How does the MAC do it?

Really good summary. I do want to add a point to your comment about the JH teams. At ML, every kid plays I believe every game. Both 7th and 8th grade. Maybe not an equal amount, but close enough to not have bunches of kids quit in frustration. There is a lot to be said for that, especially when the coaches usually have enough kids in each grade for 2+ teams. Coming up with multiple personnel sets with that many kids and making sure they know what they are doing says a lot about their effort towards the betterment of the kids and overall program. Wins in JH mean very little, but feeling involved in the program means a ton.

OK. So I didn't add this earlier because my post was so long but since you brought it up I will add it now. Marion Local's 8th grade has a running back who looks like an absolute stud, The kid looks crazy fast. So I watched the first Marion Local 8th grade game and the kid had several touchdowns and long runs where he made the rest of the kids look like they were moving in slow motion.

Then I watched the next Marion Local 8th grade game and the same kid hardly got any offensive snaps at all. He played safety a lot and had a few carries but didn't play offense most of the game. That game ended in with Marion Local losing right at the end of the game. The thing that amazed me about watching that game was at no point did I hear any fans from Marion Local yelling at the coaches to put #xx in the game. The parents just cheered for the team and they cheered for everyone on the team.

That does not happen everywhere. There would be some crazy fans screaming at coaches at a lot of places if a kid as talented as this kid was not playing every snap on offense and the team lost.

After watching that game, I wondered if Marion Local does some type of rotation where kids play mostly offense one game and mostly defense in the next game.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
OK. So I didn't add this earlier because my post was so long but since you brought it up I will add it now. Marion Local's 8th grade has a running back who looks like an absolute stud, The kid looks crazy fast. So I watched the first Marion Local 8th grade game and the kid had several touchdowns and long runs where he made the rest of the kids look like they were moving in slow motion.

Then I watched the next Marion Local 8th grade game and the same kid hardly got any offensive snaps at all. He played safety a lot and had a few carries but didn't play offense most of the game. That game ended in with Marion Local losing right at the end of the game. The thing that amazed me about watching that game was at no point did I hear any fans from Marion Local yelling at the coaches to put #xx in the game. The parents just cheered for the team and they cheered for everyone on the team.

That does not happen everywhere. There would be some crazy fans screaming at coaches at a lot of places if a kid as talented as this kid was not playing every snap on offense and the team lost.

After watching that game, I wondered if Marion Local does some type of rotation where kids play mostly offense one game and mostly defense in the next game.
Have family who coach JH, and has said there were years they coulda won every game by giving the ball to certain stud players, but that isn't what JH is all about. It's not like that in some places that put banners and fill up trophy cases with JH league titles. I've seen some really crappy JH sportsman ship and coaching outside the league who treat the game like NFL playoffs
 

StateChampion2012

Well-known member
Have family who coach JH, and has said there were years they coulda won every game by giving the ball to certain stud players, but that isn't what JH is all about. It's not like that in some places that put banners and fill up trophy cases with JH league titles. I've seen some really crappy JH sportsman ship and coaching outside the league who treat the game like NFL playoffs
Junior High football should never be about winning.
 

bigkat

Well-known member
Even though I am not from the area I have been an avid follower of the MAC for a few years now. What the league has been able to accomplish is so impressive and I've asked myself a lot of times what separates the MAC from other leagues. I would actually reverse the order of these for a couple of reasons.

#1 - The number of MAC kids that plays sports is incredible. At the start of every sports season you can go to Versailles' web site and watch the team pictures scroll across the top of their site. It's incredible the number of kids they have playing sports. And it's not just football, it's every sport. You look at the cross country team and its 15-20 kids running, golf has 10-12, volleyball has varsity, jv, and freshman teams, etc. I wish they still had the pictures up from this year so people could go look at them but it's incredible. I know this doesn't happen at every MAC school but you see that several MAC schools have freshman teams in an era where a lot of schools can't even field JV teams.

