Phil Blue understands the high school athletics version of Law of the Jungle. That’s why the GCISD Executive AD hired boldly with his two vacant football positions.
Both Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine enter eras where the unknown is the known. Grapevine stays in the Class 5A (formerly 4A) and plays in a district against teams it’s never faced.
Colleyville Heritage’s program is in a bit of transition in terms of its roster and moves into one of the toughest 6A districts in the state that includes Carroll, Coppell and Euless Trinity. Hiring Randy Jackson away from Plano East and Darren Allman away from Austin Westlake indicates that Blue is acting upon why he was hired: give these programs a chance to legitimately compete for state championships.
The simple truth about these programs is that they were solid in most respects and would find ways to get to the postseason. But playing for state championships or even getting a chance to play for one has been the issue.
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Maybe it’s talent. Maybe it’s the draw on match-ups. Maybe these teams just didn’t have that extra edge. The debate could rage on what is right.
That doesn’t matter. The message to the community is that the status quo is not acceptable. Playing football on Thanksgiving would be refreshing. Playing football in December would be welcomed.
All these two schools and their followers have to do is look within 10 miles of themselves and see what’s happening. To their west, Carroll is always in the state championship conversation. To their south, Trinity’s deep football playoff runs speak for themselves. To their east, Coppell is much like Carroll.
Blue hired coaches with extensive winning backgrounds and histories of taking their programs deep into the playoffs.
But there is caution involved. We’re in a period of time where instant gratification is a way of life. However, that can be destructive when it comes to sports and establishing a new way of doing business. If neither Jackson nor Allman have great debut seasons, there will some factions that will believe the hirings will be failures.
This is where instant gratification is an illness. With these sports, there is a process involved for each coach to build programs carefully and diligently. It always has been. It always will be.
Allman and Jackson’s late starts don’t help either, because each really needed about six weeks of lead time to get their programs on better footing. Both are trying to get through on-the-fly. Both are savvy enough to make the best of this situation, or else Blue wouldn’t have hired either one.
Don’t look for what each does in 2014. Look for what each does around 2016. That’s the fair time to judge if either program is the topic of conversations for state championship runs or not.
Teri Morrison’s honor
Carroll girls basketball coach Teri Morrison has been named one of four high school coaches who will be court coaches for the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship team trials Thursday-Monday in Colorado Springs.
The USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee made the selections. The USA Basketball Board of Directors approved them. Morrison joins coaches from California, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Morrison just completed her fifth year at Carroll and is 595-237 (.715) in 25 years as a high school head coach.
Indeed, she is living the dream.