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South Kitsap grad aims to capture school’s football history with book
It is America's favorite game, where seemingly every accomplishment is recorded — often in immense detail.
Except high schools.
Chuck Bauman, a 1979 South Kitsap graduate, said he began to compile the Wolves' records because "you cannot really find anything on the high school."
"There's a lot of urban myths about a guy who had a 500-yard passing game," Bauman said. "He really didn't."
Bauman, 51, had a different vision than simply dispelling myths, though. He has served as South's football statistician since 2008 and wants to create a detailed record of the program's history. The Wolves already have a comprehensive breakdown of scores from every game — and each team's seniors — through Andy Brown's SouthKitsapWolves.com website.
But Bauman said he wants to make sure each score is accurate.
For example, the website lists the final score of South's 1981 game as 34-13, while Bauman has it as 34-14.
His breakdown of each game goes even further as it lists not only the final result, but a box score with individual statistics. Bauman has culled many of those results from local newspapers, but found that the Kitsap Sun only ran scores from many games in the 1980s, while the Port Orchard Independent lost many of its archives during a 1987 fire that destroyed the building.
That means Bauman plans extra time whenever he travels somewhere. When his son, Chas, competed in the javelin for the Wolves in April at the Larry Eason Invitational in Snohomish, Bauman used it as an opportunity to visit the school's library, where he found details from South's 1951 football game there. He does most of his research from November through March.
"I've never met anyone that is so into that," former South football coach D.J. Sigurdson said.
Bauman has made similar expeditions to other places and eventually plans to visit the Washington State Library in Olympia, which has a microfilm collection that consists of more than 40,000 reels of newspapers dating to the 1850s. Beyond game scores, Bauman said he does not have much data from 1921, which is when the school opened, to 1949.
He has set a deadline of 2020, which will be the school's 100th football season, to complete his project. Bauman already has a binder that features more than 300 pages of content. His ultimate vision is to create a media guide akin to the ones college football programs used to produce on a yearly basis. Bauman's would consist of single-game, season and career records — along with high-school mug shots of those record-setting players, similar to those featured in old University of Washington media guides — and others specific to the Wolves' program, such as "Gold Helmet" winners, which are awarded to players who earn 15 or more "hashmarks" per year. Hashmarks are rated in several ways on offense, defense and special teams, but roughly are awarded for physical, legal hits.
Through his research — Bauman has collected most of the school's football programs since the early 1980s — he has most of that data as the Gold Helmet winners were a tradition started by former coach Ed Fisher in the 1970s. He learned they initially were referred to as "Black Helmet" recipients until Fisher changed the color scheme.
It is details such as those that are important to Bauman, an aviation fuel specialist at Naval Base Kitsap. He said his own personality characteristics are part of the reason he was drawn to the project.
"I'm very black and white," Bauman said. "If you try and push me, I dig my heels in."
But that is not the only consideration. While the Wolves became one of the state's most successful programs in the 1980s and '90s under Fisher, they struggled to gain consistency in his early seasons. South had just a 12-14 record during Bauman's three years in the program. He broke both feet — once simply by walking down the steps at the high school — and tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Those injuries kept him from playing a down during his final two seasons.
"I was always hurt," Bauman said. "It helps fill that void."
While injuries, which he attributed mostly to growing seven inches to 6 foot 1 by his senior year, limited his production as a wide receiver and safety, Bauman said they did not quell his appreciation toward the program and its coaches.
"There's lessons they teach you and it's not just about football," he said.
Bauman felt compelled to give back for those reasons. Sigurdson, who coached the program from 1997 to 2011, said he felt fortunate to have someone as detailed as Bauman compiling statistics.
"His mathematical and engineering background come through," he said. He's very logical."
Bauman is a stickler for accuracy. Since he became the school's statistician in 2008, he has used the NCAA guideline manual. That means two players who converge on a quarterback are not both credited with a sack and tackle numbers are not grossly inflated. Bauman even reviews game tape before he finalizes statistics.
He hopes it culminates in an accurate and comprehensive compilation of the Wolves' history that can be maintained once he relinquishes his statistician role. Bauman grew up in the community and was able to share the stories of some of the school’s legendary football figures, such as Fisher and Maynard Lundberg.
"The community is getting more and more people that never went to South," Bauman said. "I want to try and keep records updated so the history never goes away."