Weston's opponent belongs in Class M
Published 12:07 pm, Friday, November 20, 2009
The Weston girls swimming team deserves credit for its strong performance in the Class S championship meet, even though it settled for second. Although Weston got the silver medal in a meet that appeared winnable, it faced great odds going into it.
East Catholic, who three-peated as Class S champions, is loaded and has a bigger squad than the Lady Trojans. Being allowed to draw students from many towns gives East Catholic an advantage over Weston.
In high school basketball, the tuition-paying schools like Trinity Catholic, Notre Dame of Fairfield and Kolbe Cathedral, to name a few, are moved up one or two classes because they have an advantage over schools that draw from only one town. Normally, schools the size of Notre Dame and Trinity Catholic wouldn't play in Class L because they aren't big enough for its enrollment requirements, but in girls basketball, they play in Class L. In other sports, like volleyball, soccer and softball, they play in Class S.
Similar to Notre Dame, Trinity Catholic and Kolbe Cathedral in basketball, East Catholic has the same unfair advantage in swimming and should be bumped up to Class M where it would compete against Darien and New Canaan, two teams that are of the same level of the Lady Eagles. Moreover, East Catholic plays in Class M in almost every sport and it belongs in Class M in girls swimming.
"They are a great team and that's how it is," said Lady Trojan senior captain Shelby Fortin. "They have a big team. One thing the CIAC should look at is the possibility of moving teams who draw from multiple towns up a class."
Weston senior captain Danielle Fontaine said, "They probably belong in Class M but there's nothing we can do about it now."
Lady Trojan senior captain Christina Brasco said, "It's kind of the way life is and they are a tough team to beat. We beat them three years ago."
When Weston won Class S in 2006 and East Catholic finished third, the Lady Eagles weren't as loaded as they are today.
"I don't remember them being as big as they are now," said Fontaine.
Fortin said, "When we won freshman year, I don't remember them having as many kids as they have now."
Kudos to Woog
Staples boys soccer coach Dan Woog epitomizes the proper values as a coach and passes them on to his players. The Wreckers go about winning in a quiet way and their victory over Glastonbury, the top-ranked team in New England and fifth nationally (ranking sure to plummet) makes a big statement about the program. With the 3-2 win in the Class LL semifinals on Wednesday, Staples avenged last year's 2-1 semifinals loss to Glastonbury.
This win shows the character of the Wreckers and they appear to be the team of destiny in their quest for their first state title of the decade. Woog and Staples deserve it and here's hoping they reign supreme tomorrow over New Milford.
To tie or not to tie
While on the subject of soccer, it's evident that the rules in breaking ties aren't uniform among the leagues and state. All games before the finals aren't allowed to end in a tie because a winner is needed and if contests are deadlocked after two overtimes, they get settled by penalty kicks. Some leagues have sudden victory, in that once a team scores in overtime, the game is over, but the state plays the game until the end of the period. After working this hard to get to States, these teams should have the opportunity to come out clear winners, even if it's a matter of settling these games by golden goal in which once a team scores in overtime, the game is over.
A bigger issue is penalty kicks. Recently, the SWC and SCC elected to settle championship game ties with penalty kicks. The state and the FCIAC don't and if games are tied after two overtimes, the two combatants are declared co-champions. A championship game should have a winner or a loser. Basketball, volleyball, football, lacrosse, baseball and softball don't declare co-champions and play until a victor is declared. Soccer should follow its lead and abolish co-champions.