The new buzz word in regard to athletic competition over the past several years is analytics. Webster’s dictionary defines analytics as the information resulting from the systematic analysis of data or statistics.
Some say the use of analytics helps a team play to their fullest capacity. Others say that by making decision based only on statistics that it ruins the game.
Then there are others, mostly those from the “old school” that don’t care one way or the other about analytics. They know that while stats are good to know that what makes a winner is what is inside a player. How much effort does a player give? How encouraging is a player to their teammates? How many times are they willing to sacrifice their body to help save a play? To sum it up, how much heart does a player have? These are things that can’t be measured but are easily noticed.
It is those intangibles that sets Bethany Leach of Quitman High apart from the others. They are the main reason that she has been selected as the Female Athlete of the Year and will be honored at the annual Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet that will be held on October 1st in the Family Life Center of the First Baptist Church in Jonesboro.
For the record, if you are of the persuasion to look only at the analytics, Leach easily qualifies for the selection in that regard as well. Since being inserted into the starting lineup in the opening game of district play when she was only in the eighth grade, Leach has earned first team All-District honors. That ties her with only one other QHS girls basketball player in the last 20 years to have accomplished such a feat and barring any unforeseen injuries next year will certainly become a five time designee.
At the school awards banquet last year, Leach was named as the top Offensive Specialist for the third year in a row and led her team in Assists and Free Throw Percentage. As a 10th grader she led the Lady Wolverines in two-point field goal percentage and overall field goal percentage. Analytics anyone?
Basketball is just one of Leach’s talents. She also excels in track and field. This past year Leach helped her team earn point in the state meet by running legs in he 4×100 and 4×200 meter relays. As a junior she won the Outstanding Field Event Performer Award despite severely injuring her ankle prior to the district track meet. Perhaps most remarkable is that while in the 8th grade she ran cross country, participated in the state meet as a member of the 4×400 relay team and even won third in state in the long jump on her way to being named Team Track MVP.
Is analytics applicable to the classroom as well? If so, Leach meets the criteria there as well having compiled a perfect 4.0 grade point average for four straight years. That includes being a member of the prestigious BETA Club.
What sets Leach apart has nothing to do with the things that can be measured, but by what can’t. Analytics will tell you she is only a little over five feet tall. What can’t be measured is the size of her heart for winning and willingness to be a leader through a tremendous work ethic. In this she is a giant.
Maybe that is the result of her father also being her coach. Not only a coach but an “old school” coach who was around when teaching a player what it meant to be a winner had nothing to do with crunching numbers and pouring over statistics. Like father, like daughter!
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One thought on “JP Sports Hall of Fame names Bethany Leach as 2021-22 QHS Female Athlete of the Year”
A well-deserved honor for a very special young woman! 💛🙏🌻
Mr. Tim and Mrs. Kaye