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DTs Dandy Dozen - Programs on the Brink / Can they get it turned around?


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Recent trend has not been good at these schools.  Are the right people and programs in place to get things turned around?

 

 

Munster (6-35 last 4 seasons)

Stangs showed some life last season with 3 wins.  Does Jason Grunewald finally have the program turned around and can Munster ever be what it was from the 70s to the early 2000s.  
 
Goshen (9-39 last 5 seasons)
Former Wawasee Coach Tom Wogomon was hired to try and fix this broken program.  Numbers have been low for several years.  Is the Goshen Football Culture gone for good?
 
Plymouth (2-16 last 2 years/0-10 in 2021)
Long time Coach John Barron walked away from this mess after last years winless season.  Plymouth numbers, like Goshen, are way down.  Big rebuilding job ahead for former Wabash Coach Adam Handley.
 
Avon (1-9 last year)
Was 2021 a one year blip for the Orioles or the beginning of a decline for this former HCC powerhouse?  The conference is rising fast and Avon needs to get back on track before falling too far behind.  Big year ahead for Mark Bless and his staff.  
 
Ben Davis (25-24 in 4 years since 14-0 2017 season)
Jason Simmons is one game over .500 at BD since taking over in 2018.  Giants are always a contender to reach semi state in 6A but is this the new standard for the Giants?  
 
Columbus East (4-6 in 2021)
Not a great start for Eddie Vogel after taking over from retired Hall of Famer Bob Gaddis.  North seems to have seized all the momentum in town and expectations are high for the Dogs under Logan Haston.  East lost several Hoosier Hills Conference games last year after winning nearly 100 straight.  Is the CE era of HHC domination over, and are the O's now behind CN in their own backyard?
 
East Chicago Central (2-12 last 2 years)
This program has really fallen off under Dane Dinkins and the Cardinals were completely over matched last year.  Central has always had athletes but they dont seem to be playing football in decent numbers anymore.  Appears the ECC administration may no longer be interested in football.  That's a big loss for Region football overall.  
 
Evansville Reitz (11-21 over last 3 seasons)
Is that right?  Venerable Ev Reitz with that 3 year record?  Hard to believe.  First it was Central rising, now its North.  Reitz is no longer mentioned as a top SIAC program.  Is the local talent pool drying up?  Are kids choosing other conference schools?  Is this staff overmatched in the league?  Not a good trend for long time Reitz fans and supporters.
 
Franklin Community (6-13 last two years)
Very discouraging trend for Chris Coll's program.  Had some momentum early in his tenure but bottomed out last two seasons and stuck in a very tough Mid State Conference with rising programs everywhere.  Does this program need a new direction?  
 
Greenwood (15-31 last 4 years)
The Woodmen have been a cornerstone program in the Mid State for years, but the conference may be finally outgrowing them as the recent record indicates.  GW is the smallest school in the conference and will likely find a new home within the next 3 to 5 years with other like size central Indiana schools. 
 
Huntington North (12-39 last 5 seasons)
HN might be the most underachieving high school football program in Indiana.  Great facilities, plenty of athletes.  Affluent community.  Solid conference.  Whats wrong with this program?  
 
Lake Central (11-39 last 5 years)
LC, the biggest school in The Duneland Conference, has the league's worst football program and the trend is showing no signs of improving.  Richard Good was brought in from 3A Calumet High School to turn this mess around and the Indians were 3-7 in Good's first season, starting 3-0, and finishing with a 7 game losing streak including a 54-6 thumping at the hands of Lafayette Jeff in the sectional.  LC needs to show some improvement this year. 
 
Noblesville (5-24 last 3 seasons)
The HCC is now the toughest conference in the state, and Dave Sharpe was hired to bring the Miller football program up to a competitive level and eventually be in the mix for a conference title and advancement into the 6A post season tournament.  Noblesville has 2 HCC wins over the last 3 years, both over poor Franklin Central teams.  Sharpe will have 3 D1 linemen to run behind this season.  Could be a make or break year for this staff at NHS.  
 
Penn (17-16 over last 3 years)
Penn was the North's dominant program for 3 decades, but the Kingsmen have been surpassed and the program does not develop the same level of talent it did in the past.  Penn is no longer mentioned as a threat to win the 6A title.  The admin should consider new leadership before Penn Football falls too far behind and simply cannot catch up 
 
Richmond (9-42 last 5 seasons)
Is this program beyond fixable?  5 different staffs over the past 8 years.  Low numbers?  Disinterested admin and community?  Conference disconnect?  Lots of problems.  Very few answers.
 
