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August 22, 2019
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Kerr: The Pros and Cons of a Berks Football League Championship Game

The Berks Football League is one of the best in the state.

Many of its teams qualify for the District 3 playoffs, while some advance to play in late November and early December.

PIAA teams recognize the strength of the Berks Football League and its teams, but what about the league internally?

Wide speculation has Section 1 of the Berks Football League as the dominant section, but the top teams in Section 2 are just as good, if not better.

The debate has been ongoing for years and Wyomissing’s state championship generated more to the conversation. Could the Spartans, the PIAA Class AA Champions and a Section 2 school, defeat the top teams in Section 1?

A potential solution to the debate would be for the Berks Football League to have a championship game at the conclusion of the regular season. Here are three pros and cons to the league having a championship game.

Pros

Section Champions Take the Gridiron

Berks County deserves to have the two section champions play each other once a season.

Imagine Gov. Mifflin and Wyomissing (the two section champions) squaring off for the league title. The game would be an instant classic.

The Berks Football League’s first state champion could match up with the perennial power of Section 1. 

The 2012 championship matchup would actually be a rematch of the 2011 championship game (Gov. Mifflin and Wyomissing won their respective sections), which would add more storylines to the new rivalry.

New Rivalries

Let’s get back to the Gov. Mifflin and Wyomissing matchup.

Both teams would have squared off in the county championship game in two consecutive years, which would create a rivalry unparalleled to any other in the Berks Football League (not counting Gov. Mifflin/Wilson because it’s a non-league matchup).

A Berks championship game has the potential to create a new rivalry every season with an opponent AAAA/AAA powerhouse programs would not normally schedule in the regular season.

Neutral Site

The Berks Football League championship game between Gov. Mifflin and Wyomissing could be held at Don Thomas Stadium, Shirk Stadium or Hawks Stadium, which are three of the premier football stadiums in the county.

The county’s two best teams playing on a neutral playing surface would be a spectacle for players, coaches and fans alike.

If the BCIAA wanted to settle on a different location, there are plenty of options available.

The championship game could be held at First Energy Stadium or University Field in Kutztown, adding a unique site to a rare league championship game in Pennsylvania.

Cons

District 3 Playoffs

 
The ultimate goal for high school football teams is to win a state championship. In order to accomplish this feat, those teams must compete in the district playoffs.

The problems are not the playoffs, but when they are scheduled.

The first round of the PIAA district playoffs begin one week after the conclusion of the regular season, which makes it impossible for two teams to play a championship game.

In addition, both those teams generate revenue from hosting the potential of one or more district games.

Would athletic directors seriously consider giving up a chance to see their football teams compete for a state title while losing the potential to make money for future budget considerations?

Balance of sections

Section 1 in the Berks Football League is compiled of the bigger schools in the county.

Gov. Mifflin, Exeter and Daniel Boone all compete at the AAAA level while Pottsville, Conrad Weiser and others compete in AAA.

Wyomissing is a Section 2 powerhouse, but the Spartans are a AA school. Berks Catholic, the other Section 2 power, also competes in AA along with most of the schools in the section.

The Section 2 teams can compete with Section 1 in a winner-take-all game, but the depth of the bigger schools in Section 1 can wear on a smaller school.
 

Neutral Site

A neutral site would benefit the fans and alumni, but home-field advantage would not exist.

Berks Football League teams would like to play its championship game in front of its own fans, marching band and cheerleaders.

Football home games on a Friday night are unmatched to any sporting event in the county and a championship game would add to the festivities.

The league may lose seating capacity by playing in a smaller venue, but the stadium would be packed to max capacity with an electric atmosphere.

A championship game for the Berks Football League seems like a pipe dream, but there is the potential for a matchup between the two section champions. The inaugural SEC Championship game was a radical idea at one time…

About Jeff Kerr

Jeff is a sports writer at the Daily Local News in West Chester and a freelance contributing writer of BIC Sports. At the Daily Local News, Jeff covers high school football, girls tennis along with a myriad of other sports. Prior to the Daily Local, Jeff was a sports reporter for three years at the Reading Eagle. Jeff is a Penn State graduate and will bleed blue and white forever. A Berks County native, Jeff brings a wealth of knowledge to the local sports scene and enjoys covering any Berks sporting event. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_kerr for the latest breaking news in the scholastic sports world.