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About RichlandsAlum
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  • Biography
    A complicated man, nobody understands me but my woman. Can you dig it?
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    Your imagination
  • Interests
    Chinese arithmetic
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  1. Getting some personal insight into college recruiting

    Still getting very random pings from small colleges, but now starting to hear from larger ones as well. Just received an invite to an ID camp from an American Athletic Conference school today. Also received interest from a college in England through the recruiting service (which seems an unlikely outcome, but is the kind of rare thing that you just have to check out). Boy is playing in his first "showcase" event next month -- which includes a few coaches who have already been in touch with him. Will be interesting to see what (if any) kind of effort they make to actually contact him as part of that venue. And we aren't tipping them off about his participation -- we want to see if they find him. I'm still thinking that most of the attention he is receiving is simply because he matches a recruiting profile (big, quick, and has good grades). My theory is that if he doesn't get some personal attention from the coaches who have contacted him in connection with the event itself, then that's an early litmus test of how realistic his chances are of playing at the next level. We will also probably get to test the real value of travel ball as it relates to the college recruiting process. Things are a bit up in the air with the club and team for which he has been playing the last four years. He was already planning to try out for another club's elite level team just to see where that might lead. We think his chances of being invited to join are a long shot -- it's an extremely exclusive team that participates in an extremely high level league -- and there would obviously be some serious travel and expenses associated with it, so from a practical sense we're completely fine with the notion that it won't happen. If that doesn't pan out, his best option is probably to "play up" for the older team at his existing club next fall. But there is also a very strong possibility that he could play for a team that competes almost exclusively in tournaments. In our area, most of the better teams are involved in league play (Blue Ridge Soccer League or Skyline Club Soccer League). So one thought is that playing for a "vagabond" club might actually put him at something of a disadvantage in terms of the travel ball part of the recruiting equation. While it's exciting for him and kind of fun for us, I'm approaching this realistically And I'm still sticking with my prediction that he hangs up his competitive cleats and winds up at Tech. I may be off about his major. Some days he likes chemistry better than physics.
  2. Getting some personal insight into college recruiting

    We're still pretty early in the process (obviously, since he's a sophomore). Digested version thus far is like this: 1. Signed up with online recruiting service (offered free through his travel soccer team membership). Started getting pings from random small schools all across the country. 2. Talked with varsity soccer coach for honest assessment of the boy's future in college. Coach says he's definitely got an opportunity to play Division II/III. Division I is a long shot for anyone, but my son will at least get some looks because of his size and speed (which confirmed one of my previous assumptions about the process). Also said that he would make a point to promote my son to colleges. 3. Had honest conversation with the boy about his level of interest. Gave him hypothetical option to consider.... If he had to choose, would he go to Virginia Tech with the knowledge that there is little to no chance that he could play soccer there? Or would he go to on ODAC school primarily because he would have a chance to play? He said that he'd probably choose Tech -- but he at least wants to explore the options available to him. 4. After playing in the tournament last month, he's received some communication from scouts who referenced our team's specific results and who noted particular plays that my son made (it's obvious that they actually had eyes on him). Three of these are from Division I schools (albeit ones in lower tier conferences). In the mean time, the random pings are becoming more focused and a few ODAC schools in particular are really stepping up the email/mailings. We've also gotten a couple of cold calls from coaches. Right now we are at the point where we are evaluating which ID camp invitations to consider for the summer. The current mix contains the 3 or 4 Division III schools that are basically within our area and a couple of Division II schools in North Carolina. My son is also thinking about signing up for Tech's open soccer camp just to see if it leads anywhere. While playing soccer for any ACC school obviously looks like the longest of the long shots, that's the soccer option that is most attractive and which he wants to at least explore. But on that last note, he's also understandably intrigued by the interest of the Division I schools that have actually reached out to him. My prediction right now is that he will enjoy playing soccer through high school, but will ultimately give up playing to go to Virginia Tech and major in physics. But he's already a certified game official and he's helping to coach some of the youngest players in our club and our local Rec association, so I've told him that he can continue to have a future with the sport in either of those roles if he wants one. (Although, to be somewhat ironic, his coaching and officiating experience also stand out on his recruiting profile and probably enhance his attractiveness on paper.)
  3. My oldest son (a high school sophomore) is starting to get some attention from college soccer recruiters. I think it's mainly because he looks good on paper -- he's 6'3", he's relatively fast, and he makes really good grades (takes after his mother, thank God). But communications have picked up quite a bit since his travel team played in a tournament last month that was billed as being a magnet for scouts. The Division II and III levels are a definite option, but he's also attracted attention from some lower tier Division I schools. Sorry to brag about my kid, but I'm posting this with the thought that I can share some of what we experience in this process (which is new to me) and I'd also be interested in the opinions and guidance of folks who have been through it themselves.
  4. Local College Thread

    Not complicated at all. The wrong hiring choice in 2013 is biting them.
  5. It appears that at least one of the beneficiaries of the original mistake this weekend (let's call them "Team A") was quick to bring the error to the attention of the VHSL -- primarily because they had no desire to participate in the playoffs. Seriously. When notified that they were scheduled to receive the 8th seed in the region (despite the fact that they won fewer than 3 games), they made a point to protest immediately. The team that "benefited" from the correction (we'll call them "Team B") is now heading into the playoffs knowing full well that they don't really have any business competing at this level and that they are likely to get blasted by the #1 seed (which already happened during the regular season). You can't make this stuff up.
  6. 0-10

