Preseason POWERADE FAB 50 No. 3 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) unofficially kicked off the 2011-12 season with a 91-54 victory over Covenant Christian (Loganville, Ga.) on October 21. The Warriors also participated in their annual scrimmages with Fork Union, Massanuttan and Hargrave Military Academies this month. Those schools are not eligible for the FAB 50 rankings.
The Warriors next game on November 1 will take place on the road against Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem, N.C.). QEA, if you recall, was removed from last year's FAB 50 rankings when head coach Isaac Pitts informed us about fifth-year players on his roster, namely Sir' Dominic Pointer (now at St. John's University), when we called last January to confirm if Sacramento, Calif., native Josiah Turner was indeed enrolled at QEA after leaving Sacramento High mid-season.
At the time, we applauded Pitts for his honesty and if that trait were displayed by every single high school coach we deal with when it comes to player eligibility and team rankings, it would streamline the process of ranking teams and make them more accurate. Pitts stated in writing his current club doesn't carry any post-graduates, so QEA is eligible for the FAB 50 this season. Our ultimate goal is to determine which schools are eligible and for them to remain eligible for the foreseeable future and for ineligible clubs to never return. We want to avoid programs being eligible for the FAB 50 one year and ineligible the next.
Pitts' club is one of a handful of teams itching to break into the FAB 50. QEA has a young club and a player to watch when they do battle next week with Oak Hill is 6-1 PG Jevon Thomas, a Dayton commit. Pitts is also high on 6-9 freshman Ibrabiima Diallo, a native of Dakar, Senegal.
UFCA Could Face Sanctions
According to the Charlotte Observer, FAB 50 No. 30 United Faith Christian Academy (Charlotte, N.C.) might be in hot water with the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA). According to the newspaper, the potential violation of NCISAA rules involves an email sent out by school headmaster Dr. Joe Siragusa in September. The question at hand is whether Siragusa's email violated the NCISAA's statues against the recruitment of potential student-athletes.
If the email is ruled to be a recruiting violation, UFCA would be placed on probation and banned from the playoffs for one year according to the NCISAA handbook. As far as the FAB 50 is concerned, UFCA would remain eligible as long as its current roster was made up of players who would be eligible at other public or private schools in North Carolina. This situation reminds us of the Kyrie Irving-Mike Gilchrist led St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) team that finished the 2009-10 season ranked No. 7 in the FAB 50. St. Patrick was banned from the New Jersey TOC after the NJSIAA ruled then head coach Kevin Boyle was in violation of its coaching rules involving pre-season workouts.
Findlay Prep schedule finalized
Another team looking to move up in the FAB 50 is Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.). Unlike QEA, the Pilots are already in the rankings, opening up at No. 8. Findlay Prep has a loaded roaster and this week the program announced its loaded 2011-12 schedule. One early season game that will draw plenty of attention from fans and pollsters is the Pilots' December 3 match up in Dallas against No. 5 Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas). Coach Mike Peck's club also has a crucial six-day stretch in January where they'll face No. 1 Simeon (Chicago) and No. 7 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.).