The problem (and solution) with PA high school football

northalleghenytiger

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Aug 22, 2022
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After watching the St. Joes prep vs St. Thomas Aquinas game this past Saturday, it really dawned on me how inferior PA football is. People on this forum say that St. joes Is much better than everyone else in PA. Our best can’t even beat a Florida team???

a famous man once said that “don’t complain about a problem if you don’t have a solution” ,so here is mine:

it’s time for the PIAA to combine schools. We simply have to many schools stretched out across PA, therefore there is no real talent anymore.
For example, imagine if NA merged with alliquipa, or if St. joes merged with Lasalle. Those teams would easily be ranked #1 in the nation. I’m sure there would be logistical issues, but I think the PIAA would be able to pull it off.

so what is everyone’s thoughts on this? I believe it would make PA more respectable on the national scene.
 

Bighead75

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Nov 26, 2016
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Wow, You do know that Florida Team is ranked #5 in the nation by MaxPreps and is just not the best team in Fla., Prep had them on the ropes for most of the second half. No-one like to lose but I thought St Joe did a nice job representing PA on national TV even with a few key players on the side line.
 

new2pa

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Nov 9, 2014
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Thought 1: NA + Aliquippa would not be ranked #1 in country.

Thought 2: SJP is a mostly yearly nation Top 10/15ish team.

Thought 3: Beaver County and Mon-river schools could/should easily merge into 1/2 as many schools. The one that is interesting is Thomas Jefferson and Clairton. They are neighbors...
 
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Stalker

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Oct 13, 2001
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After watching the St. Joes prep vs St. Thomas Aquinas game this past Saturday, it really dawned on me how inferior PA football is. People on this forum say that St. joes Is much better than everyone else in PA. Our best can’t even beat a Florida team???

a famous man once said that “don’t complain about a problem if you don’t have a solution” ,so here is mine:

it’s time for the PIAA to combine schools. We simply have to many schools stretched out across PA, therefore there is no real talent anymore.
For example, imagine if NA merged with alliquipa, or if St. joes merged with Lasalle. Those teams would easily be ranked #1 in the nation. I’m sure there would be logistical issues, but I think the PIAA would be able to pull it off.

so what is everyone’s thoughts on this? I believe it would make PA more respectable on the national scene.
No offense Northman but that's definitely different, berating Florida football saying "Our best can’t even beat a Florida team???" while the rest of the football world recognizes the Sunshine State as having the very best HS FB in the country. Very best! I don't think I've ever heard Florida scholastic football ball put down before.

And I don't think you'll find too many taxpayers, politicians, etc who feel the role or goal of PA's educational system is to make our football teams competitive with Aquinas or recognized on the national scene.
 

new2pa

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And I don't think you'll find too many taxpayers, politicians, etc who feel the role or goal of PA's educational system is to make our football teams competitive with Aquinas or recognized on the national scene.
Stalk: That line made me chuckle... :)
 
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Fletchster1

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Nov 22, 2004
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We should combine all PA districts into one large one and take our best 60 kids around the country to beat the other state's all star teams...
 

lilromeo

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Apr 14, 2014
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After watching the St. Joes prep vs St. Thomas Aquinas game this past Saturday, it really dawned on me how inferior PA football is. People on this forum say that St. joes Is much better than everyone else in PA. Our best can’t even beat a Florida team???

a famous man once said that “don’t complain about a problem if you don’t have a solution” ,so here is mine:

it’s time for the PIAA to combine schools. We simply have to many schools stretched out across PA, therefore there is no real talent anymore.
For example, imagine if NA merged with alliquipa, or if St. joes merged with Lasalle. Those teams would easily be ranked #1 in the nation. I’m sure there would be logistical issues, but I think the PIAA would be able to pull it off.

so what is everyone’s thoughts on this? I believe it would make PA more respectable on the national scene.
Take a breath .,Do you even follow High School football beyond Pa.?
 
