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Starbacker

Middle School Football Consolidation

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Coach Weber can't turn things around when he has no control of his feeder program.

From an outsiders view... with limited inside knowledge. 

Basketball is king at BNL... I think Coach Weber knew that going in, but the lack of control made it tough to see countless athletes give up football as freshman of even before.  Basketball pulls a lot of kids... especially when it seems they have unified and organized their own traveling AAU team.  Lots of those boys are good athletes that may wish they had played football(5'11" kids built like linebackers in JH that are shaving... probably won't be 6'8").  Regardless, someone has to sell the program to those kids who are way to young to pick one sport over another.  Clearly basketball is getting the upper hand.  They are playing young... having success... building relationships.  That is what football should be doing.  Flag football... into 3rd/4th... then 5th/6th football.  In small schools, smart coaches share athletes... not sure that would be something that happens at a bigger school.

As for the MS teams, when your largest middle school can't field a competitive team... that doesn't bode well for the two smaller teams.  Your best athletes aren't going to stay with football if they are losing lots of games and not learning the things necessary to eventually play at the varsity level.  I also wonder how effective those coaches were at selling the program to their players.

By the way... Linton's youth league program is pulling almost the same number of kids out at the youth league levels (granted Linton isn't your typical 1A school).  Clearly, Coach Weber needs to extend his influence a little younger if he wants to see growth.  Not only being visible, but attending a lot of youth league games.  Somebody on staff should be at as many games as possible.  I'm not sure I've seen a BNL 4th grade, 5th grade, or 6th grade all star team travel to the various school affiliated tournaments held toward the end of October... maybe that is a way to extend the season a week or two and begin to develop that combined team that could be a very good MS team... then varsity team.

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1 hour ago, Greene County Coach said:

Basketball is king at BNL..

Which is pretty sad considering that the boys team hasn't made it out of Sectionals since 2001.

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On 1/22/2018 at 9:25 AM, FanFootball said:

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. 

5A/6A Jeff, in Lafayette School Corp, only has the single junior high, Tecumseh, which is 7th/8th grade and one intermediate school, Sunnyside, which is 5th/6th.  On the other side of the area, 5A McCutcheon and 5A Harrison, both in Tippecanoe School Corp, each have three middle schools, grades 6th-8th, that feed into them.

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In regards to the youth leagues, they are not school affiliated.  The Boys Club runs it, and the guy who runs the Boys Club is an assistant on Weber's staff.  He does an exceptional job.  The problem rests with the schools.  He extended signups last year until after school started.  He sent emails to the schools asking to put a reminder of football signups in the announcements, they wouldn't. 

Basketball is king, but baseball is making a push.  A lot of kids play into August.  There were a handful of kids who didn't play football because they were finishing up baseball, and wanted a break.  Couple that with elementary school basketball tryouts, usually the last week of the football, you have scheduling issues.  2 weeks of practice and then 5-6 weeks to play 8 games.

GCC, the 3rd/4th graders took a team to a couple of tournaments in Terre Haute.  There wasn't enough interest from enough of the 5th/6th graders.  They'd already been practicing basketball for 2 weeks.

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55 minutes ago, DanteEstonia said:

Which is pretty sad considering that the boys team hasn't made it out of Sectionals since 2001.

Everybody is the next Damon Bailey ;)

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1 hour ago, SouthNZone said:

In regards to the youth leagues, they are not school affiliated.  The Boys Club runs it, and the guy who runs the Boys Club is an assistant on Weber's staff.  He does an exceptional job.  The problem rests with the schools.  He extended signups last year until after school started.  He sent emails to the schools asking to put a reminder of football signups in the announcements, they wouldn't. 

Basketball is king, but baseball is making a push.  A lot of kids play into August.  There were a handful of kids who didn't play football because they were finishing up baseball, and wanted a break.  Couple that with elementary school basketball tryouts, usually the last week of the football, you have scheduling issues.  2 weeks of practice and then 5-6 weeks to play 8 games.

GCC, the 3rd/4th graders took a team to a couple of tournaments in Terre Haute.  There wasn't enough interest from enough of the 5th/6th graders.  They'd already been practicing basketball for 2 weeks.

And having the HC also being the AD probably doesn't help that cause. 

1 hour ago, Greene County Coach said:

Everybody is the next Damon Bailey ;)

Someone FINALLY said it. Bailey was a blessing during his playing days but has been a curse ever since for BNL. Some might argue his kid is probably a better athlete, not sure if he's as good of basketball player though.

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12 hours ago, valleySTRENGTH said:

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!

They had decent place to practice for a small middle school. 

It was right there on the Middle School property so no problem getting kids there for practice unless they couldn’t walk across the parking lot. 

There has been some very good talent that has came through OMS the past few years and that’s been evident by the number of student athletes with solid contributions to the varsity team on Friday nights. 

They just didn’t practice much and it wasn’t structured until two years ago.  3 days a week tops practicing during the season. 

 

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5 hours ago, Impartial_Observer said:

And having the HC also being the AD probably doesn't help that cause. 

Someone FINALLY said it. Bailey was a blessing during his playing days but has been a curse ever since for BNL. Some might argue his kid is probably a better athlete, not sure if he's as good of basketball player though.

His son is a very good basketball player if not a great one...

but he was a man among boys on the football field at Boys Club football and in Middle School Football. 

I’d have loved to seen him play High School football and I’m convinced he could come out next year his Junior Year and be a solid contributor if not a star he’s that great of an athlete.

 

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8 minutes ago, Starbacker said:

They had decent place to practice for a small middle school. 

It was right there on the Middle School property so no problem getting kids there for practice unless they couldn’t walk across the parking lot. 

