Will there be a winter sports season for Revere High School student-athletes?
Revere Director of Athletics Frank Shea is awaiting guidelines from the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and the MIAA about whether schools can proceed with their winter sports seasons during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The winter sports (basketball, hockey, indoor track) season is scheduled to begin on Nov. 30, 2020 and end on Feb. 21, 2021. As it stands right now, there would be no MIAA State Tournaments held following the season.
Revere’s fall sports season was canceled due to the coronavirus and the city being in a “red zone” (at the highest risk for transmitting COVID-19).
Shea said the EEA Office is expected to release its recommendations on Nov. 6. The MIAA Sport Committee will meet to discuss possible modifications to the season. The MIAA Board of Directors will then likely approve the MIAA Sport Committee’s recommendations.
“We also have a Greater Boston League meeting on Nov. 12 where the direction of our season will be determined,” said Shea. “Obviously we know the COVID-19 infection rates in most of the GBL communities are still high, so we’re not sure how that will affect our teams going forward.”
Shea said that the discussions over the next seven days will be crucial in making the decision about the winter sports season.
“I know they (state and MIAA officials) are compiling data about the fall sports season from cities and towns and factor that date into the decision about the winter sports season,” said Shea.
Should there be a season, basketball and hockey teams would likely play a reduced number of games. Those teams usually play 20-game seasons, but that number could be reduced to 12-16 games.
Revere competes in the Greater Boston League where the longest distance traveled to a game would be to Somerville and Medford. Possible non-league games against neighbors Chelsea and Lynn (Classical and English) would also be shorter trips.
Shea said Revere will continue its cooperative hockey program with Malden and Matignon. The Cronin Rink in Revere, which has been closed for the past two weeks, is scheduled to reopen on Nov. 7, but that decision was made before the recent order by Gov. Baker that all indoor recreational venues be closed at 9:30 p.m.
The cancellation of the 2020 spring and fall sports seasons has sidetracked the momentum that the Revere High athletic program had been building under the guidance of Frank Shea. Last fall’s football, soccer, field hockey, and cheerleading seasons launched the program on to a highly successful year before COVID-19 forced officials to cancel the entire spring season.
Shea had also launched a new boys’ volleyball program that was set to make its debut in April under head coach Lianne O’Hara, the former girls basketball coach who led the Lady Patriots to a No. 1 ranking in Massachusetts during her tenure. Hopefully, O’Hara’s varsity and JV teams will be able to participate in their inaugural volleyball season this April.
Meanwhile looking ahead, the GBL will expand to six teams in the fall of 2021 as former GBL school Chelsea joins the league. Chelsea has left the Commonwealth Athletic Conference and is playing an independent schedule until it becomes a full member of the GBL in Sept., 2021. The Chelsea-Revere rivalry was once a hotly contested one, especially in the 1970s when such superb pitchers as Steve Cushing and Steve DiCarlo regularly faced off against Mike Lush and the Red Devils. Cushing, DiCarlo, and Lush were all pursued by Major League Baseball organizations.