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2017 NCHSAA Realignment

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Are Bigger Gates on The Horizon in 2017 for Kannapolis Football?


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#1 Friday Nights in K-Town

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:36 AM

***********Can Wonder Football Expect to See Bigger Gates in 2017****************

 

Changing times, economic upheaval, realignment, and a changing social demographic in K-Town has taken a toll on attendance at Wonder football games over the last decade and a half from 2000 to the present date. I can remember a time you would be hard pressed to find a premium 50 yard line seat at Kannapolis Memorial Stadium on both the home and visitor's side for just about any given contest. Not so much true over the last several seasons in K-Town. A lot has changed since those glory days of packing out KMS for home football contests, and it's hard to lay blame on any one given reason for it. Here are just a few insights from the editor to make you go hmmmm, and if this makes others think, and some of the diehards to get off the couch and back out to the games this season then mission accomplished!!

 

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that over the last four years in the MECKA 4A conference, attendance at Wonder football games have taken a drastic hit. If I were a betting man I would say that attendance has fallen well over half of what the norm would be for Kannapolis football, and that even goes for the Wonder faithful as well. Sad to say, but I must call it as I see it. What has happened that keeps all those rabid Wonder football fans who use to pack KMS away from the stadium on Friday nights? Has loyalty waned over the years for the home team? Are fans finding other things to do on Friday nights? or have we come to a place in time where what we once knew and loved in K-Town is but a distant memory, never to be re captured?

 

Now I don't lay this problem solely on the steps of the Wonder faithful, because our rivals down South (the Concord Spiders) have experienced the same thing in their own home stands as well. I have spoken with several loyal CHS supporters who echo the same sentiment, and I have attended several CHS playoff games over the past several years, and attendance there is nowhere what it once was in the glory days of old.

 

When Cannon Mills corporation finally closed it's doors for good back in 2003, a good cross section of Wonder supporters were uprooted and disenfranchised. Many good folks had to leave Kannapolis to find work in other areas, and some moved out of town completely. If I had to place blame on anything for this attendance deficit, I would place blame on this more than anything else. Slimmer school participation among students is yet another big factor to consider. Kids today seem to have more things to fill their down time away from school than what most of us had back in the day. Social Media, telephones and an overall disinterest in anything school oriented is of no consequence to kids today. Spirit campaigns are almost non existent today. Pre game pep rallies for every game in the mornings or afternoon in the stadium rarely happens unless it's a rivalry game. I don't know about you, but those pre game pep rallies in the mornings were great, and really got us jacked up for the games on Friday nights. This is something you and I have no control over, and must be a priority for those who can make it happen.

 

I can definitely say that the move to the Charlotte based IMECK 4A conference back in 2013 was yet another fatal blow to attendance. A total disinterest in playing those Charlotte schools kept many loyalist away, and I can safely say that because many have told me this personally through conversation and emails. Personally, I have never seen a Charlotte school come into Memorial Stadium with a good crowd other than Charlotte Catholic. I can honestly say that watching their attendance over the last four years at Memorial Stadium, and even their own venues only confirms my feelings about them.

 

Today Wonder fans are full of high expectations for the start of the 2017 season, and our first year back home. By home I mean the South Piedmont Conference 3A classification which has been home for the Wonders in 70 of their 86 seasons from 1930-1986. Two stints in the old CPC 4A from 1977-1980 and 1985-1988, and then a stint in the NPC 3A from 2001-2004, and finally the MECKA 4A from 2013-2016. With the much anticipated move, Wonder loyalist who come to every game rain or shine are clamouring for better times and bigger gates, but is a move back home really going to be what the doctor ordered, or are we just going to find that expectation grossly unrealistic. -The editor

 

************************************Disclaimer***************************************

***This editorial viewpoint is strictly that of the editor for Friday Nights in K-Town, and does not reflect the collective opinion of the Wonder Nation or that of A.L. Brown football ***



#2 HoundBooster84

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:05 AM

Yeah those problems are definitely up in Statesville as well.  To address one of your points, do high school athletic departments need to get more creative with their social media to engage the younger generations and make them want to come to the games?  Maybe that could be added to the curriculum to the Journalism classes or something along those lines.  I feel like the average age in the stands seems to get older each year (not enough young blood wanting to regularly attend games).



#3 Chris Hughes

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:08 AM

Yeah those problems are definitely up in Statesville as well. To address one of your points, do high school athletic departments need to get more creative with their social media to engage the younger generations and make them want to come to the games? Maybe that could be added to the curriculum to the Journalism classes or something along those lines. I feel like the average age in the stands seems to get older each year (not enough young blood wanting to regularly attend games).


Yes and yes. Great post.

#4 HoundBooster84

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:10 AM

Thanks.  I wish I could lay out a good basic game plan for schools to follow.  Unfortunately I don't like tweeting, using hashtags or even have an instagram account.  Fortunately, I'm pretty sure all the current high school students do.



#5 RaiderDebater

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 06:31 PM

Same thing at Richmond County. If you came at 7:30, good luck finding a seat. But you can arrive at 8, and still get a decent seat. These small town schools in areas where textiles thrived have seen their better days, and regardless of what unicorn story people have been fed as of late, they're not coming back. People from these areas that come up are less inclined to move back. That's just the way of the world. It's hard to keep a good thing going when mama and daddy can't afford to keep the lights on because there's no work.

