There are few students, if any, who represent Columbus North sports better than senior Nick Stevens.
The Bull Dog soccer and baseball player leads the student section during other sporting events and has been the statistician for the North boys basketball team since his eighth-grade year.
“It’s kind of interesting to see all of the different perspectives — from a player’s perspective and then big fan and then like a neutral media person where you can’t really cheer and keep track of everything,” Stevens said. “It’s just a very unique experience, and I’m thankful to have it.”
Stevens’ dad Mike has been North’s boys basketball official scorer for 17 years, and Nick grew up sitting behind him, keeping track of points and fouls in his notebook before former coach Jason Speer approached him about being the official statistician.
It took Stevens a few games to get used to the Cyber Sports USA program he uses to track the stats, but now, it’s like muscle memory for the five-year statistician.
Stevens has been able to record stats for some of the North’s top talents like Josh Speidel and Alex King. Stevens said traveling with the team over the years also has been fun. He’s traveled to the country’s biggest high school gym in New Castle and even sat at the scorer’s table at Banker Life Fieldhouse when the Bull Dogs played there his freshman year.
“It’s just been really fun to see how the teams have progressed over the years, and I’ve been a part of it,” Stevens said. “(Being at Bankers Life) was a great experience. I’ve never had that experience before, and it was really fun sitting at an NBA arena and getting to sit at that table where all the big names sit during games.”
Nobody understands the importance of Stevens’ job better than North coach Paul Ferguson and the rest of his staff. Halftime adjustments can be the difference between winning and losing a close game. Ferguson relies on the extensive halftime stat sheet printed out by Stevens when examining what areas the Bull Dogs need to focus on for the second half.
“You might go through a first half and think ‘Man, I feel like we just didn’t rebound the ball very well,’ but to have that accurate total of what you’re doing offense, defense, rebounding, turnovers, steals and assists is really valuable,” Ferguson said. “When you’re going to talk to the radio and newspaper after the game, it’s really helpful that you’re impressions are accurate and to have that backed up with stats.”
The coaching staff also uses those game stat sheets to track the team’s progress over the season when looking at the strengths and weakness as a whole.
The Bull Dogs aren’t the only ones who rely on Stevens for his stat sheet printouts. He hands out his stat sheets to newspaper reporters and radio broadcasters to help them keep track of other stats outside of just points, turnovers and rebounds.
“It’s a lot of pressure to make sure everything is right,” Stevens said. “But I enjoy doing it because it helps to inform people, if they’re following Columbus North basketball, about how everyone is doing.”
Stevens also runs the “Bull Dog Basketball” Twitter account for those wanting to track the stats through social media. This will most likely be his last year as a North statistician because of graduating, but the future Indiana University student has interest in carrying over his skills to possibly becoming a basketball manager for the Hoosiers.
“I like watching sports and keeping stats because I’m kind of a math guy,” Stevens said.
Name: Nick Stevens
School: Columbus North
Sports: Soccer and baseball
Other sports duties: Boys basketball statistician, leads student fan section for other sports
College choice: Indiana University