To the Editor: OHSAA needs to create separate public, private school tournaments
Written by Dan Sheperd   
Friday, 01 November 2013 10:21
It is time for the Ohio High School Athletic Association to create separate public and private high school tournaments.
I congratulate the Perrysburg and St. Ursula High School's volleyball teams on a successful year. Both programs are well run and highly respected.
St. Ursula's volleyball team wins the league on a regular basis, and makes a long run into the state tournament, almost yearly.
Perrysburg's volleyball team, although consistently competitive, does not always win the league and make long runs into the tournament.
This year Perrysburg went from being a really good team to become a great team. However, despite years of training, great coaching, and a supportive student body, the dream for Perrysburg stopped last week when they were defeated by St. Ursula, a private school. The road to the state tournament ended too early for the Yellow Jackets because the deck was stacked against them from the beginning.
Let me be clear that I do not have a grudge against private schools. On the contrary, I respect the teams that they put together and the success that they have.
However, the Perrysburg volleyball team was denied an experience that they worked for and should have been allowed to enjoy, win or lose. My argument and recommendation here is that the Ohio High School Athletic Association needs to separate the high school tournaments in all sports into public only and private only. As a high school coach, in a public school, I am aware that year in and year out, I have to play the hand that is dealt to me. I can only have on my bench players that live within my school district.
Private schools, on the other hand can have players from almost anywhere. Perrysburg has players, predominantly from within their boundaries; St. Ursula can have players from any school district in the greater Toledo area.
I am not trying to diminish anything that private schools accomplish, I am only trying to level the playing field.
Private schools, overall, at my last investigation, make up about 13 percent of the total high schools in Ohio. However, private schools win around 70 percent of all volleyball championships in the state of Ohio. This dramatic over representation is seen in all sports, however, volleyball is usually the most pronounced.
It is time for the state to address this issue.
Dan Sheperd

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