Running Full Strength
08/26/2013 5:21:58 PM
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I would like to agree with the parties that feel it is too early to say which team is the best all-class. It would also be a mistake to write off St. Pius ( great coaching, great kids, and a championship pedigree). However, I find it amusing that every time Woodward wins a big meet, it is always noted that the second place team was "without their number 4 or 5 guy." Last year when they won the Battle of Atlanta, that was McIntosh's claim. Recently, when they claimed the Bob Blastow title, Marist was "missing its number 4." Nobody mentioned that Woodward was also not at full strength. They were missing Michael Deshay, who was a stud for them in the region and state meets last year. Injuries and attrition are part of the sport. Woodward seems to be the best-equipped team to weather a long season because of their depth. With the addition of Frank Crippen-Ginsberg, they now have 8 kids with PRs in the 16s (or below). Their 9 and 10 guys are in the 17s, and would be 4 or 5 for most other teams. This much depth is highly unusual for a AAA school, and it reminds me of some of the Brookwood teams in the past.
I would like to agree with the parties that feel it is too early to say which team is the best all-class. It would also be a mistake to write off St. Pius ( great coaching, great kids, and a championship pedigree). However, I find it amusing that every time Woodward wins a big meet, it is always noted that the second place team was "without their number 4 or 5 guy." Last year when they won the Battle of Atlanta, that was McIntosh's claim. Recently, when they claimed the Bob Blastow title, Marist was "missing its number 4." Nobody mentioned that Woodward was also not at full strength. They were missing Michael Deshay, who was a stud for them in the region and state meets last year. Injuries and attrition are part of the sport. Woodward seems to be the best-equipped team to weather a long season because of their depth. With the addition of Frank Crippen-Ginsberg, they now have 8 kids with PRs in the 16s (or below). Their 9 and 10 guys are in the 17s, and would be 4 or 5 for most other teams. This much depth is highly unusual for a AAA school, and it reminds me of some of the Brookwood teams in the past.
08/26/2013 6:26:05 PM
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Why private schools are allowed to compete in anything but AAAAAA is crazy to me, but that is another story entirely. GHSA should make them a class by themselves and let them compete against each other. Comparing the resources of a public and private school is like comparing apples and oranges.
Why private schools are allowed to compete in anything but AAAAAA is crazy to me, but that is another story entirely. GHSA should make them a class by themselves and let them compete against each other. Comparing the resources of a public and private school is like comparing apples and oranges.
08/26/2013 7:16:20 PM
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Good point. In many sports, private schools have an advantage. But, in cross country and track, the playing field is a little more even.
Good point. In many sports, private schools have an advantage. But, in cross country and track, the playing field is a little more even.
08/26/2013 7:28:11 PM
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Woodward ran great. Kudos to them on a great sart to the season. We will see them a couple of times this season and it is fun to compete against them. Competition makes this stuff fun. This sounds terrible, but it isn't fun winning without someone to race against! More importantly, what advantages do private schools have over public schools in cross country particularly metro Atlanta public schools? Having coached in both situations I can't think of many. Heck, Woodward has to run in college park, hardly an advantage.
Woodward ran great. Kudos to them on a great sart to the season. We will see them a couple of times this season and it is fun to compete against them. Competition makes this stuff fun. This sounds terrible, but it isn't fun winning without someone to race against!

More importantly, what advantages do private schools have over public schools in cross country particularly metro Atlanta public schools? Having coached in both situations I can't think of many. Heck, Woodward has to run in college park, hardly an advantage.
08/27/2013 9:07:27 AM
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other than a pair of shoes and a stretch of road or trail to run on, what resources are really that critical to have?
other than a pair of shoes and a stretch of road or trail to run on, what resources are really that critical to have?
08/27/2013 9:30:25 AM
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@COACHBILLY Uniforms, travel budget, meet entry fees.
@COACHBILLY Uniforms, travel budget, meet entry fees.
08/27/2013 11:17:42 AM
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First off, to make this totally on topic: Woodward is wicked strong right now. They clearly did their work in the off-season. I cant wait to see them continue to face off with more measurable opponents and see just where they fit. Now, I have been on both sides as well(public and private), only in the private sector for a short stint, now. I used to think private had too many advantages to compare. I have also realized that (larger/ larg-ish) public schools have an advantage on the numbers game. We have the largest team we have had in a long time(apparently), and it is only consistently around 35 guys, 30 girls/ day. Several top-notch programs have as many in one gender as we do our whole squad. With numbers like that you are much more likely to have the studs that come out of seemingly nowhere. That isn't to say it doesn't happen at the private schools, but I think it is less likely. We would have trouble with larger numbers, too... we have to transport our team via small school buses, and already have to limit(at times) who goes where due to our # of available seats. I also have noticed that private school kids face more pressure for other sports/ activities. Again, this happens at public, too, but I dont think to the same degree. Due to smaller numbers, a good athlete is hawked by almost every athletics team on campus at private schools. And finally, kids are kids. No matter the school, or program, you face similar challenges in motivating and training kids. I think it may be an unfair assumption that it is easier to coach at the private level(as I have thought). In summary: yes. Apples and oranges, but not the way described previously. They are two different worlds with different challenges. I think it is great we get to compete together at whatever level, and that is a fine product of our sport. I think it is fantastic when we get teams like Pius or Marist who can step up in class and compete with anyone. I also like seeing public schools re-load like brookwood and MC have done. Coming back with 5 new faces on your varsity squad and being competitive is a major feat. I think it comes down to good coaching... the well coached schools rise to the top. And I mean coaching as way more than knowing what you are talking about. You have to build a program.
First off, to make this totally on topic: Woodward is wicked strong right now. They clearly did their work in the off-season. I cant wait to see them continue to face off with more measurable opponents and see just where they fit.

