Hoosac Valley, Wahconah Currently Hold Top Seeds on Gridiron
If the Massachusetts high school football season ended today, two things are clear: a lot of teams would miss out on their Senior Game celebrations and Berkshire County would have five of its eight teams competing in state tournaments.
Jim Clark of the Boston Globe Saturday morning released the paper's updated high school football power rankings, rating all 275 of the commonwealth's MIAA football teams in eight divisions.
This year marks the implementation of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association's new state tournament system in most sports as the state governing body moves away from the sectional format model that grouped schools into four geographic regions to feed a four-team state tourney.
Based on margin of victory and strength of schedule, more than half of the county's teams currently are making the cut for their respective divisions' 16-team state tournament fields, according to the numbers crunched by the Globe's staff.
With two weeks to go in the regular season, Wahconah and Hoosac Valley are the teams to beat in Divisions 7 and 8, respectively.
Wahconah is ranked first with a rating of 13.30, ahead of Northbridge (11.36) in D7. The only other Berkshire County school classified in Division 7 is Drury, which lost a little ground after taking its first loss of the season on Friday night and currently stands 30th in the 36-team division, according to the Globe's numbers.
In D8, the Hurricanes have a rating of 5.56 and are currently well clear of No. 2 Hull (2.19). Hoosac Valley is riding a five-game winning streak after opening with an overtime loss to Northampton, currently the No. 8 team in Division 4.
The Canes would face a Division 8 field with two other local schools if the current rankings hold.
Lee is currently seeded ninth and would have to go on the road in the first round of the tournament. It has one more chance to improve its playoff seed this Saturday when it goes to Hoosac Valley.
Taconic, which has a two-game winning streak after Friday's triumph at Chicopee, is No. 15 in D8 with two games left on its schedule, starting Friday in the City Championship game against Pittsfield at Berkshire Community College.
Speaking of the Generals, they also currently are in playoff contention. Pittsfield is ranked No. 7 in Division 5, according to the Globe, and would be home in the first round of the tournament if the seedings hold.
In Division 6, Monument Mountain is currently on the outside looking in at the playoff field; it is ranked 21st out of 32 teams in the division. The Spartans have won their last two games and have two games left to make up ground: at Pathfinder on Friday and at Drury on Oct. 30.
The county's fourth team in Division 8, McCann Tech, is ranked No. 40 in the field.
The MIAA is set to release its look at the power rankings on Monday. The state association also releases power rankings for soccer and volleyball in the middle of each week, but given the six-day and sometimes seven-day nature of those sports' schedules and the lag in teams reporting scores, the records used to calculate in-season rankings by state in those sports are frequently out of date by the time the rankings are announced.