UPDATING to reflect regional crossover opt-outs.
Everyone in Non-Public qualifies for the NJSIAA’s high school football state playoffs.
But St. Thomas Aquinas is saying, “No thanks.”
The Trojans are one of four schools in our listening area – plus Pingry in Somerset County, which has done it in the past – to opt-out of the 2019 playoffs. The others are JP Stevens, New Brunswick and South Plainfield.
All three of those public schools are winless on the season, although New Brunswick won four games on the field only to have them erased as forfeits after it was determined the Zebras used an ineligible player who should have sat out 30 days after transferring from another school without a bonafide change of address, as per NJSIAA rule.
Of the public schools, none would have qualified anyway. That goes for all the public schools in the state, so standings and brackets would not change.
As for Aquinas, the Trojans are 3-5 under first year head coach Kevin Meeney, with wins over Highland Park, Dunellen and Metuchen.
Teams had until this past Monday to declare their intentions.
St. Thomas also is the only one of the area schools to request a Week 9 “regional crossover” game, traditionally known as a consolation game. None of the public schools that opted out requested such games, so their seasons will end this weekend.