Changes Are A Comin’: So the Football Coaches Advisory Committee met in Daytona to discuss the proposed changes for the upcoming season, and within that meeting some serious changes are headed down the pike–pending approval from the Board of Directors in a couple of weeks time of course. The biggest change agreed upon is the addition of an RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) that is intended to replace the bonus points concept that has already been feared to be manipulated by teams all across the state. In fact, the RPI is intended to completely replace the points system altogether. The RPI would consist of 35% weighted for your own winning percentage, 35% for your opponents, and 30% weighted towards your opponents-opponents’ winning percentage. Got all that? Perhaps one of the biggest (and potentially most-productive) changes agreed is the allowance of underclassmen to play up to six quarters of either varsity or junior varsity ball each week, giving thinner squads a chance to truly utilize all of their resources. Another proposal agreed upon buy the coaches is the creation of a “dead period” following the completion of a specific season before a coach can require a player to show up for offseason workouts.
Football is Futbol?: According to multiple sources reporting from the AFCA Convention, Executive Director Todd Berry says coaches would like to see a dual-level system when it comes to applying the targeting rules. One level would address the idea that the contact was in-fact incidental aka a “bang-bang” situation and no malicious intent, thus nullifying the automatic ejection plus first half suspension the following contest. The second level obviously punishing players with full intention of head-hunting, keeping the rules that are in place now. Most of us can agree that this is a fantastic idea, and quite frankly most of us can agree this should have been instituted initially when the rule was put on the books. Most of us that watch soccer already know this as: red card, yellow card.
It’s (st)all good!: Dean Smith would be proud. Four Corners lives on a reigns throughout the land. What has gone from a persistent, yet polite request in this state, has ratcheted up to a “FIX THIS NOW!” scenario in hoops with no shot clock in place. Nationally-ranked Oak Ridge’s only loss last season came to Boone, and according to the Orlando Sentinel’s Buddy Collings, they were 23-1 vs. Florida teams. Last night, they entered the evening 9-0 on the season vs. Florida teams until? You guessed it–Boone. Oh, it gets better (or worse) depending which side you fall on. After Oak Ridge hit a 3-pointer to open the contest, Boone proceeded to hold the ball for the ENTIRE remainder of the half to trail headed into the half at 3-0. The final score ended up 20-16, with 28 of those points coming off free throws. Now we want to make this clear–we don’t judge for winning by any means necessary within the rules, but we do have some questions for the folks who still think no shot clock is the way to go in this day and age in this state. That question is–what y’all doin’?
Time to Face The Music: Ordinarily that’s not a good thing. This time, we suggest you get out and get face-to-face with the music if you really want to see the “other” side of our youths extracurricular endeavors. The young men and women in the bands, choruses, etc. sacrifice as much of their time as the athletes do in order to provide the all-around experience we seek at these events. It’s time to show them appreciation as much as we can. This weekend starting today and running through tomorrow you can check out the All-State Bands, Symphonies, Orchestra, Choruses, Jazz Bands, etc. between the Marriott Westside Grand Ballroom, The Tampa Convention Center Room 20, or at the Morsani Hall at the Straz Center. Concerts run as early as 9:00am and start as late as 6:30pm. While tickets must be purchased individually without a pass, trust, it’s worth your time if you’re looking for some truly inspiring stuff while downtown enjoying the gorgeous weather. Go to fmea.org for more info under Rehearsal Schedules and you will find all of the options your heart desires in this 75th edition showcasing the best vocal and instrumental talent from elementary to high school.
Polk County, STAND UP: Because he went to a school that’s smaller than over 40 high schools in this state, and for whatever reason coaches passed up on him, even WITH a 6’6″/200lb frame to work with, Donald Parham Jr. just did something insane right underneath our noses and you better hop on this Hatter before the rest of the country does. Stetson (by way of Lake Gibson) is about to get their second NFL player since reinstating their program less than two recruiting cycles ago once TE Donald Parham Jr. (now 6’8″/240) gets done with the national media and scouts at the Senior Bowl on January 26th. He caught just 14 passes for 281 yards and 4TD’s his senior season for the Braves–and then then magic started to happen. Fast-forward to his final game in 2018 having finished off a senior season in which he led BOTH the FBS and FCS in receptions and yards per game this season–(9.6 and 146.6 respectively). His final numbers were 85 receptions for 1,319 yards and 13 touchdowns in nine games. His career is capped with 180 receptions, 2,591 yards and 20 Touchdowns. He’s 6’8″ and 240lbs. He’s also a Consensus All-American. The lesson here? Pride is always the last to go before the fall. Stop waiting on the perfect offer and go make something happen. You thought you had the frame, you thought you had the grades, and yet YOU STILL got passed up for whatever reason by the big dogs. Stop worrying. This is a great time to be alive and to be at schools that are anywhere and everywhere with the technology we have and more people are looking deeper and deeper every year. Just go handle what you can handle. Go be like Donald.