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Middle School Football Consolidation

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Bedford North Lawrence has officially combined the three middle schools into one football team.  I find this to be a positive move for the program as the kids will be running the exact same offense from 7th grade on up.  We at had a middle school running the Wing-T as recently as 3 years ago.  Interested however in the pros & cons of it.  Number have been an issue in the two smaller middle schools and there wasn't enough to field both 7th and 8th grade teams but the biggest positive is Coach Weber having complete control of the program.  We've had a "travel team" that has played in Indy Public School league the past several years and that has been a huge success but not every kid can pay to play.  It's made a noticeable diffence however IMO they will continue to compete in the spring league it appears which is very important becuase the parochial school St. Vincent's runs through 8th grade and doesn't field a football team so it has been very important giving kids an opportunity to play during their 7th & 8th grade years.

https://www.tmnews.com/shared/free-access-school-board-oks-unified-football-program/article_3a072cea-fd43-11e7-a1f0-37630a25482c.html

Edited by Starbacker
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8 hours ago, Starbacker said:

Bedford North Lawrence has officially combined the three middle schools into one football team.  I find this to be a positive move for the program as the kids will be running the exact same offense from 7th grade on up.  We at had a middle school running the Wing-T as recently as 3 years ago.  Interested however in the pros & cons of it.  Number have been an issue in the two smaller middle schools and there wasn't enough to field both 7th and 8th grade teams but the biggest positive is Coach Weber having complete control of the program.  We've had a "travel team" that has played in Indy Public School league the past several years and that has been a huge success but not every kid can pay to play.  It's made a noticeable diffence however IMO they will continue to compete in the spring league it appears which is very important becuase the parochial school St. Vincent's runs through 8th grade and doesn't field a football team so it has been very important giving kids an opportunity to play during their 7th & 8th grade years.

https://www.tmnews.com/shared/free-access-school-board-oks-unified-football-program/article_3a072cea-fd43-11e7-a1f0-37630a25482c.html

Totally agree with running the same offense, Weber had to be totally dismayed at the school board vote a year or so where he didn't get control of the MS teams. 

The big con as I see it uniting under one team, you start paring your team down in the 7th grade instead of the 9th grade. Multiple feeder schools have a big advantage over their single feeder counterparts. In BNL's case, 3 QB's getting reps, 6 RB's 6-9 receivers/slots, 3 centers, etc., all the way thru the 8th grade. Single school feeders only have 1 QB, 2 RB's, 2-3 receivers/slots, 1 center, etc. 

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The essence of contraction.  3 programs contracting down to one.  And it begins.

Edited by DrivenT
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Seems odd that a school the size of BNL would have three middle schools. I can see why they would go from 3 to 1 team, probably not able to properly fill out all three teams. 

There are a good number of 5A schools who only have one middle school. And Westfield a 6A school only has one middle school. 

I agree if you have the numbers to have 2 or 3 middle school teams then it is better for your program to have more players getting more reps. 

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27 minutes ago, DrivenT said:

The essence of contraction.  3 programs contracting down to one.  And it begins.

Come on now... A small 5a school should never have 3 middle schools and try to field 3 full teams. That is at least 15 players per school, per grade, totaling 45 players per grade. I know bigger 5a/6a programs that can't do that. This is not a example of contraction or downsizing. 

Edited by THE FOOTBALL GUY

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7 minutes ago, THE FOOTBALL GUY said:

Come on now... A small 5a school should never have 3 middle schools and try to field 3 full teams. That is at least 15 players per school, per grade, totaling 45 players per grade. I know bigger 5a/6a programs that can't do that. This is not a example of contraction or downsizing. 

Yes it is.  Any reduction in investment in football operations is a sign of contraction.  It is what it is.  No sense in denying the reality.  It's a good thing and will save the school district a substantial amount of money in coaching salaries, equipment, field maintenance costs, insurance expense, game day expenses, etc.  

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44 minutes ago, THE FOOTBALL GUY said:

Come on now... A small 5a school should never have 3 middle schools and try to field 3 full teams. That is at least 15 players per school, per grade, totaling 45 players per grade. I know bigger 5a/6a programs that can't do that. This is not a example of contraction or downsizing. 

I guess I can see it actually increasing the number of kids playing football. 

Although it is a 5A school yes it is a smaller one and there is something about being a BNL Star that excites kids AND not only are they running the same offense under the direction of the High School Head Coach but they don’t go into their freshman year “hating-in a sports sense” kids they have been bitter rivals against in 7th and 8th grade on the gridiron. Grant it that might not be a big deal in a bigger city but I’ve seen it be an issue in a small town. 

