Connecticut High School Football

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‘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

13 Responses

  1. johnnyribbs says:

    So you would have 9×3 team divisions? So you play all 8 in your division then 1 cross over v. each other division? Call this the North Haven plan? Good news for the D2 schools. But will we really see Morgan v. Hand as a result?

    Nonnewaug to the NVL to add balance to the Oxford add? Back to 2 divisions?

  2. Makes no real change save for another banner for the SCC to wave. We’re just going to keep doing this until it collapses and we divvy up this state into districts.

  3. John says:

    Would this be the time for Prep, Shelton or somebody else to move to the FCIAC?

  4. division 2 says:

    as a d2 coach I am all for this. the top d1 schools feel it is there right to beat up on the d2’s. average margin of victory is 35 points in a d2 vs d1 matchup. the problem is the amity’s, wilbur cross’s complain that they should be division 2. don’t forget hamden, they win 16 games in 2 years and suddenly can’t win a game. they too are crying to be a d2 school. there needs to be more balance, hopefully the athletic directors recognize that this could be a good thing for the SCC. unfortunately, I think many ad’s will balk at this because these schools are only coming in for football.

  5. Rob says:

    I completely understand if the Shoreline 8 want to move into the SCC because it’s the most respected football league in the state and the Pequot is one of the least respected.

    But don’t try to sell the reason they are exploring the SCC is because of instability in the Pequot. It doesn’t seem unstable whatsoever. The example given to back up this claim is Vinal Tech/East Hampton leaving. Uh, are you serious? One team (that nobody has ever heard of) leaves the Pequot and now it’s suddenly unstable? Not buying that at all.

  6. Rob says:

    Much like the Pequot conference which they would be leaving, where the Shoreline 8 literally never played the teams in the northern part of the conference, the move to the SCC would not change too much. They would mostly play the same schools they do now with two crossover games mixed in.

    Johnny Ribbs comment about Hand vs Morgan is funny to me. He uses that example as something he finds ridiculous and/or unfair. But why is it ridiculous for two teams from the same league to play each other? The Shoreline 8 can’t have it both ways. They can’t join the SCCC for the cache it brings them, but then expect to only play the usual suspects.

  7. Carl D says:

    Adding those teams does not mean balance to the D1 teams. They will have to play murderers row as usual as the D2 will have easier schedules. If they took the 27 teams and divided them by geography you would still have have tougher divisions for some divisions and not others.

  8. johnnyribbs says:

    Definitely don’t consider it unfair Rob. Just pointing out that an outcome that leads to a D3 and D1 school playing in most cases would be a negative for both involved schools. It’s the Shelton scenario across every D1 school. 70 points for a win.

  9. old school says:

    the shoreline idea is a welcome one to the guilfords, branfords, milford schools of the world. if it’s done correctly the schedules will be much more managable. i agree with the an above’s post; the scc d1 teams feel its there right to beat up on the d-ii schools. they actually think its unfair that they have to play each other and that the d-ii schools should live with it so “more schools can make the playoffs” nb, valley, cromwell, and hyde will compete right away. again if the schedule is done correctly.

  10. local coach says:

    The leauge would allow New Haven to have a city championship (Cross Hillhouse & Hyde). Rumor is Hyde is already playing an SCC school this season (Lyman Hall). They also played Cross a few yrs back.

  11. mueller says:

    Hand vs. Morgan used to be a big rivalry back in the day, kidding aside. Had a chance to watch the Hand dvd “Tiger Pride” and when the program was in its infancy under legendary coach Larry Ciotti Morgan was the game. Hard to believe nowadays but is it always about school size or is it about how much commitment and passion a school/community puts forth behind their football program? Derby isn’t any smaller now than it was back in the day, does anyone with an even decent understanding of their history doubt that their legendary squads could have thrived in the SCC D1, football died in Derby for a variety of reasons, changing population and so on, but look at Ansonia, school size isn’t always the determining factor, as they have never wavered in their pursuit of excellence. D1 D2 in the SCC should vary every few years based on power rankings, therefore Hillhouse and Hamden should swap places, likewise Cross and North Haven, then based on their performance they can move up or down when the schedules change- makes sense to me anyways

  12. Bubba says:

    Hey Division II Coach: Here’s a concept for you. Get your kids in the weight room, go to a clinic, and prepare your kids better. It’s not only the size of the school, it’s the fight in the dog, and the committment starts with the head coach and the expectations he has for his assistants and players. Your not all in, but you want the all in rewards. Love Bubba

  13. ciacfollower says:

    @johnnyribbs #12 – I’m sure Morgan hopes not.