While trolling away on Twitter during the World Cup, I innocuously mentioned that the high school football season begins (with practices) in ohhhhh, a little over two months.
The CIAC caught one of my tweets and responded with some very, very, very good news.
[Pause for raucous applause]
[Pause so I may dance a jig]
OK! Now we’re cookin’! After four years of dreaming, we finally get our hands on an official four-division, three-round playoff lineup. And we finally get a look at what a (somewhat) real football playoff looks line.
So let’s take a look. Maestro, some music if you’ll please.
In CLASS LL we have the following 34 teams (up from a measly 23).
Note, that we’ve put schools new to the division in bold.
Amity, Bridgeport Central, Brien McMahon, Cheshire, Conard (L), Danbury, East Hartford, Fairfield Prep, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hall (L), Hamden, Harding, Hartford Public (L), Manchester, New Britain, New Milford (L), Newington (L), Newtown, Norwalk (L), Norwich Free Academy, Pomperaug (L), Ridgefield, Shelton, Simsbury (L), South Windsor, Southington, Stamford (L), Staples, Trumbull, West Haven (L), Westhill, Wilbur Cross (L), Xavier.
In CLASS L (36 teams, up from 23)
Avon (M), Bassick, Branford (M), Bristol Central, Bristol Eastern (MM), Bulkeley, Bunnell (MM), Crosby, Daniel Hand (MM), Darien (MM), E.O. Smith (MM), East Lyme (MM), Fairfield Ludlowe (MM), Fairfield Warde (MM), Farmington, Fermi (MM), Fitch, Guilford (M), Kennedy (MM), Maloney (MM), Masuk, Middletown, Naugatuck, New Canaan (MM), North Haven (MM), Notre Dame-West Haven, Platt Tech (MM), RHAM (MM), Rockville (M), Torrington (M), Wethersfield (MM), Wilby (MM), Wilton (MM), Windsor, Windsor Locks/Suffield, Woodstock Academy (MM).
In CLASS M (36 teams, up from 24)
Abbott Tech (SS), Bacon Academy, Berlin, Bethel, Brookfield, Bullard Havens Tech (SS), Cheney Tech, Coventry/Windham Tech, Derby/O’Brien Tech, East Haven, Ellington/Somers (SS), Enfield (SS), Foran (SS), Gilbert/NW Regional, Hillhouse, Joel Barlow (SS), Jonathan Law, Ledyard (Class SS), Lewis Mills (new), Lyman Hall, New Fairfield, New London, Plainville (SS), Platt, Sheehan, St. Bernard/Norwich Tech (SS), Stonington (SS), Stratford, Tolland (SS), Tourtellotte, Waterford (SS), Watertown, Wilcox Tech (SS), Windham (SS), Wolcott (SS), Wolcott Tech.
IN CLASS S (36 teams, up from 25).
Ansonia, Bloomfield, Canton, Capital Prep/Classical Magnet, Coginchaug (new), Cromwell, East Catholic, Granby Memorial (new), Griswold (SS), Haddam-Killingworth, Holy Cross (SS), Housatonic/Wamogo, Hyde Leadership, Immaculate, Killingly, Montville (SS), Morgan, North Branford, Northwest Catholic, Notre Dame-Fairfield, Old Saybrook/Westbrook, Oxford, Plainfield (SS), Prince Tech, Rocky Hill (SS), Sacred Heart, Seymour (SS), SMSA/University, St. Joseph (SS), St. Paul/Goodwin Tech (SS), Stafford/East Windsor, Trinity Catholic, Valley Regional/Old Lyme, Weaver (MM), Weston (SS), Woodland (SS).
So, quick recap:
Parts of Class L get folded into Class LL. The biggest switches being Class L playoff teams Pomperaug, Conard and Simsbury. This is a strong, strong, strong division. All of the superpowers are here, including three teams from last year’s Class L playoffs. 2009 playoff teams (7): Staples, Cheshire, Xavier, Southington (LL); Pomperaug, Conard, Simsbury (L).
Class L becomes dominated mostly by former Class MM schools — of note, Hand, Bunnell, Darien, North Haven, and four-time defending Class MM champion New Canaan are now in league with Masuk, Naugatuck and Notre Dame-West Haven, last year’s Class L champ. A surprise entry is Avon, which leaps from Class M into this strong division. 2009 playoff teams (4): New Canaan, East Lyme (MM); Notre Dame-WH (L); Avon (M).
Class M – perhaps weakest of the bunch — gets dominated mostly by Class M and Class SS schools from last year. But of the Class SS schools added, missing are typical powers like Woodland, Seymour, Holy Cross. Defending champion Berlin stays, as does runner-up Bethel, traditional powers Brookfield, Hillhouse, Ledyard and New London. 2009 playoff teams (4): Berlin, Bethel, New London (M); Bullard-Havens (SS).
Class S is pound-for-pound it’s probably the best of the bunch. Ansonia, Bloomfield, Cromwell, Hyde, North Branford, Northwest Catholic are now joined by Holy Cross, Montville, Notre Dame-Fairfield, Seymour, and Class SS champ St. Joseph. Coginchaug, which loses Vinal Tech, joins this group, as does St. Paul/Goodwin Tech, which loses Lewis Mills. 2009 playoff teams (9): Coginchaug (as Vinal Tech/Coginchaug), St. Paul/Goodwin Tech (MM); Holy Cross, St. Joseph, Montville (SS); Ansonia, Bloomfield, Northwest Catholic, Hyde (S).
Remember, we have THREE playoff rounds this year. Quarterfinals, Semis and a championship the week after.
Lots to look forward to. Can’t wait.
Questions, comments. Thanks.