As we enter July and a holiday week that focuses on celebrating our independence day, we will consume a few hotdogs and hamburgers and maybe a barley soda or two. In the meanwhile we are all looking forward to Fall sports namely football. Yes every Monday after the 4th of July my phone rings and texting goes wild like a pinball machine as parents and coaches rally to the final weeks of the season to get better via 7 on 7. The only differences this year is the advancement of a week to the start of the official practice start of August 6th for all teams and the June 1, 2018 transfer rule for all classifications. For those unaware the new rule will be a 365 day sit from the day of transfer to equal the playing field of the many that built championships on transferring players to win at all costs.
In years past Jersey chasing parents and athletes would consult with trainers to meet with high school coaches about playing on a few teams they had influence with in decision making policy. Some players might slip past the athletic directors and NOT have to sit out the required 50% of games while other high profile or neighboring school attendance area athletes would be taxed 4-5 games in football. Basketball has always had this issue but swept under the carpet. Baseball in recent times is worse than ever before and may parallel lacrosse as both sports are peaking with talents. Regardless the graduating class of 2019 probably is at the pinnacle of prep sports as we are seeing a decline in participation statewide in many sports. So darwinism and survival of the fittest is in full effect statewide.
In football it was well known what teams continue to dominate the landscape of Colorado and many media outlets only focussed on those teams so they were in the limelight. However, if you really researched high school football you would notice there were some really great coaches that offered fundamentals both in the classroom and on the field or court or pitch. Yes teams were overlooked because of shinny championship trophies. If you go beyond high school and examine where athletes ended up for post secondary education you will see some names that were not all stars or even acknowledged in season ending voting awards that were given out annually. These are now the guys donating precious time and finances to keep their former programs afloat. These may even have been the guys that only got playing time as seniors that just loved the game and the spirit of high school. They are also the first to point out they played for their home team and did not get recruited to travel vast distances to practice and play in games. Instead they enjoyed being part of the experience and playing with the guys that lived next door and they could ride bikes to the park or swimming pool together and have pure FUN. Something parents might forget about as sports have become a business.
Nonetheless, the popular sit 5 play 8 is still a slogan that many will again deal with in 2018. In the classifications that play 10 regular season games the rule is to sit 50% of the games which is five. The hope is that the winning teams will play 5 conference games and advance in the playoffs to be in the championship game. So sitting out the first 5 meaningless games to play 5 conferences games plus the playoff games and championship game is worth the gamble. In 5A the next 2 seasons there is an additional 8 teams in the playoffs that will face the other 16 so the playoff field includes 24 teams in a field of 40 squads. 23 of 30 teams will be selected out of 6 conferences and one from the conference of 10. So in 5A it will be somewhat easier to make the playoffs versus the more competitive 3A and 4A where it remain 16 teams in the playoffs. Again RPI will disappoint winning teams but we have to live with that until change values winning as opposed to algorithms.
Now that you understand Sit 5 play 8 just look at rosters come kickoff weekend of August 23-25 and you will see the Jersey chasing family names unless they wait until game 6 to unveil there whereabouts.
Again the emphasis on sports has ruined the game and competitive spirits. In a game of football it is about reps and sitting games or seasons helps no one develop mentally or physically. Stay and play in the neighborhood should carry more validity but until CHSAA and ADs grasp that concept we will see a demise in neighborhood championships as recruited teams will find the loophole to continue winning.
Meanwhile sit back and enjoy the 4th of July holiday as the season is less than 8 weeks away. Until then give us a follow on our social media platforms.
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