Interesting article by the RTD about transfers in HSFB

Discussion in 'Class 5A (Fall)' started by mbonape1, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. mbonape1

    mbonape1 VaPreps Honorable Mention
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    Manchester’s K.J. McNeil (5), who transferred from Meadowbrook, had a big game as the Lancers claimed the Class 6 state title with a 49-7 victory over Freedom on Saturday. He ran for a touchdown, threw a touchdown pass and had a touchdown reception.

    DANIEL SANGJIB MIN/times-dispatch
    Senior K.J. McNeil was one of the biggest contributors to Manchester’s 15-0 season and its run to the Class 6 state championship. On Saturday in the title game, he ran for a touchdown, threw for one and caught one. He played defense, too, recording a sack and an interception.

    A year ago, McNeil wasn’t on the Manchester roster. He played for Meadowbrook, where he was one of the team’s top players. Before his senior season, he transferred to Manchester.

    But McNeil was just one of several transfer students who played in a state championship game Saturday. Highland Springs’ top two receivers, Ali Jennings and Antwane Wells, transferred there. Payton Hunter, a top defensive back at Stone Bridge, also is a transfer.


    Woodgrove claimed the Class 4 state championship in Lynchburg and was led by quarterback Graham Walker, who accounted for 477 yards and five touchdowns. Walker had transferred to Woodgrove from Battlefield.

    “It’s definitely played a role in the whole dynamics of high school football in general,” Stone Bridge coach Mickey Thompson said.

    Switching schools: This story is part of an occasional series on the increase of transferring by high school athletes and its effect on schools and families.

    The coach added that three or four of his contributors were transfer students, more than he’s had in the past. He said transfers are a reason why you see the same teams play in the state championship games year after year. Highland Springs has won four title games in a row, and Stone Bridge has lost in three of those games.

    +2

    Antwane Wells (6), a transfer who became one of Highland Springs’ top receivers, tried to grab a ball against Stone Bridge’s Payton Hunter during the first half of the Class 5 state championship game Saturday.

    DANIEL SANGJIB MIN/TimES-DISPATCH
    “It’s helping create — for lack of a better word — dynasties, where one team is winning and winning and winning, because you win and you get a few transfers and a few more and it just builds,” Thompson said.

    Adding a talented transfer doesn’t automatically improve a football team, multiple coaches said. If a new player wins a spot in the starting lineup, that means there’s a hard-working player already on the team who just lost it. That sort of thing can have a big effect on a team’s chemistry.

    “It could tear your team apart,” Thompson said. “It’s great to get a good player. But how do you manage the chemistry?”

    Highland Springs coach Loren Johnson said he spends a lot of time making sure his roster jells, that players get along and play well with one another. That work comes in the offseason, and the results are seen once the games are played.


    “We spend a lot of time on the jelling part,” Johnson said. “I think that’s where people miss the boat.”

    Wells and Jennings produced a combined 1,429 receiving yards this year, and Jennings has committed to West Virginia.

    Of course, there are plenty of teams getting transfers and not winning state championships. Jalon Jones and Eric McDaniels transferred to Henrico this year. Pat Taylor joined Douglas Freeman. They were some of the area’s top players in 2018.

    +2

    Hakeem Beamon, a highly recruited defensive lineman who has committed to Penn State, made a big impact for Manchester after transferring from L.C. Bird.

    SHELBY LUM/TIMES-DISPATCH

    While it was once taboo to leave a high school football team and join another, it has become commonplace. School divisions offer variances, in which a player can request to attend a different school for a specific reason. Or, families increasingly are willing to physically move into a preferred school’s zone.

    “I think that’s the nature of the beast,” Manchester coach Tom Hall said.

    McNeil joined Manchester, he said, in hopes of improving his recruiting prospects. There’s an adage that if you’re talented, colleges will find you no matter what school you play for. Yet, college coaches sometimes mention a player’s reputable high school program when discussing the player’s attractiveness.

    Plus, there’s greater visibility at a program such as Manchester. McNeil isn’t the only player who transferred there this year. Hakeem Beamon, a defensive lineman committed to Penn State, joined the team from L.C. Bird. A year before, Kwame Dehaney arrived from James River. Dehaney recorded a 41-yard interception return on Saturday.

    When a college coach from Penn State visits Beamon, maybe he’ll see McNeil, too, and like what he sees. Plus any team that plays in December after the college season has ended will get a few extra looks from college recruiters. Once the college season ends, assistant coaches hit the road to visit schools and watch players.

