If you rushed out and bought a box of Twinkies last week, you might want to do the same with the Division 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A playoff T-shirts for sale on Tuesday.
The MIAA released playoff sites and times Friday for the semifinal games, including four divisions you’ll probably never see again. The new playoff format, voted in last month and starting next fall, includes Divisions 1-6, but there's no need for the alphabet or the Tuesday semifinals, a major reason it was supported by a vote of 161-131. On the last Tuesday semifinal night ever, 16 games are spread across eight sites. Of the 32 participants, 11 were in the playoffs last season. Everett will be competing in the postseason for the 12th straight year.
If you're a coach, even one who championed the new format, you’re not complaining about playing Tuesday one last time.
“I like the [current] system, but I like the new one better,’’ said Masconomet coach Jim Pugh, also president of the Massachusetts Football Coaches Association. “We we were fortunate to have a good day on Thanksgiving. We’re just focused on Everett now.’’
Masconomet’s last playoff appearance was in Division 2A in 2009. Before that, it was Division 4 in 2003. And next year?
“We could end up in . . . who knows,’’ said Pugh.
The semifinal lineup:
Division 1 — All four teams are new this season. St. John’s Prep (9-1) faces Andover (10-1) at Cawley Stadium in Lowell at 7:45 p.m.; Weymouth (8-3) hosts Brockton (8-3) at 7:45 p.m.
Division 1A — Masconomet (9-2) plays Everett (9-1) at Manning Field in Lynn at 7:45; In a rematch from last season, Lincoln-Sudbury (10-1) faces top-ranked Barnstable (10-0) at Taunton at 5:15.
Division 2 — In another rematch, Reading (11-0) hosts Tewksbury (7-4) at 7:45; Duxbury faces Mansfield at Bridgewater-Raynham at 7:45.
Division 2A — Beverly (11-0) hosts Burlington (10-1) at 7:45; Plymouth South (8-3) faces Natick (10-1) at Braintree at 7:45.
Division 3 — Westwood (8-3) faces Wayland (8-3) at Reading at 5:15; Sharon plays Pembroke at 5:15 in Braintree.
Division 3A — Lynnfield (8-2) faces Amesbury (9-2) at Cawley Stadium at 5:15; The Pioneers beat Amesbury, 31-27, in September. Dighton-Rehoboth (9-1) faces Bishop Feehan (8-2) at Taunton at 7:45.
Division 4 — Shawsheen (9-1) plays St. Mary’s (10-1) at Manning Field at 5:15; Abington (11-0) faces Millis-Hopedale (8-3) at B-R at 5:15.
Division 4A — North Shore (8-3) plays Cathedral (9-2) at Burlington at 5:15; Bristol-Plymouth (5-6) faces Madison Park (7-4) at Weymouth at 5:15.
Voke bowls set
The lineup for the State Vocational Bowls was also announced Friday. Both games will be played Thursday at Manning Field in Lynn.
The Large School division is a rematch of last fall, with Greater New Bedford (5-6) playing Greater Lawrence (8-3) at 7 p.m. In the Small School division, Blue Hills (9-2) will play Minuteman (5-5) at 4:30 p.m.
Facts & figures
Blue Hills’s spot in the Voke bowl means of Vincent Burton’s career isn’t over yet. The senior has the sixth-highest career rushing total in state history at 5,493 yards, and he ranks third all-time in points with 642. With one game to play, Burton has run for a school-record 2,159 yards. He also finished as the leading scorer in EMass this fall with 250 points . . . In Central Mass, Holy Name senior Quron Wright finished the season with 5,755 career yards, two spots ahead of Burton, in fourth place.
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