After a recent meeting of the Vermont Interscholastic Football League in Montpelier, a major high school football realignment was approved, which will shake up all three divisions throughout the state next season.
The main change involves the expansion of Division I from 10 to 14 teams, with the top eight teams getting playoff berths. The teams moving up from Division II include Mount Mansfield, Colchester, Middlebury and CVU. There will be no bye-week for the top seed with the No. 1 seed playing No. 8, No. 2 against No. 7, No. 3 against No. 6 and No. 4 facing No. 5.
Division II will now feature 10 teams, with Bellows Falls and Springfield will move up from Division III. The other teams in Division II include Burr & Burton, Otter Valley, Fair Haven, Lyndon State, Milton, North Country, Rice and U-32. However, as before, only four out of the 10 teams in the division will make the playoffs, leaving six teams on the outside looking in.
Division III is now, also comprised of 10 teams with four making the playoffs. Competing for the top spots will be Windsor, Woodstock, BFA-Fairfax, Mill River, Montpelier, Mount Abraham, Mount St. Joseph, Oxbow, Winooski and Poultney.
Once the new plan clears the Vermont Principle Association's (VPA) standards committee meeting in February, the new alignment will be set for next fall. Perhaps the biggest change in this realignment is the fact that despite adding four more teams to Division I, still only four teams make it to the playoffs.
Locally, it appears that neither Bellows Falls or Springfield should have too much of a concern moving up to Division II, although Springfield is coming off a tough season with overall roster numbers down.