Class LL final postponed again; CIAC open to modifying football schedule

The scene at Boyle Stadium in Stamford during the Class L final.

The scene at Boyle Stadium in Stamford during the Class L final.

The Class LL state football championship between Fairfield Prep and Southington has been postponed for the fourth time and will now be played Thursday at 6:35 p.m. at West Haven’s Ken Strong Stadium.

Paul Hoey, the associate executive director for the CIAC, said the stands were cleared of snow at West Haven, but the issue was getting ice off the field.

Falcon Field in Meriden was considered as a possible site if West Haven was not ready, but the CIAC decided against playing there. If the game is postponed again, Friday would be the final day to reschedule. If the game can’t be played on Friday, co-champions will be declared.

Originally, according to the CIAC bylaws, the last day to play was this past Sunday. But an exception was requested and approved that allowed the season to be extended.

It marks unprecedented territory for the CIAC. For the first time, a football tournament will end after the start of the boys’ winter season, which begins on Wednesday.

“It does create issues with the start of boys’ sports; it does impact it,” Hoey said. “But both schools wanted to play, and they wanted us to do whatever we could.

“Friday is the absolute deadline. We are not extending it beyond Friday. If we can’t go Thursday, we will go Friday (at West Haven).”

This past weekend’s snow storm jumbled the championship schedule. Hoey said the CIAC will meet in the offseason to discuss the schedule and tournament format to see if modifications need to be made.

“Frankly, we need to take a look at it because this is far too late to be playing football,” Hoey said. “We need to look to see if changes need to be made or a whole new schedule. It’s time to take a look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.”

The Class L final, in which New Canaan defeated rival Darien on Saturday, was moved from Arute Field on the campus of Central Connecticut State to Boyle Stadium in Stamford.

In Class M, St. Joseph defeated Brookfield on Saturday at Arute before the bulk of the snow fell. Ansonia won its 19th state title with a victory over Woodland on Friday night at Arute in clear conditions.

Hoey said the CIAC hopes to make playing at Central a multi-year commitment, but the current agreement is just for this year.

Each passing day adds to the title droughts both Fairfield Prep and Southington are in the midst of; Prep hasn’t won a title since 1988 while the Blue Knights last won in 1998.

“There is nothing I can say,” Prep coach Tom Shea said. “These are events that neither I nor Prep can control. We have to be adaptable and we’ll be ready to play.”


  1. Football fan says

    They should play all the Final games Friday night at multiple stadiums. I honestly do not think that many people go to more than one game. If all the games were scheduled for this past Friday, we wouldn’t even be talking about this.

  2. highschoolfootballwatcher says

    Or, is it just time to invest in a 10-15000 seat covered stadium centrally located. Kind of like Mohegan which they use now…

  3. Fan says

    It really is a Catch 22. Connecticut starts the season way too late compared to every other state, especially northern ones that have to worry about weather. So, the CIAC should start the season earlier. However, this does not solve the issue because the last game of the season is always the Thanksgiving day games. No matter what, even playing the Tuesday playoff game, the playoffs will run into December.

    I don’t think they should get rid of the Thanksgiving game. It gives teams that don’t make the playoffs a meaningful game and is probably the best high school tradition. All the recent grads and everyone from the area is home for the holidays and can come to watch the game.

    What may be a possible solution is start the season 2/3 weeks early. All teams get their first 9 games in. Then play the Conference Championship the 10th weekend. I am not sure how the calendar would work, but have the first and possibly second round of the playoffs. Then the Thanksgiving game. Teams would then have 9 days to prepare for the State Championship on the first Friday/Saturday in December.

    What do you all think? And yes, a covered stadium would be ideal.

  4. P-Daddy says

    Thanksgiving day games are a dying breed. Kill them off now.
    Season should absolutely start two weeks earlier (maybe 3). There should not be games when there are SATs. Play a 10 game schedule (11 is stupid), but 2 games must be non-conference. WHole state is on bye week in middle of season on date for SATs.
    Keep playoff format as is with 8 teams in 4 divisions with 4 champions. Keep the arguments over who is ranked #1. With no games on Thanksgiving, the playoffs can start the Sat after Thanksgiving.
    PLay championship at Yale Bowl and plug into the Walter Camp Foundation.
    Done – next issue.

  5. PapaDags says

    Sorry but I must wholeheartedly disagree with abandoning the Turkey day games…perhaps where some are from it is meaningless, but to a whole lot it has and will remain a tradition that BETTER NOT be meddled with. Some schools have done it for over 100 yrs. (yes the real football programs that get true fan base and turnout) Yes there are most schools in the state of ct that play them for the revenue or cause they need to fill a schedule. and will play anyone available. that’s a shame cause they haven’t been involved with tradition. therefore don’t know any better cause they never had the taste of what exactly I am talking about.. Think about that for a moment… I certainly hope the CIAC doesn’t view this the same way you do but have no confidence in the CIAC and could make such an asinine decision based on revenue alone…Quite frankly, they are a bumbling breed of self rightghous , self-centered , egotistical fools. (who also no nothing of tradition) Too bad we can not vote these people in office as we would our elected officials, but then again , we voted O I won’t say his name as he is not deserving of my typing ability or spelling his name either as I have no respect for her either, I mean him. Another jackass who tried changing things that were but made them worse… Well I said my piece on both issues and await your reply with open arms….Take your best shot but don’t touch the thanksgiving tradition…please for all of us who DO care and look forward to it each and every year…(and what’s better than listening to the coach running down scores that thurs am with the turkey cooking) as they say “nigga please”

  6. Vern says

    Can the CIAC give a reason this game must be played in West Haven? I am sure there are multiple locations that could have cleared and playable by today.

