It's a difficult task, one I'd never take on. But the fine folks at CollegeStats.org decided to rank the top ten high school towns in the United States. Not sure what their criteria were, but they did it.
Massillon, Ohio, was No. 1. No surprise: Apparently, the town of 32,000 revolves around Washington High School. Next is Odessa, Texas, the inspiration for the excellent book "Friday Night Lights." (Which inspired the mediocre movie and terrific TV series of the same name).
Scrolling down to No. 8, we have ... Hampton, Virginia! The writers credit the Hampton Crabbers for winning 17 state championships. Oddly, they don't mention Phoebus' seven or Bethel's two, giving the city of Hampton 26 state championships.
But there's a bigger problem: They refer to Crabber fans flocking John B. Todd Stadium to see their beloved team. John B. Todd Stadium, as in the home stadium for the Newport News teams (located across the street from my favorite toy store, Ace Hardware).
I'm not sure what rationale CollegeStats.org used in deciding the top 10 high school towns, but clearly fan interest wasn't among them. Attendance at Darling has as been dragging of late and has reached the point that even Hampton-Phoebus is no longer a draw. At least, not like the old days.
In 2011, the average attendance at Darling was 1,135. The Crabbers' 13-10 overtime win over the Phantoms drew 3,640 paid. The next-largest crowd was 2,917 for Hampton and Bethel.
Darling seats 7,500 with more standing room around the fence.
So as for those rankings, take them with a grain or two of salt.
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