Sweet 16: No joy in Everett

As soon as the pairings came out, there was one glaring omission.

In Div. 1, Everett found itself on the outside looking in despite a 7-1 record. The biggest problem was that the Crimson Tide were victimized by being in the Greater Boston League, where many of the teams are in lower divisions and struggled with losing records. Four of the wins came against Revere, Lynn English, Malden and Somerville, who have a combined 6-26 record and were the last four teams in the Div. 3 power rankings.

“I don’t want to speak too much today other than I feel really badly for the seniors,” first-year Everett coach Justin Flores said. “We were one of the best teams in the state (ranked eighth by the Boston Herald), we played two teams in the Catholic Conference, beat one of them (BC High) and lost a tough game against the other one (Xaverian) who is the second seed.

“We can not control our league situation. But we are going to have to find a way to operate around this with the schedule. With the power rankings, we are going to need to fix something on our end.”

Everett certainly received a lot of sympathy on social media once the MIAA released the tournament pairings. Mansfield coach Mike Redding, one of the more respected voices in the football community, said the system needs some immediate tweaking.

“You really need to re-evaluate how much the opponent value factors into power rating,” Redding said. “Fifty percent is significant and if your mandated league games are reducing your opponent value you have no options. Everett should be in the playoffs at 7-1 and should not be sitting at home.”

As for the defending champions and top-seed in Div. 1, St. John’s Prep coach Brian St. Pierre is already in tournament mode. He refused to look at the long-term prospects for his team; the focus is strictly on his first-round opponent, Leominster.

“Most of the teams that we are going to face in Div. 1 are going to be really good,” St. Pierre said. “Right now, the only thing we are looking at is Leominster. That’s the way we’ve always done things here.”

St. Pierre weighed in on the current power rankings system.

“I appreciate all the work that goes into doing this,” St. Pierre said. “I do think that wins need to count a little more and that’s something that needs to be looked at. I also think if we beat a Catholic Memorial, that should count more than beating a 3-3 team. If you beat a good team, you should get extra points.

“I know Jim Clark puts in a ton of work. I don’t know if there is a perfect system out there.”

St. Pierre certainly makes a valid point with his final comment. Going back to the Super Bowl system in the 1970s, there were instances of teams going 11-0 but not having enough of a power rating to qualify for the Super Bowl. When the system changed years later to reward a team for winning a league title, you had teams going 10-1 and not qualifying because the loss came against a team who went on to win the league title.

One thing is for certain, there are many folks in Everett not happy right now.



1. St. John’s Prep (8-0) – Defending champions capped off an undefeated regular season in style.

2. Catholic Memorial (5-2) – Knights are clearly the favorites in Div. 2, but injuries don’t make them as sure a bet as in the past.

3. Xaverian (6-2) – Tough draw for the Hawks with a potential second-round contest against Springfield Central.

4. King Philip (8-0) – All business approach leads to a perfect season in Hockomock League play.

5. Milford (7-1) – Bounced back with an impressive win over a solid Franklin squad.

6. Needham (7-1) – Could be the best Rocket team since the Super Bowl squad of a few years back.

7. Lincoln-Sudbury (7-1) – One of several solid teams in the Div. 1 postseason field.

8. Everett (7-1) – A lot of unhappy campers in Crimson Tide country after failing to qualify for the tournament despite a solid record.

9. Hanover (8-0) – Good luck trying to solve this offense in the postseason.

10. Duxbury (6-1) – After the season-opening loss, many (this scribe included) felt they might struggle a bit. Six wins laters, rumors of their demise were greatly exaggerated.

11. Methuen (6-2) – Battled-tested Rangers ready for the postseason.

12. Andover (7-1) – Golden Warriors ended the regular season in style with a dominant win over previously unbeaten Billerica.

13. Foxboro (7-1) – Wouldn’t it be something if the year Jack Martinelli wins his 300th, his team finds a way to the state finals at nearby Gillette Stadium.

14. Billerica (7-1) – You never want to lose a game, but dropping the first one the week before the start of the playoffs isn’t ideal to say the least.

15. Marshfield (6-2) – Another team that is heading into the postseason on a high note with six consecutive wins.

16. Mansfield (5-3) – Hornets enter the postseason on a five-game winning streak after a slow start.

ON THE BENCH: BC High (5-3), Central Catholic (3-5), Franklin (5-3), Taunton (5-3), Weymouth (6-2), Barnstable (7-1), Bishop Feehan (6-1), Peabody (8-0), Winchester (7-1), Dartmouth (8-0), Walpole (5-3), Woburn (6-2), Shawsheen (7-0)

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