By Thomas Warren
PIAA state basketball playoffs are closely approaching us very soon. But is another prep school going to win the title this year? For the last four years of my high school career, we have gone to playoffs and every year a prep school runs away with the state title. Including my freshman year when we had the experiencing to play a prep school who recently won a state championship and we ended up losing in double overtime by five points the team was Kennedy Catholic. The next year, I observed that their best player sat the bench because of them recruiting seven new players better than he was.
It’s not fair for public schools like Eisenhower to play these big recruiting schools. They should at least move the recruiting prep schools up to a high classification, rather than having these schools with about 50 boys and all 50 boys there play basketball. This problem isn’t an issue only in boys’ sports. According to Maxpreps, three out of twelve teams in the girls division were public schools and the prep schools ended up winning the title.
The Squire had time to interview our varsity basketball coach, Coach Allenson, on further information on this issue.
The Squire: You go down to states every year for the playoffs; how many of those teams that compete do you think are prep schools?
Coach Allenson: Depends on the school; the larger the school the less likely for them to be prep school, but definitely more than half.
TS: My freshman year we played powerhouse Kennedy Catholic in the consolation game. You are good friends with the coach. Where do they recruit most of their players from?
CA: I’m not too sure, but I would say around Ohio, Canada, and sometimes overseas.
TS: How much do you think would change if prep schools were to move up a classification or prep and public schools are in separate divisions?
CA: I don’t think it is a fair system because these are small schools recruiting the best basketball players from the bigger schools to play on this small division teams and they just go win a ton of titles.
This is not only a problem in basketball: this is also a problem in other sports such as baseball and soccer. Our baseball team also had the experience of going to the state championship, and ended up playing a prep school who recently won the state title eight out of ten years before that year. This example shows that prep schools dominate not only in the category of basketball, but in other sports as well. The PIAA basketball playoffs should be changed to give public schools a chance to win a state title rather than having this unfair classification of prep schools in their division. With this change, the playoffs will become more competitive, and will satisfy the spectators.