Friday, November 09, 2007

New Classification Numbers Released

After calculating enrollment figures from this year, the Georgia High School Association has finally realigned all schools into their prospective classifications for 2008-2010. You can check out the new figures here. As expected, BC, whose enrollment figures have plummeted to 337, is now slated to play in AA.

Each high school has between now and Monday, November 26 to contact the GHSA by written notice if they wish to play up.

I think it goes without saying that we all should start an intense lobbying effort addressing everyone surrounding the alumni and athletic assocations to ensure that BC plays up and moves back into AAAAA where it belongs. And by "intense lobbying effort," I really just mean a couple of posts here and there over the next few weeks on this blog than no one reads anyway.

I mean no disrespect to Michael, but we don't want BC to become the Aquinas of Savannah, and despite football's recent successes, it looks like we'll ultimately be heading in that direction unless action is taken.

Look forward to seeing everybody at the game tonight. Go Cadets.


Michael said...

I think Aquinas could have beaten BC last year. Go Irish.

Barstool69 said...

Just to play Devil's Advocate...why would we want to play up a division? Isn't the point of the classification system to put you with schools that are similar sizes. I could maybe understand the argument of wanting to play teams closer to home, but I never got the whole "playing at the highest level" concept. It's cool to tell people that you are the only private school in AAAAA and all that stuff, but it would also be cool to tell people that we can compete at the state level. The best team we ever had couldn't even make it to the dome. Playing the cinderella every year in the playoffs gets kind of old. (soccer and golf excluded)

Patrick said...

First, what makes BC athletics so much fun to support is that underdog mystique that pervades every sport. We are Rocky. We are Rudy. Or at least we used to be. That mystique begins to erode when you start playing schools you have no excuse for not beating.

Second, as a practical matter, I think we've proven time and time again we can often compete with anyone in the state's highest classification.

Look at any team in the late 70's and early 80's: we usually ended the season by losing in the quarterfinals by a point or two to teams like Tift, Valdosta, and Lowndes who would then go on to win the state title. Hell, just 11 years ago we were up 14-0 against a perrenial powerhouse with 2000+ enrollment (and we most certainly could have gone to the dome that year), and just 7 years ago we knocked off another powerhouse with 3000+ students.

Now I'm sure many would reply "But those days are over, the glory days have long since passed, we have to face reality, we don't get the athletes anymore, etc."

Well maybe the reason why they've passed is because we're losing name recognition by continuing to make decisions that force us to settle for less by playing smaller schools out in the middle of nowhere for titles that mean nothing to those outside the BC faithful.

I fear that dropping down to AA would further force BC down a path towards irrelevance, and the longer we stay on that path, the harder it gets to turn back around. Enrollment would continue to drop and we'd continue to lose name-recognition in the region among prospective non-Catholic athletes.

Instead of finding easy short-cuts to comfortable mediocrity by scheduling the Metter Christian Institutes of the world, I think we should instead be focusing on recreating the conditions that made us the undisputed powerhouse in Southeast Georgia. The naysayers claim it can't be done, but I think it's worth a shot before we settle for becoming the next Aquinas.

Michael said...

Pat, no offense, but if you bring up Aquinas in this context again, we are going to have some serious problems. They are two totally different situations with different problems. Shut it.

Patrick said...

Well then I guess we're going to have these serious problems then, because it's an example that, while certainly far from completely analagous is one I think is still worth using to help convey the arguments that have to be made. I realize Aquinas has always had much smaller enrollment since day one and can't do anything to change that, so that's not their fault. My point is it will be BC's fault because we're voluntarily making bad decisions. Sometimes you have to use extreme cases to get points across and that's all I was doing.

The problems 2 individuals may have w/ each other will dwarf the problems an entire school might have by dropping down another classification, so this is a risk I am willing to take. If this is still a problem, no one is forcing you to read my posts.

