Sports seasons left alone, playoff realignment sought

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The Jack McGrath Press Box at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

MIAA seeks to get more athletes involved in championship bid

By LORENZO RECUPERO

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Football Committee convened virtually via video chat and decided not to fix what isn’t broken.

The committee met to discuss proposed high school football divisional and tournament alignments for the 2021-23 seasons and voted 14-0-2 (two abstentions) in favor of keeping the current 8 division format with a redesigned playoff alignment.

Both the football committees proposals will go up to the Tournament Management Committee next on June 4 for official approval.

Since 2016, football has been played within 8 divisions, but a plan passed in February by the entire MIAA membership maxed the number of divisions in any given sport to five.

The MIAA’s approved plan, however, provided a provision that would allow for sports committees to “request divisional expansion or alternatives to realignment” when necessary to the TMC.

The football committees 8 division format proposal will allow for 16 teams to have a shot at a state championship and even more to participate in the tournament.

Proponents of the format noted the need to afford all athletes across each division the same opportunities to make it to the postseason.

The plan comes as football programs numbers are dropping across the state. Continue reading Sports seasons left alone, playoff realignment sought

Sports is now a waiting game

MIAA officially cancels spring schedule

By LORENZO RECUPERO

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletics Association (MIAA) announced the cancellation of the 2019-2020 spring high school sports season Friday.

Here’s the official statement released on their website:

“In accordance with Governor Charles Baker’s announcement Tuesday that Massachusetts schools will be closed to in person learning for the remainder of the school year, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) regretfully has cancelled all spring sports and spring tournaments.

Today’s decision by the MIAA Board of Directors was difficult, disappointing, and one that was deferred for several weeks as Association staff, Association members from the Tournament Management Committee (TMC) and the Board worked aggressively to construct optional structures to save the opportunity for our MIAA 80,000 student-athletes to enjoy a spring season.

Despite this disheartening but unavoidable action, it is paramount to applaud our constituents, principals, athletic directors, coaches and student-athletes for their positive power of example and cooperation during this unprecedented crisis. The “life lessons” inherent in the games we play will be our resiliency to provide mental and physical strength to focus on the discipline and teamwork to make a difference in the challenging chapters in the Game of Life. #OneTeamOneMIAA. Stay Well.”

The MIAA’s decision to cancel high school sports was inevitable once Governor Baker announced all Mass. schools would close for the remainder of the academic year but waiting for the news wasn’t nearly as tough actually as getting it.

Continue reading Sports is now a waiting game

Schools closing ends spring sports

BY LORENZO RECUPERO

In what really isn’t much of a surprise decision, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced all private and public schools in the state will be closed for the remainder of the academic school year. The announcement has forced the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) to reconvene and address the spring high school sports season.

Previously, the MIAA announced a tentative plan to hold a shortened spring sports season with 8–12 games scheduled per team from May 4 through June 27, including an approved playoff format that would crown sectional champions based on region rather than an overall state champion like years past.

But since schools will no longer open in May, and other states also clamping their school doors for the academic year, that plan will need to be re-evaluated or squashed all together in what surely will be an unprecedented moment for the MIAA and high school sports across the state and country.

Continue reading Schools closing ends spring sports

EHS SPORTS ROUNDUP

by Lorenzo Recupero

The Crimson Tide’s postseason slate included the baseball and softball teams, but both went down in defeat during the first round of the MIAA D.1 north tournament last week.

The dual loss brings a close to the 2019 spring sports season at Everett High School.

Softball

The Lady Tide (12-9) had a fantastic year on the mound behind the starting duo of freshman Celeste Fuccillo and junior Ariana Garay, but a lack of hitting in vital situations led the team to falter during the postseason as they fell, 9-2, to Woburn High School in the first round of the playoffs.

“We got our bats on the ball, but just hit it directly to people,” said EHS head coach Stacy Schiavo after being bounced from the playoffs by Woburn HS. “We had ups and downs this season, but I will say I’m proud of all our girls for their accomplishments this season both on and off the field,” said Schiavo as her season came to a close.

The good news for the Lady Tide: They graduate just one starter, senior captain Kaylee Nearen.

The lack of a roster turnover allows the team to pick up right where they left off next season. Another year of experience for a playoff roster should bode well for the team next year.

Continue reading EHS SPORTS ROUNDUP

EHS Softball Locks up Tourney Spot,Celebrates Seniors

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The EHS softball team honors their seniors as they are called out to receive flowers during the team’s Senior night celebration. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso)

By Lorenzo Recupero

For the second consecutive year – and the 20th time over the past 21 seasons – Everett High School softball will compete for a state championship in the division 1 MIAA tournament.

The Lady Tide (11-6) picked up their 10th win, the magic number to clinch a playoff berth, with a, 14-0, thrashing of Waltham on Friday. They followed that triumph up on Saturday in Salem, coming out on top, 9-6, behind timely hitting (10 hits in the second inning) and a strong performance on the mound.

Friday’s victory over Waltham was the cherry on top for a small group of seniors that were honored before the game as part of the team’s Senior Night celebration at Glendale Park. Included in the group of graduating athletes were four-year starter Kaylee Nearen, Yalixa Colon, Rachel Zullo and Sidney Hennessey.

The bullpen combination of Ariana Garay (7-0, 1.83 ERA), who picked up her second shutout in the win over Waltham, and Celeste Fuccillo, who fanned 9 batters against Salem and leads the team with 50 Ks, proved to be the driving forces in both wins.

Continue reading EHS Softball Locks up Tourney Spot,Celebrates Seniors