Pre-State Championship Top Ten

Posted by: Rams1998 on Tue Nov 19th, 2019 5:04 pm
Postby BrowardHandicapper Ľ Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:09 pm
The parity situation in Maine HS Football may be more about about Xs and Os (Coaching and Program Foundation) rather then Jimmys and Joes (Talent). Regardless of class do the top teams take their football a lot more serious starting at the youth level and from the groundskeeper to the HC in HS?
Are the players on BE, TA, Marsh really that much more "talented" or are they better coached and bust their a$$e$ 10 months of the year instead of 4 months a year?
THIS. It is my opinion (somewhat unpopular) that this is where the real "problem" lies. Regardless of unique situations at each school, at the end of the day high schools are full of 14-18 year old boys. Each community has the opportunity to build a program. Some REALLY commit to it, and some don't. Marshwood didn't suddenly have an influx of new kids, they hired Alex Rotsko and he totally overhauled the program (11-20 the four years before he arrived). I know I pump his tires a lot, but it's the best example of how a coach can change things. The top programs in Maine are committed to winning year round. As you alluded to, it starts at the youth level and it carries forward.
Posted by: TAallday on Tue Nov 19th, 2019 7:12 pm
And Rams, the TA example all stems from the creation of The Saco Junior Trojan football program. I think it was started around 2004 and I remember playing for those early teams. We were not good compared to other towns, heck, we got beaten badly by OOB and Gorham, teams that couldnít pray to beat us in the 2010ís.The program was opposed by some in Saco at first, but it has obviously pay dividends beyond the wildest dreams of its founders, Dr. Paul Remmes being one of them (TA PA announcer now).Our community worked itís ass off to build this program alongside Coach Kezal and the school, and now, itís paying off big time. We werenít crying when we were getting smoked by BE, Deering, Portland, and Massabesic back then, and Cheverus and Windham as we became established. I think folks need to look inward more often.
Posted by: Rob Kennedy on Tue Nov 19th, 2019 7:39 pm
Marshwood didn't suddenly have an influx of new kids, they hired Alex Rotsko and he totally overhauled the program (11-20 the four years before he arrived). I know I pump his tires a lot, but it's the best example of how a coach can change things.
You're not wrong, though. Same thing happened at Cheverus when John Wolfgram came in. When that hiring was announced, I recall Rob Munzing telling me that it would take 4 years for the Stags (who were mediocre in their good years between Dick White's 85 title team and the ensuing 2 decades) to become true contenders; Wolfgram had them at the top in less. As TA points out as well, the Trojans haven't always been at the upper echelon of A either. Kevin Kezal with others in the community built tradition; they sure didn't inherit it.There are more examples. Coaches, especially ones who set a winning culture, matter a ton.
Posted by: Rams1998 on Tue Nov 19th, 2019 9:54 pm
No doubt. When I was in HS, TA was average at best, as was BE. SoPo and Biddeford were the bullies. We (Kennebunk) were solid. Mountain Valley was a power. So on, and so on. Things go in cycles. Building, and maintaining, strong feeder programs is the key.
Posted by: TAallday on Wed Nov 20th, 2019 6:34 am
More than anything now, it seems like the suburban communities in Maine are dominating. It used to be a state dominated by mill towns and their tough group of kids. Now, with BE, TA, Scarborough, Wells, Marshwood, Brunswick, and Kennebunk dominating their classes, I wonder how much socioeconomics has to do with it.For example, I work in Sanford. How much harder is it to build a program in Sanford or Mt. Valley than Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, or Kennebunk? Beyond that, what are kids "bringing to school" and going home to in the tougher communities? In Sanford I know that those things (poverty, drug abuse, trauma, lack of essentials, homelessness) affect our kids immensely.Now, I know that kids face these issues in every community, but I know that in Scarborough, TA, and many of the suburban schools, the issues are not as numerous and the kids have a ton more support in terms of school funding, services, etc. Much bigger topic, but I do think it makes a difference. It also makes me unwilling to say "suck it up, build a program, and win". I know it isn't always that easy, but I can tell you one thing, I don't hear the complaints coming from the programs like Sanford, Lewiston, or Mt. Valley...I hear the complaints coming from the teams who can stand to take their lumps to rebuild.
on Wed Nov 20th, 2019 8:15 am
[quote="Rams1998":1gidmk92] Marshwood didn't suddenly have an influx of new kids, they hired Alex Rotsko and he totally overhauled the program (11-20 the four years before he arrived). I know I pump his tires a lot, but it's the best example of how a coach can change things.
You're not wrong, though. Same thing happened at Cheverus when John Wolfgram came in. When that hiring was announced, I recall Rob Munzing telling me that it would take 4 years for the Stags (who were mediocre in their good years between Dick White's 85 title team and the ensuing 2 decades) to become true contenders; Wolfgram had them at the top in less. As TA points out as well, the Trojans haven't always been at the upper echelon of A either. Kevin Kezal with others in the community built tradition; they sure didn't inherit it.There are more examples. Coaches, especially ones who set a winning culture, matter a ton.[/quote:1gidmk92]This is the story with high school sports, in just about any sport. It's all about coaching. There are numerous examples of schools who were unsuccessful until they hired a particular coach and suddenly "found" success. And in most cases those teams went back to mediocrity after that coach moved on.I know we like to give credit to the kids and they deserve it, but never underestimate the impact a coach has on a team.
Posted by: BBCORFAN on Wed Nov 20th, 2019 8:56 am
All of you bring up good points. It is a combination of items coming together. Success feeds itself. Most people don't rise to the top by mistake and had some learning lessons along the way. TheMike brings up a good point that is somewhat related to Rams1998 comments. A strong coach is a very important piece. I don't mean just X & Os. I'm talking about setting expectations and accountability as well. Rams mentioned Biddeford and SoPo. I think he is younger than me based on his user name, but Landry (Biddeford), Wolfgram (SoPo), and Price (Bangor) always competed at the highest level back in my days.
Posted by: Rams1998 on Wed Nov 20th, 2019 11:43 am
My username is my grad year. You can do any math you'd like from there, lol. I watched Coach Landry and Coach Wolfgram on the sidelines. Coach Landry, in particular, was larger than life. He seemed like Vince Lombardi to me, back then. Coach Wolfgram was still at SoPo when I was in HS. Coach Price I'm fortunate to know personally. Great man. To the points being made about socioeconomic factors, I'm not saying that's not part of it. What I will say is, growing up the "poor" (rural) kids were the ones who would kick your rear up and down the field. As stated, more than the wealth factor, the population declines due to mills closing, etc. is probably the biggest issue facing these communities. Nationally, some of the poorest and most crime ridden areas produce some of the best football players. Don't get me wrong, plenty of rich kids from affluent schools sign D1 scholarships too, but a lot of guys playing on Sundays grew up in really tough places. Anyway, I realize this thread has gone way away from it's purpose, so I apologize for my part in taking things off course!
Posted by: TAallday on Wed Nov 20th, 2019 10:01 pm
Rams, I agree itís way off track, which I usually hate.In the end, I was meaning only Maine when talking about the suburban vs. rural or monied vs. poor discussion. I think things have changed a lot since the mill town domination days.