Everett, GBL Continue to Seek Merger with NEC

Supt. of Everett Schools Frederick Foresteire said the GBL-NEC Jamboree Friday night was the first step in a renewal of the Greater Boston League’s bid to create a merger with the Northeastern Conference. Currently there are four GBL schools (Everett, Malden, Medford, and Somerville) and 12 NEC schools (Saugus is returning to the NEC from the Cape Ann League in 2015).

Foresteire rolled out the red carpet for the visiting NEC schools, their administrators, and their students. EHS student ambassadors welcomed fans at the stadium’s gates while  students in the culinary arts catered a meal that included delicious sandwiches, brownies, and cookies for the visiting school officials in a special VIP area.

Foresteire envisions a two-tier league with eight teams in each division.

“I favor a merger of the Greater Boston League and the Northeastern Conference in all sports,” said Foresteire. “We’re a natural fit and transportation isn’t a big issue. We’re looking to see if we can merge the two leagues and create a two-tier league.”

Foresteire understands that the high-profile Everett High football program has been the topic at league merger discussions among athletic directors and school principals. Everett has won 10 Super Bowls and NEC schools haven’t fared well in regular season and post-season matchups with the Tide.

“People think it [merger] is just about football but there are so many sports that are being played,” said Foresteire. “With a two-tier league, the teams that do great one year move up, those that aren’t as strong, would move down. That would create two competitive divisions.”

Foresteire said all divisions would be based on the competitive level of the schools in the different sports.

Foresteire  recalled NEC member Beverly being a non-league opponent for Everett through the 1960-1990s.

“Beverly-Everett used to a big game with big home crowds,” said Foresteire. “Even when [head coach] John DiBiaso took over in the 1990s, Beverly-Everett was a big attraction and a great matchup.”

He also recalled the exciting Everett-Peabody matchups when Ed Nizwantowski patrolled the sidelines for the Tanners.

Foresteire was asked whether he would consider a proposal where Everett competes in a merged league in all sports, except football, where it would play an independent schedule or just a few of its games against GBL and NEC schools.

“I would consider a proposal similar to that because you’re looking out for track, field hockey, golf, and all the other sports,” said Foresteire.

Foresteire expects the Greater Boston League principals and athletic directors to formally apply for admission to the NEC this fall, opening the door to a possible merger for the 2015-16 school year.

“Everyone in the NEC has been cordial,” said Foresteire. “There were no concrete talks [about the merger] Friday. Those talks have to take place among the athletic directors and principals.”

Whatever the future holds for Everett football, the present looks very good. Foresteire and the EHS fandom are ready for the season that begins in Springfield Friday (7 p.m.) and the hope is that it will end at Gillette Stadium with another Super Bowl trophy.

“I don’t want to jinx anything but we’re looking forward to going back to Gillette Stadium,” said Foresteire.

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