FRANKLIN — Ten schools making a second attempt to convince the MIAA Football Committee to change their divisional placement converged on Wednesday. For seven of the 10, the results were worth the drive. Each school had already appealed its alignment this month before a football sub-committee.
Boston Latin, Arlington Catholic, Matignon, Pope John, Diman, Mashpee, along with Maynard from CMass were all granted its appeals.
“We’re thrilled, we’re thrilled for our kids,” said AC athletic director Dan Shine.
But not everyone went home happy. Brookline asked to be moved from Division 1 South to the North, in part to avoid facing Newton North in the playoffs, potentially a third meeting with its Thanksgiving rival, but was denied.
Duxbury asked to move from Division 2 to Division 3. Acknowledging his school’s recent success (11-1 last fall), athletic director Thom Holdgate asked the committee to focus on the enrollment numbers more than the Green Dragons’ win total. The committee said no.
And Sharon, which made the postseason last fall for the first time in school history, paid for that success with placement in Division 3 Southeast. Its appeal to move to Division 4 was denied despite athletic director Bill Martin pointing out that even against Division 4 competition, his school was 4-17-1 over the previous eight years. “Our expectations historically are a couple wins,” said Martin, trying to draw the focus from this fall’s Division 3 Super Bowl title. It didn’t work and Sharon was denied.
Boston Latin asked to move from Division 3 Northeast to the Northwest. Athletic director and coach John McDonough said his appeal “was purely geographic” and pointed out the difficulty of schools such as Masconomet and Gloucester getting to Latin’s home field of White Stadium in Boston on a Friday night.
But in granting the appeal, the committee evened the sectionals at 11 schools each by moving Wilmington for the second time in a month, this time from the Northwest to the Northeast. At the North sub-committee appeals, Wilmington had asked to move into the Northwest, citing travel concerns. The sub-committee said yes. But Wednesday’s full committee decision sends Wilmington back to its original sectional.
With AC moving to Division 4, the committee replaced it in Division 3 Northwest with Belmont, previously the largest school in Division 4. Matignon, Pope John, Mashpee, and Diman, all moved from Division 5 to Division 6.
Maynard’s day might have been the most emotional. After saying its program was near elimination as recently as two years ago because of lack of participation, the CMass school asked to drop from Division 5 to Division 6. After a lengthy executive session, it was denied. Athletic director Kevin Caruso was told he wouldn’t get a reason because the discussion took place in executive session. But three hours later, the committee ended the appeals session by saying it had reconsidered its vote and Maynard was granted the appeal.
Before the appeals, the committee heard from representatives of the South Shore League and South Coast Conference, which said they were dividing in two and asked the MIAA to include the new leagues in the playoff format. The South Shore League will add Randolph and split into Large (Abington, East Bridgewater, Norwell, Rockland, and Randolph) and Small (Carver, Cohasset, Hull, Monomoy, and Mashpee). The South Coast will split into Tier A (Dighton-Rehoboth, Apponequet, Wareham, Seekonk and Old Rochester) and Tier B (Fairhaven, Greater New Bedford, Bourne, and Case). By dividing, the SSL will get four automatic playoff berths, the SSC three.