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2022 North Central Conference Thread (NCC)


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25 minutes ago, Footballking16 said:

What's been the downfall of McCutcheon?

Jeff and Harrison are continuing on an upward trajectory and West Lafayette is one of the best public school programs in the state. 

I don't think it's necessarily a downfall, but instead a "not keeping up" ... which makes it look like a downfall.

If you go back a decade or so, you'll see a situation where Harrison had three 0-10 seasons, 2011-2013, in a row.  This was on the eve of Coach Peeples taking the reigns there.  In those years, you'll also see that McCutcheon was also struggling ... along with Jeff too.  The local town talk tended to be around which of those would end up "winning the area" because the idea of having winning seasons was out of the discussion.  Coach Peeples embarked on a steady program of building Harrison's foundation; nothing overly flashy, but getting student/school/community buy-in and building his pipeline.  The HYF self-contained youth program was formed and instead of the various feeder schools competing against each other, they started playing together ... at least in the K-6 kids.  Jeff also had the Moore transition into the Shanley-era where there was a change of buy-in and foundation-building.  McCutcheon, at least from my viewpoint, seemed more in a status quo mode where they were expecting to get better, but didn't seem to be taking similar growth steps of their Lafayette-area brethren.  McCutcheon had big kids in the mid-2010s and was relatively competitive.

One other thing that may have also contributed, although this is pure conjecture backed with a little anecdotal info, is the move toward non-contact football at McCutcheon.  At one time, McCutcheon had Little Mavs, which was a self-contained contact youth program.  About a half-decade or so ago, they moved to flag-only.  It likely hasn't had a physical/direct impact on the high school program, but it may have had an impact on buy-in.  Anecdotally, I was over at Jeff a few years back for Jr. Broncho baseball tryouts and I was talking with a couple of parents who had commented that there were some McCutcheon kids trying out for Jeff youth baseball.  They had stated that the kids had come over to Jeff to play tackle ball with the 56ers when McCutcheon went to flag through 6th grade and had stayed behind to also tryout for baseball.  Again, just anecdotal and just a local outsider's view.  McCutcheon folks may be able to give much more direct and accurate inputs. 

 

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1 hour ago, Footballking16 said:

What's been the downfall of McCutcheon?

Jeff and Harrison are continuing on an upward trajectory and West Lafayette is one of the best public school programs in the state. 

There was a stretch of about 10-15 years around the late 90’s up to 2010 or so when the south side of Lafayette experienced a housing boom and became the trendy part of Tippecanoe County to move to.  They were pulling athletes from Jeff, and Harrison wasn’t seeing the growth in their district yet.  That trend on the south side stopped with the housing market taking a dump about 12-15 years ago.  The families that moved in during their growth period had kids that made up the really strong classes they had up to around 2019.  As the housing market recovered, most of the new construction in Tippecanoe County in the past 10 years has been in the Harrison district (note their enrollment growth to over 2000).  Many of the young families that have moved to those homes in Harrison’s district now have children that are getting to high school, and their talent pool has improved to the point that they have the best athletic program in the NCC.  Jeff has turned things around a bit with keeping their athletes from leaving (as well as poaching a few from the TSC district).  McCutcheon doesn’t have a lot of talent in the pipeline compared to Jeff and Harrison, but they will still be very competitive in certain sports (see Volleyball and their connections to club volleyball programs).  West Side will always have an abundance of talent with a small but affluent district that resembles the demographics of Central Catholic.

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10 minutes ago, foxbat said:

I don't think it's necessarily a downfall, but instead a "not keeping up" ... which makes it look like a downfall.

If you go back a decade or so, you'll see a situation where Harrison had three 0-10 seasons, 2011-2013, in a row.  This was on the eve of Coach Peeples taking the reigns there.  In those years, you'll also see that McCutcheon was also struggling ... along with Jeff too.  The local town talk tended to be around which of those would end up "winning the area" because the idea of having winning seasons was out of the discussion.  Coach Peeples embarked on a steady program of building Harrison's foundation; nothing overly flashy, but getting student/school/community buy-in and building his pipeline.  The HYF self-contained youth program was formed and instead of the various feeder schools competing against each other, they started playing together ... at least in the K-6 kids.  Jeff also had the Moore transition into the Shanley-era where there was a change of buy-in and foundation-building.  McCutcheon, at least from my viewpoint, seemed more in a status quo mode where they were expecting to get better, but didn't seem to be taking similar growth steps of their Lafayette-area brethren.  McCutcheon had big kids in the mid-2010s and was relatively competitive.

