Overall football nice in theoryPublished 12:01am Sunday, December 8, 2013
Who would win in a matchup against MAIS Class A state champion Trinity Episcopal Day School and Class AA state champion Simpson Academy?
This year’s Saints squad has plenty of athletes, even if they aren’t as deep as some of the schools from the Double- and Triple-A classifications. An undefeated Trinity team has left at least some wondering how the Saints would stack up against the likes of Simpson — or even Jackson Prep and Jackson Academy, which squared off for the Class AAA Division I championship.
After basketball season, a fun event occurs with the MAIS schools — overall competition. Each team that played in the Single-, Double- and Triple-A state championships all compete in a tournament, with the winner being crowned overall champion.
What’s exciting about overall is that it gives teams which may not have faced one another in the postseason — because of different classifications — a chance to earn bragging rights.
Wouldn’t it be fun to see the same thing in football? Let Trinity and Simpson Academy go at it. Or, let Centreville and Class-A runner-up Marshall Academy take the field. Furthermore, let Trinity test its mettle against Jackson Academy or Jackson Prep. And wouldn’t it be interesting to see either Centreville or Simpson face up against Magnolia Heights or Lamar School, which competed in the Class AAA Division II state title?
Ideally, it would be fun to have an eight-team first round for overall football, followed by a four-team second round and a two-team final round to determine who’s the best. Realistically, however, it’s probably not possible.
Any football overall tournament would have to span three weeks in order to let players recover from the previous game at the rate they’re used to. In basketball, you could complete an overall tournament in two or three days.
Basketball isn’t as physically demanding as football is. That’s not to take away anything from the sport, but in football, you’re hitting and getting hit from start to finish. The body needs at least a week to recover from the last game. Asking a basketball team to play a couple of days in a row isn’t unrealistic by comparison.
The reality with private schools that make up the MAIS is most of their athletes play multiple sports. If you expand football three more weeks, that’s three less weeks of basketball these athletes have. Yes, football is king in the South, but is it really fair to ask schools’ basketball programs to sacrifice three more weeks for more football?
The teams are either running the backups onto the court every night or not even playing games at all until football is done.
So while it would be cool to see Trinity go up against Simpson or one of the Jackson powerhouses, the reality is any such matchup is likely confined to the imagination of die-hard high school sports fans. But, hey, we’re allowed to dream, aren’t we?