The Revere Youth Hockey organization, known as the East Coast Junior Patriots, has had its season suspended for two weeks as a result of the Mass. Department of Public Health ordering that all rinks in the states be closed due to an increase in coronavirus cases.
“We’re on hold for two weeks,” said Revere Youth Hockey officer and coach Gerry Visconti. “Our in-house program and traveling teams have been shut down as are all hockey programs in Massachusetts.”
Visconti said that there was an uptick in cases related to the virus.
“New Hampshire shut down their youth hockey programs last week, so this decision was expected,” said Visconti.
Visconti, a Revere councilor-at-large, said more than 100 youth hockey players were affected by the suspension of play.
“Our Learn-To-Skate program hasn’t started yet,” said Visconti. “We’ve held off on it.”
Edna Micelin is a parent of an 11-year-old son, J.J, who participates in the East Coast Junior Patriots hockey program.
Micelin said she wasn’t pleased that her son’s hockey season has been suspended for two weeks, but she understands Massachusetts Public Health’s decision.
“I wasn’t happy about it, but I understand about the safety aspect,” said Micelin. “I do feel that my son’s hockey program was following the protocols and doing what it was supposed to be doing in this situation. They were socially distancing. They have hand sanitizers everywhere. The players were always wearing their masks as were the coaches.”
Micelin said players came to the rink attired in their hockey uniforms and waited outside the arena before the previous teams had completed their practice sessions. The players’ only visit to the locker room was to drop off their equipment bags before heading directly to the ice surface. Only one parent per child was allowed in the rink to observe practices.
“The program has been abiding by the standards,” said Micelin. “I felt my son and his teammates were safe and the league was adhering to all the guidelines. The coaches were all on board and they treat their players as family. They always make sure the kids are doing what they’re supposed to do and staying safe.
I think our society needs to try to move on in a safe way without shutting down every time,” said Micelin.
J.J, who has been skating for seven years, is looking forward to resuming his season in two weeks, according to his mother, Edna.