Monday, November 28, 2016

It's State Championship Week for Massachusetts HS Football

12 teams will get the chance to win a state championship at Gillette Stadium, as Doherty did in 2013, but four other teams will play huge games away from Foxboro.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

It's finally here.

After three months of high school football in the Bay State, we will finally crown our state champions this weekend. SuiteSports is pumped, and ready to bring you coverage of all eight games at all three different locations.

Oh yeah, about that.

Since the MIAA expanded the field from six to eight divisions this year, we now, unfortunately, will have two games played away from Gillette Stadium. Those games come from the largest and smallest divisions, as the Division 1 title game between state powers Everett and Xaverian will be played at 1 pm at Manning Field in Lynn, and the Division 4A title game between upstart Maynard and small-school power Millis-Hopedale will be played at noon at Worcester State University.

Not gonna sugarcoat it, this sucks. It sucks for the players, it sucks for the coaches, it sucks for the fans, it sucks for the schools, it sucks for the communities, and it even sucks for the Kraft family, which has done everything in its power to make Gillette Stadium synonymous with the biggest games in Massachusetts high school football.

Millis-Hopedale, a program that has fought for years to get to this point, will not get to play in the House that Brady Built now that it has finally arrived, and Maynard, the story of the year in Central Mass with only 26 kids on the roster, will be deprived that opportunity as well.

That means no local TV coverage of that game, no dozens of reporters live-Tweeting and writing about these kids and communities, and no chance to play on New England football's biggest stage.

But SuiteSports will be in Worcester to make sure these two teams get the coverage they deserve, as our Tom Joyce will head to Worcester State for what should be a classic clash of run-heavy Maynard and explosive M-H.

As for the other game away from Gillette, I think a few more eyeballs will be watching Xaverian and Everett, and how could they not? These are two of the most accomplished and storied programs in the state, and this game should be another slugfest. Unfortunately, we won't get to see it at Gillette, but our Nate Weitzer will be in Lynn to give you a full written report, and we'll have video highlights of the game as well, courtesy of videographer Greg Story.

But before the games even start, be on the lookout for in-depth previews of every game later this week, as we prepare you some interesting matchups, and some sure-fire slobber-knockers.

Finally, we get to Gillette, where our team of reporters will be live-Tweeting, recapping, photographing and documenting every story line, big moment and unforgettable performance in Foxboro.

Our Jason Siegel has you covered during the first game at 9 am between East Bridgewater and St. Mary's for the Division 3A championship, and our Connor Evans will have everything you need to know from the 11 am game for the Division 3 title, a battle between Grafton and Hanover.

The Division 4 game between Mashpee and Wahconah follows at 1:30 pm, and I'll have you covered there, while former ESPN Boston High Schools Editor Brendan Hall steps in at 3:30 pm to cover the Division 2A championship between Falmouth and Marblehead. Matt Feld will be on the job for the Division 2 title game between Shrewsbury and Duxbury at 6 pm, and Nate Weitzer will make his way from Lynn to Foxboro for the 8 pm game between King Phillip and Reading in the Division 1A final.

But even after the games are finished, keep it locked to SuiteSports later that night and the next day for a full video recap of all the day's action, and more stories about Saturday's biggest performances.

We'll have you covered from every angle, so stay with us this weekend for all the action.

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