Veteran Observer-Reporter sports writer Mike Kovak offers his take on high school sports.
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they should the season is to long for high school now the hoop season will start with all teams equal state playoffs for football were a waste of time meant nothing after the w.p.i.a.l. the season is done
This is the dumbest, most short-sighted thing I've seen in a long time.Believe it or not, there's a great big old state out there outside of the Pittsburgh area.
The PIAA playoffs are a great thing but only four of our teams a year get to experience them. If you are considering everyone in the mix, why would you agree to an 8 game regular season and 4 teams out of a 5 team conference going to the playoffs? Why is football season shortened? Winter sports season is longer than all of them. Why not start winter sports after the new year? Nothing interesting happens until after Christmas anyway. I would hate to lose the state play-offs but it would give us a chance to go back to a 10 game regular season and revive so old cross town rivalries.
To Anon,All teams are no longer equal in the P.I.A.A., especially in basketball. Just look at what happened in the state playoffs this year. Catholic/Private/Charter schools won 6 of the 8 championship contests. Most winners came from the Philly area. It is only a matter of time before the private schools dominate all major high school sports. Yes, there is a great big old state out there, but chock full of schools that have the ability to recruit players, a benefit that few public schools have.
Agree with the FBcoach. These old crosstown rivalries are much more valuable to the kids and the fans than the extremely small chance of playing in a state championship. You're out of step on this one Mr. Lolley.
I also have to disagree with Dale (it's been known to happen a few times over the years). Clearly, the WPIAL schools feel their kids would be best served by refusing to accept the PIAA move. I agree. The WPIAL playoffs and the championship games at Heinz Field should not be altered or even eliminated for the benefit of schools in other parts of the state. And isn't it about time that the private schools form their own leagues?
I say F the PIAA. Heinz field and WPIAL Championship is the goal at the beginning of the season and he state playoffs are just gravy. No need for 6 classifications. Catholic schools don't recruit but rather Catholics are better athletes and God roots for them so they win a lot.M. Maltony
How about not letting four teams from each conference into the WPIAL playoffs to cut back on how long the WPIAL playoffs run?Don't tell me it's the PIAA being greedy when the WPIAL has been letting half of its teams into the playoffs for years now for no apparent reason other than money.And its conferences are aligned the way they are because of that.The WPIAL has been unfair to its Class AA teams for a number of years now. You're telling me they couldn't split those AA conferences up better and maybe add another one? But they don't do it because they just have to have four teams from each conference make the playoffs - regardless of record.By the way, only eight teams get to play in the WPIAL championship game. That's not a great deal more than the four that advance to the PIAA playoffs in the grand scheme of things. And under the new rules, six would advance to the PIAA playoffs, so that argument doesn't hold water.
The P.I.A.A lobbied long and hard in bring the Philly public and private schools into the mix. As we can see what happened with this years basketball championships, private schools won 6 out of 8 games. I call this greed on the part of the P.I.A.A. There is no way to insure that none of the Philly schools, public or private will recruit athletes for their teams. Athletes attending high school in the Philly Public School System will play for whatever school they want. As for the Philly private schools, how many of the students in these schools reside in New Jersey or Delaware?A question for Dale----are you from the mid/eastern part of Pa or some other state? I just get the feeling that you don't fully understate the tradition of winning a W.P.I.A.L. championship.
The last time I looked Philadelphia was in Pa. How is the PIAA greedy for wanting a true state championship. Central Catholic is in the WPIAL. Public wpial teams are not afraid to play them. Jim Render was ask what was more important-- a wpial title or a state title? His answer was a state title--- he said everyone knows Pa but not everyone knows the wpial. I have heard a variety of comments such as we don't want to give -up Heinz Field or The Philly teams recruit. I haven't heard we want to compete and beat the best. I think Dale does get the idea of how important winning is in the wpial. It's important enough to tell the whole state of Pa. We don't want to play because we don't think we can win. This is not the wpial football I grew up with.
Please explain to me how a public high school can compete in athletics with private schools that can and do recruit players.The Pittsburgh Catholic Schools, Central, North and Canevin in reality should be placed in District 8 with the Pittsburgh Public Schools. The W.P.I.A.L for some reason accepted them to play in District 7. The Pittsburgh City coaches probably gave a massive sigh of relief when this happened.As for local teams not being afraid to play Central Catholic, the league makes up the schedules and you basically have no choice in whom you play. I still think local schools should play a 10 game regular season and end with the W.P.I.A.L championships.
