Category Archives: Sport Moment

College football recruiting websites will NOT survive!?

About two decades ago the world wide web changed how college sports fans gained their news. Local newspapers did an okay job covering colleges, but the professional teams were their focus and both college and high schools coverage was always a day late and a bit lacking in some areas. (History is repeating itself)
20 years ago Rivals captured a niche market early on prior to the current internet we know as die hard fans wanted to know about the latest and greatest prospects their schools are recruiting. After about 3 years and the acquisition of AllianceSports, the umbrella company of Rivals Network was about to cease operations in 2001 and give way to Scout.com. However executives from AllianceSports purchased the Rivals.com assets and subsequently relaunched the website that it would sell 5 years later to Yahoo. At one point, some key employees from Rivals and Scout worked together as one operation in the original Rival Networks offices until the network was resurrected from potential bankrupt in 2001 during the dotcom bust by venture capital funding. Scout Media was started in 2001, with a couple dozen Rivals employees. Eventually Fox purchased Scout for $60 million in August 2005.
Thus many of the same people have been using the same style to buy and obtain Email and client lists to sell consumers recruiting information that is obsolete in many circles. Especially the star system that has been flawed for nearly over a decade as new algorithms have replaced stars. In addition the emphasis on college camps rather than corporate sponsored underwear olympics have made it more realistic for the athletes that are being evaluated. College coaches rather than journalists are doing the real ratings and rankings that often are not shared and are proprietary. The fear has been that some coaches do all the work to offer an athlete while other colleges just follow another schools lead in hopes that player will attend their camp for in depth analysis. It is not uncommon for an athlete to use social media to state an offer and a few days later have another team within the conference also make a blind offer based on the original schools determination to extend an offer.
Today any social media APP or account has the same information for FREE! So we are seeing another shift in media and a decrease in both paid subscription fees and local FREE content as consolidation of newspapers again are at the mercy of venture capitalists out to make a profit. Adverting pays the bills but the content has to have value otherwise a loss in subscriptions causes a dip in revenue and budget cuts or consolidation as we have seen again in recent years.

Initially Rivals revenue was solely from advertising, Rivals.com later employed a subscription fee of $10.00 per month to users for access to the latest recruiting news and to participate in various message boards dedicated to schools covered by the network. The media market shift gave way to competition and an online advertiser buying the site.

Today’s world of college football recruiting has shifted dramatically as some recruits think star rankings determined by online subscription services such as ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247Sports really matters. The truth is all these websites are selling space and stories to hard-core fans  of individual high school or college teams to make a buck. Rivals built the first monetized reporting on college and high school recruiting by hiring contract Web operators and reporters with a huge alumni bases that got massive hits, now called “Clicks”. Rivals was an online product launched in 1998 and was later sold to employees out of near bankruptcy. Rivals 2.0 was born and short lived as the dot com Yahoo seeking to enter the market bailed out Rivals again for a reported $100 Million.

"Their hope: revive the Rivals.com concept in a sleeker, more profitable format. Call it Rivals.com, version two. After all, if Rivals.com couldn't make it work with more than $70 million in venture capital dollars funding, why would anyone think it might work now for $100 Million?

Rivals for a decade operated like a cable network in that they have two revenue streams in advertising and the subscription model. Advertising was NOT a strong suit for Rivals 1.0 or Rivals 2.0 and Yahoo had a strong footprint in the advertising space thus the buyout to avoid replicating team websites with 200-700 local journalists in each of the markets is what Yahoo coveted. Yahoo launched Rivals 3.0 in an attempt to eliminate a competitor and replicating the same business model. Also Yahoo projected an annual $20 million dollar cash flow to its bottom line to appease uneasy stock holders. The Rivals acquisition gave Yahoo a larger audience than ESPN. and Scout.com as it entered the sports publishing Membership Group arena. Eventually the media group Fox bought Scout, only to be later acquired by CBS in February 2017 out of bankrupt. Scout was rebranded under the CBS interactive umbrella but has given way to its other property247Sports.com. CBS now owns Rivals main competitors in, 247Sports.com, Scout.com and MaxPreps. Each division has over 300 web sites that publish inside and exclusive content for a subscription fee that focuses on high school and college Sports while CBS focus’ on Fantasy Sports. Yahoo might have paid a premium years ago but everyone remembers number one in Rivals.com. Since the rollercoaster of 1998 to current and in 20 years CBS might have been the last one to the party, but they accumulated Rivals.com’s main competitors in Maxpreps, 247Sports.com and in 2017 Scout.com. So the consolidation continues as the landscape of media has changed. In 2017 Scout.com was basically dormant and forwards to 247Sports.com’s website. Meanwhile ESPN too has had their own recruiting network and is often forgotten as the focus into the college sports/recruiting space was clouded by both Rivals and Scout fighting legal battles and affiliates jumping ship to ensure publishing revenues. The $10 a month fee or annual $100 if paid in advance website business models stayed intact as anyone with a laptop could earn monies to write stories as journalists over night became talent evaluators. However, ESPN took a different approach than the other sites. It did not employ anyone with a microphone recording device and an area footprint. ESPN originally went to regional coverage via their college game day reporters and eventually partnered via a sponsorship with (UA) Under Armour to provide a high school game and camp series to rival the former US Army high school game and its camp kids.

