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


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1 hour ago, 1st_and_10 said:

Agree.  

Indiana is a farming state, therefore a lot of our land is needed for growing crops and raising livestock.  With that, farmers will need to educate their children which is why schools such as WeBo, Pioneer, and Seeger exist.

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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

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21 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

Add Jennings County to the list....new turf and upgrades not sure it will matter?

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30 minutes ago, DanteEstonia said:

It sounds like leadership and culture is what holds Jennings County back.

That can often be the case for many athletic departments--too much of an old boy network.

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3 hours ago, vicvinegar said:

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. 

 

 

Lots of good stuff here, every situation is unique.  The key is getting decision makers in those districts to read their own situation, and then make the decisions that help engage students in those districts.   Getting kids to be active, take pride in their school and community, learn sacrifice and teamwork is only going to benefit these schools academically in the long run.  

Your 3rd point about Admin hiring coaches is a tough one.  I'm right with you, but teacher shortage is making that harder and harder.  Why can't every Administrator be given a list of district needs (teachers, coaches, directors, club sponsers, etc) and be given the marching orders by the Superintendent to cross off as many of those needs with each hire as possible?   Wouldn't that mentality bring the greatest value to the school with each open teaching position? 

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5 hours ago, Gipper said:

Indiana is a farming state, therefore a lot of our land is needed for growing crops and raising livestock.  With that, farmers will need to educate their children which is why schools such as WeBo, Pioneer, and Seeger exist.

You and @1st_and_10 want to make it a rural thing.  I think @DT's original point and the one I agree with (did I just say I agree with him???) is that schools that are the ONLY school in the "county" rarely have success.  

Switzerland

Brown

Crawford

Jay 

Union

Jennings

Owen Valley

Pike Central

Benton Central

Rushville 

Connersville

 

I am not saying a rural school or a school named _____ County won't have a good football program.  I just can't think of a school that is the ONLY public school in the county that has had football success. 

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53 minutes ago, oldtimeqb said:

You and @1st_and_10 want to make it a rural thing.  I think @DT's original point and the one I agree with (did I just say I agree with him???) is that schools that are the ONLY school in the "county" rarely have success.  

Switzerland

Brown

Crawford

Jay 

Union

Jennings

Owen Valley

Pike Central

Benton Central

Rushville 

Connersville

 

I am not saying a rural school or a school named _____ County won't have a good football program.  I just can't think of a school that is the ONLY public school in the county that has had football success. 

Interesting post.  Adams and Jay are next to each other.  Both are rural but Adams has Berne, Monroe and Decatur which house (1A) South Adams, (1A) Adam’s Central and (3A) Belmont all of whom have been to or won state.  Granted Belmont has been struggling. Other than Portland, Jay co is corn fields for as far as the eye can see.  Combine all 3 Adam’s co schools into 1 and perhaps the outcome is a underperforming 4-5A (just like Huntington North / Jay)?  

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19 minutes ago, Purdue Pete said:

Interesting post.  Adams and Jay are next to each other.  Both are rural but Adams has Berne, Monroe and Decatur which house (1A) South Adams, (1A) Adam’s Central and (3A) Belmont all of whom have been to or won state.  Granted Belmont has been struggling. Other than Portland, Jay co is corn fields for as far as the eye can see.  Combine all 3 Adam’s co schools into 1 and perhaps the outcome is a underperforming 4-5A (just like Huntington North / Jay)?  

Good info, thanks.  I wish I was better on my geography, but those two counties do seem to indicate my question.  Great hypotheticals. Would a 4A Adams County High be competitive in the "Northeast Nine"?  Would South Jay and North Jay be 2A powers? 

Trying to check out the IHSAA membership map, it appears Fountain Central might be the only example I can find of a single county HS having winning teams on a regular basis

I don't have a good reason as to why this appears to be the case.  It just seems to be a common occurrence.    

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17 minutes ago, oldtimeqb said:

Good info, thanks.  I wish I was better on my geography, but those two counties do seem to indicate my question.  Great hypotheticals. Would a 4A Adams County High be competitive in the "Northeast Nine"?  Would South Jay and North Jay be 2A powers? 

Trying to check out the IHSAA membership map, it appears Fountain Central might be the only example I can find of a single county HS having winning teams on a regular basis

I don't have a good reason as to why this appears to be the case.  It just seems to be a common occurrence.    

Fellow WRC member Seeger (Warren) is usually pretty good as well.

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1 hour ago, oldtimeqb said:

Good info, thanks.  I wish I was better on my geography, but those two counties do seem to indicate my question.  Great hypotheticals. Would a 4A Adams County High be competitive in the "Northeast Nine"?  Would South Jay and North Jay be 2A powers? 

Trying to check out the IHSAA membership map, it appears Fountain Central might be the only example I can find of a single county HS having winning teams on a regular basis

I don't have a good reason as to why this appears to be the case.  It just seems to be a common occurrence.    

Its quite simple, and the reason for the thread in the first place.  County schools struggle in football for a myriad of reasons.  They are all laid out in the first post of the thread.  The ensuing discussion has proven the premise to be true and accurate

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4 hours ago, oldtimeqb said:

Good info, thanks.  I wish I was better on my geography, but those two counties do seem to indicate my question.  Great hypotheticals. Would a 4A Adams County High be competitive in the "Northeast Nine"?  Would South Jay and North Jay be 2A powers? 

