All a Matter or Record Research into Statistics, Scores Leads to Complete Sports Web Site

By Radtke, John | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 27, 2000 | Go to article overview

All a Matter or Record Research into Statistics, Scores Leads to Complete Sports Web Site


Radtke, John, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


A simple typographical error in a book on Elgin history became a beginning for Scott Johnson and the Elgin High School basketball Web site.

In 1976, when Elgin was coming up on its 1,000th boys basketball victory, Johnson, a 1974 graduate of the school, noticed a typo in a book written by local historian E.C. "Mike" Alft.

Johnson called Alft, and the conversation swung around to Alft asking Johnson if he'd be interested in compiling a list of games to verify Elgin's 1,000th win.

"We set about identifying every game," Johnson recalled. "And I started thinking, 'We've got all these scoresae...' Well, one thing led to another, and I crave that completeness."

Thus launched was a project that today has become the most complete single-sport Web site for any high school sport in the country. You can search the Internet far and wide and not find another high school sport Web site with the amount of information Johnson has put into the Elgin site, which is now available directly through Johnson's wife's home page, www.juliekistler.com, as well as through many Internet links.

To research all the information for 100 years of Elgin basketball, Johnson spent hours upon hours digging through microfilm of old newspapers.

"Elgin had two papers back in the early 1900s, and if I couldn't find a score in the Elgin paper, sometimes I'd have to go to the Aurora or Rockford or Freeport papers," said Johnson, who since 1994 has been the full-time Web master for the Illinois High School Association in Bloomington.

In 1987, Johnson published an Elgin High basketball record book. But, like anything of this nature, changes took place with every ensuing season. About 10 years after the initial work was published, Elgin coach Jim Harrington and team doctor Nick Bumbales went to Johnson for an update.

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