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Enlighten Me: William Penn students dive into sports data

Courtesy: William Penn Sports Analytics Club
Umar Khan (left) and Tyler Schanzenbach (right) display their work

In this week’s Enlighten Me - we introduce you to Umar Khan and Tyler Schanzenbach, two William Penn High School students making a name for themselves in the world of sports analytics.

A new baseball season is nearly here and one of the things that fans of the national pastime have always enjoyed – and at times obsessed over – is the host of statistics that go with the game.  They range from the traditional batting average, home runs, strikeouts and ERA to newer ones like walks and hit per inning pitched (WHIP), and wins above replacement (WAR). 

And in recent years, those statistics have really started to shape the game. Use of analytics to rate players is used much more to help teams decide how to build their rosters.

It’s so prevalent that it’s even finding its way into schools.  Take William Penn High School, which under the guidance of a teacher, Jesse McNulty, started its own sports analytics club two years ago.  Two students in that club, Umar Khan and Tyler Schanzenbach, produced work so impressive for the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks – a summer collegiate team – that they're headed to next month’s Carolinas Sports Analytics Meeting at Furman University to present it.

Credit via William Penn Sports Analytics Clucb
A summary of Umar Khan and Tyler Schanzenbach's work so for the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks.

They also have a GoFundMe page up and running to help pay for their trip to next month’s Carolinas Sports Analytics Meeting – you can find that at the William Penn Sports Analytics Club website.