(On a side note the US Army is no longer the title sponsor in 2019) The two remaining games are being called the All American Bowl and All American Game to both be played in January 2019. Rumor is UA will be pulling out after a dismal couple of years in the apparel business. In addition the inaugural early signing period in December 2017 has diminished the once popular high school games where high school players announced their verbal commitments prior to NLI or better known as National signing day on the first Wednesday in February.

In 2006 ESPN began a Recruiting Database and used its college football on-air talents on September 8, 2006 to debut, ESPNU Recruiting Insider that formed the ESPN150 rankings. Eventually these would become the ESPN300 after working closely with a marketing company that secured annual corporate sponsorships. A  few different corporate names sponsored and paid for the rights to be the title sponsor of the High School Showcase in 2005 which featured high school football and high school basketball games generally on a Friday night on the newly created ESPNU channel. ESPNU in late 2006 switched to cover college basketball limiting the channel’s opportunities to cover high school contests and ESPN switched the high school content to the online streaming service broadcast known as ESPN3. The same network that streams lower level college contests late at night.

So Life was good 20 years ago but everyone clambering for college football recruiting information should know these companies are based on generating revenue! Well a noble idea to expand the lack of coverage in rural areas but just remember Rivals almost went defunct in 2001 during the collapse of the dot-com era. So for all the athletes but mostly parents focused on these websites that report or use stars for college football recruiting you now understand how stars and ranking are created. They are based on hundreds of content and subscription based websites that attend a few area camps to gain potential clients information to sell them a subscriptions. Now in lean times they have to try to justify their content with composite scores after players make commitments if (VIP) stories do not lure fans via “Click Bait”. What many are unaware of is Rivals almost went defunct in 2001 during the collapse of the dot-com era and gave birth to Scout.com that went belly up. In the end some say stars are a way to reward online publication  subscribers for paying annual fees or attending their apparel sponsored event to take a snap shot of an athlete and target him or her on social media to view the story. Now adding the video concept from fans is a sleeker, more profitable format. Call it a pipe dream but anything might work now as people are willing to pay for stars!
Tension between Rivals, ESPN and CBS will continue as Recruiting is more accepted as part of college football, but paid subscriptions have to subsidize advertising revenues as paid content may become a dinosaur like 900 numbers and pagers of 30 years ago. Nielsen/ Net Ratings have given way to “Clicks” and in todays marketplace cord cutting is on the rise limiting access to cable channels ESPN and CBS in favor of online content and APPS. While the future of rating players will continue to be college coaches at their institutions, the remaining media and Recruiting focused websites will have to be creative to retain subscribers.

www.cofridaynightlights.com/

Serious conversations with media executives about televising high school games on the company’s regional networks domains or APPs is a must. Discussing various models ranging from regional game-of-the-week telecasts to airing showcase games and the state playoffs is the only way many will survive reporting on high school recruiting and perhaps college. The final three media outlets did not purchase the competition to be status quo. They did this to put their TV money behind it and make money. Syndication is not dead just in a new format that includes social media platforms like Facebook LIVE, Twitter via Periscope and YouTube that has been a leader in video content and owned by Google. YouTube earns advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. Remember Rivals original platform and its competitors has been to sell advertising to pay the bills. Similar to newspapers back in the day that now complain about loosing revenue and have shifted to online subscriptions to compete with APPs and the world wide web.

The future is now and survival of the fittest.So enjoy the remaining three conglomerates but let us hope they enhance the excitement and experience of high school and college reporting. For now many will hope they give us our monies worth if they continue to charge a fee for something that should be FREE. Just like the old days content should be paid for by corporate sponsorships so we can sit back and relax and enjoy our teams success stories and daily trends.
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#GONZOWATCHLIST to be featured in August Football magazine. List prepared for Spring evaluations.

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Monies have ruined the game

Often many ask how has the game has changed and the answer is simple, Money! Money has been the incentive for many since the barter system has been in place. Some would say this is a good strategy while I am a firm believer it has ruined the game and the futures of many. Yes there was a time in which sports was a leisure activity and an opportunity to get some exercise and bond with the neighborhood kids. However, In 1980 Nolan Ryan became the first million dollar player when he signed a four-year free agent contract with the Houston Astros for one million dollars per season. Some might say this started the beginning of sports as a career. In the 80’s Dr.J, Bird, Magic and Jordan made Basketball the talk of the town and youngsters grabbed a pair of shorts, sneakers and a basketball rather than trying to graduate from high school. So as we fast forward almost 4 decades salaries have gone up tremendously and academia has suffered as students ditch the books to focus on athletics and dreams of stardom.

