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PAWTUCKET â€“ The Division II semifinal playoff game between Tolman and St. Raphael Academy will be played at Max Read Field, Tigersâ€™ athletic director John Scanlon revealed on Wednesday.
â€śPariseau Field is pretty chewed up,â€ť Scanlon said, talking about the original site of the Nov. 30 contest. Pariseau is the home field for both Tolman and St. Raphael during the regular season. The Darlington Bravesâ€™ youth football program also uses the facility.
â€śWe just didnâ€™t want to get into a situation where it rains and Pariseau becomes unplayable,â€ť Scanlon said. Tolman, as the No. 1 seed in Division II, is the home team for the playoff game, which will feature a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Max Read Field and McCoy Stadium were the two other available options. Pawtucket Red Sox President Mike Tamburro offered use of McCoy to the two city schools.
â€śWe really appreciate Mikeâ€™s offer,â€ť Scanlon said. â€śThe problem with McCoy is thereâ€™s no scoreboard clock for football. That can cause confusion for the coaching staffs. Weâ€™ve had Thanksgiving Day games there and the coaches end up asking the officials how much time is remaining. We donâ€™t want to do that in a playoff game.
â€śSecondly, due to the configuration of the football field at McCoy, we have a problem putting each teamâ€™s bench on opposite sides of the field,â€ť Scanlon added. â€śThe National High School Federation has a rule that the benches should be on opposite sides of the field. You could have a referee decide to call us on that rule. Again, this is a playoff game and we want to do the right thing.â€ť
That left Max Read Field, which features a better grass surface than Pariseau.
â€śI think their bleachers can hold around 1,000 fans,â€ť Scanlon said. â€śWeâ€™re expecting a good crowd for this game. Max Read is a good place to play the game.â€ť
Tolman and St. Raphael played a regular season game at Pariseau Field in September and drew an estimated 1,000 fans. The Tigers won that game, 37-0. St. Raphael Academy, after a slow start, won five of its final six league games, then edged Johnston 56-50 in the playoff quarterfinals.
Both Tolman and SRA have a Thanksgiving Eve game scheduled next Wednesday night. St. Raphael will host Johnston (again, in a non-leaguer) inside McCoy Stadium while Tolman and Shea will battle at Max Read Field. Kickoff for both games is 7 p.m.
â€śNext year, Tolman and Shea will play inside McCoy,â€ť Scanlon pointed out. â€śWe alternate years. When itâ€™s our home game, we play at McCoy and when itâ€™s Sheaâ€™s home game, we use Max Read Field.â€ť