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  1. Marion graduated almost all of their defensive starters. They will be good and have a high power offense. Will be a good test for Eastbrook. Next year Marion opens against Eastbrook and then plays Mississinewa in week 2. Preseason IFCA poll has Marion as #1 in 4A and Mississinewa as #9 in 4A. It is interesting that both teams received 1 vote each for #1. Eastbrook is #2 in 2A.
  2. Mississinewa opens against Pendleton Heights and then in week 2 plays New Haven. Both very good football teams. Eastbrook opens against Marion at Marion. Both will be tested early. Marion is currently ranked #1 in 4A by MaxPreps. Hopefully Ole Miss and Eastbrook can pull out the victories.
  3. Hopefully with these types of numbers Frankton might be able to go 2 platoon, something that Mississinewa hasn't been able to do. Being able to give kids breaks during the games reduces injuries and pays off in the end.
  4. Skeens is going to play football at Wabash College. Not sure if he is going to be moving to wideout or to DB. He did play as a wideout in the North/South All Star game. McCoin was recruited to play football but chose to play baseball at Indiana Tech. He will be a sophomore at Indiana Tech this fall. Eastbrook has the philosophy of "we don't rebuild we reload" and it has worked very well. They lost a lot yes, but they return a lot as well. Some will change position or even play more at one of the positions they played last year. They will still be strong and fast. May not be as big as last year up front but will still have some size. Mississinewa will be huge up front this year compared to the last couple of years. They may be as big up front as the 2017 team when 3 or 4 the lineman were right at or over 300lbs. They return both Campbell boys that have speed. The QB position will be the tough spot to fill and may be QB by situation and opponent. They may be more of a running team this year than the last two again depending on the QB. Funk returns at LB where he was underclassman All State last year. Cade Campbell and Funk both have the potential to be All State this year. Ole Miss has around 13 or 14 Seniors and many of them this will be their 3rd year of Varsity playing time. Mississinewa also is getting into the philosophy "reload not rebuild." Oak Hill returns some players but also will have some new faces in the lineup. They have holes to fill and may be the sleeper in the conference. Blackford will be the team in the CIC that will challenge both Mississinewa and Eastbrook for the CIC title. With the Mississinewa/Eastbrook game being early in the season Blackford could be playing for at least a share CIC Championship when they play Mississinewa the final game of the season. Coach Sehy is showing what he can do. He started MG in the right direction and left for Marion but the Marion politics didn't agree with the way he was doing things. The kids are buying into his system and it shows. Blackford will not be the "pushover easy win" like Mississinewa and Eastbrook have been used to. Blackford may take both teams to the wire to decide the winner. Madison Grant hopefully the numbers are up from last year so players can get a break during the game. Being the lone 1A team in the conference they will struggle against everybody purely because of the depth of the other teams in the CIC. However, because of the CIC play they will be prepared for the post-season so they will probably finish towards the bottom of the conference but should experience post-season success. Elwood has another new coach. This makes their 3rd coach in less than 4 years. They will struggle again this year and may not win a game as they rebuild under the new coach that was recently hired. Just have to wonder what type of summer program they had this year? Alexandria could be another spoiler in the conference and surprise some teams. They have had talent that hasn't produced consistently but when they do produce they have been a dangerous team to play. Frankton will be there with MG and Elwood. They are still trying to figure things out. The days of the Statue of Liberty 20 times a game are gone and the younger kids are slowly forgetting about it. Once they get things in line they could be a team that will give the top teams a run for part of the game. They are still a few years out from competing an entire game with Mississinewa, Blackford, and Eastbrook. Real question is should be with MG dropping to 1A how much longer will they stay in the CIC? Blackford almost left the CIC a couple of years ago and joined another conference with Jay County and Southern Wells until Jay County backed out. Is Blackford still looking to leave the CIC? Mississinewa being the lone 4A and still growing how much longer will they stay in the CIC seeing how they are having success in the CIC in all sports. Eastbrook wants to keep Mississinewa on the schedule no matter what so if Mississinewa leaves will they follow with them? If a school leaves the CIC who would be the replacement school? Lapel? Marion? Western? Eastern? Kokomo-Taylor?
