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TitanObserver

Combining South Gibson Basketball Teams

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So its been going on for a few years now about discussing the issue on combining the South Gibson Middle School Basketball Programs. It has its positives and Negatives . Trying to get this issue out their so that it can be discussed in a serious conversation to try and get this issue resolved soon. Please share your thoughts on this issue. 

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I've always thought that having 3 middle schools is an advantage. You have 15 starters coming into 9th grade, which means you probably have 25ish players with quite a bit of basketball experience. Yes, if you just had one middle school team you would win a lot more, but winning in 8th grade doesn't always = varsity success. We can all think of "late bloomers" who have come out of nowhere to really make an impact on our varsity teams. Those kids might get discouraged and quit if they sit the bench or get cut in middle school. There are pros and cons to each, but I think the pros far outweigh the cons on this issue. 

Just to be clear, this has nothing to do with, "everyone should play and get trophies and lollipops." Some years Fort Branch might have most of the tallent (like current 6th grade), but I believe having more kids start, means more kids to work with/ choose from at the high school level.

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Now that we have finally consolidated youth baseball.  Basketball is the only sport left.  Here are some points for thought:

  • School Sponsored Transportation - Fort Branch, Owensville and Haubstadt parents drive their kids to all away games.  Although consolidating would mean practices might not be at your home school....football has proven since 1994 that the logistics of overcoming this issue are pretty simple with after school, corporation provided transportation to the practice site. 
  • Team Cohesiveness - Similar sized schools, Heritage Hills, Princeton,  Mt. Vernon, Vincennes etc. start practicing together as a "high school feeder" team and playing games together as soon as football is over in November.  We have to put together a "travel/all star" team together and won't get to play together as a rule until very late January early February.  Keep in mind it is likely that the "travel/all star" team runs different schemes than the regular season school team.   Let's just say conservatively that equates to 1 month of "together" practice.  That's 4 months from 5th though 8th grade.....there is no doubt a cumulative affect on our level of play.
  • Scheduling - I think this one speaks for itself in terms of the quality of competition we would/should be playing against.  Not to mention the level of stress currently placed on our Principals.
  • Quality Coaching - In our current paradigm we require coaches for the following, 5th boys (times three schools), 5th girls (times three schools), 6th boys (times three schools), 6th girls (times three schools), 7th boys (times three schools), 7th girls (times three schools), 8th boys (times three schools), 8th girls (times three schools).  Worst case scenario, that equates to 24 coaches.  Best case, when each head coach takes two grade levels, that is 12 head coaches.  (This doesn't even count the Parochial schools) We have some outstanding youth coaches, and more than a few of those work outside the school corporation.  But we probably don't have 12 qualified coaches....I doubt any community our size would, therefore many kids aren't getting the level of instruction that they should.
  • Participation - I just don't buy the participation argument at all. This argument was made in baseball for years...thank goodness some good men have injected some logic into that situation.  The solution is simple, we have both A and B teams with 10 kids on each team or even a few more.  Do we really think that we have more than 20 kids in each grade level that should be playing basketball?
  • What levels? - Perhaps it is best to leave 5th and 6th alone as technically in my mind those groups are still youth.  I have seen years when Haubstadt has 20 plus kids on its 6th grade team.  However, I think by 7th and 8th grade (just like football) it's time to move toward consolidation...I would consider these kids Jr. High and the goal there should be grooming kids toward a successful varsity experience.
23 hours ago, abc123 said:

I've always thought that having 3 middle schools is an advantage. You have 15 starters coming into 9th grade, which means you probably have 25ish players with quite a bit of basketball experience. Yes, if you just had one middle school team you would win a lot more, but winning in 8th grade doesn't always = varsity success. We can all think of "late bloomers" who have come out of nowhere to really make an impact on our varsity teams. Those kids might get discouraged and quit if they sit the bench or get cut in middle school. There are pros and cons to each, but I think the pros far outweigh the cons on this issue. 

