By MICHAEL LETENDRE
SIMSBURY—When it comes to the playoff picture for the top five teams in the American Legion Zone 1 standings, it’s quite clear who is qualifying for state tournament play. Just the final order of the teams might be a bit mixed from now to the completion of the regular season.
Bristol’s squad will be part of the grouping of Zone 1 teams to make the post-season but its final resting place could be anywhere from third to fifth.
As the games play out, Post 2 will have a better understanding of where things lie. However, losing a 3-0 decision to Simsbury on Thursday, July 11 might have dire consequences in the grand scheme of things.
With the loss to Post 84, Bristol fell from third to fourth in the standings with just games remaining with Torrington and Terryville on the docket.
“This was disappointing because this game actually meant something,” said Coach Dave Nocera of the Simsbury loss. “We’re trying to get a bye in the sectionals and if we would have won this game, we would have had that bye. Now, we’re going to have to hope to look for some help.”
But there’s still room for movement as several of the squads still have to make up games and play through suspended contests which included a huge grudge match between Zone 1 leader Avon and second place Southington. Both of those squads won their season series against Bristol 2-1.
In the 2013 playoff format, the top five teams qualify for the state tourney – 40 teams in all will venture into the fray – which will be seeded by place finish in their respective zones and by overall record.
Bristol wants that bye badly and, if things work out, let some of the fifth place seeds pull some upsets to knock higher rated teams out of the way before Bristol enters the mix.
Avon, Southington, Simsbury, Unionville and Bristol will all qualify for the post-season and from there, it’s all up to Post 2 to maneuver through a tough slate of action to keep its season alive.
“The good news is that we’re in the sectionals,” said Nocera. “We’re in the playoffs. Our objective is to get ready for that and the most important games are the ones that start on July 20.”
Once things are all sorted out, state tournament games will take place from both Torrington and Stamford of all places.