  7. Al says

    Thanksgiving games are still the biggest game of the year across the state. Biggest crowds and everyone participates. The weather happens and there is no reason you can’t adjust around a snow storm. The CIAC just dropped the ball on this game. Which looks to be the best match up of all the championship games.

  8. ct-hs-footballfan says

    This game must be played. how do you tell your football team they are co-champions? thats just foolish. no athlete wants to say they are a co- champion because the state did not let them play the game. how many times do athletes actually make a championship game? try to tell them oh you made it but you can play it, come on now. as a coach i would rather lose the championship game and say we gave our best effort instead of having someone tell me the game will not be played so you have no shot at winning. might as well do a coin toss to determine the winner.

  9. concerned football lover says

    With all the recent research coming to light about head trauma, why not take after the NESCAC and play an 8 game regular season? That way, our kids are safer, and playoffs are long over by the start of the winter season.

    • P-Daddy says

      If the difference b/t 8, 10, or 11 games makes a real difference in the CTE analysis then we need to completely shut down the game of football.
      The fact is we don’t much at all about CTE, except that it is real.
      What little we do know, it appears as if it is more associated with multiple, repetetive concussion and concussion-like trauma. It has impacted NFL players, but the degree and frequency is unmeasured. That is a far cry from extending it to high school players.
      NFL players collide at much greater velocity and frequency and it occurs in practice after practice, game after game, week after week, year after year.
      All that being said, for other reasons I do agree that 11 regular season games are too much.
      I agree that Thanksgiving day games are great, but something has to give. A lot of teams play their big rivalry game the Sat before Thanksgiving and enjoy the same atmosphere (see Hall v. Conard in West Hartford for example).

  10. ter says

    cant get rid of thanksgiving games, there is to much tradition and to many schools that pay for their season mostly from the thanksgiving day games…. there are so many great rivalries played on thanksgiving it would be a shame to get rid of them. NFA and New London is like the 5th longest running game in the country. Ansonia/Naugy, derby/shelton have all been going over a century. New Canaan/Darien, the green bowl…. this is one of the best days in connecticut high school sports regardless how good some of these teams are year to year to say that the rivalries would hold the same gravity a week or two earlier just isnt true either. these games being on thanksgiving makes them that much better

    I know l left some out but you get my point. i dont know if there is a perfect solution to this problem but i dont see why u cant start winter sports a week or two later, or just can the two game playoff which is just senseless anyway

  11. thanksgiving says

    a couple of years ago the idea of having playoffs start before thanksgiving was brought up, it was shot down by the AD’s i think because they were worried that if a team had a semifinal game after thanksgiving and turkey day didn’t count for playoff points then teams wouldn’t play all out. I thought this was foolish reasoning, not too many coaches or players out there who coach not to win, they might substitute more liberally and make sure all players get more playing time, but that’s not a bad thing. the teams that don;t make the playoffs make turkey day there bowl game.
    for what’s it worth, lacrosse is extending their season past graduation this year. this is just as if not more ridiculous than 1 playoff game having to be extended past the cutoff date.
    There are a lot of good football programs in the state and many great players, the coaches need more time to work on football with their players, not hitting – but skill work, give the coaches open dates in the summer where they are allowed to spend football related time with their players. This will improve the product and help balance things out for the programs that aren’t willing/allowed to cheat the rules all summer.

  12. JB says

    Have been thinking about this and here is what I would do to improve things, but keep our CT traditions:

    Regular season is 8 in-conference games and 2 cross-over games with CIAC matching like-strength programs (all in week 1 and week 6). T-day games stand as is. After T-day at end of regular season each division has a “BCS-like” rank which is a combination of (1) CIAC playoff points (current system but modified up or down for out-of-division competition) and (2) an “elite 8″ media poll for each of the four divisions (run by SPB/NHR, of course!). Top 4 teams make the playoffs with neutral-site semi-final round Tuesday night and the finals Saturday in twi-night doubleheaders (S&M / L&LL) at two quality high school venues.

    Result … maximum of 12 games (13 if league has a title game), but guarantee of at least 10 quality games … the 2 crossover games add better regular season competition within divisions and more state-wide fan interest … the T-day “play-in” atmosphere is maintained … the Media has some skin in the game and the CIAC point system is “strength of schedule” adjusted, so there should be no “first-round pretenders” like there is in the current 8 team playoffs. SEASON DONE BY FIRST WEEKEND IN DECEMBER!

    • P-Daddy says

      THis is similar to what I”ve previously said, so I agree. I’d start earlier so that the whole state has a bye one weekend in middle of the season when SATs are going. Agree with Tgiving to allow more summer 7 on 7 time. It is actually being done by nearly everyone, but the rules are murky and need to be relaxed. We don’t want to be teaching our kids to win by cheating. The fact that everyone is doing it is not a reason for anyone to do it. Point is, let’s relax the rules for 7 on 7 in the summer.

  13. old school says

    rivalries are just that rivalries. whether they are played on thanksgiving or not these will still be big games. the state must decide to either keep thanksgiving and deal with possible weather issues or start the season earlier and finish before the threat of bad weather is more prevalent.

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