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northalleghenytiger

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Aug 22, 2022
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If we get everyone on this forum to by in, we could spread our “influence”. Take some time this Friday when your at a game and get this discussion going. We could “usher” in a new era of PA football
 

Stalker

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Oct 13, 2001
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We should combine all PA districts into one large one and take our best 60 kids around the country to beat the other state's all star teams...

We should combine all PA districts into one large one and take our best 60 kids around the country to beat the other state's all star teams...
Fletchster1. Did Northman just pass you something? At least it got us all thinking (or scratching our heads) and that's a good thing.

Well done Northman!
 

2020sports

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Dec 7, 2020
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Uh... what?

this whole chat is a funny, but also kinda like a trainwreck- I can't help but comment / watch. Several people chatting have HS Football knowledge beyond our "PA bubble" but one does not. Two main reasons that PA is really not even close to FL- 1) Down south there are millions of people, who are "football crazy" but in Pa and the "northeast" there just are not as many "football crazy" communities and 2) FL has a growing population, PA is shrinking by population

But again, in defense of SJP, they have been as high as 4th nationally in the last 5 years, pretty good IMO

More Pa district consolidations (maybe a few) just are not gonna happen, certainly not "to make sports better." Too many other complicated factors
 

JACKY6996

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Aug 1, 2016
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Thought 1: NA + Aliquippa would not be ranked #1 in country.

Thought 2: SJP is a mostly yearly nation Top 10/15ish team.

Thought 3: Beaver County and Mon-river schools could/should easily merge into 1/2 as many schools. The one that is interesting is Thomas Jefferson and Clairton. They are neighbors...
I’ve always said a TJ-clairton co op would be a major contender for the 6A title.
 

northalleghenytiger

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Aug 22, 2022
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Tiger: You're pulling our tail now. :)
What? Allderdice lost to Erie McDowell. Then, Erie McDowell lost to state champion Mt. Lebanon. They are not that far removed. Allderdice is not a bad team. Just because you hate NA doesn’t mean you can bad mouth other teams.
 

new2pa

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Nov 9, 2014
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Tiger: You do know that the only 6A team McDowell bear besides 'Dice last year was Butler. And Dice didn't beat a team outside the city league.

That's not hate, that's facts. And that's not a sparkling schedule.

I don't think I'm bad mouthing 'Dice. They are who they are.
 

CAMoleskinner

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Jun 4, 2019
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I'm reading this thread as I fly back to SoCal (after watching my 'Skins play Ocean City plus I did catch a little of the D-Town game just before Neshaminy's tussle with the host school at the "Battle at The Beach").

Anyway, having watched multiple Trinity League games over the last few years (Mater Dei, St. John Bosco, JSerra, etc.) and then thinking of the Corona Centenials and De La Salles, etc. (catching their games on the tube and a few in person games -- including the Spartans in their hey-day) PA -- unfortunately -- has a road to haul before they can line up with the guys out here (the rank and file, day to day squads and talent).

And I'm not knocking Pennsylvania as the state and people and scholastic teams, etc. will always be number one in my book but there a chasm that exists that would not seem easily bridged. And the disparity is really on-the-field talent on a "depth" level (when you think of Cali you have to think "there's just an endless supply of young men that are 'up the food chain' types of players").

As to Florida - Stalk is right. The Sunshine State is as deep and awash in players as the Golden State (maybe more or probably more on a pound for pound basis).

Bit of a ramble here (and not knocking the Keystone guys) but it's a different world then when we suited up in the late '60s and even the early '70s when I think PA could argue that it was a top three producer of talent (Ohio and Texas or CA). Not anymore (not that it doesn't produce talent anymore but rather it doesn't seem to be a yardstick deep producer as it was in the 1940s and 1950s and then during the 1960s and into the '70s).

Things change ...

PS This is an unscientific, off the cuff, 30,000 feet in the air "thought". And I should add that I'm for anything that would get PA back in the conversation (it's not that it's completely out but the noise level has dropped rather significantly).
 
