Catholic vs Public: An Overblown Issue

Every year, whether its the football or basketball this issue arises and it drives me crazy every time.

For whatever reason this debate always centers on Catholic or Private schools recruiting players to win championships and Public schools are at a huge disadvantage. To be honest, this works both ways. Public schools have continuity via its feeder systems while most Catholic schools really learn to play as a team their Freshman year of High School. And to be even more serious, there are Public school out there that recruits as well.

As a 30 year old man with zero kids at the moment, say I have a kid that is an absolute stud, what would be so wrong about my motivation to send my kid to a school where he has the greatest shot of gaining an athletic scholarship to play football/basketball in college. And at the same time, acquire a first class education that will ensure he’ll qualify for college as well.

I’ve been seeing absurd idea’s thrown around like placing Catholic/Private schools one class ahead of where they should be. How is this fair to a school like Geibel-who can hardly compete at the Class A level. Placing them in a conference with Jeannette, Washington, and GCC would be absolutely crazy. Same with placing Serra Catholic in a league with Keystone Oaks, South Fayette, and Steel Valley, when they can’t compete with Fort Cherry, and Char Houston let alone Clairton and Brentwood.

Now I completely understand Serra is 4 years removed from a WPIAL Title in Football but remember they wasn’t some powerhouse before that WPIAL Title run. So did they somehow learn how to “cheat”-as some put it, and suddenly forgot how to or did they have a great coach that put things together for them? And judging Coach Bowen’s track record at different schools, I’m going with the latter.

People that think Catholic schools have some big time advantage needs to get over themselves. Look at the Previous WPIAL & PIAA Champions and their dominated by Public Schools. When was the last time Bishop Canevin or North Catholic win a WPIAL Title at any level? I’ll answer that for you, Canevin’s last title was in 2A in 1990. Reason why I mentioned those 2 are because they seem to jump between Class A and 2A the most and most people say Class A schools are the schools that have the largest disadvantage. Other than Serra Catholic, Quigley Catholic is the only Private with a Class A title and this was the late 70’s. (PS: Its duly noted that Seton LaSelle and Greensburg Central both own championships the past 10 years in 2A.)

So why do people get so up and arms about this issue?

Switching gears to another heated debate, I must say what happened at Cal U this past weekend with Woodland Hills vs Peters Township is disturbing. Personally I don’t know what was said on the court, but that doesn’t mean a kid should go across the court and suckerpunch another kid. I have to applaud Monessen for the way they handled their situation at Brentwood HS.

I personally believe that Shakim Alonzo should be punished by the school and not by the police. 10 days from school, and detention the rest of the school year is enough punishment as far as I’m concerned.

It was a rather sad and unfortunate incident where nobody is a winner. I truly hope we don’t see anymore situations like this in the future.


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