Millersport 2021

The Dock

Well-known member
I saw the post on Facebook announcing this. I’m skeptical on what their prospects really are. That “31” figure most certainly includes current eighth graders, and there’s a difference between 31 kids saying they’d be interested in playing football and 31 academically-eligible kids showing up to the first day of practice.

I hope Millersport can bring back football. I also hope they can do right by the Mid-State League, first and foremost, and guarantee they’ll have enough kids to play out a full season if they intend to play an 11-man league schedule in 2021. JMO, but they may need to make a final answer on whether they’re going to keep sponsoring varsity soccer before next fall. The summer of 2018 was when Millersport cancelled football and it was also when their soccer program began. Soccer played in 2018 and 2019, but had the plug pulled on them days before opening night this year due to not having enough players.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Millersport is a really small district with low participation rates in sports, compared to their peers. They would be basically starting a program entirely from scratch, as none of the kids will have previously played high school football. And, aren’t they going to need to hire someone to be their coach over the off-season?
 

StateChampion2012

Well-known member
I saw the post on Facebook announcing this. I’m skeptical on what their prospects really are. That “31” figure most certainly includes current eighth graders, and there’s a difference between 31 kids saying they’d be interested in playing football and 31 academically-eligible kids showing up to the first day of practice.

I hope Millersport can bring back football. I also hope they can do right by the Mid-State League, first and foremost, and guarantee they’ll have enough kids to play out a full season if they intend to play an 11-man league schedule in 2021. JMO, but they may need to make a final answer on whether they’re going to keep sponsoring varsity soccer before next fall. The summer of 2018 was when Millersport cancelled football and it was also when their soccer program began. Soccer played in 2018 and 2019, but had the plug pulled on them days before opening night this year due to not having enough players.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Millersport is a really small district with low participation rates in sports, compared to their peers. They would be basically starting a program entirely from scratch, as none of the kids will have previously played high school football. And, aren’t they going to need to hire someone to be their coach over the off-season?
Did they pull the plug on Soccer permanently?
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Did they pull the plug on Soccer permanently?
I don’t think so. They were lined up to play this fall but it got cancelled due to not enough healthy players. As far as I understand, it’s currently a sponsored sport and football is not (at the high school level.)
 

StateChampion2012

Well-known member
I don’t think so. They were lined up to play this fall but it got cancelled due to not enough healthy players. As far as I understand, it’s currently a sponsored sport and football is not (at the high school level.)
I hate to be that guy but they are too small to have both. Now I would normally say a school would have to make a choice in that situation but I thought they already did. If they canned soccer, I think give 8-man a try and if they feel like they can compete in 11 man again, then do so. However 8 Man might be best for him.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
I hate to be that guy but they are too small to have both. Now I would normally say a school would have to make a choice in that situation but I thought they already did. If they canned soccer, I think give 8-man a try and if they feel like they can compete in 11 man again, then do so. However 8 Man might be best for him.
I agree, completely. If they had enough numbers and interest with current high school students, they should have done 8-man this year.

Three years is a long hiatus for a football program. Even a go at 8-man would’ve given me more confidence in the ‘Port, because at least that’s a season of kids in pads. The Lakers are definitely up against it in any case. The school doesn’t have anything close to a winning history in recent memory, except for that awesome (no sarcasm) 7-3 season in 2014 after 0-48. But that was made possible by a really good coach that had three years of a program under his direction to start. The “fan” in me wonders how an 11-man team in 2021 is going to move forward if they get railed by BU, FC, WC and soundly beaten by other league foes in the process. Even with the MSL-Cardinal not being a great football league, there’s still levels of difference between high school and junior high.
 

StateChampion2012

Well-known member

The Dock

Well-known member
RC. Should've clarified a little better. SMCC wanted to go back to 11 man but found they didnt have the numbers and played 8 man again.
I just want to see a good 11-man rivalry with Rosecrans. I’m quite bummed they had to go 8-man in 2019. We owed them a brilliant whooping.

Don’t think Rosecrans would do that to the MSL, or at least I hope not. Incredible how they’re able to do both soccer and 11-man.
 

RollingTrain

Well-known member
RC. Should've clarified a little better. SMCC wanted to go back to 11 man but found they didnt have the numbers and played 8 man again.
SMCC is still trying to go 11-man and it’s causing some serious issues in the SBC. Either The league or the school needs to make a final decision on them.