"Wanted Immediately: A Sober diligent Schoolmaster capable of teaching READING, WRITING, ARITHMETICK, and the Latin TONGUE... Any Person qualified as above, and well recommended, will be put into immediate Possession of the School, on applying to the Minister of Charles Parish, York County." -- The Virginia Gazette, August 20, 1772

In 1772 academia was being requested as obtaining an education was valued. Nowadays in some areas schools have become babysitters for parents and graduation rates are lower than usual. The trend of one and done in college even weakens the value of post secondary education and emphasizes athletics. Even the fact that ice hockey or baseball will have you enroll at a young age to play sports rather than attend college in what some term “Gap Years” to avoid next level education. All of this may be fine if you are truly gifted but are you remains the question.

In the early 1970’s many were introduced to a Strength & Conditioning coach named Marv Marinovich whom became popular nationally when his son Todd Marinovich was published in Sports Illustrated in an article, titled “Bred To Be A Superstar”, that discussed his unique upbringing under his father who wanted to turn his son into the “perfect quarterback”.  Many will say this led to the proliferation of the money grab for both Strength & Conditioning coaches and quarterback trainings. Now every kid in America could travel to California to become the next Air Jordan or star quarterback all for a fee.

Yes the almighty dollar has created the haves versus the have nots as eager parents chased the trainers to separate themselves from the local talents as the 70’s had self proclaimed experts that were trying to build their business’ and make money. It may have worked for a few but like anything else in business it spread nationwide as the hustle for new clients via traveling training camps evolved. Yes the come train with us became a big business over a decade ago as former athletes, some who signed professional contracts but never played, became experts in the field of speed and agility training, Strength & Conditioning or a quarterback guru.

Just like the infomercials, but wait there is more, seems to be the mantra of many to get parents to buy into their business of making your son or daughter a D1 athlete. If anyone promises D1 you should grab your wallet and run as most likely they are in the business of making money as their is no guarantee of being D1. All one has to do is some easy research to find out if a trainer is certified via the DORA – Colorado.gov website that regulates business’. Also the internet is a great resource to find out if a person played professionally. Many websites show transactions like being signed or cut from a team along with games played. Often the language of “Former Player” simply means a contract was signed to participate in team activities and the said player most likely never played for that particular team. However, if they did play an extensive log would be available. So doing research in the modern era given the unlimited resources on the internet should be a focal point. In todays modern era people are trying to make money off families without providing results. So Monies have ruined the game. Just look at all the so called experts charging a fee to participate in their facility or field compared to the volunteer youth and high school coaches. Chances are the later attend training events and seminars and do a better job than the fee based outfits that are similar to the often complained about membership gyms.

Monies have ruined the game as business’ that complain about coaches ramp up their client lists to make hundreds of dollars weekly. Some even partner with pay to play events such as all star games or traveling events. 3 years ago a trainer balked at 7on7 and said it was a waste of time and money. Now he fields multiple teams and charges thousands of dollars to participate. Again Monies have ruined the game.

In the end it is your choice on how to spend your hard earned dollars. However, we have been around the block and know it is about talent NOT how much money or the number of events one attends. Focus on spending money on educational tutors for a higher GPA or college board exams like the ACT or SAT. Monies invested in academia usually provide better dividends than sports. So when you are told to open your wallet be cautious as it is NOT about spending or attending multiple trainers or events it is about be well rounded and probably relying on you high school coaches that are FREE to you to get better. Last time I checked that 45 pound weight at the school weighed the same as that fancy gym membership location. Also the goal post you toss the football to hit at the quarterback training field looks similar to the one at your high school that is FREE. Monies do not have to ruin the game if you are smart about it so focus your efforts on bonding with your team at your school with your coaches. These are the same coaches college recruiters will rely upon when they visit during their recruiting cycle. Football will make a big push to evaluate April 15 to May 31 so be prepared. Being prepared means talking to your counselor for your transcripts, college board exams and your head coach. All of this is FREE and no monies exchanged. Therefore NO Monies have been involved in this equation for success. Hard work does pay off as long as you know what work needs to be done. Academics is a good start so focus on the books and not what others are doing. You control your own destiny not some for hire guru. Be wise and be well and beware of opening your wallet when things can be free.

Wyoming Pro Day

Laramie, Wyoming  was the site of the Pro Day for 10 athletes including Josh Allen a top NFL draft 2018 QB.@303Gonzo of course was on hand to see local Colorado talents Ryan Cummings and Drew Van Maanen that played high school football at Valor and Chaparral.