Most of ya'll know by now that I'm pretty hardcore BC. While I didn't play any real sports there and a lot of you may disagree with me on this one or think I talk too much, all I want is for BC to succeed and reclaim its fame, and I simply think playing back up is the first step to doing that.

Ryan said...

Before I was Patucated just now, I would have totally sided with "barstool69" (get it? 69?). But there Pat goes, making his argument seem like common sense. Well put.

Great turnout for the game on Friday, by the way.

HANK said...

"barstool69" sounds like a liberal. Always trying to make things "more fair."

Michael said...

When you talk shit about the school that my grandfather helped to start and gave his life to, that I must say has made great strides in the athletics department in recent years, then yes, Pat, I have a problem. Nobody is forcing me to read it, but nobody is forcing you to write it either.

Barstool69 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barstool69 said...

Were we ever underdogs in AAAAA at the region level? Maybe against Camden and Wayne but who else? In basketball we always were and that made it fun but not really in any other sports that I can think of. You could make the claim that our competition has not drastically dropped off since moving to AAA in some sports (football too? I really don't know). I just have mixed emotions about being "Joe underdog" every time we step on the field. Maybe it just gets old. You talk about playing teams that you have no excuse for not beating. Is it better to play teams that we have an excuse to lose to? I don't know as much as you do about our history on the state level, but have we ever made it to the dome? How far have we gotten in the playoffs? In my eyes, we have been unable to compete consistently at the state level and that is why the initial decision to drop down was made. In a perfect world I would like to see Savannah schools move to AAAA and join them there. Would that be a good compromise? I agree with you that we seem to be heading down a scary path towards irrelevance. But I don't think it all has to do with our region classification. Look at Savannah Christian...I hate them as much as anyone else, but they have taken some damn good teachers from us and a damn good coach. And recently, their football team has been the talk of the town even in a smaller classification.

The barstool69 tag has been around for 8 years and made quite the name for itself back in the days of GAVSV posting. While 69 isn't quite as funny to me now as it was when I was 14, I can't give up a name with so much history attached to it.

Liberal is such a dirty word, can I settle for Dixiecrat?

HANK said...


you may not settle for "Dixiecrat."

The original Dixiecrats broke away from the Democrat Party to uphold conservative ideals such as state rights.

Since "Dixiecrat" implies conservatism, you will be denied that title.

Instead, you will officially be labeled as a Liberal.

Patrick said...

I mean no disrespect to Michael or the Leonard family. Lord knows they have contributed more to Catholic education and sports since God knows when.

My point, and I wish I could have worded it differently now, was to reference Aquinas because of its small size as a Catholic class A school, not to "talk shit" or denigrate in any way its athletics or academics, both of which compete fine in single A. I was trying to point out that BC, by virtue of have always been blessed with higher enrollment, can still compete with the big boys and shouldn't settle for A or AA just yet.

Bryan, you raise good points. I guess it just all comes down to preference. Some would like to see us make a run at the state title against small schools while others would be more content with a AAAAA region championship and a first round playoff game, with the chance of a really exciting quarter or semi-final run every 10 or 12 years.

To answer your question, the furthest BC ever made it was in 1978 against Valdosta in the semi-finals. Another year worth mentioning is 1983, when we lost in the opening round by one point to Tift, who went on to blow everybody else out on their way to a state title.

Snuffy said...

My vote goes to 2A.

Patrick, I think you overstate BC's historical ability to compete at the state's highest classification. Looking at the GHSFHA website, since 1948, there is only one period when the Cadets were consistently a "player" at the state level. During the late 70s and early 80s, BC made the semifinals once and the quarters twice. Other than that, we've had one playoff run in football.

I think the success BC had when we were there was do more to the decline of the public school programs. The win at Camden was during Jeff Heron's first season and, if you recall, Region 3 was swept in the first round of the playoffs that year.