There are enough private and Catholic teams to make a conference for themselves. Let the teams that recruit play each other and all will be fair. We can't expect our teams to have a chance at winnings against them if they can hand pick their team. Sure it would be a great accomplishment to win against them but what are the chances of that happening. The basketball playoffs were a prime example of an injust system and as much as everyone says things aren't fixed, yeah right...well if you have money behind you anything is possible.FYI...one of the refs at the North Catholic vs. Washington game made a comment to one of the players after he motioned to the Wash High crowd to cheer louder, he said "Are you crazy? If I let you win this game, they'll kill me!" WOW!!! Kind of scary isn't it?!!!
I agree with Brant.
Good discussion here...I like it. A couple of things though:- to say that the only real prize when beginning the season is a wpial title at heinz field is ridiculous. Whoever said that obviously didnt attend a school such as TJ, Central Catholic, Gateway, Jeannette, Aliquippa, Clairton, Rochester, Serra etc. The goal is not WPIAL...the goal is PIAA, thats just a fact.- as far as this statement goes "The WPIAL's main argument against six classifications is that it could not play all of its championship games at Heinz Field. Since 1986, the WPIAL has played its title games at Three Rivers Stadium or Heinz Field." (from the article)...for most teams (AAA and higher...even some AA teams) playing on Heinz Field is the absolute WORST playing surface all season. If you ever went to a WPIAL Championship game that is one of the hot issues amongst the crowd, even the "A" game...terrible field. Regardless of whether or not the WPIAL moves out of the PIAA, the championship games should be moved out of Heinz just on principal.- as far as districts/playoffs/classes are concerned, here is what needs to happen. First, the playoffs need to be reduced from 16 teams per class to 8 teams per class. Lets be honest, how many times do we need to watch a 2-8 team play an undefeated team in the first round? Honestly? Sure there will be complaints about who gets in and who stays home but there are every year...and quite honestly if you want to make the playoffs, win some games. Second, the catholic schools should have their own class/conference/whatever. I mean really, even you catholic school supporters have to know that what you guys do isnt fair and you should play each other. At least that way you can recruit against each other without anyone really complaining about it. Third, dissolve D-8. There is no reason to have a D-8. With the amount of PGH schools open now and the fact that you are completely surrounded by D-7 its pointless to have another district. And while you're at it go after the teams on the fringes...some of the teams in D-10 (Farrell, Wilmington, West Middlesex, etc) and D-5...expand a little.- 6 classes may not be such a bad thing. Look at the over-abundance of AA teams there are in the WPIAL. They could afford to be split into two seperate classes...that would bring back some of the rivalry games that you people mentioned. Also, by adding the D-8 schools and a couple fringe schools you have enough to add some legitamacy to having enough teams for those 6 classes.Listen, if the main argument for keeping the WPIAL out of the PIAA is because we are going to rob the kids of playing at Heinz Field that is ridiculous. Why dont you ask the TJ, Blackhawk, Gateway and Bethel Park players/parents/coaches what they thought of playing at Heinz this past year? All of them to a person would have wished that game was somewhere else...they all hated that field...it was terrible.Again, to those against this, dont be so short sighted...think bigger picture, long term and consider the ripple effect this will have into other sports in the WPIAL and PIAA.But please...you have to give me a better argument for breaking away from the PIAA then "we cant play at Heinz anymore...".
Oh man, I love the idea of putting the Catholic schools in D8. Correct me if I'm wrong but can't any city kid chose what school he wants to attend?
As for the Pittsburgh Schools, does anyone remember the year that the first state championships in football were held? I can't recall what year, but I was working in Pittsburgh at the time and Perry High was in the AAA playoffs. Lo and behold, they beat Berwick for the championship,which shocked most everyone, except for the Pittsburgh city coaches. It was a well known fact that Perry's foot ball program was refered as the Pittsburgh High School All Stars.Now, just imagine what can happen if Philly schools start loading up selected schools with their best athletes. I have to agree with Clairton Alum though, the Heinz Field playing surface is the pits.I woudn't give a hoot if they moved the W.P.I.A.L games to large high school stadiums.