South Bend St Joe (9-23 last 3 seasons)
Ben Downey is back to try and get St Joe football back on track.  South Bend football is a complete cluster , which does not help Downey's rebuilding efforts, and Mike Davidson has a monster at Mishawaka Marian.  Bloomington South transfer Daeh McCullough, the states #2 player behind Andrean's Drayk Bowen, should help immensely this year 
 
Warren Central (9-10 last 2 seasons)
With Center Grove and Carmel out of the way, Warren is back as Top Dog in The MIC.  Are the Warriors ready to return to prime time under Coach Mike KIrshner?  This program does not produce the high end talent it did 10 to 15 years ago, and many schools in Indy have caught up to WC in total enrollment.  2022 is a huge year for Kirschner and his staff, and will give a clear indication if this program is still considered amongst the "elite" in Class 6A.  
 
Wawasee (10-40 over past 5 seasons)
It doesn't seem that long ago that the Warriors were playing Roncalli in the 4A state title game.  This program has been trending down for years and hit rock bottom in 2021.  Wawasee might be overmatched in The NLC over the long term.  Perhaps a new conference home might be the best answer.  
 
 
Edited by DT
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1 hour ago, DT said:

Munster (6-35 last 4 seasons)

Stangs showed some life last season with 3 wins.  Does Jason Grunewald finally have the program turned around and can Munster ever be what it was from the 70s to the early 2000s.

Munster’s best team was in 1969.

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8 minutes ago, Bobref said:

Munster’s best team was in 1969.

The Dennis Flynn/Dave Such/Art Equiah teams of the 70s were more talented.

The Munster-Merrillville matchups of the mid 70s were probably the Mustangs all time high point.  

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28 minutes ago, DT said:

The Dennis Flynn/Dave Such/Art Equiah teams of the 70s were more talented.

The Munster-Merrillville matchups of the mid 70s were probably the Mustangs all time high point.  

The 1969 team had 4 D-1 players. Don’t think they’ve done that since.

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1 minute ago, Bobref said:

The 1969 team had 4 D-1 players. Don’t think they’ve done that since.

Different era Bob

60s D1 players were much smaller, slower and less athletic than those turned out in the 70s.  

Not an apples to apples comparison.

Munster and Hammond  were far ahead of everyone in NWI football in the 60s.  Many schools caught up in the 70s.

Valpo/Merrillville/Portage/Highland/Hobart

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4 minutes ago, DT said:

Different era Bob

60s D1 players were much smaller, slower and less athletic than those turned out in the 70s.  

Not an apples to apples comparison.

Munster and Hammond  were far ahead of everyone in NWI football in the 60s.  Many schools caught up in the 70s.

Valpo/Merrillville/Portage/Highland/Hobart

The 1969 team finished ranked 9th in the state at a time when there was only 1 class in football. Relative to the.  O petition, Munster has never had a better season. And I’m not sure how Munster was “far ahead” of the rest of NW Indiana, since 1969 was only the 4th season of varsity football.

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2 minutes ago, Bobref said:

The 1969 team finished ranked 9th in the state at a time when there was only 1 class in football. Relative to the.  O petition, Munster has never had a better season. And I’m not sure how Munster was “far ahead” of the rest of NW Indiana, since 1969 was only the 4th season of varsity football.

Its a testament to John Friend.  Munster was dominant immediately when the program started.  Hammond and Gary teams dominated in the 60s as East Chicago Roosevelt and Whiting  started to downtrend.  Munster was the first suburban team to have an impact in the Region, and it happened quickly.  No disrespect to the '69 Stangs, but they would be no match for some of Friends early to mid 70s teams, when that program was at the top of Region football.  

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1 hour ago, DT said:

Evansville Reitz (11-21 over last 3 seasons)

Is that right?  Venerable Ev Reitz with that 3 year record?  Hard to believe.  First it was Central rising, now its North.  Reitz is no longer mentioned as a top SIAC program.  Is the local talent pool drying up?  Are kids choosing other conference schools?  Is this staff overmatched in the league?  Not a good trend for long time Reitz fans and supporters.

The talent pool may be shifting, if you will. Central is in some measure of turmoil as several kids have jumped to Reitz, along a player or two from other EVSC schools (all purely for academic reasons, mind you). As a result, Reitz will be much improved. Of the 5 EVSC programs, Reitz and North will be the best, while Central, Bosse and Harrison will struggle.   

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2 hours ago, DT said:

Recent trend has not been good at these schools.  Are the right people and programs in place to get things turned around? 