Just to be clear, this has nothing to do with, "everyone should play and get trophies and lollipops." Some years Fort Branch might have most of the tallent (like current 6th grade), but I believe having more kids start, means more kids to work with/ choose from at the high school level.

Hi there my North Gibson Friend,

I am curious what your exposure level is to our basketball programs?  Do you coach?  Do you have kids currently playing?  The fact you have had some exposure to the Fort Branch 6th grade team peaks my curiosity.

Edited by Titan32

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I'm a basketball fan. I like to see how the youth teams are doing from time to time. I heard that Ft. Branch had a really good 6th grade so I caught a game. I remembered seeing South Gibson's travel team and it looks like they're basically all from Ft. Branch. 

You make some good points. I think the best point is the one of qualified coaches. I know a lot of schools who struggle to find 1 good coach, let alone 3 for each grade. 

However, football and baseball are hard to compare to basketball. You need a lot more numbers to play those, and Owensville would probably struggle to field football or baseball teams. 

I'm not saying consolidating would for sure be an awful idea, I just think there are more positive reasons to have teams at each school, especially if you have solid coaches. I don't know exactly what South Gibson's middle school schedule looks like, but they have to play the PAC schools. My guess is that schedule would stay similar. It would open up 2 more games and maybe they would play Ev. North and another big school.

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30 minutes ago, abc123 said:

I'm a basketball fan. I like to see how the youth teams are doing from time to time. I heard that Ft. Branch had a really good 6th grade so I caught a game. I remembered seeing South Gibson's travel team and it looks like they're basically all from Ft. Branch. 

You make some good points. I think the best point is the one of qualified coaches. I know a lot of schools who struggle to find 1 good coach, let alone 3 for each grade. 

However, football and baseball are hard to compare to basketball. You need a lot more numbers to play those, and Owensville would probably struggle to field football or baseball teams. 

I'm not saying consolidating would for sure be an awful idea, I just think there are more positive reasons to have teams at each school, especially if you have solid coaches. I don't know exactly what South Gibson's middle school schedule looks like, but they have to play the PAC schools. My guess is that schedule would stay similar. It would open up 2 more games and maybe they would play Ev. North and another big school.

All three towns had football teams when we consolidated in 1994.   Owensville fields an age level team in baseball every year at each level.

The schedule is NOT a PAC schedule for 5th through 8th.  And there is NO South Gibson Middle school.....three completely different schedules.  It is a struggle to get enough games period and you are competing with our other schools for games times.

The Fort branch 6th grade team has all but three of our travel team kids...and is fortunate enough to have the same coach.  The Haubstadt 8th grade team is in a similar situation.....but those are rare...very rare.  And that fact doesn't really support either argument.

I believe the current paradigm has put us at a strategic disadvantage for years as compared to similar sized High Schools in the area.

 

Edited by Titan32

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I know there isn't a south gibson middle school. I meant, I'm not sure what the 3 schools' schedules look like. (I didn't word the previous post very well) 

I just now looked at the Ft. Branch and Haubstadt schedules. I was shocked to see that they didn't play all the PAC schools. That is a big issue. 

I've taken a step toward agreeing with you now that I've seen the schedules.

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In 7th and 8th, I don't think they need to play all the PAC schools.  There is a PAC tourney at the end of the year where they will see those teams.  Nothing wrong with playing Princeton, Vincennes, Castle and some other Evansville schools during the regular season.  I actually see both sides of this.  In football we try to turn at least 25 kids in each grade over to the high school team each year as freshmen.  In basketball it would be nice to turn 12 to 15 over as freshmen each year.  That would be my only hesitation....not sure if we could get that year in and year out with a consolidated team.

Hell just 2 years ago Haubstadt won back to back girls hoop PAC titles and a volleyball title.  It's impressive because they get to add Ft. Branch, Owensville, & St. James kids to the mix for high school.  When with the other teams, what you saw is what you are getting in high school.  Haubstadt's 8th grade boys should be favorites to win this year.  

