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DrivenT

Is Laporte looking east to The NIC?

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I read on The GID today that Laporte has scheduled a home and home with Penn for the 2019-2020 seasons.  

My immediate thought?

This is the Slicers first step towards an eventual move to the Northern Indiana Conference.

It also has the deep imprint of Slicer Head Coach Dave Sharpe, who has deep roots in the South Bend area.

Laporte football has really come on strong in the past 5 years, and arguably is the strongest program currently in the Duneland Conference.  No doubt, the NIC would love to have them.  With Laporte opening with NIC teams Penn and New Prairie, you've got to wonder if they might be thinking down the road at a better overall conference fit.

The downtrodden condition of DAC football may also be a factor relative to Laporte's future conference affiliation.

If the Slicers do go, I would not be surprised if they asked Michigan City to come along for the ride as well.

Munster would be a logical candidate to join the DAC as a potential replacement, with Lowell as an additional possible future DAC member.

This would mean the end of the Northwest Crossroads, and a possible reunification of the Hammond schools with the NCC holdovers.

 

 

 

 

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What’s interesting to me about LaPorte football is that they’ve done it in a way that is exactly opposite the direction most other high school programs are going. Instead of spreading it out and throwing it, they are going full house, double tight, and just pounding it. Really throwback football. Sort of refreshing...

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23 minutes ago, DrivenT said:

I read on The GID today that Laporte has scheduled a home and home with Penn for the 2019-2020 seasons.  

My immediate thought?

This is the Slicers first step towards an eventual move to the Northern Indiana Conference.

It also has the deep imprint of Slicer Head Coach Dave Sharpe, who has deep roots in the South Bend area.

Laporte football has really come on strong in the past 5 years, and arguably is the strongest program currently in the Duneland Conference.  No doubt, the NIC would love to have them.  With Laporte opening with NIC teams Penn and New Prairie, you've got to wonder if they might be thinking down the road at a better overall conference fit.

The downtrodden condition of DAC football may also be a factor relative to Laporte's future conference affiliation.

If the Slicers do go, I would not be surprised if they asked Michigan City to come along for the ride as well.

Munster would be a logical candidate to join the DAC as a potential replacement, with Lowell as an additional possible future DAC member.

This would mean the end of the Northwest Crossroads, and a possible reunification of the Hammond schools with the NCC holdovers.

 

 

This has been discussed before on this board, and I know you're just trying to get a conversation started DT, but the answer is no.  There is no way that this will happen.

 

 

13 minutes ago, bobref said:

What’s interesting to me about LaPorte football is that they’ve done it in a way that is exactly opposite the direction most other high school programs are going. Instead of spreading it out and throwing it, they are going full house, double tight, and just pounding it. Really throwback football. Sort of refreshing...

 

Calling it "throwback" may be insulting to Coach Sharpe.... there is no throwing in LaPorte!

Unless of course there's 1.5 seconds left and you need a TD against your biggest rival. :07_v:

Edited by slicer28

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I don't see it happening either. Really what they have done is put two great football teams on their schedule, and the schools are very close geographically. Now that I think about it they are the NIC North and South champions. I think you are trying to draw conclusions from nothing, but I'm fine with that. It keeps things interesting.

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The Duneland has been a pretty air-tight in terms of adding or subtracting teams since Lake Central replaced Hobart in 2003. I think LaPorte has enjoyed and benefitted in many sports from competing in the Duneland. They have tremendous appeal in almost all sports to stay with their Central Time Zone brethren in Lake and Porter County. 

LaPorte bouncing east would definitely be a catalyst for major conference restructuring in the region, and I would agree Munster is probably the most likely candidate to replace LaPorte in that circumstance but if LP leaves then what does Michigan City do? The Northwest Crossroads conference will likely be adding teams like Hanover Central, Boone Grove, or Wheeler if it wants to survive.

I think Griffith's decision to join the GSSC after winning the conference football title definitely took everyone in the region by surprise, but this is a case where the AD of the school is looking past football. Thats where the DAC wins in this debate...the other sports where the DAC routinely sends teams and individuals to the state championships and they don't have to hassle with the time zone business. 

