Hoosac Valley to play Millis in state final set for Dec. 2 at Gillette Stadium

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After beating Nashoba Tech in the Division VIII state semifinal, the Hoosac Valley football team knew who it would play in the state championship game. Now it knows the time as well.

The MIAA released its schedule for the upcoming state football championships on Monday.

In D-VIII, Hoosac is the lone Berkshire County team competing for a state title. The Hurricanes will face Millis on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 1:30 p.m at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Millis won the Division IV-A state championship last season, defeating Maynard 30-18. That game was played at Worcester State University, so neither team has played at Gillette before.

Divisions II and III will play on Friday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.

The remaining divisions will play on Saturday.

Health is key for football teams and by the time the players reach Gillette, they'll be entering their third month of gridiron action.

Having an extra week to prepare before the championship should allow both sides to get well rested and ready to go. Hoosac saw quarterback Vance Eugene and lineman Adam Bush exit the state semifinal briefly with injuries before returning to the field. Even with the lopsided score, most of Hoosac's starters played all the way to the end.

"We're going to get outside, get out and run some plays," Hoosac coach Dayne Poirot said of the game plan this week. "Have the kids being active. Spend some time in the weight room, continue to improve their strength and speed, and get them healthy."

Monday was spent self-scouting, finding areas where they can improve as a team. Millis game film will come later in the week.

The team's should have fresh legs by kickoff, but handling the stage and magnitude of the game is another obstacle of playing for a championship. Players must control their emotions and not get distracted by playing on the same field that Tom Brady, Rob Gronksowski and the rest of the Patriots compete on.

After the state semifinal, Poirot said he plans on reaching out to Wahconah coach Gary Campbell Jr. for advice on how to prepare for the game. Wahconah's competed in state finals at Gillette twice in the last three years. Any bit of advice or helpful tidbits Campbell can offer could give the 'Canes an edge come game day.

"A lot of things you'd take away from that is the experience and understanding what type of logistical stuff is going to happen," Poirot said. "And what to expect when you get there."

Akeem Glaspie can be reached at aglaspie@berkshireeagle.com, at @TheAkeemGlaspie on Twitter and 413-496-6252.


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