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19 minutes ago, Titan32 said:

Now that we have finally consolidated youth baseball.  Basketball is the only sport left.  Here are some points for thought:

  • School Sponsored Transportation - Fort Branch, Owensville and Haubstadt parents drive their kids to all away games.  Although consolidating would mean practices might not be at your home school....football has proven since 1994 that the logistics of overcoming this issue are pretty simple with after school, corporation provided transportation to the practice site. 
  • Team Cohesiveness - Similar sized schools, Heritage Hills, Princeton,  Mt. Vernon, Vincennes etc. start practicing together as a "high school feeder" team and playing games together as soon as football is over in November.  We have to put together a "travel/all star" team together and won't get to play together as a rule until very late January early February.  Let's just say conservatively that equates to 1 month of "together" practice.  That's 4 months from 5th though 8th grade.....there is no doubt a cumulative affect on our level of play.
  • Scheduling - I think this one speaks for itself in terms of the quality of competition we would/should be playing against.
  • Quality Coaching - In our current paradigm we require coaches for the following, 5th boys (times three schools), 5th girls (times three schools), 6th boys (times three schools), 6th girls (times three schools), 7th boys (times three schools), 7th girls (times three schools), 8th boys (times three schools), 8th girls (times three schools).  Worst case scenario, that equates to 24 coaches.  Best case, when each head coach takes two grade levels, that is 12 head coaches.  (This doesn't even count the Parochial schools) We have some outstanding youth coaches, and more than a few of those work outside the school corporation.  But we probably don't have 12 qualified coaches....I doubt any community our size would, therefore many kids aren't getting the level of instruction that they should.
  • Participation - I just don't buy the participation argument at all. This argument was made in baseball for years...thank goodness some good men of injected some logic into that situation.  The solution is simple, we have both A and B teams with 10 kids on each team or even a few more.  Do we really think that we have more than 20 kids in each grade level that should be playing basketball?
  • What levels? - Perhaps it is best to leave 5th and 6th alone as technically in my mind those groups are still youth.  I have seen years when Haubstadt has 20 plus kids on its 6th grade team.  However, I think by 7th and 8th grade (just like football) it's time to move toward consolidation...I would consider these kids Jr. High and the goal there should be grooming kids toward a successful varsity experience.

Hi there my North Gibson Friend,

I am curious what your exposure level is to our basketball programs?  Do you coach?  Do you have kids currently playing?  The fact you have had some exposure to the Fort Branch 6th grade team peaks my curiosity.

Titan 32 is absolutely correct! An A and B team would basically get the same things done that three teams do. I also agree the 5th grade could be apart of the school or actually be a part of the Little Titan program. I do however think by the 6th grade we should be starting the consolidation, and putting some of our stronger coaches here to develop our kids. We may want to keep more kids at that age, but should be more concerned with practices than games anyway at that level.  Speaking of the Little Titan program I've been impressed with what they are doing, but am concerned it will slip once some of these dads are out of it.

I would also like to expand on some more of Titan 32's thoughts:

         * Last year when the schools sent out paperwork asking for a vote on consolidation of the program, did the whole community get a vote? Did the Catholic schools? Shouldn't we ultimately allow the guys that are paid to run their programs have a more weighted vote. They are the guys that get held accountable for their programs. I was told that both of our varsity coaches were for consolidation. 

         * Scheduling is an absolute disaster! These teams actually play three games a year against each other that could be used to play better competition. Haubstadt alone played 3 total PAC teams this year before the tourney, not one Evansville team, and will play at max a total of 18 games this year. The 5th, 6th, and 7th could possibly play 5-6 games a year against South Gibson schools. Now that would be fine if you had even or close competition, but in the past five years some schools can even put 5 kids on the floor boys or girls for a team. So the games become lopsided and quite honestly our best kids, our kids that put in the time get less playing times than the kids ( the so called possible late bloomers) get. Look at Haubstadt's 8th grade this year for example. By the way,  if we aren't going to consolidate and we really want to help the "late bloomers" wouldn't it be better if you had 4 kids in the 8th at Owensville, and 14 at Haubstadt to give some of those kids an option to play at the other schools if we were really looking at development? Your 10th player at Fort Branch may be better than your best player at Haubstadt, but has to play behind those kids instead of "starting" at Haubstadt. 