Now,

I have been on both sides as well(public and private), only in the private sector for a short stint, now. I used to think private had too many advantages to compare. I have also realized that (larger/ larg-ish) public schools have an advantage on the numbers game.

We have the largest team we have had in a long time(apparently), and it is only consistently around 35 guys, 30 girls/ day. Several top-notch programs have as many in one gender as we do our whole squad. With numbers like that you are much more likely to have the studs that come out of seemingly nowhere. That isn't to say it doesn't happen at the private schools, but I think it is less likely.

We would have trouble with larger numbers, too... we have to transport our team via small school buses, and already have to limit(at times) who goes where due to our # of available seats.

I also have noticed that private school kids face more pressure for other sports/ activities. Again, this happens at public, too, but I dont think to the same degree. Due to smaller numbers, a good athlete is hawked by almost every athletics team on campus at private schools.

And finally, kids are kids. No matter the school, or program, you face similar challenges in motivating and training kids. I think it may be an unfair assumption that it is easier to coach at the private level(as I have thought).

In summary: yes. Apples and oranges, but not the way described previously. They are two different worlds with different challenges. I think it is great we get to compete together at whatever level, and that is a fine product of our sport. I think it is fantastic when we get teams like Pius or Marist who can step up in class and compete with anyone. I also like seeing public schools re-load like brookwood and MC have done. Coming back with 5 new faces on your varsity squad and being competitive is a major feat. I think it comes down to good coaching... the well coached schools rise to the top. And I mean coaching as way more than knowing what you are talking about. You have to build a program.
08/27/2013 11:38:43 AM
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I love to hear coaches like you comment on the private vs public debate. You are the true experts with the best perspective. Both sides face many obstacles. I do see more parody with cross country and track, as I said earlier. I have friends at public and private schools with kids who run. You would be surprised how similar their practices, facilities, etc. are.
I love to hear coaches like you comment on the private vs public debate. You are the true experts with the best perspective. Both sides face many obstacles. I do see more parody with cross country and track, as I said earlier. I have friends at public and private schools with kids who run. You would be surprised how similar their practices, facilities, etc. are.
08/27/2013 12:22:39 PM
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Some good perspective by all in this thread. I have coached for over 4 decades in Ga. If you build a great program the better athletes want to go there (Buford football). The advantage for private schools is that it is usually easier to get in one as opposed to many public schools because one would have to move into that district. Here in the athens area if a good runner lives in athens and wants to run in top XC program they have to go to ACS or AA. They wouldn't be allowed to go to say one of the Oconee schools. I am just using these schools as an example. I don't mean to say one of these schools would be better than another. The same thing holds true for Atl. If Frank Crippens Ginsberg had wanted to to Brookwood. He would have to move which isn't easy to do.
Some good perspective by all in this thread. I have coached for over 4 decades in Ga. If you build a great program the better athletes want to go there (Buford football). The advantage for private schools is that it is usually easier to get in one as opposed to many public schools because one would have to move into that district. Here in the athens area if a good runner lives in athens and wants to run in top XC program they have to go to ACS or AA. They wouldn't be allowed to go to say one of the Oconee schools. I am just using these schools as an example. I don't mean to say one of these schools would be better than another. The same thing holds true for Atl. If Frank Crippens Ginsberg had wanted to to Brookwood. He would have to move which isn't easy to do.
08/27/2013 12:30:23 PM
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@bhs11 I also feel a lot of the Atl private schools are pulling against each other. For instance, we are literally less than 3 miles from Westminister. To apply the opposite to the argument, Woodward is considerably set apart as far as where it is in the Atl area, and can draw on the large pool in Peachtree City. And while kids can "choose" a private program, many dont have that opportunity due to admission restrictions, and tuition prices.
@bhs11

I also feel a lot of the Atl private schools are pulling against each other. For instance, we are literally less than 3 miles from Westminister. To apply the opposite to the argument, Woodward is considerably set apart as far as where it is in the Atl area, and can draw on the large pool in Peachtree City.

