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Eddie's Column

By The Numbers
by Eddie Walker

    When I look closely at football powers , I can`t help but notice that bigger is better. In District One,. North Penn with 1669 boys is the second biggest male class in the state. Neshaminy with 1355 boys is another consistent football power. Both Neshaminy and North Penn have P.I.A.A. gold in the trophy case. While we rave about Mark Schmidt and Dave Beck as top coaches, I can`t help but wonder what they would accomplish at the other end of the AAAA food chain. Plymouth Whitemarsh with 609 boys ,basketball super power Chester 596, and Avon Grove with 590 boys are certainly out manned. The AAAA demographics are 534-1700 boys. District One AAA powers Interboro with 524 boys and Strath Haven with 484, have much more to work with then Pottstown with 330. P.I.A.A. AAA numbers are 324-533.

    District Two AAAA teams are Hazleton 1261, Scranton738, Delaware Valley 669, and Wyoming Valley West 566. The Spartans have half as many young men as the Cougars. D-2 AAA Abington Heights with 522 boys, Berwick 365 and Wyoming Area has 353 males. District Three leader in male numbers is the commonwealths biggest, Reading logs in with 1695 boys. Bishop McDevitt has 290 boys but plays up to AAAA. Manheim Central with 410 boys is a AAA D-2 dynasty. Conestoga Valley has 535 boys. Manheim Central Coach Mike Williams clearly gets more done with less.

    District Four has only one AAAA school. Williamsport with 716 boys. AAA Selinsgrove with 399 boys dominates in D-4. District Six has three AAAA teams, State College 1053, Altoona 970, Hollidaysburg 558. District Seven illustrates the numbers differential between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. North Allegheny with 1057 is miles from the Philly D-1 leaders. Other AAAA teams include Penn Hills799, MT. Lebanon 730, Pittsburgh Central Catholic 657, and McKeesport 618. That says a lot for McKeesport who is still swimming in deep waters with short end AAAA numbers. D-7 AAA Franklin Regional is a huge school with 521 boys. Thomas Jefferson 369 and West Allegheny 363 are a tribute to their coaches, Bill Cherpak and Bob Palko.

    These teams won P.I.A.A. gold with tweener numbers. District Ten checks in with two AAAA teams, McDowell 977 and Erie Cathedral Prep 388. Thr Prep Ramblers play up with AAA figures. District Eleven AAAA top male school are William Allen 1333, Easton 1105, Parkland 1088, and Liberty 1051. AAA teams Whitehall 481, Pottsville 475, and Bethlehem Catholic with 288 plays up with 288 young men ( AA numbers). District Twelve has some big numbers, but is not a force in the state playoffs. Southern Columbia is a large A school with 184 boys, the cutoff to play AA is 194. Tyrone is a AA middle weight in numbers with 257, but have a gold and silver in the trophy case.

    Clearly the disparity in numbers in AAAA cry out for another state classification. Pennsylvania needs a 5A class. Competitive balance needs to be addressed.

Catch you helmet heads later,

I remain,

The Edsel


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