  5. I spoke with an AD last spring about officials for all sports. He said that it is getting harder and harder to find officials for games. He said football isn't as bad as others. He said the hardest sports to find officials are baseball and softball with baseball being the hardest. He said many of the umpires want to do 2 games not 1 in a day. Saturday's usually aren't a problem getting umpires and baseball typically plays a doubleheaders. Softball usually isn't hard finding umpires because there is a typically a Varsity and JV game to umpire. He went on to say that his school installed lights to the baseball and softball fields which has made it easier to get umpires. Baseball and softball usually start at 5 at schools without lights and sometimes even earlier. Many of the licensed umpires work until 4 or 5 so getting to the games before the scheduled start time is difficult for the umpires. He moved all his start times to 6 and is trying to schedule JV/Varsity baseball doubleheaders like softball does and he hopes this solves his umpire issue. In Football varsity games start at 7 or 7:30 typically but when an official has to be there 60 minutes before kickoff and they get off of work a 5 and have an hour drive to the game it makes it difficult on the crew to make sure that they have a full crew for the game. JV football games start at 5:30 and many times there is only 1 game that takes just over an hour to play. Not every school has a freshman team. Some schools have a combined 7/8 grade team and others have a team for each grade. If they have separate 7th and 8th grade teams, then the officials do both games in just over 2 hours some times 3 but the first game starts at 5 or 5:30. Getting younger officials is something that is needed but the younger people that would be interested in officiating have jobs that they don't get off until 5. If the younger people work at a factory they are typically on 2nd or 3rd shift because they don't have the seniority to hold day shift. Perhaps AD's need to look at ways to start games a little later and maybe that would help with getting officials. Another thing that the AD told me is that he has had officials call a day or two before and cancel because they were offered more money by another school for the same date to officiate/umpire a makeup game. AD's complain that some sports aren't making enough to cover the costs of the officials/umpires, playing field preparations, coach's salary, uniforms, etc but when the games start at 4 or 5 due to not having any lights or because "that's when we have always started games for this level" philosophy attendance is down. Who wants to pay to get into a game that starts at 5 and is over by 6:30 when the fan can't get there until 6 because of work and the drive to the game? I am not an official but have considered it but part of my problem is I don't get off of work until 5. Many times I am done with work for the day by 3 or 4 but I have remain available for work until 5. I am also the "on call" person for the medical company that I work for the last half of the month. The other person that I split on call with would cover me but not every night. I could check emails during timeouts, breaks, etc as I have a hour or two to call people back or send someone out so this would be flexible. By the time I get off work at 5, go home to change clothes, grab something to eat, and hit the road to get to a game it's 5:30.
  6. Eastbrook seems to be able to rebuild every year and shouldn't be counted out of leading the CIC. Mississinewa has some holes to fill after the loss of Skeens. They have a good solid running game and the line is large. I think there are 13 or 14 Seniors this year so they should be the team to beat because of being the 4A school in the CIC. Blackford is going to be right behind Ole Miss and Eastbrook. Coach Sehy has the Bruins believing in his system and have made huge improvements in a very short time. MG numbers are still questionable and being a 1A school numbers will be an issue. MG will have a very tough regular season and may have a shot at a very good postseason. Elwood and Frankton well these two still have some work. Seems like Elwood can't keep a coach more than a couple of years. Frankton is still waiting to run the Statue of Liberty a lot. Alexandria could be the team that challenges Blackford for the 3rd spot in the conference. Oak Hill may be the spoiler this year but they are also rebuilding still. Should be a good season and could this be the year that the CIC has 4 teams go past Sectional?
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