Late on Saturday morning, November 18, the Mashpee High School football team will board a bus and head over the bridge to play its biggest game of the 2017 season so far. If they win, they’ll have an even bigger road trip on the horizon for the Division 7 Super Bowl, which will be at Gillette Stadium. That is certainly a spot that the Falcons would love to return to for the third year in a row.
Where head coach Matt Triveri isn’t exactly pumped up to be visiting is Braintree High School for the state semifinal game. The veteran head coach does not believe that the MIAA selected a great “neutral” site for the semifinals this year, based on the fact that the south region is supposed to be hosting the game this year, yet somehow the team that is denoted as the home squad will have a much longer trip to the field than the visiting club. Host sites are predetermined by the MIAA before the tournaments begin.
The coach has a point, and a simple visit to Google Maps backs it up. The route from St. Mary’s in Lynn to Braintree High School is 22.9 miles. The trek from Mashpee High to Braintree High School is 64.8 miles.
“I find it tremendously disappointing that Braintree was chosen,” the coach said. “It’s the south’s turn to host, and we’re going an hour and 30 minutes to get to the field, and they’re driving 35 minutes. How does that make sense?”
While Braintree High School is a south regional school, coach Triveri believes that many other suitable sites could have been chosen for the game that would have been a more fair locale in terms of travel.
Last year Mashpee was fortunate enough to play in the state semifinals as well, and the north region was the host. The game was played at Lowell’s Cawley Memorial Stadium. For Mashpee the road trip was a very long one of 101 miles. Brighton High School, the Falcons’ opponent that day, had to travel 33 miles to the field for its “home” game.
Triveri said he finds it odd that last year’s hosting team had to travel farther than this year’s visiting team in the semifinals. The coach said that other sites, such as Bridgewater-Raynham High School, would have made more sense to him.
Two years ago, when Mashpee played against Essex Tech in the semifinals, the site was Brockton High School. That year the site was about as neutral as could be. Essex, the north team, traveled 44 miles, while Mashpee had a trip of 51 miles.