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Do "County" Schools struggle to build pride, identity and community support?


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I was reading thru and commenting in the Jay County thread, when I began to think about the struggles and challenges that county schools must face.

When I think of an Indiana county school, I think first of the following :

* Vast stretches of farm land

* Dark 2 way roads.

* Long bus trips

* Scheduling challenges

* Logistics issues

* Poor practice attendance

The list goes on and on.  Without a city or town identity, is it difficult for these county schools to develop a sense of local school pride?

I may be way off here, but these are the thoughts that cross my mind, being a city/suburban dwellar.

Brown 

Crawford

Franklin

Jay

Switzerland

Tri

Union

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Explain Western Boone... or Seeger Memorial?  Both have multiple small towns and multiple elementaries that feed into 1 Jr High and High School.  There isn't a parade from homecoming around the "town"

New Prairie is a rural school.  Every time the Cougar's make a deep tournament run both the towns of New Carlisle and Rolling Prairie go all out.  There is never a single business that does not a show

There obviously isn't just one answer, but I think for SOME of these school's Admin either doesn't care or have given up.  First, make practice convenient for players. Have an athletic class. Stu

44 minutes ago, DT said:

I was reading thru and commenting in the Jay County thread, when I began to think about the struggles and challenges that county schools must face.

When I think of an Indiana county school, I think first of the following :

* Vast stretches of farm land

* Dark 2 way roads.

* Long bus trips

* Scheduling challenges

* Logistics issues

* Poor practice attendance

The list goes on and on.  Without a city or town identity, is it difficult for these county schools to develop a sense of local school pride?

I may be way off here, but these are the thoughts that cross my mind, being a city/suburban dwellar.

Brown 

Crawford

Franklin

Jay

Switzerland

Tri

Union

New Prairie is a rural school.  Every time the Cougar's make a deep tournament run both the towns of New Carlisle and Rolling Prairie go all out.  There is never a single business that does not a show of support for the team displayed on their business marquee or store front window.  Many will take out full page ads in the newspaper.  Restuarnt owners often host the team for a meal or breakfast prior to going downstate on the road for their tournament games.  That is one of my favorite things to see concerning high school athletics.

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3 minutes ago, Tommy said:

New Prairie is a rural school.  Every time the Cougar's make a deep tournament run both the towns of New Carlisle and Rolling Prairie go all out.  There is never a single business that does not a show of support for the team displayed on their business marquee or store front window.  Many will take out full page ads in the newspaper.  Restuarnt owners often host the team for a meal or breakfast prior to going downstate on the road for their tournament games.  That is one of my favorite things to see concerning high school athletics.

Those were the Radtke days.   Traditional county schools are much more spread out than NP

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11 minutes ago, DT said:

Those were the Radtke days.   Traditional county schools are much more spread out than NP

NP has good years when Bart Curtis was there.  He lived right in the heart of downtown New Carlisle.  During the summertime he would have the boys camping out at night on Amzie Miller Field.

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1 hour ago, DT said:

I was reading thru and commenting in the Jay County thread, when I began to think about the struggles and challenges that county schools must face.

When I think of an Indiana county school, I think first of the following :

* Vast stretches of farm land

* Dark 2 way roads.

* Long bus trips

* Scheduling challenges

* Logistics issues

* Poor practice attendance

The list goes on and on.  Without a city or town identity, is it difficult for these county schools to develop a sense of local school pride?

I may be way off here, but these are the thoughts that cross my mind, being a city/suburban dwellar.

Brown 

Crawford

Franklin

Jay

Switzerland

Tri

Union

It depends on the number of wealthy farmers in that section of the county......................

 

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48 minutes ago, Whiting89 said:

I was always wondered about north Newton as the school is literally in the middle of no where. It serves half the county I believe and I wonder how kids get home etc.

Cars?  I dunno.

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11 minutes ago, Whiting89 said:

No they have trucks out there but it’s like in whiting the farthest point is 10 blocks from the school so it’s just different to me

Funny.  I have seen cars there.  I dunno

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2 hours ago, DT said:

I was reading thru and commenting in the Jay County thread, when I began to think about the struggles and challenges that county schools must face.

When I think of an Indiana county school, I think first of the following :

* Vast stretches of farm land

* Dark 2 way roads.

* Long bus trips

* Scheduling challenges

* Logistics issues

* Poor practice attendance

The list goes on and on.  Without a city or town identity, is it difficult for these county schools to develop a sense of local school pride?

I may be way off here, but these are the thoughts that cross my mind, being a city/suburban dwellar.

Brown 

Crawford

Franklin

Jay

Switzerland

Tri

Union

I would add:

Benton Central

Connersville

Pike Central

Rushville

These schools don't have "county" in the title, but they are the only HS in the county.  If you looked over the last decade, you probably count on one hand the winning seasons between all of them COMBINED.  I don't think it's a school pride thing, as I'm sure all of these have that. Heck, Rushville even can claim Tony Stewart as a source of community pride.  The other thing is that these schools are all 3-4A.  Same can be said of Jay County.

This leads me to think it's something more along the lines of geography.  Because they are the only school in the county, they draw a large number of students, but the economic resources are also spread out over a larger area as well.  I don't have an answer as to WHY they struggle, but I think it's more a function of population density/ property tax base.  They are 3/4A schools fielding 1-2A level football. 

 

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2 hours ago, CoachVeatch said:

Declining rural populations in certain areas of the state don't help. 

I feel "county" school may be better replaced with Rural. Where I'm at is not the only school in the county, but the only corp that is experiencing excessive student population decline, I think that factors into it more than anything. Other factors involved for sure, but enrollment and participation is key!

