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The group that oversees high school sports in Massachusetts will soon take up a plan to simplify the playoff format in every sport. The top 32 teams in the state in each division would be seeded, placed into brackets, and then play in a tournament until a champion is named. The format ends sectional titles but ensures top teams play each other in the finals and semifinals, even if they’re in the same geographic area. The drawback is the potential expense and hassle of travel. What do you think of the idea, which still must be voted on by principals and athletic directors from the 380 schools that belong to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association?

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Obituaries

Andover, MA - Robert B. Shapiro, of Andover, formerly of Chestnut Hill, passed away on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. For 56 years, he was the beloved husband of Ruth (Neistadt) Shapiro. Loving father of Mark Shapiro and his wife Janet and daughter Sienna, and Gregg Shapiro and his wife Lauren…

North Andover, MA - Paula Joan Eldridge, in North Andover, formerly of Andover, and Siasconset, on January 8, 2020, at 91 years old. Beloved mother of Victoria Aloiau and Scott Pascucci, and grandmother of Dillon Pascucci and Aiden Pascucci. Predeceased by Vincent Pascucci and Patricia Eldri…

Naples, ME - Robert "Bob" Van Der Zee, 92, of Naples, Maine passed Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019 after a brief illness. Robert was born in Quincy, Massachusetts and raised in Hingham. He was a varsity basketball player known as Chick by his teammates. Bob served his country during World War II. Upon …

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