This is how our local schoolboy football teams are looking after seven games and two months into the regular season. Bartlett (3-4), Shepherd Hill (6-1), Oxford (1-6), and Bay Path (6-1), all have four games left on their regular season schedule and it is safe to say that Shepherd Hill and Bay Path can order playoff tickets.
Congratulations to both of you for being 6-1 heading into Halloween weekend and both of you should be 7-1 on November 1st as your opponents this week should be solid wins for your programs.
The Rams of Dudley really deserve credit for their resilience after the Auburn loss two weeks ago. That check up from the neck up did wonders and that is what good teams do. It’s all mental when you have the horses and young ponies and Shepherd Hill has that blend of football player.That Division 2 playoff mix you are in with Nashoba, Doherty, and a team to be named later is anyone’s to have right now because Nashoba has shown that they are human after dodging the bullet against Clinton and winning 7-0 against the much smaller Gaels.
Bay Path is preparing for their biggest test of the year when they play all the face cards in the Colonial Athletic League in November. Undefeated Blackstone is the only "Ace" they have to contend with while Assabet looks like a "one eyed Jack" to me. Worcester Tech lost its value in the deck as the 2012 season went on and poses no threat to Bay Path. Finishing the season at 9-2 is excellent, but remember that Bay Path’s number one goal is to win the Colonial Athletic League and November 3rd is marked as the CAL championship at Bay Path against Blackstone.
Now for the hometown 3-4 Bartlett Indians. Great win against a good Millbury team last Friday night in the rain. Repeat after me: Southbridge is more important than making the playoffs. Those post game locker room comments about playoffs are good, but please read what it means to be a Bartlett football player. Southbridge is the team you have to beat in order to hold your head high. Anyway, beating Southbridge might be your playoff ticket.
Finally, the Oxford Pirates have had no relief on their schedule and shame on the MIAA for putting teams like Oxford in this situation. There are enough teams like Oxford who need each other and should be playing: Quaboag, South, North, Burncoat, Worcester Tech, Keefe Tech, Monty Tech etc. The MIAA should have a separate recovery system in place for football programs that need help in rebuilding their programs. There is way too much emphasis on the playoff system. 24 teams are going to the playoffs in Central Mass this year and there are a dozen football programs dying because of top heavy glitz the MIAA promotes.
BARTLETT (3-4) over LEICESTER (5-2)
AT LEICESTER FRIDAY 7PM
Do I hear Lady Destiny calling for the Bartlett Indians? Controlling what you can control is Destiny and if the hometown green and white can win seven games in 2012, they will go to the playoffs, but more impotantly, one of those seven wins will have to be against Southbridge on the holiday that we want to eat turkey on. It’s been a while since Webster has eaten turkey. This week is a travel date with Leicester. They gave the Indians a black eye last year in the playoffs. Leicester is a tough team and Bartlett will have to be at their best to beat them. I bet the Indians would like that Nipmuc game back. If Bartlett runs the table their next four games against Leicester, David Prouty, South, and Southbridge, then all their goals will be satisfied and Webster will eat turkey on Thanksgiving. This is a huge week for Bartlett to get to 4-4.
SHEPHERD HILL (6-1) over FITCHBURG (1-6)
AT DUDLEY SATURDAY 7 PM
The Rams can pay Fitchburg back for last year’s referee’s home job in Fitchburg. I remember that the brotherhood of zebras didn’t give Shepherd Hill a chance. As always the Rams did it with class and took the high road without complaining. Now Fitchburg is 1-6 and that’s the way life usually works out. Shepherd Hill will play the worst Fitchburg football team in over 50 years this week in Dudley. I can’t remember a Fitchburg team being so bad. The Rams played an incredible game against unbeaten Northbridge last week and deserve to take a bow. They beat the high powered Whitinsville team convincingly 42-27. Northbridge had no answers for Shepherd Hill. The Rams have Fitchburg, Oxford, Doherty, and Tantasqua left on their schedule. Looks like a 9-1 team to me.
BAY PATH (6-1) over NASHOBA VALLEY TECH (2-5) AT NVT WESTFORD FRIDAY 7 PM
The Mugget Hill gang will travel for the last time this regular season and then it’s three home games in November. The unbeaten Blackstone Valley Tech team has been circled on everyone’s calendar for a noon time special on November 3rd. Bay Path has been going about their business quietly in the last seven weeks other than Coach Al Dhembe hitting that milestone of 213 wins for second place on the all time Central Mass list for most wins at one school. Make that 214 after last week’s win against Keefe Tech.
NORTHBRIDGE (6-1)over OXFORD (1-6)
AT OXFORD FRIDAY 7 PM
The Pirates are my sentimental favorite team this year. I have been there as a coach and know when the schedule is stacked against your program and the excuses are an easy way to go about your business. But there are the intangibles of life that can be learned by going through a hardship. Building character, dedication, and sacrifice are big when things are not going your way. Kids are resilient and they can learn a great lesson and persevere when they are going through a tough season.
LAST WEEK: 5-0 2012 SEASON: 33-8
- Wednesday, 24 October 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Peter Coyle