I wrote in Monday’s blog that Prep, with a win over West Haven, would be the likely beneficiary of a Blue Devils loss.
Then, the bomb dropped on Tuesday.
Westhill, according to the CIAC, forfeited four wins thanks to an ineligible player. The Vikings fall to 1-8 as they prepare for their Thanksgiving game with Stamford.
One could ask how Westhill’s violation could adversely affect Prep? Why
should an FCIAC school with only five wins could derail an SCC squad’s state playoff chances.
Well, that’s because sitting at No. 9 is Ridgefield. The Tigers gained 30 bonus points because of Westhill’s forfeitures — which gave extra wins to Trumbull, Norwalk, Bridgeport Central and Ridgefield’s Thanksgiving opponent, Danbury.
Assuming the Tigers figure out a way to trump their staunch rival– the three-win Hatters– on Wednesday, then Prep somehow beats West Haven, Ridgefield will be Class LL’s No. 8 seed.
“It’s very disappointing for us,” Prep coach Tom Shea said via email on Tuesday. “You want these things to be settled on the field and not taken out of your hands because of off-fields events.”
Shea admitted that, while the Jesuits’ fate could be sealed by Thanksgiving morning, it won’t change how Prep will play.
“We have a great rivalry game on Thanksgiving to look forward to,” Shea said. “And we always take pride in playing our best so this will not impact how we play. It’s just one of those things that we can’t control.”
You could cry for Prep, but if the Jesuits had beaten either Amity or ND-West Haven, they’d be sitting in the catbird seat.
I spent part of Monday afternoon interviewing Fairfield Prep’s boys soccer team or its state championship match against Norwalk.
The Jesuits will play their first-ever state championship match Friday at 10:30 a.m. at New Canaan. Jesuits’ coach Ryan Lyddy spent about six minutes talking with me, and he said his club is loose.
“I think it’s going to be a very loose group we have,” Lyddy told me. “Because really, the pressure is not on us.”
Lyddy told me Prep and Norwalk scrimmaged before the season. He said he likes his team’s potential to compete with the Bears.
“I think we match up better with Norwalk,” Lyddy said. “I think it’s going to be more of a chess match than banging up and down the field.”
Prep senior midfielder and captain Davie Bruton also said he’s pleased that all the work the Jesuits put in over four years is paying off.
“It feels pretty awesome,” he said. “I knew coming through to Prep, we had a special class … we knew we could do something. I’m just excited to see it come to fruition.”
I did it last year, and I’ll offer you all the opportunity again.
Pick the Ludlowe vs. Warde Thanksgiving showdown.
Tweet at me with your pick, or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll post the comments in a post Wednesday, if there are enough of them, and will RT every pick I get on Twitter.
You can follow my updates live on Thursday, as I’ll be at Warde for the annual Mustangs/Falcons affair. Kickoff is 10 a.m.
Pat Pickens is the sports editor of the Fairfield Citizen, a Hearst Connecticut Newspaper organization. Follow him on Twitter here.