There has been some very good talent that has came through OMS the past few years and that’s been evident by the number of student athletes with solid contributions to the varsity team on Friday nights. 

They just didn’t practice much and it wasn’t structured until two years ago.  3 days a week tops practicing during the season. 

 

MS is key to building a good HS program. I've seen it in Vegas for sure. There isn't any real coordination between MS and HS levels, except in rural Moapa Valley and Virgin Valley. 

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On 1/22/2018 at 11:33 AM, Impartial_Observer said:

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

As it should be.  Basketball is still the King of Indiana High School athletics.

As for an individual hired to be a High School Football Coach and then basically taking over the high level decisions for the middle school program(s) as well, shouldn't that entail a title change from coach to "Head of Extracurricular Football Operations" or something similiar?

 

 

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Yes... I have heard a coach or two mention that Bailey was a really good athlete... loves lifting... and would contribute immediately to the varsity football team.  I also heard he was a great kid.  

As for title changes... No need... the job description at most schools already addresses that for many varsity sports.  Most coaches have at least partial control of who they hire to school affiliated positions.  Obviously, if the sport isn't school affiliated until a certain age... varsity coaches may not have official control.  Instead, most good programs work hand and hand from one level to the next.  This can be done through camps, trusted youth coaches, etc...  The key is to get your best athletes to show up to the varsity program.

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As for basketball being king... you may still be living in the 1990's watching Damon Bailey win a state title.  The overall quality of basketball has dropped astronomically over the last 20 years.  Blame class basketball... blame the rise of football... blame the specializing of sports... all I know is... the overall quality seems to have taken a significant dip.

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2 hours ago, Muda69 said:

As it should be.  Basketball is still the King of Indiana High School athletics.

As for an individual hired to be a High School Football Coach and then basically taking over the high level decisions for the middle school program(s) as well, shouldn't that entail a title change from coach to "Head of Extracurricular Football Operations" or something similiar?

 

 

No. You're the HC, the MS is your feeder program, it's your responsibility. 

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1 minute ago, Impartial_Observer said:

No. You're the HC, the MS is your feeder program, it's your responsibility. 

So the MS coaches are really just assistants, subservient to your will?  Is that kind of power usually put into high school football coaching contracts?

 

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Just now, Muda69 said:

So the MS coaches are really just assistants, subservient to your will?  Is that kind of power usually put into high school football coaching contracts?

 

Yes.

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Just now, Impartial_Observer said:

Yes.

So the HS coach has the power to fire MS coaches?

 

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HS Coach finds quality guys to coach his offense and defense, while continuing to work on basic fundamentals of football.  HS Coach establishes the direction of the program... no need to micromanage if you have quality people in place (plus... what coach has time to do that).  That is where recommendations for hiring and firing coaches is important.  

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1 hour ago, Impartial_Observer said:

Yes

My buddy Nate Cangany at Waldron, when he was the HS basketball coach, had the explicit power to hire and fire the middle school basketball coach as an ex officio power; and I was rather surprised that that policy was never implemented in NLCS.

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On 1/24/2018 at 10:17 AM, Greene County Coach said:

As for basketball being king... you may still be living in the 1990's watching Damon Bailey win a state title.  The overall quality of basketball has dropped astronomically over the last 20 years.  Blame class basketball... blame the rise of football... blame the specializing of sports... all I know is... the overall quality seems to have taken a significant dip.

I agree....If Hoosiers were made today...it would be a football movie.

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On 1/23/2018 at 8:56 PM, Starbacker said:

They had decent place to practice for a small middle school. 

It was right there on the Middle School property so no problem getting kids there for practice unless they couldn’t walk across the parking lot. 

There has been some very good talent that has came through OMS the past few years and that’s been evident by the number of student athletes with solid contributions to the varsity team on Friday nights. 

They just didn’t practice much and it wasn’t structured until two years ago.  3 days a week tops practicing during the season. 

 

Back in my day, many moons ago, Oolitic had tremendous talent.  Bobby Crane had an excellent career at Ball State and Brian Nikirk played at Purdue.  

In those days, the middle school was located downtown at the old high school...we had a several block walk to get to and from the practice fields.  Was a nice walk in cleats......

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On 2/13/2018 at 12:30 PM, Trojan Dad said:

Back in my day, many moons ago, Oolitic had tremendous talent.  Bobby Crane had an excellent career at Ball State and Brian Nikirk played at Purdue.  

In those days, the middle school was located downtown at the old high school...we had a several block walk to get to and from the practice fields.  Was a nice walk in cleats......

You been around long enough to remember the high school playing downtown, at the old HS?

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14 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

You been around long enough to remember the high school playing downtown, at the old HS?

If you are referring to BNL, Parkview was never the HS, just the MS.

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29 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

You been around long enough to remember the high school playing downtown, at the old HS?

Are you talking the field behind Parkview? (Thorton & Wilson Park's area) Football transitioned to the BNL campus while I was in high school (frosh year)  Played all my junior high games at the field behind Parkview.  That field is still used for community events.

As Dante indicated, it really wasn't quite downtown....just slightly west of the old Bedford High School....very close to the Boys Club (now Teen Center).  Was there a field more downtown even earlier??  I do remember my folks telling me Bedford had banned football for years following a tragic death of a player...but I cannot confirm this....anyone??

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On 2/8/2018 at 1:25 PM, Titan32 said:

I agree....If Hoosiers were made today...it would be a football movie.

IMO, the decline of IN HS basketball can be attributed to several things that happened during the same general time period:  (1) class basketball; (2) the increasing importance and seediness of AAU basketball; (3) the decline of IU basketball as a national power; and (4) #18 coming to the Colts.    

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