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The Gridiron Digest


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  1. Serious answer-- no, they do not give a sh*t. However, I would bet that Coach Pishkur would privately acknowledge to his coaching peers that Andrean's 8 3A titles do not equal 8 one-class/4A titles. Same with Coach Bordenet at LCC. Don't get me wrong-- those 2 coaches have built fantastic programs & deserve tons of credit. I attended the LP Semistate a week ago & watched LCC beat South Central in extra innings. LCC does not win that game without Coach Bordenet's masterful moves in the bottom of the 7th inning to slow the game momentum & make perfect strategical decisions in order to keep the winning run from scoring the game-ending run after a SC leadoff triple. And, in my opinion, Coach Pishkur & Andrean have arguably had the best team in any class during several of their championship seasons, including '22. You can call me a jealous & petty Slicer fan living in the past (guilty as charged) but I believe that LP's 8 baseball titles (7 in single class, 1 in 4A) is greater than Andrean's 8 titles in 3A & LCC's 8 titles in 1A. While Andrean can compete with anybody in any season, they won just 1 Sectional while bumped up to 4A in '16, '17, 21. And during the one-class system, they had a great run in the late-80s & 90s but never broke through with a trip to the Final Four. In terms of record-book accomplishments, I would place Jasper's 6 baseball titles (2 in one-class, 3 in 3A & the 4A title in '21) & Penn's 5 baseball titles (1 in one-class, 4 in 4A) above Andrean & LCC.
  2. I think my Dad has a good idea. The IHSAA should hand out 6 championship trophies in football-- 1A Champion, 2A Champion, 3A Champion, 4A Champion, 5A Champion and THE STATE CHAMPION. In the 4-class sports, the IHSAA will award a 1A Champion, 2A Champion, 3A Champion and THE STATE CHAMPION. Don't call it 4A (or 6A football) anymore-- maybe you call it Open Class because any school in any sport can choose to compete for THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP during the next 2 year cycle. Granted, the smaller schools & privates would surely feel insulted by this change. But maybe it would entice some big-time programs (Andrean baseball, Cathedral football) to always compete in the Open Class for the biggest trophy of all instead of only being up in the top class after Success Factor bump-ups.
  3. Slight correction-- 5 of the 8 baseball state finalists were private schools. The public schools went 1-2 (Tecumseh lost to LCC 4-1, Centerville lost to Illiana Christian 10-1, Penn beat Cathedral 3-0.) But I agree that the current Success Factor is not doing enough & the IHSAA willingly gave some big-time programs a huge break by dropping them down after just 1 season in a higher class. Some examples: Chatard-- football. 15 state titles, including 11 3A titles this century alone. After winning 3A in '19 & '20, Chatard bumped up to 4A for just 1 season. Now back in 3A for the next 2 years. Andrean-- baseball. 8 state titles, all in 3A from 2005-2022. When playing in 3A, Andrean has won state 5 straight 3A baseball titles-- 22,19,18,15,14. While bumped up to 4A, they lost in Sect (16), lost in Reg (17), Covid (20), lost in Sect (21). Since they earned 0 pts in 1 season '21+the Covid year '20, the IHSAA dropped them to 3A for this season. Mark my words-- Andrean will win at least one, maybe two 3A baseball state titles in '23 & '24 too. And they can thank the IHSAA for the head-scratching decision to drop them down for the '22 season. (All that said, this very-talented Andrean team may have won 4A this year.) Lafayette Central Catholic-- baseball. 8 state titles, all in 1A from 2004-2022. When playing in 1A, LCC has won state 6 straight 1A baseball titles-- 22,13,12,11,10,09. In this case, I think the SF has gotten things right. During LCC's first 5 years up in 2A, they won 2 Semistates, 4 Regionals & all 5 Sectionals which says to me that LCC is VERY competitive in 2A baseball & should always be playing up there. But then the IHSAA foolishly dropped them back down to 1A in '22 after a Sectional loss in '21+Covid '20. This year, LCC outscored 5 Sect/Reg opponents 53-3, including 2 Top 10 teams. So LCC should send a thank you note to the IHSAA for that 8th 1A trophy. I think Illiana Christian would have beaten them in 2A. Tecumseh-- softball. 4 state titles, all in 1A from 2009-2022. In this case, my only beef is that IHSAA decision to drop them back down to 1A in '22 after a Sectional loss in '21+Covid '20. Playing up in 2A for the 1st time due to the SF, Tecumseh won 2A Regional in '18 & State runner-up in '19. Again, the IHSAA dropped this perennial power back down to 1A in '22 after a Sectional loss in '21+Covid '20. Even though Tecumseh faced 5 ranked opponents, they still breezed to the 1A title by a combined 51-9 in 6 games. With only 1 regular starter graduating, Tecumseh will surely win 1 or 2 more 1A titles during the upcoming 2-year '23-'24 cycle.