Colorado talents Ryan Cummings and Drew Van Maanen supported by teammate Josh Allen in the AM and post Josh Allen QB position drills and 60 throws grab a photo for @303Gonzo and family.


The day started at 9:30 am with athletes stretching and preparing for the NFL scouts whom watched: the bench press, the vertical jump, standing long jump, 40-yard dash, 3-cone test, I-test, 60-yard shuttle and some specific position drills.


Ryan Cummings puts up 18 reps on the bench.
The 10 athletes on hand were as follows:

While many NFL scouts were viewing Allen many heads were rattled when Rico Gafford ran a 4.23 40 yard dash and scouts were impressed and compared stop watch numbers.

Look for Rico to be a day 3 selection as you can not coach speed. Meanwhile Allen was the main attraction and the Cleveland Browns had many personnel watching as did the Giants and Jets. Josh Allen since battling back from a 2015 spring injury has continued to get better on the field and Fridays pro day was no different as the young QB dazzled all in attendance and those watching on TV. The wide receivers for Josh Allen were as follows:
Justin Berger
Ayden Eberhardt
Chris Kearney
Gio Pascascio
Drew Van Maanen
Travis Wilson former Utah QB

"Josh Allen is the best quarterback in this draft. I think all of the talk about his accuracy is the most overblown thing out there. His guys don't get open, which causes a lot of the incompletions -- it's not an accuracy issue." -- NFC executive

Josh Allen checks all the boxes; Character, Height, Weight, Football IQ, movement and an arm that can sling the pigskin.
Allen is off to New York Saturday to do a photo shoot for JCP, JC Pennys for you old school folks, and the Collection By Michael Strahan. Allen is scheduled to wear the suits on NFL Draft night and at his official team press conference. Until Apr 26, 2018 – Apr 28, 2018 held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas it will all be speculation as to where Josh Allen lands. As of Friday March 23rd the draft order is 1.Cleveland, 2. NY Giants, 3. NY Jets, 4. Cleveland, 5. Denver. The Jets traded up to 3 on March 17th in hopes of landing Allen. However, it is rumored the Bills are trying to move up to select Allen or Mayfield so it will be an interesting 33 days until the draft.

@303Gonzo has made it easier for all to remember how to access the High School insider. www.303gonzo.com 

Please update your bookmarks to include The websiteTwitterFacebookPeriscopeInstagram and SnapChat

If you have been a long time follower you will know to attend all local college events for FREE and put your cleats on college campus events. The only paid ones are listed on the 303Gonzo.com website and will be updated as information becomes available.

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
February 7, 2018 1st official day to sign NLI until April 1st
May 1, 2018 access to 8th graders into OTAs
August 6, 2018 Start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 Week 1 start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week now called week one.

http://www.303gonzo.com/
http://www.303gonzo.com/

Recruiting services rankings

National Signing Day came early for the class of 2018. The inaugural December 20-22, 2017 National Letter of Intent was successful as athletes and parents are feeling comfortable heading into the holiday season. Executing a binding contract now allows athletes to focus on having fun in their final semester of high school similar to years past as early enrollees who signed secured their future immediately to participate in January classes. This year is special as high school players commit and sign the NLI prior to the February 7th, 2018 date or 7 weeks in advance. However, many will say it hurt my class ranking.


What many will have to learn is sports is a way to gain an education. Unfortunately the formation of for profit recruiting services have created rankings for prospects. The scouting reports or grades have been impacted by area journalists that have a football IQ. Unfortunately these services are often suspect because there are so many. Like every other business consolidation has occurred as CBS interactive now owns CBSSports, Sportsline, MaxPreps, 24/7sports and Scout. Meanwhile Rivals is owned by Yahoo and ESPN300 by Disney. So in essence there is a triple headed monster that share data but will always be Subjective as information or writing is based on personal opinions, interpretations, points of view, emotions and judgment. Conversely the objective approach in which information or analysis is fact-based, measurable and observable is only provided by one National service that also has a television partnership. So in reality players play and coaches will notice you if you submit film and have great college board exams and transcripts that reflect GPA. Also it helps if you perform well enough year around so that when college coaches visit your high school coach will advocate for you to play next level. November is a big evaluation period as is April 15-May 31. However, some coaches might be requesting class of 2019 athletes to visit them in February or March in the new truncated evaluation recruit process.

So once again recruiting services rankings really do NOT matter much as nearly every coach wants to see athletes on their turf. The coverage of recruiting and exposure of it is for fans. Coaches care more about the players that have great character and they can build them into better athletes and students. So rankings are similar to all state voting as sometimes it is a popularity contest and sometimes it is merit based. The issue always becomes about the population pool. Has everyone in the state been noticed or evaluated or properly been identified. In most instances the answer is no and you see that as no stars or recruits make it big at the next level.