Trying to check out the IHSAA membership map, it appears Fountain Central might be the only example I can find of a single county HS having winning teams on a regular basis

I don't have a good reason as to why this appears to be the case.  It just seems to be a common occurrence.    

Attica and Covington are also in Fountain county. I swear to God they are 

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follow the money...counties with thriving industry will produce better athletics programs including superior football teams and better developed football players.  Take Bartholomew County....if you combined the best players from Jackson, Jennings, Jefferson and Scott Counties to play against Columbus East and North teams..both Bartholomew schools beat the piss out of them with ease. 

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16 hours ago, oldtimeqb said:

You and @1st_and_10 want to make it a rural thing.  I think @DT's original point and the one I agree with (did I just say I agree with him???) is that schools that are the ONLY school in the "county" rarely have success.  

Switzerland

Brown

Crawford

Jay 

Union

Jennings

Owen Valley

Pike Central

Benton Central

Rushville 

Connersville

 

I am not saying a rural school or a school named _____ County won't have a good football program.  I just can't think of a school that is the ONLY public school in the county that has had football success. 

I am not trying to make it anything... Seeger is the only school in Warren County.  They have had success.  My point was/is that does the success come from good Community support or does the community support come from the success?  

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On 2/23/2021 at 12:27 PM, 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

Raised in rural Virginia, I was 9 miles from the school, which was surrounded by cornfields on three sides. Not so much these days with urban expansion and the death of the family farm. We had good support because it was the thing to do on Friday nights. Different times now...

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10 hours ago, BigBH said:

follow the money...counties with thriving industry will produce better athletics programs including superior football teams and better developed football players.  Take Bartholomew County....if you combined the best players from Jackson, Jennings, Jefferson and Scott Counties to play against Columbus East and North teams..both Bartholomew schools beat the piss out of them with ease. 

Hmm, I don't recall "thriving industry"  in Marion and Adams townships during the period where Sheridan was dominating 1A football.

 

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On 2/24/2021 at 8:43 AM, vicvinegar said:

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. 

 

 

I may need help to verify my answer to this.

A big problem getting teachers to coach is their teaching workload may be too big to handle all.

Example, in a big school, a math teacher may only be teaching Algebra all day.  The same teacher in a small school may be teaching Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and Calculus.  That's 4 different preps daily.  A lot to put on a plate.

Also, some coaches may get an extra prep during their season...That's shorts the department one class someone will have to cover.

For the experienced teacher, may not be a problem, but the new teacher...very difficult to master in the first couple of years.

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41 minutes ago, DanteEstonia said:

In a rural setting, that includes school boards. 

I would argue school boards are more impactful, particularly in smaller communities, or one-horse communities. Often times, admin's hands are tied because of policies or impacts they know can come from the board. A good school board that works well together and has a progressive vision can do wonders for any school district. 

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1 hour ago, Muda69 said:

Hmm, I don't recall "thriving industry"  in Marion and Adams townships during the period where Sheridan was dominating 1A football.

 

Sheridan is located in the wealthiest county in Indiana....twenty five miles from Indy....not sure about those townships but I can assume many Sheridan residents commute to Indy, Carmel etc for employment....fast forward to today Sheridan has many football/speed/athletic performance facilities to attend if they are willing to pay for the kids sessions....they are not cheap.

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1 hour ago, LaSalle Lions 1976 said:

I may need help to verify my answer to this.

A big problem getting teachers to coach is their teaching workload may be too big to handle all.

Example, in a big school, a math teacher may only be teaching Algebra all day.  The same teacher in a small school may be teaching Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and Calculus.  That's 4 different preps daily.  A lot to put on a plate.

Also, some coaches may get an extra prep during their season...That's shorts the department one class someone will have to cover.

For the experienced teacher, may not be a problem, but the new teacher...very difficult to master in the first couple of years.

I agree that some teaching positions make it more difficult, especially in the first year. Some of it depends on when they are hired. I was lucky enough to be hired in June. So all summer once practice was over, I went to school and worked on lesson plans.

Once school started, I obviously had to make adjustments, but I at least had a majority of lesson plans completed. 

There are other things that can ease up the workload. HC's should realize this and give them less responsibilities. An athletic class, allows the coaches to spend more time focusing on teaching/lesson plans/ grading as opposed to going to weights after school during the off-season.

I'm not disagreeing with you, but at the end of the day, I think that teachers that want to teach ________ & coach _________, are willing to find a way to do it. 

 

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45 minutes ago, BigBH said:

Sheridan is located in the wealthiest county in Indiana....twenty five miles from Indy....not sure about those townships but I can assume many Sheridan residents commute to Indy, Carmel etc for employment....fast forward to today Sheridan has many football/speed/athletic performance facilities to attend if they are willing to pay for the kids sessions....they are not cheap.

Medium income for Sheridan:  https://datausa.io/profile/geo/sheridan-in

Medium income for Carmel:  https://datausa.io/profile/geo/carmel-in/

Yes, Sheridan is located in the wealthiest county in Indiana,  but that wealth doesn't translate to Adams township in the far northwest corner of Hamilton county.  Nor does it translate to Marion township in Boone county, the other township which attends Sheridan schools:  https://censusreporter.org/profiles/06000US1801146854-marion-township-boone-county-in/

 

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