OK, a month between posts is not exactly the way to run a high school sports website.
In truth, while I still harbor the enthusiasms that resulted in this creation, the time needed to act on those enthusiasms has evaporated. You know the litany of reasons (excuses?): Kids, District 3 staff and administrative work and, well, kids. But I haven’t said much about an increasingly important factor: I actually enjoy being retired, such as you can call me retired.
On Friday, it is a toss-up whether I’ll attend a local football game or stay home and do some more D3 work while watching Boise State and Michigan State. I’m not kidding when I say either option is equally enjoyable. In truth, I’m as big of a college football fan as I am a Pennsylvania high school football fan. And I will skip what could be a great season-opening game on Saturday between Bishop McDevitt and Harrisburg because I’ll be heading up to the ol’ hometown for a mini class reunion. There’s that whole “retired” thing.
By and large, my reporting days are a thing of the past. I’m still doing some freelance reporting on PIAA matters for newspapers around the state (it pays, and with 3 k ids eyeing up college, pay matters). And I’ll still post PIAA meetings and issues here on RodFrisco.com as well as other news of interest now that the school year has begun.
But as a PIAA employee, I feel I should not do subjective rankings anymore. I don’t necessarily consider doing rankings a conflict of interest, but I don’t want people to think my rankings bear the District 3 or PIAA imprimatur. Neither District 3 nor PIAA officials have told me to desist; this is entirely my decision. But I’ll bet they agree.
Too bad, too. I LOVED doing rankings when I was at The Patriot-News and my first year on this site because I loved – and still love – high school football. Attending a high school game remains a very pleasurable experience, even though I have no personal connection to the players and coaches; I just love the sport. OK, I admit I am a Central Dauphin fan in all sports these days because the triplets are fully integrated CD students. So, for now, I’m a CD dad, and that makes me a CD fan … and not just in field hockey (Go, Halle!). So having a serious CD bias is an exclusionary factor, too.
But we can’t just leave the rankings unattended. Directly below are links to the state rankings from The Patriot-News, Pennsylvania Football News and EasternPAFootball.com. I link because, my current status notwithstanding, I love rankings.
EASTERNPAFOOTBALL (scroll down to midpoint of home page for rankings, which are not quite complete as of today. In big school, the top two spots are blank, although they’ll be filled by Central Dauphin and Archbishop Wood, although I’m not sure which school will take which spot. The top spot in small school is open. My wild guess is Wyomissing. Regardless, I’m always a big fan of what Dave Mika and his staff do with the site.)
Some pre-season football notes:
Sadly, Father Geibel, a small Catholic school in Connellsville, has already forfeited its season opener against Frazier because of a lack of bodies. Geibel originally had 25 players sign up, but only 15 were on the preseason roster. Injuries have reduced that to 10, ergo the forfeit. Mike White’s report on the Post-Gazette’s Varsity Blog is here.
Not exactly new news, but worth repeating that Father Judge of the Philadelphia Catholic League will open the season in County Meath, Ireland against Notre Dame Prep of Scottsdale, Arizona. Pennsylvania teams have played outside of the Lower 48 before, primarily in Canada, but it is believed this is first state team to play across the pond. Not cheap at $2,700 per person (52 players and 16 coaches … SIXTEEN coaches?).
Speaking of Canada, what in the world is my HS alma mater, Clearfield, doing opening the season – and christening its new turf field – against a Canadian team (St. Joan of Arc of Mississaugua, Ontario)? I guess Penns Valley wasn’t available. Oh, wait. PV is the Week 2 opponent. And to think we used to get beat up by the likes of State College, DuBois, and Lock Haven back in the day. In fairness, Clearfield, while still a small Class AAA school (327 males, 29 above the AAA / AA cutoff) is a good fit in the Mountain League, even if fellow 9-AAA schools Bradford and St. Marys aren’t too crazy about it. Joking aside, Clearfield’s schedule is fine.
Clairton HS from District 7 enters the season with a 47-game winning streak, currently the nation’s longest and a threat to Central Bucks West’s state record of 59 consecutive wins. The Bears can break the record with another unbeaten 9-win regular season and a fifth straight WPIAL championship.