  4. The current LP School Board President was a school board member in 2017 & led the charge to not renew the coaching contract for Tom Wells after 15 years as the Slicers head basketball coach. (Wells is now HC at rival Michigan City.) She had a son on the basketball team back then. Another son just graduated LPHS after being a standout athlete in football, basketball & track.
  5. The School Board Meeting is on Youtube but there was no discussion during that public meeting. The board voted 7-0 for all of the other coaching/principal hires & then voted 4-3 against "Motion 6". No names of those hired or rejected were mentioned by the Board during the meeting. If Coach James continues to coach at LP, then he is a much better man than I would ever dream to be.
  6. Schellinger retired in 2014 after the state runner-upas the winningest coach in LP history at 110-122. In other words, LP is a REALLY TOUGH JOB. Sharpe (2015-18) - previously HC at John Glenn, overall winning record at LP including 9-2 in '16, Sharpe left for family reasons to move to Indy area & his now the HC at Noblesville. Lowery (2019-20) - previously HC at Paoli, 7-15 at LP, left for West Washington HC job. Ortiz (2021) - asst at LP for several years before getting the HC job, went 2-8, left to be asst in Crown Point under his old HS coach. Said HC job was too much time & effort for him with a young family. LP has hired 3 young guys in less than a decade & no one has stuck with it. We have no idea who applied for the job this year. But, to me, the recommendation to hire a loyal man like Bob James (LP asst coach/teacher since the '90s) to give the program some stability makes a ton of sense. The AD/Principal/Super (I don't know who is involved in the interview process) DID THEIR DUE DILIGENCE & those 4 school board members rejected their recommendation. The elected school board members have shown disrespect to Bob James & also to the career-educators who recommended him. If those 4 school board members know better, then they can beat the bushes & somehow attract a "strong hire" to LaPorte.
  7. There are ONLY FOUR PEOPLE TO BLAME for this terrible decision & unfathomable disrespect to a man who has dedicated most of his adult life to teaching & coaching the young people of LaPorte. Blame the 4 (out of 7) school board members who voted NO to the recommendation from AD/Principal/Super to hire Bob James as HC.
  8. I guess I didn't finish my thought. For the programs (8 schools across 5 sports) who moved up in 2021-22 & earned 1 point (won Sectional) in the higher class this school year, the IHSAA is going to keep them in that higher class for 2022-23 & then adjust accordingly. I assume that means the IHSAA will bump that program down to their enrollment class for 2023-24 if they do NOT earn 1 or more points in 2022-23. Sooooooooooooooooo, Mr IHSAA, I have to ask.........if you're going to commit to some wait & see mid-cycle downward adjustments, WHY NOT ALSO DO THAT FOR THE OTHER PROGRAMS WHO JUST MOVED UP FOR 1 SEASON BUT DID NOT EARN A POINT IN 2022-23??? I have not looked at the other sports yet but in football, there is ONE SCHOOL who benefits from this questionable decision-- CHATARD & their 15 state titles.
