Friday, January 21, 2011


On the January "Start a new post," Anonymous wrote:

"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Start a new post/ search PURE Reform's blog":

Two sports items of note in the link below. One on the WPIAL/PPS topic and the other on the WPIAL interest in the score of a Brentwood-Seton LaSalle game. How many of our schools will be the next Brentwood in sports like girls' basketball once PPS is WPIALized?"


Anonymous said...

City League clarification
There is one change in the City League's plan to possibly join the WPIAL.

Within the next few weeks, a City League athletics overhaul committee will submit a proposal to Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Dr. Linda Lane for the league to join the WPIAL for the 2012-13 school year. Under the proposal, the City would have nine schools in the WPIAL.

Current City League schools Allderdice, Brashear, Carrick, Langley, Oliver, Perry and Westinghouse would join the WPIAL along with two other schools.

University Prep and Pittsburgh Science and Technology would combine for sports under a cooperative sponsorship agreement.

The ninth City League school in the WPIAL would be Obama. Schenley is closing after this school year, and its students will be part of Obama, which will move into the Peabody High building for the 2011-12 school year. Peabody also is closing at the end of the school year.

Questioner said...

The article says that Obama will move to Peabody for 2011-2012. However, while an earlier move was discussed, the Board does not seem to have voted to change from the plan to move in 2012-13. One issue was promises made to the class of 2012 that they would only move once, from Frick to Reizenstein, and then remain in Reizenstein for their final 3 years.

Anonymous said...

is this base on a economic situation?also do the community at large have a say so on how the PPS
will proceed no one ever mention the extra cost for fees traveling time practice times among other things.
is there a committee form to help walk through with this merger with the WPIAL such as fact finding talking to other schools that are already in the WPIAL
or do we have to outsource protocol

Mark Rauterkus said...

The issue with the score run-up in basketball is nothing new. But, it is NOT a sportsmanship issue, really. Rather it is a matter of "competitive balance."

We want the kids to play hard and play fair. We want to allow the subs into the games when it makes sense to do so.

This is a teachable moment -- for many involved. (Here, I'll assume that the kids were all angles, which may or may not be the case.)

A four-corner offense for 75% of the game is not a real game either.

Look at the Pitt game when the Orange came. Pitt went up 19-to-ZERO. That's a bigger landslide with paying parties as well, bigger stage. Then the next 17 points were to the visitors.

Sports are for the moments. Sports are also about relationships.

We've had swim meets with bigger scores as well. Should the coaches just "LIE" and make up a score to report to the newspapers?

Perhaps the problem is the administration with the WPIAL and the school ADs? Perhaps there should be more of a 'developmental level' among schools that are not with big-time varsity squads. And, perhaps that needs to be adjusted so as to play other teams where the outcomes are going to be more with a competitive balance.

The WPIAL -- as not that 'flexible.'

Face it, none win in a game like that. It is far from ideal. But tell me what the WPIAL is going to do about it as well.

If a team and coach and school know this is going to be a bad matchup -- calling off the game before it occurs means WORSE trouble. Perhaps there was a major band concert (for grades even). Games should be re-scheduled. But, a team that is a 'no-show' is OUT of the league for 2 years then. OUCH. That's a problem with the administration of the league.

Mark Rauterkus said...

The move to Peabody's building for the entire Pgh Obama (6-12) student body for academic classes is to happen in the fall of 2012.

It is my hope that there will be a continuation of activiites at Pgh Peabody as well as Pgh Reizenstein for the 2011-2012 school year.

So, for example, the middle school volleyball teams might practice and play at Reizenstein and the HS teams would play at Peabody next year.

This is already done with the HS Plays / Musicals.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Travel costs are being talked about, not "no one ever mentions ...."

Of course the community at large does have a say in the school policy -- or should. For example, come on out to an event tomorrow, Saturday, at East Liberty Presb Church in East Liberty (Highland Ave) at 8 am for the Black & White Reunion. We are holding a workshop there to talk about some of the issues of the merger of City League and the WPIAL.


Good lunch is being provided too.

Hope to see you there.

Mark Rauterkus said...

In similar news..... did you hear about this game?

Anonymous said...

What a great web site Obama has!
Schenley girls just beat Carrick in basketball 54-8 and Allderdice girls beat Peabody 78-19. Are these teams this bad or are scores being run up in the city league also?

Anonymous said...

When playing an inferior team, this is a great opportunity to practice running different offenses. Have your team run a continuity 3 or 4 times before they shoot. Don't press, play different combinations of players, and remember, "What goes around, comes around."

Anonymous said...

