Last August I lamented the decline of Flint's public high school football programs — see the stats below — and things actually seem to be getting worse. As the 2010 season wraps up, Flint schools were a combined 5-22, with the Northern Vikings accounting for all the wins:
Even Powers Catholic, which has a .677 winning percentage dating back to 1970, only managed to eke out a single win against Northwestern.
I've said this before, but it would be nice if Flint consolidated into a single public high school. The demographics will force it to happen sooner or later. (Flint is expected to have fewer than 2,500 high school students by 2013.) It would be cheaper and provide a better education to Flint high school students. And it would probably produce a competitive football team as an added bonus.
Here's the post from August 2009:
With the start of the high school football season yesterday, it's hard not to notice that one of the casualties of Flint's shrinking population and economic malaise has been the success of the city's public school teams.
Flint Northwestern: By going 5-4 last year, the Wildcats posted their first winning season since 1984. During that run, the team had five 0-9 seasons. Northwestern beat Southwestern in this year's season opener, 32-6.
Flint Southwestern: In the last twenty years, the Colts haven't had a single winning season and have a combined 39-150 record.
Flint Northern: The Vikings last winning season was in 2001. The school has an 8-55 record over the last eight seasons.
Flint Central: After an impressive 11-1 season in 1993, the Indians/Phoenix had 10 losing seasons out of 15 with a combined record of 53-75. In their final season last year, Central went 3-6.
I can't help thinking what a great team the city would have if Flint had a single Class A high school for its approximately 2,700 students. An enrollment, by the way, that's getting smaller every year. But this isn't just about sports. Studies show that students have more academic resources in bigger schools, which are cheaper to run. And there are plenty of good high schools around the country with much larger enrollments. As painful as it was to lose Central, the city should probably close two more schools.