Junior college football coaches have to find a balance

The local junior college football teams kick off the season this Saturday. Something definitely stands out just with a passing glance down a tentative Chaffey College roster. There are a lot of out-of-state additions this season.

Veteran coach Carl Beach has always prided himself on the fact that he competed with local players. It is a philosophy adhered to by all of the coaches on the college’s staff. It’s one reason that it is so enjoyable to go out and cover its teams – there is a true local feel.

As good a basketball coach as Phil Mathews was at San Bernardino Valley a few years back, it seemed a bit hollow covering a team that was made up 90 percent of out of town players.

But this year Beach has sprinkled in some players from elsewhere, not an overwhelming number – 16 or so. There are nine from Florida, eight of those from the football-rich Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. The others are from a wide variety of states.

Beach has always lamented the problems that come with having so many out-of-towners and been critical of coaches that rely on the imports. They have to have a place to live, so oftentimes a bunch are crammed into the same house or apartment. They may or may not get along. They have to pay their own living expenses so now they have to have jobs or rely on family.

They are away from home, many for the first time, which leads to other problems.

Then all it itakes is one party getting out of hand or one guy getting in trouble and it sets a bad down in the community and gives the school a bad reputation.

But the Panthers are competing in the National Conference, the elite level according to the new conference alignment that was used for the first time last year. They went 5-5. So it was clear that you can’t compete with just local players. Look at the rosters of the teams that were on top and they all have considerable talent from out of the area.

College of the Desert, for one, had 40 or so from out of state last season. When Victor Valley had its huge breakthrough season a few years back it had that many too!

So if you can’t beat’em, join’em!

You can’t blame Beach, he is trying to compete. And I don’t think he’ll be one of those guys to start comprising his principles to where he is depending on those guys soley.

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