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Joshua Wilson

Discussion on our current classification model used for football and ways to improve it

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Just had a talk with Madison County's head coach about regarding the Charter School that is in Madison.

 

First because the Charter School does not offer sports they are required to count the Charter School numbers in for the enrollment numbers by the FHSAA.

 

Second, the Charter School does not have 200 kids. That number is only in the high 30's and out of those 30 plus kids only two are playing football for the school.

 

Glad to have some facts and the FHSAA does have rules to help account for charter schools without sports. 

 

So even if Madison went to Class 1A in the next cycle (its a borderline situation) I really don't think Class 1A would have much to worry about and I myself would welcome to see some new teams add to the current fold. 

 

Well thats good to know that there is a rule in place for this and if there true enrollment is under 600 then i would welcome them to 1A but i am afraid that others my bolt and go independent.

Another thing that bothers me is the 2 year cycle for scheduling, Trenton, Chiefland and Bell all had schools cancel games next year leaving holes in the schedule. I was under the impression that the schools where under contract with one another is that not the case?  

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Here is another thought how many of the teams that went independent are public schools? 

 

Two schools that I have counted so far are public that dropped and bring the total up to six.

 

Those six are

 

Key West

Lecanto

Coral Glades

West Broward

Marathon

Coral Shores

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Well thats good to know that there is a rule in place for this and if there true enrollment is under 600 then i would welcome them to 1A but i am afraid that others my bolt and go independent.

Another thing that bothers me is the 2 year cycle for scheduling, Trenton, Chiefland and Bell all had schools cancel games next year leaving holes in the schedule. I was under the impression that the schools where under contract with one another is that not the case?  

 

If schools run scare because of one team then that is a bit foolish IMHO. If you want to be the best you have to play the best at your given classification. It might have taken Bell three years in 1A to make the playoffs, but they kept at it and look where it got them.

 

As I say again, Madison County is borderline of being 1A the next cycle. From what I am told the Charter school is not a huge hit out there in Madison. However, at this point I would rather stop focusing on schools individually and find a way to solve the current problem with the classification setup.

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If schools run scare because of one team then that is a bit foolish IMHO. If you want to be the best you have to play the best at your given classification. It might have taken Bell three years in 1A to make the playoffs, but they kept at it and look where it got them.

 

As I say again, Madison County is borderline of being 1A the next cycle. From what I am told the Charter school is not a huge hit out there in Madison. However, at this point I would rather stop focusing on schools individually and find a way to solve the current problem with the classification setup.

Sometimes it is in the schools best interest to drop out of league play when you just dont have the coaching or talent to compete, It will give them a chance to schedule some wins and try to build some school spirit there are always a few kids that could play and help the team but wont come out because they dont want to part of a loosing team. Bell was independent a few years ago and look what they where able to do when they got back in. They where not world beaters but competitive in 1A. I think 8 classifications is where we need to be.    

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Alright folks...time to start revisiting this section. Things are about to get going here in the next few months for reclassification. Tone that I seem to get is that the FHSAA is content with eight classes for football, further watering down any potential excitement for fans, coaches and the players....well needless to say I continue to hear from these different groups that are wanting change. I am going to take the bull by the horns here and lead for something. Hope to add in some others to help come up with a solid solution.

 

Feel free to post on here your thoughts and ideas.

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I was just reviewing the schools in the Gold Coast Football League which does not have a classification.  To my knowledge it is a independent league and they are not eligible for postseason play.  This league just seems like a band aid for a few schools that could not compete in their previous division.  You have Oxbridge Academy (a few hundred students) , Inlet Grove about 700 enrolled, Key West about 1250, North Broward Prep 1400, Archbishop McCarthy 1450, Pines Charter 1700 and Coral Glades with a whopping 2400.  I cannot believe Coral Glades who used to be 8A through last year with 2400 students still may not win a game in this league.  I know a little bit about this school and the teams surrounding Coral Glades.   There are several 8A High Schools in the Coral Springs area - Coral Springs High, Stoneman Douglas, Taravella , Monarch and Coral Glades.  All the schools have had up and down years and for the most part hold their own as average 8A teams in Broward. As for Coral Glades, although they are a newer school established in 2004 they actually have gone from average to horrendous over a 10 year cycle. I guess all of the talent attends the other schools in the city or something....I know for a fact that Cardinal Gibbons, American Heritage -Plantation and St. Thomas Aquinas all have athletes that are zoned for this school .  What could have been... 

They have had numerous coaching issues and if I am not mistaken only have about 25 kids on the football roster.  Not to get off topic but how does it work?.  Does the District tell them they have to leave or does the school choose to leave?

My input to this debate is what to do with a  school of 2400 which would always be in the largest class of football that just can't compete?  Where would you put a 8A enrollment school that is getting smashed by 1A size schools in the Gold Coast Football League? I am not writing this to bash the school just using an example as to where would you put a school like Coral Glades...

Dropping football might be the solution but I can't imagine a school in South Florida with 2400 not having a football team.

 

Perhaps there just needs to be a massive 'B" Division for schools (regardless of their enrollment size) that can't win more then 3 games a year for 3 years in a row.  If a 'B' Division school wins 7 games or more for 3 years in a row they have the option to be fitted accordingly by their enrollment to the A division.

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I can name some newer schools who hasn't had much success over the years in football starting from 2005 which their all in between 7A-8A.

