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Thread: OT: WPIAL

  1. #1

    Default OT: WPIAL

    As reported by the Post Gazette and heavily discussed on Madden today, the WPIAL has just four P5 recruits as of today.

  2. #2

    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    Population decrease over the years. People are moving out of western pa in waves

  3. #3

    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    Sorry for the duplicate post. Never had that happen before.

  4. #4

    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    Sorry for the duplicate post. Never had that happen before.
    Which one is legit? Haha

  5. #5

    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    Said 10 years ago they had 26 P5 signings.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Three things...

    1) Population decrease

    2) Pittsburgh is becoming more of a white collar city. The need to “get out” of a blue collar industrial town for a better life no longer exists when people from Silicon Valley are flocking to your city because of the boom in the tech industry.

    3) Less kids are playing football. Everywhere. The upward matriculation in the numbers decreasing is now starting to show in the high school level. Whether it’s concussion, growth in other sports, etc., kids just don’t play football at the rate that they used to.

    There’s really no other discussion to it other than that.

    I go to some high school games in Columbus occasionally. There’s some gigantic schools in Columbus. Most are gigantic. And by that I mean not even comparable in size to what the size of districts in the WPIAL are. Even out here, you don’t see sidelines packed with bodies. Less kids are playing the game. That’s reality.


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    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    A lot fewer typing teachers getting kids that D1 offer.

  8. Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    Quote Originally Posted by Fightingscot82 View Post
    A lot fewer typing teachers getting kids that D1 offer.
    Yeah, where was that? Cal Tech? Cal Poly? Just hope next time he went for the ball.

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  9. #9

    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    Quote Originally Posted by IUP24 View Post
    Three things...

    1) Population decrease

    2) Pittsburgh is becoming more of a white collar city. The need to “get out” of a blue collar industrial town for a better life no longer exists when people from Silicon Valley are flocking to your city because of the boom in the tech industry.

    3) Less kids are playing football. Everywhere. The upward matriculation in the numbers decreasing is now starting to show in the high school level. Whether it’s concussion, growth in other sports, etc., kids just don’t play football at the rate that they used to.

    There’s really no other discussion to it other than that.

    I go to some high school games in Columbus occasionally. There’s some gigantic schools in Columbus. Most are gigantic. And by that I mean not even comparable in size to what the size of districts in the WPIAL are. Even out here, you don’t see sidelines packed with bodies. Less kids are playing the game. That’s reality.


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    OCC has like 70 schools or something wild

  10. Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    Quote Originally Posted by IUP24 View Post
    Three things...

    1) Population decrease

    2) Pittsburgh is becoming more of a white collar city. The need to “get out” of a blue collar industrial town for a better life no longer exists when people from Silicon Valley are flocking to your city because of the boom in the tech industry.

    3) Less kids are playing football. Everywhere. The upward matriculation in the numbers decreasing is now starting to show in the high school level. Whether it’s concussion, growth in other sports, etc., kids just don’t play football at the rate that they used to.

    There’s really no other discussion to it other than that.

    I go to some high school games in Columbus occasionally. There’s some gigantic schools in Columbus. Most are gigantic. And by that I mean not even comparable in size to what the size of districts in the WPIAL are. Even out here, you don’t see sidelines packed with bodies. Less kids are playing the game. That’s reality.


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    Very true. Even locally it is a bit shocking how few players some of these schools draw now. Football seems to have a completely different connotation than what it did just a few years ago in our society. Before it seemed to be Friday Night Lights and gridiron glory. Now it's CTE and lasting health disabilities. I was just thinking the other day how most of the guys that I played high school ball with do not have sons who play the game. I think this is more than a coincidence. I know for myself I have three nephews who I will never ever attempt to steer towards the game. If they wish to play of their own accord then I will certainly do everything that I can to help them out and support them. But it seems like a ton of former players are not pushing or even wishing for their own sons to play the game they once did.

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  11. #11

    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    Quote Originally Posted by IUP CRIMSON HAWKS View Post
    Very true. Even locally it is a bit shocking how few players some of these schools draw now. Football seems to have a completely different connotation than what it did just a few years ago in our society. Before it seemed to be Friday Night Lights and gridiron glory. Now it's CTE and lasting health disabilities. I was just thinking the other day how most of the guys that I played high school ball with do not have sons who play the game. I think this is more than a coincidence. I know for myself I have three nephews who I will never ever attempt to steer towards the game. If they wish to play of their own accord then I will certainly do everything that I can to help them out and support them. But it seems like a ton of former players are not pushing or even wishing for their own sons to play the game they once did.

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    I believe part of the problem is the organized pee wee leagues. it ends up giving 12 year olds concussions. There was this series called friday night tykes that showed how poorly kids were taught, and how even at that level the better players were taken advantage of to make the coaches look good. At the HS level coaches push kids playing for fun to work at the level for potential P5 recruits. why join a team that is going to work you like a dog, beat you up during practive, but play very little. In my opinion HS and lower level sports have been ruined by over organization. I personally know of one example where a kid's knees were ruined, and they became addicted to opiods because they were pushed way to hard when they were 11,12,13 . . . the other thing this does is force the athletes that are not stars to focus on one sport.

