The MIAA wants to bring on a little bit of change for next football season.
Divisions are no longer going to be one through six as they had been in the near past of even Divisions, 1-4A as they were just this past season. Still, there will be eight divisions, just as there were last year but they will be aligned a little bit differently now. And Silver Lake is contesting their placement in the divisional realignment.
Last week, the school sent representatives Athletic Director Martha Jamieson and Head Football Coach Chris DiGiacomo to Dedham High School for the MIAA South Sectional realignment hearing, and in doing so, the Lakers formally put in a request to be lowered a division next season and through the 2020 season. Their request is to be put in Division 4, not Division 3 as the MIAA had assigned them.
The reason for the request is simple. Most schools are in their respective divisions because of student population. There are, however, exceptions for comprehensive schools, urban schools and vocational schools. And since the Lakers are a Chapter 74 school that offers vocational programs, they felt they should be placed in the lower division.
Much of the argument for vocational schools being put in lower divisions is that sports are not as big of an interest in these students’ lives. Because about 30 per cent of Silver Lake’s students take part in the vocational side of school, with more emphasis on working than participating in extracurricular activities, the Lakers pool of potential student athletes may be smaller than it appears. Co-ops for those learning a trade could prevent students from playing sports when they are being paid to work after school.
Perhaps part of the issue is with the MIAA’s overall outlook on vocational schools as a whole as 10 of the 16 schools applying for divisional realignment are vocational schools including South Shore Vo-Tech. If Silver Lake is included, it would mean there are 11 vocational schools hoping to change their divisional alignment.
Historically, the Lakers have not had the most successful football program, but they did make the playoffs in 2016 for the first time since 1981. It is also worth noting they have not won a league championship since 1980. There is a final appeal for teams on January 31 in Franklin, Mass. After that, rulings on future division alignments will be final for the next four seasons.