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DisaptdDon

Loyola Dons

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Some context with LHS football...

LHS has evolved over the years in more than one way and one of the results of that as of recent is the decline of the football program which had some good runs with championship teams in the 90s and 00s. For one, the tuition has gone up which has caused the demographics to change. The school used to have a larger representation of middle class/blue collar type of tough kids that also wrestled, played bball, lacrosse, and baseball. There also are other appealing Fall sports options now for the students too.  Add to that the rise of club lacrosse in the Fall causing many of the lacrosse/football type kids to choose Fall lacrosse over football and you have what exists now. The  football program has seen a large decline in participation which caused them to eliminate their Frosh team and start having JV and Varsity practice together with certain players migrating between both on gamedays.  Also to mention that the team has not had success in the past five-six years, the overall morale of the entire program is at an all time low. There is some resurgence of energy and optimism with a new coaching staff and vision. However the school will have to make a concerted effort from the entire community--administration, coaches, faculty, alum, etc to turn this ship around. If LHS continues to get the low hanging fruit off the recruiting tree, then they will continue to see the same results--close games with B conference teams and mostly losses with A conference. At some point they have to consider whether the football experience is a positive one for the players and maybe that has to do with the dropping down to the B conference conversation. Right now, the program has a lot of nice boys that like the idea of football and enjoy putting the gear on with a few tough kids that truly enjoy the mental and physical aspects that football requires. Until that changes, the program will continue to be stay the same. Doesn't matter what scheme, coach, vision or whatever. I watched the Gilman/Poggi teams that had loaded talent and terrible offense schemes and philosophies that had success just because they had the horses. One last point--Since the era of Poggi/Gilman (now St. Frances) and now recently McDonogh using what seems  ike an endless amount of finances and resources to build a high caliber teams for both (unfair playing field for rest of league which can't cough up same amount of $$ IMO), there is even more difficulty in the face of LHS. Spalding seems to have figured out an answer so maybe they should take notes from them. 

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13 minutes ago, qwerty1234 said:

Some context with LHS football...

LHS has evolved over the years in more than one way and one of the results of that as of recent is the decline of the football program which had some good runs with championship teams in the 90s and 00s. For one, the tuition has gone up which has caused the demographics to change. The school used to have a larger representation of middle class/blue collar type of tough kids that also wrestled, played bball, lacrosse, and baseball. There also are other appealing Fall sports options now for the students too.  Add to that the rise of club lacrosse in the Fall causing many of the lacrosse/football type kids to choose Fall lacrosse over football and you have what exists now. The  football program has seen a large decline in participation which caused them to eliminate their Frosh team and start having JV and Varsity practice together with certain players migrating between both on gamedays.  Also to mention that the team has not had success in the past five-six years, the overall morale of the entire program is at an all time low. There is some resurgence of energy and optimism with a new coaching staff and vision. However the school will have to make a concerted effort from the entire community--administration, coaches, faculty, alum, etc to turn this ship around. If LHS continues to get the low hanging fruit off the recruiting tree, then they will continue to see the same results--close games with B conference teams and mostly losses with A conference. At some point they have to consider whether the football experience is a positive one for the players and maybe that has to do with the dropping down to the B conference conversation. Right now, the program has a lot of nice boys that like the idea of football and enjoy putting the gear on with a few tough kids that truly enjoy the mental and physical aspects that football requires. Until that changes, the program will continue to be stay the same. Doesn't matter what scheme, coach, vision or whatever. I watched the Gilman/Poggi teams that had loaded talent and terrible offense schemes and philosophies that had success just because they had the horses. One last point--Since the era of Poggi/Gilman (now St. Frances) and now recently McDonogh using what seems  ike an endless amount of finances and resources to build a high caliber teams for both (unfair playing field for rest of league which can't cough up same amount of $$ IMO), there is even more difficulty in the face of LHS. Spalding seems to have figured out an answer so maybe they should take notes from them. 

Clearly Spalding competes and wins with a much smaller endowment. The finances at the LB haven't changed materially since the 2008. While I don't disagree with the aforementioned demographic shift, the decline of the football program is largely a leadership failure. Spalding is out recruiting and talking to kids. Loyola still expects kids to show up at their door like the 50s, 60s and 70s. No such luck. When your spending $10-20k per annum, you're going to kick the tires hard. If your're a football family and the Program is spiraling downward why would you take the risk when you have other good alternatives? If the School truly committed to success and emphasized the Program there is no doubt it would be competitive. I hope they rebound but this leadership team has been nothing but feckless.

