Shore Conference Football Committee scraps 4-team pod system; releases schedule for Oct 22 & 29
The Shore Conference Football Committee voted to scrap the four-team pod system it introduced last season. Instead, the conference gave out games for the weekend of Oct. 22 & 29 without brackets.
Ryden said, We continue to prove the teams with two tough games. That has been and remains the goal, he added.
Middletown South at Rumson-Fair, Manasquan at Point Pleasant Boro, Central Regional at Lacey, and Red Bank Catholic at Manalapan on Oct. 22 were among the interesting games played by the Shore Conference. On Oct. 29, the top matches are Donovan Catholic at Red Bank Catholic, Point Pleasant Boro at Middletown North, and Manalapan at Central. A complete schedule is provided below.
The Shore Conference now divides its football divisions based on a formula that matches teams by competition level. The whole thing has worked like a charm. Ryden said as of this week, 23 of 42 Shore Conference football teams were in the state playoffs, with others still in contention.
Without the pod system, there is no unofficial Shore Conference champion as there was last season when Donovan Catholic stopped Wall on the goal line in the final moments of an epic game.
First of all, there wasnt a championship, Ryden said. You guys (the media) called it a championship game. The conference never awarded a trophy. There wasn't a trophy given out, but one of the media outlets did that.
On paper, the pods appear to be the answer, but there were more cons than pros to them, Ryden said. Transportation is a major problem right now. Getting one bus for a soccer game is one thing, but getting nine buses for the football game can be more difficult than anyone realizes. We have intent cards due to the NJSIAA playoffs, but those cards cant be returned with unnamed opponents.
We had concerns about home and away games, Ryden said. Middletown South had played only two home games before. If we placed them in a pod they would be the No. 4 team, meaning they'd have two pod games as the away team. Is that fair to them?
We just matched the teams up as best we can without a bracket structure, Ryden said.
While Ryden didnt mention the Donovan Catholic situation, the demise of the pod system prevented the Shore Conference from deciding if Donorvan Christian, which used an ineligible player and lost four games for doing so, deserved to play in the top pod. Rumson-Fair Haven, Red Bank Catholic, and Middletown South would have all been in the pod. There are a variety of opinions on whether Donovan Catholic should or would play in the top pod or if it was in squat mode.
The Shore Conference not only matched its best teams, it also brought back some of their old rivalries like Brick Township at Jackson Memorial and Ocean Township in Neptune. Shore at Raritan and Holmdel at Colts Neck may have introduced some new rivalry games for it as it played.
Ryden said that the goal of the team was to avoid rematches as much as possible.
Weekend of Oct. 22-23 is a holiday between the holidays for the weekend of October 22 and Oct 3.
- Red Bank Catholic at Manalapan is a Catholic parish located in the Red River at Redbank.
- Middletown South at Rumson-Fair Haven in Middle Town South is a suburb of Middleton South.
- Donovan Catholic at Donorvan Southern at Southern Donevan at Catholic Don O'Connor
- Middletown North at Wall Street is a shopping center located in Middle Town North.
- Point Pleasant Boro, Manasquan, at Manosquon at Point Pointe Pleasant, is a small town located in the heart of Point Reyes.
- Lacey Central Regional at Lacy is a regional hub of the Central Region.
- St. John Vianney at Toms River North St John John VIanne
- Holmdel, Freehold Borough at Holmeddell, is a township in Freeholding, near Holmonddeh.
- Raritan at Asbury Park with Rachael Raeritand.
- Shore Shore Regional at Red Bank Regional is a regional located in the Red River Valley.
- Colts Neck at Howell at Collsneck at howell
- Marlboro at Toms River South, Marrboro,
- Matawan at Brick Memorial in Matawa, Philippines
- Freehold Township at Toms River East is located in Freeholder Township.
- Jackson Memorial Park in Brick Township, Bricktown, is located at Jackson Park.
- Lakewood at Barnegat, Barnagat.
- Ocean Township at Neptune, Ocean County at Ocean, Township of Naughtune.
- Pinelands at Manchester Township's Pineland area
- Monmouth at Jackson Liberty at Monbury at Byron.
- Long Branch gets a bye.
The weekend of Oct. 29-28 is a perfect time to spend with family and friends.
- Barnegat at Pinelands, Barnigat,
- Jackson Liberty at Lakewood at Jackson
- Monmouth University's Neptune Observatory hosts N. Nentune.
- Manchester Township at Freehold Township is located in the same area as Manchester.
- Toms River East at Matawan, Tom's Creek East, at Tomawak
- Ocean Township, NJ, is home to the Brick Memorial.
- Howell at Freehold Borough Council Howll at Howsell
- Memorial to Jackson at Marlboro
- Toms River South at Red Bank Regional Park is a part of Tomas Valley that runs from Tompkins River to Tomi River.
- Raritan Shore is located on the shore of Raragone at Raratan.
- Colts Neck Holmdel is a Holldell at Collt's Head.
- Middletown North is a seven-block radius from Point Pleasant Boro.
- St. John Vianney's Wall at St John VIanneY is a reminder of St Vincent de Paul''.
- Manasquan, Asbury Park at Asby Park, is a park in Asbridge Park.
- Toms River North at Southern Tomahawk River north at Tompkins River South at Northern Tomalino River
- Manalapan at Central Regional Regional Airport
- Lacey at Middletown South in Middleton South at Lacy
- Long Branch Rumson-Fair Haven at Rumsson is a Fair Haven.
- Donovan Catholic at Red Bank Catholic Donorvan is a Donon Catholic.
- Brick Township gets a bye. Brick County gets an bying.
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Joe Zedalis covers Shore Conference football. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Josephzedalis