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Let's talk about the Highlands Football State of The Union

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To say the least, there seem to be a lot of questions coming out in the thread following the Bluebirds' loss to Conner on Friday, so I figured I would open a thread to try to handle some of the conversation that's more specific to Highlands and less to do with the actual game itself.

 

1) Are the Highlands players being outfought on the field, or are the Highlands players coming into the game without the proper motivation or preparation?

2) Is the football team playing consistently throughout the season? Did we see the same effort in the Knox Cath game as we did in the Conner game? Last season, did we see the same effort in the playoff game against Cov Cath as we did in the regular season game against Cov Cath?

3) Coaching is obviously one of the most frequent talking points. Is a coaching change in order? If so, which coach(es) need to be changed up/reassigned/replaced?

4) There is talent at Highlands. Is the talent pool at Highlands different from the talent pool at Highlands in the 1990s and 2000s? If the talent pool has changed....why?

5) Is the Fort Thomas Junior Football League the same animal right now as it was in years past? Has the rise in middle school football leagues feeding directly into high schools had any impact on the FTJFL at all?

6) Highlands boys soccer and baseball have had a significant upswing in the last decade. Does the AAU/select/travel league nature of middle school sports and the "pick your sport and stick with your sport" nature of middle school sports have any impact on what's happening in Fort Thomas?

7) Should Highlands be playing up in 5A? ...even if it means they're in a different class from Covington Catholic?

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I think Dale Mueller is the reason for the fall off. Football families would move in to FT. Thomas especially families that rented just to have there kids play for Dale. You knew you would be one of the top teams in the state every year. You would also get a top education. It was a win/win for football families. All that changed with his retirement. I mentioned in the other thread that almost all the seniors on the Jumbotron went to FT. Thomas Elementary schools. So that tells you that the big transfer players are not coming to Highlands.

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I think Dale Mueller is the reason for the fall off. Football families would move in to FT. Thomas especially families that rented just to have there kids play for Dale. You knew you would be one of the top teams in the state every year. You would also get a top education. It was a win/win for football families. All that changed with his retirement. I mentioned in the other thread that almost all the seniors on the Jumbotron went to FT. Thomas Elementary schools. So that tells you that the big transfer players are not coming to Highlands.

 

I agree that there aren't Families coming in like they use to. However, lets not take away from the Highlands teams that spanned from 1988-1993 pre Dale Mueller. Since everyone wants to base it on Dale stats only. The 89 State Champ team who were playing with as some say "All Ft Thomas Kids" only won One game as Freshman but were able to Win State as Seniors against a D1 loaded Paducah Tilghman. The 1992 team was also a "All Ft Thomas Kids" team that Won State again against a loaded PT team.

 

Heck they beat arguably one of the best ever CCH teams in 1992 led by the one and only Adam McCormick. Listen there was a time that Highlands didn't rely on Families moving into town to make their Football program successful. So "All Ft Thomas Kids" can win. Now whether they want to put in the work or not to Win is another story.

 

I'm not questioning the Time & Effort the Kids are putting in....All I'm saying just because you're wearing Highlands across your Chest doesn't mean things are going to come easy. I always tell my kids I coach, that's why there's 2 halves of Football. It doesn't matter how you start.....It's how you finish! I'm confident these boys will finish strong.....Go Birds!

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I think Dale Mueller is the reason for the fall off. Football families would move in to FT. Thomas especially families that rented just to have there kids play for Dale. You knew you would be one of the top teams in the state every year. You would also get a top education. It was a win/win for football families. All that changed with his retirement. I mentioned in the other thread that almost all the seniors on the Jumbotron went to FT. Thomas Elementary schools. So that tells you that the big transfer players are not coming to Highlands.

 

I think the marriage between Eddie Eviston and CCH is just as much to "blame" for the lack of new family transplants in Ft. Thomas as Mueller's retirement.

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I think Dale Mueller is the reason for the fall off. Football families would move in to FT. Thomas especially families that rented just to have there kids play for Dale. You knew you would be one of the top teams in the state every year. You would also get a top education. It was a win/win for football families. All that changed with his retirement. I mentioned in the other thread that almost all the seniors on the Jumbotron went to FT. Thomas Elementary schools. So that tells you that the big transfer players are not coming to Highlands.

 

:lol2:

 

I asked the same question years ago on here and was told that the secret of Highlands' success was because of the Fort Thomas Youth Football league and transfers in had little-to-no effect on Highlands' success!

 

:lol2:

 

As far as Dale goes, did they just completely abandon his style and his playbook? I'd think that there were coaches under him that could at least copy how he used to call plays.

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I think Dale Mueller is the reason for the fall off. Football families would move in to FT. Thomas especially families that rented just to have there kids play for Dale. You knew you would be one of the top teams in the state every year. You would also get a top education. It was a win/win for football families. All that changed with his retirement. I mentioned in the other thread that almost all the seniors on the Jumbotron went to FT. Thomas Elementary schools. So that tells you that the big transfer players are not coming to Highlands.