Goshen (9-39 last 5 seasons)
Former Wawasee Coach Tom Wogomon was hired to try and fix this broken program.  Numbers have been low for several years.  Is the Goshen Football Culture gone for good?

More recently, the former NORTHRIDGE coach from 2013-2020 after coaching Wawasee from 2007-2012.

Another side note - Coach Wogomon is a Goshen alumnus. Best of luck to him turning things around for the Redskins Redhawks

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5 hours ago, DT said:

 

 
Warren Central (9-10 last 2 seasons)
With Center Grove and Carmel out of the way, Warren is back as Top Dog in The MIC.  Are the Warriors ready to return to prime time under Coach Mike KIrshner?  This program does not produce the high end talent it did 10 to 15 years ago, and many schools in Indy have caught up to WC in total enrollment.  2022 is a huge year for Kirschner and his staff, and will give a clear indication if this program is still considered amongst the "elite" in Class 6A.  
 
 
 

https://twitter.com/joziahedmond4/status/1537166353857224706?s=20&t=dZNtRutX9B9nqRP4j1mYMg

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5 hours ago, DT said:

Ben Davis (25-24 in 4 years since 14-0 2017 season)

Jason Simmons is one game over .500 at BD since taking over in 2018.  Giants are always a contender to reach semi state in 6A but is this the new standard for the Giants?  
 

You did forget the MIC Co-Championship in 2019. I think the Giants still have the same standards. First year was a 3-7 disaster after losing 52 seniors from 2017....22-17 since. BD has three-straight Sectionals and Regionals. BD also defeated Carmel and Brownsburg the last two years in the Regional. Regular season record struggle has been early for BD 10-14 in August & September under Coach Simmons, 15-10 after...15-7 if you take out 2018.

Giants have gotten better throughout the year the last few and have been playing good football by October. The last two losses against Center Grove in Semi-State have not been particularly pretty, but who else beat Center Grove the last two years? Unless you were Cathedral or Westfield, it hasn't been particularly pretty.

Does that mean the program is satisfied? Nah. I don't think Coach Simmons is either. Time will tell though, you're right. 

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43 minutes ago, BDGiant93 said:

You did forget the MIC Co-Championship in 2019. I think the Giants still have the same standards. First year was a 3-7 disaster after losing 52 seniors from 2017....22-17 since. BD has three-straight Sectionals and Regionals. BD also defeated Carmel and Brownsburg the last two years in the Regional. Regular season record struggle has been early for BD 10-14 in August & September under Coach Simmons, 15-10 after...15-7 if you take out 2018.

Giants have gotten better throughout the year the last few and have been playing good football by October. The last two losses against Center Grove in Semi-State have not been particularly pretty, but who else beat Center Grove the last two years? Unless you were Cathedral or Westfield, it hasn't been particularly pretty.

Does that mean the program is satisfied? Nah. I don't think Coach Simmons is either. Time will tell though, you're right. 

Does a school with nearly 2500 boys get to play the “rebuilding card?”

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6 hours ago, DT said:

Its a testament to John Friend.  Munster was dominant immediately when the program started.  Hammond and Gary teams dominated in the 60s as East Chicago Roosevelt and Whiting  started to downtrend.  Munster was the first suburban team to have an impact in the Region, and it happened quickly.  No disrespect to the '69 Stangs, but they would be no match for some of Friends early to mid 70s teams, when that program was at the top of Region football.  

I saw all those teams play multiple times, as I had 3 younger brothers attend Munster. One of them started on the Flynn-Such team you mentioned. I’m not unbiased, but I respectfully disagree. And, I can tell you with certainty, because I got it from the horse’s mouth, that John Friend disagrees with you as well.

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2 minutes ago, Bobref said:

I saw all those teams play multiple times, as I had 3 younger brothers attend Munster. One of them started on the Flynn-Such team you mentioned. I’m not unbiased, but I respectfully disagree. And, I can tell you with certainty, because I got it from the horse’s mouth, that John Friend disagrees with you as well.

Who were the standouts on that 69 team?  What were their HT/WHT?  Positions played?  Seasonal stats?  Where did they go to college?  Did they have successful college careers?  I thought Flynn was the top lineman in Munster history.  Also a state champ hvy weight wrestler. 

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Dennis was a great player and a great kid. He was a close friend of my younger brother, so I was around him frequently. 

From the entire decade of the 70s, there are 3 Munster players who have been inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame (one of whom had been a high school coach for many years when he was inducted). There are 3 from the 1969 team alone (one of them inducted as an official). From that team two (Larry and Keith Johnson) went on to play at Michigan. Tom Karras played at Southern Illinois, and Jim Eidam played at Northern Illinois. Both Tom and Jim played in the North-South game.

