Will Grier’s all-time national passing records may not be recorded because of a bureaucratic technicality
On Friday, North Carolina quarterback Will Grier achieved something almost unthinkable, setting a national record for passing yardage in a single game with 834 and tying existing marks with 10 touchdowns. There's now video highlights of Grier's game thanks to MaxPreps, too. In the days since his remarkable performance, there has been no debating the merits of Grier's incredible accomplishment.
Nonetheless, it now appears that Grier's national-record performance may not end up in the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) record book after all, for truly unsatisfying reasons: The governing body that oversees Grier's team, Davidson (N.C.) Day School, isn't the officially recognized body for the state by the NFHS.
The rather significant footnote to Grier's remarkable statline was first raised by News & Observer columnist Tim Stevens, who noted that the NFHS record book only tracks performances from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA). Davidson Day competes in the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA). Because Grier's performance came in a game that was outside the umbrella of the officially recognized state body for sports, the NCHSAA would have to officially recognize that Grier's all-time best game occurred for it to then be recognized on a national level.
The odds of that happening aren't good at all. John Gillis is the editor of the NFHS record book, and he told Stevens that he does not expect the NCHSAA to recognize Grier's feat.
As a result, the most impressive quarterback performance in high school football history may not be remembered as officially happening in the years ahead.
Before the world lashes out at the NFHS and Gillis in particular, the organization has valid reasons for hesitating to recognize Grier's record. Without standards over what constitutes a valid high school athletic association all sorts of wild records would probably be put forth for certification.
There's little question that the NCISAA is a completely valid athletic body, but even that doesn't guarantee that it competes on a level playing field with the NCHSAA, which holds priority as the official NCHSAA member.
According to Stevens, even the North Carolina High School Recordbook likely won't accept Grier's 10 touchdowns and 824 yards as official records.
Nonetheless, it's hard to argue that Grier racked up the stats in anything but a truly competitive contest. His Davidson Day team pulled out a 104-80 playoff victory against Harrells (N.C.) Christian Academy. Both teams featured full squads with impressive records. The loss concluded Harrells' season at 9-3 while Davidson Day improved to 10-2.
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Think about that: Grier tossed 10 touchdowns against a nine-win team!
"It is harder and harder to maintain a level playing field," Gillis told the News & Observer. "Everyone wants the record book to treat everyone fairly, but there are some tough decisions."
In this case, those decisions apparently include eliminating one of the greatest performances in high school history from the very book where everyone would look for it. Whether that constitutes a case of an organization cutting off its nose to spite one's face is for fans to decide for themselves. In the meantime, the NCISAA does not have an official record book of it's own, either. As Steven's noted, perhaps it's time that it start one.
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