As far as contraction goes I’ll concede contraction but it’s in the overall enrollment at the school corporation. Not as many of young men to draw from as the Middle Schools has gotten smaller and smaller. 

The plan is one team and as number increase to add a “B” team or maybe even call it a Blue Team and a Red Team. 

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2 hours ago, DrivenT said:

The essence of contraction.  3 programs contracting down to one.  And it begins.

Don't get too excited DT, I'm sure any mention of a consolidation in Basketball would be laughed out of the board meeting.

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I understand the world changes....as a former STAR and Bearcat in middle school over 3 decades ago, we had no problems with numbers or fielding 7th and 8th grade football teams at Bedford, Oolitic or Shawswick.  The "rivalry" games against each other were really fun and kind of a big deal for the kids and families.  But, the world changes.  Regardless of one or 3 middle school teams, they absolutely should be running the varsity program and the varsity HC should be able to steer the ship.  At the end of the day, they are feeders to the high school.  

I do agree with IO....going to one program seems to cut back the opportunities for youth at a variety of positions to get needed experience in both practice and games, and seems to start the narrowing of players at key positions prior to high school.  

So if I understand this correctly.....one who attends Oolitic could be a "Stonecutter" in the fall for football, and then a Bearcat in the winter for b-ball?  Feels strange....

 

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No they are all BNL Stars...

just as they currently are for middle school 

golf

tennis 

wrestling 

50 minutes ago, Trojan Dad said:

I understand the world changes....as a former STAR and Bearcat in middle school over 3 decades ago, we had no problems with numbers or fielding 7th and 8th grade football teams at Bedford, Oolitic or Shawswick.  The "rivalry" games against each other were really fun and kind of a big deal for the kids and families.  But, the world changes.  Regardless of one or 3 middle school teams, they absolutely should be running the varsity program and the varsity HC should be able to steer the ship.  At the end of the day, they are feeders to the high school.  

I do agree with IO....going to one program seems to cut back the opportunities for youth at a variety of positions to get needed experience in both practice and games, and seems to start the narrowing of players at key positions prior to high school.  

So if I understand this correctly.....one who attends Oolitic could be a "Stonecutter" in the fall for football, and then a Bearcat in the winter for b-ball?  Feels strange....

 

Very fair assessment however I’m not sure Farmers and Bearcats have had enough to have a full squad practice and it’s been iffy at times for Stonecutters as they’ve had to practice with 7th & 8th combined. 

When my boys were at Oolitic they had no problem fielding teams either. Shawswick has for several years. But overall enrollment is down as we’ll combine that with mothers worries about head injuries and kids gravitating to one sport and it’s becoming a problem. 

Thankfully Weber is very encouraging of his student athletes playing multiple sports.  I’m not sure how encouraging other coaches have been though, although there are several young men playing both football and basketball currently. 

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The consolidation should've happened the first time they voted on it. 

The youth league could barely field 4 5th/6th teams last fall, at 13 kids per team.  One team had multiple injuries, their games were 9 on 9.  There will be less than 30 kids total playing in the 7th grade next year.

Playing time, favoritism, the logistics of practice, and the 'feels strange' sentiment Trojan Dad mentioned are just some of the concerns I've heard from parents.   I don't think any of them will be an issue after the first game.

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14 hours ago, Starbacker said:

Bedford North Lawrence has officially combined the three middle schools into one football team.  I find this to be a positive move for the program as the kids will be running the exact same offense from 7th grade on up.  We at had a middle school running the Wing-T as recently as 3 years ago.  Interested however in the pros & cons of it.  Number have been an issue in the two smaller middle schools and there wasn't enough to field both 7th and 8th grade teams but the biggest positive is Coach Weber having complete control of the program.  We've had a "travel team" that has played in Indy Public School league the past several years and that has been a huge success but not every kid can pay to play.  It's made a noticeable diffence however IMO they will continue to compete in the spring league it appears which is very important becuase the parochial school St. Vincent's runs through 8th grade and doesn't field a football team so it has been very important giving kids an opportunity to play during their 7th & 8th grade years.

https://www.tmnews.com/shared/free-access-school-board-oks-unified-football-program/article_3a072cea-fd43-11e7-a1f0-37630a25482c.html

Trying having two high schools, two middle schools, and open enrollment in the same community.

