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 Post subject: Inner city high school football..
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:04 am 
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I love high school football! Our public school's game was canceled Friday night due to lightning. They played Saturday morning at 10 a.m. There were no bands but it was a good game. It had the feel of an urban game.

This leads me to the plight of urban high school football..

There are ten Cleveland public schools fielding teams this year. One school (Glenville High) steals all the good players from the others, making them a powerhouse in the state and a pipeline to Ohio State. Former Glenville grads include Troy Smith (Baltimore Ravens), Ten Ginn Jr (Miami), Donte Whitner (Buffalo Bills.) This legal "open enrollment" rule has allowed Glenville to win 85 straight city conference games against pathetic competition. The remaining teams have little talent.. veeery small players.

Aside from Glenville nobody attends high school games in the city. This is due to many factors. Because of busing, kids do not attend the schools where they live.. most kids are from broken families.. poorer people simply can't get to the games. Less than ten fans sit in the stands of the visiting school. There are no cheerleaders, no bands.. games can not be played at night. The fields are in poor conditions (late in the season it's mud) and there are only four fields that all the schools use.

In recent years some of the schools have stopped even having teams. East High isn't fielding a team this year despite having an alum with the Browns. Jane Addams stopped football last year. After a more than 15 year hiatus John Adams High School began fielding a team again. That is the school of former Bronco/ESPN great Tom Jackson and Arsenio Hall. Meanwhile, John Hay High School also went a good ten years without football That's the school of former Chicago Bull/NY Knick Charles Oakley and current NBA player Ruben Patterson (whose father lives in our building!)

I remember Oakley paid for all the football equipment some years back, but then they stopped fielding a team. Last year they only had JV football, no varsity. I've always wondered why these alums didn't take action. It's probably due to low turnout.. not enough players to field teams. It's not uncommon for these schools to have 20-25 kids on the team. Lincoln West only has 24 kids on their team this year (and this is a Div. I "big school!")

I know Drew Carey (The Price is Right) helps his old school Rhodes High. (The restaurant in the Drew Carey Show is across from the school.)

Glenville High has more than 100 players. They have 300 lb kids across the o-line. None of them play two ways. They play three non-conference games against schools from out of state and then seven undermanned Cleveland city schools. Their head coach is Ted Ginn Jr's father. He is close with Jim Tressel. Ginn Sr. is about getting his kids college scholarships. But is it fair to his kids that they face inferior teams? The powerhouse Catholic teams play the toughest schedules. I can't believe the OHSAA allows this.

It's a very depressing situation but the kids do their best. Is inner city high school football healthy in Pittsburgh?


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 Post subject: Re: Inner city high school football..
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:38 am 
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Last year that school played my old high school, TJ. A friend of mine has his kid(now a senior)playing for TJ. TJ won back to back PA AAA titles and they played that team last year in Wheeling and got their ass kicked.

Inner city football in Pittsburgh is not that great but from time to time some top notch players go on to a major college and pro team

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 Post subject: Re: Inner city high school football..
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:48 pm 
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Thomas Jefferson was undefeated the year before, too.

Glenville lost their opener Saturday night to last year's champion St. Ignatius. "Iggy" was 14-1 last year, their only loss to Glenville. Both teams are loaded with big time college recruits.


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 Post subject: Re: Inner city high school football..
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:45 pm 
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Location: Hingham, MA
Ollie, for what it's worth, football in the city of Boston is all about the Catholic schools, notably Boston College High. There are 13 public and two parochial schools, and only the latter two emphasize football. (Basketball is the prestige sport here.) For several years, growing out of the bitter busing controversy in the '70s, the city schools played their games on Friday afternoons to minimize the potential for trouble. Now that the tensions have eased, most play on Saturdays -- but usually in front of no more than 40 to 50 people. The Thanksgiving Day games might draw a couple of hundred fans. Busing is still in effect, and as a result few students go to high school in their own neighborhoods, so there are no natural rivalries anymore.

Boston Latin High, which admits students based on an entrance exam, is the only public school that even has a band.

Of all the football-playing schools in the US last year, only BC High ranked in MaxPreps' top 600 -- at No. 561. Next highest was Catholic Memorial, at No. 2,194. None of the public high schools ranked higher than No. 9,942. (St. Ignatius, by comparison, ranked No. 2, and Glenville No. 165.) The Catholic schools are in the safest neighborhoods, have the best facilities, draw the biggest crowds, and tend to send the most players on to major college programs.

