March Madness began on the hardwood late last week, but it’s also happening locally with spring training games winding down amid the myriad of high school games.
Spring, and its pollen, is in the air with Monday signaling the start to that season.
But high schools are already knee-deep into the spring sports season.
So this week’s Numbers Game is checking in with the prep sports scene. We’ll dabble into some MLB and gridiron digits, too.
So let’s begin.
Amount, in dollars, that Southeast High and University of Florida alumnus Brian Poole earned in performance bonus money for his 2016-17 season, according to ESPN. As ESPN reported, the NFL allocates the money evenly among its 32 teams, and “players are compensated based on their playing time percentage relative to their salary.” Poole went from undrafted to making the Atlanta Falcons out of training camp. Ultimately, he tallied 59 tackles, 10 pass breakups and an interception en route to starting for Atlanta in Super Bowl LI. Poole’s bonus is the highest in the NFL.
Southeast High and Florida Gulf Coast University alumnus Michael Suchy’s ISO (isolated power) average from his 2016 season with the Bradenton Marauders in the Florida State League. Suchy blasted a two-run homer on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays at LECOM Park. It’s the second straight spring that he’s smacked a home run in major league spring training. Last season, Suchy did it against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte. Suchy has 18 career home runs in three minor league seasons. His ISO average from last year rates between “below average” and “poor,” according to FanGraphs. The 6-foot-3, 228-pounder possesses a decent career on-base percentage at .338, though. Suchy is expected to start the year at Double-A Altoona after helping the M’s win their first FSL championship in 2016.
Manatee High’s time in the 400-meter boys relay at this past weekend’s IMG Academy Track and Field Invitational. The time is significant, because it’s better than the Hurricanes did at the same point last year. That 2016 relay team won a state championship at IMG in May, and this year’s group returns Sir Williams, while featuring three other speedy football players in Javarious Pollock, Tarique Milton and Keyon Fordham.
Average passing attempts per interception thrown by Braden River’s past two starting quarterbacks since 2014. Jacob Huesman averaged 48.56 attempts per interception during his last two years under offensive coordinator Eric Sanders, with Louis Colosimo throwing just two picks in 194 attempts in 2016. Sanders has a new quarterback to work with after Bryan Gagg transferred from Sarasota High. Gagg, a rising junior, accounted for 32 touchdowns through the air and ground in his two years as the Sailors’ starting quarterback.
The attendance for the Pirates’ spring training exhibition against the Dominican Republic on March 8. It’s the lowest attended game this spring at LECOM Park, which featured a star-studded Dominican lineup. Team DR featured an offense with 1,325 career home runs. The World Baseball Classic gave fans a chance to see a unique lineup, but the game didn’t draw well. The game was held on a Wednesday, yet the Orioles’ visit the following Wednesday drew 6,825 fans.