, Newburyport, MA


October 30, 2012

Local coaches react to MIAA football changes


“It’s a two-year pilot,” says Sheehan. “Am I concerned about it? Of course. But currently our system is in need of a little fixing with the three (playoff) games in 10 days. A lot of the problems that our current season has seem to be remedied by the new proposal. But there are still some questions marks, and we’ll cross those bridges when we come to them.”

Not concerned about that bridge is Gaudiano. In fact, he welcomes the change.

“We were always in favor of it,” says Gaudiano. “It addresses the question that everybody had in that it creates divisions in the Super Bowls by enrollment. So (it ends) the disparity with schools with low enrollment, and it’s a two-year trial thing where they can iron out whatever problems come up.”

This new system will invert the current set-up. Instead of playing six non-league games to start the season, division play will be instigated from the word -- go.

“You have to be ready to win games that count on Week 1,” admits Gaudiano, whose current Clippers struggled in non-league play this season, going 3-3 before settling into their current 2-0 record during league play. “And I think that every coach would realize that going into a season with 15 days of practice, it will be interesting. But everybody’s in the same boat. You’re not as polished in the beginning of the season as you are in the middle of the season.”

Also sitting at 5-3 after a 3-3 non-league schedule is Hayden, who says his Sachems will roll with the punches.

“It’s something different, something new, so I guess if we don’t try it, we’ll never know how it is,” says Hayden. “The thing that could be trouble is, if you’re not in the playoffs in your league, you’re still playing kids that you know, coaches that you know. Now you won’t even know who you’re playing until the end.”

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