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Is it time to realign the Pequot?

POSTED October 11, 2010
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON- I ask the question. Is it time for their to be a Berkshire-like League for area football teams to be part of?
Should we create a division in which kids who compete against each other in basketball, baseball and soccer, also square of on the gridiron?
There used to be, as folks who followed football years back remember, the Northwest Conference which featured teams from Avon, Berlin, Gilbert and Simsbury to name a few.
That league disbanded in the 1980’s but was more geographical in nature, keeping teams schedules pretty much the same each season.
What we have now does nothing like that.
There are two divisions in the Pequot League, the Uncas and the Sassacus, with a total of 20 teams.
Our locals teams that make up the Berkshire League teams in the other sports
are split between the two. Gilbert/Northwestern and Housatonic/Wamogo are part of the Uncas Division while Lewis Mills and Wolcott Tech are part of the Sassacus Division.
Why this all comes into play is when the schedules are made up, each of our four teams (that come from six BL schools) play against, in some cases, huge schools field 75-80 players (not including the freshman).
Playing against these teams does not make the locals better, or encourage more players to come out for football, in fact, in just might do the opposite.
Take the first year Spartans schedule. After starting the year with a 20-13 win over Granby Memorial, who themselves are a first year varsity program, their next two opponents where Valley Regional/Old Lyme (a 40-0 loss) and Coginchaug (a 41-12 loss).
The rest of the ride is similar to going the wrong way down a street filled with tractor trailers.
Hyde Leadership, SMSA/University, North Branford, Haddam-Killingworth, Cromwell and Old Saybrook/Westbrook. 
SMSA and HK are games the Spartans should be able to compete with but where is Housatonic, Tech or Gilbert?
Speaking of the Wildcats, there path through the season is filled with ridiculous games against Cromwell, Morgan, Valley Regional and Old Saybrook/Westbrook.
In their 27-0 loss to Hyde on Saturday in Torrington, I thought the New York football Giants defensive line had taken a wrong turn on their way to play the Houston Texans.
6’4”, 290 pound lineman were the norm for the Howling Wolves and it was no contest in the battle of the line of scrimmage.
You won’t here any of our head coaches complain on the record, they have a job to do and prepare their teams to play whoever is put in front of them.
It does though, prevent programs like Tech and Housy from gaining steam over the course of four or five years if they don’t play the same teams on a somewhat consistent basis.
Gilbert/Northwestern, on the other hand, have a much better schedule this season with the toughest match-ups being at Enfield (this Saturday on the road) and at Avon on November 20.
Don’t get me wrong, the Yellowjackets have had their share of horrific schedules over the past few season and will graduate a large senior class of talent after this season.
Here’s a novel idea that has been proposed by a few of the school but shot down by athletic directors of other schools.
A division consisting of the following schools.
1. Avon
2. Canton
3. Enfield
4. Ellington
5. Gilbert/Northwestern
6. Granby Memorial
7. Housatonic/Wamogo
8. Lewis Mills 
9. Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby
10. Wolcott Tech
It’s a good mix of small and large schools which would also cut down on travel time and expense.
Do all schools in the Pequot dislike the scheduling? Probably not if you can line up a couple of cupcake games a year.
In the Naugatuck Valley League, where the Torrington Red Raiders play, they face the same teams in football as they do in every other sport. While they don’t face the same teams every year due to the size of the NVL, they have their staples each year in the Copper Division.
The Pequot League is a different kind of animal that seems to expand and contract every couple of years with teams coming and going.
Teams join, then leave, then come back again.
The league has some terrific programs but needs to get more consistent and yes, fair, about what teams they put where.


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