So why does it happen at MAC schools and not other places? That's a community thing. If you follow MAC schools closely you will notice how much more support there is from the community and the school itself vs. other areas. Things that MAC fans take for granted like getting a trophy for winning the league title or hanging a banner in the gym for a team going to state aren't valued everywhere like they are in the MAC. And the fundraising the MAC does for their athletic teams is incredible. Whether it's the 50/50s at games, the Marion Local Ball Drop selling out each year, the Tiger 250 club from Versailles, St. Henry selling off 750 $100 tickets for a truck raffle, etc those things aren't able to happen at a lot of schools the same way they do in the MAC. Look at what the MAC does with Twitter and Facebook and the MAC website. It's all kept up to date, the history is known and preserved. You can see the pride the MAC has in its history.

All of these things are minor alone, but when you combine them the message is continually be sent to kids about the value of sports in a community. Some communities value high school sports a lot, some want to have good high school sports but don't want to do what is necessary (facilities, coaches,etc) to make it happen and some couldn't care less at all.

To me, this is the MAC's secret. The kids know sports are important, they know sports are valued and they grow up wanting to play sports. That in turn gives you large rosters and gets your best athletes on the field or court.

I would ask MAC fans and specifically Marion Local fans a simple question. How many kids are walking in your hallways that aren't playing football that you look at and say, "Man, if that kid would play football he would be an absolute stud?" My guess is that number is pretty low.

#2 - I've always been amazed by the number of seniors MAC teams have on them. The culture of the MAC seems to be much different than many other DVI and DVII schools where many kids quit if they are not playing varsity as a sophomore. There are a lot of good athletes that quit sports their freshman/sophomore year because they weren't starting on varsity and they weren't going to waste their time if they weren't getting to play varsity.

My school played Versailles in the state volleyball tournament two years in a row. The second year we played them, Versailles had four seniors who didn't see the court for a single point the year before. That means as juniors they sat the bench. But they didn't quit. They kept playing and they were rewarded with a state title the next year. That's culture. That's community. That's not genetics.

Last year Marion Local won their 11th football title. In their second playoff game they won a hard fought game over Fort Loramie. In the paper afterwards this is what Tim Goodwin had to say: “It’s a reflection of the kids and the program, the community and all of the support we’ve had,” assured Marion Local coach Tim Goodwin. “These seniors waited until their senior year to play, a lot of them. They were willing to keep working and stick with the program and here we are, going to the regional final.” Those kids were rewarded with a state title.

Last year before the state title game Goodwin said the following: “If we’re lifting at 6 in the morning, we’re going to have 100 % participation,” Goodwin said. “If we’re practicing on Thanksgiving, even the freshmen are showing up. We’re very fortunate to be in the area that we’re in."

I'm sorry but that doesn't happen in other places in Ohio. That's an advantage that can't be quantified. Maybe MAC kids look genetically superior on the field because of the dedication their kids and families have in working to get better instead of just showing up in August to play. You take an average athlete as a freshman and give them three years of committed training and good coaching and that kids looks pretty damn athletic as a senior.

#3 - That brings me to the coaching. MAC coaching is incredible. Not only at the head coaching level but the depth of coaching at the assistant coaching level is crazy good. Most schools are just hoping to find someone to coach to help fill their coaching staffs. I'm always amazed when I see the MAC ADs announcing a new coaching hire on Twitter the resumes that some of these coaches have. It's not just a dad that's willing to do it, it's a coach that has a solid background in his/her sport.

If you subscribe to NFHS, go watch the Marion Local middle school games. It's amazing to watch the various offensive formations, the defensive adjustments to formations and motions, the substitutions, and just the general management of the game at the middle school level. The Marion Local 8th grade team is doing things that many high school teams don't do or struggle with. Those kids are clearly getting great coaching and I know that happens across multiple schools in multiple sports in the MAC.

