‘Shoreline 8’ looks at aligning with SCC in football (updated)

Ah, so the rumors were true.

Now, get ready for yet another round of Connecticut High School conference realignment.

According to a report by Chris Hunn of New Haven Register the eight football programs (10 schools total) of the former Pequot Sasasscus division are exploring a proposal to be absorbed into the Southern Connecticut Conference’s football fold.

Yes. Conference realignment fever… in high school.

(So what’s it going to take to get this done? Negotiating a deal with ESPN? Creating the SCC Network to compete with CIAC.TV? What’s the FCIAC’s play here? Start absorbing the SWC to rekindle its MSG Varsity deal? Or does the SWC make a move to merge with the NVL to save itself? Who’ll make the NVL network? Cox Cable?)

Anyway, this Shoreline talk is a preemptive move, apparently.

The ‘Shoreline 8’ — North Branford, Hyde Leadership (of Hamden, but a New Haven Public School), Old Saybrook/Westbrook, Morgan, Valley Regional/Old Lyme, Coginchaug, Cromwell and Haddam-Killingworth — want to jump into the comforting arms of the SCC because of increasing concerns that their position in the Pequot Football conference will be compromised by defections.

The former Pequot Sassacus Division recently saw Vinal Tech/East Hampton leave the league for the Constitution State Conference. Coupled with a few other possible moves, it seemed to throw a fright into the ADs over on the Shoreline.

The league realigned into three divisions, North, South and West in order to alleviate the issue. But the Eight are still looking for a lifeboat, even if the SCC doesn’t accept them (but, let’s be honest. Where else would they go? The ECC? The CSC?).

Update: Ned ‘Polecat’ Griffen has chimed in with a source that says the answer to that question is the ECC. Ned also says in his story that Avon, another Pequot school, is looking at the CCC and also mentions that Fermi (CCC) is closing and combining with Enfield (Pequot). Where would a combined Enfield go? We’ll guess it would take Fermi’s spot in the CCC.

As for the Pequot, “It’s viable and strong, but it’s changed a bit,” Morgan athletic director Kevin Rayel said in the NHR story. “It was more of an exploratory meeting to see what the future of Shoreline football is going to be. If other leagues come to speak with us, we’d welcome them too.”

The ‘Shoreline 8’ includes the new ‘Pequot South’ division — North Branford, Valley Regional/Old Lyme, Hyde, Haddam-Killingworth, Old Saybrook/Westbrook, Morgan and Coginchaug, plus Cromwell of the new ‘Pequot North’ division.

If approved, this move wouldn’t take place until 2015 since the SCC is committed to its current schedule for two years. ‘The Commish’ Al Carbone — who’s been dying to add schools to the SCC for years — told Hunn the SCC had no timetable to discuss the potential realignment.

How would this change the SCC?

Not much. The league would boost its membership to 27 teams, creating the possibility of a three-division alignment (Division I, Division II and Division III). And, sure enough, Carbone told Ned the Shoreline would ask for its own division.

Since all of the Shoreline 8 schools reside in Class S, we’re thinking the league automatically would put them in the D3 and add the SCC’s smallest (or weakest) football program.

The smallest school in the SCC is Sheehan with 450 male enrollment based on last year’s figures.. Hillhouse (last year’s Class M champion) is just above Sheehan at 451. East Haven is the third-smallest with a 459 and Foran the fifth-smallest with 474 and Law is sixth smallest with 490. Lyman Hall has 499.

In other words, the SCC makeup probably wouldn’t look all that different except for the one SCC school that gets bumped down to D3, and the configuration of the interdivision (aka: crossover) games.

The Shoreline would basically be its own league plus one. Which makes you wonder: Why switch allegiances at all?

Why become “Shoreline Football league, presented by the SCC?”

Just become the Shoreline Football League.

(It’s gotta be a pending ESPN/SCC TV deal, right?)

Sean Patrick Bowley