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22 minutes ago, BTF said:

What about the '76 team? Valpo beat Merrillville in the regular season and the Pirates took the tournament game. Was that considered an upset? 

Was the Duneland the dominant conference in the state during the 70's?

The duneland won three consecutive state titles 75 76 77 three different schools. Valpo, Merrillville and then portage. And then the Hobart machine came on the scene and dominated throughout the '80s

 

The best players on the 76 Merrillville state championship team were juniors. So expectations for a repeat in '77 where sky High.

 

I can still remember waking up on a Sunday morning and reading the newspaper from the Friday night game where portage beat Merrillville three to nothing. It was shocking 

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2 hours ago, scarab527 said:

DB Philip Roche who has Big 10 offers is the other marquee guy. They are high on the QB who got injured last year as well but the jury is still out on him without much varsity experience. Other than that I know that they've got some new transfers so we'll see how those kids are. I agree, honestly the whole class is wide open and it'll be interesting to see who's the last team standing. 

Transfers from Gary/Hammond? To your last point, agreed. 5A playoffs are very wide open. Would not be surprised if the winner didn’t come from Indy and came out of The Region, Fort Wayne, Evansville, Or West Lafayette. Bloomington South and Columbus East have the history. I know nothing about what they return this year. I can’t imagine the Olympians being down for too long.

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1 hour ago, DT said:

The duneland won three consecutive state titles 75 76 77 three different schools. Valpo, Merrillville and then portage. And then the Hobart machine came on the scene and dominated throughout the '80s

 

The best players on the 76 Merrillville state championship team were juniors. So expectations for a repeat in '77 where sky High.

 

I can still remember waking up on a Sunday morning and reading the newspaper from the Friday night game where portage beat Merrillville three to nothing. It was shocking 

I remember those Brickies. Quite possibly the team of the 80's. 

The good thing about Portage upsetting Merrillville was that they did the Duneland proud by bringing home the title.

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1 hour ago, Boilernation said:

Transfers from Gary/Hammond? To your last point, agreed. 5A playoffs are very wide open. Would not be surprised if the winner didn’t come from Indy and came out of The Region, Fort Wayne, Evansville, Or West Lafayette. Bloomington South and Columbus East have the history. I know nothing about what they return this year. I can’t imagine the Olympians being down for too long.

West Side is what I heard. I know a couple of their guys went over there after the old coach left for Hobart. 

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4 hours ago, Boilernation said:

Transfers from Gary/Hammond? To your last point, agreed. 5A playoffs are very wide open. Would not be surprised if the winner didn’t come from Indy and came out of The Region, Fort Wayne, Evansville, Or West Lafayette. Bloomington South and Columbus East have the history. I know nothing about what they return this year. I can’t imagine the Olympians being down for too long.

Harrison is losing some key players from last year. I don’t know if people are aware of that or not but people should pump the brakes on them when it comes to being a legit contender. They will take a step back this season. Merrillville is the easy favorite in my books. They’ve still got a couple studs coming back and they’re arguably the hottest program in 5a now. After them, Snider, Dwenger and Decatur Central should be the next best teams.

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7 hours ago, Bears62 said:

Harrison is losing some key players from last year. I don’t know if people are aware of that or not but people should pump the brakes on them when it comes to being a legit contender. They will take a step back this season. Merrillville is the easy favorite in my books. They’ve still got a couple studs coming back and they’re arguably the hottest program in 5a now. After them, Snider, Dwenger and Decatur Central should be the next best teams.

Possibly, but as I explained to my son, at building programs, there are folks in the wings stepping in to fill losses.  I recall the angst at LCC when Chris Mills graduated and then again when Austin Munn graduated and then when Denhart graduated.  I also recall the angst at WL as they progressed through classes yet folks still continue to rag on LCC's success and no one mentions personnel at WL yet WL keeps showing up in that top 5 3A group in every pre-season poll season after season.

It may well be that what carried Harrison, which is arguably still building and climbing into stability, for the last couple years was a player or two, but Harrison has also seen its ranks and abilities swell.  We'll have a fairly decent idea after the first couple of games and should know by the Jeff game at the end of September.  Most folks watch the varsity squads rosters, but I've been watching the Raider undercards and like what I see in the pipeline.

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9 hours ago, Bears62 said:

Harrison is losing some key players from last year. I don’t know if people are aware of that or not but people should pump the brakes on them when it comes to being a legit contender. They will take a step back this season. Merrillville is the easy favorite in my books. They’ve still got a couple studs coming back and they’re arguably the hottest program in 5a now. After them, Snider, Dwenger and Decatur Central should be the next best teams.

Know what keeps me from declaring Merrillville the “easy favorite” right now?

Chatard rolling them in 2020.

Probably unfair on my part, I know…

@BTFknocks me for dropping the phrase “Allen County good” in regards to some of the SAC schools, but I’m fearing Merrillville may only be “Region good” until they prove otherwise.