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1. It is hilarious, but not surprising, that when Bobref points out that '69 was probably Munster's best team, HHFDT points out that the '70's were "a different era". By a single year!

2. Only one school made this list based on a one year record....... solely because Mark Bless won't give HHFDT the time of day.

That is all.

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2 hours ago, Staxawax said:

1. It is hilarious, but not surprising, that when Bobref points out that '69 was probably Munster's best team, HHFDT points out that the '70's were "a different era". By a single year!

2. Only one school made this list based on a one year record....... solely because Mark Bless won't give HHFDT the time of day.

That is all.

I probably wouldn't want to talk to the media if I were 1-9 either.

 

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On 6/17/2022 at 7:41 AM, DT said:

Recent trend has not been good at these schools.  Are the right people and programs in place to get things turned around?

Evansville Reitz (11-21 over last 3 seasons)
Is that right?  Venerable Ev Reitz with that 3 year record?  Hard to believe.  First it was Central rising, now its North.  Reitz is no longer mentioned as a top SIAC program.  Is the local talent pool drying up?  Are kids choosing other conference schools?  Is this staff overmatched in the league?  Not a good trend for long time Reitz fans and supporters.

To answer the first question as it pertains to Reitz, I believe so. Cory Brunson is known for turning around two programs at Evansville Harrison and Mt. Vernon (Posey). Both schools were lucky to win a few games before he arrived and turned them both into winning teams.
 

To answer your next two questions, I think Reitz has struggled to trend back up due to lack of/losing talent to other schools and also a handful of other schools in the conference being good the last 5-6 years. I would imagine the talent pool will shift back eventually and kids will start staying/going to Reitz, which is how it used to be. And there’s a lot of talk on the west side that this Reitz team could be the group that gets them back to winning records, with a mix of returning talent and gained talent. Have to appreciate some parity and how competitive the SIAC has been in recent years though.

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On 6/17/2022 at 4:46 PM, Bobref said:

I saw all those teams play multiple times, as I had 3 younger brothers attend Munster. One of them started on the Flynn-Such team you mentioned. I’m not unbiased, but I respectfully disagree. And, I can tell you with certainty, because I got it from the horse’s mouth, that John Friend disagrees with you as well.

He still won't agree.  🙂 

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On 6/17/2022 at 2:41 PM, temptation said:

Does a school with nearly 2500 boys get to play the “rebuilding card?”

Yes. In the case of 2018, Jason Simmons was not hired until March. From December to March, the program had no leadership as many of Mike Kirschner's top assistants left for their own opportunities. Many of the others weren't sure if they wanted to come back. In effect, the program had no rudder. That, coupled with the loss of 52 seniors, in my opinion sunk Coach Simmons the first year. Yes, you can be rebuilding while retooling too.

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2 minutes ago, BDGiant93 said:

Yes. 

LOL.  Even after a season where they won games by an average of 32 points per game and got many of their underclassmen significant playing time?

I’m going to need someone who doesn’t drink his own homemade kool aid to chime in on this one.

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4 minutes ago, temptation said:

LOL.  Even after a season where they won games by an average of 32 points per game and got many of their underclassmen significant playing time?

I’m going to need someone who doesn’t drink his own homemade kool aid to chime in on this one.

You're always in attack mode man. You need to put a little somethin' somethin' in your own Kool-Aid to calm down, brother.

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4 minutes ago, BDGiant93 said:

You're always in attack mode man. You need to put a little somethin' somethin' in your own Kool-Aid to calm down, brother.

Nah, just not afraid to challenge the beliefs of some on here.  Don’t overthink it.

I asked a question.  You gave a one word answer with no supporting evidence.

I challenged you again…you changed the subject.

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2 hours ago, BDGiant93 said:

Yes. In the case of 2018, Jason Simmons was not hired until March. From December to March, the program had no leadership as many of Mike Kirschner's top assistants left for their own opportunities. Many of the others weren't sure if they wanted to come back. In effect, the program had no rudder. That, coupled with the loss of 52 seniors, in my opinion sunk Coach Simmons the first year. Yes, you can be rebuilding while retooling too.

I gotta align with BDG93.....

3 straight semi-states, running into a tough CG team each time isn't what I would call seasons of failure....Final 4 6A 3 years in a row?  And somehow that's bad?

2 of those years, they beat Brownsburg and Carmel in the regionals.....

 

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