This Friday night’s schoolboy football game between Shepherd Hill (7-1) at Oxford (1-7) will be played on the heels of the recent announcement from the MIAA regarding the state football playoff format for 2013. I have been advocating all season that Oxford should not be playing teams like Shepherd Hill or Northbridge, especially in back to back weeks. But the MIAA schedule makers are insistent on killing football programs that are trying to rebuild themselves. The MIAA continues to reward the large football programs statewide, but the new 2013 playoff format eliminates Central Mass from getting the top division one prize. Keep in mind that Central Mass will not have a Division one or a Division 3 Super Bowl representative in 2013. As I knew all along, Central Mass settled for second place and fourth place. Imagine Central Mass having no representation in the Division one 2013 Super Bowl. What does this mean? It means that all our schools in the South County will have to settle for the Division 4, 5, and 6 Super Bowls.
And here is the part that really strikes a nerve. The format is that the first seven games of the football season will declare whether or not your school qualifies for the playoffs in weeks 8, 9, and 10. If your school does not qualify for the playoffs in the first seven weeks, then your school is thrown into a losers’ pool and your school will play other losers in weeks 8, 9, and 10. I hope your team doesn’t have any key injuries in the first few weeks of the 2013 season because it will end any hopes of getting out of September with a playoff chance.The regular season in 2013 consists of September and October only. The 2013 schoolboy football season is now a sprint not a marathon. As harsh as this sounds, your football team is either a playoff team on Halloween or a loser team with a month to go in the season. That is just great for the all the loser schools who look for good crowds to sell tickets at the gate to balance their athletic budget. On top of all the above mentioned, all Thanksgiving Day games will remain the same.
Now for a real life scenario. Let’s take Oxford and look ahead to 2013. The Pirates are in year two of their rebuiding project and in their first seven games, they go 3-4 and miss the playoffs. Their Thanksgiving rival Auburn goes 7-0 and wins all of their playoff games and are going to play at Gillette Stadium for the Division 4 Super Bowl in December. What does this do to the Thanksgiving Day game from Auburn’s perspective? Play the J.V.s against Oxford rather than risking an injury? How about the Auburn-Oxford fans? How about Oxford’s loser schedule for weeks 8, 9, and 10? I sympathize with the Oxfords of Central Mass and shame on the division one Central Mass representatives for settling for second place or Division 2 and then accepting the demolition to Division 4, 5, and 6 for the rest of the Central Mass programs. It’s all about the Eastern Mass egos and the MIAA’s checkbook. The worst scenario is going to come in weeks 8, 9, and 10. Get your GPS out because we have no clue where Eastern Mass is going to send us in 2013 in November. This is not good for the kids.
THE OXFORD INSURANCE PLAYER OF THE GAME LAST WEEK WAS SHEPHERD HILL QUARTERBACK DREW RAVENELLE as he led the Rams over Division Fitchburg by throwing two touchdown passes for 41 and 42 yards.
THE OXFORD INSURANCE LINEMAN OF THE GAME WAS SHEPHERD HILL’S CHRIS DUTTING as he continues to be the best defensive linebacker in the South County. Dutting was unstoppable against Fitchburg as he returned a fumble for 85 yards and a touchdown.
THE OXFORD INSURANCE AGENCY GAME OF THE WEEK has Division 2 Shepherd Hill traveling down the street to play Division 4 Oxford. Please joine Matt Morway and Pete Geanis on AM 940 WGFP for all the play by play and commentary.
SHEPHERD HILL (7-1) over OXFORD (1-7)
AT OXFORD FRIDAY 7 PM GAME OF THE WEEK ON AM 940 WGFP.PRE GAME BEGINS AT 6:45PM.
This is a relationship game for both programs.Both coaching staff’s have a lot of class and because of that the player’s of both teams will play a spirited contest.Hey,anything can happen.That’s why they play the games. I expect both teams to play hard and show this community that the spirit of competition is healthy and I know both schools will get some positive things out of this game. It’s the south county version of David and Goliath.
BARTLETT (3-5) over DAVID PROUTY (4-4)
AT WEBSTER FRIDAY 7 PM
The Indians have had some key injuries over the last two weeks and should be healthy for Friday night.The hometowner’s are a long shot for the playoffs,but the only game that makes for a happy off season is beating Southbridge on Thanksgiving Day. Can Ron Donais please start the rendition of the "little giant" and for these young Indians who do not know about tradition? Bartlett should be playing the "little giant" all November in their locker room.
BAY PATH (7-1) over BLACKSTONE VALLEY (8-0)
ON MUGGET HILL IN CHARLTON SATURDAY 2 PM
A shout out to Bay Path for getting into November at 7-1 and positioning themselves to defend their Colonial Athletic League title. Blackstone wants to prove that they are the number one team in the CAL. The championship for the CAL goes through Mugget Hill and Saturday’s game will be a black and blue affair. The team that block’s and tackle’s the hardest will win.
OTHER GAMES OF INTEREST THIS WEEKEND:
MILLBURY over SOUTHBRIDGE
AUBURN over NORTHBRIDGE
GRAFTON over TANTASQUA
LAST WEEK:3-1 OVERALL 36-9
- Sunday, 04 November 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Peter Coyle