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Lake Central is Open - Can it be fixed?


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The Head Football Coachng job at the states 6th largest school is now open.

Can the Lake Central football program be revived, or has the culture changed too much , leaving football behind as just another secondary choice on the extra curricular menu.

LC is 3-25 over the past 4 seasons in the Duneland Conference, despite being the leagues largest school in terms of total enrollment.  

The reasons for LCs demise have been discussed ad nauseum both here and on the Region Sports Network messageboard.  Dysfunctional feeder systems, infighting amongst the tri cities of Dyer, St John and Schererville that feed into LC.  A shift away from football and a focus on baseball and girls sports.  Declining participation.  "Mom issues" relative to concerns about head injuries.  A lack of toughness.  Coaching turnover.  The list goes on and on.

Big question.  Is the job attractive to an accomplished head coach looking for an opportunity to rebuild a former power?

Could a guy like Phil Mason be coaxed away from Michigan City to take on this rebuild?

Will LC make football a priority again?

A strong LC football program makes the DAC all the mnore competitive .  LC has not pulled its weight for some time.  This coaching decision will send a message as to their level of committment to the gridiron.

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Bring back Coach Britton and his 4 headed monster triple option!

LOVE the idea, but Coach is too busy golfing.

There is concern in Illinois (or should be) on the part of anyone who is counting on a state-backed pension for their retirement. At the close of fiscal 2019, Illinois’ unfunded pension liability was 

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12 minutes ago, DT said:

The Head Football Coachng job at the states 6th largest school is now open.

Can the Lake Central football program be revived, or has the culture changed too much , leaving football behind as just another secondary choice on the extra curricular menu.

LC is 3-25 over the past 4 seasons in the Duneland Conference, despite being the leagues largest school in terms of total enrollment.  

The reasons for LCs demise have been discussed ad nauseum both here and on the Region Sports Network messageboard.  Dysfunctional feeder systems, infighting amongst the tri cities of Dyer, St John and Schererville that feed into LC.  A shift away from football and a focus on baseball and girls sports.  Declining participation.  "Mom issues" relative to concerns about head injuries.  A lack of toughness.  Coaching turnover.  The list goes on and on.

Big question.  Is the job attractive to an accomplished head coach looking for an opportunity to rebuild a former power?

Could a guy like Phil Mason be coaxed away from Michigan City to take on this rebuild?

Will LC make football a priority again?

A strong LC football program makes the DAC all the mnore competitive .  LC has not pulled its weight for some time.  This coaching decision will send a message as to their level of committment to the gridiron.

In order.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Dann Ellenwood

Lake Central Class of 1996

Best wishes LC.  GO BLUE!

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10 minutes ago, DT said:

The Head Football Coachng job at the states 6th largest school is now open.

Can the Lake Central football program be revived, or has the culture changed too much , leaving football behind as just another secondary choice on the extra curricular menu.

LC is 3-25 over the past 4 seasons in the Duneland Conference, despite being the leagues largest school in terms of total enrollment.  

The reasons for LCs demise have been discussed ad nauseum both here and on the Region Sports Network messageboard.  Dysfunctional feeder systems, infighting amongst the tri cities of Dyer, St John and Schererville that feed into LC.  A shift away from football and a focus on baseball and girls sports.  Declining participation.  "Mom issues" relative to concerns about head injuries.  A lack of toughness.  Coaching turnover.  The list goes on and on.

Big question.  Is the job attractive to an accomplished head coach looking for an opportunity to rebuild a former power?

Could a guy like Phil Mason be coaxed away from Michigan City to take on this rebuild?

Will LC make football a priority again?

A strong LC football program makes the DAC all the mnore competitive .  LC has not pulled its weight for some time.  This coaching decision will send a message as to their level of committment to the gridiron.

Oh man, this might be one of the toughest jobs in the state. LC needs a complete and total culture shift starting from their feeder schools and moving up. They have all the problems you listed, and I would also add that LC has always had problems losing some of their best football players to Andrean as well. It’s going to take a very dedicated coach who will be in it for the long haul to turn this program around. But in all honesty, I’m not sure it can be done. As for Mason possibly taking the job, I’d say there’s slim to no chance of that happening.  I think he really likes his situation in Michigan City for various reasons. Plus he moved from Schererville when he left Andrean and took the Michigan City job, so I don’t think he’ll want to move back so quickly. 

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A few things that were going on when I was in school at LC (92-96).