And while kids can "choose" a private program, many dont have that opportunity due to admission restrictions, and tuition prices.
08/27/2013 12:42:44 PM
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@bhs11 The list of great runners that don't get into private schools is long too...trust me on that one. There are certainly schools that let any athlete into their institution, but that is not every school. Here are things I don't have to worry about: -uniforms -transportation (many privates do worry about this) -kids having shoes etc. -parent support -extra stuff (shirts, gear etc.) -entry fees New things to worry about (and these are very similar to upper middle class public schools): -too much parent involvement (not all that common thankfully) -corrollary, 1-2 hours of emails a night to respond to -athletes not being shared between sports -hosting meets -pressure to win/expectations of success -organization and paperwork (try running a high quality practice with 140+ kids) -making everyone feel like a part of the team -limited opportunity to really get to know individuals -accusations of recruiting -keeping kids humble -kids living all over the city/metro area - hard to get together -kids taking vacations in August, every major break (fall/Xmas/spring/labor day weekend/etc., all summer) -time management - I have to finish everything between 3:45pm and 5:45/6:00pm because of very large homework obligations -there are more! Same at Public/Private -kids make mistakes or bad decisions -club sports -motivation -getting kids to come out for the team (even with our success we play 5th fiddle to soccer, football, basketball, and I have even encountered horseback riding, non-school tennis and golf, year round swimming, the list goes on...)
@bhs11

The list of great runners that don't get into private schools is long too...trust me on that one. There are certainly schools that let any athlete into their institution, but that is not every school.

Here are things I don't have to worry about:
-uniforms
-transportation (many privates do worry about this)
-kids having shoes etc.
-parent support
-extra stuff (shirts, gear etc.)
-entry fees

New things to worry about (and these are very similar to upper middle class public schools):
-too much parent involvement (not all that common thankfully)
-corrollary, 1-2 hours of emails a night to respond to
-athletes not being shared between sports
-hosting meets
-pressure to win/expectations of success
-organization and paperwork (try running a high quality practice with 140+ kids)
-making everyone feel like a part of the team
-limited opportunity to really get to know individuals
-accusations of recruiting
-keeping kids humble
-kids living all over the city/metro area - hard to get together
-kids taking vacations in August, every major break (fall/Xmas/spring/labor day weekend/etc., all summer)
-time management - I have to finish everything between 3:45pm and 5:45/6:00pm because of very large homework obligations
-there are more!

Same at Public/Private
-kids make mistakes or bad decisions
-club sports
-motivation
-getting kids to come out for the team (even with our success we play 5th fiddle to soccer, football, basketball, and I have even encountered horseback riding, non-school tennis and golf, year round swimming, the list goes on...)
08/27/2013 12:56:13 PM
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I wish more parents/ people could read this. Then they would have a true idea of the sacrifices that coaches/teachers make. Kudos to you all!
I wish more parents/ people could read this. Then they would have a true idea of the sacrifices that coaches/teachers make. Kudos to you all!
08/27/2013 1:15:26 PM
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@bhs11 All kids are allowed to move schools at any point in high school without physically moving their home address. The public schools are not required to provide transportation to kids out of their district, so the kids have to get their own ride to school (just like private schools). The other consequence is that they have to sit out of varsity athletics for a year unless they move or prove there was some sort of hardship for the old school. The most recent example of this is Matt Tippins of Mill Creek last year. He transfered from Mountainview because he wanted to run at Mill Creek. His brother is still running at Mountainview I believe. Matt could have gone to any Gwinnett County school, and I think any school in Georgia. He had to run JV his junior year (which is why he won every race) before running varsity for them last year. I also heard a rumor my first year that Brendan Hoban wanted to transfer to Brookwood (he lived in the Duluth district) when I came in as the new head coach his junior year and he didn't know me. I never asked him that year and I forgot about it until now.
@bhs11

All kids are allowed to move schools at any point in high school without physically moving their home address. The public schools are not required to provide transportation to kids out of their district, so the kids have to get their own ride to school (just like private schools). The other consequence is that they have to sit out of varsity athletics for a year unless they move or prove there was some sort of hardship for the old school.