  12. #12

    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    In the late 90s my high school team dressed 83 on opening night.

    We took more to the Monday JV game than most teams dress for the varsity game today.


    Four players is still hard to believe. There are still some really strong programs here .... P-R, NA, CC, McKeesport, Gateway, etc.

    Tiny Clairton was a P5 factory for a while there.

    The less-playing theory is factual. Way less ... at least in the WPIAL. However, I'm not sure the real fertile programs have been effected too bad.

    It could just be a bad class of talent.

    That will trickle down to our level ... perhaps in a good way. There are still lots of good players ... just not P5 types this year.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    So...I guess Southeastern PA will be cleaning up the state titles come December.

  14. #14

    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPNation View Post
    So...I guess Southeastern PA will be cleaning up the state titles come December.

    No idea. I don't follow it that closely. You can still have really strong high school teams made up of 'D2' types and non-P5 kids.

    Pine-Richland is down from last year. Gateway is strong in 5A. The WPIAL has some really good lower class teams (A & AA).

  15. Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    The WPIAL may be the most dramatic example, but it’s happening all over the state.

    I went to a small catholic school in the anthracite coal region that used to be a football power, and the talent drop off in the last 10 years has been staggering. From 1980 to 2000 this school had kids go to Penn State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Temple, Syracuse, Maryland, Wake Forest, Virginia, Akron and Army and Navy. In some cases it was multiple kids to those schools over the years. They also placed kids at virtually every FCS school on the east coast, with many going Ivy and Patriot League. There were 2-5 scholarship recepients in many years from a graduated class of 50-60 boys.

    Since 2000 I know of 2 FBS recruits. One to Temple and one to UCONN. Their last FBS recruit was about 8 years ago, and can’t remember the last FCS scholarship recruit as that’s been 5-6 years even.

    The same coach was in place until about 2 years ago. The schools is now graduating 35-40 boys so total population has dropped, but the kids actually playing are also much less talented than in the past. I understand all the reasons why the student population has decreased, but I don’t understand why the quality of players has dropped to such a degree.

    In a given year the entire lower Anthracite coal region( Schuylkill, Carbon, Columbia and Northumberland counties) now produces fewer scholarship recruits than this one school did just 25 years ago. It’s a stunning decline.

  16. #16

    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    You can trace it, to an extent, to the peewee levels. That segment has been hit very hard.

    That is where programs start to get built and kids learn how challenging football really is on the field. They then progress up through the levels.

    You see tons of kids wait until their junior year to play. Minus the exceptional, that's too late.

    The best programs always have great peewee programs. That's absolutely not a coincidence.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    There are three P5 commits as of today: Notre Dame, Penn State and Syracuse each have one. There are four other FBS commits so far: Ball State, Miami OH, Navy, and Toledo. There are roughly a dozen more holding P5 offers. This is all from Western PA Football.

  18. #18

    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    You can trace it, to an extent, to the peewee levels. That segment has been hit very hard.

    That is where programs start to get built and kids learn how challenging football really is on the field. They then progress up through the levels.

    You see tons of kids wait until their junior year to play. Minus the exceptional, that's too late.

    The best programs always have great peewee programs. That's absolutely not a coincidence.
    I really disagree here. They shouldn't play full contact, until 9th grade. Ability levels and size differentials are too great before this, and coaches and training are too bad. Let them play flag to develop ball skills, etc. Back when WPIAL was dominant, there wan't much PeeWee, though lots of sandlot ball. Early starts are for players that aren't great athletes, but want to be the highschool hero, or for the kid who's parents are unrealistic about the kid's ability. Anyone with real college level athletic ability can start organized sports in 9th grade and make it too college.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    Quote Originally Posted by ironmaniup View Post
    I really disagree here. They shouldn't play full contact, until 9th grade. Ability levels and size differentials are too great before this, and coaches and training are too bad. Let them play flag to develop ball skills, etc. Back when WPIAL was dominant, there wan't much PeeWee, though lots of sandlot ball. Early starts are for players that aren't great athletes, but want to be the highschool hero, or for the kid who's parents are unrealistic about the kid's ability. Anyone with real college level athletic ability can start organized sports in 9th grade and make it too college.
    I think the big downturn is that its so expensive to play plus kids are specializing much earlier. My cousin's son is in 8th grade and since 6th grade they've spent at least one weekend a month summer through fall travelling all over for travel baseball. Not LLWS or Pony League tournament ball. For-profit travel teams. These kids are 14. That directly impacts his ability to play football. I was curious and looked up his team and saw that its $600 a kid if you make the team plus there's a fee to even try out. Plus just like attendance at games there are so many more options now than before. Hockey and soccer are huge. I have more friends with kids playing hockey than playing soccer and baseball/softball combined. Growing up most kids played basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring. A much smaller minority did soccer or a youth swim team. I don't recall anyone playing youth hockey. Now in our neighborhood out of probably a dozen boys ages 2-16 all play hockey, soccer, or swim. Not one plays football and the only person playing baseball is the girl next door actually playing softball. I grew up playing baseball. I don't even recall seeing anything for youth football in North Allegheny until maybe middle school but by then I was all about baseball and cross country. For the high school team, there were

