Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Elite" 11

During recent discussions on this blog, readers wondered whether the Avella football team – down to 13 players (one female) for Homecoming last week versus Bentworth – should forfeit Friday's game against Clairton.

Some interesting posts were made in favor and against such action.

Well, the Observer-Reporter received an e-mail from Eagles head coach Frank Gray, a man trying his best to salvage a difficult situation.

It read, "Thought you might want to know that we are going to play the #1 team in Class A (Clairton) on Friday with only 11 available players to dress. Two of our players were injured in the Bentworth game, and we have no substitutes on the sideline, but we are going to Clairton."

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dumb. Sorry...just dumb. Why? Coach, what are you trying to prove? This game wont last 12 minutes.

R. Keith Taylor said...

My brother gets shafted weekly by Ringgold's coaching staff. He is 6'3" and 290 and they cannot find a place for him on the line. I am sure he could help. But seriously, I do not know what Avella is trying to prove. They need to look into conscription or something. The WPIAL needs to say "Hey! Mercy clock the whole game!" There comes a point when you just can not play, and these boys and girl can not play. I feel so bad for all of these kids for going through this. If the numbers are low, they should just get put with like McGuffey or some team close. GOOD LUCK AVELLA!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am personally disgusted by this. It almost seems as though Coach Gray is putting his pride ahead of the health and safety of his team. You are going to go play the #1 team in your class with 11 players? Is 1 of those 11 a girl? God I hope not. One twisted ankle, 1 hit, 1 anything and this game is over...but I'm sure at that point coach will just ask the officials to let his team play with 10 or 9. Coach, please stop this. Please do the right thing this morning and call Clairton and cancel this game. If anyone reading this blog knows coach Gray can someone please try and talk some sense into him...there is still time. Your kids are going to get hurt.

Brant said...

You make a good point, anonymous. What happens if, on the opening kickoff, two of Avella's players get hurt. Do they call the game after one play, after all the fans, concession stand workers, officials, etc., have come to the field? I understand that the coach is trying to do his best in a bad situation, but at some point, you have to say, "Enough is enough." This is bordering on a highly dangerous situation for the remaining Avella players, especially when you consider the opposition this week.

Anonymous said...

I mean no disrespect to the Avella players and parents when i say this and i hope no one gets hurt, but i hope Clairton puts 100 points on the board tonight against Coach Gray. Clairton needs to show no mercy tonight against Avella. If this coach wants to put his kids on the field with this team tonight than he (Frank Gray) deserves everything he gets. This is ridiculous. 11 players? One of which i think is a girl? Against Clairton? Are you kidding? Against Bentworth, Frazier and Burgettstown its bad enough to play a game with this few kids, but Clairton? You are sending 11 kids to play offense, defense and special teams against arguably the best team in the state in Clairton. Someone at Avella or in the WPIAL needs to stop this from happening tonight.

Chris Dugan said...

Frank Gray told me last week that he expects anywhere from 10 to 14 players to move up from the junior high to the varsity next season, so Avella is attempting to play out the string this year. A forfeit will likely lead to the program being bounced from the WPIAL for at least one year.

This all goes back to a conversation Avella officials had with the WPIAL. The following is taken from Mike Kovak's story on Aug. 19:

A call was placed to WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley, who informed Avella officials that the cancellation of the 2008 season would mean no football – at least as a member of the WPIAL – in 2009. ...

"The WPIAL told us, if anybody can't field a team, then you get sanctioned for a year and are out of the league the next year," Gray said. "There was no way. We're gonna play."

Chris Dugan said...

According to the McKeesport Daily News, Avella has 11 players (all boys) in uniform tonight and the game will be played with a running clock for all four quarters.

Clairton Alum said...

Oh boy...where to start...

First of all, i want to commend those kids on avella's team for showing up, putting the pads on and playing clairton last night. Those kids tried, they played hurt, and they didnt quit. On kickoffs they didnt take knees, on runs they didnt run out of bounds. This team played their hearts out.

Now, that being said, that wasnt really football last night. A running clock the entire game? 8 minute quarters in the second half? 10 on 10 football because of an injury to Avella's QB? An 85 minute game start to finish? Clairton basically walking through the game? Clairton playing all freshman outside of the 1st quarter...