#4 - Competition, competition, competition. The thing that is great about the MAC is you have several schools that really seem to compete in almost every sport. That seems like common sense but there are a lot of schools out there that excel at one or maybe two sports and then don't really care too much about the other sports. A lot of leagues have the team that is the football school and the team that is the basketball school and the team that is the baseball school. That doesn't seem to be the case in the MAC as much as it is in other areas. Most MAC schools seem to really compete in most sports and that creates a league in which teams get battle tested and prepared for tournaments. That's a huge MAC advantage over other schools that play in leagues where they may only have one or two competitive games a year.

Now for as much as I respect the MAC and love watching your teams play I will say one negative thing about the league. You guys are really, really really bad at golf. What's the story with that?
not sure about that , Minster Boys made State in Golf for the third year in a row.... and has at least 1 state Championship maybe 2( not sure)
 

D4fan

Well-known member
OK. So I didn't add this earlier because my post was so long but since you brought it up I will add it now. Marion Local's 8th grade has a running back who looks like an absolute stud, The kid looks crazy fast. So I watched the first Marion Local 8th grade game and the kid had several touchdowns and long runs where he made the rest of the kids look like they were moving in slow motion.

Then I watched the next Marion Local 8th grade game and the same kid hardly got any offensive snaps at all. He played safety a lot and had a few carries but didn't play offense most of the game. That game ended in with Marion Local losing right at the end of the game. The thing that amazed me about watching that game was at no point did I hear any fans from Marion Local yelling at the coaches to put #xx in the game. The parents just cheered for the team and they cheered for everyone on the team.

That does not happen everywhere. There would be some crazy fans screaming at coaches at a lot of places if a kid as talented as this kid was not playing every snap on offense and the team lost.

After watching that game, I wondered if Marion Local does some type of rotation where kids play mostly offense one game and mostly defense in the next game.
The school would like kids to get the chance to experience all aspects of the game. That includes how it feels to lose. You will develop a much better team mindset if they get the chance to feel what a loss feels like. If they played to win every game at every level you may have kids graduating who never got to experience the introspective experience a loss gives a player.


Mostly saying this tongue in cheek but there is some truth to it. Well rounded kids and as someone else mentioned, don't assign them to a position too early. My sons all preferred offense when young, but were not skill players, so they each learned to prefer defense where you are part of every play. Move those young kids around and let them find their strengths and weaknesses.
 

Burreaux

New member
I looked up this information from the Ohio Department of Education to compare it to the schools in my conference a few years ago. This data is from 2016 but here is a look at the MAC and the IVC which are two mainly DVI and DVII conferences in different parts of Ohio. Sorry, I had to put it in as an image because the info won't copy into a table well.

Just for reference, you would know East Holmes as Hiland, Brown Local as Malvern and East Guernsey as Buckeye Trail.

View attachment 10832
the median income being on par but the poverty difference is absurd, even compare that to the schools in ross pike and scioto.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
I looked up this information from the Ohio Department of Education to compare it to the schools in my conference a few years ago. This data is from 2016 but here is a look at the MAC and the IVC which are two mainly DVI and DVII conferences in different parts of Ohio. Sorry, I had to put it in as an image because the info won't copy into a table well.

Just for reference, you would know East Holmes as Hiland, Brown Local as Malvern and East Guernsey as Buckeye Trail.

View attachment 10832
#2 - I've always been amazed by the number of seniors MAC teams have on them. The culture of the MAC seems to be much different than many other DVI and DVII schools where many kids quit if they are not playing varsity as a sophomore. There are a lot of good athletes that quit sports their freshman/sophomore year because they weren't starting on varsity and they weren't going to waste their time if they weren't getting to play varsity.
I think these 2 factors can be related. Low percentage of kids living in poverty means they're not in a position to need to get a job after school to bring additional money into their homes. Thus, they can keep playing sports when they're juniors and seniors. Additionally, having been in MAC country before, I'm not sure that there are more than a handful of fast food places out there where a teenager could get a job. There is no shopping mall nearby or anywhere else where a HS kid might ordinarily work. Despite not getting a lot of PT, coming back out for the team often remains the best option for what to do after school.
 