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BradlyPitt

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Jan 26, 2022
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After watching the St. Joes prep vs St. Thomas Aquinas game this past Saturday, it really dawned on me how inferior PA football is. People on this forum say that St. joes Is much better than everyone else in PA. Our best can’t even beat a Florida team???

a famous man once said that “don’t complain about a problem if you don’t have a solution” ,so here is mine:

it’s time for the PIAA to combine schools. We simply have to many schools stretched out across PA, therefore there is no real talent anymore.
For example, imagine if NA merged with alliquipa, or if St. joes merged with Lasalle. Those teams would easily be ranked #1 in the nation. I’m sure there would be logistical issues, but I think the PIAA would be able to pull it off.

so what is everyone’s thoughts on this? I believe it would make PA more respectable on the national scene.
no shame in losing to a Florida team, they typically have the best teams in the nation so you must be new to high school football

NA merge with Aliquippa? they aren't in the same county and aren't even neighboring districts so how would that work?

not to mention the NA people would never want to merge with them even if they were neighbors, are you sure you went to NA?
 
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BradlyPitt

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. The one that is interesting is Thomas Jefferson and Clairton. They are neighbors...
LOL only high school football fans talk about this or want this to happen

nobody in the West Jefferson Hills school district wants this, stop being silly
 
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newport

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Nov 22, 2002
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I mean if we are consolidating schools(😂😂😂) I'm sure the Ridley/Interboro/Academy Park/Penn Wood super school would do pretty well. What is going on with this board? Lol
 
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northalleghenytiger

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Aug 22, 2022
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no shame in losing to a Florida team, they typically have the best teams in the nation so you must be new to high school football

NA merge with Aliquippa? they aren't in the same county and aren't even neighboring districts so how would that work?

not to mention the NA people would never want to merge with them even if they were neighbors, are you sure you went to NA?
I just said NA and Aliquippa to make a point. It could be NA and Seneca or something like that.

Of course I went to NA. I have been to most every game since I moved back to Pittsburgh in 1999.
 

northalleghenytiger

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Aug 22, 2022
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I mean if we are consolidating schools(😂😂😂) I'm sure the Ridley/Interboro/Academy Park/Penn Wood super school would do pretty well. What is going on with this board? Lol
I’m not too familiar with those schools. But if that combination could be ranked #1, I’m all for it.
 

tulla

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Oct 27, 2004
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I'm reading this thread as I fly back to SoCal (after watching my 'Skins play Ocean City plus I did catch a little of the D-Town game just before Neshaminy's tussle with the host school at the "Battle at The Beach").

Anyway, having watched multiple Trinity League games over the last few years (Mater Dei, St. John Bosco, JSerra, etc.) and then thinking of the Corona Centenials and De La Salles, etc. (catching their games on the tube and a few in person games -- including the Spartans in their hey-day) PA -- unfortunately -- has a road to haul before they can line up with the guys out here (the rank and file, day to day squads and talent).

And I'm not knocking Pennsylvania as the state and people and scholastic teams, etc. will always be number one in my book but there a chasm that exists that would not seem easily bridged. And the disparity is really on-the-field talent on a "depth" level (when you think of Cali you have to think "there's just an endless supply of young men that are 'up the food chain' types of players").

As to Florida - Stalk is right. The Sunshine State is as deep and awash in players as the Golden State (maybe more or probably more on a pound for pound basis).

Bit of a ramble here (and not knocking the Keystone guys) but it's a different world then when we suited up in the late '60s and even the early '70s when I think PA could argue that it was a top three producer of talent (Ohio and Texas or CA). Not anymore (not that it doesn't produce talent anymore but rather it doesn't seem to be a yardstick deep producer as it was in the 1940s and 1950s and then during the 1960s and into the '70s).

Things change ...

PS This is an unscientific, off the cuff, 30,000 feet in the air "thought". And I should add that I'm for anything that would get PA back in the conversation (it's not that it's completely out but the noise level has dropped rather significantly).
Fundamental to nearly every big question about high school football is the matter of culture. The reality is that the culture of high school football in PA is very different to what it was and to what it is now in much of Ohio, Florida, Texas, and in least in parts of Georgia and California. It's not an accident that the Inquirer dropped its coverage of HS sports.

