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The Gridiron Digest


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  1. Pioneer and their former coach Mike Johnson are talked about nation wide in Wing-T circles. Throw in some the talent and toughness of Royal Center kids........😍 Then Coach Berry added some nice wrinkle with Option and Shotgun Variations to highlight the talent he had.
  2. From what I understand, they ran a version of the Full T? (Double TEs, 3 Backs) You only have to look a little bit to the north to find some schools that are really, really good in it. Zeeland West's HC Jon Schilito has won 4 state titles and 300+ games in it. Hudsonville Unity Christian just set the state scoring record with it (803 in a 14 game schedule). 1 formation, ball in the air 4-6 times a game. It doesn't look like what people watch on Saturdays and Sundays and so they don't like. Pioneer runs the Delaware Wing-T, and you see some other Indiana Teams dabble with Wing T concepts. Plymouth ran some T in the last 00s, last I've seen Full House T in Indiana was Dave Sharpe at Laporte. Is he running it at Noblesville? Michigan has more T and Wing-T.....Indiana seems to have more Option. It's been interesting to compare HS football in the 2 states during my time in each.
  3. Now lets compare teacher's pay to others with Bachelor's or Master's Degrees..............or anyone in the Education field that is in charge of Dozens or Hundreds of individuals and compare their salary to someone in the private sector who is in charge of a similar amount of people.............😕
  4. I think your spot on with this. Who the Administrators are has also changed over time. When I started teaching, Principals and Athletic Directors were often veteran teacher coaches that chose to go the Admin route for the last 5-10 years of their career in order to boost their salary #s for retirement. More recently I've worked for administrators that have never coached, and many taught less then 5 years before they came to the conclusions you mentioned above. So what does that mean?...........It means that often the people calling the shots in our schools have less experience and a narrower view than most of the people that they govern. This will only get worse as teacher pay scales have now changed to stop giving credit for Master's degrees and years of experience. That will either push more very young teachers into Administration before they are ready to increase their salary AND/OR create a shortage of teachers with a Master's in Administration. This creates a real talent gap for admin jobs. 15 years ago a lot of veteran teachers had a masters in ed leadership that they obtained in order to move up the pay scale, even if at the time they obtained it they never thought they would use.........and as a result you saw 50+ applicants for principal jobs.....fast forward to 2022 where there is no incentive for teachers to obtain their masters combined with nasty parents and the general attack on public education that you see in many places and forms around our country and those jobs are now getting 5-15 applicants. So now the people that are doing the hiring in schools often lack the experience to See the big picture of coaching hires being good for kids and school culture See beyond the interview to what the individual can actually bring to the position Not be intimidated by someone recommending a candidate to them (because they see taking input as a sign of weakness when it should be viewed as a strength) This truly is a multi-tiered problem.
  5. Teaching is harder than it's ever been and teacher pay in Indiana doesn't compare well to surrounding states. Many schools haven't redone their coaching pay scales in 20+ years (hard to up coaching pay when teacher pay is lagging so far behind). Finding assistant coaches is harder than ever as the number of young people entering education continues to decline. Then there is the expectation by parents that with 2 assistants at the school and with your $7000 stipend that the program should resemble a small college, all while being one of the most widely criticized humans in a given school district............. it becomes a less and less attractive job every year. Some schools invest more than others and are rewarded with a stable coaching staff and with that stability often comes success. Other schools choose to constantly band aid the situation and ignore the facts of what it takes to run a competitive program in 2022. Those places will continue to struggle.
  6. Their are Ten Conferences of 8 Man Football in Michigan Here is a link to their historical results Lots of schools up here play 8 man, but it hasn't panned out how I think some intended it to. A lot of communities hope that 8 man football will help a struggling 11 man program "gain traction" and then when numbers increase, the school will go back to 11 man football. To my knowledge that has never happened. Once you make the choice to go to the 8 man format, it seems to be a forever type decision.
  7. Seems like a great small school job! BUT....sometimes those small schools struggle to come up with a teaching or admin job that would "fit" a football coach well.
  8. Agreed with Marshall County, sometimes we discuss HS football staff like its college football. 95% of HS are going to take whatever help they can get. Schools are handcuffed by what teaching jobs are open, and even if their is an open job.......how many coaches are uprooting their family to go from being and assistant at 1 HS to being an assistant at another? The scenario gets a little different around big metropolitan areas where assistants might flip flop to coach with a buddy 15 minutes away at another HS........but isn't that weird for that coach if they are a teacher. Teach kids all day that your going to coach against on Friday night......not a great scenario!
  9. That New Prairie to Wawasee Drive...........🤢
  10. Perceived head injuries (lots of HS sports with higher concussion rates), the pandemic taught everybody that doing nothing was easier than doing something, travel sports, sports specialization, changing demographics, lack of coaches in buildings, growing gap between schools that compete and those that offer the sport for participation, etc It has all got to play a role, right?
  11. If Warsaw ever left, would that make a smaller school like a Jimtown feel more comfortable joining the NLC? Knowing they don't have to play a 6A school in Warsaw.
  12. It seems like Mishawaka will always have a punchers chance at a conference title in the NLC, even in a "down" year for the cavemen where they might lose to Marian and Elkhart in Non-Conference games but then still be a factor in the NLC race. Not sure if they would view the NIC the same way.
  13. Does this say more good at John Glenn moving forward or more bad about Plymouth?
  14. What's hard to get away from is that players feel protected by their helmet. MOST of the time, they can let their head get involved in a hit or a tackle with no major ramifications. Rugby, due to the lack of helmets is not the same way. Get your head involved in the tackle and immediate pain and probably stitches is sure to follow.
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