Proposed change would shuffle up Chesco teams
With the football season already four weeks old, people around the area are already thinking about which teams will make the district playoffs and where the teams will be seeded. This may be the least season for the current alignment, as the District 1 football steering committee will vote Oct. 12 on a new format that will do away with leagues and group the District 1 schools geographically and by size of enrollment.
There have been mixed reactions around the district to the new proposal, and there are questions whether the new format, in its presently proposed form, will pass the vote on Oct. 12. But this is how the Chester County teams would be grouped for the 2017 season.
There will be four divisions in both 6A and 5a — North, East, South and West — with the top three teams in each region qualifying for the playoffs along with one wild card team from each
In 6A, the area schools in the West bracket would be Downingtown East, Downingtown West, Coatesville, Boyertown, Methacton, Spring-Ford, Owen J. Roberts and Perkiomen Valley. This would put the three Ches-Mont teams in arguably the toughest bracket in the district, as both SpringFord and Perkiomen Valley have elevated their programs in recent years to be at or near the top of the district.
Avon Grove would be grouped in the arguably easier South bracket along with Conestoga, Haverford, Upper Darby, Garnet Valley, Ridley, Norristown, Penn Wood and Ridley. There would be a lot of travel for the Red Devils for road games at Norristown, or Delaware County schools like Penn Wood and Upper Darby.
The 5A West bracket would basically be a ChesMont League bracket with just 5A schools. West Chester Rustin, West Chester East, West Chester Henderson,
Bishop Shanahan, Octorara, Oxford, Kennett and Unionville comprise the 5A West bracket, which would resemble the old Southern Chester County League plus Shanahan and the West Chester schools.
The new format is very fluid, but this alignment of teams is what the steering committee will be voting on in October and it appears that some new configuration — if not this one — will go into effect for the 2017 season, because the district wants to have 6A schools play 6A schools and 5A teams compete with 5A teams for playoff point purposes. The format will also do away with games like SpringFord vs. Wilson West Lawn and Coatesville vs. Cumberland Valley, as the the nonleague games must be played with other District 1 schools. Stay tuned.
*** This past weekend of football action saw Bisho Shanahan pass a major test by downing West Chester East, 31-21, in a game the Eagles trailed 14-6 in the first half. It was the first time Shanahan has trailed this season, and the Eagles came roaring back for the win.
Quarterback Nick Skulski ran and threw for over 100 yards and the Eagles churned out 260 yards on the ground. The Eagles and Sun Valley are the two remaining undefeated teams in the Ches-Mont League at 4-0.
*** Coatesville knocked West Chester Henderson from the unbeaten ranks with a resounding 41-14 pasting of the Warriors and freshman quarterback Ricky Ortega did his best Troy Aikman impersonation as he completed 11 of his 13 passes a week after going 14 of 16 against Council Rock North. Coatesville will need Ortega’s accuracy again this week as Downingtown West invades Red Raider Stadium.
Downingtown East is known as a tough, running, grind it out team, but senior receiver Ethan Harris is giving the Cougars a big play threat. Harris caught three touchdown passes from quarterback Bryce Lauletta in the Cougars’ 35-7 win over Avon Grove on Friday. That’s four touchdown receptions in two weeks for the speedy Harris, who is also a threat at returning kickoffs and punts.
*** At halftime of the St. Jospeh’s Prep-Archbishop Wood game, Wood running back Mark Webb was featured in a video announcing he will play college football at the University of Georgia, where he will join his cousin, St. Joe’s Prep back D’andre Swift. Webb is a fantastic player, but do we really need a video to announce a college choice? This is high school, and can’t you check your ego until you reach the collegiate level?
Nate Jones and Avon Grove would have plenty of long bus rides under a proposed realignment plan in District 1.