    And at its simplest form, winning is more fun that losing. Why not play for a state championship-caliber team if you can?

    On Manchester’s roster is Notre Dame-bound quarterback Brendon Clark. He may have been a reason why Manchester recently became a destination for transfers.

    “If you were a young wide receiver, wouldn’t you want to come play with the best quarterback in the state?” Hall said.
     
  2. bceagle47

    bceagle47 VaPreps Rookie
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    Interesting is one word for it.
     
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  3. GilliamRatings

    GilliamRatings VaPreps All State
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    I really don't mind kids transferring. I just the VHSL would revisit the rules so that it wasn't such a land mine for families to negotiate. I think the current rules encourage sneakiness more than discourage transferring.
     
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  4. RVA804

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    List of some of the Manchester Transfers in the last two years. The first 4 on this list were the best players at their previous high school.

    Hakeem Beamon from LC Bird (All-Metro at Bird)
    Kei'trel Clark from John Marshall (All-Metro at John Marshall)
    Kwame Duhaney from James River (Hon Mention All-Metro as a soph at JR)
    KJ McNeil from Meadowbrook
    Collin Harding (At Manchester first 3 yrs, started season at Life Christian Academy, transferred back to Manchester Mid-season)
    Miles Moore from Richmond Christian
    Jake Lero from Midlothian
    Kevin Henderson, Jr. from Monacan
    Jaden Davis from L.C. Bird
    Pharrel Pleasants from Meadowbrook
    Anthony Gary from Meadowbrook
    Andre Crawley, Jr. from Meadowbrook

    Chesterfield County All-Star team right there. No wonder Meadowbrook went 0-10. Anybody else think Meadowbrook deserves a state champ ring too?
     
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  5. WP02alum

    WP02alum VaPreps Honorable Mention
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    Yeah, that Manchester coach seemed to wear it like a badge of honor that his program attracts the best transfers. Guess he is just making the best of the situation. Personally, I get more satisfaction developing players from your school’s zone, but I understand state titles are all some coaches think about.
     
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  6. mbonape1

    mbonape1 VaPreps Honorable Mention
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    And people actually questioned why I said it was “tone deaf” to beat the bejesus out of teams 70-0. The same programs you took kids from... If you disagree you just aren’t a pragmatic thinker. It’s not really debatable. I understand why kids transfer and why the school would want that... totally get it. Don’t have a problem with that. But then, to try to obliterate the other teams you took from... stunned that most don’t agree it is poor taste
     
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  7. WP02alum

    WP02alum VaPreps Honorable Mention
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    I agree that’s a bad look. Just due to the gross transfer business.

    That said, I’m one of those people who doesn’t believe in getting upset when the other team is crushing you. It’s a game & you’re supposed to try to score on every play with maximum effort. You can’t expect the other team’s backups to give 50% effort just because you’re down big. I honestly don’t even take issue with a coach leaving starters in when up big. They deserve game reps, regardless of how poorly the other team is competing.
     
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  8. mbonape1

    mbonape1 VaPreps Honorable Mention
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    I was fine with everything except for the Hermitage game with a 77-0 score in 2nd quarter. That seemed like a bit much to a team that had 8 College level players transfer out, new coach, and literally got beat up the week before. Also sporting a 1-9 record. Wasn’t a fan of that but to each his own. If they would have kept playing Manchester would have anialated the 96 Hampton crabbers VHSL single season scoring record which they tied. Easily would have scored 30-40 more points. The game was called mid second quarter.
     
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  9. bceagle47

    bceagle47 VaPreps Rookie
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    If families and kids seek your program out and legally move within the schools boundaries then it is what is. If you as a Coach know the player and his family have followed the rules; I see no fault in your actions.

    If you are a Coach and openly recruit players from other teams and look the other way when the rules are not followed; then I stop seeing you as a Coach. For me it’s that cut a dry.

    At the end of the day you Coach are “The Man In The Glass.” Do you like what you see? Are you coaching for rings or to help young people understand the VALUES of commitment, family, sacrifice, discipline, and whatever VALUES you believe in.

    Winning doesn’t make you a good Coach or a good person.
     
  10. WP02alum

    WP02alum VaPreps Honorable Mention
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    What if you or your proxies recruit players from other schools (not sure why “openly” matters), then their parents move to within that school’s boundaries?

