August 5, 2018 by Todd Helmick I just got done watching the E:60 show on St. Frances. Some of my opinions won't jive with others and I'm sure to ruffle a few feathers but a good writer never withholds those type of sentiments. Make no mistake about it, teams are obviously avoiding St. Frances on the football field. The question WHY is what this whole fuss is about and WHY it made a story for ESPN. The multitude of reasons and/or excuses are varied but it boils down to one main issue...getting beat badly. Trust me when I tell you with 100% certainty that there are few coaches or administrators who will step up and admit the reason they don't want to play someone else is because they get beaten soundly. There is always some other way to phrase it so as not to make your own players, their families, fans and alums admit what they don't want to know while getting their delicate feelings hurt. Losing not only sucks, it's avoidable at this level. Most people here know who I am. I have been putting together the Fort Hill football schedules now for 10 years. The St. Frances schedule debacle is no different than what I have had to deal with at FH for a decade. MIAA schools don't wish to play St. Frances any more than local area teams / AMAC schools wish to play FH. Look to the scoreboard. I could have saved the Baltimore Sun and ESPN time and effort if they would just stop dodging the truth that exists right under everybody's noses when it comes to avoiding competition in today's world of sensitive feelings. Two completely misconstrued St. Frances concepts: 1. This is not about safety concerns. Stating such is laughable. I have said it many times before...when a kid is going to get injured playing football, the size of the opponent is irrelevant. In fact, players stand a worse chance of getting injured against the lesser teams because they may have unqualified and smaller players playing out of position. Lots of bodies flying around. I have seen as many kids come off the Silver Oak and Mountain Ridge game with injuries as I do against the Melbourne Central teams. Ironically, Silver Oak is both on the Fort Hill and St. Frances schedule for a second season. 2. This is not about race. Stating such is laughable. The irony is that the same people who infer that race may be the issue are doing exactly the same thing as those who say this is about safety concerns. This St. Frances issue has nothing to do with either. And I can say this with certainty because all the years St. Frances struggled as a football program nobody was refusing to play them. Now all of the sudden St. Frances is handing out the scoreboard beating. Gee, what changed? St. Frances didn't just magically become a predominately black school over night. They started being a juggernaut football team overnight. If St. Frances went 1-9 last year none of these MIAA schools would have dropped them. There are plenty of predominantly black schools within 90 miles of St. Frances and you won't see any of them adding the Panthers on their football schedule. End of this discussion, period. THE HARD TRUTHS PEOPLE IGNORE What is happening in America when it comes to high school sports is appalling. The IMG Academy and St. Frances projects of the world are taking 15, 16 and 17 year old kids from far away places, away from their families, building them homes, feeding them, paying their tuition while treating them like college recruits all in the name of building powerhouse athletic programs. And if you think some of these teenagers and their families are not getting paid hard cash and promises filtered in from Nike, Adidas or the Poggi Investment Fund you must own ocean front property in Oklahoma or be a Louisville basketball fan. It's all bullshit. Let the kids be kids. They have plenty of time in life to be treated like a piece of meat. Stop telling me these low income teenagers on scholarship at places like St. Frances have now been given an opportunity. An opportunity to do what? Get in shape by running on the poverty stricken Baltimore streets full of bullet shells, drug needles, trash and human excrement as ESPN demonstrated? These are all top level football players. They have tons of opportunity at places closer to where they live. They are going to college on scholarship regardless of the prep school they play for. IMPORTANT If you are serious about helping kids that need it the most then do it for needy teenage ball players who are not four and five star recruits and are not going to college to play football on scholarship. Coach Poggi may look proud on TV about what he is doing with his multi-million dollar investments but the old expression that true charity should be anonymous has been truly lost here. His donations may be helping kids possibly, but it is all being done in the name of his football team five fold. The St. Frances E:60 show stated that St. Frances had 17 transfers in 2017 with 5 of them being from out of state and 18 of those seniors were signing Division I scholarships. Seriously? St. Frances has roughly 200 students in the whole school where half of the enrollment is on the football roster. Hello, maybe that is a problem for other schools! THE LOGAN HOLGORSEN SAGA The epitome of all this is the story of Logan Holgorsen the son of WVU coach Dana. He first played QB at Morgantown HS in West Virginia, then last year transferred 213 miles to play at St. Frances, found out he was not going to be the starter at St. Frances and transfers back to Morgantown to suit up for cross town rival University HS now. If another QB beats him out at University it's easy to know Logan will transfer to another school where he can be the star QB. It's sickening. BISHOP WALSH I'm well aware of what Bishop Walsh is attempting to do with basketball. I realize BW was on the verge of losing sports all together not to mention what the ACIT means to this area. Yes, I find it personally stimulating and exciting about the prospect of BW basketball being a plethora of college bound hoops players from around the globe. But I also find myself asking questions such as why in the world would an already highly recruited teenager from Philadelphia, Baltimore/Washington, Florida, Europe or even Frederick for that matter want to travel to Cumberland and play basketball for a school that is four months removed from beating Paw Paw by eight points? These things don't add up other than what money can afford. But we are again talking about teenagers. I personally don't think it's right to handle teenagers this way but it is entertaining and it's how the world turns now. My point here however is that BW now needs to be playing teams that spend gobs of money doing the same thing in the name of athletics. That is paying 16 year old kids from far away to play high school sports for their team. When I hear thoughts of Allegany, Fort Hill and other AMAC schools still remaining on the BW hoops schedule it boggles my mind. If you have the money to pay kids to attend your school, you have money to fill a schedule with teams 400-800 miles away. The same places your players came from. Hear that St. Frances? If Coach Poggi has the money to pay kids to play for his program, he has the money to pay for a non-MIAA schedule. The fact ESPN can infer that "poor old" St. Frances now has to play teams from Canada and Florida is a travesty, I respond by saying the fact St. Frances pays kids from Canada and Florida to play football at their school is far worse of a travesty. MIAA SCHOOLS To the MIAA schools I say, you look extremely stupid. When I see MIAA schools such as Mount St. Joseph or Calvert Hall cry about how another team recruits I shake my head wondering how blind people in certain positions really have become. The same MIAA schools that have built their long time entire athletic program around recruiting, transfers and money. Look in the mirror. Unbelievable hypocrisy. Way too many wrongs in this whole process.