I’d agree, start with 8-man and go from there for Millersport. Ideally 8-man becomes OHSAA sponsored. If that happens I think you’ll see a lot of it and quick.
 

MSU2016

Member
Related to small school numbers. Why don't FC and FCA combine to make one football team? I am unsure why we would want to struggle with numbers for both programs when if you combine them you might have a pretty solid football team.
According to Max Prep
FC FCA Year
23 26 2020
27 30 2019
36 33 2018
31 29 2017
31 32 2016

Wouldn't combining somehow make more sense from a competitive standpoint. Both schools basically pulling to get the same type of kids. I don't know just a thought.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Related to small school numbers. Why don't FC and FCA combine to make one football team? I am unsure why we would want to struggle with numbers for both programs when if you combine them you might have a pretty solid football team.
According to Max Prep
FC FCA Year
23 26 2020
27 30 2019
36 33 2018
31 29 2017
31 32 2016

Wouldn't combining somehow make more sense from a competitive standpoint. Both schools basically pulling to get the same type of kids. I don't know just a thought.
I’m sorry, but I don’t see the point of two schools who are nominal rivals combining to form a team that wouldn’t be eligible for OHSAA postseason play. FCA may not care about postseason play, but FC certainly does.

FC is noticeably different from FCA in every practical sense, as well as culturally and athletically. FC’s issues with football numbers is because the school operates a uniquely horizontal athletics department in terms of sports sponsorships, where the philosophy is for kids to play whatever, despite its small enrollment. The enrollment is about 50% of what it was when you went there. I say “uniquely horizontal” because unlike their counterparts in Newark (or across town @ FCA) FC sponsors a boys soccer program in the fall as well as golf and XC programs that have typically high participation numbers and strong success.The same can also be said for spring sports: FC fields a varsity boys tennis program in addition to very competitive and high-numbers baseball and T&F programs.

FC’s problem with football numbers is just an already low enrollment of boys getting spliced across four varsity fall sports where the emphasis and prestige, coupled with participation rates compared against other fall sports programs of decently similar school sizes, is at or above that of football.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
I’m sorry, but I don’t see the point of two schools who are nominal rivals combining to form a team that wouldn’t be eligible for OHSAA postseason play...
To reframe and go further on this: FCA has an “eggs in one basket” approach to their fall sports, and that basket frankly isn’t worth a roll of toilet paper. It’s not FC’s problem that FCA doesn’t win. FC on the other hand has a very different approach to their fall sports, and the success (of which there has been far more) is spread across evenly across more sports. The only commonality FC and FCA have is the low football numbers, but their entire league has the exact same issue. FC just has a demonstrably better football program in so many regards, including results, than FCA.

I don’t think FC would really be better off if they changed their athletics philosophy to “all eggs in one basket” if the goal was to make and advance further in football playoffs. It’s antithetical to the school’s culture and what it takes pride in, and it was somewhat tried before. It didn’t work. 10 years ago, they had Tony Hurps (who I think is a really good coach, now at BU) and he wasn’t in any position to succeed. The only path that would’ve gotten FC football to where it was years prior, then, would’ve been some way to drum up the roster sizes to 45-50 by going “all in” on football and cutting the other sports, but that’s easier said than done when the roster of 32-35 is getting steamrolled by rosters of 75-80 against the likes of L Heights, West Jeff and LU. And ultimately, one could say that it has all worked out in the end for FC. Generally successful and accomplished XC, golf, a competitive soccer program and a football program that has fared decently well in the “new normal” of what FC athletics have to work with (body wise) 2010— present
 

MSU2016

Member
I’m sorry, but I don’t see the point of two schools who are nominal rivals combining to form a team that wouldn’t be eligible for OHSAA postseason play. FCA may not care about postseason play, but FC certainly does.

FC is noticeably different from FCA in every practical sense, as well as culturally and athletically. FC’s issues with football numbers is because the school operates a uniquely horizontal athletics department in terms of sports sponsorships, where the philosophy is for kids to play whatever, despite its small enrollment. The enrollment is about 50% of what it was when you went there. I say “uniquely horizontal” because unlike their counterparts in Newark (or across town @ FCA) FC sponsors a boys soccer program in the fall as well as golf and XC programs that have typically high participation numbers and strong success.The same can also be said for spring sports: FC fields a varsity boys tennis program in addition to very competitive and high-numbers baseball and T&F programs.

