Which high school football team truly is No. 1?
Some like Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)
, while others are partial to Trinity (Louisville, Ky.)
The national high school community can only wonder about what might have been.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal
, the nation's top-ranked high school football teams discussed playing later this month to determine a true champion on the field. The game was quickly dismissed, though, by the governing body in both states because the National Federation of State High School Associations does not sanction such games.
Don Bosco and Trinity (Louisville) are currently ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Football Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
. Officials from both schools acknowledged the definitive game was in the works and ideally would have been played at Yankee Stadium.
Don Bosco athletic director Brian McAleer initiated the talks with Trinity president Rob Mullen about a month ago. After checking with their respective state associations, game plans were scrapped.
"We called our state association about it and we were told that the (NFHS) wouldn't approve it," McAleer told the Courier-Journal. "I think both schools would love to have done it …I think it would have been a good opportunity for the kids. It's a shame we weren't allowed to do it."
In the February 2011 issue of High School Today
, the topic of national championships was addressed in the monthly column by Robert Gardner, NFHS Executive Director and Nina Van Erk, NFHS President. NFHS membership had voted down a proposal at its recent winter meeting that would have allowed a national championship specifically in golf and cross country.
The NFHS has opposed the concept of a national champion since the issue was first voted on in 1934, according to the column. The column also addressed why the NFHS remains against it.
"… perhaps the most compelling reason against national championships … is the belief that a state championship is and should be the ultimate dream for a high school individual or team … Any type of national competition would detract from the importance of state high school championships and enhance the emphasis on elite athletes and teams."
Trinity coach Bob Beatty would have been less than thrilled to play the game for a variety of reasons, but told the Courier-Journal the Shamrocks would have played if school officials mandated it. Trinity completed its season at 14-0 in winning
the Kentucky 6A title
The teams have never battled each other on the field, but earlier this season MaxPreps correspondent Brian Falzarano detailed comments Beatty made in 2008
about Don Bosco and how he would prepare to play the Ironmen.
There is little doubt that Don Bosco would have embraced the opportunity after the Ironmen completed an 11-0 season by claiming the New Jersey Non-Public Group IV championship
When Falzarano asked Don Bosco coach Greg Toal after the title game if the Ironmen were No. 1, he responded: "We're the best football team in the country. There ain't no doubt about that. We play the best teams and we don't back down from anybody. So, yeah, this is the best team."
Let the debate continue.