edac25 wrote:Let's keep in mind that this is a very young team. Most of the game last week they were playing with the following on offense:
3 Seniors (all on the O-Line)
I have NEVER seen such a young starting unit at Servite. NEVER. Yes the scheme IMO sucks and yes Eteaki and Moore NEED more touches but let's also remember it's a young and inexperienced group of kids out there. They'll get better.
“This is a very young team” and “they’ll get better” are the mantras chanted by the supporters of all top programs when they are having a down year. Hell, we did it all last year. The mistake is in automatically believing that, even if true, getting better will allow Servite (or any other school in a similar situation) to leapfrog its league rivals the following year.
Servite is not the only young team in the Trinity League. Those who have watched Mater Dei know that the Monarchs substitute two to four players on every play depending on down and distance. Therefore, Mater Dei really has 28 starters instead of 22. Of those 28, 12 are juniors and five are sophomores, and those juniors and sophomores come from better JV and freshman teams than Servite had last year. St. John Bosco played a large number of sophomores who made significant contributions last season, and they will be back as seniors in 2013. Additionally, Bosco has a sophomore starting at quarterback who may prove to be a special talent. JSerra always plays a lot of underclassmen, and I believe Orange Lutheran this year is relatively young as well. Only Santa Margarita should see a dip in talent next season as they are heavily senior-laden in 2012.
If a team’s roster contains kids that are at a disadvantage in terms of size, speed, strength or athletic ability compared to their peers on other teams, it makes sense to assume they will improve, but they aren’t necessarily going to surpass all those kids a year later.
The fact is that this Servite team is paying the price of at least six and possibly as many as ten kids who would likely have been senior starters today but who left the program after their freshman year. That’s a lot of senior leadership and stability to give up in a year of adversity. The reasons why they left are known by Servite insiders and aren’t important here. If that exodus was a one-time occurrence, then this season should be a one-time bump in the road. If it wasn’t, it won’t.
In another thread, someone asked why kids aren’t lined up five deep to get into the Servite football program. I think some of the answers are self-evident:
1. Servite is an all-boys school. That’s a negative factor in the eyes of at least some kids who are at the age when they want to be around girls as much as possible.
2. Servite’s tuition of $11,950 Catholic and $12,700 non-Catholic, which for years was below that of Mater Dei and Santa Margarita, has now surpassed them. Add in another $1,900 in miscellaneous fees and the school has placed itself at a price disadvantage against its rivals, not to mention the many public schools that offer a free alternative.
3. The appearance of instability caused by the high turnover rate among assistant and lower-level football coaches in the program. Even if all the changes were for the right reasons, parents who are sitting on the fence in making their final decision about which school their son will attend usually will not view that kind of turnover as enticing.
4. The continuing uncertainty about Coach Thomas remaining as the head coach. The fact that he signs only one-year contracts, the rumors that he has one foot in Anaheim and the other in Utah, the rumors that Mrs. Thomas strongly wants the family to move, the rumors that he will leave as soon as the right opportunity in that state comes along, all probably combine to make more fence-sitters choose other options.
I suspect the era of Trinity League dynasties is probably over, and we will see more one- and two-year runs at the top by several schools before they come back to the pack and another school assumes the top spot. And that’s the way it should be.