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Posts posted by Wedgebuster

  1. This is week 3 in Michigan

    Benton Harbor had a great run a few years back under Elliot Uzelak, but he stepped aside when he confronted admin about the schools extremely low graduation rates, lack of certified teachers, class sizes, etc.  

    They usually have plenty of athletes, until Coach U they have always had a hard time overcoming their own disorganization which is compounded by some of the very tough socio-economic circumstances of their students. 

    School was recently almost shut down, lot of local pride seems to have saved it for the time being. 



    Coach U's parting thoughts 

  2. 2 hours ago, MarshallCounty said:

    It is shameful, I don't know what the answer is. It isn't just a Bremen or Jimtown problem. It is going on everywhere. It also isn't a football only problem, a lot of sports are struggling to fill teams.  I don't know what is causing it or even if there is a solution.

    Lots of other options for kids to entertain themselves in 2019, with more and more parents saying "well I can't make them play if they don't want to...."

    They don't WANT to eat their vegetables or go to sleep either but you make it happen because its good for them.   Drives me insane! 

  3. 22 minutes ago, Bobref said:



    One of the most interesting and enigmatic characters I’ve run across in my 42 seasons of officiating. Inspires absolute loyalty and dedication in his players, and (at least in his younger days) alienates almost everyone else. I believe he’s actually mellowed ... a little. There was a time when my favorite game to officiate in the Region was Griffith vs. Lowell, when coaches Radtke and Kennedy were there. The teams didn’t like one another, the coaching staffs didn’t like one another,  the fans didn’t like each other, just an electric atmosphere whether at the Boneyard or the Inferno. A real challenge to officiate.

    I've always found listening to all the old Radtke stories to be EXTREMELY entertaining.  The Bone Tree, the sideline explosions, the unapologetic way in which he operates. 

    I was at the NP vs St. Joe playoff game in 2013, I think it was the Regional.  NP is up by 2 or 3 TD's going into halftime and Russ is just killing his coaching staff on their way into the locker room.  A complete undressing of adult men.   

    So I see one of his staff members later that year and say "Hey, how is it working for that guy?"  Thinking I would get some dirt,...... I got nothing but a GLOWING report of a man that all he wants is complete dedication and desire for perfection out of his staff and players.   

    I find the chaos that seems to surround him, with the stark contrast of how tough and discipline that his teams play with to be one of the most interesting paradoxes in athletics that I've seen.  

    Anyone care to share some good RR stories? 

  4. 17 hours ago, johnathanspencer said:

    100% of the general funds (salaries and wage related benefits) now comes from Indy.  That was part of Mitch Daniels' property tax reform bill.  Property taxes went down but teacher salaries froze.  Local property taxes can no longer supplement the general fund.

    Many don't understand this.  It has lead to the sad state of Indiana public education.  The pay freeze and no way to climb the latter without increased enrollment is a large part of why I'm no longer a teacher and coach in the great state of Indiana.  Sad that so many don't realize how the system works.  

    • Thanks 1

  5. Sad that no one sees the negative effects of constant teacher turnover.   I taught at my first school for many years, I knew the kids, the brothers, the sisters, parents, coached kids in multiple sports and at multiple levels.  The relationships you develop cannot be understated.  I could get kids to do things they didn't want to do, just because I asked them to, sometimes just with a look.  

    Fast forward, I'm at my 2nd teaching job (in Michigan) and I've only been here a couple of years.   I like the kids and they like me, but its not the same.  Takes years and years to become part of a community or school system that is the community in a lot of rural areas.   Deeply bothers me that those relationships are being robbed from Indiana's youth. 

    • Like 1

  6. It was one reason why my wife and I chose to leave the state.    Love Indiana and Indiana Football, but the teaching load and lack of salary accompanying it weren't something that I wanted to support my family on.    In Michigan, I teach fewer students each day, for $12,000 more a year at a public school, and thats with a pay scale that continues to increase.  The biggest issue for many Indiana schools is that teacher pay is tied to enrollment.  If your a young teacher that gets hired for $35k your school's enrollment is stagnant or shrinking you may never receive a raise.   As a teacher, I've dedicated my life to kids, but I didn't take a vow of poverty nor do I consider myself a missionary.  We are professionals and should be paid accordingly.  Not crazy amounts, but in accordance to the degrees we have and the amount of work that we do. 

    • Like 16

  7. I coach in Michigan now and I really miss the Indiana JV model.   Here, our JV's play after the Freshman on Thursday night.  The same opponent we are going to play on Friday.  Not only does it lock JV football into being for 10th graders who play zero varsity, but it also takes away the emphasis of skill development and getting kids on the field at the JV level.  Usually both varsity staffs are in attendance trying to see how the other team might align in the Friday game.   Also has really made it tough for smaller schools to field 3 levels.  Even if you can have 25 kids out for football as Sophomores,   you can see where if the Varsity "takes" 4 of them, and a few get hurt through the course of the year, your quickly left with 15-19 kids to try to play a JV football game.  Kids are forced to play out of position.   Meanwhile a percentage of juniors spends a lot of that year not playing much at all accept during mop-up time.   Its just soooooo stupid.  

    Great Job on this Indiana!!!1

    • Thanks 1

  8. 1 hour ago, DannEllenwood said:

    There's Catholics in Grand Rapids?  I jest.  I jest.
    Thought they were all Christian Reformed.

