There is little doubt that Baker School tailback D.J. Thomas is enjoying a stellar senior season. Thomas has amassed more than 1,108 yards rushing and scored 19 touchdowns after six weeks of the 2013 season.
In other words, through six games, Thomas was averaging 184.7 yards and just less than three touchdowns a game — and he accomplished that despite being limited to nine carries against Holmes County, 12 carries against Freeport and 15 carries against North Bay.
Thomas' 17 touchdowns match the total he scored in 10 games last year.
If Thomas continues on his current rushing and scoring pace — and the Gators make it to the state championship game, which would be the season’s 14th game — he would finish the year with 2,585 yards rushing and 40 touchdowns.
Where would an almost 2,600-yard season place him among the all-time state leaders? That's a question that's easier asked than answered.
I've done a lot of research and found two players — Derrick Henry of Yulee and Travis Henry of Frostproof — who rushed for more than 4,000 yards in one year.
As far as I can tell, the players are not related and Derrick Henry ran 4,265 yards last season. Travis Henry had 4,087 yards in 1996.
The fact is, school records are difficult enough to track and state and national high school records are harder to find.
Whereas most colleges and all the pros can count on staffs of professionals to keep records in order, high school records often get lost from one coaching staff to the next. Newspapers help somewhat, but those of us covering high school sports often have to rely on coaches to get us the stats from games we miss and there can be gaps in those records.
I've found that longtime coaches who attended the school where they coach can often help fill in the blanks, but that's no guarantee either.
Back in 1994, while working for a Tennessee paper, I covered a game in which Sweetwater High School tailback Heath Hawkins rushed for 360 yards that night. I had only been on the job a few weeks and I didn't realize it was a single-game school record.
The following Monday, the advertising director, who also was the Sweetwater head coach’s wife, ripped into me for not crediting Hawkins with his record. Since she seemed to know it was a record, I asked her whose record Hawkins broke and she couldn't tell me.
I checked with the coaches at the school, the team radio guy and just about everyone else other than the kid working the drive-thru at fast food place. Everyone I asked was certain that Hawkins set the record that night, but nobody knew who held the previous record or what is was.
I've been around the area long enough to see Cameron Domangue rush for something like 1,700 yards as a senior at Baker in 2008, but I don't know if that's the school record.
If Thomas can avoid the injury bug, continue on his torrid pace and the Gators make the playoffs, he could easily surpass the 2,000-yard mark this season.
It will be fun to see how the season plays out for Thomas and the Gators — and what records he might set along the way.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.