Maybe this moving up/down thing will push the powers to be to look at an expanded Red North but it is not good for the sport in the long run. It looks like there is a big 3 this year in the RN with a bottom 3 that are really not that much better then the top 2 of the lower Reds. Maybe the structure should be an expanded Red NE & NW plus a step down Red SE & SW? In the long rung the up/down system is flawed in HS sports because teams change so quickly. A solid Senior based team plays well enough to move up then graduates all those strong players and what you have left is a weak team that has a mark on its back all season long. Additionally you have a team that goes youth movement and struggles that moves down and then turns it around the following year and eats up a lower level league.
I also think they need to look at geography when setting up conferences and try and keep/develop some good rivalries. I for one think a Walsh/Benny rivalry would would translate well in light of the bad blood that happens on the football field in Summit County and if Shaker moves down they should still have US on the schedule.
Finally how did Walsh get this good a program this quickly? I know their HC is outstanding but still they made the Red level in 3 years? Where did all this talent come from and did any other program suffer?
Are referring to the Homer Dome at Walsh, funny how Ignatius will travel to cinncinatti to play St. Xavier but won't travel forty minuetes to play another Jesuit school, those refs at Walsh are terrible.Walsh and Benedictine have bad blood when it comes to football and I think expanding the Red South divisions to five teams would be a good idea, with only a four team Red North making it more competitive. I was thinking on the lines of a Red South East with Hudson,Benedictine,Walsh,Shaker,Lake Catholic and a Red South West with Trinity,EC,NO,Avon Lake,Strongsville. Not long before Holy Name reaches Red Hockey,resulting in less players for Parma,Normandy, and even Padua. I see the state and particulary North East Ohio gaining more parity each year. Also to answer your first question, a reason for Walsh's quick success is in part because of there location in summity county, Hudson and Kent are really gonna suffer from this programs success.arty:
Red North- Padua,Eds,Trinity,Lake,Ignaitus Red South East - Benedictine,North Olmsted,Shaker Heights,Hudson, Red South West- Walsh,Avon Lake,Strongsville,EC White East- Hoover, Kent, WRA, Brecksville, Cleveland Heights,Normandy, White West - Holy Name,,Mentor,Rocky River,Bay, Olmsted Falls,Amherst Steele.
Interesting that the RN is now basically a Private School league and Shaker Hts. cannot be too happy about this development. I see Shaker in the Heights category, White, 5 years from now after the HC retires and the demographics of the community continue to change.
All that said, it's still likely that we'll see an all-private elite 8 as far as Cleveland is concerned with US-GA and Padua-Iggy. And of the 8 teams left in Cleveland, only 2 are public (Strongsville and Kent).
Walsh Jesuit was actually leading 2-0 at one point in the 1st period. I still think US is gonna pull it together and win it all. I really have a disliking of Gilmour Academy, I hope US takes it too them in the finals. That is of course if Kent doesn't knock off GA,which is entirely possible. As long as Gilmour covers Adam Hamilton on Kent,#13, they should win.
I was at the Shaker-Kent game and Shaker dominated the play but couldn't convert their myriad chances but Kent and Hamilton were able to convert on Shaker's defensive breakdowns. If a team can create a consistent forecheck against Kent while Hamilton is on the ice, the Riders are in deep trouble as Hamilton rarely plays below his own blueline, creating a veritable 5-on-4 in the Kent zone. This was a big reason Shaker was able to control the puck so much and a team with more offensive talent (ie, Gilmour) has the very real ability to bury the Riders.