We didn't have many "in fighting" parents between the communities.  They all supported all the kids.

We didn't have our best talent choose to go elsewhere (most notably Andrean or Mount Carmel).  In fact, the 3 catholic schools in Dyer, Schererville and St. John "sent" (meaning the parents chose to send their kids to LC) more talent to LC than we "lost" to them.  When I played, we never had to "worry" about Andrean in football.  We prepared.  We played and took care of them.

 

 

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I don't see the issue of losing players to Andrean going away anytime soon. If/when the new school is built in CP and with their success, why wouldn't a good player in the Tri-town area go? 

Having officiated many Pop Warner games, in the Region over the years, Tri-town PW teams seem to be way down, across all ages and divisions. Not just in numbers, but talent level. 

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27 minutes ago, scarab527 said:

Oh man, this might be one of the toughest jobs in the state. LC needs a complete and total culture shift starting from their feeder schools and moving up. They have all the problems you listed, and I would also add that LC has always had problems losing some of their best football players to Andrean as well. It’s going to take a very dedicated coach who will be in it for the long haul to turn this program around. But in all honesty, I’m not sure it can be done. As for Mason possibly taking the job, I’d say there’s slim to no chance of that happening.  I think he really likes his situation in Michigan City for various reasons. Plus he moved from Schererville when he left Andrean and took the Michigan City job, so I don’t think he’ll want to move back so quickly. 

False.  When I played, we did not.  Actually, the 3 Catholic schools that "feed" into Andrean in the Tri-Town area (St. Joe's in Dyer is no longer, St. Michael's in Schererville and St. John Evangelist in St. John) "sent" more of their "talent" to LC when I was in school (92-96) than the other way around.

The floodgates opened around 1998 when some of our home grown talent chose to go to Andrean (Brett Goins-QB and Rob Caldwell-RB/LB).  I coached them both at Grimmer MS.  Both fantastic young men.  Rob went on to The Naval Academy and lead the country in tackles, IMSC.

One of those player's parents made it known that they were sending their child to Andrean because they did not like Coach Britton's option based offense.

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I had the same mindset as my coaches.  If you are playing for us, GREAT.  We are gonna work like crazy to be the best we can be.  If you are choosing not to play for us (either staying at the school and not playing or choosing to go to another school) GREAT, best wishes, and we are moving on without you.

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17 minutes ago, SL816 said:

I don't see the issue of losing players to Andrean going away anytime soon. If/when the new school is built in CP and with their success, why wouldn't a good player in the Tri-town area go? 

Having officiated many Pop Warner games, in the Region over the years, Tri-town PW teams seem to be way down, across all ages and divisions. Not just in numbers, but talent level. 

Two very good points here. Andrean’s reach will probably grow when the new school is built. Also, when I played PW, all those years ago, Tri-Town was the dominate team. A lot of kids I played with at Andrean played on the Raiders too. The Tri-Town dominance has seemingly faded. 

 

17 minutes ago, DE said:

False.  When I played, we did not.  Actually, the 3 Catholic schools that "feed" into Andrean in the Tri-Town area (St. Joe's in Dyer is no longer, St. Michael's in Schererville and St. John Evangelist in St. John) "sent" more of their "talent" to LC when I was in school (92-96) than the other way around.

The floodgates opened around 1998 when some of our home grown talent chose to go to Andrean (Brett Goins-QB and Rob Caldwell-RB/LB).  I coached them both at Grimmer MS.  Both fantastic young men.  Rob went on to The Naval Academy and lead the country in tackles, IMSC.

One of those player's parents made it known that they were sending their child to Andrean because they did not like Coach Britton's option based offense.

I’m sorry, I’ll edit my comment to “in the past 20+ years”, is that better for you? 

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1 minute ago, scarab527 said:

Two very good points here. Andrean’s reach will probably grow when the new school is built. Also, when I played PW, all those years ago, Tri-Town was the dominate team. A lot of kids I played with at Andrean played on the Raiders too. 

 

I’m sorry, I’ll edit my comment to “in the past 20+ years”, is that better for you? 

Sure.  

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It could be done, and faster than you think ... but you need just the right guy ... and those guys are really scarce. Someone in the mold of a John Hart, who can impose his will on the program and get buy-in from everyone: players, parents, administration, community.