But few players of national stature come out of Massachusetts anyway, and rarely any from the city (unless it's BC High). Most of the best typically have gone on to Notre Dame or Boston College -- probably the most famous being Doug Flutie. Flutie, however, went to high school in Natick, a western suburb. Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the better high school athletes in recent years have been the sons of ex-New England Patriots who have stayed here after their careers ended, such as the Hasselbeck brothers, Matt (Seattle Seahawks) and Tim. Their father, Don, was a tight end from the University of Colorado.

Those sorts of kids, however, live in the suburbs and do not attend Boston city schools.

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 Post subject: Re: Inner city high school football..
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:11 am 
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Thanks for that info. Interesting stuff! A couple of former Browns have some talented boys (I saw Hanford Dixon's son play last year.. Mike Pagel's son is one of the top QB's. Well he's a freshman at Bowling Green now.)

One of the Catholic schools in Cincinnati is ranked # 4 in the country, Elder High School. They lost the Ohio Div. I championship game to Cleveland St. Ignatius last year. I will be seeing them play down the street from me in a couple of weeks.. Elder at Lakewood St. Edward. I will stand by the fence and take in the second half. Elder is loaded with BCS school prospects.

Do Boston's private schools play teams from out of state regularly? A team from Washington D.C. has played here three or four years in a row. Local schools don't usually wanna play the Catholic powerhouses though a few more will this year.

The best high school player I ever saw here was Desmond Howard. He was all over the field.. played both ways. His QB was Elvis Grbac, too. Robert Smith was a dominating runner though I didn't watch him in person. Le Bron James played WR as a sophomore.


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 Post subject: Re: Inner city high school football..
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:58 pm 
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Ollie wrote:
One of the Catholic schools in Cincinnati is ranked # 4 in the country, Elder High School. They lost the Ohio Div. I championship game to Cleveland St. Ignatius last year. I will be seeing them play down the street from me in a couple of weeks.. Elder at Lakewood St. Edward. I will stand by the fence and take in the second half. Elder is loaded with BCS school prospects.

Do Boston's private schools play teams from out of state regularly? A team from Washington D.C. has played here three or four years in a row. Local schools don't usually wanna play the Catholic powerhouses though a few more will this year.


Years ago, I was in Cincinnati on assignment and treated myself to a Friday night game between Elder and Moeller, at Moeller. Moeller still may have been living off its reputation because Elder pulled out a W. I've never seen another high school game to equal it. There must have been 20,000 people there. There was even a flash-card section in the stands. Moeller's band was as good as some college bands I've seen. Since then (although I don't always pay close attention to Ohio high school football), it seems to me that Elder has traded places with Moeller as the leading program, at least in the western end of the state.

As far as Massachusetts is concerned, a few schools play teams from out of state. Xaverian Brothers, where the Hasselbecks went, plays Hudson Catholic from Jersey City, N. J. St. John's Prep (another parochial powerhouse) plays Mt. St. Joseph's from Baltimore. Brockton (which produced the boxing legends Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler) in the past has gone out of state to play and still schedules probably the toughest team in New Hampshire every year (although that's not saying much). And Everett High, north of the city, sometimes goes out of state to play, although not this year.

But none of those is in Boston. Brockton is a public school, but it's about 15 miles from the city. It's also the only high school in a gritty, tough, high-crime community of 95,000 people. You don't f--- with Brockton, especially in football.

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 Post subject: Re: Inner city high school football..
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:20 am 
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Interesting! Does Boston College manage to sign most of local talent in football?

Yeah, I think you are right about Moeller. They were # 1 in the country through much of the '80s. The balance of power shifted a while back.

Just a little south of here are Canton and Massillon. They have heated rivalries to say the least. They have huge crowds like that.

In some of the smaller Ohio towns everyone shows up on Friday night. Many people in rural Ohio live for high school football.


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 Post subject: Re: Inner city high school football..
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:30 am 
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BC gets more of the best Massachusetts kids than any other school. But (a.) there aren't that many to begin with -- maybe a dozen each year across the whole state -- and (b.) the most outstanding often go to Notre Dame instead. Syracuse also recruits here and lures away Massachusetts kids. UConn, now that it has gone big-time in football, signs some Massachusetts talent as well. So does Penn State when there's a local athlete it seriously wants.

BC recruits as far away as Florida and Texas because there aren't enough local kids for it to be competitive with Virginia Tech, Clemson, Florida State, and the like every year.

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