ER Sports: Keep the Coaches, Lose the Parents

Categories:      Sports
Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 at 4:00 AM

Didn't we just play this game at General McLane High School last year?

The new contest has taken place at North East High School with the same-old, same-old theme but a different ending than the one at GM.

It's called, "My Little Darling Isn't Playing So Let's Go to the School Board and Complain."  And the Board Members counter with their game named, "We Better do Something Stupid Or They May Not Vote For Us."

Last June, the GM School Board chose not to renew head coach Brian Schulz’s contract after one season, the Lancers finishing with a 15-8 mark, because some adults had their feelings hurt and their egos stung when the apples of their eyes had to ride the pine, bringing disgrace to their whole family.

So, of course, rather than admit their child may not be good enough to help the team, they thought it would be better if some of the North East parents ran to the School Board and complained about the coach. This seems to work remarkably well in the Erie area.

And, unfortunately, it did work again as Grape Picker coach Tom Pyle, who called the shots at NEHS for 15 years without any problems became a victim in this "victimless" crime. Pyle, who was very popular in the media for being extremely cooperative, compiled a record with the Pickers of 266 wins, 124 losses and notched three District-10 titles as well as numerous appearances in the post-season playoffs.

However, this wasn't good enough for the "hoops experts" who make the decisions at North East and they decided to open up the coaching position, a decision shocking many area basketball followers. Especially after posting another winning season as NE finished with a 14-9 record.

The major difference between the North East and General McLane situations was the outcome; GM Brian Schulz got his job back, while Pyle opted not to reapply. Former McDowell standout Jason Keim was selected to replace Pyle.

However, NE fans must keep in mind that the ex-Trojan performer was not responsible for the actions of some irresponsible adults. The new Picker boss worked hard to become an excellent player and has learned the coaching profession from some outstanding mentors and deserves the support of the entire district.

Personally, I have talked to him several times over the years, and he is a fine young man who will become an excellent head coach. If he is shown the patience all young coaches deserve, North East will continue to be one of the top programs in the area.

But that may be asking too much of some people, so maybe it's time to get rid of some of these "adults" and keep the coaches.

This situation reminds me of a quick story when I was officiating basketball. I received a call from a coach to officiate a grade school championship basketball game, and when I told him “no,” he asked me, "Why?"

I explained quickly, "It doesn't pay enough."  He seemed shocked and told me he was surprised that money was an issue, as he thought I was in it for the kids and not the cash. I added, "Don't let any adults in the game, and I will do it for nothing."

He got my point.


I NEVER THOUGHT I would hear a more boring and ill-informed announcer than Joe Buck doing baseball. That thought is now history.

The most boring and ill-informed announcer I have ever heard is Joe Buck on golf. His performance at the US Open Tournament was abysmal, beyond description. Putting him on this broadcast is worse than putting catsup on mashed potatoes.

What was his function?

It would take two broadcasters to be as stupid (the names Skip Bayless and Steve Smith come to mind here) as he was during the tournament, asking more dumb and meaningless questions in one four-day span than Geraldo Rivera has asked in a lifetime.  I honestly believe it's the first golf tourney he ever viewed.

He was with three ex-PGA tour members – Tom Weiskopf, Brad Faxon, and Greg Norman, all of whom were outstanding with their analysis – and this made him seem even further in over his head than it appeared. If this was even possible.

However, keep in mind we're talking about a guy who was talking on a national sports show and admitted to spending "barely any time" following sporting events he doesn't broadcast and thought it was cool (no human is as cool as he thinks he is) when he added he preferred watching The Bachelorette instead.

Thanks, Fox Sports. What a gift.


The local schools have released their schedules, and the Erie Reader is going to try and assist you in filling out your calendar very early.


1. Cathedral Prep at Wakulla, Fla. – Great game to attend – even if you don't go to the game. It's in Orlando and Wakulla has a pair of major Division-I recruits, LSU and Fla. State.

 2. Harbor Creek at Iroquois – It was a great game last year and should be a great game this season.

3. Strong Vincent at Hickory – Hornets are tough and it will be interesting to watch the debut of SV coach Chris Spooner.


1. Canton McKinley at McDowell – Bulldogs will be looking for revenge after getting trounced in Ohio last season.

2. Central Tech at General McLane – Two talented teams will entertain fans.


1. Slippery Rock at Grove City – Good rivalry and chance to see how SR is playing with a new coach.

2. Girard at Fort LeBoeuf – Winner gets all the momentum in this key match.

3. Cathedral Prep at McDowell – Nothing more needs to be said.

4. Central Tech vs. Strong Vincent – Turning into heated rivalry.


1. Fairview at Harbor Creek – Huge contest in the region.

2. Wilmington at West Middlesex – Both teams are excellent every season.


1. Conneaut at General McLane – This is another developing rivalry.

2. Girard at North East – Always entertaining.

3. Farrell at Wilmington – Should be a good one for all football fans.


1. Conneaut at Meadville – Good game for fans of offense.

2. McDowell at General McLane – Can the Lancers play with the big boys?

3. Fairview at Girard – Good game for rivals.


1. North East at Strong Vincent – Always a fun contest.

2. Hickory at Wilmington – Two perennial powers.


1. General McLane at Cathedral Prep – Intense is the word.

2. Harbor Creek at Fort LeBoeuf – This contest should be won on the ground.


1. Cathedral Prep at Canisius – The Buffalo team could be the toughest opponent on CP schedule and one of the best in the East.

2. Wilington at Sharpsville – Always a crucial encounter.


1. Conneaut at Central Tech – Lots of athletes on the field in this game.

James R. LeCorchick can be contacted at, and you can follow him on Twitter @JRLSports.

Erie Reader: Vol. 7, No. 8
Now Available — Pick It Up Today


The condition of cannabis use in Pennsylvania

Potential devastation in the wake of EPA budget cuts 

How what we learn before the primary may matter through 2030 

This year, Earth Day Network and the March for Science have partnered to raise awareness.

If you’ve been inspired by the Women’s Marches you won’t want to miss the Penn State Behrend Gender Conference.


The condition of cannabis use in Pennsylvania

Potential devastation in the wake of EPA budget cuts 

How what we learn before the primary may matter through 2030 

This year, Earth Day Network and the March for Science have partnered to raise awareness.

If you’ve been inspired by the Women’s Marches you won’t want to miss the Penn State Behrend Gender Conference.

David Lynch: The Art Life and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me come to the Erie Art Museum

Semper Femina is a dense, literate work from a genius musician, full of complex ideas.

Subterranean Homesick Tommy

Franchise’s freedom sets open world game apart

The 92-year-old secular rabbi of American poetry, ferocious and funny as ever.