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.”