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St. Frances Academy


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#1 BSLSeanJester

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 09:16 PM

http://www.baltimore...0601-story.html

Mike Preston chimes in...

http://www.baltimore...0531-story.html

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#2 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 11:00 PM

As long as St. Frances is playing by the rules on and off the field, and by all accounts they are, then the MIAA should tell these other programs to shut up and play. Or leave the conference. Or don't play any football at all.



#3 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 06:29 AM

In neither article does it mention their record, unless I missed it. When I went to Westminster HS, Urbana (Fredrick County) won like 51 straight games. State champs every year I was in HS. No one was complaining. They had multiple lineman with major conference scholarships. We had one OL with a scholarship to James Madison.
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#4 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 07:52 AM

Deadspin just did an article on this, too:

 

https://deadspin.com...dium=socialflow



#5 BSLChrisBacon

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 08:07 AM

Not sure how I feel about this. Of course, I'm as biased as you can be. 



#6 BSLSeanJester

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 08:09 AM

In neither article does it mention their record, unless I missed it. When I went to Westminster HS, Urbana (Fredrick County) won like 51 straight games. State champs every year I was in HS. No one was complaining. They had multiple lineman with major conference scholarships. We had one OL with a scholarship to James Madison.

They went 13-0 last year. It's in the first link. As recent as 2015 they were 0-6 in the conference. They hired the coach 2 years ago and turned it around quickly. I agree with Preston. If schools like MSJ and Calvert Hall have a beef with SFA they should try to do the same thing. It can apparently happen pretty fast.

 

Those schools look like chumps for backing out.


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#7 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 08:14 AM

Well, it makes sense that the turnaround would coincide with hiring the coach, since he personally pays the tuition for his players.  



#8 BSLChrisBacon

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 08:19 AM

Not sure how I feel about this. Of course, I'm as biased as you can be. 

 

For clarity's sake, here goes.

 

 

I'm an alum of Loyola. I actually found out that Loyola was going to be moving to some sort of independent schedule for 2018 several months ago and was frankly disappointed. I certainly didn't play football in HS, but I was at a majority of games and rooted for many of my friends on the team. And we were pretty good while I was there: I think we won the MIAA in 2007 or 2008. Since then, the team has been mediocre at absolute best. There has been a clear change of focus on athletics at Loyola since that time, and whether or not that's the right move is still up for debate. As a sports fan who was head of the student boosters club, it's certainly disappointing from a current outsider's perspective, but I'll wait to see what the future holds.

 

Getting back to the SFA scheduling issue at hand, I really feel like the MIAA Conference and its officials botched this entire ordeal. If they allowed SFA to compete with an independent schedule (I'm still pretty confused how Loyola seemingly is allowed to and SFA is not? Or maybe I'm misreading the articles..), this is all a moot point. Poggi recruited players specifically for football at Gilman and it appears that he is doing the same at SFA. I have no real issue with that as long as it is in the guidelines of the MIAA Conference. It's certainly admirable and a great thing that he/friends are personally paying for/housing dozens of high school students, many who would not be able to financially obtain this education by themselves. However, at this point, it seems like the MIAA and its members need to rewrite some of the rules that govern its schools, because there appears to be a clear divide in what each school's athletic aspirations are. As an outsider to the school and its program, SFA appears to want to compete nationally with the likes of IMG Academy and other football prep schools across the country. The MIAA should just sit all of these schools down and come up with an amicable resolution. I can't imagine it even helps SFA and their D1-aspiring athletes to play the vastly inferior teams that they are currently playing. 



#9 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 09:33 AM

They went 13-0 last year. It's in the first link. As recent as 2015 they were 0-6 in the conference. They hired the coach 2 years ago and turned it around quickly. I agree with Preston. If schools like MSJ and Calvert Hall have a beef with SFA they should try to do the same thing. It can apparently happen pretty fast.

 

Those schools look like chumps for backing out.

They went 13-0. Big deal. That school in California won what, 189 straight or something ridiculous. The school that made the movie out of. 


The schools backing out are chumps for sure. 


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#10 The Epic

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 10:14 AM

I just want to note that I think Preston's article absolutely has merit. 

 

Otherwise, I -get- both sides. I really can't feel one way or the other. 