Does anyone know how to go about lobbying for prep and Catholic schools to be in their own conference?
You have to lobby, write letters, protest, etc the PIAA. Its their call...
Sounds good...who's in?
Judging by the empty seats every year at the small stadium in Hershey, not many people outside of those teams playing in the PIAA championship games give a rat's ass about them. The idea of driving halfway across the state to sit outside on a December night and watch high school football is not very appealing.
Clairton Alum's suggestion that the w.p.i.a.l go after those fringe schools now playing in D-10 wouldn't work. All the schools mentioned, plus with a few others played in D-7 priviously. Most if not all withdrew from D-7 because of not wanting to travel long distances. Even Mercer High was in D-7 at one time. As for lobbying the p.i.a.a regarding private schools being in their own league, it was the p.i.a.a. head man Cashman that lobbied long and hard to bring the Philly Catholic League into the state playoffs.As for 6 classes in football, I think for that to happen D-7 would have to be completely revamped and the w.p.i.a.l abolished altogether, which I am NOT IN FAVOR OF. Also, how much of a thrill is it to play in a half empty stadium in the middle of nowhere?
all 100 people from clairton,150 from the quipps 350 from tj 200 from c.catholic big joke next they will want to play a bowl game in january and have basketball play a 10 game season
To all of you whiners about Catholic schools, GROW UP. They don't recruit, kids simply go there because they don't like their home schools, for WHATEVER REASON.You are all the same, my poor son cannot compete because the Catholic school recruits. Maybe if your son and his coach worked harder they could compete. Does TJ recruit???? How are they so dominant year in and out??? Because they outwork everyone and they are dedicated to excellence.Its alot easier to sit back and whine about some ridiculous recruited theory than actually work to get better.Pathetic.
Have you ever seen the athletes that are on the Greensburgh Central squad? There must be close to a hundred players and the band has only about 20 students.A few years ago when Jeanette and GCC were the elite teams in AA, a reporter interviewing the GCC team prior to the season asked a player how they would stack up against the team from Jeanette and was told that a couple of boys from Jeanette would probably transfer to GCC before practice started.Do Catholic schools recruit? Maybe a previous post was correct, Catholic schools do better because God wants them to win.
Tim O'Malley is not the man to be in charge of major decisions. He is the George Bush of high school athletics and I have no confidence in his ability to make the correct decision in regards to this matter.
I'm a parent of a catholic school student. Everyone keeps talking like we want to play the public schools, well you are wrong. I sent my child to catholic school so he could be away from the kids in public school. I would love to play only private/catholic schools, so don't think you just don't want us, we don't want you. So instead of crying all the time, do what you have to do. Talking and writing about private/catholic schools all the time is doing nothing, back up you talk...Oh, by the way, the coaches don't recruit. its the football players and football players families-call it what you want---we get the best of the best--from your school.!
And just what kind of children is it that you don't want your children exposed to? I could give a few guesses and could be correct in all of them. I bet you don't mind your children riding on public school busses with those "other kinds of children."And I wonder who is asking you parents to recruit students for your school>
hopefully your precious little saint gets robbed by one of those other kids
Maybe some of you catholic school supporters have the wrong idea about me or some of the other "poor" public school people here. First of all, we are not all criminals who rob people and we are not all idiots who didnt go to college. Second, I am sure most of us (at least I do) have friends that are associated with catholic and private schools. In fact, it just so happens that I had a relative that worked at Serra Catholic within the last 2-3 years and I have a very good friend that is closely associated with the Central Catholic program and their board. Now, I want to make sure you Catholic and Private school people are reading this next part because it is very important. EACH ONE OF THEM SPECIFICALLY TOLD ME THAT THEY ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT A DOUBT RECRUIT. Did you read that? So, I have to tell you, it makes it REALLY HARD for me to sit here and read "oh we dont recruit" "we want our kids to have a better education" "we dont want our kids to go to school with criminals" "yadda yadda yadda". Save your fingers from typing...I dont want to read it. You people know what you do, just admit it. Its not going to come as some great surprise to the rest of us when one of you finally has the guts to come out and say "yeah, you know what, we do recruit, what are you going to do about it?" Thats all I want to read one day...at least that way I know you're being honest with me. Now, for those that still dont believe me or are still in denial stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for my list of catholic school players, the teams that they play for and where they actually live...as well as their associations to AAU and other coaches...should be an entertaining read to say the least...
