The last game was played two months ago and the equipment has been collected and stored, but some high school football coaches call January their busiest month of the year. The reason is college recruiting.
"Right after the season, the coaches meet and watch films for several weeks to determine the best games that each senior had," said DeMatha Coach Bill McGregor. "The college assistants can't visit until Dec. 1 so that gives us time. Once December rolls around, I try to be available each morning from 11:30 -- after my last class -- until 4 or 5 each afternoon. I also keep on-hand an up-to-date list of the class ranks, grade point averages and SAT scores. We have a rule that colleges must contact us before they can talk to one of our students.
"The trips (to the colleges) begin in mid-December and last throughout January. No one can sign until Feb. 13, but we try to tell our seniors to take a week after visiting his last school before making any decisions," said McGregor. "We tell our players not to bother visiting unless a scholarship has been offered. I also have a list of questions to help them make up their minds: like what will happen if they're injured, when can they realistically plan on playing, redshirting and what position will they play. Talking to a player who's not a starter also gives a recruit a good idea about how a school treats its players."
Things get no easier after the national signing date. If anything, that's where McGregor thinks extra effort can really pay off.
"The 'blue-chippers' sell themselves. If a lineman is 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds or a back has 4.4 speed and goes 6-2, 195, they don't need my help in getting a scholarship," said McGregor, whose Stags finished 11-0, won the Metro Conference championship and were ranked No. 2 in the area last season. "It's the 'tweeners', the players who don't fit a college coach's prototype, that need that extra push. After working hard for me for three years, I feel I owe it to them."
Seventeen Stags players have earned college scholarships in the past two seasons and McGregor hopes for 10 more this year. Mike Anderson, a two-time all-Met running back, is the most sought-after player with nearly 50 offers. He's reportedly narrowed his list to Stanford, Penn State and Maryland.
Springbrook's Bob Milloy, the top pick for the vacant football coaching job at St. John's, has told his alma mater, "Thanks, but no thanks." The Cadets should find an alternative by early February . . . Montgomery County's interscholastic athletics program could be a big winner if the proposed 1986 school budget is passed. The new budget would call for an 86 percent increase in the funds allocated to high schools to cover equipment, transportation and officials' costs. That would amount to an increase of $150,000 ($7,500 per school). County schools received an average of $8,500 this year . . . McNamara heavyweight wrestler Joe Hall (6-3, 241 pounds) might be the area's best in the unlimited category. He's undefeated in 15 matches this season and is 67-12 for his career. . . . Carlisle (Pa.) High's Jeff Lebo recently outscored Danny Ferry, 41-29, in a meeting of two of the country's top basketball seniors, but DeMatha won the contest, 81-63.