Edited by silvertone1696

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Should this happen, and it won’t, the NCC will live on.  Should Munster bolt, they could easily replaced with Hanover, Wheeler, and/or Morton.

Edited by Gipper

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Hammond Morton has had the option of going to the NCC for years, and they haven't made the leap in favor of staying together with Gavit, Clark, and Hammond High. 

 

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2 minutes ago, silvertone1696 said:

Hammond Morton has had the option of going to the NCC for years, and they haven't made the leap in favor of staying together with Gavit, Clark, and Hammond High. 

 

Morton would join the NCC in a heartbeat.  They just cant get the invite.  The suburban schools (Highland/Munster/Lowell/KV) like to play Morton in regular season non con, but dont want them in the conference.  Sounds very hypocritical to me.  

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1 hour ago, slicer28 said:

 

This has been discussed before on this board, and I know you're just trying to get a conversation started DT, but the answer is no.  There is no way that this will happen.

 

 

 

Calling it "throwback" may be insulting to Coach Sharpe.... there is no throwing in LaPorte!

Unless of course there's 1.5 seconds left and you need a TD against your biggest rival. :07_v:

Unless you are an insider (AD/Admin, etc) ,never say never.  Griffith absolutely shocked the NCC when they announced they were leaving.  Franklin Central did the same when they announced their plan to leave Conference Indiana for the Hoosier Crossroads.  

Schools like to keep these things under wraps as along as possible.  The wild card here is Dave Sharpe, and his ties to Jimtown, the NIC and the South Bend / Mishawaka area.  

I believe Michigan City will follow Laporte, whether they stay or leave.  

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Speaking of Laporte, the Chicago Tribune has a nice article about their football team/Jake Thode & the O-line with their 413yd per game rushing average.

FWIW, I don't see the Slicers leaving the DAC anytime soon, but I do think it's good for both programs to get Penn added to their schedule.

Here is the article from last night I was referring to.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/sports/ct-ptb-mike-hutton-column-st-1027-20171026-story.html

Edited by NRRaider2001
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12 hours ago, DrivenT said:

Morton would join the NCC in a heartbeat.  They just cant get the invite.  The suburban schools (Highland/Munster/Lowell/KV) like to play Morton in regular season non con, but dont want them in the conference.  Sounds very hypocritical to me.  

Too bad really, Hessville is actually quite nice.  I would also be happy if they went the other way and picked up Rensselaer.

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2 minutes ago, Gipper said:

Too bad really, Hessville is actually quite nice.  I would also be happy if they went the other way and picked up Rensselaer.

And the Hammond school system has previously taken the position that it will not permit the 4 City high schools to join separate conferences.

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24 minutes ago, bobref said:

And the Hammond school system has previously taken the position that it will not permit the 4 City high schools to join separate conferences.

Wow.  Unfortunate.

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1 hour ago, NRRaider2001 said:

Speaking of Laporte, the Chicago Tribune has a nice article about their football team/Jake Thode & the O-line with their 413yd per game rushing average.

FWIW, I don't see the Slicers leaving the DAC anytime soon, but I do think it's good for both programs to get Penn added to their schedule.

Here is the article from last night I was referring to.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/sports/ct-ptb-mike-hutton-column-st-1027-20171026-story.html

Great article.  Jake is a great kid.  Trust me, people who know what they are watching notice him!  He's a beast!

Edited by slicer28

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36 minutes ago, Gipper said:

Wow.  Unfortunate.

Hammond High School on the west side is obsolete and dilapidated, and will be replaced with a new building over the next few years.

Morton will continue to anchor the east side.

Word is that Gavit (south side) will be converted to a middle school, leaving Clark to service the north side of town.

 

This needs to happen for many reasons, as there is no need for 4 full service high schools given the current and projected population.  

 

I would expect some type of merger between the 3 remaining Hammond schools and the northern tier NCC schools in the future.  The departure of Griffith has destabilized the NCC, and the other schools are keeping their options open to protect their own self interests.  Rightly so.    The schools mentioned as possible NCC replacements (Wheeler/Hanover Central) are not within the competitive profile of the current NCC schools.  