The most recent example of this is Matt Tippins of Mill Creek last year. He transfered from Mountainview because he wanted to run at Mill Creek. His brother is still running at Mountainview I believe. Matt could have gone to any Gwinnett County school, and I think any school in Georgia. He had to run JV his junior year (which is why he won every race) before running varsity for them last year.

I also heard a rumor my first year that Brendan Hoban wanted to transfer to Brookwood (he lived in the Duluth district) when I came in as the new head coach his junior year and he didn't know me. I never asked him that year and I forgot about it until now.
08/27/2013 1:35:21 PM
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@CoachMayer Another great point. There are so many schools in that area. Lovett, Westminster, Holy Innocents', Weber, Pace... I think other schools like Paideia and Mt. Vernon are close too. Some schools are only 9-12 schools while others are 6-12 and others are K-12. Sometimes a kid doesn't even know he/she is good at running until they're already in high school, and for some of those K-12 schools, the acceptance rate for incoming high schoolers is pretty low due to space/preference for kids who have already been there. I, too, have been on both sides of the public/private spectrum, and I remember being pretty sour about private schools as a high school runner at Dacula - especially Marist (sorry, Eric - although you weren't there yet) - but I think a lot of that came from jealousy. Marist split their squad at Double Dip my senior year and still almost beat us in the championship race. They worked hard and were well-coached (as did/were we), and it made for a cool little rivalry.
@CoachMayer

Another great point. There are so many schools in that area. Lovett, Westminster, Holy Innocents', Weber, Pace... I think other schools like Paideia and Mt. Vernon are close too. Some schools are only 9-12 schools while others are 6-12 and others are K-12. Sometimes a kid doesn't even know he/she is good at running until they're already in high school, and for some of those K-12 schools, the acceptance rate for incoming high schoolers is pretty low due to space/preference for kids who have already been there.

I, too, have been on both sides of the public/private spectrum, and I remember being pretty sour about private schools as a high school runner at Dacula - especially Marist (sorry, Eric - although you weren't there yet) - but I think a lot of that came from jealousy. Marist split their squad at Double Dip my senior year and still almost beat us in the championship race. They worked hard and were well-coached (as did/were we), and it made for a cool little rivalry.
08/27/2013 3:22:06 PM
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@TheWarden I think he was referring to the money needed to buy uniforms (which some public schools don't have), not that some uniforms lead to better performances. Overall, I think you can sum it all up here to a difference in coaching. Schools with coaches who are dedicated, passionate, and committed to a school long-term will eventually have success. Schools with frequent coaching turnover (far more common at small public schools) struggle the most.
@TheWarden I think he was referring to the money needed to buy uniforms (which some public schools don't have), not that some uniforms lead to better performances.

Overall, I think you can sum it all up here to a difference in coaching. Schools with coaches who are dedicated, passionate, and committed to a school long-term will eventually have success. Schools with frequent coaching turnover (far more common at small public schools) struggle the most.
08/27/2013 3:34:00 PM
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@TheWarden I think you misunderstood my comment. Sorry for any confusion. It had nothing to do with performance. I was simply responding to someone's comment about resources. Money to provide uniforms that meet the required uniform rules is a necessary resource.
@TheWarden I think you misunderstood my comment. Sorry for any confusion. It had nothing to do with performance. I was simply responding to someone's comment about resources. Money to provide uniforms that meet the required uniform rules is a necessary resource.
08/27/2013 4:10:05 PM
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@spxcoachrm Under GA HB 251, students can only transfer to schools within their home school district and only if space at the receiving school allows. There is also a list of students that get priority to obtain the open spots. So, it isn't easy to do. Otherwise, everyone in Gwinnett County who could get a ride would enroll at Brookwood. And, that's not because of their XC and Football programs...
@spxcoachrm
Under GA HB 251, students can only transfer to schools within their home school district and only if space at the receiving school allows. There is also a list of students that get priority to obtain the open spots. So, it isn't easy to do. Otherwise, everyone in Gwinnett County who could get a ride would enroll at Brookwood. And, that's not because of their XC and Football programs...
08/28/2013 10:13:24 AM
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@Bobcat79 Yes, a lot more that goes into transfers than some may realize. That includes the example of Matt Tippins.
@Bobcat79

