Montgomery and Prince George's County Class AA high school football teams do not have the same chance to make the four-team playoffs as schools from other areas of the state.
There are four Class A regions within the state, but Region 3 (Baltimore County) has seven teams, while Region 1 (nine Montgomery and two Prince Georges County schools) has 12 teams and Region 2 (all Prince George's teams) has 11.
"If the state wants to give Baltimore area schools a free ride to the playoffs, that's okay, but give Montgomery and Prince George's County teams the same treatment," said Springbrook Coach Bob Milloy, whose Blue Devils won three Class AA state championships (1979-81).
"Last year we beat Churchill, but High Point, which didn't play one of the Montgomery schools in the region, went to the playoffs. The same thing could happen again this year if Laurel wins the rest of its games.
"I think Montgomery County plays the best football in the state," Milloy continued. "At least expand the playoffs so the top eight teams get a chance to go to the playoffs. If not, let us play the other teams in our region and we'll decide it on the field, instead of this points system. I've tried to schedule a game with Laurel and High Point, but they're locked into their county schedule.
"Why is it that my players have to compete against 11 teams, while a Baltimore County school only has to worry about six others?"
"Every two years, we review our classifications based upon the most recent student population figures and then divide them into four classes from C to AA," said Ned Sparks, executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.
"Once divided by size, we use existing regions, geography and then region size as criteria for selection. We try to make these regions as equitable as possible, but it's very often like trying to put square pegs into round holes.
"The classifications rules committee will meet on Nov. 1 to re-evaluate our classes and regions. And in early December, the (MPSSAA) representative assembly will vote on their findings.
"We also would like to expand the football playoffs to include eight teams in each classification and voted to do so two years ago," Sparks explained. "But when the local superintendents had their chance to ratify this plan, they voted against the proposed expansion, 23-2."
Magruder won 26 of 30 games in its last three years, but never earned enough playoff points to gain a postseason berth. This season the Colonels are 7-0 and could finish undefeated, yet may be denied a spot in the Class B playoffs because Allegany is also undefeated and leads the playoff points race, 85.5-84.
Likewise, Thomas Stone and Annapolis are undefeated and could finish their seasons without a loss, but one, probably Thomas Stone (which still adheres to its Southern Maryland Athletic Conference schedule -- four Class A and three Class B schools) will have to sit out the playoffs.
Poolesville or Smithsburg can also win all their games and yet remain a Class C, Region 2 bridesmaid. Poolesville currently leads 72-67.
The finals of the Montgomery County girls tennis tournment will be held at 3 p.m. today at Montgomery College-Rockville. Springbrook freshman Jeri Ingram was the No. 1 seeded individual player. The state tournament will be held in May.