CIAC football: Success modifier impacts St Joe's, state playoffs

If coach Joe Della Vecchia’s St. Joseph football wins its third consecutive state title in 2019, the Cadets will have to do so in a new division.

There will be a distinct new look in the CIAC’s four divisions.

This is the second year of the implementation of the tournament success modifier, which states that CIAC-designated schools of choice — schools that can draw from beyond their district borders either because they have an academic program that allows it or they’re a private school — will be moved up one playoff class from their designated enrollment if they’ve reached the semifinals the previous two years.

So, in this case, St. Joseph’s 390 male enrollment places it in M, up from S the last two seasons. But since the Hogs have won consecutive state championships, they’ve been bumped up one class, from M to L.

Same goes for Killingly, which is designated as a school of choice for its vocational agriculture program. The Redmen won the Class M title two years ago and reached last year’s M semifinals. Therefore, Killingly, a Class S school by enrollment, is once again bumped up to Class M.

Berlin, a choice school which has reached the Class M semifinals the past two years, has also been bumped up to Class L.

Those aren’t the only three programs affected by the success modifier for 2019.

New Canaan, last year’s Class LL runners up, have been dropped back to Class L after a year away.

Other intriguing moves include:

Class L semifinalist Platt and RHAM both dropping down to Class M; Hillhouse moving back up to Class L from M; Sheehan, Ledyard and Coginchaug/Hale Ray/East Hampton moving down from Class M to Class S and Valley Regional/Old Lyme moving back up to M. Naugatuck is one of three teams moving up to Class LL.

The CIAC has also approved several new co-op programs for 2019, including Granby Memorial/Canton, Griswold/Wheeler and Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech.

Important dates 

Aug. 19: first day of conditioning for teams that did not conduct spring practice. Aug. 24: First day of pads. Aug. 28: First allowable scrimmage.

Aug. 23: first day of conditioning of spring practice teams. Aug. 29: First day of pads. Sept. 2: First allowable scrimmage.

Sept. 12: First games / Last day to add official games (3 p.m.)

Nov. 28: Last day to count.


Enrollments: 693 and over (35 teams)

Gains: Crosby, Harding, Naugatuck

Losses: New Canaan, Newington, South Windsor.

Dec. 3 — State quarterfinals; Dec. 8 state semifinals; Dec. 14 state championship games at TBA.


Enrollments: 514-692 (36 teams)

Gains: Berlin, Hillhouse, New Canaan, Newington, South Windsor, St. Joseph, Stratford.

Losses: Avon, Crosby, Harding, Naugatuck, Platt, RHAM.


Enrollments: 388-518 (35 teams)

Gains: Avon, Granby/Canton (new co-op), Griswold/Wheeler (new co-op), Platt, RHAM, Valley Regional/OL.

Losses: Berlin, Bacon Academy, Coginchaug/Hale Ray/East Hampton, Hillhouse, Ledyard, Sheehan, St. Joseph, Stratford.


Enrollments: Up to 387 (35 teams)

Gains: Amistad (new program), Bacon Academy, Coginchaug/Hale Ray/East Hampton, Ledyard, Sheehan

Losses: Canton and Granby (new co-op), Griswold (new co-op with Wheeler), Valley Regional/Old Lyme.