Edited by DrivenT
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DT, as always, you're obsessed wtih the Eastern wall of the DAC eventually leaving. I don't think it'll ever happen. If anything, I think it would be more likely to eventually see the DAC/NIC merger work next time it's discussed. What was the holdup last time? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the DAC was only open to taking Penn and Mishawaka and those two didn't want to leave Elkhart Central.

 

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13 hours ago, DrivenT said:

Unless you are an insider (AD/Admin, etc) ,never say never.  Griffith absolutely shocked the NCC when they announced they were leaving.  Franklin Central did the same when they announced their plan to leave Conference Indiana for the Hoosier Crossroads.  

Schools like to keep these things under wraps as along as possible.  The wild card here is Dave Sharpe, and his ties to Jimtown, the NIC and the South Bend / Mishawaka area.  

I believe Michigan City will follow Laporte, whether they stay or leave.  

Coach Sharpe is a great coach and the football program has made a lot of headlines the past few years, but there would be way more to consider than just the football program.  From a football program perspective it makes no sense for LaPorte to leave the DAC.  Just looking at football the DAC will provide a far better preparation for a 5A playoff schedule (which is likely where LaPorte will be staying for the foreseeable future) than the NIC would.  In addition, there are long standing rivalries with just about every DAC team (other than maybe Lake Central).  Those rivalries drive ticket sales for football, basketball and to a lesser extent baseball.

No, I'm not an administrator/AD/Supt/etc.... but I know most of those people personally and I'm just saying.  It's not happening.

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3 minutes ago, Boilernation said:

DT, as always, you're obsessed wtih the Eastern wall of the DAC eventually leaving. I don't think it'll ever happen. If anything, I think it would be more likely to eventually see the DAC/NIC merger work next time it's discussed. What was the holdup last time? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the DAC was only open to taking Penn and Mishawaka and those two didn't want to leave Elkhart Central.

 

I believe the time difference, and it’s impact on travel in all sports is viewed as a significant barrier.

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7 minutes ago, Boilernation said:

DT, as always, you're obsessed wtih the Eastern wall of the DAC eventually leaving. I don't think it'll ever happen. If anything, I think it would be more likely to eventually see the DAC/NIC merger work next time it's discussed. What was the holdup last time? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the DAC was only open to taking Penn and Mishawaka and those two didn't want to leave Elkhart Central.

 

The DAC was in a much stronger position back then when it was pursuing Penn and Mishawaka.

That has changed dramatically.  

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2 minutes ago, DrivenT said:

The DAC was in a much stronger position back then when it was pursuing Penn and Mishawaka.

That has changed dramatically.  

Based on football? Baseball, basketball, softball, soccer, etc., are all still strong in the DAC. Especially in the western block.

 

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Agree on all your points.

As I mentioned, Sharpe is the wild card in this whole discussion.

If you were in his shoes, which conference would you rather be in?

 

 

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4 minutes ago, DrivenT said:

Agree on all your points.

As I mentioned, Sharpe is the wild card in this whole discussion.

If you were in his shoes, which conference would you rather be in?

 

 

A single coach doesn't wield that kind of influence in LaPorte.  Not since Ken Schreiber.  Maybe 25 years ago if he had insisted that LaPorte change conferences it may have been considered.

There is far more to this than high school sports.  LaPorte as a community and county identifies as part of the "region" for many reasons.  One of them being economic.  The community ties itself to the west.  Not to South Bend/St. Joseph County.

 

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I think that the culture of The Region has changed.  And perception about "Region Football", "Region Toughness" and "Region Grit" has also changed.

Forever I believe.

Its a much softer, white collar area now than it was during the blue collar manufacturing decades of the 50s, 60s and 70s.  Its also much more ethnically diverse, which is fueling the declines in football participation.  

The DAC is a conference of convenience for Laporte.  Everything fits together perfectly.  Scheduling is easy.  Its like a country club.  

The NIC is much more diverse, with haughty country club (Penn), hard nosed blue collar (Mishawaka/Elkhart Central) inner city (South Bend schools)  private (St Joe/Marian) and pesky over achievers (New Prairie/Jimtown)  

Laporte's desire to be affiliated with "the Chicago crowd" on the west side of the DAC may not be today what it was in the past.

Its just not the same place.  

 

 

Edited by DrivenT

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