So the next time someone references recruiting services rankings just ask, how much is this going to coast me? Yes it is an annual subscription fee to sell you hype and a few local sports stories about your favorite team or player. Yes it is nice to be recognized but how accurate are the top 250 or 300 player listings based on the sample size. Many will know after a 5 year period as players graduate and in some instances the coaches are forced to move on. The successful coaches build winners and stay the course that produces consistency and a few championships.

2018 College Football Playoff

2018 College Football Playoff DATE GAME / LOC. TIME / TV
Jan. 8
National Championship
Atlanta
8 p.m.
ESPN
Semifinal winners

Jan. 1
Rose Bowl Semifinal
No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Georgia
Pasadena, Calif.
5 p.m.
ESPN

Jan. 1
Sugar Bowl Semifinal
No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Alabama
New Orleans
8:45 p.m.
ESPN

Jan. 1
Peach Bowl
No. 7 Auburn vs. No. 12 UCF
Atlanta
12:30 p.m.
ESPN

Dec. 30
Fiesta Bowl
No. 9 Penn State vs. No. 11 Washington
Glendale, Ariz.
4 p.m.
ESPN

Dec. 30
Orange Bowl
No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No. 10 Miami
Miami
8 p.m.
ESPN

Dec. 29
Cotton Bowl
No. 5 Ohio State vs. No. 8 USC
Arlington, Texas
8:30 p.m.
ESPN

Sportcation leads to free agency in high school sports

There will always be coaches bending the ears of parents and students to transfer schools for more playing time or to better their program. Over the years there have been various reasons transfers happen. The important thing for us to do is to acknowledge that reality and understand it. The reality is that winning programs will keep getting transfers.

"There’s no way to stop it unless something illegal can be proven, such as recruiting, using a false address or following an athlete to a school. However, even then no one follows up as we have seen blatant disregard from the rules in nearly a decade at 2 major 5A schools and one staff that has done it annually for 2 decades. Now everyone is doing it!" - Coach to remain anonymous

Transfers and adjusted rosters have always been an issue but now it is completely out of control as winning has become an ultimatum at many high profile schools. It has trickled down to all classifications and now includes little league coaches that are involved in pipelining kids that they recruited for trophies. These are the same parents that will transfer their kids at semester break if they do not get their way. If that is exhausted they even will attend schools out of state as pay to play schools have become fashionable and en vogue to families with deep pockets.

Many say if schools want to reduce transfers, go back to the old days, when athletes had to sit out a year when they didn’t move or when audited were seen traveling from home to school via the RTD or another parent. - Head Coach to remain anonymous

To avoid transfers, the next 2 year football cycle administrators should consider creating competitive equity playoffs, putting the ambitious schools in the highest division  and conference regardless of enrollment. Starting with 5A and moving down the other 6 classifications because obviously the last adjustment failed miserably. About the only good news in 5A  was 2 ambitious powerhouse schools were knocked out in the quarterfinals given way to a new champion or perhaps another title from the old Jeffco or Centennial leagues. Equity was never resolved, only heightened that 6-8 teams rule the roost in 5A and 7 conferences were gift wrapped over the past two football seasons.


At least in basketball we have heard about travel teams namely AAU and how these coaches posture their players to high schools often creating issues with other high school sports by embedding in the minds of many on its roster that year around basketball is a must. Partly because of the proliferation of sportcation and a handsome monthly revenue stream. But mostly because every year they have an annuity and more people buying into “The dream of sports beyond high school.”

Yes, sportcation has evolved as a result of many entrepreneurs exploiting sports and parents bank accounts with the emphasis of getting recruited at an early age. Fact is many college coaches may not be on staff 3-4 years from current date so there is no advantage to being recruited prior to having played  or been a major contributor to the varsity team as a sophomore. Recruiting is often a product of post junior season when game films are available and young men have grown into their bodies. For many females it is common to see an emphasis after their freshmen year and usually after a sophomore seasons. In the recent era many club teams host showcase events so college coaches will attend to evaluate local talents. A much easier process for club teams because families are paying to play and area high schools do not emphasis their championships or make strides to highlight some of their talents sighting its NOT their responsibility. Many coaches barely nominate conference selections for all state teams as they marginalize the process or in some instances play favoritism and overlook real talents. Therefore sportcation has become a popular marketing tool aimed at parents wanting the best for their children without knowing the real facts and/or speaking to next level recruiting coaches on the process. 
Currently, Sportcation is how many parents spend their hard earned dollars on tournament play rather than family fun vacations.  The hustle now is in the business of operating youth sports events and tournaments to lure uneducated parents and sell them promises of scholarships. Many parents are buying into year around sports and ramping up credit card debt because of HYPE. So if traveling to a random city for a meaningless Thanksgiving or Christmas tournament is a better option than to visiting the grandparents for holiday cheers, so be it and god bless. The harsh reality is no college level coaches care about these events catered for 3rd-9th graders or the 12th grade all star games. It is a money suck and waste of time. Next level Coaches want to see varsity reps and starters. However, DNA might be most important because you can not coach height. However, you can coach speed as many trainers are now in the business of speed and agility. The dream here is to run a sub 4.39 40 yard dash in front of college coaches at their stadiums. However, Sportcation is in this business now by some outfits charging $275 and up to run similar drills that the NFL has popularized and deemed the NFL combine.Traveling numerous miles for an arbitrary test seems so ludicrous but hundreds do it each month from December through June. In the end the only positives are the true Sportcation companies that hire electronic timing equipped outfits that produce real data like an ACT or SAT college board exam. Some popular sportswear companies offer these events for FREE but are in limited cities across the USA. So if its a car ride away you might consider it. However, the real focus should be on your high school academia that includes a GPA well over 3.0 and high marks on the ACT or SAT college board exams. The athleticism will be figured out by college coaches attending or watching your games in addition to meeting you at their campus.

