Sizing Up the Shore Conference Playoffs
It always amazes me how fast the high school football season goes.
It seems like it was just yesterday during the heat of August we were talking about what might happen and now here we are with just three games left before the playoffs begin. If the “regular” season were to end now as many as 26 of the 43 Shore Conference teams would qualify for post-season play but a lot can happen over these final three weeks.
While Southern is the only team to have clinched an outright division championship, wrapping up the Constitution last week, several others could be decided this weekend.
Toms River North and Rumson are tied atop the rugged American Division standings and if both pass their weekly tests they will share the title. The Mariners visit Long Branch Saturday afternoon and will know their situation going in because the Bulldogs will host Middletown South tonight.
Toms River East will secure the Freedom Division with a win over winless Lakewood tonight, Ocean can claim the Patriot Division by beating Point Boro, Asbury Park can take ownership of the National Division by defeating visiting Manchester and Donovan Catholic can wrap up the Liberty Division tonight if they beat Lacey.
It’s Homecoming for the Griffins who are 6-0 for the first time in school history and it what seems like an ironic twist members of the very first football team from 1967 will be in attendance as part of a 50th class reunion weekend. That team coached by Bill Keeney and George Jeck won just one game but would include a 6’, 116 pound freshman quarterback who is still considered the greatest athlete in school history.
Kevin Billerman was best known for his basketball talents but he could have played major college football had he chosen that path. Members from that first team will be recognized prior to kickoff tonight and then honored at halftime as the Grand Marshals of the homecoming parade.
Ironically the only division that can’t be decided this weekend is the Colonial where Wall, the top ranked team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 resides.
The 6-0 Crimson Knights still have two division games left and while beating St. John Vianney tonight will give them at least a co-championship they could not wrap it up until next week when they play Brick.