hen John Hoffman left the Tsongas Center in Lowell on March 7 after covering the three sectional championship games won by the Lynn English boys and St. Mary’s girls and boys basketball teams, the legendary Lynn sportscaster didn’t realize that it would be his final curtain call of the 2019-20 sports season.
Hoffman, 81, would have been back at his TV-15 microphone for the St. Mary’s girls’ and Lynn English boys’ state championship games in Worcester on March 14. The St. Mary’s girls and Lynn English boys had both claimed victory in the state semifinals at the TD Garden.
But two days before those games, reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MIAA canceled the state finals and Hoffman never had the opportunity to broadcast that chapter in Lynn sports history.
After Gov. Charlie Baker ordered all schools to be closed for the remainder of the year, the MIAA canceled the spring sports season.
The Lynn Journal hopes to feature John Hoffman’s comments about the 2019-20 Lynn sports season and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Lynn. This week Mr. Hoffman responds to whether he believes that Lynn English and St. Mary’s would have returned from Worcester with 2020 state championship trophies.
Q: Do You think the Lynn English boys basketball team and the St. Mary’s girls basketball team would have gone on to win state championships versus Springfield Central and Hoosac Valley, respectively?
A: I think Antonio [Anderson] has done a tremendous job of bringing that program to where it is. There’s no question English would have been the state champion (English was crowned Division 1 co-champion). The two best teams in the state were Lowell and English and it showed in that game at Tsongas, with English defeating Lowell (in overtime). English and Lowell played right down to the wire and both teams gave it everything they had. English got by Mansfield easily [in the Garden] and would have easily won the state title. The St. Mary’s girls were going to play Hoosac in the state final and I know they had already played Hoosac this year and defeated them soundly. St. Mary’s certainly would have been state champion and that would have been (Coach) Jeff Newhall’s third title (St. Mary’s was crowned Division 3 co-champion).