Through my years of involvement with sports I’ve learned that stats and figures are for fans, parents, and journalists. They really are not much of a concern for players.
Ron Hinson was my teammate at Georgia Southwestern College in the early 80’s. Hinson held the record for most passing yards in a single game (524). The record stood for 32 years. What drove Hinson to pass for 524 yards in a game in 1977? The answer – he was doing what he needed to do to earn a win for his team. His team, Lamar County, was 6-4 that year and giving up 22 points per game. The record setting game was won 48-28 in a shootout win for the Trojans. The night didn’t start with Hinson hoping for record stats, it started with his desire to be the best for his team.
That same desire fuels Jake Fromm. When asked at the beginning of the year about his goals for the season, Jake replied, “I want to win a state championship. I’ve won two in baseball, but nothing would be as special as winning one in football with the guys I’ve worked so hard with for the past four years. That’s something I really want to do.” There was no mention of crushing records or illuminating stat sheets.
Fromm is now ninth on the single game passing list 510 and according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association website, the Bears’ senior QB has more games with over 400 yards passing (8) in his career than anyone in Georgia high school sports history. The next closest player only has 4 games over 400 yards. He is one of only two players to pass for over 10,000 career yards in Georgia.
He is also currently less than a thousand yards (964) away from breaking the career passing record (13,077) of current Clemson QB DeShaun Watson. Hocofootball.com has Fromm’s current career yardage at 12,113 This means that Fromm will have to average 482 yards per game in the final two games of the season if the Bears don’t make the playoffs.
Neither breaking the record or making the playoffs will be easy for Fromm and his team. The last two contests of the year are against two of the most successful football programs in Georgia, Northside (WR) and Valdosta.
Fromm, if given the choice between breaking the GHSA career passing record or his team making the playoffs, it would be the latter. If a record falls it will be a result of what he wants for his team and not for himself.
For the record, that’s what makes him special.