, Salem, MA


October 28, 2013

Local teams find familiar faces in postseason foes


Danvers (3 seed) and Masconomet (6 seed) will meet Friday night in another Div. 3 Northeast game in a contest with maybe the most local interest. Second-seeded Marblehead will host Wilmington on Friday night, also in Div. 3 Northeast.

St. John’s Prep picked up the No. 4 seed in Division 1 North and will host No. 5 Lowell on Saturday afternoon (2 p.m.).

SOUNDING OFF Now that the first regular season under the new MIAA football playoff system is complete, here is what some local coaches are saying: "In the past 10 years, the first half of the season it was kind of like none of the games mattered. It was just like a long preseason. Now, from the first week, every game counts. I think there was a sense of urgency from teams early on. It made for a much more exciting regular season, and being part of it (the playoffs) is going to be awesome." -- Bishop Fenwick's Dave Woods "It certainly is exciting. Playoffs are playoffs and I guess it has that excitement of a one-game season from here on out. The old format had that to some degree. There was more emphasis on the conference then. Here, we have four teams from our bracket playing. In that sense, the conference piece has been minimized to a degree. We'll see how it pans out. It's uncharted territory and we still have Thanksgiving looming, and that game will always be special." -- Beverly's Dan Bauer "It doesn't matter what the system was, somebody was going to be left out. But right now it's overtaking everybody. Everybody is in playoff mode and it seems to be pretty cool." -- North Shore Tech's Paul Worth "It was definitely a little different in the sense that it was a little bit of a mad dash at the end. People were playing hard knowing the what-ifs. It had that sense where anybody had a shot, especially in the CAL Small. I'm sure teams that are left out who had pretty decent seasons will have a different opinion, so it depends on who you ask. But we had some fun the last couple days." -- Hamilton-Wenham's Paul Worth "If you look at Danvers and Revere, and Lynn English, we could've taken care of business ourselves. We can blame ourselves for that. As a first year coach, I look at it and say, are we ready to play in that tournament? I'm realistic. Are we ready to play against Everett and St. John's Prep or Central Catholic? Maybe that's a little overboard for our program at this point. Maybe that's something we can look at next year, see how we do if we continue to build on this." -- Peabody's Mark Bettencourt

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