Been thinking about this thread a good bit. It hits close to home for me, and I definitely hear LG’s concerns. I went to an A-size PA high school that had a terrible football program at that time. For some background, shortly before I got there, we still played a pure local football schedule, not constrained by school size. We regularly played a solid local AAAA school, and it was always brutal. There would be an ambulance at the game, before that was required. It was that bad.
Years later, I lived in Altoona for a while. This morning I reached out to an old friend there who’s very plugged into the local sports scene, to get his perspective. He is also a Pitt alum and fan.
I got extra lucky. Turns out he knows and has regular contact with the McCloskey family. As a side note, he thinks very highly of Sam – good, smart kid, and he thinks LU is a great match. To the point, though, I wanted his take on BG and A-level football in PA, and good some good stuff. A few key points:
BG beat Somerset handily this year. They are a AAA team who won their district and went to state quarters.
This is the biggest one, however; re: Clairton who BG beat in state championship:
At the state title level, though, the A talent level is top notch, though. At that point, you’re not beating up farm schools anymore. Clairton is a football factory that has fed Pitt for years.
I think this stuff is relevant for both McCloskey and Bragalone. Reminder, their teams met in state semis this year.