So the next time you are influenced by a little league coach with ties to a high school, hold onto your wallet and think am I a target of Sportcation or is this a true assessment of my children’s abilities as an athlete. After all it is your prerogative to believe the hype or figure out if it is Sportcation that may lead to free agency in high school sports and compromise the family integrity. In the meanwhile let us hope the association remedies the competitive equity in all sports and starts with football in 2018.

MileHigh Prep Report Class 8-Man Regular Season Awards

MileHigh Prep Report Class 8-Man Regular Season Awards

Quick Note: If your team has not posted stats it is very hard for me to give awards to players with no stats even if your team is doing good I cannot guess stats.  All Stats pulled from Maxpreps.com

One other Note: Being a lineman in high school it also hurt me inside not giving any offensive lineman awards.  Trust me the QB, RB, and WR wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you!

Player of the Year: Jacob Yates, Sr. Hoehne High School; 710 yards passing, 10 TDs, 3 INTs, and 937 yards rushing & 13 TDs.  80 tackles, 3 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery

Offensive Player of the Year: Ryan Davis Sr. Sargent High School; 865 yards passing, 11 TDs, 2 INTs, and 759 yards rushing, 10 TDs

Defensive Player of the Year: Beau Dukes Jr. Springfield High School; 98 tackles, 4 TFL, 4 Sacks, 5 INTs, 1 Punt Return for a TD, and 1 Interception return for a TD

QB of the Year: Kobe Davis Jr. Holly High School; 1209 Yards passing 13 TDs and 3 INTs

RB of the Year: Jace Logan Jr. Soroco High School; 2295 yards rushing 30 TDs

WR of the Year: Carlos Parra Sr. Del Norte High School; 810 yards receiving 13 TDs

Most Tackles: Seth Mondragon Sr. Dayspring Christian Academy; 131 tackles

Most Sacks: Alex Ramos So. Holly High School; 9 sacks

Most Interceptions: Andrew Zemlicka Sr. Rocky Mountain Lutheran; 7 Interceptions

Surprise team of the Year: Springfield High School (Last year 3-6)

Coach of the Year: Kyle Chris Brown West Grand High School

MileHigh Prep Report Class 1A All-State

Offense 1st Team

QB Jacob Yates Sr. Hoehne High School

QB Ryan Davis Sr. Sargent High School

QB Kobe Davis Jr. Holly High School

RB Jace Logan Jr. Soroco High School

RB Austin Boulter Sr. Gilpin County High School

Offense 2nd Team

RB Adam Zink Jr. Caliche High School

QB Drew Coffin Jr. Haxtun High School

WR Carlos Parra Sr. Del Norte High School

QB Brady Gore Sr. West Grand High School

QB Brennan Ehmke Sr. Sedgwick County High School

Defense 1st Team

LB Beau Dukes Jr. Springfield High School

DL Dylan Palomino Jr. Fowler High School

DB Charlie Hahm Sr. Rocky Mountain Lutheran

LB Seth Mondragon Sr. Dayspring Christian Academy

LB Alex Ramos So. Holly High School

Defense 2nd Team

FS Jace Sinks Jr. Norwood High School

LB Josh O’Hotto Sr. West Grand High School

LB Christian Schaller Sr. Sargent High School

LB Wyatt Buccelli Jr. Haxtun High School

LB Josh Trujillo Sr. Gilpin County High School

Stats overrated ?

