Lynn English Athletic Director Gary Molea said his school will vote against the statewide football playoff proposal at a meeting Friday in Marlboro.
The proposal would create six divisions and crown an all-state champion, meaning the Eastern Mass. champion would play the Central-Western Mass. champion in the final. It would also mean that two teams (instead of one) from each league would qualify for an eight-team playoff tournament.
Teams would play their league schedules during the first seven weeks of the season and the playoffs would start in Week 8. Under the new proposal, English would play Classical during the first seven weeks of the season and then play a second time in their traditional Thanksgiving game. If Classical and English were to claim the two available playoff spots in their league, they potentially could play a third time.
“After talking with my coach [Peter Holey] and people in my league, I will vote against it,” said Molea. “We just feel there is too much grey area after Week 7.”
After Week 7, non-playoff teams would have to find games for the remaining weeks on their schedule.
“It also takes a little bit away from Thanksgiving Day and the possibility of English and Classical playing twice and possibly three times,” said Molea.
Molea said he would like to continue the current alignment with English competing in the top tier of the Northeastern/Cape Ann League. That alignment is slated to end after the 2012 season. If the statewide playoff proposal doesn’t pass, he will also suggest at the next NEC athletic director’s meeting that the top tier enter into a non-league scheduling arrangement with the Greater Boston League (Everett, Somerville, Cambridge, Malden, and Medford).
“I don’t see what we’re accomplishing by just going back to just the NEC and to two tiers (NEC Large, NEC Small) again,” said Molea. “I think the smaller teams have benefited from the scheduling arrangement with the Cape Ann League. I think that second tier is awesome with Beverly, Salem, Marblehead, Swampscott, Gloucester, and Danvers.”
Molea said he wants the possibility of English and Classical playing for a league championship and playoff spot on Thanksgiving morning to continue to exist each year.
“To me there is no better scenario than that,” said Molea. “Do you know what the crowd would be like at Manning [Field] if English were to play Classical with a championship on the line?”
St. Mary’s Athletic Director Jeffrey Newhall said he is still weighing some issues before casting the school’s vote at Friday’s meeting.
“I think the vote will at least give us clear direction where football is headed over the next two years,” said Newhall. “We’re prepared here with whatever the outcome of the vote is. There are parts of the new playoff system that I like and parts of the current system that I like a lot, too. Sometimes change is good. I’m just not sure that change would be good this time around.”
More than 300 MIAA schools, including Tech and Classical, will cast their votes at the meeting.