    For the WPIAL dominance, I think it had to do with supply more than demand. Decades ago before the consolidations there were many more high schools so there were many more opportunities to play. Kids develop by playing so there was much more playing time available. Think about it: Woodland Hills combined FIVE high schools. Shaler was created by merging FOUR high schools. Think of all the Pittsburgh City high schools that not only no longer have teams but don't exist anymore. More recently Central Valley was created by merging Center and Monaca. At worst you need 11 kids to field a football team and when you multiply the size of the competition it reduces the number of opportunities to play. If you read the list of former WPIAL champions there are so many schools that don't exist anymore.

  20. Default Re: OT: WPIAL

    Quote Originally Posted by ironmaniup View Post
    I believe part of the problem is the organized pee wee leagues. it ends up giving 12 year olds concussions. There was this series called friday night tykes that showed how poorly kids were taught, and how even at that level the better players were taken advantage of to make the coaches look good. At the HS level coaches push kids playing for fun to work at the level for potential P5 recruits. why join a team that is going to work you like a dog, beat you up during practive, but play very little. In my opinion HS and lower level sports have been ruined by over organization. I personally know of one example where a kid's knees were ruined, and they became addicted to opiods because they were pushed way to hard when they were 11,12,13 . . . the other thing this does is force the athletes that are not stars to focus on one sport.
    Yes! And another problem is that coaches want to make the game all encompassing for the kids. I know when I played several years in what can only be classified as a truly horrible football program that yeah, I wanted to play football but I also wanted to do other stuff that a young teen boy would do---riding dirt bikes, hanging with friends, going hunting, etc. It made it very hard to be a normal teen to be honest.

    Regarding the coaches that I had, well most of them left a lot to be desired as well. One coach was a scrawny little Italian guy who thought he was tough to mistreat 13-14 year old boys. I truly never learned a thing from him about the game of football, just how not to act if you wanted to be a decent human being. Another coach was an okay enough guy who did have some knowledge on the game but his ONLY objective was to fix everything for his son to take over as the QB. My neighbor was a year older and was the starting QB and likely a much better QB. Well, he got axed out by the whole politics thing that goes on at many schools. The varsity coach was actually a pretty decent man but just didn't seem to be very practical about anything regarding the game of football or running a football program. The one leading varsity assistant was a good dude who knew a great deal about the game but it wasn't his rodeo. He would be telling us stuff and then would always catch himself that he wasn't in charge. I guess it didn't help that a year before he was a varsity head coach at a rival school who rumor had it lost his job because of boozing. He had to walk a fine line. But he was someone who could have made a big difference IMO.

    Bottom line here----you had better have someone in charge of these football programs who knows what they are doing, who has the best interest of the kids in mind first and foremost, and who is willing to make it fun in some form or fashion that the kids want to be there. A perfect local example would be Billy Packer of Penns Manor. He took over a sunk to the bottom of the ocean football program in 2005 that had NEVER even once came close to the district playoffs and if he makes it this year that will be something like 12 consecutive years his teams have made the postseason. That's incredible. His secret---he made it fun and kids wanted to be there. They like him. They actually want to go out for the football team. He gives just about everyone some role to play within the team and doesn't have kids mentally checking out on him, just wishing they had never even bothered coming out for the sport. He also benefited from a quality pee-wee program that did a good job of teaching the kids the fundamentals of the game. Throw in some major facilities upgrades like a fitness center for lifting and a staff that seems to know what they are doing with their respective position groups and you have a winner. It probably didn't hurt to have his brother as the president of the school board either.
    But it all was a recipe to turn a moribund program way around.

    A coach should use his practice time to provide skill development and teach situational football. Not run his players into the ground with a Junction Boys mindset. It accomplishes little. I always thought very highly of the manner in which Curt Cignetti ran his scrimmages. It was football at its finest. So many positive things happening in the devolpment of football players.

    Regarding the Pee Wee programs----I think they are certainly a major asset if done correctly. A few years ago IUP had an athlete survey sheet of questions that they asked each player on the football web page. When asked at what age they started to play football----most responded around five years of age. That's sort of what it takes to develop players of the high caliber that colleges need. Indeed, IUPBigIndians----the days of a guy going out for football for the first time as a junior or senior are all but over in most instances.

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    Last edited by IUP CRIMSON HAWKS; 10-19-2018 at 11:00 AM.

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