Over the years, the Interhigh League has had its problems competing on the football field with other jurisdictions. One of the major problems has been Interhigh teams' inability to score consistently.
"Interhigh teams are more defensive-oriented and just don't score points as a whole," said Anacostia Coach Willie Stewart, whose team is averaging less than 15 points per game. "We don't score much against out-of-league competition but many of the league games are close."
After last week's games, only two of the 11 Interhigh schools were averaging as many as 15 points per game. Four of the schools are averaging less than 10 points per game.
In 20 games against nonleague opponents, Interhigh teams are averaging six points per game. Against one another, they still only average 11.7 points.
By comparison, Metro Conference teams are averaging 21 points per game.
One reason Interhigh teams don't score much is because the majority of them are run-oriented and, with the exception of Anacostia, throw only when forced to. Passing on first down is almost nonexistent in the league.
Theodore Roosevelt Coach Jim Tillerson, one of the winningest coaches in the league, likes to say he prefers to run the ball for three reasons -- interceptions, dropped passes and sacks.
Because Interhigh teams don't score much, some people have questioned the league's overtime rules.
In the event of a tie game, each team has four downs to score from the 10-yard line. If no one scores, most other jurisdictions using this system continue to play four downs from the 10 until a winner is declared. But in the Interhigh, the ball is moved back to the 20 and penetration points are kept. In case neither team scores, the team that advances the ball the farthest is declared the winner.
"Try to explain that to the kids," Stewart said. "They know you win games by scoring, not by points (awarded on the basis of penetration) . . . We should look into changing that rule."
Most of the other Interhigh coaches agreed the overtime system should be reconsidered. In a recent game, McKinley and Wilson went into overtime, but the officials apparently forgot about penetration and allowed the teams to go into a third four-down session. McKinley won in the third session, 26-20.
"We should play until someone wins outright and eliminate that penetration system, but no one has gone to Otto Jordan (Interhigh athletic director) and requested a change," H.D. Woodson Coach Bob Headen said. "It would be much better with four downs until someone scores."
Said Ballou Coach Frank Young: "We have to go as a group and ask for a change. It doesn't take that much longer to play four more downs."
Jordan said he would be willing to explore the possibility to eliminating the penetration but none of his 11 coaches have brought the matter to his attention.
"In the past, it was the matter of darkness setting in when we played 3:30 games," Jordan said. "Right now, since we have switched to Saturday morning and evening games, that isn't the problem anymore."
Wilson is seeking a girls and boys basketball tournament to participate in this Christmas. The school decided to drop its own tournament and would prefer to play elsewhere. Any school in need of a team can contact Coach Bill Powell or Athletic Director Glenda Holmes at the school.
Regina Green is the first female to coach swimming at Cardozo, but she is not the first female to coach swimming in the Interhigh League, as was reported in last week's Notebook.
That distinction belongs to Wilhemina Clingmen. She is in her second year coaching at Wilson, and last season, led both the boys and girls teams to Interhigh swimming and diving titles.