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Some fans wanted St. Frances vs. Wise football this week, but here's why that won't happen

Some fans on social media began asking over the weekend for a football game between No. 1 St. Frances and three-time defending Class 4A state champion Wise.

Both teams are free next weekend. St. Frances has a bye. Wise was scheduled to play Bladensburg, which did not have enough experienced players to field a varsity team this fall, so they have an opening, too.

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However, even if both teams wanted to play, the game cannot happen because of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association rules that govern Wise.

The MPSSAA won’t allow teams to add games after the season starts.

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St. Frances football has been declared the MIAA A Conference champion. There will be no playoffs this fall, and no team has to forfeit, ending speculation about the consequences of all the Panthers’ A Conference opponents deciding not to play them this fall.

According to the MPSSAA handbook, “All school athletic schedules shall be established before the first MPSSAA allowable playdate of each sport’s season.” It only goes on to list the limits on number of games in a season and in a week.

Earl Hawkins, coordinating supervisor for athletics for the Prince George’s County schools, said Wise could not play St. Frances because of that rule. He also said the Pumas, who are aiming for their fifth state championship in six years, will play a nine-game schedule this season.

That was determined by Hawkins after Bladensburg could not field a team.

While it likely would have been a great game, a St. Frances-Wise match up might not be quite as appealing as it was Friday afternoon. Calvert Hall ended the Puma’s 43-game winning streak — tied for the second longest active streak in the country — Saturday evening, 19-14. Still, Wise was the highest-ranked public school team in the state media poll last week at No. 4 behind St. Frances, Good Counsel and DeMatha.

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