By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The MIAA recently released its new proposed alignment for statewide athletic tournaments set to begin in the 2021-2022 school year.
For Dover-Sherborn, the school will remain in Division III for most sports. This includes boys and girls basketball, as well as boys and girls soccer. In 2018-2019, DS boys basketball won the Division III state championship.
However, the most notable change comes in field hockey, where DS will move down from Division II to Division III. As many will remember, DS took home the 2019 Division II state championship in field hockey. Of the six teams DS field hockey faced in the 2019 playoffs, three (Dennis-Yarmouth, Hanover, Falmouth) will also be moving down from DII to DIII. However, the other three (Sandwich, Lynnfield, Hopedale), which DS faced in the later rounds of the tournament, will all be moving down from Division II to Division IV.
Change and realignment obviously brings about new sets of challenges. For DS field hockey, the Raiders will need to adjust to playing new teams in new areas of the state come playoff time, but that may not be such a bad thing. With the majority of the high-level competition DS faced in the 2019 playoffs moving down to Division IV, Dover-Sherborn field hockey could end up facing lesser competition in the postseason in the coming years. Whether or not this will result in further postseason success remains to be seen, but the entire concept of new playoff brackets and new teams matched up against one another is certainly intriguing.
As for spring sports, such as boys and girls lacrosse, baseball and softball, it remains to be seen how the brackets will look. The MIAA has yet to release its realignment for spring sports. For years, DS boys lacrosse has dominated Division III, most recently taking home the 2019 state championship. It will be interesting to see whether or not the Raiders move up to Division II or remain in Division III.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as game highlights, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.