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Old 07-23-17, 12:13 PM
OVTC OVTC is offline
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Renovation of Cross Country

What happened to the teams of the past from the PHSL (Public High School League)?
The four W's Withrow, Walnut Hills, Woodward, West High plus Hughes Taft Central Vocational and Quarter Tech from a Cross Country perspective.

How would one go about getting the programs re-activated?

These schools were dominate from the 40's -70's
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Old 07-23-17, 12:42 PM
ccrunner609 ccrunner609 is offline
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cultural changes in the school and community.
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Old 07-23-17, 02:29 PM
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Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVTC View Post
What happened to the teams of the past from the PHSL (Public High School League)?
The four W's Withrow, Walnut Hills, Woodward, West High plus Hughes Taft Central Vocational and Quarter Tech from a Cross Country perspective.

How would one go about getting the programs re-activated?

These schools were dominate from the 40's -70's
1) The same thing happened in Cincinnati that has happened in other large cities in Ohio. The demographics changed. Akron's another prime example.

The Akron public HSs' state XC resumes (team):
Buchtel - 12 state meet appearances, 1st appearance 1945, last appearance 1962, 2 team titles, 2 team runner-ups
East - 21 state meet appearances, 1st appearance 1931, last appearance 1964, 2 team titles, 6 team runner-ups
Firestone - 4 state meet appearances, 1st appearance 1964, last appearance 1979, 1 team runner-up
Garfield - 6 state meet appearances, 1st appearance 1936, last appearance 1959, 1 team runner-up.
Kenmore - 2 state meet appearances, 1st appearance 1956, last appearance 1959. Kenmore closed in June and is being absorbed by Garfield.
North - 19 state meet appearances, 1st appearance 1936, last appearance 1965, 5 team titles, 2 team runner-ups
South - 9 state meet appearances, 1st appearance 1937, last appearance 1960, 1 team title, 2 team runner-ups. South closed in 1980.
Viva Goodyear Park!!!

Very dominant from the '30s through the early '60s, not a single team qualification in the past 35 years. By contrast, what was happening in the nearby communities during that same era?

Cuyahoga Falls boys made only had 1 appearance during that era (1940) and then not again until 1998, Woodridge made an appearance in 1967 and then not again until 1991 (the creation of the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area which is now a National Park was a major disruption), St. V-M never made state until 2000, Hoban never made it until 1970, Walsh Jesuit never made it until 1980, Tallmadge never made it until 1971, Stow never made it until 1996, Hudson and Copley never made it until 1994, Kent Roosevelt never made it until 1973, Medina Highland never made it until 1979, Green never made it until 1985, Revere never made it until 1998, and Medina never made it until 1978.


2) The big city schools didn't have that much competition in XC during their hey-days. Many schools didn't offer the sport until the mid 1960s. It took many schools even longer to add soccer (because many football coaches were also ADs who worried that other fall sports would cannibalize theirs), and it wasn't until 1974 that boys golf switched from a spring sport to a fall sport.

My school had an XC team in 1958 and then not again until 1965. It has been permanent since 1965. There are 20 schools in my county that offer the sport. As far as I know, only 1 of them has been in continuous operation since before 1965. Again, not many teams out there to challenge the big city schools in XC prior to when the Baby Boomers began to enter HS.

Track is a different story. Most schools offered track in the spring back in those days, but the big city schools still dominated for the most part.

Last edited by Mr. Slippery; 07-24-17 at 10:42 AM..
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Old 07-23-17, 09:39 PM
mathking mathking is offline
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Well, I used to the cross country coach at one of those schools (Walnut Hills, which is obviously different from most of the other big city schools in Ohio and the nation) and taught and coached in two other CPS schools. Now I teach and coach in Dublin. My wife has spent her whole career in Columbus City Schools, my oldest is a CCS graduate and my youngest is about to start high school in CCS. So this is an issue I have considered professionally and as a parent.

Lots of factors are involved, but poverty is probably the number one factor inhibiting XC at most big city schools. It's the number one factor inhibiting most sports. Poverty means kids move and change schools very frequently. Poverty means a lot more kids who are just plain unhealthy because they have an unhealthy diet or because they don't live in a place where it is safe to spend lots of time outside playing. Poverty means a lot of kids have to ride an activity bus or public transit to get home if they want to do a sport. So the pool of potential athletes is much smaller. I know some of my son's friends did not run track last year because their parents did not want them getting home at 7:00 pm (or later) from practice. Poverty means kids are less healthy because they are under a constant level of stress that their more affluent peers never have to deal with. Poverty means kids don't get to go to camps. They don't get out to Highbanks to do trail runs. Poverty means there sometimes aren't parents pushing them to try some sport or other, landing them in cross country. For a lot of big city schools, the actual pool of potential athletes is really small compared to the number of students total, so they have to compete in a division that is really unfair. (Whenever I am tempted to whine about the advantage that some private schools have in getting athletes I just think about colleagues of my wife's and friends of mine who coach in Columbus or Cincinnati and remember that any advantages a school like St. X might have over Coffman are dwarfed by the advantages we both have over Beechcroft, South or Northland.)

None of this means there can't be good XC teams sometimes in big city schools. A couple of the Columbus schools generally have decent teams, with occasional really good teams. A good coach who sticks around long enough to build a good program is obviously very important. In my time in Dublin we have raced Whetstone, Northland and Eastmoor (who had a good team last year and is bringing back a strong top three this year) in races where they were very competitive. But it is always going to be much harder at schools with high rates of poverty.
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