quality of coaching in junior high schools in your area
It all depends upon the coaching in every other aspect of the game. While certainly not in the mainstream of coaching philosophy, John Gagliardi had quite a bit of success without any hitting in practice. None.
One of his former assistants, Mike Grant, also embraces the same philosophy and has won 9 state championships in 10 tries since 1996.
Granted, that's not how I coach, but I have to respect the success of these guys.
You hit the nail on the head. I RESPECT those coaches you mention. My son's three coaches love to tell war stories, and say things like, "You need to block him," or, "Stick and drive." No fundamentals whatsoever. 1 wasted year of football.