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Agreed--Spalding is clearly getting it done and LHS should be figuring out why they can make it work and LHS can't. Recruiting is def part of it, LHS needs to be more active and aggressive. However I don't think the program assumes players will just show up at the door automatically anymore. Those days are long gone. IMO the finances were different during Abbott era. The administration during that time was very open to head coaches simply going to them and saying--we need this kid, he's a game changer. And the administration responding with--Ok we'll make it work from the financial end. Since then the administration structure has changed and the financial aid available to student athletes is more complex and difficult to get. 

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Excellent description of the current football issues at LB and potential solutions.  Program is at a concerning tipping point.  There is a rumor spreading that several of the better younger " all in football" players have refused to play on the varsity and/or quit to preserve their ability to transfer.  Can someone clarify.  Hope that is not the case.

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If there has been issues with players not wanting to play-I suspect it might be for different individual reasons whether has to do with transferring, playing time, focusing on other sports. That is not a problem with the program or coaches imo, specifically with the transferring issue which is a problem with the parents wanting to treat their kid like an NFL free agent auctioning him off to the highest bidder or whoever will promise their kid the world.  Unfortunately the transferring issue has become rampant with the Gilman/St Frances example leading the way. There have been plenty of amazing individual football players across the country who have played on mediocre or below average HS teams and still excelled to the next level, received scholarships, gained exposure/recognition etc. Making promises to players/parents is dangerous territory--you can only play 11 at a time. When a new coach comes in and tries to change a culture, as the LHS coach is trying to do, there will be some from the "way things used to be" that jump ship. The staff at Loyola is experienced and knowledgeable. The team just needs time to develope and find some chemistry 

Edited by qwerty1234

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5 hours ago, qwerty1234 said:

Agreed--Spalding is clearly getting it done and LHS should be figuring out why they can make it work and LHS can't. Recruiting is def part of it, LHS needs to be more active and aggressive. However I don't think the program assumes players will just show up at the door automatically anymore. Those days are long gone. IMO the finances were different during Abbott era. The administration during that time was very open to head coaches simply going to them and saying--we need this kid, he's a game changer. And the administration responding with--Ok we'll make it work from the financial end. Since then the administration structure has changed and the financial aid available to student athletes is more complex and difficult to get. 

The balance sheet and income statement are similar. What's clearly different is the leadership and their priorities. No question there.

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Had hoped to see some progress last night in LB fourth game.  Fortunately Spalding took their foot off the gas in the second half.

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3 minutes ago, DisaptdDon said:

Had hoped to see some progress last night in LB fourth game.  Fortunately Spalding took their foot off the gas in the second half.

Wait until next week

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20 hours ago, qwerty1234 said:

If there has been issues with players not wanting to play-I suspect it might be for different individual reasons whether has to do with transferring, playing time, focusing on other sports. That is not a problem with the program or coaches imo, specifically with the transferring issue which is a problem with the parents wanting to treat their kid like an NFL free agent auctioning him off to the highest bidder or whoever will promise their kid the world.  Unfortunately the transferring issue has become rampant with the Gilman/St Frances example leading the way. There have been plenty of amazing individual football players across the country who have played on mediocre or below average HS teams and still excelled to the next level, received scholarships, gained exposure/recognition etc. Making promises to players/parents is dangerous territory--you can only play 11 at a time. When a new coach comes in and tries to change a culture, as the LHS coach is trying to do, there will be some from the "way things used to be" that jump ship. The staff at Loyola is experienced and knowledgeable. The team just needs time to develope and find some chemistry 

You mean the McDonogh/SFA model of transfers. Gilman has never been a school that took in a bunch of transfers. McD gets way more transfers. 

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Correct-I was referring to all of the Gilman staff/players transferring to SFA with the Poggi exodus as well as the rest of the DMV area that transferred into SFA

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1 hour ago, qwerty1234 said:

Correct-I was referring to all of the Gilman staff/players transferring to SFA with the Poggi exodus as well as the rest of the DMV area that transferred into SFA

Of course you were. And, by the way, welcome to the board. Transfers happen everwhere - Gilman, DeMatha, Wise. Hell, Damascus has had 3 key transfers from Urbana in 2 years, including a pair of the Hawks reigning leading rushers (Atkins and Dickens), and of course, the 5-star transfer in Bresee. In the transfer world, you win some, you lose some.

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Response below-Just figured out how to quote and post. 