Anyone who has played a game knows that keeping score is to track wins and losses. However, the competitive nature has us focussed on individuals rather than team success. Therefore in the modern era we rely on statistics to measure a player performance and highlights of many individuals on the team. However how credible are the self reported numbers at many high schools and little league games? Yes that is probably why most next level coaches could careless about individual statistics or awards but how well the individual performs on game videos. If statistics were audited by a third party then perhaps it would be a valid indisputable tool. Just think of the college board exams like the ACT and SAT. No one disputes these scores because they are administered and audited by the company that administers the exams. So why do we bother with Stats? It is because we always want to compare our success with others. Unfortunately at the youth and high school levels it is difficult. The difficulty is because not all athletes or teams are equal. The same could be said of college and pro sports. However at the college level these are generally the top 6% of high school athletes and the professionals are the top 1+%. These are when statistics are applicable and merit conversation. Regrettably we do not audit the lower levels because for the most part the information is considered valid as most coaches have someone on staff that inputs the data. Alas we forget about those booster clubs or volunteer parents that often take turns to track and delineate the information. So yes consistency is an issue as well as unscrupulous soles that want to pad statistics for their athlete. This has not only been an issue as of recent but has been a hot topic when reporters use online websites to write stories or select athletes for post season awards. When one or a few individuals have to cover statewide sports it becomes difficult because often they are paid by the event and not the time spent researching. Thus a self reporting site like MaxPreps that is a partner of CHSAA becomes a useful tool for many to compare or use in a byline. Often the outline is to describe the story of the event but many times media types often enhance storylines with flashy statistics. Again if you question everything are these accurate since the writer did not attend all the events or might not have even thought to track the multiple players on the field or involved in the event because it takes a lot of time. Once again there is a trust factor but would be more valuable if a third party auditor had control of the event. Currently to curb a few overzealous parents input a community writer is now having to attend events and compare notes with the statistician on hand. A safeguard that is helping to restrict fabrication for personal gain. Several years ago there was an issue when a parent would credit a player with a tackle because he bumped into the player or was on the pile. Eventually a few coaches explained the rule and the proper adjustments were made. However, retractions to stories and weekly awards were not retracted. Then there is another issue of competition. Not all teams are created equal or play like opponents.

There are multiple classifications in each sport in Colorado. Since we focus on football the fact is there are 7 classifications, (6man, 8man, 1A, 2A,3A, 4A, 5A). For the most part the competition has been measured correctly but the separation in 5A has been questioned as scores are lopsided and a handful of teams are stacked. So not all is equal and matchups are non existent for 81% of the participants. So this is a prime reason why statistics are overrated. When a top tier team has players exploding on the stat line it may be an indicator that the competition is not equal and the black and white numbers are exaggerated. Inflated numbers probably intensify why many coaches, fans, parents and players will state compare that individual to like opponents because that is more representative of comparing one athlete to another. The overall statistics do not tell the story.

The real tale of the tape is when we play tough teams or have playoff games. The longer we play the tougher the competition becomes so the statistics matter but the main goal is to win ball games. If someone has a stellar performance during post season that should merit more accolades than the soft regular season schedules. It is an honor to play in the post season but also a compliment when people notice your regular season was just a portion of the real story.

While many players have 9-10 games to tell their story, many will refer to statistics to compare athletes by position. Regrettably that is not a true barometer as many top tier athletes are pulled early in the contest to give way to another roster player. Therefore sacrificing individual awards for the benefit of the team. In some instances when teams clinch conference titles they rest their starting lineup so it is not comparing apples to apples. So the next time you see a stat line just remember Stats can be overrated unless audited or used properly to compare one to another. Not everything you see or read is what it appears to be and/or is meaningful.
As always we will see you on the fields as we know football! We are your source for content 24/7 and 365 about Colorado High School Football. YES it remains @303Gonzo of www.cofridaynightlights.com Please give us a follow on social media and stop by and say hello to talk football once a week at a location near you as we present a player of the week LIVE after a game via twitter and periscope. Look for #WingstopWednesday on twitter.

“High school sports SUCK!”

