One of the more interesting debates among high school coaches is which means more: an FCIAC or state championship? I’ve heard arguments on both sides.
That question will be at the forefront the next few days for the Westhill baseball team — as well as Darien, Staples and Trumbull, the other semifinalists in the FCIAC Tournament. Thanks to the rain and the CIAC, it is conceivable that tomorrow’s winners might have to play four straight days, severely hampering their chances at a state title.
First a quick word about the CIAC, which would need a huge government bailout if it was a bank and not the governing body of high school sports in the state. Is there a more feckless organization around? I am convinced that there is no one making decisions with an IQ above single digits.
The state baseball tournaments will begin on Monday, with second-round games on Tuesday and then three days off before Saturday’s quarterfinals. No one can understand why. Wouldn’t it make more sense to go Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday or Monday-Wednesday-Saturday? That would be too practical for a group that should be renamed the CDAR: Can’t Do Anything Right.
Westhill baseball coach DJ Mulvany has had to think hard about how to set up his rotation with the prospect of playing four straight days after three off because of rain. Mulvany said he has decided to go with his ace, Steve Rivera, who won Tuesday’s quarterfinal game with Ludlowe, in tomorrow’s semifinal with Darien, then turn to John Porter for a possible title game.
Mulvany said he would likely then go with either Nate Newhall or Tyler Rich — whoever is more rested — for Monday’s game, then start the other on Tuesday if the Vikings win out.
Mulvany said there are two big reasons for starting Rivera today: you want to go with your best and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Plus, Darien beat Porter during the regular season, 12-2, and also faced him in the preseason.
Asked if he thought about tinkering with the schedule because of the possibility of playing four straight days, Mulvany said, “No because I think it would send a bad message to the kids that a game wasn’t important. We’ve been talking all year about getting to Harbor Yard.”
The Vikings won the CIAC Class LL Tournament last season after losing to Staples in the FCIAC final.
So where does Mulvany stand on the league/state title debate?
“I think if you are going to win one I’d rather win the state tournament,” he said. “The tournament is state-wide and the best of the best get in. While I think the FCIAC is the most competitive league — that’s a bias on my part — and the FCIAC is important, the state I think is a bigger prize.”