        * Coaches or lack of experienced coaches are a major problem. Your biggest fundamental development years are 5th and 6th grade. Those coaches have been made up of predominately parents for the last 10 years, because the Principals wait until a week or two before season to find coaches.  That's not totally the Principals fault, and they need some guidance and help from above. I'm also not sure how much direction the coaches at the junior high get from the top, or even if there is an understanding of the situation at the top. As 32 said there may not be more than 10 qualified coaches that could be available in the program at the junior high. In the last 5 years we've had two 7th grade coaches that were younger than 20 coaching. Great kids! Great kids with little or no direction from anywhere! We've had a seventh grade coach that also never played a lick of high school basketball  coach for three years at one of our schools. Super guy, but a coach with zero basketball coaching experience. I didn't see him call a timeout for almost an entire season on a team that won very few games. There needs to be some guidance, some structure, and some training here. 

      * The other issue with transportation is the fact we've asked unpaid lay coaches to drive to away games, and at times they have to help get some of their teams there. Wouldn't one team be less expensive than 3?

      * The uniform situation is an issue too. 5th and 6th graders at some schools for years have had to wear hand me down 7-8th grade uniforms.  One set of uniforms, instead of three would cheaper.

      * To also add to Titan 32's argument on coaches, if consolidated with less coaches we could finally pay 5th and 6th grade coaches and be able to pay one person to be AD of the entire middle school program instead of 3. Could even have an asst. AD paid a stipend if needed. I've had a hard time understanding why we haven't paid 5th and 6th grade basketball coaches or provided buses to some away games when we could afford some of the other things we've purchased. 

        I know this. There are many more people that truly care about Gibson Southern basketball that want consolidation than those that don't. I know them and talk to them daily. People who have spent countless hours of time working with our kids, and know the strengths and weaknesses in our program. Don't we owe it the kids that work their tails off to coach them, direct them, and give them the best program and opportunities we can?  

 

      

 

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You guys have made a believer out of me. You need paid 5th and 6th grade coaches, team transportation and a schedule overhaul (these are 3 things that outsiders aren't aware of). My arguments are out of date. It's hard to admit being wrong...especially to GS guys. It helps that we won last night. :02_v: 

Which home gym would you use? Would you rotate?

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23 hours ago, abc123 said:

You guys have made a believer out of me. You need paid 5th and 6th grade coaches, team transportation and a schedule overhaul (these are 3 things that outsiders aren't aware of). My arguments are out of date. It's hard to admit being wrong...especially to GS guys. It helps that we won last night. :02_v: 

Which home gym would you use? Would you rotate?

I think different grade levels would have different home Gyms if transportation logistics worked out.  Rotating locations year over year might not be a bad idea.

At the end of the day....and with our growth we may not be that far away....we need 7th and 8th graders out in a building near Gibson Southern.  It would put a lot of these issues to rest.  

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I love these Southern Indiana threads - takes me back to my roots!

I'm going to disagree with the others.  To me, you can only play a "school" schedule with players who attend the same "school".  That's what the IHSAA would say for high schools, so it seems that IHSAA members would follow that line of thinking down through their feeders as well.  The corporation seems irrelevant.  I honestly can't think of anybody in Indiana that co-ops teams from multiple school-buildings and tries to play a "school" schedule with that co-op team.  Travel teams - yes very common, school teams - I know of none.  And even as you say you're somehow already doing this for football, you mention other kids coming into the high school from Catholic schools, so you still wouldn't have everyone playing together from 6th-8th grade. (presumably you're not allowing kids from outside the corporation (parochial) onto the school/corporation junior high football team)  Seems like over time, you'd lose the identity of the schools within those towns, inevitably schools that used to have their own teams would only have 1 kid make the co-op basketball team, or cheerleader, or one town wouldn't be represented on the coaching staff, etc. - and you'd just have to fight off dissension or apathy if the teams become dominated by one town.