Protect the Nest

Active member
OK. So I didn't add this earlier because my post was so long but since you brought it up I will add it now. Marion Local's 8th grade has a running back who looks like an absolute stud, The kid looks crazy fast. So I watched the first Marion Local 8th grade game and the kid had several touchdowns and long runs where he made the rest of the kids look like they were moving in slow motion.

Then I watched the next Marion Local 8th grade game and the same kid hardly got any offensive snaps at all. He played safety a lot and had a few carries but didn't play offense most of the game. That game ended in with Marion Local losing right at the end of the game. The thing that amazed me about watching that game was at no point did I hear any fans from Marion Local yelling at the coaches to put #xx in the game. The parents just cheered for the team and they cheered for everyone on the team.

That does not happen everywhere. There would be some crazy fans screaming at coaches at a lot of places if a kid as talented as this kid was not playing every snap on offense and the team lost.

After watching that game, I wondered if Marion Local does some type of rotation where kids play mostly offense one game and mostly defense in the next game.
I was told that the player your speaking of in junior high touched the ball only 4 times in the game against New Bremen last year. He scored every time. Then played defense. A grandfather of one of the kids said that he was a man against boys.
 

Ohiofootball80

New member
No I didn’t put this on here to start anything as a few have said. I’m actually curious. Yes I’m from outside of the MAC and it is truly remarkable and amazing how they have done this consistently year in and year out for 30 years. I’m wondering exactly what it is and why no other area has been able to have this kind of sustained success and consistency other than Kirtland recently but you got multiple teams here. CVC has been nowhere near as consistent. When I said best teams in the state outside of that conference obviously I meant D5-D7 but yeah I’d take Coldwater or MSML against even some bigger schools than that. I guarantee I’m not the only one in the state outside of the MAC scratching their heads wondering how this is accomplished.
 
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dnis30

Well-known member

thavoice

Well-known member
Junior High football should never be about winning.
Some areas make a big to do about JH league titles and take the games very seriously i.e. putting a starting defense back in during a 54-0 lead with 40 seconds to go as soon as the opponent crossed the 50, and trophy cases and hanging banners for JH league titles (while a number of the kids barely see the playing fields).

It's all about the JH titles baby!
 

thavoice

Well-known member
\
Thanks for biting. About a year ago I was curious about WJ history when a couple of their yappsters were always posting pics of the scoreboard and with it being 4 titles I was curious to learn more about their history and this is what I uncovered.

1962 title: Before Joe Eitel/maxpreps/etc there was a rating system by Dale Stoin. 1962 he had WJ as a champion.
1977 title: UPI voted them as poll champions. For you young whippersnappers, back in the day there were two main media rating outlets, the AP and UPI. Even though they were beaten in the playoffs that season, they still claim that as a State Title. Let 'em live......
1978: Was just a mixup on the signage they say, and fixedit

1976 and 1982 were legit.
So, at the end of the day we learned......they still have 2 more titles than Massill"0"n.

but this is about the MAC.....so, the MAC...um, WJ will take out years of anger agaihst the Rockets this weekend. THe only question is. just how many points WJ wants to put up...
 
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John74

Active member
OK. So I didn't add this earlier because my post was so long but since you brought it up I will add it now. Marion Local's 8th grade has a running back who looks like an absolute stud, The kid looks crazy fast. So I watched the first Marion Local 8th grade game and the kid had several touchdowns and long runs where he made the rest of the kids look like they were moving in slow motion.

Then I watched the next Marion Local 8th grade game and the same kid hardly got any offensive snaps at all. He played safety a lot and had a few carries but didn't play offense most of the game. That game ended in with Marion Local losing right at the end of the game. The thing that amazed me about watching that game was at no point did I hear any fans from Marion Local yelling at the coaches to put #xx in the game. The parents just cheered for the team and they cheered for everyone on the team.

That does not happen everywhere. There would be some crazy fans screaming at coaches at a lot of places if a kid as talented as this kid was not playing every snap on offense and the team lost.

