Thursday, May 31, 2007

SLA: Volleyball's Hickory High

Let me take a moment to recognize the volleyball team at my old high school, South Lancaster Academy. Tonight, they will travel to Lincoln-Sudbury High School to play a district semi-final match against the 20-0 Warriors.

They will probably lose. If they were to win, it would be one of the greatest upsets that no one has ever seen.

But win or lose, the real story (and one that no one will know. If the Times and Courier, the Item, or the Sentinel and Enterprise report it, I'll be stunned.) is that tiny SLA has made the final four at all.

Consider the math. Here are the boys enrollments of the final four district teams from 2005, the latest statistics used by the MIAA to classify schools:

  • Lincoln-Sudbury 690
  • Marlborough 593
  • Milford 562
  • South Lancaster 37

  • The smallest of the remaining schools is 15 times larger than SLA. In fact, of the final 16 teams in the state, the next smallest is "tiny" Belchertown, with 336 boys.

    The Crusaders are 15-2. Their only losses were to Wachusett Regional (871). Their victories included two over Leominster (952), the largest public school in the district.

    The trip to the district final four is only the second in any sport. The boys basketball team went to the Division III semis in 1995. But there aren't three divisions in boys volleyball, there is only one.

    The run will probably end tonight. Too bad no one noticed.

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