So who is that guy? You halve the turnaround time of the program if you hire someone with real big program head coaching experience, as opposed to an energetic young guy who has been successful on a relatively smaller scale. You’re talking about fixing a whole program, not just a team.

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2 hours ago, Coach Nowlin said:

How many are gonna start going to here:  https://www.illianachristian.org/    Is there plans for football to begin there? 

 

No.

58 minutes ago, Bobref said:

It could be done, and faster than you think ... but you need just the right guy ... and those guys are really scarce. Someone in the mold of a John Hart, who can impose his will on the program and get buy-in from everyone: players, parents, administration, community.

So who is that guy? You halve the turnaround time of the program if you hire someone with real big program head coaching experience, as opposed to an energetic young guy who has been successful on a relatively smaller scale. You’re talking about fixing a whole program, not just a team.

Oh what could have been...

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Straight up question

Is LC integrated enough to compete in high level varsity football?

Merrillville is the standard bearer for DAC football.  The team is loaded with quality black athletes.

NWI demographics have changed significantly over the past 20 years.  St John, Indiana is still basically a 100% white community.  Dyer and Schererville are not far behind. 

Hart, Mason , Buzea, Britton and even George Halas and Vince Lombardi will need the horses to make a run for it in the Duneland.  I think the stable is empty.

 

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How have the 3 feeder middle school programs been? I also wonder if LC loses any kids to Hanover Central as well Illinois private schools and Andrean. The new facilities are amazing from the view on 41, I think with the right hire this could awaken a sleeping giant. I'd give a call to Craig Buzea, see if he has any inklings to come back to Indiana. Probably not but I'd still check...

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7 minutes ago, WolvesOnTheProwl said:

How have the 3 feeder middle school programs been? I also wonder if LC loses any kids to Hanover Central as well Illinois private schools and Andrean. The new facilities are amazing from the view on 41, I think with the right hire this could awaken a sleeping giant. I'd give a call to Craig Buzea, see if he has any inklings to come back to Indiana. Probably not but I'd still check...

https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/sports/ct-sta-spt-pat-disabato-column-st-091320-20200911-w7l65mxoojgcdexer56fk2vcda-story.html

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One problem with the middle school feeders is that for at least the last 4 maybe 5 years they’ve only fielded 2 teams out of 3. Grimmer and Clark have had a combined team because Grimmer apparently couldn’t field a whole team.

Plenty of non-white athletes roaming the halls at LC, DT. 70% white, 16% Hispanic, 7.5% black. Remember Gelen Robinson? He wasn’t an outlier.

A lot to fix at LC. Right guy can do it though. Just has to be the right guy. Beutiful facility. They’ll pay well. Plentiful enrollment. Should attract quality applicants. We’ll see what happens. Region football is better when LC is competitive.

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LC can’t match what HF pays or HF’s facility. Buz is making $157,000 across the state line. No one in the state can match that. Plus he already has a winning program at HF. They also have an indoor 30 yard turf practice field. I’d be shocked if he leaves, especially with his health ordeal this past year.

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3 minutes ago, region said:

One problem with the middle school feeders is that for at least the last 4 maybe 5 years they’ve only fielded 2 teams out of 3. Grimmer and Clark have had a combined team because Grimmer apparently couldn’t field a whole team.

Plenty of non-white athletes roaming the halls at LC, DT. 70% white, 16% Hispanic, 7.5% black. Remember Gelen Robinson? He wasn’t an outlier.

A lot to fix at LC. Right guy can do it though. Just has to be the right guy. Beutiful facility. They’ll pay well. Plentiful enrollment. Should attract quality applicants. We’ll see what happens. Region football is better when LC is competitive.

The LC- Munster rivalry used to be one of the Regions best.

Its an absolute crap show right now.  These two schools are very closely connected both geographically, culturally, and in every way.  Any link that you can find between the two relative to their steep downturns in football?

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I think you find a young assistant who's willing to go in and do the work or maybe a guy who's nearing retirement who wants a new challenge (like Mike Kirschner did at Mt. Vernon). Either way, I'd love to see Lake Central be a north power again.

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2 minutes ago, BDGiant93 said:

I think you find a young assistant who's willing to go in and do the work or maybe a guy who's nearing retirement who wants a new challenge (like Mike Kirschner did at Mt. Vernon). Either way, I'd love to see Lake Central be a north power again.

There was some talk regarding Russ Radtke over the past few years.  I think his tactics might be a bit too aggressive for the coddled fair haired boys of the tri town area.

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