Last week, Joe Paterno and Dave Wannstedt threw their considerable clout behind a movement to institute a spring practice period for high school football teams.
The idea, backed by the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association (PSFCA), has come up before, but has never gathered serious steam. Once again, the PIAA has moved quickly to shoot down the idea.
Is spring football a good thing for Pennsylvania? That's up for debate. There would certainly be positives: It would offer players increased exposure during a contact period for college coaches, and would obviously give athletes more reps and the chance to improve.
But those pros would come with a cost. And the movement against spring football isn't limited to PIAA administrators and spring sports coaches scared of losing athletes. Count West York football coach Ron Miller among those who say nay to the idea of spring practice.
"That walking a real slippery slope," Miller said during a recent phone interview. "You're going to really force the hands of some young kids."
Miller joined the chorus of many who say spring football would provide another push toward the specialization of scholastic sports.
"We're becoming so specialized, and now you have a spring football practice?" he said. "First of all, you're putting the kids in a horrible situation, second you're putting the coach in a horrible situation."
What if two players were competing for the same position, Miller continued, and only one was able to attend spring practice? Not exactly an easy spot for a coach to be in.
Certainly, it would be fair to assume Miller isn't the only football coach with such an opinion. There are coaches and administrators on both sides of the issue. For now, it seems those in favor of spring practice will continue to hear their calls go unheard.
Lots of girls' soccer action Monday with the start of the YAIAA tournament:
- Five different players scored for Dallastown as they shut down Biglerville, 5-0. (YDR)
- The Wildcats will match up in the semifinals with Central, which beat Suburban. (YDR)
- Eastern York came back to beat Kennard-Dale. (YDR)
- Two more goals by West York super-frosh Shyanne Kimbrough weren't enough to beat Spring Grove. (YDR)
- In baseball, Bermudiam Springs won a showdown with Littlestown to take the Division III title. (Evening Sun)
- In softball, Monday's win by York County Tech coupled with Hanover's loss to Biglerville meant the Spartans celebrated a Division IV championship. (YDR)