Phil Anastasia: New alignments for Non-Public football

Chalie Roman is "completely sick about it."

Paul Sacco is "very disappointed."

Both guys have a point. Roman, Holy Spirit's football coach, and Sacco, St. Joseph's football coach, are upset that the NJSIAA has realigned the groups for the Non-Public state tournament.

Holy Spirit, the defending NP 3 champion, was moved down to NP 2. Camden Catholic and Bishop Eustace also were moved from NP 3 to NP 2.

St. Joseph's, which won the combined NP 1-2 title last season, was moved down to NP 1 when the NJSIAA decided to return to four groups.

Last year, NP 1 and NP 2 were combined because of a shortage of .500 teams.

Roman thinks the NJSIAA should have used that scenario to create three, deep NP groups of 12 teams each.

Instead, Roman said, "They turned it into a joke."

NP 2 is heavily skewed toward South Jersey with Bishop Eustace, Camden Catholic, Gloucester Catholic, Holy Cross and Holy Spirit.

Roman said his players want to compete against North Jersey powers in the state playoffs.

Sacco is disappointed because NP 1 often has just one or two teams with .500 records at the tournament cutoff date. The Wildcats often have played just one game to win a state title.

I agree with both coaches. The NJSIAA is proud of its multiple programs and multiple opportunities for student athletes.

But more isn't always better. Three NP groups with Holy Spirit in the middle group with St. Joe Montvale, Immaculata, Bishop Eustace and Camden Catholic, and St. Joseph's in the small-school group with Gloucester Catholic and Holy Cross would be a much better scenario.

-- Phil Anastasia

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