Football layoff over, Wahconah and Greylock ready for title game


PITTSFIELD -- For a coach, layoffs and playoffs are not the best of combinations.

"We haven't played in 2 1/2 weeks," said Wahconah Regional High School coach Gary Campbell Jr. "I think it's a good thing for the kids, but a bad thing for coaches.

"I feel like I've been overcoaching the past few days," he said. "For the kids, it's good because we get a chance to heal a few injuries and the weather has been pretty good. I think they probably enjoyed the break. But it kind of drives coaches crazy."

"We're coming off a good long break," said Mount Greylock coach Shawn Flaherty, agreeing with Campbell. "We haven't played since, what, Nov. 3? But I think the kids will be ready."

Tonight's county championship , slated for 7 p.m. at Wahconah's field in Dalton, will be a rematch of one of the great games of the year so far. The Warriors, 7-2, will host 8-1 Greylock. The first time the two played, Wahconah defeated the Mounties 20-8 and snapped Greylock's county-record 33-game win streak. To the winner of this game goes the county football championship.

There are still tickets available, according to Wahconah athletic director Ken Pease. Prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. But, said Pease, he expects the crowd to be a large one, possibly the largest of the season.

To that end, Pease said, there will be overflow parking at Nessacus Middle School and at the Wahconah Country Club, Fans are asked not to park on the lawn of the high school, and signs will be posted around the grounds to that effect, he said.

Ticket vendors will begin selling tickets at 5:30, said Pease.

Flaherty said he expects the crowd to be loud and raucous.

"It's Dalton," he said. "This is a big sports town, and it's a football-crazy town. We've talked about it and we expect it."

Win or lose tonight, both teams will be seeking their fortunes further in post-season playoff action Greylock is the two-time defending Division III Super Bowl cham pion. They are presently seeded No. 2 in the divisional power ratings.

Wahconah is also a No. 2 seed, in the Division II ratings.

"I think that we're both pretty set in terms of where we're going to be seeded in the tournaments," said Flaherty. "But this game [tonight] has tons of meaning. Gary has played in this league, I've played in this league, and we both know how important winning the county championship is. It is a big deal, a very big deal."

"We're very proud of our county football league," said Campbell. "We're very proud of the fact that our team, and Mount Greylock and Hoosac Valley and St. Joseph's are all going to be playing next week. To me, that means that this is a league with a lot of good football teams. And we'd like to be the champion of that league."

To reach Derek Gentile:,
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