Edited by qwerty1234

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2 hours ago, themamba said:

Of course you were. And, by the way, welcome to the board. Transfers happen everwhere - Gilman, DeMatha, Wise. Hell, Damascus has had 3 key transfers from Urbana in 2 years, including a pair of the Hawks reigning leading rushers (Atkins and Dickens), and of course, the 5-star transfer in Bresee. In the transfer world, you win some, you lose some.

 

Mamba-I realize transferring has now become commonplace. The world of HS athletics has become a business with parents and players wanting to know what YOU are going to do for THEM to make sure they become the best player they can. A four or five star recruit who has clear chance of playing D1 level is somewhat understandable in the world of transfers, but personally I love to see when a player of that caliber stays loyal to a maybe lesser tier HS program because he/his family loves the school.  Don't see that happen as much these days.  My main issue is when a player that has little to no shot of playing at any competitive D1 program has his parents thinking ( or they have him thinking) he HAS to transfer to a top HS program and the kid ends up being just another body on the sideline there rather than being an impact player at lower level school. Is a lower level competition program really going to bring a players ability down? If you have the skill and the will as an individual player, it doesn't matter what jersey you are wearing. You will excel and get noticed regardless. 

 

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32 minutes ago, qwerty1234 said:
 

Mamba-I realize transferring has now become commonplace. The world of HS athletics has become a business with parents and players wanting to know what YOU are going to do for THEM to make sure they become the best player they can. A four or five star recruit who has clear chance of playing D1 level is somewhat understandable in the world of transfers, but personally I love to see when a player of that caliber stays loyal to a maybe lesser tier HS program because he/his family loves the school.  Don't see that happen as much these days.  My main issue is when a player that has little to no shot of playing at any competitive D1 program has his parents thinking ( or they have him thinking) he HAS to transfer to a top HS program and the kid ends up being just another body on the sideline there rather than being an impact player at lower level school. Is a lower level competition program really going to bring a players ability down? If you have the skill and the will as an individual player, it doesn't matter what jersey you are wearing. You will excel and get noticed regardless. 

 
 

You don't have to tell me, I've seen it happening for 20 years now. It doesn't bother me at all, as it has nothing to do with me. I've never pretended to know whats better for a particular person or family better than they do. For some, it turns out great. For others, it doesnt.

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It will be grim, and a running clock. and. . . . neither team will learn anything. 

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1 minute ago, sparky1 said:

It will be grim, and a running clock. and. . . . neither team will learn anything. 

Think there is a very good chance that Loyola loses every MIAA game with a running clock. 

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It is the nature of the league, that once was competitive has now become a snow white and the seven dwarves league. . . . Maybe a different princess every year but few competitive games down schedule. 

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The Don's should really drop down to the "B" division, I don't even think they would even win the B division this year with losses already to BL and John Carroll.

I don't see why a program would stay in the most competitive division in a conference when its players are getting the **** kicked out of them week in and week out. Its no fun for either team. 

Look at Arch Bishop Carroll down in the WCAC, they haven't won a league game in gosh knows how many years. I guess its cool to say you play in the WCAC and it keeps alums proud but when your team is in the cellar year in and year out, what difference does it truly make. Loyola appears to be heading in the same direction. 

Loyola administration either commits building the football program up and provide some true institutional support or drop down to the B. The half *** approach taking place right now is not fair for the kids. 

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45 minutes ago, Terps22 said:

The Don's should really drop down to the "B" division, I don't even think they would even win the B division this year with losses already to BL and John Carroll.

I don't see why a program would stay in the most competitive division in a conference when its players are getting the **** kicked out of them week in and week out. Its no fun for either team. 

Look at Arch Bishop Carroll down in the WCAC, they haven't won a league game in gosh knows how many years. I guess its cool to say you play in the WCAC and it keeps alums proud but when your team is in the cellar year in and year out, what difference does it truly make. Loyola appears to be heading in the same direction. 

Loyola administration either commits building the football program up and provide some true institutional support or drop down to the B. The half *** approach taking place right now is not fair for the kids. 

Neither is what's being done at SFA

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43 minutes ago, Terps22 said:

The Don's should really drop down to the "B" division, I don't even think they would even win the B division this year with losses already to BL and John Carroll.

I don't see why a program would stay in the most competitive division in a conference when its players are getting the **** kicked out of them week in and week out. Its no fun for either team. 

Look at Arch Bishop Carroll down in the WCAC, they haven't won a league game in gosh knows how many years. I guess its cool to say you play in the WCAC and it keeps alums proud but when your team is in the cellar year in and year out, what difference does it truly make. Loyola appears to be heading in the same direction. 