FC’s problem with football numbers is just an already low enrollment of boys getting spliced across four varsity fall sports where the emphasis and prestige, coupled with participation rates compared against other fall sports programs of decently similar school sizes, is at or above that of football.

If it has become a rival that is very interesting. I guess they have been playing for 11 years. You mean to tell me that people could not put aside their differences and come together and work as a team. Sounds to me like you have a very different view of the world than I do because I believe that happens in everyday life. What a great lesson to be taught through those coaches who have a major influence over athletes. How to work and get along with others while their views or beliefs might not be like yours. Sound like what a public school does year in and year out when they play sports. I am not saying to join schools together. I am saying join teams together if that were even possible.

I would be intrigued to hear about these cultural differences.

I do agree that FC does offer too many sports based on the size of the school now and it does hurt numbers in those sports. However, you mean to tell me that because they have not cut some sports that it would help other sports if they did cut them. I think if those sports were cut those athletes would just play AAU sports. You may get a couple, but nothing that will really beef up your program. They have offered those sports for a long time and have still been competitive in most. The thing I believe and agree with you on is that enrollment hurts FC. You are correct in stating that it has decreased. FC use to be able to put all of those fall teams together and have a decent size team. Now not so much.

How do you know when I went there? I do not believe you've met or know me. So that is again interesting to me.

My initial post was just my opinion on a hypothetical situation to make a team year in and year out a little bigger in size so you could play a full varsity, JV, and possible freshman schedule while also increasing competitive balance. I mean without having these games, how do we better those athletes who don't belong out of a football field going against a grown 18-year-old athlete, but could compete against a JV athlete. I don't care about playoffs, just a competitive team on the field.

I do agree that it is a small school problem in this area. If you look at the MAC schools they have it figure out for small school football.

Again, just thoughts and opinions. Everyone can have a difference of opinions and still be able to have a conversation.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
If it has become a rival that is very interesting.
Well, I did say "nominal rivals" - the school doesn't really consider FCA to be rivals, although FCA may consider FC to be a rival. They're more nominal in the rival sense in that they play in the same league and are in the same town.

I am saying join teams together if that were even possible. ... My initial post was just my opinion on a hypothetical situation to make a team year in and year out a little bigger in size so you could play a full varsity, JV, and possible freshman schedule while also increasing competitive balance. I mean without having these games, how do we better those athletes who don't belong out of a football field going against a grown 18-year-old athlete, but could compete against a JV athlete.
Don't get me wrong -- I enjoy talking about these hypotheticals! I understand where you're coming from, but I think there are fundamental complications with a merge. Who would FCA+FC play? OHSAA doesn't sponsor nor permit co-ops [this is the term that other states, like Iowa, use when two schools join forces.] Would OHSAA's catastrophe insurance extend to this hypothetical team? Would FCA agree to pay for half of the associated costs that Lancaster asks of FC to play on Fulton Field? How would the revenue split -- would FCA be fine with FC conducting 50/50 raffles at FCA+FC football games (there is an opinion that has been floated over the years that 50/50 raffles are "gambling.") Another thing to look at is the MSL would be down a home game over two years.

I think a better idea would be if the schools could practice together (if OHSAA were to allow such a thing) - no more half-line practices! Another idea is if the two schools could play middle school together (neither school is mandated to participate under OHSAA rules for junior high, although they would be by the MSL if they wanted to play an MSL junior high schedule.)

I don't care about playoffs, just a competitive team on the field.
Not to sound difficult, but I think Coach Thimmes and FC care about playoffs - at the very least, regular season wins against MSL competition and more. And it's not necessarily the case that FC hasn't fared well lately on the field.

I would be intrigued to hear about these cultural differences.
I would say one big difference between the two is the emphasis on participation, and being successful, in activities and athletics. FC, whether its the school itself or the general community, greatly values having strong extracurricular programs across every discipline (athletic/academic/performing arts) and similarly there is great effort put toward its athletic facilities & fundraising for the various programs. I used to see some of the same with FCA way back when Dave Daubenmire was the football coach, but the last 5 or so years the school hasn't quite had the image or aura of one that "brings the juice" in sports. And I think it's finally caught up with FCA to where it's not seen as a school that takes athletics seriously: they play at Millersport for football, they play their baseball games in Columbus (Berliner) or the substandard diamonds at the Tschopp Road facilities, they generally don't have the greatest fan attendance figures when the teams aren't winning.