    I think I have a solution. And it's not complicated at all, but there may not be many people who like it. Do away with non-district games to the greatest extent possible. This could be done by dividing all VHSL schools into equal sized districts (11 teams in each would be ideal for football) and require everyone to play all of their games within their assigned classification. Resolves scheduling issues -- everyone is guaranteed the same number of games. There would also be no need for a ratings system -- decisions would be made based on head to head competition (and tiebreakers could be accommodated when necessary by building a "play in" round into the playoffs). I'd need to check my numbers in terms of VHSL membership, but 20 districts comprised of 10 members each could easily be divided into 5 classifications. The classes could then be divided along East/West (or North/South) regions, with two districts each competing for those regional championships. Of course this would drastically reduce the number of postseason games that might be necessary, and regular season games against out of state opponents would be a thing of the past. And both of these outcomes would affect somebody's income. So regardless of any other logistics, those are two reasons why this would never fly. A bit harsh, but still preferable to the absolutely laughable situation we have now IMO.
  7. Area playoff records

    Are the Virginia numbers from 1970 onward? Because technically there were playoffs in Virginia within the top division prior to 1970. At least in the late 1960's it appears that the SWD champion had to defeat the Western District champion for any kind of championship consideration. (My frame of reference there is Richlands losing big to Andrew Lewis in 1967.)
  8. Richlands final record predictions?

    Let me acknowledge the fact that I have a great deal of personal respect for Dr. Billy Haun. That said.... I would consider taking over administration of the VHSL in a capacity as its all-knowing and all-powerful dictator. But only if the money was right.
  9. Richlands final record predictions?

    Any rating system would have to be as objective as possible, IMO. Polling of any kind introduces the kind of uncertainty that fuels the kind of controversy that we're already discussing in this thread (and allowing participants within the pool to provide rankings leads to all kinds of foolishness -- like Clemson's unusually high standing in the US News & World Report college rankings). The system I envision would be assigning points to teams exclusively for non-district wins based on the relative performance of their opponents in other games. (Basically you would get one point for every game that one of your non-district opponent wins). But that is also based on my proposal that postseason play should be limited to district champions, and this ratings system would only be used to resolve ties for district titles involving three or more teams.
  10. Richlands final record predictions?

    Actually, for most of the era post 1970 districts functioned as the baseline for the entire competitive structure used to ultimately produce a state champion. That was a pretty efficient system, albeit brutally so. Some of its obvious shortcomings were an inability to address ties within districts and its relatively punitive effect upon one loss (or one tie) teams within relatively competitive geographic areas. But it left very little room for argument about the relative quality of the champions who emerged at each level -- unlike today. To boil it down to basics....you win your district, you advance to regional playoffs. You win your region, you advance to state. Nothing complicated at all.
  11. Richlands final record predictions?

    True, but I'm taking a somewhat Darwinian approach here. Only the strong survive. If you're unbeaten and untied, there's no argument. Anything less than that invites speculation. And the evidence of relatively weak districts on a geographic basis is also apparent -- and begins to play itself out at the regional level. It's one thing to be relatively "superior" or to be the champion of a "weak" district. It's another to demonstrate that you are absolutely the best team in a region and deserve to advance to play at the state level -- which should logically be a fundamental element of any playoff system, IMO. This kind of approach seemed to work out well in basketball (until the VHSL actually meddled with it and started rewarding a significant number of also-rans with advancement).
  12. Richlands final record predictions?

    What if the VHSL adopted and enforced a classification and scheduling model based strictly on district membership which would serve as the basis for postseason play? In fact, postseason eligibility could be based exclusively on performance within district play (although some ratings system would continue to track the value of non-district competition as well to address potential tiebreaker situations). Within each classification, establish a requirement that all districts contain an equitable number of members (either 6 or 7). Then group them into four regions containing an equitable number of districts within each. Establish a policy in which a team's first three or four games of the season are specifically dedicated to non-district play, then require everyone to play within their district thereafter (with the possibility of an additional non-district game at the end for teams in a 6 team district). If everyone is under the same specific scheduling requirements, that would make non-district scheduling a bit easier in terms of simple logistics. Keep a "bye" week in place between the end of the regular season and the beginning of regional playoffs for district "tiebreaker" games when that type of situation occurs (and in the event of three-way ties, participants in the district tiebreaker could be the two teams with the highest overall competition ratings). Then have district champions play each other at the regional level with the four regional champions advancing to the state semifinals. Wouldn't necessarily address the issue of teams with 4 losses (or 5, in some cases) making the playoffs, but there wouldn't seem to be as much controversy associated with methodology either. Other down side is that this would require more than a little administrative work to implement and track. But well-written policies would reduce the need for grunt work. Just some very random thoughts.
  13. Unofficial official rivalries

    Had all kinds of friends from Tazewell (and still do, come to that). Also never really had any bad experiences with anyone there. Interacted frequently with Bulldog folk on a social level throughout my growing up years. Have no problem whatsoever cheering for THS in any sport at the playoff level. (Still just as proud as anyone of that '86 state championship earned by the 'Dawgs -- and I was even back then.) Overall I recognize that it's still a great community and there are several folks there (and from there) that I will always love dearly. But would I ever consider sending my own kids to school at THS? Never. Never in a million years. A very strange and highly nuanced level of hatred, to be sure.
  14. Unofficial official rivalries

    Oh, and this is just more proof to my previous point that everyone seemed to have an irrational hatred of Richlands. Not being paranoid in hindsight -- the whole world was actually conspiring against us. :-) Great stuff, Bigrhsfan!
  15. Unofficial official rivalries

    Say it ain't so! Johnny is one of the finest gentlemen I've ever had a chance to know, and his family and mine have been the dearest of friends for as long as I've been on this earth. But I have to confess that I always enjoyed it just a little bit when he got really wound up. That must have been a particularly great episode -- sorry I missed it (or simply don't recall it).
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