The Cape-Atlantic League thought its realignment issues were settled for the 2014 and 15 seasons.
But Lower Cape May’s forfeits reopened the issue, CAL president and Mainland Regional athletic director Mike Gatley said.
Here’s one suggestion for how the league could realign.
It is based on past history, reasonable predictions of the future and common sense.
Under this system, not every team gets full schedule (nine regular season games) and Thanksgiving Day rivalries are preserved.
The league should also take advantage of its natural rivalries and schedule those games.
The league should go back to three divisions.
Bridgeton (six division games, natural rivalry vs. Vineland and Millville) 8 games
Buena Regional (six division games, natural rivalry vs. Vineland) 7 games
Cedar Creek (six division games plus St. Augustine on Thanksgiving and natural rivalry vs. Absegami) 8 games
Lower Cape May (six division games; natural rivalry vs. Ocean City) 7 games
Middle Township (six division games; Natural rivalry vs. Ocean City) 7 games
Oakcrest (six division games; Absegami on Thanksgiving; natural rivalry with Mainland) 8 games
Pleasantville (six division games; Ocean City on Thanksgiving; natural rivalry vs. Atlantic City) 8 games
Why they are grouped together: All are South Jersey Group II or Group III schools. They are 1-30 against the league’s parochial schools since 2010 and that win was a forfeit for using an ineligible player. They are 3-17 vs. the CAL’s Group V schools – not including Vineland – since 2010. It is not realistic for them to CONSISTENTLY play the league's parochial and Group V schools.
If the league can’t give them enough games and they can’t get games on their own, these schools should play each other twice.
AS FOR THE REST OF THE TEAMS
Break them up into two divisions of five based on how they are playing this year and their future prospects.
Holy Spirit (four division games; Natural rivalry with St. Joe and St. Aug; Thanksgiving with AC) 7 games
Egg Harbor Township (four division games; natural rivalry with AC and Absegami, Millville) 7 games
Mainland Regional (four division games; natural rivalry with AC, Absegami and Oakcrest) 7 games
Ocean City (four division games; Pville on Thanksgiving; natural rivalries with Middle Twp. And Lower Cape May) 7 games
Vineland (four division games; Millville on Thanksgiving; Natural rivalries with Buena and Bridgeton) 7 games
Absegami (four division games; Oakcrest on Thanksgiving; natural rivalries with Cedar Creek, AC and EHT and Mainland) 9 games
Atlantic City (four division games; Holy Spirit on Thanksgiving; Natural rivalries with Pville, Mainland, EHT) 8 games
Millville (four division games; Vineland on Thanksgiving; Natural rivalry with Bridgeton and EHT) 7 games
St. Augustine Prep (four division games; Cedar Creek on Thanksgiving; Natural rivalry with Holy Spirit) 6 games
St. Joseph (four division games; natural rivalry with Holy Spirit; possible Thanksgiving game with Hammonton) 6 games
This alignment would give the parochial schools and public schools a chance to participate in high-profile games or showcase contests.
St. Joe could play a North Jersey power for instance.
Teams could also organize local showcase events. How about a CAL vs. Philly challenge?
Games could also be scheduled within the league.
It will be interesting to see how the league’s football future unfolds in the coming weeks.