Here in Indianapolis, we've currently got University, Howe, Brebeuf, & Cathedral all ranked in the top 10 of 1A, 2A, 3A, & 4A.  None of these schools have a combined feeder junior high team.  In fact 3 of the 4 have no feeder schools at all - the kids who enroll in 9th grade typically come from 10+ junior highs and the freshmen therefore have never played together previously.  Here in the densely populated areas, transfers are so common that you'd be hard pressed to find 10% of the schools that have a varsity basketball team where all the players came from a corporation feeder school.  You may think it's a disadvantage vs schools in your area, but clearly statewide these schools are able to achieve lofty rankings without having grown up together.  Do any of the Evansville/Castle schools (public or parochial) co-op school teams? - a quick look at the DOE site shows there are twice as many junior highs (or middle schools) as high schools and it looks like the Catholic feeders are still K-8 setup just like the Diocese schools here.  You guys being 3A, I think you'd find a lot of 3A and certainly most of 4A basketball have multiple 7th-8th grade teams.

If you've got that much support for this concept, you ought to vote in a school board slate that would install a junior high/intermediate/elementary concept for all facets of schooling, not just sports.  With 3 towns of equal sized buildings you'd have one building house K-2, one that houses grades 3-5 and the third building houses 6th-8th grades.  Just my opinion - good topic!

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I can see both sides of this argument, but one thing I'll throw into the scheduling side of the debate:  A common complaint I hear from 7th/8th grade coaches form both boys and girls is that there frequently aren't enough days between games to actually improve on things that get exposed during games.  Throw in some flu bugs, snow days, an other scheduling obstacles and suddenly you can have a 1.5 week span with 4 games and 1-2 practices.  Sometimes you need the game to show what needs work to get the kids' attention, but you need practice time to actually get better. 

Not really taking a side in the thread discussion, just warning that more games does not always equal a better schedule.

 

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Many great points on both sides.  IHSAA rules are guides but not the law for middle schools and our 5/6 elementary teams are not actually considered "school" teams.

Coach Sisley several years ago redid the HH feeder system when we could not field a freshman team(only 4 kids showed up).  Our combined group starts in 7th grade and I believe that to be the right age to do it not that you can't wait until later but IMO it makes complete sense from not just a competitive standpoint but from a cohesive standpoint(this way you have a united program before getting to high school level). A little background we have 4 elementary schools that go to 6th grade.  Chrisney and Lincoln Trail(south end).  David Turnham and Nancy Hanks(north end).  Before coach made the changes we had two 6th grade school teams North and South divided by geography.  Our 2-5 grades were instructional league.  First he got 5th grade teams established(playing other schools) and paid coaches for both 5&6(all of our coaches 2-6 are reviewed and selected by the head coaching staff). It isn't much but the booster club pays them a stipend so there are two 5th and two 6th grade teams(each have an A&B) with a season of about 12 games playing other schools.  The feeder coaches have a meeting with coach to understand what he wants taught as to develop each kid and make the program better.We do NOT cut anyone.  We no longer use geography but balance these teams competitively.  We have seen these kids since 2nd grade so divide 2 best ball handlers, shooters, bigs, etc.  These teams practice 2 times a week for about 90 minutes.  Our 2nd/3rd grade teams(we usually get about 8 teams with 7 kids) practice 1 or 2 times a week and play games on Saturday and Sundays from Mid December to Mid Feb. (there are a few days off about 14 games).  There is no score or scorebook kept and no 3 point line for 2/3.  And we stop the game for teaching moments.  The 4th grade is the same only 4 teams and we keep the score/fouls but still no 3 point line.  At the conclusion of this(mid Feb) for all grades 2-6 a tryout is held for the travel team.  Generally we keep 8(sometimes based on skill we may get to 9 or 10 but that is hard since these parents paying $), however ANY kid that tries out is invited to all practices.  This rule also goes for our 7th and 8th travel teams.  The result is our numbers are very good and no doubt we have some very talented kids going thru our program right now but I believe the skill development and competitiveness of the entire program is definitely related to how this program is being run

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