I remember as a young kid visiting my much older brother in Scranton and hearing all about the Blakely Bears. They were huge. And many on here from different parts of eastern PA--western PA may be very different and things may not have changed so much there--remember much more recent times when crowds were large, some coaches exercised power that no coach could try to duplicate today, and the numbers of kids who "tried out for football" were much larger than they are now. When I was at SJP and our "pretty good" but never very good team played Roman on Thanksgiving there were always at least 5,000 people there at 29th and Alleghany. And when we played Bonner with John Cappelletti in the fall of 1968 I'd bet there was a higher percentage of the student body in the stands than at any football game the school has played since.

This doesn't mean PA football is bad. On the whole, HS football in PA clearly better than it is in New England, NY, DE, MD, VA, and I'd also include most of Jersey. (That small group of North Jersey Catholic schools are, of course, very good.)
 

Thegreenmissle

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Aug 6, 2022
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There is no “solution” to this “problem”, because there is no problem to begin with.

Florida has a much higher population than Pennsylvania. So does Texas and California. Of course they are more talented.

Pennsylvania football Is right where it should be. It’s still better than the majority.
 

Hausmann1978

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May 5, 2021
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You can't go off of last weekend. Pcc is young and a year away and SJP might be the best highschool team in the country next year. Let's go back a few years ago to 2017. I think Imhotep, pine Richland, wood, Erie cathedral prep, southern Columbia, Harrisburg and St Joe's prep could of completed with anyone in the country and a lot of those teams did. It goes in waves.
 
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northalleghenytiger

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Aug 22, 2022
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There is no “solution” to this “problem”, because there is no problem to begin with.

Florida has a much higher population than Pennsylvania. So does Texas and California. Of course they are more talented.

Pennsylvania football Is right where it should be. It’s still better than the majority.
This is such a loser take. So your just okay with being second best? PA has produced so many Hall of Famers in the NFL, and we now settle for being “good enough”?

there is no reason why we shouldn’t be #1. I hate to break it to you all, but football is the only sport PA is good at, and if we aren’t number 1, then that is embarrassing
 

roxychknpoxy

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Sep 9, 2008
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This is such a loser take. So your just okay with being second best? PA has produced so many Hall of Famers in the NFL, and we now settle for being “good enough”?

there is no reason why we shouldn’t be #1. I hate to break it to you all, but football is the only sport PA is good at, and if we aren’t number 1, then that is embarrassing
Wow - I’m all for satire, but this is getting pathetic … your reference and context is so far off … you moved back in 99?!!! … football is the only sport that PA is good at? … are you a russian bot? … get your cannibus card and find another board, please … and good luck
 
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northalleghenytiger

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Aug 22, 2022
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Wow - I’m all for satire, but this is getting pathetic … your reference and context is so far off … you moved back in 99?!!! … football is the only sport that PA is good at? … are you a russian bot? … get your cannibus card and find another board, please … and good luck
What other sport are we good at? It’s certainly not wrestling, basketball or hockey.
 

Thegreenmissle

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Aug 6, 2022
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This is such a loser take. So your just okay with being second best? PA has produced so many Hall of Famers in the NFL, and we now settle for being “good enough”?

there is no reason why we shouldn’t be #1. I hate to break it to you all, but football is the only sport PA is good at, and if we aren’t number 1, then that is embarrassing
If you truly feel this strongly about how Pennsylvania high school football stacks up, why are you being overly antagonistic on a forum? You should apply for a job in which you have a say in PIAA decisions. Then, Your thoughts may actually have the changes your looking for.
 

northalleghenytiger

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Aug 22, 2022
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If you truly feel this strongly about how Pennsylvania high school football stacks up, why are you being overly antagonistic on a forum? You should apply for a job in which you have a say in PIAA decisions. Then, Your thoughts may actually have the changes your looking for.
Thanks for the suggestion! But I was already planning on doing that. Still filing the paperwork and whatnot.
Just wanted to share my thoughts with common folk. It’s really not that big of a deal.