Keep the mystery alive

FACEOFF

Should Private Schools Be Allowed To Compete For State Championships?

November 13, 2008|By SANDRA MCKEE

It would be nice to know which teams are the best in high school athletics. It would be nice to know definitively whether Loyola has a better football team than River Hill. But would it be fair?

I don't think the private schools should be competing for state championships in the postseason with the public schools.

Initially, I thought I would be arguing for this. I'm one of those people who want to see a playoff in college football, so we know who really is No. 1. But after thinking about the high schools, which operate under different rules during the regular season, I think the mystery, in this case, should remain.

Just to make one point: The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association, which governs the private schools, allows its schools to recruit players from all over to come to the private schools and play sports, while the public schools are limited to a specific school district.

That alone should make the private schools stronger.

Rick Diggs, executive director of the MIAA, says quite bluntly that throwing the private schools into postseason play with the state schools would probably result in private school dominance of state titles.

It's a point. Loyola's football team is a powerhouse. And Mount St. Joseph's wrestling team has been a dominating power for decades.

In boys lacrosse, it is often no contest, with Loyola, Gilman, Calvert Hall, McDonogh and St. Mary's at the top. Even in girls lacrosse competition last year, John Carroll and McDonogh were two of the top three teams.

The private schools and the public schools each have their division champions. Let them intermingle in the polls, but have them stay separate on the postseason playing fields. And let's continue to enjoy the animated debates over who really is the best team.

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