Blogs > GameTimeCT Football

A look at high school football throughout the state

Thursday, March 7, 2013

CIAC finals moving to Central Conn. State

Via press release

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference
(CIAC) Football Committee voted on Wednesday to hold the CIAC Football
Championship games at Arute Field on the campus of Central Connecticut
State University (CCSU) beginning with the 2013 season.

The first four championship games at Arute Field will take place Friday
and Saturday December 13-14, 2013 with one game played Friday evening and
three games on Saturday. The CIAC has held its football championships at
Rentschler Field the last three seasons.

“The CIAC Football Committee is grateful to CCSU for their interest and
support in hosting CIAC events,” CIAC Assistant Executive Director Paul
Hoey stated. “CCSU is the perfect size to accommodate our spectators and
creates an outstanding championship atmosphere. Their facility is one of
the best in the state, and having a turf field available will allow for
predictability with scheduling and field conditions.”

Following recent expansion, Arute Field now boasts a capacity of 5,500. It
has a modern press box, state-of-the-art video board and the partnership
with CCSU will also allow for expanded on-line ticket sales prior to the

“Central Connecticut State University is extremely excited to partner
with the CIAC in hosting their football championships beginning this
fall,” CCSU Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann said.  “This is an
exceptional opportunity for our institution to showcase our beautiful
campus and our premier athletics facilities to upwards of 10,000 parents,
student-athletes and high school sports fans from all corners of the state.
 CCSU alumni have long been interwoven in the fabric and storied tradition
of high school athletics in Connecticut.  There is natural synergy in this
partnership on many levels and we are proud to bring these events home to
Central.  We look forward to working with Karissa Niehoff, Paul Hoey and
their staff and we are confident that the fans of Connecticut High School
football will enjoy a first class experience at Arute Field.”

“The Committee believes holding the championship games at Arute Field
provides the best experience and atmosphere for our student-athletes and
fans and makes the most sense for our organization at this time,” Hoey
explained. “Our relationship with Rentschler has been tremendous, and the
decision to move to a new venue is not a reflection of any dissatisfaction
with the people there or that experience.”

CCSU has hosted single CIAC football championship games in the past, most
recently the Class MM final in 2007. The CIAC began holding its four
football championship games at the same site in 2010 with Rentschler Field
serving as the host all three seasons.

“We’ve always been pleased to host CIAC football championship games,
and we are still open to working with state high school organizations and
will work hard to be good partners for any events in the future,” said
Jack Freeman, Director of Stadium Operations for Rentschler Field.

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CIAC considering Open Division

Ned Griffen at the New London Day reported that the CIAC is considering adding an Open Division to the football playoffs.

He writes:
The CIAC's football committee has tried to alleviate that problem, discussing two ideas: an all-co-op/technical school division and an open division featuring the state's eight best teams, regardless of size.

"We've brought it up," New Canaan High School coach Lou Marinelli, the head of the football coaches committee, said. "At the next meeting, I'm certainly going to bring it up."
Teams must win at least 40 percent of their games to qualify for the state tournament in other CIAC sports.

Thirty-two of 146 football teams qualify for states (21.9 percent). There have been numerous instances where a one-loss team didn't make states.

Nothing could be changed until the 2015 season because the CIAC and its football committee are three years into a their five-year agreement using the present system - four, eight-team divisions.
The playoffs previously had six, four-team divisions.

"I know we're not going to get both," Hand of Madison coach/committee member Steve Filippone said. "The most likely scenario is that we'd get some movement on the co-op division I think, but I'm not dismissing in any way, shape or form an open division because I feel there's a lot of good feeling about that."

The open division would not only just allow eight more teams into the playoffs, it would settle all No. 1 debates on the field and pique interest amongst football fans.

Filippone said that a BCS-formula could be created using The Day's Top 10 state coaches poll, the New Haven Register media poll, and Ned Freeman's computer rankings for and A coaches committee would then seed the eight teams.

Teams wouldn't be able to opt out of the open division.