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41 minutes ago, GoodKn19ht said:

I feel "county" school may be better replaced with Rural. Where I'm at is not the only school in the county, but the only corp that is experiencing excessive student population decline, I think that factors into it more than anything. Other factors involved for sure, but enrollment and participation is key!

Would agree.  Harrison and McCutcheon are both considered "county schools" as part of TSC.

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3 minutes ago, DT said:

Harrison and McCutcheon are about as "county" as Westfield.  LOL

Hence the agreement that what the topic is probably really hitting at is "rural" as opposed to the term "county."

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2 minutes ago, foxbat said:

Hence the agreement that what the topic is probably really hitting at is "rural" as opposed to the term "county."

I disagree.  Therer are tons of great Indiana rural high schools that are based in small towns that have huge pride and local support.  Rural small town school and rural county school are not the same  When you place one centralized school in a 20 x 20 mile area, you get a feeling of remoteness and disconnection.  That is the downside of

the county school model.  

 

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4 minutes ago, DT said:

I disagree.  Therer are tons of great Indiana rural high schools that are based in small towns that have huge pride and local support.  Rural small town school and rural county school are not the same  When you place one centralized school in a 20 x 20 mile area, you get a feeling of remoteness and disconnection.  That is the downside of

the county school model.  

 

Explain Western Boone... or Seeger Memorial?  Both have multiple small towns and multiple elementaries that feed into 1 Jr High and High School.  There isn't a parade from homecoming around the "town".  I think you will find instances of both support/pride and instances of programs that stuggle to get that. 

It really is what came first the chicken (success) or the egg (support/pride/identity)?

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32 minutes ago, 1st_and_10 said:

Explain Western Boone... or Seeger Memorial?  Both have multiple small towns and multiple elementaries that feed into 1 Jr High and High School.  There isn't a parade from homecoming around the "town".  I think you will find instances of both support/pride and instances of programs that stuggle to get that. 

It really is what came first the chicken (success) or the egg (support/pride/identity)?

County, rural, whatever you call it schools will always be around--just that simple...

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Coaches who make late career moves to new schools are generally motivated primarily by winning championships.  Conference, sectional, regionals, semi state, state.  Or possibly by the opportunity to rebuild or resurrect a program that has fallen on hard times or has never lived up to its full potential.  

The following late career coaches likely fall into one of these two cataegories:

Zgunda to Jay

Buzea to Crown Point

Gillin to Mooresville

Coll to Franklin

Radtke to Knox

Rodenberg to Roncalli

McWhorter to Covenent

Hart to Brownsburg

Mason to Michigan City

Kirschner to Warren Central

Curtis to Warsaw

Hendryx to Winamac

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It seems that sometimes very rural schools struggle at athletics because kids live so far apart and there is no park or centralized place of pick-up games.  

I've taught in a town with a park, and kids were always down there shooting hoops, throwing a football, playing soccer.  Kids there talked sports.  They came into your room in the morning saying things like "Did you watch that game last night?  Why the heck did they not take a timeout in that situation!?"

I've also taught in a very rural district.  Kids literally had trouble getting together to play with other kids because they were all 5+ miles apart from their buddies.  Kids there didn't talk sports.  It was exhaust systems on their truck, church youth group stuff, etc. 

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3 minutes ago, Wedgebuster said:

It seems that sometimes very rural schools struggle at athletics because kids live so far apart and there is no park or centralized place of pick-up games.  

I've taught in a town with a park, and kids were always down there shooting hoops, throwing a football, playing soccer.  Kids there talked sports.  They came into your room in the morning saying things like "Did you watch that game last night?  Why the heck did they not take a timeout in that situation!?"

I've also taught in a very rural district.  Kids literally had trouble getting together to play with other kids because they were all 5+ miles apart from their buddies.  Kids there didn't talk sports.  It was exhaust systems on their truck, church youth group stuff, etc. 

I grew up in Kentland: people played sports all the time, there was and still is interest.

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There obviously isn't just one answer, but I think for SOME of these school's Admin either doesn't care or have given up. 

First, make practice convenient for players. Have an athletic class. Students no longer have to find a way home after workouts, plus it allows them to work after school during the off-season.

Adding an activity bus would also increase participation. It would allow students a way home after practice in-season. This doesn't have to be difficult. Coaches can't drive players home after practice in their personal vehicles (at least aren't supposed to). So get them licensed to drive the activity bus and I'm sure a lot of coaches will be happy to take players home themselves. 

Secondly is coaching. I feel a lot of these schools fall in one of three categories. Either they hire a coach and fire them after 2-3 years if they haven't turned the program around. Coaches need more time than that to turn these perennial losers. OR hire a coach that averages 2-3 wins a year and the Admin allows them to stick around for 10-15 years. apparently they aren't a good fit. OR they hire a coach that has been to 2-3 schools and failed. It honestly puzzles me. I assume they feel that they are hiring someone that "knows" how to run knows how to run a program, keeping the Admin from having to deal with any day to day headaches.  

Admin should also take coaching into consideration when they are hiring teachers. It should factor in if a teacher is willing to coach one or multiple sports. Obviously not every teacher is going to be a coach, but I do feel like coaches are judged in a negative way by a lot of admin. They believe coaches just want to coach and don't care about teaching. Are there bad teachers that coach? Sure. Are there bad teachers that that don't coach? You bet! This would actually allow HC's to get talented assistants as opposed to having MAYBE a teacher or two, then hoping for lay coaches to fill out the rest of the staff. There are plenty of talented lay coaches, but work schedule keeps a lot of guys from coaching. 

Once again there are multiple reasons why some programs struggle year after year, but I feel Admin is one of the main factors. 

 

 

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