Football season preparation with Maxpreps

Football season preparation with Maxpreps

Eric Wong

Ranked to win the El Camino league by MaxPreps, the coaches have a lot of pressure to succeed

Last season, the varsity football team compiled an 8-3 league record, leaving them tied with Homestead High School for first in the league.  This year, they are destined to win it allor at least on paper, that is.  On, a database where coaches enter statistics about their teams, previews for the El Camino football league puts MVHS at number one.  For the football team and coaching staff, these predictions meant countless hours spent calculating statistics, analyzing film of previous games, trying out new plays on the field, and re-analyzing film, all to make sure the purple and goldclad Matadors are ready to win when they step out onto the field.  The coaches, led by business teacher Jeff Mueller, plug in statistical information from games into MaxPreps to figure out what the varsity football team needs to do to to win the El Camino league. 

Coach Jeff Mueller and the rest of the coaching staff use, an online high school sports database, to compile team statistics to help improve the varsity football team.  They can look up the top players for each teams, team rankings within the state or nation, and even highlights of individual players to prepare for each game.  Photo taken from
Based upon the difficulty of the opponents that the football team will face in the upcoming year and last year’s results, MaxPreps uses a complex mathematical formula to determine the ranking of the team within the league and the state.  After plugging in all the statistics for each team, MaxPreps has determined that from the numbers, the varsity football team should be the winners of their league.

While these predictions would leave most players excited about the prospects for the year, the coaches are a bit more apprehensive about the possible implications of the team’s preseason ranking.

"I don’t want [the other teams] to be shooting for us. I want to be the one shooting for someone," Coach Mueller said.

But as things stand, a lot of pressure has been placed on this year’s team to achieve more than the teams of the recent past and finally make a deep drive into the CCS playoffs. Thankfully, the team has MaxPreps to break down the statistics that serve as guides for areas of improvement. According to Mueller, the stats help show trends such as changes in the offensive production of key players due to a defensive match-up and the rushing or passing average for each game.  Then, coaches take this information and use it to study game films to see how to overcome areas of weakness.

The coaches also use Maxpreps to find the key players on opposing teams that need to be shut down, as well as the type of game they prefer to play based upon the statistics.  Then, through sessions of film review and analysis, the coaches come up with plays and strategies to overcome their next opponent. 

For junior varsity football, the coaches do not spend the time to enter statistics on MaxPreps.  Many of the juniors that moved up to the varsity team this summer have noticed the benefits of spending time on statistic analysis. 

"The coaches will talk to us about the key players to watch out for before the game,"  junior Ryan Bertrand said. "Like if there is a really good quarterback that suddenly lines up as a wide receiver, we’ll know something is going on and we will watch out for it."

Though they may not know the details behind all the statistics gathered from Maxpreps, the players feel that working on the specific areas that the coaches point out gives them the confidence that they need during the games.  At practice, the second offensive line will run through the other team’s plays and have the starting defense try to stop them.  This makes the players much more comfortable come game time.

"We know what’s coming," junior John Reinhardt said.  "After running through the plays, even if [the other team] throws us a surprise, we kind of know where we are going." 

Armed with piles of data from Maxpreps and a group of skilled athletes, the football team readies itself for a season of high expectations with little room for failure if they are to succeed.  It will be up to the players and the course of the season to determine if they can live up to the statistics and emerge as the league champions.