    In all seriousness.  I miss the Indiana Catholics.  Tough parents, tough kids, that just happen to like a good time.   In the greater "God Rapids"  area, I really think that Religion and the fear surrounding it makes kids afraid to throw all in and be passionate about something.  We have trouble ever getting our full secondary or set of skill guys at a 7 on 7 because our kids go on multiple mission trips (or lets be honest mission tourism trips) during the summer.  If they don't go, their going to hell, or at least that is what they are led to believe.   We just have a bunch of nice kids that are scared of ever getting too excited about something for fear of getting their wrists slapped.   I teach at a medium sized public school but we are basically a christian school without the bible class.  

    I can't really describe it, but somehow the "vibe" between the two states seems to be very different to me.   Pretty sure if Lowell or West Lafayette tried to be the "Devils" up here parents would move their kids out of district in mass numbers. 

    A fellow Assistant coach on our staff put it best "If one of our kids somehow wandered into a hot piece of a$$, they would have to have their mom blow on it first"  😂

    I'm not saying you need "bad" kids to be good, but I sure would take some right about now! 

    • Haha 2

  9. I think Jimtown to the NLC would have been a decent move (competitive profile of the school and location),  and was my guess to replace Memorial before Mishawaka filled that spot.   New Prairie is a great fit for football, but I don't believe they have a soccer team, don't know about swimming.  Then you have the issue of the NP to Wawasse commute for a Tuesday night girls tennis matchup.  Nobody is signing up for that.  

  10. How big are your splits?   Who is smarter?   Who is more confident in what they are doing?   

    Seen a lot of kids who can run a good 40 but have horrible "feet".   Give me the kid who can bend at the knees and not his waist, knows what to do, has proper footwork and most importantly PLAYS HARD!  

  11. On 2/20/2019 at 11:08 AM, DT said:

    Which of the following best describes your ambivalence towards Plymouth?

    1. Your jealousy of their long history of athletic success.

    2. Their over the top arrogance.

    3. The built in advantages that their physical location provides.

    Just curious.



    What is the advantage of their location?  Just them being the biggest school in the county? 

  12. I'm enjoying the posts that are giving reasons for their picks.  Wish a few of you would give more explanation as to why you feel the way that you do. 

    I root for Mishawaka once NP is out.  I love the tough, physical style they play and the community atmosphere surrounding that program.  Same with Lowell.  

    I love to see any high powered air raid type offense fail in November.  We play in Indiana, this isn't college football where you can pick your QBs.  Who can play in the elements?! 

  13. On a related note, will this become more and more of an issue in the near future?  IMO High school sports at some schools are reaching a level of preparation and training never seen before at the prep level.  At other schools athletics are a box for Admin to check off that they offered the opportunity for kids to play and not much thought is given to them beyond scheduling the games and officials. 

    Is that just the wave of the future?  Is there a way to turn back time?  How will the IHSAA address this problem as a whole?  Are we doomed to a European club sports model at some point in the next 30 years?  

    Love to hear everyone's thoughts

  14. Don't think a 35 point rule is bad, but I also think that Indiana could solve a lot of problems if there were some exceptions made to the QUARTERS rules for younger players.  What a stupid thing to have to have your young guys wait until the 4th quarter to get in the game when your up 42-0 at the half.  Also a stupid thing to potentially get a key player hurt because they were in the game, waiting til the 4th, when a younger kid can come in.   Becoming more and more of a problem with low football numbers, not many JV teams have much depth these days. You need those kids to be able to play all 4 in the JV game because there is no one else.  

  15. On 1/18/2019 at 11:24 AM, CoachPeo said:

    Good points, I am one of those former coaches/teachers that moved into administration.  I value the teachers that coach and I agree on their impact.  The fact is there is a shortage of teachers.  We try to hire the best teachers and many do not coach.  It is unfortunate, but when I have 3 candidates for an open position we take the best teacher regardless if they coach.  That has forced us to look for coaches from outside the school.  I do not like it and hope things change soon.



    So then my question is, as an administrator, is coaching not a major "plus" for a potential teaching candidate?   I would think that what you can glean from an interview and a resume is pretty limited.  The commitment to kids and community that someone who takes a lot of time out of their day to coach, not to mention the connection with kids that you know will develop from coaching,  in my mind has to at least factor a little bit into the equation.  Can you really gain a significant amount of insight into someone's teaching ability vs someone else's teaching ability from a resume, some letters of recommendation, and an interview? 

    I'm a teacher/coach that has been frustrated in the past by watching admin pass over someone that you know would coach for someone who is "better with their use of technology in the classroom"  or "more innovative with their teaching strategies" (in actuality probably just better at throwing out buzz words in their interview).  Only to see that person struggle to connect with kids and therefore struggle as a teacher. 

    • Like 3
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  16. 55 minutes ago, MarshallCounty said:

    Schools are not actively hiring individuals who coach, and many more educators want nothing to do with coaching.  

    Totally agree here

    I am very thankful that as a teenager I attended a school where every football staff member 9-12 worked in the corporation, and most in the High school.   Many of the assistants were head coaches in Winter or Spring sports.    I did a lot of school work because I liked and valued my relationship with those teacher/coaches that probably wouldn't have gotten accomplished if I didn't have that depth of relationship with them.   

    Why schools can't see that the relationship between coach (or any other beyond the school day activity leader) and participant, is going to more than make up for any perceived lack of skill in the classroom is beyond me.   Moreover,  in most instances, you see the best coaches are the best teachers.  Great communicators who can quickly build relationships with kids.  What more does a school want? 

    A lot of the issue lies in the fact that most administrators aren't the grizzled former veteran coaches and teachers that they once were.   With the teaching profession becoming less and less attractive, your seeing more and more young teacher jumping ship from the classroom to administration.  A lot of principals and superintendents out there that have taught for less than 5 years and coached even less.  These people do not value what a great teacher/coach can bring to a school the way that their predecessors once did. 

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