Blanchard River Buzz

A blog for rabid sports fans in the Findlay Area. Maintained by Findlay Courier sports writer Jamie Baker. The opinions expressed are my own crazed ramblings and not those of my employer the Findlay Publishing Company and its subsidiaries.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Those darn Privates

So you hate those Catholics huh? And you’re tired of seeing those pampered rich kids at those private schools dominate when the OHSAA state tournaments roll around.
So what’s your solution?
Even though I was the product of a private school I do feel your pain. I’ve seen too many terrific area basketball teams taken out at the state tournament by all-star teams from big city private schools.
Short of kicking them all out and forcing them to their own state tournament, what’s the answer?
The OHSAA’s answer was to establish their infamous Blue Ribbon Committee which changed the way all divisions are formulated. They took so much heat from their recommendation to make Division I just 72 schools for football while putting 140 in Division VI that the football part of the plan is on hold for now.
But originally, from what I understand, one of the purposes of the OHSAA Blue Ribbon Committee was to take a look at the whole Public vs. Private debate in Ohio. It was never really addressed by the subcommittee that came up with the division realignment plan, even though that was their purpose in getting together.
One option a lot of people like is to just move the private schools all up a division or use some kind of multiplier on their enrollments. They would take their enrollment, multiply it by 1.5 percent and it would essentially move most up a division. Or another plan would just make them all move up one division in every sport they compete in. Of course this does nothing to the Super Schools like St. Ignatius, Moeller, Elder etc who are already in Division I.
Private schools have built in advantages. They don’t have to take every kid that walks in the door like public schools do. Parents generally are more involved and motivated just because they have more of a financial stake in little junior’s education because they are paying tuition.
But there are negatives too. Many private schools don’t have the facilities that their public school counterparts supported by tax dollars do. Coaches are paid comparably less than their public school peers.
Do Catholic schools recruit athletes? Absolutely…some do. And there is a big advantage especially for those located in major urban areas like Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati who draw students from their entire counties. Smaller community based privates like St. Wendelin, Calvert and Fremont St. Joseph don’t enjoy those advantages and are struggling just to keep the doors open.
It’s had to paint all the privates with one brush and then there’s the question of open enrollment at public schools. Whatever solution the OHSAA in their infinite wisdom comes up with not everyone will be happy.

MONEY MATTERS: The freshman football coach at Fostoria makes more than the head coaches in cross country, track, wrestling and baseball. You tell me is that right or should a head coach in any sport make more than a freshman coach you make the call.
TOMORROW: More hoops and a look at the weekend boys basketball action in the Blanchard Valley Conference.

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Fostoria Review Times Wednesday Sports
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Oberlin changes school Indian mascot
Strange News Wire If you need a laugh read these stories


  • At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As is mentioned in the article, the biggest frustration comes in losing when the stakes are the highest to a school that actively recruits people. Exactly how many schools fit that description is unknown to me, but the names of the main culprits surface time and again. I can understand why a young man might gravitate to Iggy or Saint X as opposed to staying at neighborhood schools in questionable areas. Many resent Glenville now that many great athletes are drawn there despite the fact that Ted Ginn Sr. works extremely hard to give his kids a chance at higher education, just ask Collinwood. The fact that Sandusky St. Mary has a great wrestling program has enticed families in the Sandusky area with good wrestling prospects to seek out SMCC. Is SMCC wrong for being good? I wouldn't turn down those kids if my enrollment were lagging.

    As far as restructuring the football divisions is concerned, there might be ample need for it. While every season is an entity unto itself it sometimes appears that six divisions has indeed watered down the competition, especially in D-VI. How that effects the whole public/private situation is beyond me. It goes well beyond Catholics, too, plenty of Christian schools are making their mark in the OHSAA.

    Perhaps the answer is to just go and compete knowing life isn't always fair. There are plenty of people who wish they had the talent and/or opportunity to challenge for the top prize, even if it results in losing to a school whose playing field is a little more "even" than yours. Most people have a finite number of chances to compete and I still believe that there is something glorious in having dared greatly despite obstacles and outcomes.

  • At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Private schools having an advantage is a myth. To debate this again is beating a dead horse.
    Public schools with open enrollment have just as much chance to "recruit" as private schools. Kyle Johann is an example of this, he played at FHS, but lived in the LB district. Open enrollment allowed him to play at FHS, leading them to the final four in D1, instead of playing at LB.

  • At 11:46 AM, Blogger --J-- said…

    Anonymous a very well thought out post and the best contribution to this site to date in my opinion.

    Although I don't necessarily agree with Division VI football being watered down.

    Overcoming the odds for a small school to win a state title wth homegrown kids in any sport makes the title that much more special.

    Although I will say private schools do have an advantage and that's parental involvement protecting their investment in their kids' education.

  • At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The private vs. public is more of a big city problem. I really feel bad for the Toledo public schools. All of the public schools fight to keep up, yet when it's said and done, St. John's, St. Francis, Central Catholic for the boys, St. Ursula for the girls get all the top notch talent.


  • At 4:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Explain Toledo Whitmer? They went farther in playoffs then SJJ did.


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