  • Add an Open Division but eliminate a Class so there's still only four divisions (Open, L, M, S). Still include Tech schools and co-ops as part of the four divisions.
  •  Reconstruct the enrollment policy. Under the new policy, a current Class M team might move up to Class L and a Class S might move up to Class M. This balances the field for when teams move out of the letter divisions and into the Open Division and the field in the letter divisions won't be diluted.
  • Keep the postseason schedule as is: Quarterfinals the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, semifinals that Saturday and championship games the following weekend.
I am against adding more teams to the field. I understand the coaches have expressed interest in having the number of qualifying teams similar to those in other sports but, quite frankly, a team that wins only 40 or 50 percent of games in football doesn't deserve to make the playoffs.

So, let's say that last season five Class LL teams (Staples, Southington, Xavier, Newtown, NFA) qualified for the Open Division.

The remaining three Class LL teams (Greenwich, Glastonbury and West Haven) become the top 3 seeds in the newly formed Class L division. Then five remaining teams from Class LL and Class L under the restructured enrollment policy would fill out the Class L field.

Let's say in Class S, Ansonia and Capital/Classical/Achievement qualified for the Open Division, then the next eight teams in that division (North Branford, Rocky Hill, Hyde, Trinity Catholic, Woodland, Prince Tech, Stonington, Oxford) play for the Class S title.

More thoughts (edited from original post):

I understand a concern is an 9-1 team not making the playoffs. It's likely that a 9-1 team would be considered for the Open Division. If they don't make the Open field, it's likely they will still make the playoffs in their letter division.

A way to ensure a 9-1 team makes it is to have a ladder system. Say a Class L team (under my format) doesn't make Open Division or Class L, they can be bumped down to qualify in Class M. Or if a 9-1 Class S team doesn't qualify in S, they can be bumped up to Class M.

This way, the eight best teams make the Open division and then the next best 24 teams qualify for a letter division.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Beler Scholarship Dinner

The Joe Beler Sr. Scholarship Dinner and Comedy Show will take place on March 9 (Saturday) at 7 p.m. at Vazzano's Four Seasons (337 Kenyon St.) in Stratford.

John Romanoff, one of the top comics in New England, will perform. 

Tickets are $50 and available at the door. A full buffet dinner is included.

Beler died in 2010. Beler coached the Foran football team for five years in the late 1980s. He started the Law wrestling program in 1973 and also coached volleyball at Foran. He was also an assistant football coach at Law, Milford Academy and at Notre Dame-Fairfield under his son, Joe Beler III. Beler was an assistant under current Foran coach Jeff Bevino for nine seasons at Milford Academy.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dawon Dicks out at ND-Fairfield

Dawon Dicks has been let go as head football coach at Notre Dame-Fairfield after one season. The news was first reported on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

ND athletic director Rob Bleggi later released a brief statement, which read:

"Coach Dicks is no longer the head football coach at Notre Dame-Fairfield. I have no further comment on the matter."

Notre Dame went 1-9 last season.

The Fairfield, Conn. Sports page on Facebook had this information:

According to twitter, Notre Dame Fairfield’s Dawon Dicks has been dismissed as the school's head football coach. Players and students took to twitter late Monday night in protest of Dick’s dismissal using the hash tag #WeWantCoachD.

The school has yet to confirm or deny that Dick’s will no longer be coach. Via a text message early Tuesday morning, Notre Dame athletic director Rob Bleggi said he had no comment at this time.

Dicks, an alumnus of the school, was hired as the Lancers coach in August and went 1-9 in his lone season. Since Jeff Bevino stopped coaching the Lancers in 2005, Notre Dame has had four different coaches and now will have three different coaches in three years come the fall.

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Shoreline/SCC Lifting Competition set for Friday

Guilford High School will host a six-team weight lifting competition featuring teams from the SCC. Guilford football coach Tom Unger billed it as "the Shoreline/SCC Meet".

The event will feature Guilford, Branford, Lyman Hall, Hand, North Haven and West Haven, and is expected to begin at 3 p.m. on Friday March 8.

This is the fifth year that Unger has run the competition at the school and he hopes to expand the event in the future.

Due to the small space in the Guilford weight room, viewing by the public may be limited, although there is no admission fee.

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