Clairton vs Aliquippa: Dream Small School Match Up

Every where you go people are talking about this what if match up. People have heated debates on several message boards from Panther Digest to Pantherlair to your various hs message boards like PA Sports Board.

Fans from both schools have a legit argument on why they feel their school would win. Clairton is riding a 60 game winning streak with 5 Straight WPIAL Championships and 3 Straight PIAA Championships. Aliquippa has completely dominated their 2A competition this year raking up an absurd 50.6 to 3.8 average per game.

Lets talk about stars, Clairton has the Killer T’s(Tyler Boyd, Terrish Webb, and Titus Howard and then you sprinkle in Robert Boatwright, Vinny Moody, and Santeaun Sims. Aliquippa would counter with Dravon Henry, Terry Swanson, and Malik Shegog.

Both squads have tremendous offenses & defenses. If they would’ve played I’d figure it to be a 3 TD apiece type game w/ XP’s being the difference.

Lets face it, 1A is very logged jammed and has 0 flexibility to allow for this match up to happen. So in order for this game to happen either Aliquippa has to drop to 1A or Clairton has to opt to play up to 2A. For Aliquippa to drop to 1A, the circumstance would be that they’re not able to compete for PIAA and WPIAL Championships and with the level of competition dropping, I can’t see Aliquippa dropping to 1A anytime soon. So Clairton must play up or this is just the talk that it has been.

Now this question must be raised, despite its enrollment size can Clairton compete for a PIAA and WPIAL Championship at the 2A level? I’m going to say yes they can. Clairton would’ve won the Century and would’ve faced Aliquippa at Heinz Field w/ the 59 game winning streak on the line. And the only state competition I see from the east would’ve been Imhotep Charter. But that’s this season, Clairton losses a ton after this years graduating Class. Moving up would hurt Clairton’s chance to compete for a WPIAL & PIAA Championships in 2013.

So if Clairton isn’t going to opt to play up and Aliquippa won’t drop down, this is simply a dream match up. Fun to talk about because both schools have tremendous traditions. And the only thing that will slow either school down will be them closing unfortunately.

Best of luck to both programs as they proceed through the State Playoffs. I expect both to walk home with State Championships.


Notes, 2013, and Digging in

*****You can go from Clairton being too dominant against local competition, to Private schools dominating the larger class’s to the season being too long. Here’s what people needs to do instead of whining. Do something about it. Its now late November, make sure your kids are in the weight rooms preparing for next season. People seem far too jealous of the programs that are successful today. Its starting to get pathetic.

As far as the season being too long, there are too many traditions within the separate  Districts to find a common solution. Therefore, either look at your individual District and figure out which traditions could end for the sake of making PA football even better.

***** Whats up w/ the level of competition in the WPIAL?  Outside of 3-4 programs it seems like the quality of teams drops like a rock. With that said, it seems like the quality of recruits are starting to raise again. Class of 14 has a tremendous group of top not recruits in Washington’s Sha McKenzie, Monessens’s Justice Rawlins, and Aliquippa’s Jaleel Field & Dravon Henry and Sto Rox’s Lenny Williams & Brendan Blair. I know I’m missing a few, but I think next year the gap between the Haves and Have Nots should close a little.

***** Speaking of 2014, Class A could be very wide open next season. Clairton, Sto Rox, Monessen, Neshannock, Brentwood, and others should be in the mix to compete in Heinz Field for the Title. Yes Clairton should be the favorite, even w/ the heavy graduation they’ll be having… its Clairton.

***** Class AA should be very interesting with South Fayette’s Brett Brumbaugh having a full season under his belt. This kid is only going to get better. I know SF loses Chris Challingsworth but Brumbaugh is the real deal and find weapons to throw to. SLS with Luke Brumbaugh should be in the mix in the Century Conferences. I think Greensburg Central Catholic(after having an injury plagued season) should be in the mix with Washington and Jeannette for the Interstate Conference.

***** What could you say negative about Monessen’s run this year. They certainly proved me wrong by finishing 2nd in a very strong Blackhills Conference. I think if Monessen has a great offseason they could certainly be more competitive with Clairton and beat schools like Neshannock. Only time will tell.

**** I really think that the WPIAL should jump on board with the 5 or 6 Class solution. It would really help out with the log jam in the smaller class’s.

I hope everyone had a great 2012 season. There is still football for 4 WPIAL teams in North Allegheny, West Allegheny, Aliquippa, and Clairton. Of those 4 I say Aliqiuppa & Clairton has the best chances of winning their respective class. NA vs Erie McDowell and West Allegheny vs Erie Cathedral Prep should be very interesting games.


Playoffs… Playoffs

Every year this time of the year you hear the same gripes from the same people. You hear about the season being too long(16 games), the season is played too late into December, or people wine about other Districts having bye weeks throughout the playoffs.

