(Frequently Asked Questions)

1.   What is the Purpose of the Site?
2.   What is the Benefit of the Site?
3.   Who are the People Behind NJHSChiefs.com?
4.   What Do the Statisticians Do?
5.   How are the Statistics Compiled and Tracked?
6.   How Did the Web Site Come into Existence?
7.   Who Pays for the Web Site?

1.  What is the Purpose of the Site?

The primary purpose of the domain, NJHSChiefs.com is to allow local newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, and college-level recruiting personnel to have access to the NJHS player and team information and statistics.  This allows the media to have up-to-date information about North Jackson any time they wish and gives them instant information when they want to do a story about the team.  It also allows the general public and football fans to get a look at the statistics and some inside information about the team, coaches, players, cheerleaders, and band.  The site is intended solely to be a fully functional site with an emphasis on statistical data and informational accuracy.

2.  What is the Benefit of the Web Site?

The benefit is maximum media coverage for the school and players resulting in the public, colleges and universities, and the people who select All-State and regional teams becoming very familiar with our team and the players.   The end result is the school being recognized as one of the top programs in the state with the media all throughout Alabama and Southeast Tennessee recognizing the prominence of  North Jackson High School.  In the past, this type of recognition has helped many local players being named to All-Area, All-Tri-State, and All-State teams, and has helped several of them get college scholarships.  Of course it is the success of the team and the players that supplies the basis for the recognition but it has long been the relentless efforts of the guys responsible for this web site making sure NJHS information gets to the media.

The web site also allows former residents, students, and players (some in the military) in all parts of the country and the world to get the scores and information when it was impossible in the past.  There has been correspondence from as far away as Australia and Japan, applauding the existence of the site and its ability to bring a little bit of home to them.

3.  Who are the People Behind NJHSChiefs.com?

For those of you who have wondered who the guys actually are, if you have been around Bridgeport, Stevenson, or North Jackson football for the past 44 years, you may already be familiar with them.  Their names are Dale and Alton McCloud, two brothers from Bridgeport, and they have been a part of the North Jackson football program since its inception in 1988, serving as the official statisticians for the team.  Dale served as the Bridgeport statistician for 19 years from 1970 until the school merged with Stevenson to form North Jackson High School in 1988.  He then started providing the same service to North Jackson until he left the area in 1990, taking a job in South Carolina.  Upon leaving, Dale turned the job over to his brother Alton who handled the sideline logging until 2009, when Dale returned to the sideline.  Combined, Dale and Alton have been handling the statistics for Bridgeport and now, North Jackson, for over 45 years. 

4.  What Do the Statisticians Do?

The service Alton and Dale have provided to the school over the years is basically transparent to the public.  It has been their task to walk the sidelines with clipboard in hand, gathering the statistics for every game.  After the game is over, they hustle off the field ti the field house where the stats are tabulated with a calculator and phone calls are started.  If it is an away game, the stats are tabulated and the calls are made from a mobile phone, usually while sitting in the car.  TV stations in Chattanooga and Huntsville used to be called to ensure the game score and other game information is provided to the public during the local news, but now those stations pick up the info from the NJHS Twitter feeds.  Now, the first call is made to the Chattanooga Times-Free Press to allow the game story to make it into the early morning edition, then a call is made to the Huntsville Times.  To each newspaper, detailed scoring summaries and the statistics are relayed to allow the sports reporters there to write the game story.

It takes a while to finish all of the calls but, once completed, the game information has been provided to the media so the local folks can turn on their TVs and see the score and hear sports reporters talk about the game.  The next day, hundreds of people pick up their newspapers and read all about the game, not really knowing how the story got there.  On Saturdays, the data collected during the game is then input into a computerized statistical database system to be kept as a permanent record, and a timeline game summary is written by Dale to become a permanent part of the statistical records.

All of this is the normal routine that Dale and Alton have been going through for the past 45 years with the exception of the computerized system which was started in 1986.  The only time it varies is those occasions when the newspapers have reporters at the game, but those times are rare.

However, things changed somewhat in 2009.  For the first time in NJHS history, Alton is not on the sidelines.  He has now left the area and is living in Augusta Georgia.  At the same time, Dale has now moved to Ooltewah Tennessee from Los Angeles and is doing the offensive stat logging at the games, making the calls, compiling the statistics, entering them in the database, and writing the game summaries on the website.  It is a tough task, driving down from Ooltewah for each game, but it is necessary to get the job done.

In 2013, Dale and Alton's great nephew Jacob McCloud began assisting Dale on the sidelines by charting the offense.  Jacob also updates the NJHSChiefs Twitter page during the games to allow people who are not at the game to keep up with the scoring.  The Twitter page is a huge success and is picking up more members each week.  Jacob has now become one of the familiar people on the sidelines and we appreciate the assistance that he has provided.  Jacob is a valuable asset to the stat team.

5.  How are the Statistics Compiled and Tracked?

Both being computer programmers, (Dale specializing in dBase, FoxPro, Microsoft Access, and Microsoft SQL database applications and Alton astute in IBM AS400 programming), the guys developed a computerized high school football statistic tracking system to allow concise and accurate tracking, compilation, and reporting of football statistics.  Utilizing the application, Dale started providing the media with statistical reports in printed copy back in the late 1980s, making Bridgeport the first school in North Alabama to use a computerized system for statistics.  The newspapers loved it.  With up-to-date statistical reports in hand, the newspapers did numerous articles about the school.  Later, the same system was put into use for the North Jackson football team and is still in use today, although much improved and modernized.  The newspapers still love it, although now, instead of a printed copy, they just call the information up on the web site.  Even when Alton took over the job of compiling and tracking the stats from 1990 until 2008, Dale continued to provide assistance over the years, redesigning and upgrading the software when needed and archiving the data. He has also compiled all the school records over the years and continues to do so at the present.

6.  How Did the Web Site Come into Existence?

In 1997,  Alton came up with the idea of posting the statistics on the Internet, making the task of getting the statistics to the media even easier.  Since Dale was already familiar with web design, a site was developed, server space was rented, and the domain name, NJHSChiefs.com was registered on the World Wide Web.  Although Dale now lives in Knoxville, he takes care of  the web site administration and database maintenance from there these days.  

7.  Who Pays for the Web Site?

Although some people have the mistaken idea that this is a profitable venture, all the expense of the web site and the cost of driving to the games, logging stats, and phone charges are borne solely by the statisticians.  Included are the monthly cost of long distance phone calls, cellular phone calls, web space rental, and the yearly Internet domain registration, along with the cost of gas used to drive to the games (in Dale's case, from Ooltewah Tennessee).  The estimated yearly cost of the site and logging the stats is around $1,300 which does not include periodic costs such as buying new software to keep up with the rapidly changing technology.  Of course, the time spent doing all the required work (usually about 10 to 20 hours a week) is also donated. 

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