 

1. Coral Glades senior high school enrollment 2400 students

2. Ronald W. Reagan Doral senior high school enrollment 2100 students (although their 4-0 right now their usually not) 

3. Westland Hialeah senior high school enrollment 2100 students

4. Hialeah Gardens senior high school enrollment 3100 students

5. West Broward senior high school enrollment 2725 students

6. Alonzo and Tracy Mourning senior high school enrollment 1650 students

 

Now with all of these schools mentioned what would we or could we do with them if the current classification was revised. Some might say have them independent but with enrollments of 1600 plus I just can't see that. Another option some might pose is putting them in a lower classification, however a school with 3100 students shouldn't be in let's say 4A with Booker T. Washington who only has a 960 or Cocoa with only 950 students. As of now I really don't know what should be done but I think I previously stated this in that I think everything is fine the way it is and 8 classifications is good enough.

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There needs to be a solution for small public schools in the South.  Geography is a terrible problem as there are only about 10 small public schools south of I-4 (class 2 and 3A) and schools like Moore Haven cannot compete with the private schools in the area.  I do not have an answer, but the problem for the Ft. Meade's. Moore Haven's and Coral Shores in our system needs addressed.

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The real issue is the one that will never be solved. It is the unethical recruiting practices of the few elite schools who win the championships every year. I have been coaching for a long time, and it is the same few teams in each classification in every state every year that go out and get transfers to come play for them, then they stalk these 8th graders at pop warner games, give them full scholarships just for football, then the other schools who do not have those resources cannot compete with that. The FHSAA won't stop that because when those teams compete with schools from out of state, they win and make Florida look better.

 

I agree with other posters that say that FHSAA will not do anything to lose money, so reducing classifications is fine as long as the amount of playoff games does not reduce.

 

I think a few options to consider might be:

 

1) Transfer rule: unless you transfer from out of state, you must sit out of athletics for an entire school year if you transfer from one school to another.

 

2) Classifications: you need to consider the private schools. Most private schools that dominate are in that 3A class. Something needs to be done, because there are a few teams in there that recruit on the same level as college teams. Everyone knows they are doing it and no one does anything to stop them. FHSAA needs to do something about it. Bigger private schools aren't the problem, because 7A and 8A public schools have enough students to put together competitive teams. If you have over 1500 students and can't win it's because of coaching.

 

3) The winning/losing percentage thing to factor in classification is a decent idea to mull over. The NFL has a model that allows every team to have a fair playing field. The ones that do well succeed. The ones who do not do well lose. Well there is a river of unethical recruiting money flowing through private schools in this state, and I am tired of only a few teams having a real chance at a state title every year. Winning a state title should not be a pipe dream for high school kids. They all should have a fair chance. If the state does nothing, then the independent schools will increase.

 

4) Speaking of independents, why doesn't someone create a state championship for independents? A small and large school division, then have a legitimate state title opportunity for the non-cheaters.The independent coaches would vote for all teams who want to enter. If schools do not want a school to join because they feel that they are cheaters, then 'the people decide'. Then maybe 90% of the schools in the state could be independent and the cheaters can all play themselves in the FHSAA classes.

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How about a total small public school separation. Include all public schools with 1200 or less and make two class's 1 to 600 would be 1A and 601 to 1200 in 2A then divide the rest into the other classifications. You could als do the same with the private schools and make 2 class's for them, Then the remaining 4 class's could be divided up equally.

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Private schools should not be competing with small public schools.  Look at Bolles.  Their reported enrollment is 787.  Their Varsity has 62 players on it.  The only way to get those numbers is to recruit, which I don't have a problem with.  I have a huge probelm with having to compete with them.  Our entire football program has 60 boys and we have 100 more students than them.

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Private schools should not be competing with small public schools.  Look at Bolles.  Their reported enrollment is 787.  Their Varsity has 62 players on it.  The only way to get those numbers is to recruit, which I don't have a problem with.  I have a huge probelm with having to compete with them.  Our entire football program has 60 boys and we have 100 more students than them.

Where would we put Bolles? Move them up a class? I've said for years to move Aquinas up to 8A, our district isn't very strong and plus 8A ball is some of the best ball around. Moving Bolles to 5A could be a solution. 

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I like the idea of 6 classes with 2 classes for teams that are consistantly under a .500 season.

 

1A 1-149 students

2A 150-499 students

3A 500- 949 students

4A 950- 1599 students

5A 1600- 2249 students

6A 2250+ or Any school that wants to play in this division.

 

2 divisions for the teams with consistant losing records.

 

1B 1- 949 studends can compete.

2B 950- unlimited students.

Once a B school takes a championship it must move up.

Once a B school has a won more than 70% of their games 2 years running they must move up.

Any B school can petition to play down 1 Class after coming out of the B division for 2 years.

 

Privates that have 2 or more students from out of area must play up one Class.

Independants may petition for a playoff spot in the next level Class.

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I would be against anything that puts the lower enrollment schools in the same class as the private schools from large cities, By your formula you would have power house schools like Jacksonville Trinity playing Bell's, Bronson, Branford, Mayo, Trenton. 

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I would be against anything that puts the lower enrollment schools in the same class as the private schools from large cities, By your formula you would have power house schools like Jacksonville Trinity playing Bell's, Bronson, Branford, Mayo, Trenton. 

I have to agree with this. Maybe make the privates play up a class? I know Aquinas could be in 8A and be totally fine with no problems. Bolles is a great school they would be fine in 5A. You can go on and on. Gibbons in 6A etc. 

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they should take private schools out of the playoffs and put them seperatly from public schools, best private schools have their own playoffs and bc its not fair for a private school who has no district limitations and can bring players in from around the state or even country and have them playing a public school ex. madision vs bolles 4a semifinals

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