Gerald Doolittle featured in Augusta Chronicle

This Sunday's Augusta Paper had in depth interview and story on oru very own Gerald Doolittle. The story highlights his involvement in High School Sports, his love of the game and his encyclopedic knowledge of High School Football in the Palmetto State. We are proud of Gerald and are very fortunate to have him as part of SC Pigskin Prep.

History of S.C. high school football kept by a      

Statistician who ‘Doodles'

 

By Lane Kramer

Staff Writer

 

The Wardlaw Academy football team has a secret weapon.

It is not coach Hubert Morris, who coached Strom Thurmond to a state championship in 1968 and Wardlaw to its first South Carolina Independent School Association eight-man football title in 1999.

It is not Andrew Doran, Kevin Molony or Will Bryan, players who have posted impressive numbers in guiding the Patriots to a 11-0 record this season, including seven shutouts entering Friday's playoff opener against Andrew Jackson.

Wardlaw's man behind the scenes is team statistician, historian and all-around sports guru Gerald Doolittle.  He also serves as the school's librarian and as the public address announcer during all home football and basketball games.

Mr. Doolittle is not your ordinary team statistician.  He has made sports statistics his life's work.

He is thought to have the most comprehensive records of South Carolina high school data in  existence.  His "Doodles Doodles" power rankings of every high school football team in the state, which he started in 1967, appear on Dave Pickren's scpigskinpreps.com Web site.

Mr. Doolittle is proud of his statistical accomplishments, but he gets more gratification from helping young people.

During his tenure at Wardlaw the school has produced numerous athletes who have gone on to further success in college sports, such as Nancy Derrick, Chris Yonce, Ryght Jordan and Ryan Molony.

"There's a lesson to learn at all athletic events," Mr. Doolittle said.  "If you think really hard, it will help you somewhere down the line.  I give a shoulder to the students when they need it.  If you let them know you love them, the best will come out of them."

Mr. Doolittle said he has made predictions on more than 48,000 games since he started Doodles Doodles, and he has been correct 78 percent of the time.  He has even kept track of how many games he has kept statistics for – 5,643 to date.

"He is very valuable in many different ways," Mr. Morris said. "It would be very hard to tell what went on if we didn't have Gerald.  He knows all the ins and outs about the football program.  It would be strange not to have Gerald around."

Mr. Doolittle remembers the first game he recorded statistics for as a 10-year –old in 1953.

"We were the third household in Edgefield to get a TV," he said.  "It was a North Carolina-North Carolina State football game.  I got a note pad out and just started doing it."

And since then, he has never stopped.

While attending Edgefield High School and Strom Thurmond in the early 1960s, he kept stats at virtually all of the schools' football games.

After earning a degree from Palmer College in Augusta in 1964, he worked as a shipping manager for a plant in Edgefield before becoming a substitute teacher at Wardlaw during the 1980s and its librarian in 1999.  All during that time he could be spotted at many sporting events in Edgefield County and beyond (especially football games), recording the data that he provides for the coaches and saves in a file cabinet at home.

Mr. Pickren was starting his Web site two years ago when he first met Mr. Doolittle, who he had been told had encyclopedic knowledge of South Carolina high school football.

"Orangeburg-Wilkinson played Union for the Class AAAA state championship in 1971," Mr. Pickren said.  "The final score was 13-13, and right off the top of his head he went into a three-minute explanation of how they decided who the winner was.  He remembered vivid details, and he wasn't even there."

The two have compiled a database that includes every South Carolina high school football score since 1958.

 

Reach Lane Kramer at (803) 648-1395 or

lanekramer@hotmail.com


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