I’ll take the field in 5A.

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17 minutes ago, temptation said:

Know what keeps me from declaring Merrillville the “easy favorite” right now?

Chatard rolling them in 2020.

Probably unfair on my part, I know…

@BTFknocks me for dropping the phrase “Allen County good” in regards to some of the SAC schools, but I’m fearing Merrillville may only be “Region good” until they prove otherwise.

I’ll take the field in 5A.

Lets be honest here. "Allen County good" equates to "no problem competing with" any program outside of the Indy mega schools. And Snider might take exception to that since they had the MIC and the HCC down late in the second half before bowing out in two very close games...........both within the last five years. I get the Homestead/Carroll thing as neither one has enjoyed success against Indy in recent memory. 

Back on topic. Merrillville the "easy" favorite equates to "very naive." If Carroll (SAC co-champs with Snider and Luers) met up with Merrillville last year, it would have been a pick-em game. 

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8 minutes ago, BTF said:

Lets be honest here. "Allen County good" equates to "no problem competing with" any program outside of the Indy mega schools. And Snider might take exception to that since they had the MIC and the HCC down late in the second half before bowing out in two very close games...........both within the last five years. I get the Homestead/Carroll thing as neither one has enjoyed success against Indy in recent memory. 

Back on topic. Merrillville the "easy" favorite equates to "very naive." If Carroll (SAC co-champs with Snider and Luers) met up with Merrillville last year, it would have been a pick-em game. 

And I’m taking nothing away from that 2020 Chatard outfit.  They went 14-1 and rolled to the 3A state title but they DOMINATED a Merrillville squad that was hyped up all season.

Makes me think Decatur Central (or someone else) can do the same to them this fall.

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On 7/21/2022 at 2:56 PM, scarab527 said:

The more you know. Always thought it was the cluster until 1985. Before my time. 

Cluster in 83-84. IHSAA reaction to bias of point system that left out some top teams (example: Heritage Hills 1980 and SB St Joseph with consecutive undefeated seasons and then sued IHSAA ). Same result as point system, left out top teams. Can read previous comments by Irishman on how messed up it was (could play Wednesday night football to conclude regular season and then cluster tie breakers on Saturday) All in started 1985. Read Daniel Engler's book on Indiana fb playoff history for details. 

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8 minutes ago, temptation said:

And I’m taking nothing away from that 2020 Chatard outfit.  They went 14-1 and rolled to the 3A state title but they DOMINATED a Merrillville squad that was hyped up all season.

Makes me think Decatur Central (or someone else) can do the same to them this fall.

Chatard was a beast that year. Any given year there are 5 Indy schools that the rest of the state probably won't win against. That year, Chatard was one of them, although Fort Wayne Concordia took them to the wire. 

I think Chatard knew they were facing a beast in Merrillville with all they hype and brought their best game to the table. Merrillville had no idea what they were up against and were probably unprepared for the truck that was about to hit them. Make sense? Thus the importance in scheduling stiff competition before the truck hits. 

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32 minutes ago, BTF said:

Chatard was a beast that year. Any given year there are 5 Indy schools that the rest of the state probably won't win against. That year, Chatard was one of them, although Fort Wayne Concordia took them to the wire. 

I think Chatard knew they were facing a beast in Merrillville with all they hype and brought their best game to the table. Merrillville had no idea what they were up against and were probably unprepared for the truck that was about to hit them. Make sense? Thus the importance in scheduling stiff competition before the truck hits. 

Yeah, I get it but if you want to be taken seriously as a 5A/6A contender you can’t get wrecked by a 3A school, no matter how good they are.

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Just now, temptation said:

Yeah, I get it but if you want to be taken seriously as a 5A/6A contender you can’t get wrecked by a 3A school, no matter how good they are.

I can't debate that. Agree. 

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5 hours ago, BTF said:

Lets be honest here. "Allen County good" equates to "no problem competing with" any program outside of the Indy mega schools. And Snider might take exception to that since they had the MIC and the HCC down late in the second half before bowing out in two very close games...........both within the last five years. I get the Homestead/Carroll thing as neither one has enjoyed success against Indy in recent memory. 

Back on topic. Merrillville the "easy" favorite equates to "very naive." If Carroll (SAC co-champs with Snider and Luers) met up with Merrillville last year, it would have been a pick-em game. 

Naive, that’s a good one. News flash: Carroll isn’t in 5a. It doesn’t matter if Carroll was just as good at Merrillville last year. 5a is extremely watered down compared to recent years. 
 

Maybe “clear” would have been a better choice than “easy”, but either way, if Merrillville isn’t your preseason favorite for 5a, maybe you should do some deeper research.

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5 hours ago, temptation said:

Know what keeps me from declaring Merrillville the “easy favorite” right now?

Chatard rolling them in 2020.

Probably unfair on my part, I know…

@BTFknocks me for dropping the phrase “Allen County good” in regards to some of the SAC schools, but I’m fearing Merrillville may only be “Region good” until they prove otherwise.

