Rocket Football Soaring, New Playoff Format Ahead

Ben Regazzini ('22), Orbit Contributor

   A strong 4-0 start has fans wondering if the always sharp Rocket football team is capable of competing for a state title, as a new state-wide playoff format could have the Rockets competing with some non-traditional opponents in their quest for a championship. 

     For as long as one can remember, Reading Memorial High School, to put it simply, has been a powerhouse for sports. Whenever you see RMHS on your schedule, you sure as heck know that your team better bring it’s “A game”. This year is no different.

     After a turbulent year of football during COVID, the Rockets have picked up right where they left off after having one of their most talented rosters ever. According to Mass Football Stats, they are ranked 11 in the state. Only the most elite of teams are above the Rockets. Among these programs are St. John’s Prep and Springfield Central. Sure, it is fun to ponder at what the outcome of a matchup like that would be, but this would never happen in the playoffs due to differences in Division.

     Reading finds themselves in Division 2. Within this category, they are the number 6th ranked team. All the best teams teams above and below them are now fair game for the squad to match up against in the playoffs. This is thanks to the MIAA’s new rules regarding bracketing.

I really like the boys we’ve got lining up for us this year. Those teams above us are no joke though.

— Dan Robinson ('22)


     Ever thought you’d be taking a trip to Milford to watch your friends fight to keep their season alive? Well, this season you very well could. The MIAA board voted in a majority of 7:6 to have a new 16 team format for all 8 divisions across the state. Say goodbye to a heated rivalry between the Rockets and Tanners. You could find yourself shipping it off to North Quincy this time around. Other teams in this division include Lincoln Sudbury, an extremely talented team that gave Reading their first and only loss last season. 

    To find out what players and students thought about this new format and our team’s chance this season, I asked them how they believe we stack up. Avid fan Aidan O’Brien said, “I personally think we can go very far this year. I think we lack a bit of the depth that we did last year. Practically the whole squad was seniors. I also think it’s really promising with Murph at the helm. That dude can take us to the promised land.” O’Brien did not lack confidence in his words. This is for good reason, as 2 weeks ago Reading had an impressive win over the #7 team in division two, Barnstable. This team is backed by player of the year Eugene Jordan, a tank disguised as a running back. 

     Senior lineman Dan Robinson mentioned another end of the spectrum, “I really like the boys we’ve got lining up for us this year. Those teams above us are no joke though. Mansfield, L.S, Catholic Memorial…we’ll have our work cut out for us.” 

     This Rockets team has the fire, determination, and talent to make it far. The new MIAA tournament set up is sure to lead to some interesting matchups. As the boys expressed though, they are ready to embrace this challenge. In regards to whether this team will be able to take down the top D2 teams, we’ll have to see when the time comes, but for now keep giving them the fan support they need.