Bravo to you, Clairton Alum. Bring on that list.
Kudos to you Clairton Alum. You stated it like I never could.Thanks
Ok Clairton Alum-instead of getting on this blog and crying about recruiting step up and stop it. Start the process with the PIAA to get us private and catholic schools out. I bet you have little backers just complainers. Winning teams will continue to do whaat it takes to win, not much you can do from what I see.
To the above commenter: You are basically saying that private schools will do whatever to insure winning. Even to cheat and lie I suppose. I suspect some public schools are guilty of recruiting athletes, but not even close to what the private/catholic schools do. All I want to see in high school sports is an even playing field for all. May I suggest that all high school athletes be required to play for the district in which they live, regardless of what school they attend.Is this idea too far out there to even consider?
My favorite thing to hear about is the "better education" students receive at Catholic schools. Does anyone realize that parochial/private schools get the teachers who aren't hired in the state schools? The salaries and retirement for these school employees are pathetic so you tell me where the better teachers end up. I don't hear "whining", I hear calls for equality. Classifications are set based on the number of boys an athletic program can draw from in grades 9 through 12. When you are drawing those athletes from several different school districts, you are drawing from a larger pool and therefore you have a distinct advantage over public schools in your classification. That's not whining, that's fact. Would you think it acceptable for New England to get 10 draft picks to the Steelers 5 every year?
we heard you the first time FBcoach
FBCoach the true fact is that private schools recruit the better players from the pool of athletes at other schools to play at their private schools. And when those families are unable to afford the additional tuition, magically funds are made available for those student athletes or tuition fees are waived all together. Maybe if every athlete's family paid their way, then perhaps there would be more money to pay the teachers a higher salary.
We all want the best for our children, education,schools and a teams. Some don't have the means for them to have the best so we do what we can to to give them everything within our reach.As for getting the backing to rally up some coaches, parents and the community to get petitions signed to get the Catholic and prep schools their own league is more possible than you can imagine, go ahead...throw a challenge in their, it doesn't cost money and can be done with heart and compassion for our boys.See how far you'll go in a league of you own...let's draw up papers and pass it around!
class A ROCHESTER,SPRINGDALE, CLAIRTON,RIVERVIEW AA QUIPPS BEVERFALLS JANETTE AAA TJ,BLACKHAWK AAAA WOODY HIGH McKEESPORT USC central once in a while catholic or private schools dont win all the time quite crying.let them pick who they want maybe philly private schools win in hoops but around here public schools rule
Regarding the above post, maybe public schools rule in this area because there are not a whole bunch of private/catholic left.But, what we are discussing here is the P.I.A.A. is suggesting that Pa go to 6 classes for high school football. To do this, all classes will not have an oportunity to play for a District 7(W.P.I.A.L) championship. What some are saying is that D-7 should leave the state playoffs, and end the football season with the D-7 championship.I and others feel that should this happen, it is only a matter of time before the Philly area schoolsCatholic, Private and Public will dominate all major high school athletics. This is the first or second year that the Philly Catholic League has played in the P.I.A.A. and all can see what happens when private schools are allowed to load up their teams because of recruiting. Unless there are drastic measures taken soon, the Catholic/Private schools will completely dominate high school basketball. The same will happen with high school football as soon as these schools and the Philly Public schools know that there is no penalty in loading up certain teams with the city's best athletes. And since we are talking state champions, just how many D7 schools do you think will win football titles in the future.To even the playing field, Catholic/Private schools should be placed in their own league.The system we have now is absolutely unfair to the public schools.
I could not agree more, put all private schools in their own class.
look at the big picture if you do get the chace to play for a state title and win that wpial title is an after thought and in the quad aaaa playoffs you have teams in the playoffs with 3 wins what a joke , wow we won the district or we won the state . NO BRAINER top team from each conf makes playoffs like the old days and if u want more teams in the district playoffs give a by to the top team as long as you have teams with losing records making the playoffs that wpial title is a cracker jack box prize , beat the best that means u are the best
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