Are You Ready For Some Football? – The Hometown View 12/2/11
This is New Jersey’s version of championship weekend in high school football and when the dust settles late Saturday night there will be 20 schools that can proclaim themselves as state champions.
Sectional Finals will be played at MetLife Stadium, Kean, Rutgers, The College of New Jersey and Rowan as this is the first year the NJSIAA has held all the games at neutral sites.
It could also be among the final years of the current format which leaves many fans, players and coaches wondering why we can’t play this out a bit further and have overall state group champions. The reason now is simple….the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Constitution has a clause in it that says no state championships can be declared in football.
Of course that in itself is a bit hypocritical because the non-public or parochial schools will be playing for overall titles this weekend. I guess that doesn’t count.
Anyway on Monday member schools of the NJSIAA will gather at the Pines Manor for their annual business meeting and they will be asked to vote on whether that clause can be lifted to allow for state championship games.
Despite many rumors that have been circulating the vote is not to adopt any new playoff system but rather just allow for the possibility of one to exist. In order for this to happen 2/3s of the member schools, usually represented by Superintendents or Principals would have to vote in favor of the constitution change. Since proponents are only asking that a change be made which would allow for further dialogue and discussion you would think this would be a no-brainer. However remember this is New Jersey and this is Education which does not always grasp change so passage is not a foregone conclusion.
While I won’t go into detail the situation at Wayne Hills High School is further proof that some people just don’t get it. If you have not followed the story nine members of the football team were charged with assault after beating up two students from a rival school during a brawl following a party back in October. The school went back and forth on what to do before the Board of Education finally did the right thing last Friday and suspended the players which make then ineligible to play in a championship game tomorrow. However the parents of the 9, who should be ashamed of their son’s behavior, instead hired lawyers to get the suspensions overturned. It looks like that effort won’t be successful unless the Commissioner of Education overturns a judge’s ruling this morning. Let’s hope he doesn’t.