PAWTUCKET – The Division II semifinal playoff game between Tolman and St. Raphael Academy will be played at Max Read Field, Tigers’ athletic director John Scanlon revealed on Wednesday.
“Pariseau Field is pretty chewed up,” 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 Braves’ youth football program also uses the facility.
“We just didn’t want to get into a situation where it rains and Pariseau becomes unplayable,” 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.
“We really appreciate Mike’s offer,” Scanlon said. “The problem with McCoy is there’s no scoreboard clock for football. That can cause confusion for the coaching staffs. We’ve had Thanksgiving Day games there and the coaches end up asking the officials how much time is remaining. We don’t want to do that in a playoff game.
“Secondly, due to the configuration of the football field at McCoy, we have a problem putting each team’s bench on opposite sides of the field,” Scanlon added. “The 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.”
That left Max Read Field, which features a better grass surface than Pariseau.
“I think their bleachers can hold around 1,000 fans,” Scanlon said. “We’re expecting a good crowd for this game. Max Read is a good place to play the game.”
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.
“Next year, Tolman and Shea will play inside McCoy,” Scanlon pointed out. “We alternate years. When it’s our home game, we play at McCoy and when it’s Shea’s home game, we use Max Read Field.”