By LORENZO RECUPERO
With recent approval from the Everett Board of Health, sports teams at Everett High School will be allowed to compete for the first time in the 2020-2021 school year.
The highly anticipated decision from the Everett BOH comes weeks after much delegation and planning on behalf of the school, city, and state administrators on how best to safely conduct school sports during the ongoing pandemic.
Because Everett’s been deemed a red zone by the state due to higher Coronavirus infection rates here, none of the fall or winter sports teams at Everett High School have been able to gather or practice in any formal way.
Since the pandemic started closing schools last March, coaches and players from each respective sport have been closed-off from any in-person communication, making the recent developments to continue school sports in Everett this season a relief to those involved.
In a news release on the EPS website, Superintendent Priya Tahiliani expressed total confidence in the city’s ability to safely execute sports play and return student-athletes to some normalcy this school year.
“I continue to be impressed with, and have full confidence in, the collective effort to allow our student-athletes to play the sports they love,” said Tahiliani. “It has been a long process filled with stops and starts, but it is worth it because we know profound social and emotion- al benefits sports offer,” she said.
EHS boy’s basketball coach Stanley Chamblain, who’s been vocal about the importance of high school sports in Everett during its absence, is grateful to be able to get back court side.
“I honestly can’t think of a word [for how it feels]. We haven’t been in that gym as a team in close to a year. I’m definitely beyond excited for things to resume, but I may take a moment when I get to the gym to take it in before starting things up,” said Chamblain, who led the Tide to a postseason run last year. “Just going to appreciate the moment, we’re definitely very fortunate,” said Chamblain.
Everett winter sports, including boys and girl’s basketball, coed ice hockey, and swimming will all begin tryouts and practices on February 3, with a regular-season schedule consisting of only Greater Boston League opponents to start by March 1.
The winter season will continue through April 10 and conclude without an MIAA state tournament, but possibly an inter-league tourney between GBL opponents only.