When BC dropped to 3A in 2004, it was not because of enrollment. The reason was so we could compete at the state level. It did not work for football, although you have to agree that only the 2005 team (5-5) might have made it to the playoffs in 5A during that span. Look at what happened with our other sports, though. We are now state contenders in cross country, wrestling and golf. The decade befor dropping down, BC was never a consistent state contender in any sport in 5A.

Going back to football, BC would have either been the 3 or 4 seed in Region 3-AAAAA this year, depending on how we fared against Bradwell. I think we can all agree that we have a better shot at beating Cairo than we do at beating Valdosta or Lowndes.

Joe said...

What would you say was the main point of everything we learned at BC? And I'm not talking about class subject matter. What does it mean to be a BC Cadet?

Since that late August morning in 1997 when I took my first feeble steps into the hallowed halls, one notion was put before all others and drummed into my head until the day I graduated, and it's continued to resonate.

Hold yourself to the highest standard. Strive to be the best.

As you can probably tell, I believe we should play in AAAAA. We need to play with the big kids.

Not so long ago, we were pulling a couple dozen public school and Savannah Christian kids each year who were coming to BC to play football. They left to play in AAAAA.

Since we dropped down, those kids are staying put. Playing up will give those kids a reason to come back.

I have faith that BC will right the ship. Go Cadets.

- WR #41

HANK said...

I agree with Pat and Joe.

Don't be a sissy, Snuffy.

Snuffy said...

Athletes did not come to BC because we were in the highest classification. They came because we were winning. The SCPS athletes are now staying at SCPS because they are winning.

The football program's decline had nothing to do with lowering classification. BC missed the playoffs in 2002 and had a losing season in 2003, its last in 5A. That's cyclical. Look at the mid-to-late 80s and early 90s. Same thing.

BC cannot be consistently competitive at the state level in any sport at 5A.

It comes down to being the big fish in the small pond.

If we move up, we compete for region titles. We are the big fish in the geographically small pond.

If we move down, we compete for state titles. We are the big fish in the classification small pond.

We're going to be the big fish in the small pond either way. I would rather have state championship banners than region championship banners.

Patrick said...

I think classification has a lot to do with recruiting and where kids decide to go.

If I remember correctly, SCPS was kicking ass and taking names in the mid-90's. They lost maybe one or two games our freshman year ('97), but that didn't stop the Rick Crawfords and Tommy Davises of the world from still coming to BC because they didn't want to play little worthless schools all the time.

Ask them and they'll tell you.

Snuffy said...

Yesterday, the coaches unanimously voted in favor of dropping to 2A. This discussion has been tabled until 2009.

Donnie said...

I have a few serious questions. Does Thomas A Cannon still coach varsity basketball at BC? Did he have a vote? Has he changed a lot since 2004?

I am just asking this because many years ago when I played basketball for him, he thought teams like South Eff, Calvary, and Country Day were a joke. Now, he votes to be in a region with teams like them?

At first, I was totally against dropping down, and I was all for playing up as high as we could. And while I would still rather play up, I do see some of the positives in dropping down. More than anything, all this debate shows that people still really care about the direction that BC is headed.

In spite of all this, I really believe that TC would rather play Beach, SHS, Glynn, and Bradwell each year instead of whoever we will play in 2a.

Patrick said...

"We're gonna drive old Metter off the sod, off the sod..."

Joe said...

So are we playing the Georgia School for the Blind home or away next year?

BCSAV said...

2010 BC Football Schedule:

Sat. 9/4 vs. Nathaniel Green Academy

Fri.9/10m @ Providence Christian

Sat. 9/18 vs. Bethesda

Sat. 9/25 vs. St. Andrews

Fri. 10/1 @ Bulloch Academy

Fri. 10/8 @ Eternal Christian

Sat. 10/16 vs. Hilton Head Christian *Homecoming*

Fri. 10/22 @ Pinewood

Sat. 10/30 vs. Memorial

Fri. 11/12 @ Bible Baptist