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Gorman on leading edge of interstate games

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Playing an out-of-state foe will be typical this season for Bishop Gorman, which has won three consecutive Nevada 4A titles. The Gaels’ next three games are at St. Louis (Honolulu), at home with Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) and at Servite (Anaheim, Calif.).

Few teams play as many interstate games as the Gaels, but the numbers of such games is rising. One reason, of course, is television. ESPN2 will carry the Good Counsel-Gorman game (9 p.m. ET) and is paying for Good Counsel’s travel. Various ESPN channels are carrying 13 high school games this weekend.

“Any time you play an out-of-state opponent, a good football team, you always pick up something — the way they warm up, the schematic they do,” Bishop Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said. “I’ve become good friends with some of these coaches, and being able to share ideas with them has helped us.”

Butch Goncharoff, coach of No. 15 Bellevue, Wash., agrees. His team helped give the interstate craze a boost in 2004 when it ended the record winning streak of De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) at 151 games. The Wolverines open their season Aug. 30 by hosting No. 20 Trinity (Euless, Texas).

“Playing programs from other states, I don’t think we’ve ever had a negative,” Goncharoff said. “This time, all the pressure’s on Trinity because they’re representing the state of Texas. … For us, it’s going to be a fun experience. We’ve been in so many big games, I don’t think our kids are going to be all that nervous.”

Super matchups: There are two televised Super 25 interstate matchups this weekend. Saturday, No. 5 Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) plays at No. 17 Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) on ESPN (7 p.m., ET). Sunday, No. 14 Moeller (Cincinnati) hosts No. 16 Gilman (Baltimore) on ESPNU (7 p.m. ET).

Falling numbers: The number of boys competing in high school sports was down last school year for the first time in 23 years, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations‘ annual survey.

According to the survey, there were 7,692,520 participants, 24,565 (0.3%) more than in the 2010-11 school year. However, there were 4,484,987 boys participants, 9,419(0.2%) fewer than in 2010-11.

Though football has the most participants, it had the biggest drop. There were 1,095,993 participants, a decrease of 12,448 (1.1%) from 2010-11.

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