After watching that game, I wondered if Marion Local does some type of rotation where kids play mostly offense one game and mostly defense in the next game.
Not sure how they do it with that grade. I think that grade is pretty big numbers wise and has high participation rate in football, even by ML standards. So they may have to do something different like cycling through moving kids to only offense or defense? Years past, they would have different “teams” made up of different skill level players and players stationed at different positions and cycle the teams through every possession.
 

Down The Road

Active member
Some areas make a big to do about JH league titles and take the games very seriously i.e. putting a starting defense back in during a 54-0 lead with 40 seconds to go as soon as the opponent crossed the 50, and trophy cases and hanging banners for JH league titles (while a number of the kids barely see the playing fields).

It's all about the JH titles baby!
Now that JH is in the conversation.
Lets say your a JH coach at a successful program maybe one that even has confusion on if they've won 2 or 3 or 4 state titles and may screw up the years maybe mentioned a few post above. You are a power house in your directional division of a good small school conference. Your team gets beat by a team from the other (lesser) directional division that has not been very good for a while as a program. = Reaction, in todays world of no hand shake line - as the coaches turn to wave good game to each other the successful program coach who lost berates the winning coach loudly "you'll never Fn'beat us again! Ever! At Fn'anything." unprovoked.
How would a head coach in the MAC handle that?
 
I think these 2 factors can be related. Low percentage of kids living in poverty means they're not in a position to need to get a job after school to bring additional money into their homes. Thus, they can keep playing sports when they're juniors and seniors. Additionally, having been in MAC country before, I'm not sure that there are more than a handful of fast food places out there where a teenager could get a job. There is no shopping mall nearby or anywhere else where a HS kid might ordinarily work. Despite not getting a lot of PT, coming back out for the team often remains the best option for what to do after school.
There are plenty of places that a high school kid can get a part time job. Just because there is no mall, and a limited number of fast food places around does not mean there isn't a long list of places that employ high school kids who also participate in sports. 2 of my kids both had part time jobs at a local business. One played football, bowling, and track. The other ran cross country, along with bowling and track. Their employer, along with others, understand the importance of sports for the kids, and work with them. For example, when a Friday night game was postponed until Saturday, and my son was scheduled to work, his employer told him to not worry about it. That they would get someone to cover for him.
So, that goes back to the community supporting the kids.
 

dnis30

Well-known member
Thanks for biting. About a year ago I was curious about WJ history when a couple of their yappsters were always posting pics of the scoreboard and with it being 4 titles I was curious to learn more about their history and this is what I uncovered.

1962 title: Before Joe Eitel/maxpreps/etc there was a rating system by Dale Stoin. 1962 he had WJ as a champion.
1977 title: UPI voted them as poll champions. For you young whippersnappers, back in the day there were two main media rating outlets, the AP and UPI. Even though they were beaten in the playoffs that season, they still claim that as a State Title. Let 'em live......
1978: Was just a mixup on the signage they say, and fixed it

1976 and 1982 were legit.
So, at the end of the day we learned......they still have 2 more titles than Massill"0"n.

but this is about the MAC.....so, the MAC...um, WJ will take out years of anger against the Rockets this weekend. The only question is, just how many points WJ wants to put up...
Thanks for the clarification. Two playoff titles....not bad. Two more than my alma mater. Two more than Massillon. LMAO.

I agree, WJ wins by at least 3 TDs this weekend.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Thanks for the clarification. Two playoff titles....not bad. Two more than my alma mater. Two more than Massillon. LMAO.

I agree, WJ wins by at least 3 TDs this weekend.
I am intuitive by nature and I did some research on them last year as I honestly wanted to know more about their history being a multi time champion.

Here is the crapstorm of a thread I started. I advise people to take a look as most can (I did) learn quite a bit about the history of how champs were crowned. Even had WJ fan send me some old, old newspaper clippings talking about some of it! I took some flack on the thread and such, but honestly with that signage I can guarantee you that many people, residents and members of the school, take those claims as Gospel even though they arent entirely accurate.

 

Great Day

New member
I have followed the MAC very closely for roughly 20 years now.....