“High school sports SUCK!” probably NOT what you want to hear from a vast majority of teenagers. However, we are at a crossroads and it is evident the missing equation from sports may as well be FUN! Sports were designed to be about exercise and hanging out with friends. Nowadays it has become competitive in nature and rather than be entertaining it has become a business. In years past the statewide teams were made up of individuals from their turf or neighborhood and were evenly distributed based on local talents. The competition was simple and uncluttered by coaches recruiting players and training facilities demanding athletes train to get better and become Division-one (D1) athletes. The truth about D1 is never told but the numbers speak volumes. However, the sunshine pump is available everyday in every city nationwide for a fee and it is not free. Yes the paid professionals tell individuals what they want to hear, accolades and aspirations of D1. Their relationship is based off selling a dream or hope. In addition these trainers solicit writers via local rags and national websites that sell subscription based information to make you feel validated. The warm and fuzzy information obtained by subscription based services is biased because trainers or personal positional coaches contribute to the hype, NOT high school coaches that are around these kids 5-6 days a week for FREE. Trainers want them to rank individuals so they can solicit additional monies to hype you. The high school coach just wants to coach and be competitive without all hyperbole. Meanwhile the local schools are suffering at a rapid pace as playing for school pride has squandered in lieu of the almighty dollar via club sports, training facilities and travel sports. The days of having an athlete or two playing multiple sports is almost non existent in big schools. The fact is many are lucky to be 2 sport participants. The smaller schools because of enrollment numbers seem to continue to have athletes playing 3-4 sports. The separation is enormous as parents with monies control their own destiny. They are the ones contributing to their booster clubs and encouraging the hiring of a win at all costs head coach. This coach has no interest in the community and is evident as his coaches disrupts neighborhoods to assemble all star teams. The impact lasts generations as athletes are treated like pawns in chess. Parents lack the understanding of what is best for their athletes as fluid transfer rules and holding back children to “redshirt” have become common practice to win. All indicators that the only thing important to some coaches is that damn scoreboard or state title. NOT the game or life lessons sports offers that can impact the youth for decades. Some may call this practice cheating and some creative deception. Regardless, the true spirit of the game has been lost as 15 year old high school freshmen are common practice when the vast population are 13 and 14. So as the association that is the umbrella to a vast majority of sports in high school looks to revamp its 2 year cycle next year in Colorado it is time for everyone to speak up. If you are a former student, student athlete, parent, coach or person in the community your voice needs to be heard. You tell the story better than anyone else. The decline in sports participation is simply economic. The fact FUN has left the neighborhood should be reason enough to make big changes because two years in high school is a lifetime when you are graduating at 17 or 18 years old, 19 if you are a “redshirt”. The 30 year reunion should be about how we changed the way the game was played. Not years of frustration of how uneventful sports was because the same team won every year and my middle school buddies were district jumpers for hopes of a D1 scholarship that never happened. Do not regret that we never spent quality time together or say I should have been more considerate of playing for my neighborhood pride or went skiing or swimming with my buddies instead of training 7 days a week because of my sunshine pump. Make an impact now for the future. A vast majority of you that read this article have great ideas so please reach out to your principals, athletic directors and coaches to make changes for the overall benefit of young men and women. Otherwise, continue to give up and complain about how the competition is kicking your teams ass each night or day you attend your match. Pen a few thoughts and make a difference so kids have FUN in high school and make memories that last a lifetime. In addition take some of that money spent on specialization and use it for a college fund. I bet that $6,000 or more each year for the past 10 years upon high school graduation will buy a nice education. Then again your trainer or club sport coach might not have a retirement fund. It’s all about choices and making the correct ones. I hope we hear less “High school sports SUCK!” in 2-3 years and more praises about how the community raised the bar to make participation relevant in neighborhoods and put the FUN back into sports.

Kids will get more out of sports if we put the fun back in the development of lifelong physical and mental benefits which is more important than winning.

Sports today are too selective, too costly and NOT so much about community as they were when most of us were kids. Now kids are drawn to elite programs from all over the city. “They don’t know where the other kids live, they don’t know the parents.” Its a hot mess that needs a new direction. Make 2018-2020 the year of the community and breath life into neighborhoods.

Camps a waste of time?

Many athletes and parents have to quantify if that camp email, text, DM, instant message or parent or player invite is a waste of time. For the most part the answer is YES! There are many people or marketing companies that all they do is promise you or sell you hope. If you are going to spend monies make sure you are attending camps hosted by college coaches hosted at the college campus or university. If you put your cleats on their turf you will have feedback and be measured by a college football coach. These college coaches are the ones that evaluate athletes and extend offers. However, if you need someone to tell you how great you are or invite you to some arbitrary all star game, combine than continue to waste money on them as it offers NO value.

The idea of many straight shooters is to educate athletes and parents about the proper process.

Many great skills coaches out there. Problem is parents especially think any “trainer” who has any playing experience is automatically great. Check their credentials and teaching certificates. We don’t want to be or get into constant battle between trainers & coaches. There are some good ones out there that provide development. Trainers like coaches can both have a positive role in a kids development. On occasion private sector trainers are a mentor and role model to these kids. However, some have no clue how to develop talent either. Lots of diamonds in the rough stay that way after being promised division one opportunities.

In a perfect world the outside persons would work together with your high school coach. Team should come first then the private sector. The college coaches will continue to visit high schools to gain head coaches input and consult the councilor for academics. However, if you have all the money in the world, feel free to spend it to gain that “atta boy” of encouragement because it is much easier to blame your HS coach, the offense-defense, small school, bad team, or little exposure than to blame your own lack of talent or research to find a proper fit for college. Often the proper fit is to explore colleges on your own and engage with the local area college coaches. These are the guys watching you on game nights. I seriously doubt most outside persons are attending your events and are working with your high school coach.
Allocate you monies properly as many Camps a waste of time.