Jump to content

Longtime Observer

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Longtime Observer last won the day on December 11 2023

Longtime Observer had the most liked content!

About Longtime Observer

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

Longtime Observer's Achievements

All-State Honorable Mention

All-State Honorable Mention (8/49)



  1. How are you going to discern who contacted who first?
  2. They'd definitely never do any of that. After all, the less information parents and students have, the better, right?
  3. Emotional, knee-jerk reactions won't help matters. Legislation has to be written in objective, preferably measurable terms. I assume you'd classify Lakeland as a "cheater" and not Lake Gibson. So, how are you going to word legislation that establishes this, given the fact that Lake Gibson's leading rusher was a transfer from Lakeland and their leading WR was also a transfer from Lakeland? There were no players who started most every game for Lakeland and had played for Lake Gibson previously. (One player started sometimes but had been at Lakeland two years). The reality there seems to point to Lake Gibson being the "cheater", no?
  4. It does appear many of the best players at CAI intend to continue playing in the USA, and likely in the state of Florida. Depending on where the kids end up, it could have a significant impact on the game. There are some big-time players returning on that roster, including an elite RB.
  5. It's called human psychology. People want to travel together in groups. And they like to play for a winner. If enough good players leave one school, their prospects for the season further dwindle. And perhaps another school is now that much stronger and appealing to play for. Good students want to attend a school with other good students. They don't want to get stuck in classrooms where the kids are disrupting lessons and acting a fool. Football players want to play with other good football players. They don't want to get stuck on a team with players who are lazy or weak players.
  6. It is true that, when the other powers got a lot of transfers while Lakeland could not do this (~2011-2016) Lakeland was good, but not an elite team. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. Pick whatever high school you consider to be a top dawg academically. Are they "Cheaters"? Because I promise you their reputation has led them to attract a highly disproportionate share of motivated, prepared and capable students. Is that "cheating"?
  7. There are many different components to an educational experience outside of just academics. So, I don't think school choice is exclusively about academics. Though I reiterate the fact that the schools with the best track record academically end up attracting the more motivated and/or capable students, which ensures they continue to produce high test scores. No one seems to be crying about the disproportionate share of capable, motivated students that regularly turn up at the "good" schools, or the opposite at the "bad" schools. Try teaching a class when most of the kids don't care, or even hate being there. Contrast that with having a class full of motivated, prepared, capable students. Teachers can be made to look good or bad based on those class dynamics. "Poaching" insinuates either bribes or coercion. It suggests almost helpless kids/parents who are dragged somewhere, possibly against their will. That isn't happening. Current players, alums and boosters may have conversations about playing opportunities in a given sport. But, the families make the decision they feel is best for them. Lake Gibson's leading rusher-the younger brother of a star player from a state title team a few years back at Lakeland- left Lakeland for LG because he wanted more playing time. He wasn't "poached". He left on his own to get playing time. The exact same thing happened with Lake Wales and Polk county's leading rusher for 2023. He left Lakeland for the same reason. Players and parents have agency to decide what's best, and they have their reasons for going wherever they go. Affording them choices doesn't make them victims; it's quite the opposite. There are major, life-altering opportunities available through extracurricular activities like sports. Whether it's a scholarship to college, some NIL $, or in rare cases a pro career, there are many opportunities which can impact a kid's life. The idea that we should disregard that because some fans don't like seeing their team lose games is silly.
  8. What is often missed in these discussions is the fact that, almost always, players/families CHOOSE to play for the powers. We see families pick up and move to a new area just so their kid can play for a particular program. Or, they willingly commute a further distance to play for a preferred program. This narrative of there being bad guys at a few programs going out and rounding up all the best players through bribes or coercion is silly. Players seek the best opportunities for themselves, just like they do when they pick a college to play for. No one expects college teams to end up with equal talent. No one sees Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State etc ending up with a disproportionate share of talent and thinks 'Gosh, they HAD to have cheated. How else would they get all those good players?" Those programs have a proven record of success, and players often seek THEM out. For some reason, when it comes to high school, people get up in arms if a handful of programs end up with the best players. They demand an equal share of talent for high schools. This despite the fact that they do NOT think this way when it comes to other areas like academics or the arts. No one begrudges the parents who seek residency in the zone of top academic schools. No one accuses the top academic schools of "cheating" when they end up with a disproportionate share of motivated and/or gifted students. The logical inconsistency is amusing and annoying.
  9. Their starting QB, Ryan Browne, was the QB for Sarasota Riverview the previous season. Top WR #3 (Hayes) was a top player for Riverview in 2020 as well. That's all that comes to mind without looking. You have to go back to 2018 to find a Venice team whose QB didn't transfer from another school.
  10. But the one year resume tells you who should play for the big prize THAT season. Unless you're really trying to make the championship be a four-year marathon...
  11. At first glance, this was a shocker. But, the truth is football programs are very expensive. They must generate revenue through fan attendance and booster clubs. It appears CAI was not able to generate enough revenue to continue the program. This doesn't figure to have a huge impact on area teams, as most of the team was from out of the country and housed in Clearwater by CAI. Most of their players will probably head to IMG or will return to their home countries.
  12. You'd have to require teams to declare their eligibility before the start of the season (or before the start of the playoffs). If they say they're eligible, then they are obligated to participate if chosen by a committee of voters from around the state. If they don't declare their eligibility, they can't be picked for the playoff. Schools can field "once in a lifetime" teams in one specific season, which are really able to compete with the best in the state. That one special team should have the opportunity to play in an Open playoff for that one season. Norland in 2023 had a team worthy of being in such a playoff, but maybe no other season in recent memory. On the flip side, elite programs can still have seasons where their team wouldn't be up to competing with the best in the state. The 2019 Miami Central team lost by thirty-six (36) points to St. Frances; twenty (20) points to Chaminade and ten points to Miami Northwestern. They probably had no business in an Open playoff that season. Lakeland was down in 2020 (though Covid made things weird) and not elite in 2021 either, etc
  13. Surely you recognize how this could lead to some terrible classifications. After all, you are the outspoken critic of teams running up great records against lesser competition...
  14. Eventually, there will be an elite tier set apart from the rest for the purposes you state. Currently, people are in denial about where the game is/is headed. In regards to the way that will happen, there are some concerns about how best to determine who belongs in the elite tier. There are far too many variables impacting team quality from year to year to use a historically informed model. The 2024 playoffs should feature the best teams from 2024. Not teams who were good in previous seasons or who will likely be good in the future. With transferring being so easy and so common, literally ANY school can go from a nobody to a somebody overnight. For all we know, the private Christian schools in heavily Christian Lakeland, Florida will continue to grow and supplant Lakeland High as the power(s) in the county. If the coaching staff suddenly fell out of favor with parents and the community, Lakeland could be 0-10 real quick. Victory and LCS already are LOADED with Lakeland High legacies who chose to go to the private Christian school over the public school. Some variation of the same story could happen anywhere, any time.
  15. The game is moving towards fewer, but more powerful, teams that compete on a regional, state and national level moreso than a local level. Venice, Buchholz, Lakeland may not have interesting games against local opponents, but they have interesting games when they play. And, they sometimes are beaten soundly by national powerhouses.
  • Create New...