Thread: Pick North HC?
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Old 04-22-17, 08:20 AM
Cthelites Cthelites is offline
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Originally Posted by The Dock View Post
It would've been 'classic' had Solis been hired, the guy doesn't stay put at one place for very long.

"Sheriff Nate", on paper, is a great hire for PN. He led one of the greatest turnarounds in recent memory in Central Ohio at HT.

I agree with Rock Chalk on the part of "does he know what he's getting himself into?", but not for the reason stated. The truth is that, while Central and North are 'intense' rivals, that definitely has not stopped kids from transferring across the two buildings through the entirety of PN's existence.

PN is a good job and a bad job at the same time. When you factor in the facilities, the talent, the numbers, and the socioeconomics of the PN side of the district, it all makes for the same groundwork to be successful that Bob Gecewich at Dublin Jerome and Brian White at Hilliard Davidson both have capitalized on at their respective schools. (I would say "Mark Crabtree at Dublin Coffman" fits the same bill, but I might be treading on thin ice to suggest Coffman and PN have similar demographics/socio-ec's, since I simply don't know if they're 'the same.') Hillerich is a very accomplished coach, a young gun. He churned out a few good D1 players over his last few years at HT. However, we have to remember we are talking about Pickerington North, a school that sees kids defect left and right when the going gets tough. In the last two years, three QB's have left Pick North and started on playoff squads at three different schools (Lowery to Gahanna; Goodman to Newark Catholic; Meyers to Harvest Prep.) Lowery certainly would've helped PN had he stayed, and while it may have been inconsequential for the latter two to leave, the truth is losing three QB's in such a fashion is symptomatic of a broader problem with that community: loyalty to a program and staying committed in the face of adversity.

At Hamilton Township, he didn't really have to worry about kids going every which way because the only other options for most kids would've been Groveport (not a 'target' school), Grove City (not a 'target' school), Marion-Franklin (little bit more of a 'target' school) or Hartley (a 'target' school, but possibly cost and drive prohibitive.) That, and the fact HT has more of an multi-generational dynamic to its community: the grandparents lived in the Obetz area and went to HT, the parents grew up in Obetz and went to HT, and that's where they stayed and sent their kids (today's players.) Pickerington, on the other hand, due to the sheer nature and history of the community, has far less parents that are committed to keeping their kid at PN (or PC) if they see a better opportunity as possible and doable. Even the Borens didn't all attend PN, as it was pretty well-established athletic interests helped shape where Jacoby and the younger kid(s) went (which was Pickerington Central.)

This is particularly problematic when you factor in that making the playoffs is expected at PN, and beating P. Central defines the team for that season. PN is a place where an 0-2 start is enough to get all of the people in the subdivisions and Shangri-La's along Rt 204 restless. This is a community that thinks losing to Lancaster is enough to sound the alarm. A .500 or below record in conference play can go for a year or two, maybe, but playoffs are necessary to keep everyone's support.

He's following in the foot steps of a great man and a good coach, Tom Phillips. He will be their third head coach in the school's history after Bahen and Phillips. Does this community have enough resolve to be patient and let him implement his system and way of doing things if he isn't turning in an (>)8-2 season the first time around? Again, he's entering a job that has seen very little 'change' (Tom Phillips' medical absences notwithstanding.) The parents at PN want to see their kids play for Pick North or someone 'better', they want their kids to get an education at Pick North or someplace 'better.' Ultimately, of course, if Johnny can be a star with or without playing at PN, then so be it. The majority of the players he will work with come from families that have both the means to pursue other opportunities and the willingness to act on a transfer if the going gets tough enough and if the kid isn't headstrong in doing what it takes to be a starter at PN by the time they graduate, let alone as a soph/junior.

He's stepping into plenty of talent, plenty of facilities, a good groundwork to fall into - but, there are some drawbacks and there's more that meets the eye than just the 'positives' of coaching at PN. He will need to command the same respect and dedication out of his players and their families the same way that Sharett (sp?) @ PC does if he wants to maintain a consistent winner over on Refugee Road. That will be the key to whether or not he is successful there short-term and long-term.
Good local picktown perspective. Good post
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