Don Bosco Prep: To play or not to play?

gamestrat high school football sideline instant replay

by Jeff Fisher

Don Bosco Prep football logoThe last couple of days have been interesting when it comes to Don Bosco Prep‘s 2015 schedule.

First there is the news that the Ironmen, who won “mythical” national championships in 2009 and 2011, would celebrate the school’s 100th year by hosting the Centennial ClassicMaxPreps reports that DBP will Archbishop Rummel from Louisiana in late September.  The Centennial Classic will also feature St. John Bosco of California taking on St. Peter’s Prep.

The news of the marquee match-up against one of Louisiana’s best was tempered by a story on that DBP’s October 30th game against Eastside High School might turn into a forfeit.  According to the story by writer Darren Cooper, Eastside’s head coach Joe Stinson has sent letters to “several organization state his intention for the Ghosts to forfeit their game to Don Bosco.” 

The story goes on to state that last season, Eastside lost 56-6 to Bosco and had multiple players injured in the game.

Stinson told, “The paramount job of a football coach has to be to keep his kids safe, and this game is not safe for the kids at Eastside High School. If I didn’t take the stand I am taking, then I would be condoning putting my kids’ safety at risk.”

The Eastside match-up is the result of the way the Big North Conference chooses its cross-over games between divisions.  The 39-team league is made-up of eight divisions.  The Big North – United division is the marquee league featuring Don Bosco, Bergen Catholic, DePaul, Paramus Catholic and St. Joseph Regional (Montvale), all private schools.  Last year, High School Football America named the Big North – United as the toughest league in America.

Eastside is part of the Big North – Liberty Division that features Clifton, Fair Lawn and Passaic County Vo-Tech, DBP’s other crossover opponent in 2014 and 2015.  According to the story, Passic Tech has already indicated that it will not forfeit its game against Bosco.

The Eastside decision may just be the tip of the iceberg for Big North – United teams, who are finding it harder-and-harder to find in-state public schools to play.  The story adds that Pascack Valley is “weighing its options” when it comes to its game against DePaul.  Old Tappan, Ridgewood and Wayne Hills are also said to be looking for alternatives to playing games against the Big North – United teams.

Below is the Big North Conference alignments for 2014 and 2015 with 2014 overall records.

Big North Conference

American Division

Cliffside Park (1-9)

Dumont (4-6)

Pascack Hills (6-4)

Ramsey (6-5)

Ridgefield Park (7-4)

Colonial Division

Northern Highlands (3-7)

Paramus (10-2)

Teaneck (1-9)

Wayne Hills (5-5)

Wayne Valley (5-5)

Freedom Division

Hackensack (9-2)

Kennedy (6-4)

Passaic (0-10)

Ridgewood (5-5)

Independence Division

Bergenfield (4-6)

Pascack Valley (10-2)

Passaic Valley (5-5)

Ramapo (8-3)

West Milford (4-6)

Liberty Division

Clifton (1-9)

Eastside (3-7)

Fair Lawn (2-8)

Passaic County Vo-Tech (10-2)

National Division

Indian Hills (6-4)

Lakeland (4-6)

Northern Valley (8-3)

Northern Valley Regional (8-2)

Tenafly (1-9)

Patriot Division

Fort Lee (1-9)

Dwight Morrow (3-7)

Mahwah (8-3)

River Dell (8-4)

Westwood (13-0)

United Division

Bergen Catholic (8-3)

DePaul (8-4)

Don Bosco Prep (7-5)

Paramus Catholic (10-2)

St. Joseph Regional (8-3)




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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.