At April 8 meeting in Milford

Published in the March 28, 2016 edition.

MILFORD — Even though there was a realignment of the divisions in high school football by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, the playoff system put in place three years ago could be abolished.

MIAA schools will meet for a state wide vote on Friday, April 8 at the Doubletree in Milford. They will be asked to vote on maintaining the current playoff system as is or abolishing it and forcing the MIAA Football Committee to come up with another alternative.

High School principals and/or athletic directors will attend and each school will have a vote. It is unclear who will be there from Wakefield Memorial High School to cast the vote, but Brendan Kent, K-12 Director of Athletics, Health, and Wellness for the Wakefield Public Schools will be there. He is not sure if WMHS Principal Rich Metropolis will be there as well or not.

A yes vote means the current system stays in place and the MIAA Football Committee would be given the power to tweak the format whenever needed.

A no vote means the season would go back to 11 games with the regular season ending on Thanksgiving and the MIAA Football Committee would have to go back to the drawing board to devise a new playoff system.

While some feel it would simple to vote no and go back to the system used between 2001-12 in which semifinals were played on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the Super Bowls contested on Saturday, there are two major sticking points there. One, this would essentially do away with a concept of a statewide championship as it would be hard to believe games would be played in mid-December, cutting further into the winter season. Two, it is very hard to believe any MIAA committee (given the nationwide move toward safety) would allow three football games to be played in a 10-day span anymore.

Kent said that right now, the major question from coaches and AD’s is: “What does a ‘No’ vote mean?”

“There is no proposed alternative to the current playoff system, so no one knows what could happen if the ADs and principals vote no,” said Kent. “David Pignone is our Middlesex League and district liaison for football and represents our league on the football committee. He is the AD at Stoneham High School.”

If the yes vote prevails and the current system is kept, then Kent believes there are a couple of big issues to be addressed. There may be other issues that need to be addressed by member schools, so tweaks can be made to the system.

“Teams want to avoid a repeat of playing each other like we did against Melrose three times two years ago and twice last year,” said Kent. “The other is I would like to see us play more of the teams from the Middlesex again with the crossover games. To me, those are two big issues to resolve.”