If we are going to compete in the WPIAL, we need to start now with free elementary and middle school clinics in our sports. (high school students too for that matter) Use our facilities, get dedicated coaches to volunteer, and start teaching basic fundamental skills. Parents love to have something constructive for their children to do. (for various reasons) Maybe there is grant money out there also.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Tremendous school newspaper.
I think coaches get themselves in trouble when they are still using the "attack" mentality in the late stages of a blow out. If there is still full court pressing going on in the hoop game, if teams are still throwing passes when they're up 50 points, if runners are still stealing bases when they're up a dozen runs, then you wonder about the sportsmanship.
And that's when the WPIAL gets involved.
Blow outs are going to happen, but it's a chance for subs to get playing time they don't normally have.
We're going to see a lot of blow outs if this wacko plan goes through and have a lot of similar conversations.
As for training programs at the middle and elementary levels, and the many volunteers who are dedicated and willing to come on in at our many facilities, I have to wonder just what part of the city you come from. In most parts of the city---those facilities and especially those individuals just aren't there.
I guess I am struck by the perceptions in this and the other thread. They are far, far from the reality of city life--troubling if this move is a done deal.
A horrible idea.

Anonymous said...

Some believe a developmental program should come before any disbanding of city league in favor of WPIAL participation. The catholic schools do a bang up job with basketball programs beginning in third grade with fundamentals of ball handling. It can be costly but usually gets a kid a T-shirt and sometimes their own ball. The cost can be minimized if underwritten by a sporting goods company. I have suggested this to kids as a nice graduation project but never got any takers. Maybe the time is now right and a high schooler will take the concept and incorporate an emphasis on character and sportsmanship. Not all athletes should be examples or given the opportunity to train unless they are of good character though. Something unfortunately our coaches must do more to develope.

Anonymous said...

If this is the way the city wishes to go, then some district--city partnership should take place with consistent and continuous programs all across the city. Use all of the rec centers, the ballfields and the pools. And do it all year long.

I try to remember that it's supposed to be about the kids and then the cold slap of reality reminds me that it's all politics. This truly is a horrible idea, and the fact that the mayor is a North Catholic grad and his dad a North Catholic coach tells me that the willingness to help will be absent.

The effort has to be an All In endeavor. It can't be that the elite have programs in their schools and communities and that we all celebrate the fact that Allderdice can compete in a couple of sports while everyone else gets drubbed in every sport.

If it's not All In, and a detailed, well planned system to upgrade is not in place, then kill the idea immediately.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I do like the "All In" concept -- with details as well.

Three cheers for those two concepts.

Anonymous said...

Girls' basketball score:
Brashear 2 Oliver 0 (forfeit)

This won't go over well in the WPIAL. Forfeits are unheard of.

Anonymous said...

Oliver and Perry teams forfeit a lot in other girls sports too.

bystander said...

I say backburner any reform to high school athletics and concentrate the next 5 years in building the 3-8 programs. I know that not making a team is considered a character building experience but when you have a dozen 6th graders trying out for a team and only one or two make it they lose interest or find a community based team to play for and forget about trying out again for a school team. Having coaches for just 6th grade teams is a good compliment to the 6th grade mentor programs and the milestone 6th grade is meant to be on the pathway to the promise.

Mark Rauterkus said...

To focus on sports reform at the younger ages is still PPS sports reform. That approach has some merit. But, I'd not want to say or make it a 'back-burner' approach.

Stages, phases, and priorities are all on the table, I hope.

Doing a lot with those presently in grades 5, 6, 7 is GREAT -- and those deeds are in the works via the Summer Dreamers camps options I hope to lead.

Athletic forfeits are very bad.

Even worse is to FORFEIT an entire PROGRAM of intramural, extramural, and recreation leagues within the school district.

Lots and lots of sports and play opportunities for boys and girls should be established throughout the PPS. It has to be worthy and fun. It has to have competitive elements and coaching supervision too.

Jumping 100 or 200 kids per school straight into the WPIAL athlete lifestyle after one physical from a school nurse isn't reality. Understood. So, we need to overhaul with participation in a range of activities with SUPPORT and valid sporting lessons.

Some squads in some schools that are so thin as to forfeit in 2011 might be better off if they established opportunities in a rec league and flourished and nurtured students at a more "grass-roots level."

That's overhaul too.

Anonymous said...

It's incredible to contemplate the losses this district has had in terms of personnel. As someone who coached under the direction of both George Cupples and Bob Pajak, it is clear to me that both would laugh at this proposal and would have squashed any attempts themselves.
They knew the terrain.
They knew the difficulties of such a proposal.
Best of all, they understood our limitations.
We have nothing approaching this type of leadership within athletics now and it's shameful.
Then again, we don't have any type of leadership which make determinations about what is best for our kids now, either.
Instead, we have empty suits making inane policies that defy logic.