#6 84k

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 04:40 PM

CC14,coulding agree with you more. Those were some good times between the 70-90. That stadium would be packed out and there's no doubt in my mind that a lot of those teams was already beating before the game started. Wished it would happen again that those crowds would be like that again but i know it will probably never happen again. Hopefully going back to the spc the crowds will be better then the mecka.

#7 BlueDevilsBiggestFan

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 06:02 PM

I thought AL Brown has had good crowds at games vs Mooresville but I understand it not as like was in 70s-90s and I will say Kannpolis does need a Bit of upgrade Football n Baseball field wise.

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#8 Chris Hughes

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 12:05 AM

All it would take for the crowds to come back is another championship run. You give that town another title and I betcha the fans would come back.

#9 SpidFan

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 12:11 PM

Demographics, social culture, safety issues, immigration, etc. all play a much bigger factor in HS football game attendance then we are willing to admit. As I walked into the KMS games last year to watch my nephews play it was not the same atmosphere I remembered from back in the 1980's. More heavy and dank checking over my shoulder to see if that student was cursing at me??? more than attendance has changed from what I remember enjoying back in the 1980's... And look I do understand all the PC influences and issues attached to a conversation like mine, but when we value what we measure and not just measure what we value we just might look at where we are rather than where we want to be.

 

We all know public education has been diminished over the past 30 years... also those institutions like Friday Night High School Football as a result.

 

Look at the meteoric rise in Home School and the Charter School's... a program like CCHS is insulated from a lot of this. Much has changed over the years in public education!

 

But welcome back to the SPC K-town!!! We've been missing you!!!



#10 84k

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 02:11 PM

You make all very good points. Has Kannapolis been really affected by any Charters though? If they have then I'm unaware of them


Not that i know of.

#11 MHSblueDevilsARE#1

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 02:39 PM

I know it's been discussed before-- but pep rallies.... school and community.... would go a long way in creating some excitement, especially for the big rivalry games. Whatever happened to the days of bringing in a junker car, painting it up, and smashing it up and stuff like that. Now a days you just have a bland spirit week and wear pajamas to school and all that--- that really doesn't create the excitement.. etc.

Case an point- Mooresville's when capps came in to be the head coach... they really engaged the student body... pep rallies, activities, all kinds of stuff. As a result- we ended up with one of the largest weekly student sections in our area, Capped off in 2011 when it was through the roof. Then the pep rallies and all of that fizzled away over time, and so did the excitement from the student body.

#12 Chris Hughes

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 02:43 PM

Getting the student body involved is key. I was kinda unimpressed with the amount of students at the Kannapolis/Vance game at KMS this past season.


In my 40 years of being around K-Town, they've never had a huge gathered student body section like many city schools do. It's just not really been a thing there.

#13 MHSblueDevilsARE#1

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 02:49 PM

In my 40 years of being around K-Town, they've never had a huge gathered student body section like many city schools do. It's just not really been a thing there.


I think it could be argued that getting the student body active at sporting events hasn't really been a big priority there either would be my guess. But it seems like that's not a big priority just about anywhere now

#14 BlueDevilsBiggestFan

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 06:04 PM

I do agree that We need to get more engagement with the community, the students and Bring back Rallies and the excitement for Big Rivalry games

But,

With Student Body goes, I have been apart of Mooresville Student section since 2010, Mooresville best Student Section by far was 2011 and We were one of the Best during that season n we were futures a lot on TV, After 2011 it's kinda been a down hill slide but It hasn't Bad but it's been as great as it could. Students only go to Sports event to Hang with friends and other things n Not even pay attention to the Game at hand! The Student Demographic has changed They don't have passion or They don't care or whatever it is. Take Hopewell, Vance , MC or any CLT school , They have some Students come out but half of them aren't even paying attention bc they are on there phones or hanging with friends


I will say Kannpolis had a Decent Student Section when Mooresville was there in 2015 but they didn't do a lot. I think kinda hard get Student Body out when many just go to be there with friends and not even watch the game

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#15 84k

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 09:02 PM

In my 40 years of being around K-Town, they've never had a huge gathered student body section like many city schools do. It's just not really been a thing there.


Chris is right there has never been a student section. But the last couple of years they have been trying to start to build one up.

#16 MHSblueDevilsARE#1

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 09:59 AM

How often does ktown have pep rallies and such, if at all. I image it's a rare occurrence just like it is at most schools these days.

#17 Mad Dog

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 03:18 AM

There is another thing to consider - economic costs. Folks do not realize, going to a game is still one of the cheapest sources of entertainment one can have any given Friday. Another thing - conference realignment every few years. It's not as much of a factor, but continuity does provide a sense of stability and familiarity. Demographic change also has a lot to do with it. Many folks have moved to the areas from different states or even countries. I believe it is up to us to show them the way. Maybe if we took initiative and unplugged our kids for awhile and made them see the forest and the trees, who knows. One thing that has not been mentioned - the P.C. aspect of rallies. I hate to say it (especially in Charlotte) one cannot call things by a certain name for it may offend another. Example: party changed to celebration.




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