Lynn English Director of Athletics Dick Newton and Lynn Classical Director of Athletics Bill Devin both voted with the majority to cancel the entire Northeastern Conference fall sports season.
The NEC ADs voted by a 7-5 margin to recommend to cancel the season and push it back to the spring of 2021. The NEC school principals, including Classical Principal Amy Dunn and English Interim Principal Anastasia Tessie Mower, voted 9-0-3 Monday to cancel the season, with the Gloucester, Danvers, and Beverly principals abstaining.
Newton spoke about the proposal that he authored.
“I think the buzzword was ‘equity’ and if five schools are not able to play at all, are we going to stay together as a league or are we going to branch off and do our own thing?” said Newton. “I think the main objective of school systems is to get students back in the classroom first.”
The decision affects Lynn high school football (which had already been moved to the spring season, (which is called the “Fall 2” season), volleyball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross country, golf, and cheerleading.
“It is my job as an athletic director to look out for my kids and at this point in time where we’re in waters that we haven’t been in before when it comes to COVID-19 and virtual learning – it’s made things very difficult for everybody and my job is to look out for Lynn English and Lynn kids.”
Devin said Lynn was deemed to be in “red” for COVID-19 cases, “so weren’t going to be allowed to play anywhere.”
“This decision gives us a ray of hope that we can salvage the entire fall season and play it in the Fall 2 floating wedge season created by the MIAA,” said Devin.
Devin said he is “100 percent optimistic” that the Fall 2 season can happen this spring.
“There are some obstacles with the weather and the availability of venues and other issues, but I think all of those things can be overcome,” said Devin. “My thought is that the late February dates will be used for tryouts and indoor practices and then gradually make our way out to the golf course, the cross country course, and the football and soccer fields.”
Devin said he is excited about an interesting scenario that could find the Lynn Classical and Lynn English football teams playing their annual “Thanksgiving” game in April.
“I am excited about playing the Bulldogs on a warm, crisp Saturday afternoon in April at Manning Field,” said Devin. “We’re going to have a sell-out crowd, 10,000-plus fans there.”
In other news, Devin and Newton have agreed that the Lynn flag football (Powder Puff) game between Lynn Classical and Lynn English seniors will be played in the spring at Manning Field.