MIAA seeks to get more athletes involved in championship bid
By LORENZO RECUPERO
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Football Committee convened virtually via video chat and decided not to fix what isn’t broken.
The committee met to discuss proposed high school football divisional and tournament alignments for the 2021-23 seasons and voted 14-0-2 (two abstentions) in favor of keeping the current 8 division format with a redesigned playoff alignment.
Both the football committees proposals will go up to the Tournament Management Committee next on June 4 for official approval.
Since 2016, football has been played within 8 divisions, but a plan passed in February by the entire MIAA membership maxed the number of divisions in any given sport to five.
The MIAA’s approved plan, however, provided a provision that would allow for sports committees to “request divisional expansion or alternatives to realignment” when necessary to the TMC.
The football committees 8 division format proposal will allow for 16 teams to have a shot at a state championship and even more to participate in the tournament.
Proponents of the format noted the need to afford all athletes across each division the same opportunities to make it to the postseason.
At the start of the week, Everett High School had three teams entering the MIAA playoffs. By Wednesday morning, only two remained.
Basketball – Crimson Tide boys basketball handled their opening round playoff test with thorough besting of Methuen High School, moving past the first round with a 66-34 victory. They will host Cambridge Rindge and Latin in the quarter finals at EHS on Friday (2/28) at 7PM.
The Lady Tide will tip-off against Reading in the first round of the playoffs. The game is scheduled for 7PM Wednesday (2/26)at EHS. Hockey – In their first playoff appearance in four years, the Crimson Tide failed to make it out of the first round, falling to Boston Latin, 12-0.
Over the last five years, no one has beaten Everett more than the Central Catholic Raiders.
In Saturday’s MIAA Division 1 North Semifinals, C-C made sure it remained that way, topping the Tide, 39-37, in overtime.
Since winning back-to-back titles in 2016 & 2017, C-C has been the largest thorn in Everett’s side, keeping them from a shot at a three-peat while knocking them out the playoffs the last two years in a row.
In those two Everett-ousting wins by C-C (8-1), three and two points were the margin of victory.
Last year’s difference was a last-second field goal and this time around a 2-point conversion rush in overtime.
The back-and-forth slugfest between the two division 1 powerhouses Saturday at Lawrence was the thriller all knew it would be, featuring several lead changes, big-time plays, and even a little dusting of referee decisions that some in attendance would say altered the outcome of the game including a second half snafu that gifted C-C an extra down that eventually lead to a tie-breaking touchdown.
Second year head coach Theluxon Pierre and the Crimson Tide waited all year for the chance at a rematch with Central Catholic, and after easily taking down Acton-Boxborough 47-6 in the opening round of the MIAA playoffs, they’ve set themselves up for the semifinal showdown they’ve been waiting for.
The collision course between Central Catholic (7-1) and Everett (7-1) will take place at Lawrence Stadium Saturday at 12PM in what will be the fifth playoff meeting between the two sides over the last six years. In that span, Everett’s come out on top four times.
But CC’s lone triumph, on a game-winning field goal in the waning seconds of last year’s 23-20 playoff victory, snapped Everett’s two-year run as state champion and ended the inaugural season for head coach Theluxon Pierre, who was undefeated up to that point.
Their crash Saturday promises to make a real bang, too.
Over the last couple decades, Everett and the MIAA division 1 playoffs have become synonymous.
This season, nothing’s changed, as the Crimson Tide (6-1) enter the playoffs Friday against Acton- Boxborough (5-2) at Veterans Memorial Stadium (7PM kickoff).
High expectations always swirl around the team around this time and for good reason.
This year is no different. And it shouldn’t be.
The Tide are on a commanding roll, entering the playoffs in flat out juggernaut mode.
They’ve averaged just over 33 points per game and allowed just about 17 points per game defensively over the course of the year. In their last game of the regular season, the Tide posted a season-high 51 points against Somerville.
That decisive win is just the latest example of an ascending trend for the team. In its last three game stretch, they’ve averaged 43 points per game while giving up just 13 points in total.
Those numbers alone make for a very encouraging entrance to the playoffs.