WSU to host final Super Bowl

WESTFIELD – On Saturday, Western Massachusetts Division I football super powers, Longmeadow and Central, will meet in a Super Bowl for the final time at Westfield State University.
The current high school football playoff system has been scrapped in favor of a state tournament which will crown a true champion in six different divisions, and all of the Super Bowls will be played at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.
But, although no more high school Super Bowls will be played at the college, Westfield State athletic director Dick Lenfest said he is confident that his school will still host a good chunk of the postseason chase.
“It is the end of an era for high school football in how the current playoff structure is run,” Lenfest said in an exclusive interview with The Westfield News on Thursday. “They have a playoff system like all other sports in the state now.”
But he added, “We’re still going to be in the mix for hosting playoff games.”
Lenfest said he has had discussions with Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association high school football tournament director, Joe Doyle, to ensure that a portion of the 2013 playoff schedule remain at Westfield State.
“We are very interested in the school being able to host these games,” the university’s AD said. “You see (the adoption of a playoff system) at all levels now with colleges going to a playoff system.”
In 2014, Division I college football will introduce a four-team playoff system scrapping the controversial current format which could lead to a split-national champ, or leave a less-prominent school out in the cold.
In high school football, there will be one state champ at each of six levels compared to the 18 Super Bowls now in place all across Massachusetts. The Tuesday night semis will be eliminated to keep teams from playing three games in 10 days between Thanksgiving Day, the semifinals, and title game.
The regular season will consist of seven weeks and begin the weekend of Sept. 13-14, 2013, followed by sectional semifinals in Week 9, and sectional finals and state semifinals in successive weeks. The traditional Thanksgiving Day game between Westfield and Cathedral will remain in place for November 28, as it will with most other schools.
The state finals will be held for all teams in Week 13 (December 7, 2013). A tournament committee will determine the remaining schedule for non-postseason contenders.
“We have had a tremendous relationship with the MIAA,” Lenfest said.
Westfield State is the host site for high school boys’ and girls’ soccer playoff games, and the Western Massachusetts high school track and field championships. The school also hosts the state track and field championship every three years, with 2013 penciled in as the next such event.
Central will play Longmeadow in the featured Division I title tilt this Saturday at 12:30 p.m., followed by Belchertown-Mount Greylock (Division III) at 3. Pathfinder-Turners Falls (Division IV) will kick off at 10 a.m. The Division II Super Bowl between South Hadley and Wahconah will be played at Gillette, beginning at 6 p.m.
Super Bowls, featuring Eastern and Central Mass team will also be played Saturday at Fitchburg State, Worcester State, Bentley University, and Curry College.

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