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DiGIOVANNI: West Chester Henderson trusting the process, despite painful losses on scoreboard

Sometimes, when discussing high school football, many tend to just deal in wins and losses, and pay attention only to the teams with outstanding records and playoff aspirations.

Coming into this season, West Chester Henderson did not have any illusions about finishing with an impressive record. The Warrior program had hit a low spot and first-year head coach, and former West Chester Henderson star, Stefan Adams was brought in to bring the program back to its proper place in the Ches-Mont League.

The Warriors are 0-4 after four games and are coming off a tough 47-0 loss to Downingtown West on Friday. But, as of Saturday morning, Adams and his staff were finding all the positives.

“Oh, no doubt the losses are tough,” said Adams, whose luck won’t get much better in Friday night’s trip to powerhouse Coatesville. “But we are here building a new culture, and to show the kids that playing on a team is a lot more fun than sitting in the stands. The attitude of the kids has been great and it still is. We are excited to get back to work and fix some things to get better moving forward.

“And the support from the parents and community has been nothing but positive,” Adams said. “They tell us that they really like what we are doing and that their sons are having a positive experience playing Warrior football. We are building a foundation here and we know that we will be successful. It is going to take a little time but if we can get more kids to experience playing Warrior football it will turn the losses into wins. We are all staying positive about Henderson football.”

It sounds like Adams and the Warriors are already winners, no matter the record.

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There are six undefeated Class 6A teams left in District 1, and half of them call Chester County home. Coatesville, Downingtown East and Downingtown West are all undefeated at 4-0. The Ches-Mont trio is joined by North Penn, Garnet Valley and Quakertown.

And speaking of Class 6A football, I will beat a dead horse who’s stillness still needs to be addressed.

If you look at some of the scores around the county, last week like Coatesville’s 48-point win over Class 4A Bishop Shanahan and Downingtown West’s 47-0 win over West Chester Henderson, it is more proof that district-wide scheduling has to be put into place. There should be 6A schools playing 6A schools and 5A schools playing 5A schools.

The disparity between most 6A schools and, for example, the three West Chester schools (all 5A) has become too great. It is time to finally level the playing field for the kids, coaches and fans who want to see competitive football. People voted it down two years ago because change is hard for some folks, but it is time to go to the new format.

It makes sense for all the schools not only for competitive football, but also for playoff positioning. Change is hard, but sometimes common sense should win out over old thinking, like traditional rivalries and Thanksgiving Day games. Those things are not coming back, so it is definitely time to move forward for the good of the product.

Peter DiGiovanni covers high school football for the Daily Local News and Pa. Prep Live. You can reach him at pdigiovanni07@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteDLN.

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