I read all of the articles and posts this week, i understand Avella would be sanctioned, but come on. If Avella got down to 5 players would they have played 5 on 5 just so they didnt get sanctioned next year? I agree with some of the other posts, the kids safety and health needs to be considered here.

Avella's band was very good...

On a side note, what happened to Fort Cherry and Chartiers Houston? Fort Cherry by 1 over Burgettstown? Chartiers Houston 14-13 over Bentworth? Werent these teams supposed to be real good?

Next week Clairton/Serra...that is going to be a real good game...

Brant said...

By running the clock the whole game, shortening the quarters and allowing 10-on-10 play, the officials and/or the WPIAL made a mockery of the game. Perhaps the answer is to remove the sanction of Avella being barred from the WPIAL next year and put an immediate end to this insanity. It's not like Avella forfeiting the rest of its games this year is going to make a difference in the outcome of any of those games. The bottom line is doing what is right for the kids. The right thing to do for this year's team is to put an end to this. The right thing to do next year is to let Avella play in the WPIAL if it can get its numbers up. Common sense needs to prevail.

J.D. Billy said...

Clairton alum,

That game is not going to be good at all. Fort Cherry beat Serra 41-24 and i believe Clairton demolished Fort Cherry 55-7. It is just going to be Clairton beating up on everyone like every week. I don't think any of their games are worth watching until it gets to the playoffs. They win too convincingly!

clairton alum said...

I know JD...im trying...lol...

Seriously though, Clairton/Serra is a big rivalry back from the Eastern Conference. Serra will play hard. Also, Clairton will get some stupid Unsportsman like calls and some personal fouls because thats what they do against rivals...especially Serra. It SHOULD be 9 straight wins and 9 straight mercy rule games...but we'll see...

Clairton alum said...

I WOULD LIKE EVERYONE TO READ THIS PLEASE.

Clairton gets a lot of criticism every year, some of it deserved, for a lack of sportsmanship, lack of compassion, dirty play and so on. As a Clairton grad i do understand some of it, but i also know that because of the bears reputation, some of that criticism is blown out of proportion.

This today from The Daily News Mckeesport from Avella coach Frank Gray:

"I cant tell you what kind of respect I have for the kids on that Clairton team. They were truly great hosts, and they treated us with incredible respect. I really hope they go all the way. Thats a nice group of kids to treat us the way they did. They are the best Class A football team I have seen in my 30 years of watching Class A football. They are incredible. They are better than the Duquesne teams that won WPIAL titles. Their team speed is incredible..."

"Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. has become a fixture on the Clairton sideline this season. He signed memorabilia before the game, and a number of Bears delivered the gifts to the Avella locker room at halftime..."

We have a negative reputation...but Clairton is not all bad.

Anonymous said...

For the record Clairton alumni, from what sources told me FC played a game against burgettstown at their home field on B-towns senior night B-town had 2 of Fc's coaches from last year and the officiating wasnt great...B-town was ment to win the game and Fc overcame all of it... B-towns fans were even nasty from what my brother told me they held a sign up when the buses pulled in that said f the fort and burn the fort...Rivalries arent always about records its about who comes out and plays hard smash mouth football B-town was up 33-20 at the half and Fc won by one...I was not in attendence but from what I heard it was a tough game for both teams.... Fc will be fine in the post season

Zack Gonzalez said...

Hey guys my name is Zack. I was starting tackle/DE for the eagles this year. My season was cut short when i broke my ribs. I appreciate all you guys looking out for the safety of the players and all, but this football. We go out there with 11 on the team and sure we lose but we go 100%. Ya you can say another team can have 50 some kids but they can only put 11 on the feilds. I mean we went out of the Clariton game on our 35 yd line and finished on their two yd line. We go out and we them as hard as we can and play whistle to whistle. We had a chance to forfeit the Clariton game but the PLAYERS chose to play.

We go out every game and have a blast. Outing being outmanned and all that we only got shut out TWICE..TWICE! we scored on 2 playoff appearing teams. We wanted to make sure that when people played Avella they would remember 4four 12 min quarters of pure heart.

If you guys have any questions about our team or season i would gladly answer.

Thx for the support!