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I could be mistaken, but I believe that I saw somewhere online yesterday that Grant Zgunda is the new head coach up in patriot country? This being confirmed as I am typing this, congrats to him and Jay County, Great hire. Program should be heading in the correct direction now!

 

https://twitter.com/Blitz_OTH/status/1361444031264415749?s=20

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This is huge for Jay County. Coach Zgunda should be able to turn them into a solid program. A school the size of Jay County should be much more competitive in football in the ACAC against schools around half its size. I'm assuming the primary hurdle will be to get kids to come out and to get the community to buy in to what it takes to build a winning program. 

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6 hours ago, FlyingHigh said:

This is huge for Jay County. Coach Zgunda should be able to turn them into a solid program. A school the size of Jay County should be much more competitive in football in the ACAC against schools around half its size. I'm assuming the primary hurdle will be to get kids to come out and to get the community to buy in to what it takes to build a winning program. 

This move reminds me a lot of the Bart Curtis move from Mishawaka to Warsaw.  Both Curtis and Zgunda are highly respected and successful veteran coaches, moving from a smaller public with a winning tradition to a larger public that has struggled to meet expectations.  JC is a 4A and should quickly be feasting on the much smaller competition in the ACAC.  Coach Z should have this program ready for a promotion to a bigger conference within 3 years.  

JOHN HARRELL'S INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RECENT SEASONS
4A 20 E-MAIL CORRECTIONS FOOTBALL FIELD 0-0
TOURNAMENT HISTORY
JAY COUNTY
PATRIOTS
Coach: Grant Zgunda, 0-0 in 1st year at school, 204-61 in 24th year overall
               
DATE OPPONENT EASTERN TIME OA 0.0, DA 0.0
Aug. 20   Blackford 2A 7:00 pm    
Sep. 3 at Southern Wells 1A © 7:00 pm    
Sep. 17   Bluffton 2A © 7:00 pm    
Sep. 24 at Woodlan 2A © 7:00 pm    
Oct. 1 at South Adams 1A © 7:00 pm    
Oct. 8 at Lapel 2A 7:00 pm    
©ALLEN COUNTY CONFERENCE GAME
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11 hours ago, DT said:

JC is a 4A and should quickly be feasting on the much smaller competition in the ACAC.  Coach Z should have this program ready for a promotion to a bigger conference within 3 years.  

I don't think I'd go that far. Jay County will be far more competitive in the ACAC within a couple of years, but to go from 3 wins per year since joining the ACAC (1 in the past two years) to being too strong for the conference in 3 years is an exaggeration. The potential might be there eventually, but the conference is usually top heavy with strong teams recently from SA, AC and, a few years ago, Woodlan. Those 3 teams have had stretches of consistently winning lop-sided games in the conference.

Since Jay County joined the ACAC, here's how their 3 wins per season stack up with the top 4 teams in those years:

  • AC - 10 wins per year, 3 regional championships, 4 sectional championships
  • SA - Just under 8 wins per year, 1 state runner up, 2 regional championships, 5 sectional championships
  • Woodlan - 7 wins per year, 1 state runner up, 2 regional championships, 2 sectional championships
  • Bluffton - 5 wins per year, 7-8 wins per year the last 3 years

Jay County has the numbers, assuming Coach Zgunda can get them to come out, to eventually make its way to the top of couple teams in the conference, but it will take more than a great coach to get them to the point where they need to be promoted to a larger conference in 3 years.

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The ACAC is no slouch. Regardless of the class next to the school very good and physical football is played there. A product of the importance placed on football in the greater Fort Wayne area. By the same token, Coach Z is not a loser. And I don't think he will be at Jay. Success might be defined differently than "dominating the conference" for a win starved Jay County. It's a great hire for both Jay County and the competitiveness to their conference as a whole. 

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I see Jay competing for a conference championship in Year 3 and in the Regional mix in Year 5.  Coach Z, Like Coach Buzea moving from Homewood Flossmoor to Crown Point, is interested in winning championships.  No other reason to make the move.  Crown Point is a 6A competing in a 6A conference.  Jay is a 4A competing in a 1A/2A conference.  No where to go but up   JC has the easier path.  

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1 hour ago, DT said:

I see Jay competing for a conference championship in Year 3 and in the Regional mix in Year 5.  Coach Z, Like Coach Buzea moving from Homewood Flossmoor to Crown Point, is interested in winning championships.  No other reason to make the move.  Crown Point is a 6A competing in a 6A conference.  Jay is a 4A competing in a 1A/2A conference.  No where to go but up   JC has the easier path.  

Hope that is the case, but hiring the best coach isn't the only solution. The community and kids have to want to be better. Will Jay Co move from basketball and baseball (wrestling is getting really good as well) and focus more on football? I think they can and will, but that is another factor. You have to have both the X's and O's and the Jimmies and Joes.

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1 hour ago, Basementbias said:

Hope that is the case, but hiring the best coach isn't the only solution. The community and kids have to want to be better. Will Jay Co move from basketball and baseball (wrestling is getting really good as well) and focus more on football? I think they can and will, but that is another factor. You have to have both the X's and O's and the Jimmies and Joes.

Do you think Zgunda just took the job to have an easy ride into retirement?

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3 hours ago, CoachVeatch said:

The ACAC is no slouch. Regardless of the class next to the school very good and physical football is played there. A product of the importance placed on football in the greater Fort Wayne area. By the same token, Coach Z is not a loser. And I don't think he will be at Jay. Success might be defined differently than "dominating the conference" for a win starved Jay County. It's a great hire for both Jay County and the competitiveness to their conference as a whole. 

AC and SA are good programs.  ACAC is a very weak conference.  4 of the schools (Jay, Heritage, Woodlan and SW) look forward to playing each other in hopes of getting a win. pointing back to past varsity performance isn’t a very good indicator of what is to come (ie woodlan).  Look at the MS if u want to see what’s coming.  Woodlan and Bluffton can’t field full teams.  Talent pool gets quite shallow down south after next year as well.  4A numbers would be a HUGE advantage if he can connect with the kids and change the culture.  Hard to do sometimes.

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6 hours ago, DT said:

Do you think Zgunda just took the job to have an easy ride into retirement?

Jay County is a difficult job when it comes to football. They maybe a 4A school in a mostly 1A/2A conference, but the economics aren't great for the area outside of the elites (Dr's & lawyers). I'd classify it as 2 weak 2A teams became 1 team and they're still the same level of talent. Hopefully he can change that, but do they have stud football players walking the halls that aren't playing. You would think so, but I'm not sure they do. It's just a different mentality down there. I don't see them ever trying to leave for a bigger conference unless the CIC was an option. I've wondered if they'd have been better off having 2 smaller schools instead 1 large one.

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22 hours ago, DT said:

I see Jay competing for a conference championship in Year 3 and in the Regional mix in Year 5.  Coach Z, Like Coach Buzea moving from Homewood Flossmoor to Crown Point, is interested in winning championships.  No other reason to make the move.  Crown Point is a 6A competing in a 6A conference.  Jay is a 4A competing in a 1A/2A conference.  No where to go but up   JC has the easier path.  

I agree that JC could compete for a conference championship in a few years under Coach Zgunda. My only disagreement was with the previous statement that was made about JC being ready to move to a larger conference in that time frame due to their potential dominance of the ACAC in football. I think it will take awhile for that to happen, if it ever happens.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with realignment because as it stands right now, Jay County is in a tough 4A sectional with Delta, Marion and Mississinewa I believe.

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