My problem is, you rarely hear solutions to these problems, or when there could be a solution Districts right these solutions because it kills their traditions. Out east Thanksgiving Games are still the “thing to do”, or they can’t start football season a week early due to vacations. The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League(WPIAL) is against going to more Class’s because it could potentially kill the “Heinz Field experience”. And for whatever reason the WPIAL still sets a 16 team playoff field in all 4 Class’s.

So why all the wining and dining every single year when no one wants change and keep the status quo going.

In order to shorten the season, sacrifices has to happen. The adults in the room must get together and realize that what they’re doing isn’t working. If it was working then you wouldn’t be hearing these gripes EVERY SINGLE SEASON.

Out east, there is a solution to the Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl tradition. Maybe I’m shortsighted here, but play your playoff games that week on Thanksgiving. I do understand those games are usually set for a rivalry game but play those rivalries earlier in the season. And those schools that aren’t in the playoffs could also set up a 10th or 11th game on Thanksgiving as well. Of course those Turkey Bowl’s won’t be as meaningful as in the past, but meaningful games will be played for a different reason.

WPIAL, I do know that the league plays only a 9 week regular season to hold the 16 team playoff. But the league could propose a 9 week regular season statewide and cut the playoff field in half at the same time. Lets be for real; 5th and 6th place teams in 3A and 4A don’t belong in the playoffs. And in 1A and 2A there is such a tremendous change in level of competition between the 5th and 6th best teams and the rest of the field it’s not funny. All right this year, Brentwood and Neshannock certainly proved on the field that they belong in the playoffs. But are they legit WPIAL Championship Contenders. I really don’t think so. So honestly preventing them from qualifying for the playoffs isn’t that bad of an idea.

Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association(PIAA), I think its time to go to 8 or 16 Districts. I can’t foresee Districts like the WPIAL willing to break apart so its easier to merge a few. Off the bat I’d merge the WPIAL(D7) and Pittsburgh City League(D8). Then I’d merge D1 and D12(Philly Catholic League). Now you’re down to 10 Districts, where it gets interesting is how would you merge the remaining Districts to get to 8. Could you completely merge 2 Districts, or could you split a District in half like D11 and place one half in D2 and D1/12 for example. I’ll leave that up to the PIAA and individual Districts to ponder how to merge from 12 Districts to 8. Fun to think about though.

This proposal won’t happen because it makes too much sense. But I’ll propose it again:
Step 1: Start the season 1 week earlier;
Step 2: 9 week season statewide;
Step 3: Cut the playoff field statewide in half.

That in itself ends the season late November rather than mid December. The room has too many men w/ egos and are unwilling to compromise because of set traditions(which I understand). Until them men in the room are willing to compromise about these traditions, NOTHING WILL CHANGE. So stop complaining about it and accept reality.

The Twisted World of Politics

Tomorrow will be the “biggest, and most important election of your lifetime”,  just like every election held every 4 years is labeled.

People these days only vote Democrat/Republican and Liberal/Conservative without even knowing the very foundations of those beliefs. People tend to gain their political knowledge first from their parents and then MSNBC and Fox.

People are so polarized that they are not able to list one positive promise “that other guy” is making. Out of 600+ friends only 3 was able to find a positive. And the rest of the discussion somehow went after my political belief’s.

The very basic Conservative definition would be one that wants a smaller Government and a Government that is out of their lives. So how exactly is telling women they don’t have the right to choose, or same-sex marriage staying out of the lives of daily Americans. Conservatives also claim to be “Fiscally Responsible”. How exactly is the failed ‘War on Drugs”, our American Empire, and borrow money Private Bank from the Federal Reserve and pay that interest back via tax revenue exactly Fiscally Conservative.

The American Taxpayer is being screwed by such incompetence by so-called folk that claim they’re something they’re not.

If George W. Bush was a True Conservative then he wouldn’t have expanded Medicare D. He wouldn’t have pushed the idea that banks should loan as much as possible to get the economy going in 02 during the Dot Com bubble. Now granted these are 2 examples.

I could dwell on Liberal hypocrisies but I won’t. Its far too easy to attack the left it’s really not that funny.

One of the biggest misconceptions in todays politics is that if you vote 3rd Party, then you’re wasting your vote. Wasting you vote would be sacrificing your believe’s on issues and voting for someone to either A: get “that other guy out of office” or B: voting for him because he represents your party.

When will the American public get “sick and tired of being sick and tired” of the same old American politics and vote for real change. 51% of the nation doesn’t even like Romney nor Obama. So why aren’t they willing to sent their vote in a different direction such as a 3rd Party. Until the Americans reach that point, it will be the same old same, left-right paradigm.

If you feel Romney or Obama is the right man for the job, so be it. Just don’t attack the Americans that feel that neither are worthy of the job.