 

Dale Mueller was a motivational machine...he could have gotten the grandparents in the stands excited and ready to suit up to take the field. With Coach Weinrich as his direct understudy and the Birds' playcaller for the last half-decade of the Mueller era, is that the big difference maker here? It seems like there has to be something else going on besides just "no Dale".

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Here is a factor that has been on the edge of the discussion but not addressed directly. The difference between a good team and a great team is top end talent. I think that is what is missing for Highlands. I think that is why Covington Catholic has been so good. The top end talent is what makes great teams.

 

Highlands is a top 10 team in 5A. It isn't like they aren't good. They are a really good team that 90% of the state wishes they were as good as. The difference between undefeated right now and 3 losses is 2 stud athletes. Keep everything else the same. Same coaches. Same game plans. Same players. Add 2 D1 studs and Highlands is undefeated right now.

 

The reason Covington Catholic has been so good the past few years is their top end and D1 level talent has been outstanding. Look at the top end athletes at Cov Cath over the past few years and it is obvious why they have been so good.

 

Look at Frederick Douglass this year. How do you build a #1 team out of nothing? Get those top end and D1 players on your roster and a big part of the battle is won.

 

Look back to Highlands' best teams. There were D1 studs all over the place. Those guys make the difference between a good team and a great team. I think that is the biggest difference. Talent wins. Highlands has a great program, hard working kids and talented kids. They have one stud. If they had two more this thread would not exist.

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Look back to Highlands' best teams. There were D1 studs all over the place. Those guys make the difference between a good team and a great team. I think that is the biggest difference. Talent wins. Highlands has a great program, hard working kids and talented kids. They have one stud. If they had two more this thread would not exist.

 

Talent does win, and I think that point is greatly magnified on the high school level.

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It is funny this is being talked about because I gave a Lyft ride to former Highlands punter JC Mettens on Saturday night. Mettens talked to a former player from two years ago. The former player told him something that reminded me of a column in Fort Thomas Matters years ago. I'm not pretending to have the answers. But here it is.

 

FORT THOMAS MATTERS: Highlands, NewCath Football Entitled?

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It is funny this is being talked about because I gave a Lyft ride to former Highlands punter JC Mettens on Saturday night. Mettens talked to a former player from two years ago. The former player told him something that reminded me of a column in Fort Thomas Matters years ago. I'm not pretending to have the answers. But here it is.

 

FORT THOMAS MATTERS: Highlands, NewCath Football Entitled?

 

I don't think any kids in the program have a sense of entitlement.

 

I definitely think a part of the fan base has a big time sense of entitlement.

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Here is a factor that has been on the edge of the discussion but not addressed directly. The difference between a good team and a great team is top end talent. I think that is what is missing for Highlands. I think that is why Covington Catholic has been so good. The top end talent is what makes great teams.

 

Highlands is a top 10 team in 5A. It isn't like they aren't good. They are a really good team that 90% of the state wishes they were as good as. The difference between undefeated right now and 3 losses is 2 stud athletes. Keep everything else the same. Same coaches. Same game plans. Same players. Add 2 D1 studs and Highlands is undefeated right now.

 

The reason Covington Catholic has been so good the past few years is their top end and D1 level talent has been outstanding. Look at the top end athletes at Cov Cath over the past few years and it is obvious why they have been so good.

 

Look at Frederick Douglass this year. How do you build a #1 team out of nothing? Get those top end and D1 players on your roster and a big part of the battle is won.

 

Look back to Highlands' best teams. There were D1 studs all over the place. Those guys make the difference between a good team and a great team. I think that is the biggest difference. Talent wins. Highlands has a great program, hard working kids and talented kids. They have one stud. If they had two more this thread would not exist.

 

Just curious, can you name some of the teams that had multiple D1 studs as you put it?

 

I really don’t think people realize that Highlands has not had many rosters that were plush with D1 talent.

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Highlands will always be highschool football Royalty. Covcath is only a rivalry because Highlands allow them to be just that. After finishing 10-3 last year fans, coaches and players were disappointed. Most schools would celebrate a season like that. This team is capable of playing on Kroger field. I do believe that a handful of kids should go both ways and that would help them greatly. They have this week to get things together. Hopefully they do just that.

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Highlands will always be highschool football Royalty. Covcath is only a rivalry because Highlands allow them to be just that. After finishing 10-3 last year fans, coaches and players were disappointed. Most schools would celebrate a season like that. This team is capable of playing on Kroger field. I do believe that a handful of kids should go both ways and that would help them greatly. They have this week to get things together. Hopefully they do just that.

 

What does this mean?

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4-3 we are not going to self implode. No this group did not play like the Knoxville catholic game period. That saying you let a capable team believe and hung around and earned a big W. I hope the birds get to revisit that team. I suspect new wrinkles this week. I always say if you coach for the stands you will be sitting in them soon enough. I like BW and his staff, does the offense need to perform better no doubt. I think they are bringing a few boys along so they can play varsity snaps on defense to spell a few to help impact the offensive side of the ball with a few studs. It is all about being ready now for division and playoffs. I am not about to jump ship. It will right.

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