MIAA releases brackets, times for upcoming Western Mass. football tournaments
The MIAA released playoff pairings for the Western Mass. football playoffs on Sunday, and three local teams will be playing for Western Mass. titles and a shot at a state championship.
Taconic and Wahconah both earned No. 1 seeds in their respective divisions, with Taconic coming in at No. 1 in Division III while the Warriors earned the top seed in Division IV. Mount Greylock, meanwhile, earned the No. 2 seed in Division IV-A.
All three teams will host their semifinal contests on Friday night at 7 p.m. The sectional final locations and times will be released on Nov. 6 during a meeting at Smith Vocational.
Non-tournament teams will play two consolation games over the coming two weeks. The MIAA released the first week's schedule on Sunday, as well.
Taconic earned the No. 1 seed with a 7-1 record and a 108.61 Walker System rating. The Braves will host No. 4 Easthampton on Friday night at Wahconah Park. The Eagles got in with a 4-4 record and a 77.54 Walker score.
In the other semifinal, No. 2 Northampton will host No. 3 Longmeadow. Northampton finished at 6-2 with a Walker Rating of 107.43, while Longmeadow went 4-3 with a Walker score of 106.42.
Taconic and Easthampton did not play in the regular season. Northampton beat Longmeadow in Week 2 by a score of 36-14.
"We were hoping after Friday night after Northampton lost that we had a chance to get [the top seed]," Taconic coach Jim Ziter said. "The kids are all excited, I talked to most of them about it. They are excited to get the No. 1 seed."
Taconic did play Easthampton last year, a 21-18 win in the final game of the regular season.
"We played them last year so we know a little bit about them from last year's film," Ziter said. "I didn't get to see much of them. I'm just going by what I remember from last year, I started watching the film today."
The Warriors are back in the Division IV hunt after being bounced by Agawam in the semifinals last season. This year, the Warriors will be able to play their semifinal tilt at home thanks to their top seed.
Wahconah finished with a 7-1 record and had a Walker Rating of 125.65. The Warriors will host Frontier, which went 5-2 on the year and had a Walker Rating of 93.37.
The other game will be No. 2 South Hadley against No. 3 Palmer. South Hadley finished at 5-3 and Palmer was 7-1, but the Tigers earned a Walker Rating of 97.59 while Palmer had a 96.92.
Division IV-A is the only division to have an undefeated team, and there are two squads that enter with perfect 8-0 marks.
Greylock finished with the No. 2 seed due to a lower Walker score. Turners Falls earned the No. 1 spot with a 121.21 score, while Greylock had a 108.5.
The Mounties will host No. 3 Ware, which went 6-1 with its only loss coming to Greylock. The Indians had a Walker score of 97.57.
The Mounties defeated Ware on Sept. 23 in Ware by a score of 34-27. Greylock won with a last-minute touchdown run by quarterback Michael Wellspeak.
"They are a very good team, very athletic, very fast," Greylock coach Andrew Agostini said of Ware. "Their quarterback is a very dangerous player. They throw, they run, they really spread the ball around."
The Mounties will also have the advantage of playing at home this time.
"I went to college in Worcester, and whenever I went by [the Ware] exit I knew I was almost there," Agostini said. "Obviously it's nice to have it up here, but it doesn't really matter where we play.
"We are just going to have to play well if we want to advance."
Turners will host No. 4 Pioneer Valley, which went 5-2 with a Walker score of 86.57. Pioneer Valley just edged out Lee for the final playoff spot.
In Division II, Chicopee Comp earned the top seed with a 7-1 record and a 114.74 Walker Rating. The Colts will host No. 4 West Springfield, which went 6-2 with a Walker score of 101.01.
In the other semifinal, No. 2 Springfield Central will host No. 3 Westfield. Central went 6-2 with a 109.95 Walker score, while Westfield went 7-1 with a 108.92 score.
In non-playoff action, Drury will head to Franklin Tech, Monument Mountain will travel to Mahar, Hoosac Valley heads to Athol and Lee will host Pittsfield in a Berkshire County showdown.
Dates, times and locations for the non-playoff games were not available at print deadline.
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