Loyola administration either commits building the football program up and provide some true institutional support or drop down to the B. The half *** approach taking place right now is not fair for the kids. 

I've had this very conversation with the AD and Head of School. The AD outright told me "winning isn't everything" and the School's alums wouldn't accept anything but an A Conference slot. When I countered that losing every conference game and being humiliated every week on the gridiron wasn't a positive educational experience for the boys, he told me I didn't understand the School's mission.

In short, neither the President or the AD are being held accountable for the improvement of the Program by the Board. The parents of said Program (especially the full pay parents) should begin an email writing campaign to the Board and alums. If 30 full pay junior and senior parents and a group of interested alums basically said, commit to being an A Conference Program or drop down to the B League, my guess is they would be forced to respond (no one in the private school world wants a bunch of full pay parents mad at them). The AD and Administration will hide behind the fact that they just hired a new coach and will give the excuse "we need to give him time to turn the program around". They believe this tactic buys them time and doesn't force them to face the underlying reasons for the Program's demise. This is a leadership/management issue nothing else. 

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16 minutes ago, mop said:

I've had this very conversation with the AD and Head of School. The AD outright told me "winning isn't everything" and the School's alums wouldn't accept anything but an A Conference slot. When I countered that losing every conference game and being humiliated every week on the gridiron wasn't a positive educational experience for the boys, he told me I didn't understand the School's mission.

In short, neither the President or the AD are being held accountable for the improvement of the Program by the Board. The parents of said Program (especially the full pay parents) should begin an email writing campaign to the Board and alums. If 30 full pay junior and senior parents and a group of interested alums basically said, commit to being an A Conference Program or drop down to the B League, my guess is they would be forced to respond (no one in the private school world wants a bunch of full pay parents mad at them). The AD and Administration will hide behind the fact that they just hired a new coach and will give the excuse "we need to give him time to turn the program around". They believe this tactic buys them time and doesn't force them to face the underlying reasons for the Program's demise. This is a leadership/management issue nothing else. 

From what I heard Marinacci brokered the deal with the Hamilton program, for what reason I ask. How many top players or even players from that program have gone to Loyola. It's a joke that nothing is being done to help the program. Every time I speak with coach Brune he just shakes his head in disappointment. 

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It is a sad state of affairs with the football program at Loyola. As a league is they move down the A conference is down to 6 teams, and the (new, Sillly IMO) playoffs are off again). The school is proud of fielding teams in the A conference, and has apparently just decided to take their lumps in football and basketball since they are not competitive in either sport and have not been for at least the last decade. The school makes the pitch to incoming students that they will play (if not exactly compete) at the highest level in the state across the board. 

There probably is nothing wrong with that plan. . . . except on the Sun message boards which are driven only by football and basketball. To compete in those sports Loyola will have to significantly bid up its support to attract the student athletes to make a difference in those sports. As it is Loyola competes well in the other Olympic style sports that attract championships but no acclaim. 

Anyone watching, though can see the next arms race developing in wrestling where McDonogh's pockets have long kept them at the top are now being challenged by the money of Galli at St. Paul's, and MSJ which is again attracting the transfers and scholarship students to sew up titles. 

MOP is right that it is a failure of leadership to win in football and basketball, but the failure may not be the AD, and Principal, but the financial aid office and headmaster who are either not adjusting to the population they have traditionally served or are not allocating their resources to these two teams to turn them around. I know the coaches are looking and recruiting, but their efforts disappear behind the door of the financial aid office and student support departments. 

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13 minutes ago, jbmad said:

From what I heard Marinacci brokered the deal with the Hamilton program, for what reason I ask. How many top players or even players from that program have gone to Loyola. It's a joke that nothing is being done to help the program. Every time I speak with coach Brune he just shakes his head in disappointment. 

I don't see Brune leading the charge for change. He's the one person who could galvanize the Program's alumni but he sits quietly on the sidelines and watches his life's work be destroyed. The lack of constructive dissent within the Catholic Church is a real institutional problem. 

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On 9/25/2017 at 1:12 PM, mop said:

I don't see Brune leading the charge for change. He's the one person who could galvanize the Program's alumni but he sits quietly on the sidelines and watches his life's work be destroyed. The lack of constructive dissent within the Catholic Church is a real institutional problem. 

I hope this is just a rumor but I heard last night that at least 7 football players voluntarily left Loyola Blakefield this week due to some issues with other students. 

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