I’ll take the field in 5A.

“Region good” is good enough to win 5a this year. Biggest threat out of Indy is Decatur Central? DC is strong and worthy of being called a contender, but if that’s the toughest Indy school Merrillville has to face, they are thrilled. I see the FW schools as bigger threats than DC too. DC isn’t a traditional Indy school playing other powerhouses each week. DC’s and Merrillville’s conference schedules are pretty similar in terms of how tough they are.

 

And that Chatard team was pretty damn good. Definitely a disappointing effort from the Pirates that week, but there was a lot of good teams Chatard would have done the same damage to.

 

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6 hours ago, BTF said:

Back on topic. Merrillville the "easy" favorite equates to "very naive." If Carroll (SAC co-champs with Snider and Luers) met up with Merrillville last year, it would have been a pick-em game

I don’t wanna argue about this because there’s no definitive way of knowing, but having seen both teams play, I think saying that would’ve been a pick ‘em game is just not accurate. I think the Pirates were far and away the best team outside of the Indy metro area last year, which shows just how far ahead Indy is of the competition. 

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On 7/22/2022 at 8:18 AM, Indiana Fan said:

My 5A top 10 contenders:

1. Decatur Central

2. Merrillville

3. Snider

4. Dwenger

5. Harrison

6. Whiteland

7. Bloomington South

8. Valpo

9. Michigan City

10. New Albany

 

New Albany will be lucky to win 4 games this year.. I would venture to say Columbus East will be in the top 10 with what they return after a down year. 

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On 7/21/2022 at 11:37 AM, scarab527 said:

I don't know if Merrillville is as much of a lock to come out of the North as others believe. Still think they're the favorites but they lost a lot of talent from their team from last year. They have a JV sectional but regionals and semistate won't be easy. Snider is definitely a possibility to be the North representative and FW North is the wildcard in the situation. Factor in Valpo, MC, and Mishawaka as potential dark horses. For the South, I think that DC is the favorite currently but I have heard they lost a good amount talent as well. I think that Harrison could easily be the team that gets to LOS. The sectional matchup between them and DC might decide who gets there. Castle and Evansville North are the potential sleepers I see down South. Overall though, I think that 5A South isn't nearly as deep as the North. I'll go out on a limb here and say that the North will take the 5A crown this year. 

May wanna go do more research. Merrillville has a crap ton of transfers again. From Andrean, westside, Ben Davis, Hobart, lake central, Hobart. Again I’ll go out and say merrillville has the same if not a little more talent than last year. Everyone has been replaced except the NT grant. Which you can’t replace a kid of that caliber. 
2 Safeys with D1 offers, 2 LBs with D1 offers, Dline is probably all D2, DBs are all Gonna be good they all have intrest but nothing yet.

offense side.. QB was replaced by someone better that played last year till week 6 when he got hurt. We have 4 RBs that all have D1 offers (at other positions), and a D1 Wr( marshall) I can go through and name the players if need be 🙂 

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On 7/21/2022 at 1:35 PM, BTF said:

I hope the Pirates are good. They are too good of a program historically to not have a state title to their credit. As long as it's not at the expense of a team from the SAC, I hope they get it done. Valpo is another good program that should have a better shot now that they are playing teams in their own weight class.

 

Valpo has been in 5A for 4 years already. And Valpo is going to be down this year. DAC top teams this year should be merrillville, city, crown point, Chesterton 

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On 7/22/2022 at 7:18 AM, Indiana Fan said:

My 5A top 10 contenders:

1. Decatur Central

2. Merrillville

3. Snider

4. Dwenger

5. Harrison

6. Whiteland

7. Bloomington South

8. Valpo

9. Michigan City

10. New Albany

 

I actually agree with you here. Except I wouldn’t have Valpo on this list. I been saying since last year. Merrillville should be 2 and DC at 1!!! And I’m not sold on NA

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On 7/22/2022 at 1:37 PM, Boilernation said:

That's scary. Who of significance are they actually returning other than Marshall? IMO, they lost way too much talent from last year to be thinking a step down to 5A will open the gates for them. Granted, they basically get a bye through Sectionals, but isn't it too premature to be thinking State Finals or bust? 5A North looks wide open to me and should be highly entertaining. 

 

Marshall (RB/slot Wr)

roche (saftey d1/ RB)

jaylen (QB) (played a lot last season) 

payton (TE/Hback)

the entire secondary is back. And we have a lot of transfers that started on other teams last year to fill The holes. All juniors for most part 

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13 hours ago, Justasportsfan said:

The pirates won 2 consecutive sectionals n dropped a class?

They weren't bumped via the Success Factor. SF points only apply to schools that have already been bumped, not to schools who were in a class on enrollment. 

Merrillville could've won two straight 6A state titles and dropped to 5A if its enrollment dipped below the line. 

But Cathedral wins two sectionals or one regional, it'll stay in 6A. 

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