The CIAC on Monday released its fall sports schedules for 2021 and — hallelujah! — there are no extraordinary modifications, no regional distance pods or truncated seasons. Just like the the recently-completed spring season, the fall season is expected to be full go for the first time in two years.
And, yes — for anyone wondering — that includes a full football slate. For the first time since 2019, CIAC-sponsored football, canceled here in Connecticut due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is back on the autumn menu. With the pandemic receding, especially in Connecticut, football will be returning soon to a field near you.
The CIAC did not release its 2021 state playoff divisions, however, but expect them soon. Though an official 2021 packet wasn’t released, the CIAC did publish the important dates for 2021:
“Off-season training activities,” which — without a spring season this year — becomes the official start for all teams. Those are scheduled to begin August 12-14. The first contact practices are Aug. 21.
The first games will be allowed Thursday, Sept. 9, meaning Friday night football returns Sept. 10. The last day to for games count for the 2021 season is Friday, Nov. 25 — i.e. the day after Thanksgiving.
The state quarterfinals are Tuesday, Nov. 30, the semifinals Sunday, December 5 and the championships will be Saturday, Dec. 11 at sites to be determined.
A couple of quick notes: These 2021 schedules are by no means set in stone — some teams, particularly in the CCC, only list a handful of games. The last day programs can add games will be some time just before the seasons kicks off.
Finally, there have been two school closings since 2019, including Trinity Catholic (FCIAC) and Sacred Heart (NVL). Sacred Heart’s closing and Housatonic dropping out created a handful of new co-operatives (Nonnewaug, for example, is hosting a co-op with Wolcott Tech and Wamogo; Bulkeley is now a part of the SMSA Co-Op; Kaynor Tech and Wilcox Tech have joined forces). There have been some minor league adjustments (CREC Co-Op is part of the Pequot).
But on the whole, every is just about where we left it two years ago.
First game since Newtown beat Darien in the Class LL championship is Ansonia at Wilby, 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 9.
More later. Check out your favorite team or league’s schedule now: