Plans to start tryouts, practice tabled until January due to rising Coronavirus numbers
By LORENZO RECUPERO
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and the Everett School Committee both formally agreed to allow winter sports at EHS to start but Everett’s governing bodies at City Hall put a hold on the planned start date of December 15.
The city is still in the red but Everett High School (EHS) had been given the green light to jump-start its Winter Sports season.
With authorization from the MIAA and a unanimous 8-0 vote from the Everett School Committee, Winter Sports at EHS will (prospectively) be allowed.
Instead, according to boy’s basketball coach Stanley Chamblain, the school committee and the city will reconvene after the holiday break to confirm the unanimous vote or deny it and cancel the Winter Sports season altogether.
Chamblain was a huge proponent of continuing play through the ongoing pandemic – with all the safeguards in place – as he believed a winter void of sports in Everett could have degenerative effects on the long-term health of Everett academics. His voice was heard loud and clear by the School Committee ahead of the unanimous vote.
“We must focus on limiting the spread and ensure the safety of our players and their families, we all have to play it safe,” said Chamblain, acknowledging the City’s override of the vote to allow sports to begin at EHS. “Although the coach in me is itching to play, I support and understand the City’s stance and will follow what they have to say,” he said.
While Covid-19 restrictions will still impact which teams can play and how the competition is set up, EHS was granted a modified Winter Sports season but the final decision is pending approval from the city.
Should the season be allowed, both the girls and boys basketball teams, junior varsity included, and hockey will be allowed to hold tryouts and practices in January. Track will join football in being pushed back to the “Fall 2” season, whichis scheduled to begin in late February and includes some fall sports that did not field a team in 2020.
In working with the Greater Boston League’s (GBL) administrators and coaches, Everett Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani and EHS Athletic Director Tammy Turner were able to prepare an altered season that won’t look like any other the school has participated in, as all the EHS teams taking part in the winter season will only be allowed to face GBL opponents.
There will be no non-conference games on the schedule for any teams. The GBL includes Everett, Malden, Medford, Revere, and Somerville.
“Most conferences playing right now are doing this with the hope to squeeze in a conference tournament in the end,” said EHS head basketball coach Stanley Cham- blain, who is still hopeful basketball will happen at EHS this year.