Yes, a lot more that goes into transfers than some may realize. That includes the example of Matt Tippins.
08/28/2013 10:27:34 AM
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[quote=spxcoachrm]@bhs11 All kids are allowed to move schools at any point in high school without physically moving their home address. The public schools are not required to provide transportation to kids out of their district, so the kids have to get their own ride to school (just like private schools). The other consequence is that they have to sit out of varsity athletics for a year unless they move or prove there was some sort of hardship for the old school. The most recent example of this is Matt Tippins of Mill Creek last year. He transfered from Mountainview because he wanted to run at Mill Creek. His brother is still running at Mountainview I believe. Matt could have gone to any Gwinnett County school, and I think any school in Georgia. He had to run JV his junior year (which is why he won every race) before running varsity for them last year. I also heard a rumor my first year that Brendan Hoban wanted to transfer to Brookwood (he lived in the Duluth district) when I came in as the new head coach his junior year and he didn't know me. I never asked him that year and I forgot about it until now.[/quote] @spxcoachrm Coach, I have tremendous respect for you and your school. The same holds true for Marist, Woodward, Westmimister etc. However I know kids can't go to any public school that they want to. I know a runner in a nearby county that wants to go to a public school in a neighbering county but he can't enter that school because he lives in another district. He could however enter any private school in the area. Actually I know of 2 kids in this situation. Here in Oconee County you can't even choose which of the two High Schools you want to go to. You have to go to the one you are districted for. But kids in Oconee County can choose from several private schools. How many different counties are represented in the rosters of the private schools mentioned above? I don't know about the rules in Gwinnett or other places but I would expect they are similar. I do realize it is tough to have your team so apread out. I also admit that if I lived in Dekalb, Atlanta or College park etc. my children would probably be at St. Pius or Marist. I coached in that region a long time ago and almost accepted a job at one of them. None of this is meant to disparage the great work the coaches do at these private schools. All of you guys are fantastic. I also enjoy trying to compete with these great AAA programs and hope we have made up ground on you guys. There is a lot to make up!
spxcoachrm wrote:
@bhs11

All kids are allowed to move schools at any point in high school without physically moving their home address. The public schools are not required to provide transportation to kids out of their district, so the kids have to get their own ride to school (just like private schools). The other consequence is that they have to sit out of varsity athletics for a year unless they move or prove there was some sort of hardship for the old school.

The most recent example of this is Matt Tippins of Mill Creek last year. He transfered from Mountainview because he wanted to run at Mill Creek. His brother is still running at Mountainview I believe. Matt could have gone to any Gwinnett County school, and I think any school in Georgia. He had to run JV his junior year (which is why he won every race) before running varsity for them last year.

I also heard a rumor my first year that Brendan Hoban wanted to transfer to Brookwood (he lived in the Duluth district) when I came in as the new head coach his junior year and he didn't know me. I never asked him that year and I forgot about it until now.


@spxcoachrm Coach, I have tremendous respect for you and your school. The same holds true for Marist, Woodward, Westmimister etc. However I know kids can't go to any public school that they want to. I know a runner in a nearby county that wants to go to a public school in a neighbering county but he can't enter that school because he lives in another district. He could however enter any private school in the area. Actually I know of 2 kids in this situation. Here in Oconee County you can't even choose which of the two High Schools you want to go to. You have to go to the one you are districted for. But kids in Oconee County can choose from several private schools. How many different counties are represented in the rosters of the private schools mentioned above? I don't know about the rules in Gwinnett or other places but I would expect they are similar. I do realize it is tough to have your team so apread out. I also admit that if I lived in Dekalb, Atlanta or College park etc. my children would probably be at St. Pius or Marist. I coached in that region a long time ago and almost accepted a job at one of them. None of this is meant to disparage the great work the coaches do at these private schools. All of you guys are fantastic. I also enjoy trying to compete with these great AAA programs and hope we have made up ground on you guys. There is a lot to make up!
08/28/2013 11:59:07 AM
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@MaristXCcoach The one huge advantage I see for most private schools is that have an organized feeder program. In Fayette County we don't have middle school cross country and during the spring season we are competing against school volleyball and soccer and lacrosse clubs. If we had middle school cross country (we aren't allowed to run 8th graders with our varsity programs) we would have a better opportunity to get more of the better athletes that will succeed in whatever sport the choose. Is mandatory participation in athletics required in some or all private middle schools?.
@MaristXCcoach The one huge advantage I see for most private schools is that have an organized feeder program. In Fayette County we don't have middle school cross country and during the spring season we are competing against school volleyball and soccer and lacrosse clubs. If we had middle school cross country (we aren't allowed to run 8th graders with our varsity programs) we would have a better opportunity to get more of the better athletes that will succeed in whatever sport the choose. Is mandatory participation in athletics required in some or all private middle schools?.

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