A coach at most places spends the ENTIRE year in any sport doing their best to take individuals from very different backgrounds, and belief systems and mold them into a team that all thinks the same with one common goal.

When a coach from the MAC shows up they already have kids that come from families that all drink together on Saturday night, go to church together on Sunday morning, and all vote together at the polls (proving the same type of value system in their communities and homes). So these kids are already teammates and their is much less time spent making them a TEAM. This is something that can not be over stated.

The fact that their is a ton of taller people in in that area certainly doesn't hurt either......
 

OCLWarrior

Member
There are plenty of places that a high school kid can get a part time job. Just because there is no mall, and a limited number of fast food places around does not mean there isn't a long list of places that employ high school kids who also participate in sports. 2 of my kids both had part time jobs at a local business. One played football, bowling, and track. The other ran cross country, along with bowling and track. Their employer, along with others, understand the importance of sports for the kids, and work with them. For example, when a Friday night game was postponed until Saturday, and my son was scheduled to work, his employer told him to not worry about it. That they would get someone to cover for him.
So, that goes back to the community supporting the kids.
If you are living on a farm, you have a job. The cows and hogs don't care if you play sports, they have to be fed and cared for. You do your chores real early in the morning and probably in the dark when you got home. Saturdays were catch up days. When got home, you ate, did your homework and went to bed. When you go to school, work and play sports you have to have your act together. If the only thing you have to worry about is school and sports, you have it easy.
 

dnis30

Well-known member
I am intuitive by nature and I did some research on them last year as I honestly wanted to know more about their history being a multi time champion.

Here is the crapstorm of a thread I started. I advise people to take a look as most can (I did) learn quite a bit about the history of how champs were crowned. Even had WJ fan send me some old, old newspaper clippings talking about some of it! I took some flack on the thread and such, but honestly with that signage I can guarantee you that many people, residents and members of the school, take those claims as Gospel even though they arent entirely accurate.

Great thread! Very informative! Thank you.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
This is what I was told as well. Thanks for confirming. Solid proof that youth tackle football is not necessary.
I believe the lack of pee wee football is a HUGE reason why the MAC has large numbers participating. By 7th grade the kids are chomping at the bit to play something new after playing baseball, basketball and soccer for a number of years already. You can have a good HS program and have Pee Wee football, no doubt about it, but as you can see it is not necessary or vital.

I believe kids in grade school are just not ready for the physicality of football and they are lost before they even get to JH/HS>
 
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BirdDog10

Active member
For those who question if genetics are really that big of a deal, how many state wrestling titles does the MAC have? I dont actually know the answer to that question, but zero would be my bet. The kids are a few inches taller and few pounds heavier than normal Ohio.
Very few MAC schools have wrestling. I believe Delphos St. John's, Parkway, Coldwater, and Versailles are the only ones that do.

Brings up another point, MAC schools and communities are smart enough to stick to what they're good at and focus all of their efforts on those things. For the boys those things are football, basketball, and baseball. Very few MAC teams have overly-successful boys programs in any other sports. Girls are great at volleyball, cross country, and basketball. They don't produce half a$$ programs in every sport they could field just to make every parent in the area happy. Every small school in the state should take note of it.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Very few MAC schools have wrestling. I believe Delphos St. John's, Parkway, Coldwater, and Versailles are the only ones that do.

Brings up another point, MAC schools and communities are smart enough to stick to what they're good at and focus all of their efforts on those things. For the boys those things are football, basketball, and baseball. Very few MAC teams have overly-successful boys programs in any other sports. Girls are great at volleyball, cross country, and basketball. They don't produce half a$$ programs in every sport they could field just to make every parent in the area happy. Every small school in the state should take note of it.
Dont forget about bowling. Quite a few bowling titles.......
 

thavoice

Well-known member
When Minster beat Kirtland for the D6 title in 2014, that senior class only won one game combined in 7th grade, 8th grade and freshman football.
You sure that wasnt MSML? I know that was the case one year for the Flyers. Think they had 4-6 seniors that won a title and had only won 1, or zero, games in JH.......
 
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