I posted the following earlier and have been asked by a few people to post here..... BELLAIRE VS. ST. JOHN’s: IS THE HATED RIVALRY BACK? Because I have received emails and even calls regarding the Bellaire vs. St. John’s craziness, I thought I would offer a few thoughts: First, let’s assume that Jose Davis DID in fact tell ovathletics in an interview that his alma mater, Bellaire, and other nearby school districts offer only a third-rate education, while obviously suggesting that St. John’s is a first-rate academic institution and would provide a better athletic opportunity for kids who are third-teamers at those other schools. Is he wrong? It can’t be debated that any backup playing sports at Bellaire or any other school would have a good chance of getting playing time at St. John’s in virtually all sports, with the possible exception of girls’ basketball. Does Bellaire offer an inferior education compared with SJC? The fact the district is in fiscal emergency and has had multiple levies fail suggests the community no longer believes in the administration there. As for other nearby districts, Shadyside, Martins Ferry, Bridgeport and St. Clairsville all seem to be sustaining or even thriving. Levies don’t always get passed, but the administrations and athletic booster organizations are very active. So Jose is probably off the mark there. Truly, I don’t think Jose meant to disparage any schools’ academics. Rather, he simply meant to espouse SJC’s academic might. The school’s college placement rate has always been high. If you go to SJC, the basic mindset is not whether IF you will go to college, but WHERE. That’s not to suggest the other schools don’t have great teachers. In fact, I’d easily assert that teachers at other schools are more experienced and many are as idealistic and dedicated as their counterparts at SJC. The intangibles SJC offers that are unmatched are DISCIPLINE and the belief that all things are possible with God. How can you compete against that? Yeah, I know it’s not PC to bring up God with education, but it’s amazing the older I get how much more I appreciate my Catholic schools upbringing. You’d probably have to have lived it to understand what I mean here. Secondly, there is no reason for St. John’s to have free access to Bellaire’s facilities. If SJC has been getting a free ride in recent years, that’s a bonus and thanks to Bellaire administrators for the kind gesture. But Bellaire needs money so it would be irresponsible for its administration to continue to allow its facilities to be used free. And it doesn’t matter whether SJC is paying Davis a “hefty” $11,000 and is rumored to be searching for a quality boys’ basketball coach with a similar compensation package. Good for SJC for stepping up! And finally! Do you have ANY idea how many atrocious coaching hires my alma mater has made over the years? Bless the hearts of those who have coached there because it’s a labor of love, period. The pay is awful and there are no benefits. This does indeed suggest St. John’s is hoping that better coaching will produce higher enrollment numbers. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s downright smart business! For sure, the girls’ basketball program has benefitted from that during Bubba Kapral’s coaching tenure. I’m certain Bubba has never actively recruited. Rather, he’s held summer camps, coached his butt off and built a program. The student-athletes followed because in addition to getting a great education, they wanted to be part of a winner. Third, as for Bellaire’s pledge to drop SJC in all sports, this is nothing more than a bully move. They are only hurting the students and fans of both programs. This might help explain why Bellaire can’t get a levy passed. Grow up, people. You look foolish. Be diplomatic. Work the problem. Don’t just take your ball and go home. Lastly, there’s obviously a reason beyond “it was just time” that Davis resigned from Bellaire. To take over a program across the street that has never seen lower days just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. And it certainly isn’t because of the $11,000. I sense Davis left out of frustration with the administration and now Bellaire is declaring payback time on him. Idiots. Bellaire vs. St. John’s used to be a great rivalry. Glenn Yoho, who was a standout basketball player at Bellaire during the years I attended SJC (1979-83), appropriately commented on a Facebook post that once upon a time the schools despised each other when competing against each other athletically, but when the game was over, all were neighbors and friends again. He is right. That’s exactly how it was. Back in our day, we seldom beat Bellaire in football or boys’ basketball, but when we did it was akin to winning the state title. Bellaire was big and bad. Meanwhile, we were the spoiled Catholics and hated valley-wide because we were a melting pot of all communities. Our teams represented Shadyside, Bellaire, Martins Ferry, Bridgeport, St. Clairsville, Barnesville, Buckeye North, West and South, and so forth. It was easy to hate us, and we Johnnies took a perverted joy in knowing everyone did. God, I miss those days. They were a blast! Those days, albeit on a much smaller scale, could come back if the administrations at both schools would screw their collective heads on straight. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been to an SJC football game in years, but I would definitely make it back if the Battle of Guernsey Street was renewed. Of course, a couple of cheese dogs and a quart of sauce to go at Gulla’s would come first!
Posted on: Thu, 20 Mar 2014 01:11:55 +0000
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