LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Analytics have taken over football whether it is the NFL or college. It’s all a numbers game. Locally, a Las Vegas high schooler is at the forefront of the numbers for his high school team.
“Since I was six years old, I just loved the game of football,” Faith Lutheran student Akash Abraham said.
For many in high school, the dream is to be suiting up in uniform. For Akash, the dream has been to be on the sideline.
“The one thing I was afraid of throughout my entire life, and I still am, is getting hit by people,” Abraham said.
Abraham approached Faith Lutheran’s defensive coordinator Coach Staggs, also his AP Psychology teacher, about the possibility of becoming a part of the staff as an analyst.
The answer – a resounding yes.
“Look at the film and see first – what are the broad tendencies they do? Do they prefer certain kinds of routes? Are they targeting certain receivers? If I see that, I’ll let Coach Staggs know,” Abraham said.
Many think analytics just boils down to the decisions like going for it on 4th down or kicking. With Abraham’s role with Faith Lutheran, it’s much more intricate than that.
“The main thing I like to do a lot is look for subtle tendencies, which is some things teams might not even know they’re giving away,” Abraham explained.
These subtle tendencies can give away if a team is running or passing – like taking a test with the study guide in front of you.
“You have to see on 2nd & 7 what are they doing? What percent of the time are they running? Passing? I’ll report saying 88% of the time we see this working,” Abraham said.
When it does work, there’s no feeling like it.
“I’ve seen it within games. We tend to improve during the course of a game due to the information that we get as a result of Akash being with us,” Head Coach Mike Sanford said.
Abraham doesn’t celebrate in the end zone or kick any game-winners. It’s never what he wanted to do. Kids like himself who love the game and don’t play, often miss out on the unique bond it brings.
This is why his role with the Crusaders provides something much more important – a seat at the table to never be left out.
“I think it’s excellent that the game is moving towards this. I’m super grateful to all the players and coaches here that acknowledge that I never played, but accept me with open arms. I’m really glad to be a part of this team,” he said.
Abraham’s Faith Lutheran Crusaders gear up for the state championship game against Bishop Manogue next week.
As for his future, not only does he want to be a lawyer – but also an analyst for a college football team.
He wants to go to a school rich in football history with his top choice right now is Alabama.