    I guarantee that situation happens more frequently than either of the two extremes you mention. It’s the recruiting that makes you a slime-ball coach. Transfers happen everywhere naturally. Recruiting is where I lose respect for you as a HS coach.
     
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  11. NoVa Cain

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    I personally hate all of the transferring that is taking place. I'm not blaming the schools (I do not believe there are coaches out there actively recruiting and if there are coaches recruiting there is very few and they should be fired) nor do I blame the athletes for pursuing opportunities. I don't like the idea of dynasties that are built in part due to transfers. I like the ideao f teams building from the ground up- homegrown talent that came up through the system starting in elementary school. Then you get that special group and possibly make a run at a state title (Staunton River the last few years comes to mind). I hate that high school football is heading more and more in this direction but I guess it's the current trend and we have to accept it. Great thing is these stacked teams are far and few between and may have the upperhand when it comes to a shot at the title - but there are still plenty of schools getting together and mixing it up the "old fashioned" way. And even if those games aren't for the state title - they are still a hell of a lot of fun for us fans!
     
  12. springer76

    springer76 VaPreps All District
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    My question with Manchester is, Do they have the Specialty (VoTech) Center at Manchester? Henrico Co has VoTech Centers at HSHS , Hermitage and Specialty School at Henrico HS. The majority of transfers in this county usually attend the Specialty Schools to further their educstions! Highland Springs has the Engineering School available.. Most of our sports transfers come in with education interests. Sports, especially football might land them in college with scholarships if their grade + their talents are good enough.
    As I question, does Manchester have this offer to those kids? I totally support this concept! One of HS's prime examples is our fine WR (who signed with WVU today), grew up in and lives in the Highland Springs area! Went to Hermitage's Specialty School for EDUCATION his first 3 years. He completed that program in 3 years! Came to HSHS for his Senior year (as stated,lives in HS!) This kid is super smart, honor roll student, has a very bright future!
    The vast majority of HSHS's football team are HONOR ROLL and Straight A students! They all work very hard on and off the field to succeed in life!
    If some just want to come here for this kind of opportunity and mentoring, I'm all for it. Not just everybody can just walk in and do this. They have to be special in many ways!
     
    12 springer76, Dec 19, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
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  13. BullRunFootball

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    I got a few other words for it.............
     
  14. bceagle47

    bceagle47 VaPreps Rookie
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    I agree with you WP02.
    Shady McGrady???
     
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  15. BullRunFootball

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    HA! Slim Shady McGrady ...............
     
  16. NoVa Cain

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    Springer - I agree with everything you said - that's why I said I don't blame the school, coaches, or players pursuing opportunities - especially educational opportunities. I just hope these educational programs don't become recruiting tools/ways to get athletes from another zone into a specific football program. It's a very slippery slope I believe has become an issue the last few years - especially with the creation of schools like the IMG Academy. Build allastar teams that dominate and get more college exposure. Practice against other recruits and get better everyday, etc... Once again I don't blame the players if their transfer is primarily motivated for football reasons as the potential exists for more opportunities at the next level both athletically and academically. I just don't like it from a competitive perspective as a fan.
     
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  17. Tyson Woods

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    We are blinded if we don't think coaches in certain programs are actively reaching out persuading and influencing student athletes to come to their program. The list of above Manchester student athlete's are overwhelming. LD went after HSHS for the Kemp transfer which no accountability transpired. HSHS has other transfers that are not in their specialty center. Henrico's Assistant Coach was suspended for openly recruiting. I know for a fact County Administration has been presented text while turning a blind eye. There is also an issue of homegrown players being replaced by transfers who know feel they must leave to have an opportunity but eventually have nowhere to play. If you can play you will be recruited. I do know recruiting has changed with the pressure to get the best athletes so transfer athletes does not bother some college programs. I openly heard a veteran college recruiter state, transfer student athletes are a red flag. They will not offer a student athlete a multiple thousand dollar scholarship with a history of if things not going their way, they jump ship.
     
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  18. loyal2thesoil

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    some players displaced by transfers are finding the field and making a difference at new schools. Some even had more success after choosing to move rather than ride the pine. Only have one shot at playing HS football. Make the most of it. Whether that's transferring to chase a title or to find the field. In 2016 only 58 players from VA actually qualified/signed for FBS schollys according to this report. Until those numbers rise significantly the sales pitch to transfer for college exposure doesn't really hold water. Especially when those transferring already hold offers: https://highschoolfootballamerica.com/national-signing-day-2016-virginia/
     
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