Mike White's high school sports chat transcript: 2.16.16
February 16, 2016 12:26 PM
Question: Which WPIAL Class AAAA team would you like to see play Allderdice? Mike White: Doesn't matter. There is no outstanding, overwhelming team in WPIAL Class AAAA. I think Allderdice would beat any of them fairly handily.
Mike White: What's up, everybody? Bosses said to talk more, so I will have weekly chat every Tuesday at 11. Chat will start at 11 a.m., but you can send in questions now.
Mike White: Let's start with piece of news. Due to weather and school closings, all WPIAL basketball playoff games for tonight have been moved to tomorrow. And tomorrow's games have been moved to Thursday. Only a few site changes.
Guest: Any HS players around Pittsburgh area look like certain NFL pros?
Mike White: Hard to say any high schoolers are "certain" NFL players. Although I will say one kid who I thought fit that category was Gronk. But I only decided that after seeing Rob Gronkowski play basketball. That's where athletic ability can really be seen sometimes. He was unreal for his size.
Tigers: McKeesport's T.J. Neal announced today he's heading to Auburn. Does he have a shot at a pro career after that?
Mike White: Was good player at Illinois. A starter. A shot at NFL? Yes. Guess a lot will depend on how he does this year at Auburn. But wouldn't call him a definite for NFL.
Guest: Do you think the sections in the new 6A football make sense and that they're evenly balanced
Mike White: Heck no!!!! They certainly aren't balanced. With Central, NA and PIne in one conference, that is a "super conference." Other conference is so much weaker. WPIAL says they don't consider competitive balance, but honestly, they should. And Penn Hills in with all the Northern teams doesn't make sense either. To me, would've made more sense to put Central and Penn Hills in other conference and maybe Bethel and Lebo in North. You know Bethel and Lebo used to play in North??? Who do I feel most sorry for?? Shaler and Butler. Wow.
WPIAL Joey: Mike, I don't know if it's just me, but I'm totally depressed about the new classification system and conferences. To me, WPIAL football, which I love, has been all but ruined. Sure, games will still be played, but most of what was great about it is gone now. Will I get over it in time?
Mike White: Sorry but disagree. Will be fine. I'm one of the people who doesn't think six classes is a bad idea. Guarantee you come playoff time and championships, it will still be big for schools to win a WPIAL title. One thing stood out to me in basketball alignment that makes little sense. Connellsville is in section with Lebo, Bethel, etc. Makes no sense. Would've made much more sense to leave Connellsville in section with Norwin, Hempfield, where they are now. Move Fox Chapel out of east section and into north. And put Central Catholic in south section with Lebo, Bethel, etc. But I know Fox Chapel wants to stay in east.
Chris: With the nine-game football schedule in place, if a school decides to play a non-section game instead of two scrimmages, will it be the opening week of the season?
Mike White: Yes. It will be at beginning.
Paul: Do you think the new 6A football conferences are fair and would you change them
Mike White: Check reply to earlier question. Yes I would've changed them. Central and Penn Hills go to other conference.
Guest: Why would WPIAL not want to expand 3A playoffs to 16 in lieu of Heinz Field for more opportunity for teams and players to compete and make playoffs. Plus more playoff games means more revenue for boosters, schools, and WPIAL
Mike White: Coaches in 3A complained. That's why WPIAL took another vote on it yesterday. One of the reasons discussed is that would put 16 of 23 teams in playoffs. Highest percentage of any class. And this is what people who are complaining about not playing at Heinz should know. Majority of coaches said they don't care about venue. Would rather have more teams in playoffs.
Will: Which wpial AAAA team would you like to see play Dice?
Mike White: Doesn't matter. There is no outstanding, overwhelming team in WPIAL Quad-A. I think Allderdice would beat any of them fairly handily.
Guest: why does chartiers valley boys basketball team get to play a playoff game at home?
Mike White: They don't. They are playing at Canon-McMillan. And you can't complain about that. Hempfield is No. 15 seed.
Hoop: How many basketball teams make the playoffs under new system?
Mike White: Four in each section, and any ties that can't be broken. Some teams will get byes.
WPIAL Joey: With 6 classes, will we see a lot more inter-class non-conference games, like NA vs North Hills?
Mike White: Not in football. WPIAL schedules all games and there will be no 5A vs. 6A games in football. So NH-NA rivalry is over. Sad?? Maybe. But they are two very different schools now in size. I can tell you that North Hills doesn't mind not playing NA any more. You can have inter-class games in other sports though.
Guest: How will they seed the 6A football playoffs
Mike White: Top two teams in each conference will probably get home game. And they will seed from there.
Guest: in no particular order, what are some of the best high school gyms in the wpial?
Mike White: As far as new and nice, Bethel Park's gym is great. Montour nice, but everything so cramped. Baldwin is good. NA is big. As far as tradition and historical, i love Beaver Falls. Horseshoe. Old pictures of famous BF teams all over walls. New Castle is great place to watch a big game also.
James: Does Lebo have a shot against Latrobe in the playoffs?
Mike White: Sure, they have a shot. Gotta shoot it well, though. As I said, there is no great team in Quad-A. Some good ones. My take on a lot of teams is this: It wouldn't surprise me if they made it to the championship and it wouldn't surprise me if they lost in first round or quarterfinals.
Will: Do you think Wpial 4a basketball will be a situation like AAAA section 3 was 2 or 3 years ago where the 3 or 4 best teams are in one section?
Mike White: Yep. Section 2 is loaded. Was already good and then they put Quaker Valley in there. Also have New Castle, Beaver Falls, Ambridge, Central Valley in there. Shame Quaker Valley had to go in there. Meanwhile, I doubt any team from Section 1 would finish in top 5 in section 2.
Guest: Say Penn Hills wins the wpial, is there any other time that a team went from missing the playoffs to a title
Mike White: Not sure about that.
James: Is there some kind of advantage to District 8 (Pittsburgh City League) continuing to be it's own district? Why would the not just be a part of the rest of the WPIAL?
Mike White: They have considered it in past and Pittsburgh Board of Education has not wanted to do it. One thing is would cost a lot more money probably. City would have to upgrade some facilities, and upgrade coaching staffs (hire more coaches) if they wanted to compete.
Guest: How do you see South Fayette doing in 4A? I know most of their players from the state title teams are gone.
Mike White: They will be very competitive. Joe Rossi has a "program" there now. They aren't going to have three straight undefeated regular seasons, but they will still be good. They get a large number of kids out for football and district is still growing.
Mike White: Other little piece of news. Mars' John Castello has committed to Shippensburg for basketball. He's the kid who turned down a dozen 1-AA football scholarship offers to take a chance he would get something in basketball. Fear of concussions and head injuries was the reason he turned down football.
WPIAL Joey: What new rivalry or two are you most looking forward to?
Mike White: Don't know if there will be any "new" rivalries. They will have to develop. Hard to predict that.
Mike White: Well, that's about it for now. Thanks for joining in. Maybe audience will continue to grow. See you next Tuesday at 11.
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