Another cultural difference I would point to, relevant to how the athletics cultures are shaped but also intertwined somewhat into social/religious viewpoints impressed into the two schools and their communities, relates directly to the difference in the two schools' operations: I believe FCA still has a student "morality code" that is not entirely different from the concept that exists at Liberty University in Virginia. I'm not referring to a standard Code of Conduct, which all schools (including FC) have, but instead a dictum that transcends the school/personal life boundary. I know 5 or so years ago there was an issue where some of their student-athletes got ratted to the school (by someone who wasn't a law enforcement officer) for smoking pot at a residence, and the school expelled them. While I'm not personally interested in debating whether or not that's the "right thing" for a school to do, a school like FC isn't seen to be as draconian on discipline for matters outside of the campus that are - frankly - more appropriate for parents and counselors to deal with (that doesn't mean FC is perfectly fine with its students drinking and smoking... no, not at all -- but, they certainly wouldn't expel a kid for going to a party with kids from FU or whatever area school where George & Mary Jane happen to be in the room.) And that approach FC takes is probably more popular with parents of incoming 9th graders or students looking to transfer, especially kids that play sports. I've heard from multiple parents of public school kids (some of whom ended up enrolling into FC) over the years that they just didn't, or wouldn't have, consider(ed) FCA as a transfer destination because they disagree with the idea of a school policing their kid's behavior off-campus if the behavior doesn't result in anyone getting harmed or necessitate the involvement of the authorities. That, and some think FCA's operational model for high school when it comes to student affairs/rules/activities isn't personally appealing. Unlike FC, which has one principal in charge of four grades [under the purview of the Diocese in Columbus], FCA has multiple administrators with direct advice and backing from the Fairfield Christian Church as the entire school operates under a k-12 model. And for the families who already have kids attending FCA, there's nothing wrong with that. I don't necessarily think it's a bad model myself, but I do see how its at odds with some philosophy changes the school could consider on the student life and athletics ends in order to attract more families from the publics systems.

A third cultural difference: well, let's just say I don't think an FCA+FC combined football team would be praying Hail Mary's in pre-game (as veneration of Mary is uniquely Roman Catholic.)

One thing I will say also about FCA: they always produce very nice, high-character and friendly kids (not unlike FC, either!)

I do agree that FC does offer too many sports based on the size of the school now and it does hurt numbers in those sports. However, you mean to tell me that because they have not cut some sports that it would help other sports if they did cut them. I think if those sports were cut those athletes would just play AAU sports. You may get a couple, but nothing that will really beef up your program. They have offered those sports for a long time and have still been competitive in most. The thing I believe and agree with you on is that enrollment hurts FC. You are correct in stating that it has decreased. FC use to be able to put all of those fall teams together and have a decent size team. Now not so much.
I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying earlier on this point, or perhaps I didn't express what I was trying to say as well as I could have: I said that this change in philosophy (gutting the lesser sports) was floated and intimated when Coach Hurps was there in the early '10s, but it didn't materialize. And who knows if it would've really made any difference, honestly -- back then it would've increased some numbers but now it is kind of marginal impact. Sometimes it is fun and daring to think "what if" there were another 10-15 kids on the football team if not for golf, XC and soccer. But it would go against what the school prides itself on.

How do you know when I went there? I do not believe you've met or know me. So that is again interesting to me.
I don't. I could say the enrollment is half of what it was whenever [any FC alum] was attending the school, because when you get graduating classes that have 15-22 boys these days at FC that's in the same general ballpark as being "half of" whatever the general enrollment was when any given person graduated (except for the class of '94, that had 61 boys in the class.)


I do agree that it is a small school problem in this area. If you look at the MAC schools they have it figure out for small school football.
I think it's more so the case that the MAC is the exception to the rule when it comes to numbers. Numbers are bigtime down at a lot of places. Even Amanda-Clearcreek only had less than 30 healthy bodies all year.

Again, just thoughts and opinions. Everyone can have a difference of opinions and still be able to have a conversation.
Oh yeah, I agree. I enjoy talking about this stuff with you.

Curious if @Forepar has anything to say.[/quote]
 
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