One other thing that may have also contributed, although this is pure conjecture backed with a little anecdotal info, is the move toward non-contact football at McCutcheon.  At one time, McCutcheon had Little Mavs, which was a self-contained contact youth program.  About a half-decade or so ago, they moved to flag-only.  It likely hasn't had a physical/direct impact on the high school program, but it may have had an impact on buy-in.  Anecdotally, I was over at Jeff a few years back for Jr. Broncho baseball tryouts and I was talking with a couple of parents who had commented that there were some McCutcheon kids trying out for Jeff youth baseball.  They had stated that the kids had come over to Jeff to play tackle ball with the 56ers when McCutcheon went to flag through 6th grade and had stayed behind to also tryout for baseball.  Again, just anecdotal and just a local outsider's view.  McCutcheon folks may be able to give much more direct and accurate inputs. 

 

Peebles is the correct spelling.  FYI

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9 minutes ago, foxbat said:

I don't think it's necessarily a downfall, but instead a "not keeping up" ... which makes it look like a downfall.

If you go back a decade or so, you'll see a situation where Harrison had three 0-10 seasons, 2011-2013, in a row.  This was on the eve of Coach Peeples taking the reigns there.  In those years, you'll also see that McCutcheon was also struggling ... along with Jeff too.  The local town talk tended to be around which of those would end up "winning the area" because the idea of having winning seasons was out of the discussion.  Coach Peeples embarked on a steady program of building Harrison's foundation; nothing overly flashy, but getting student/school/community buy-in and building his pipeline.  The HYF self-contained youth program was formed and instead of the various feeder schools competing against each other, they started playing together ... at least in the K-6 kids.  Jeff also had the Moore transition into the Shanley-era where there was a change of buy-in and foundation-building.  McCutcheon, at least from my viewpoint, seemed more in a status quo mode where they were expecting to get better, but didn't seem to be taking similar growth steps of their Lafayette-area brethren.  McCutcheon had big kids in the mid-2010s and was relatively competitive.

One other thing that may have also contributed, although this is pure conjecture backed with a little anecdotal info, is the move toward non-contact football at McCutcheon.  At one time, McCutcheon had Little Mavs, which was a self-contained contact youth program.  About a half-decade or so ago, they moved to flag-only.  It likely hasn't had a physical/direct impact on the high school program, but it may have had an impact on buy-in.  Anecdotally, I was over at Jeff a few years back for Jr. Broncho baseball tryouts and I was talking with a couple of parents who had commented that there were some McCutcheon kids trying out for Jeff youth baseball.  They had stated that the kids had come over to Jeff to play tackle ball with the 56ers when McCutcheon went to flag through 6th grade and had stayed behind to also tryout for baseball.  Again, just anecdotal and just a local outsider's view.  McCutcheon folks may be able to give much more direct and accurate inputs. 

 

Thanks for the info.

Others will laugh and call it a non-issue, but your last paragraph makes a ton of sense. I always keep coming back to it, but having a strong youth and feeder system in my mind is the biggest key to maintaining a successful high school program. I get the safety issues revolving around football these days, but not having tackle football until 7th or 8th grade is still an insane concept to me. Kids should be taught as early as 3rd or 4th grade the fundamentals and techniques to contact and hitting drills. Kids having to be taught the basic fundamentals of contact football at 13 or 14 years old puts them at an extreme disadvantage to their peers who have kids that have been participating in contact football as early as 8 or 9 years old. 

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3 minutes ago, DT said:

Peebles is the correct spelling.  FYI

Yeah, I know.  For some reason, my autospell puts in Peeples and I didn't override it / see it ... was focused more on the general content.  Not sure why it does that since we get plenty of team e-mails from him ... including one this morning.

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7 minutes ago, Footballking16 said:

Thanks for the info.

Others will laugh and call it a non-issue, but your last paragraph makes a ton of sense. I always keep coming back to it, but having a strong youth and feeder system in my mind is the biggest key to maintaining a successful high school program. I get the safety issues revolving around football these days, but not having tackle football until 7th or 8th grade is still an insane concept to me. Kids should be taught as early as 3rd or 4th grade the fundamentals and techniques to contact and hitting drills. Kids having to be taught the basic fundamentals of contact football at 13 or 14 years old puts them at an extreme disadvantage to their peers who have kids that have been participating in contact football as early as 8 or 9 years old. 

Hence the CYO advantage we keep talking about.

 

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4 minutes ago, Footballking16 said:

Thanks for the info.

Others will laugh and call it a non-issue, but your last paragraph makes a ton of sense. I always keep coming back to it, but having a strong youth and feeder system in my mind is the biggest key to maintaining a successful high school program. I get the safety issues revolving around football these days, but not having tackle football until 7th or 8th grade is still an insane concept to me. Kids should be taught as early as 3rd or 4th grade the fundamentals and techniques to contact and hitting drills. Kids having to be taught the basic fundamentals of contact football at 13 or 14 years old puts them at an extreme disadvantage to their peers who have kids that have been participating in contact football as early as 8 or 9 years old. 

I think some schools can handle/manage that non-contact item.  @Coach Nowlin can provide more insight on that as RCHS moved to a non-contact model, but still maintained good numbers/interest/buy-in.  With that said, there's a very good community buy-in/support for RCHS and that was there before the shift and was, in my opinion, much stronger than just the contact element.  That may well be tied to a small community aspect as opposed to even the football aspect.  It may also be tied to a difference in small-school compared to big-school ball.  Most of what I've observed with that has been tied more toward anecdotal experience as opposed to data analysis so far.

