Friday, October 28, 2016

Dime Package: 10 Thoughts on the Upcoming Massachusetts HS Football Weekend

Andover quarterback E.J. Perry IV. Photo courtesy of ESPN Boston.
By John Sarianides (@xnojoe)

Ed. Note- Massachusetts football guru John Sarianides is back with 10 takes for the upcoming weekend of high school football. The playoffs begin in Eastern Mass today, while Central and Western Mass are in the final throws of several tight playoff races.

1. Everett at Haverhill has the potential to be the best game of the weekend. If Haverhill is going to pull off the upset, they must control the clock with running back J.C. Laguerre, and keep Jordan McAfee and the Everett offense on the sideline.

2. Andover at Lexington in Division One North has the potential to be the highest scoring game of the weekend. I love the quarterback matchup of Andover’s E.J. Perry IV and Lexington’s Sal Frelick.

3. There are some great matchups to open round one, but I think the best in Division 1A is Marshfield at Mansfield in the South. It’ll be a battle between two old school Wing-T coaches in Lou Silva (Marshfield) and Mike Redding (Mansfield). It’ll be a great game, and it could be a high-scoring affair.

4. Braintree at BC High has the potential to be a highly entertaining 3-6 match-up in Division 1 South. The Wamps are explosive on offense, and their speed could give the Eagles some problems defensively.

5. D2 South is loaded with Duxbury, Dartmouth, North Attleboro and Stoughton in the bracket. Assuming they all win this weekend, next weekend’s matchups will look like this: Stoughton at Duxbury, and  North Attleboro at Dartmouth. Both games have the potential to be classics.

6. Bridgewater-Raynham is one of the favorites in Division 1A South, but it will face a stiff test tonight at Natick. Shawn Noel and company better gear up for one of the more physical defenses in the state.

7. Leominster visits Shrewsbury in a battle of D2 Central stalwarts. Leominster has had an up-and-down season, but Dave Palazzi’s Blue Devils can turn their fortunes around and make the playoffs with a strong performance in this one.

8. Middleboro visits Holliston in Division 3 South in a rematch from last year’s playoffs. Many people think the Panthers are vulnerable, but I don’t see it. I still think Todd Kiley has a pretty good football team. 

9. Xaverian begins its quest for a third straight D1 title tonight. The South bracket looks favorable but, as Xaverian head coach Charlie Stevenson will tell you, the road is not that easy.

10. I still don’t like this playoff system, and I think we need to tweak it. Teams that finish 1-6, 2-5 or 3-4 do not deserve to make the playoffs. I will argue that point with anyone!


Anonymous said...

Couldn't they play one more week, then eliminate one round of playoffs and those teams that are clearly not going to be competitive? Does Xaverain need to play 1-6 Franklin? That way, maybe some of those 3-4 teams are 4-4, and can distinguish themselves from the 3-5 teams. Seems like an easy fix if people are determined to stick with this system.

Joe Parello said...

Yeah, I've been a proponent of this fix for a while now, but schools never like the idea of taking away playoff spots. I think if schools weren't struggling so much to sell tickets to "non-playoff" games, this might happen. But, as it is, were probably stuck with a regular season that is too short, and a postseason full of teams with no chance.
In this regard, CMass and WMass definitely have it better than EMass.