The Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference released its football schedules Thursday, giving Berkshire County schools their first view of how the new PVIAC merger will look. The re-alignment is operating on a one-year trial. It was put in place to create more competitive games between schools with similar enrollments.
Even with the new alignments, there are plenty of marquee matchups scheduled. Pittsfield will be at home against Wahconah on Sept. 30. The Generals will host Taconic Oct. 14, and they'll travel to face Hoosac Valley Oct. 21. Hoosac and Wahconah will meet Oct. 28 in Cheshire. Hoosac Valley hosts Taconic on Oct. 8 in a rematch of last year's Western Massachusetts Division V final. Those games, and the others on the schedule are subject to change.
McCann Tech's move to the Intercounty West has the Hornets playing three Berkshire County teams this season, the most county schools faced since the Hornets' time in the Kosior League 20 years ago. The Hornets went from the Kosior League to Tri-County League, but now they will not face another vocational school, presenting a unique challenge.
"We have no vocational schools on our schedule at all," McCann coach Bob LeClair said. "We left the league to play those schools, but with the success we've had we can be competitive."
LeClair added that after years of playing and forming rivalries with the likes of Pathfinder and Franklin Tech, Drury — a team McCann will host on Oct. 14 — could provide a renewed rivalry for his team.
While better competition is important, maintaining rivalries is also important to fanbases and, in some case, those rivalries will not take place this season.
The Intercounty South has three crossovers games, two against the Suburban North and one against the Intercounty North. This breakdown prevents a meeting between rivals Lee and Monument Mountain.
Hoosac Valley and Drury will also not play each other, as Suburban North and Intercounty West teams did not crossover.
Schedules can still be tweaked, but for now, Lee athletic director Art Reilly said the PVIAC did a good job of providing balanced schedules for all teams.
"The PVIAC put a lot time to get the best schedule for everybody," he said. "It's a one-year thing. We've got a good schedule, so that's what it is for one year. ... We'd love to play Monument, but it didn't work out this year.
"It's never going to be perfect for everybody and we're ready to go with it."
Suburban North: Chicopee, Hoosac Valley, Pittsfield, South Hadley, Taconic, Wahconah
Intercounty South: Amherst, Belchertown, Easthampton, Ludlow, Monument Mountain
Intercounty West: Drury, Lee, McCann Tech, Mohawk, Mount Greylock
2016 Schedules (schedules subject to change; date indicates weekend of the contests)
Drury — Sept. 9 at Frontier; Sept. 16 vs. Pioneer; Sept. 23 at Palmer; Sept. 30 vs. Smith Voc; Oct. 7 at Lee; Oct. 14 at McCann Tech; Oct. 21 vs. Mohawk; Oct. 28 vs. Mount Greylock.
Hoosac Valley — Sept. 9 Open; Sept. 16 vs. Amherst; Sept. 23 Open; Sept. 30 at South Hadley; Oct. 7 vs. Taconic; Oct. 14 Chicopee; Oct. 21 at Pittsfield; Oct. 28 vs. Wahconah.
Lee — Sept. 9 at Turners Falls; Sept. 16 vs. Palmer; Sept. 23 at Pathfinder; Sept. 30 at Mohawk; Oct. 7 vs. Drury; Oct. 14 vs. Ware; Oct. 21 at Mount Greylock; Oct. 28 vs. McCann Tech.
McCann Tech — Sept. 9 at Greenfield; Sept. 16 vs. Ware; Sept. 23 at Pioneer; Sept. 30 at Mount Greylock; Oct. 7 vs. Mohawk; Oct. 14 vs. Drury; Oct. 21 vs. Palmer; Oct. 28 at Lee.
Monument Mountain — Sept. 9 at Taconic; Sept. 16 vs. Chicopee; Sept. 23 at Athol; Sept. 30 at Amherst; Oct. 7 at Easthampton; Oct. 14 vs. Ludlow; Oct. 21 vs. Belchertown; Oct. 28 Open.
Mount Greylock — Sept. 9 at Mahar; Sept. 16 vs. Smith Voc; Sept. 23 at Ware; Sept. 30 vs. McCann Tech; Oct. 7 vs. Pathfinder; Oct. 14 at Mohawk; Oct. 21 vs. Lee; Oct. 28 at Drury.
Pittsfield — Sept. 9 vs. Easthampton; Sept. 16 at Ludlow; Sept. 23 Open; Sept. 30 vs. Wahconah; Oct. 7 at Chicopee; Oct. 14 at South Hadley; Oct. 21 vs. Hoosac Valley; Oct. 28 vs. Taconic.
Taconic — Sept. 8 vs. Monument Mountain; Sept. 16 at Belchertown; Sept. 23 Open; Sept. 30 vs. Chicopee; Oct. 7 at Hoosac Valley; Oct. 14 at Wahconah; Oct. 21 vs. South Hadley; Oct. 28 at Pittsfield.
Wahconah — Sept. 9 at Amherst; Sept. 16 Open; Sept. 23 Open; Sept. 30 at Pittsfield; Oct. 7 vs. South Hadley; Oct. 14 vs. Taconic; Oct. 21 vs. Chicopee; Oct. 28 at Hoosac Valley.
Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252