Kapit said. “You’re constantly running across the field with the players to see who tackles who at the end of the play, and it’s really hard to look over 7-foot football players who are standing directly in front of you.”
Both students were hesitant in taking the on position alone due to their other commitments and possible lack of time. In addition to Mu Alpha Theta, Kapit holds officer positions within the Model United Nations team and the UNICEF club, participates as a member of Heritage for Humanity and the quiz bowl team and practices tennis and skeet shooting. Kumar dedicates much of his time to music, community service and teaching underclassmen as a student teacher for Mu Alpha Theta.
“It is a time-consuming position, and I respect that,” Mr. Rovere said. “They’re both good at math, they’re comfortable with collecting data, they express a desire to do that, and they really love the game. I think those two guys are a perfect match.”
“We both like statistics and football, so football statistics is a pretty good combination,” Kumar said. “We both pay a lot of attention to players’ statistics in the National Football League and in other sports like basketball, so doing the same for Heritage seemed like a cool thing.”
“Arnav is one of my best friends. We both love football. We both love math, and it’s fun to watch games,” Kapit said. “It’s more fun when you’re standing on the sidelines actively doing stuff.”
Confident about their background knowledge of football and their friendship history, Kapit and Kumar look forward to helping the football team improve and lead them to a third state championship.