#11 Bmore Irish

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 10:47 AM

The coach is paying and recruiting to build a national powerhouse, so schedule games against teams of that ilk. Didn't this guy leave Gilman (and take his entire staff with him) because of disagreements with their administration about the direction of that program? Why would it come as a surprise that the other teams in the league disapprove now that he's gone to SFA and kicked it into overdrive?
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#12 BSLSeanJester

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 10:51 AM

The coach is paying and recruiting to build a national powerhouse, so schedule games against teams of that ilk. Didn't this guy leave Gilman (and take his entire staff with him) because of disagreements with their administration about the direction of that program? Why would it come as a surprise that the other teams in the league disapprove now that he's gone to SFA and kicked it into overdrive?

The article said they are seeking to play more nationally rated teams. The one last year was rained out.

 

It sounds like they should be allowed to go independent.


I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?


#13 BSLChrisBacon

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 10:57 AM

The coach is paying and recruiting to build a national powerhouse, so schedule games against teams of that ilk. Didn't this guy leave Gilman (and take his entire staff with him) because of disagreements with their administration about the direction of that program? Why would it come as a surprise that the other teams in the league disapprove now that he's gone to SFA and kicked it into overdrive?

 

Yes, same coach. Biff Poggi.


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#14 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:07 AM

As I recall Poggi had some nationally ranked teams at Gilman (they won 13 of 16 MIAA titles). Was there talk of any other teams refusing to play Gilman back then?


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#15 Bmore Irish

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:38 AM

Were the recruiting practices the same then? Honest question, because I'm not sure, but my impression is part of the problem is that SFA is built in a way that the other teams can't or won't match. Nothing wrong with it either way, but it makes a difference and would probably help to explain the absurd point differential.

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#16 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:54 AM

The SFA head coach is personally paying something like $500,000 a year to cover his players' tuition and housing.  It's unlikely that the other coaches (or even the schools) in the conference can match that.  Football aside, though, that's 40 kids who end up getting a much better education than they otherwise would have, so that part of it is really good.



#17 The Epic

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 12:01 PM

Football aside, though, that's 40 kids who end up getting a much better education than they otherwise would have, so that part of it is really good.

 

Yes. I mean, you're paying for kids to get a great education that will hopefully propel them to an even better education in college. If they do what they're supposed to, they get 7-8 years of advanced learning, and either a degree or an NFL gig. 



#18 BSLChrisBacon

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 12:23 PM

As I recall Poggi had some nationally ranked teams at Gilman (they won 13 of 16 MIAA titles). Was there talk of any other teams refusing to play Gilman back then?

 

 

Were the recruiting practices the same then? Honest question, because I'm not sure, but my impression is part of the problem is that SFA is built in a way that the other teams can't or won't match. Nothing wrong with it either way, but it makes a difference and would probably help to explain the absurd point differential.

 

I was in HS during part of that Gilman run. While people long thought Gilman had been "football recruiting" students to come to their school, I wasn't aware of any sort of specific housing/scholarship/full payment assistance that's been reported about the present job.

 

Again, that's completely anecdotal but that's just my opinion.



#19 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 01:07 PM

I was in HS during part of that Gilman run. While people long thought Gilman had been "football recruiting" students to come to their school, I wasn't aware of any sort of specific housing/scholarship/full payment assistance that's been reported about the present job.

 

Again, that's completely anecdotal but that's just my opinion.

 

I know Melvin Keihn, who came over from Liberia as a young boy, lived with Poggi while he was playing at Gilman. But that's just one instance.

 

I always thought these private schools recruited athletically talented kids from around the area to play on their sports teams, with scholarships similar to what colleges do. It seems the only difference with St. Frances (or Poggi specifically) is that they, 1) go beyond the local area for players, and 2) offer housing as well as tuition. But that doesn't seem like a reason they need to be treated like a red-headed stepchild if it doesn't break any rules.

 

I get that the parents of some of these kids with the other programs are concerned about safety. I would be too if I had a kid playing football. But it's a dangerous sport where you can be seriously injured no matter who your opponent is. If the parents are that concerned, they should just pull their kid off the team. By saying they can play football, but only against opponents they think they can beat, sends a terrible message.


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#20 DJ MC

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 02:46 PM

I always thought these private schools recruited athletically talented kids from around the area to play on their sports teams, with scholarships similar to what colleges do. It seems the only difference with St. Frances (or Poggi specifically) is that they, 1) go beyond the local area for players, and 2) offer housing as well as tuition. But that doesn't seem like a reason they need to be treated like a red-headed stepchild if it doesn't break any rules.

 

I mean, it's the same reason Maryland doesn't schedule too many games against Frostburg State. The level of competition is skewed to a point beyond where it makes sense on either side.

 

Now, the real issue is whether the MIAA should be allowing this to happen--at least at the level that is being reported--without telling SFA to build their own football schedule.


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