The most experienced playoff coach is St. John's Prep's Jim O'Leary, who has his Eagles in the postseason for the ninth time and has a record of 5-6 as the Prep hosts Lowell tomorrow. Rogers' opponent, Masco's Jim Pugh, has taken the Chieftains to the playoffs for the seventh time, though he's 2-6 in previous postseasons.
Bishop Fenwick’s Dave Woods is leading the Crusaders to the playoffs for the sixth time in his tenure when they host St. Mary’s tonight. He is 2-3 including a pair of Super Bowl titles in 1999 and 2000. Paul Worth is bringing North Shore Tech to the playoffs for the fifth time with a record of 1-3.
Beverly’s Dan Bauer is a perfect 4-0 in the playoffs and lead the Panthers to the postseason for the third time. Jim Rudloff of Marblehead and Andrew Morency at Hamilton-Wenham are making their third playoff appearances each with identical records of 1-2.
There’s been some talk that teams that didn’t qualify for the postseason and are playing out the string in the MIAA consolation games may not be excited. This is certainly not the case in Peabody, where first-year coach Mark Bettencourt has been impressed with the way his team has come to work every week this season.
“After losing to Revere (two weeks ago), you could’ve seen guys hang theirs or revert back to the old ways, so to speak,” said Bettencourt. “I’ve seen none of that. These have been resilient, relentless kids.”
As it turned out, the Tanners (3-4 at Chelmsford tonight) probably would’ve needed to go 5-2 to qualify in Division 1 North.
“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," said Bettencourt.