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I have coached against Oolitic for the past 5 years.  There have been years where they could not field one team and then years where there were literally 30+ kids on their sideline but they only wanted to play one game?? It has always seemed rather odd to me.  What do you guys mean when you say that Coach Weber is just now getting his hands on the program?? Was he really not allowed to be involved with the middle schools at all before this consolidation?  Alot of unknowns from an outsider. 

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1 minute ago, valleySTRENGTH said:

I have coached against Oolitic for the past 5 years.  There have been years where they could not field one team and then years where there were literally 30+ kids on their sideline but they only wanted to play one game?? It has always seemed rather odd to me.  What do you guys mean when you say that Coach Weber is just now getting his hands on the program?? Was he really not allowed to be involved with the middle schools at all before this consolidation?  Alot of unknowns from an outsider. 

From my POV and I mean exactly what it sounds like. As crazy as that may seem. One school ran wing-t another ran wishbone. They were not using the playbook and running the same offense/defense as the High School program. So going into their freshman year that is when they learned it. (now there was a travel team that was developed and those kids ran the same system) but every kid just couldn’t be on that team due to logistics, money, being involved in other sports. But no Weber did not have control over the Middle School program at least not as far as I can see.

As far as Oolitic I had more than one son go through that program and how frustrated do you think that made kids and parents?  It was as you say but we dealt with it every week not just the one game against you guys. 

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But no reasoning/explanation?  We came up there two years ago and there were big/athletic looking kids all up and down the sideline.  We played one game and 2 quick qtrs and that was it.  Made no sense to me. 

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9 minutes ago, valleySTRENGTH said:

But no reasoning/explanation?  We came up there two years ago and there were big/athletic looking kids all up and down the sideline.  We played one game and 2 quick qtrs and that was it.  Made no sense to me. 

It was the coach which is yet another reason we needed to consolidate the programs

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1 hour ago, Starbacker said:

It was the coach which is yet another reason we needed to consolidate the programs

That's quite a creative way to RIF someone.

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3 hours ago, Starbacker said:

No they are all BNL Stars...

just as they currently are for middle school 

golf

tennis 

wrestling 

Very fair assessment however I’m not sure Farmers and Bearcats have had enough to have a full squad practice and it’s been iffy at times for Stonecutters as they’ve had to practice with 7th & 8th combined. 

When my boys were at Oolitic they had no problem fielding teams either. Shawswick has for several years. But overall enrollment is down as we’ll combine that with mothers worries about head injuries and kids gravitating to one sport and it’s becoming a problem. 

Thankfully Weber is very encouraging of his student athletes playing multiple sports.  I’m not sure how encouraging other coaches have been though, although there are several young men playing both football and basketball currently. 

So a STAR for football, golf, tennis and wrestling, and a Stonecutter, Bearcat or Farmer for hoops and track?  Is that correct?

I understand with declining enrollments, decisions must be made.  Just hate to see it as years ago, it wasn't an issue.  Playing each other were big games.  We played 8 games a season back then at the junior high level, and 3 of those games were county rivals.  (including Mitchell) To be fair, years ago, I don't think golf, tennis or wrestling was offered at Oolitic or Shawswick, but I may be mistaken.

How's the numbers in the Bedford bantam/Pop Warner league?

Please don't take my comments as negative....just an old dude that struggles with change....;)

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8 hours ago, DrivenT said:

The essence of contraction.  3 programs contracting down to one.  And it begins.

Begins I thought you said it’s been happening for years. 

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1 hour ago, DanteEstonia said:

That's quite a creative way to RIF someone.

Edited by Starbacker

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He had already retired.  Good fellows just set in his ways as was another problem with the three separate Middle School programs.  Actually the last coach at OMS seemed to do his best to run the High School system to the best of his ability. 

Edited by Starbacker
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Yes the past two seasons you could at least see a resemblance of the offense that Coach Weber runs at BNL.  Just curious, what was the structure of OMS football?  Did they practice each day?  Someone mentioned one time that they didnt have a great place to practice/it was hard to get kids there after school/etc.  Just curious. They always looked pretty good getting off the bus I know that!

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17 hours ago, Trojan Dad said:

How's the numbers in the Bedford bantam/Pop Warner league?

 

3rd/4th Graders: 4 teams roughly 15 kids per team.

5th/6th: 4 teams 12-13 kids. As I mentioned above, one team could only play 9.

I can't say for certain the K-2nd flag, but I believe there were 4 teams as well.

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I wonder if Mitchell has any kids playing in the Bedford league. The only field one team in each 3/4 and 5/6 division that we play in. I would think they'd have more numbers than Paoli and Springs Valley who enter 2 in each division.

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