  9. Yes, I can explain it. The IHSAA crapped the bed. Here is how Chatard has fared in the last 25 years (22 of 25 years in 3A, except where noted). Chatard has won the 3A state title in 13 of 22 tournaments over the past 25 years. If that doesn't scream MOVED UP DUE TO SUCCESS FACTOR, I do not know what does. 97-State Champ 98-State Champ 99-Lost in Sect (Roncalli-State Champ) 00-Lost in Sect (Heritage Hills-State Champ) 01-State Champ 02-State Champ 03-State Champ 04-Reg Champ (Andrean-State Champ) 05-Reg Champ (NorthWood-State Champ) 06-State Champ 07-State Champ 08-Reg Champ (Bellmont-State Champ) 09-Reg Champ (West Laf-State Champ) 10-State Champ 11-State Champ 12-State Champ 13-moved up to 4A, won Sect (Andrean-3A State Champ) 14-moved up to 4A, lost in Sect (Tri West-3A State Champ) 15-State Champ 16-Lost in Sect (FW Concordia-State Champ) 17-Sect Champ (Ev Memorial-State Champ) 18-Reg Champ (West Laf-State Champ) 19-State Champ 20-State Champ 21-moved up to 4A, lost in Sect (Gibson So-3A State Champ)
  10. We're all guessing here (unless someone has insider info from the IHSAA) so I will share my guesses too. Guess #1 - The IHSAA will place each team into their class for the whole 2-year cycle for the 2022 & 2023 football seasons. There will be no mid-year Success Factor cycle changes (for teams like Chatard, WeBo, LCC or Southridge, Pioneer) if they do not earn the 1 or 2 points in the 2022 season. Guess #2 - As others have pointed out, Southridge & Pioneer will probably be kept up for another this upcoming 2-year cycle after earning just 2 points over the past 3 seasons. Using that same logic, I believe Chatard, WeBo, LCC (just moved up in 2021) should stay up because they each earned more than 2 points over the past 2 seasons, even though the 2020 season was in a lower class. Even though the Success Factor is based solely on 2-year cycles, part of my rationale is based upon those schools extraordinary level of success throughout the years-- 15 state titles for Chatard, 8 titles for LCC, 4 titles for WeBo (3 straight in 18-19-20). And actually, WeBo may be the best example why these teams should remain up for the '22 & '23 seasons-- 1pt '17 + 4pts '18 = stayed in 2A, 4pts '19 + 4pts '20 = up to 3A. 0pts in '21 playing up in 3A. IMO there's no way that a team who won 3 straight state championships should ONLY spend 1 year in the higher class before being moved back down. Same goes for Chatard & LCC with their 23 combined state titles.
  11. All 3 schools should stay up for the next cycle, IMO.
  12. The CYO system is a huge advantage. Not only do those kids play together for many years but they are able to learn the same offense/defense as the HS program while being taught excellent fundamentals. That said, broadcasters always talk about the great Center Grove youth program in the same way. Pioneer too, I think. Maybe towns/public schools have built great youth programs thru Pop Warner or USA Football which led to sustained success at the HS level-- but it takes a ton of work.
  13. From 2010-12, 4 private schools swept the 4 smallest classes & won three-peats-- LCC 1A, Luers 2A, Chatard 3A, Cath 4A. The Success Factor was instituted in 2013 & has had an impact. For those 4 schools, only Cathedral got past Regional in the higher class as they won 5A for the next 2 years. From 2013-2020, nobody else has pulled off a three-peat except WeBo (public school). I also think that it was a smart move to keep bumped-up programs in the higher class if they earn 2 or more points. Cathedral won Regional in 2017, lost in Sectional to runner-ups Decatur Central in 2018 but stayed up in 5A due to that change. In 2019, they lost to state champs New Pal in Regional & then cruised to the state title this year.
  14. Article is from the prep sports guy Kyle Neddenriep. I think he is really good.
  15. https://www.indystar.com/restricted/?return=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.indystar.com%2Fstory%2Fsports%2Fhigh-school%2F2020%2F11%2F22%2Fihsaa-football-playoffs-private-schools-dominate-2020-state-finals-indiana%2F6381840002%2F Are there any Indystar subscribers out there who would be so kind as to copy-paste this article to the forum for cheapskates like me??? Please & thank you!
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