With that said, I have a couple of posts here on GID where I gave the data analysis on the LCC program before and after the start of their youth program and the data for that school pretty much shows that the youth program had a major ... positive ... impact on the program's trajectory.  The idea of kids not seeing football until 7th/8th or even high school was one of the specific stated reasons for the introduction of the youth program.  The expansion of the program, to include 3rd graders, and 2nd graders with parental/league approval was tied to some of the safety concerns that we were seeing with 4th graders being at a distinctly different level than 6th graders.  That's when we split the league into a 3rd/4th and 5th/6th league.

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42 minutes ago, HoopsCoach said:

There was a stretch of about 10-15 years around the late 90’s up to 2010 or so when the south side of Lafayette experienced a housing boom and became the trendy part of Tippecanoe County to move to.  They were pulling athletes from Jeff, and Harrison wasn’t seeing the growth in their district yet.  That trend on the south side stopped with the housing market taking a dump about 12-15 years ago.  The families that moved in during their growth period had kids that made up the really strong classes they had up to around 2019.  As the housing market recovered, most of the new construction in Tippecanoe County in the past 10 years has been in the Harrison district (note their enrollment growth to over 2000).  Many of the young families that have moved to those homes in Harrison’s district now have children that are getting to high school, and their talent pool has improved to the point that they have the best athletic program in the NCC.  Jeff has turned things around a bit with keeping their athletes from leaving (as well as poaching a few from the TSC district).  McCutcheon doesn’t have a lot of talent in the pipeline compared to Jeff and Harrison, but they will still be very competitive in certain sports (see Volleyball and their connections to club volleyball programs).  West Side will always have an abundance of talent with a small but affluent district that resembles the demographics of Central Catholic.

Did leaving the HCC have any influence on the success of the Tippecanoe County teams?  They were pretty much the whipping boys of the HCC, so I can only imagine moving to the NCC improved their participation levels and success on the field, at least during the regular season.  They still have struggled in the postseason.

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9 minutes ago, DT said:

Hence the CYO advantage we keep talking about.

 

 

3 minutes ago, Footballking16 said:

It's a huge advantage, not sure it warrants a multiplier though.

There are several public schools who have high level feeder programs as well. 

Again, as I mentioned in another thread, LCC formed the youth league with three other public school programs. By the time I'd come on board, that league included:

  • Battleground which feeds into Harrison
  • Klondike which feeds into Harrison
  • Benton Central
  • East Tipp which feeds into Harrison
  • LCC
  • Delphi
  • West Lafayette

It eventually also included teams from

  • Rossville
  • South Newton
  • Kankakee Valley

and also was involved in playing cross-league games with Monticello's youth football that include teams that fed into Twin Lakes and also played with teams from North White and Tri-Central.  Of course, locally, there's also 56ers which is Jeff's self-contained program, HYF which is the Harrison self-contained league, and the Mavs program which has gone to non-contact.  There are also programs like the Lebanon Youth Football that includes Lebanon, Western Boone, Tri-West, North Montgomery, South Montgomery, Crawfordsville and Danville. 

Yes, there's CYO leagues, but there are LOTS of public youth programs that are out there.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Ballhawk said:

Did leaving the HCC have any influence on the success of the Tippecanoe County teams?  They were pretty much the whipping boys of the HCC, so I can only imagine moving to the NCC improved their participation levels and success on the field, at least during the regular season.  They still have struggled in the postseason.

I’m a strong believer in the benefits of being in a conference where every week you play a good team, but in my opinion, I think them getting booted from the HCC was the best thing that could have happened to them. Jeff, Harrison and McCutcheon were getting smoked by HCC teams on the regular. I think Jeff upset Avon in 2013 and McCutcheon beat Zionsville in 2014, but those might have been the only wins any Lafayette schools had against HCC schools since at least 2010. That’s about a 2-82 record against HCC schools between Jeff, Harrison and McCutcheon if my math is right.

Getting back to my point, the Lafayette trio rejoined the NCC beginning at the 2015 season. Jeff then beat both Westfield in 2017 and Noblesville in 2018 sectional games. Both of those games were followed by (debatably respectable considering all things) losses to Carmel 41-20 and 41-21. Harrison hasn’t broken through by beating an HCC team yet, but they have put up decent efforts against Westfield and Zionsville in recent years. Also, if these teams never get booted, maybe Shanley never comes to Jeff and Peebles ditches for a school with greener pastures. Then these 2 programs would likely not be in nearly as good of a position as they are in now.

You’re 100% correct when saying that this move boosted participation and definitely boosted morale within the programs.

Both these teams have much more manageable sectionals, Jeff should be the favorite in theirs and Harrison should be the 2nd best team in theirs behind Decatur Central.

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