Over the course of the winter, the MIAA decided to revamp their football divisions, but the Silver Lake High football team made sure they were in the best position to excel.
Although last year the Lakers were a Division 2A program in the old Division 1-4A format, the state wanted to move them up to Division 3 under a new format that goes from Division 1-8. Both are eight division setups, but the state wanted to make sure they had schools in the right position. Ultimately, the Lakers worked out a deal at an MIAA realignment hearing in Dedham that allowed them to stick in Div. 4 which is essentially the division they were in last season since 2A last year was the fourth largest division.
Normally, the division alignments are based on student population, although there are many factors. Comprehensive schools, urban schools and vocational schools can be in lower divisions due to their lower athletic participation rates while private all boys’ schools have a multiplier that puts them in a larger division because they have an easier time fielding a lineup.
The Lakers are a Chapter 74 school who offers some vocational programs and 30 percent of the schools students partake in the vocational side of the school. While they are not a full-blown Vo-Tech school who could slide down Div. 7 or 8 with over 1,000 students enrolled, this does allow them to be a more competitive playoff team if they can earn a spot. If they do, they would not have to face tough Patriot League opponents like Duxbury and Whitman-Hanson, who are in Div. 3 South for the playoffs since they are not Chapter 74 schools.
Last year was the Lakers’ first time in the playoffs since 1981. With some key players coming back from last year and the revised playoff formatting that allows for eight teams per region per division to make the playoffs, the odds are in their favor to make another playoff appearance this season.