Last week the Town Crier ran the story about the MIAA pushing back the start of the fall high school sports season to September 14th. The local athletic directors were all asked about their thoughts on the decision, and remarks from Tewksbury's Ron Drouin and Wilmington's Mia Muzio were included in the article. Shawsheen Tech's AD Al Costabile returned an email after we went to press, but we wanted to share this thoughts.
"I honestly never expected sports to start in late August before school. With this pandemic rearing its head in other states it serves as a reality check. I am so proud that Massachusetts has done a great job in attempting to control this pandemic. With that said, I understand that we have to maintain our diligence and get schools up and running as our top priority.
“I honestly had my sincere doubts that football camp starting on Aug.21 wasn't going to happen. What I am happy about is a plan to enable the fall interscholastic athletes to be members of a team and experience something they will never forget and have worked hard for.
“I am excited that we have an opportunity for the athletes to compete with a projected starting date to plan with. If the only restriction our student athletes deal with is a three-week delay, well that is minor compared to the many hardships that so many have dealt with during this pandemic. Three week delay "Game On," – Let's Go Baby!”
This past week, members of the MIAA Football Committee “presented ideas on how to play this past week to State Officials, DESE & EEA. This included the new full face shield, mouth pieces attached to facemask and the use of gloves. It also covered reduction in contact drills.”
Als on Tuesday, during the MIAA Meeting, it was decided that during the 2021 season that Voke Schools will be dropped three divisions with the new state alignment plan, while, Private and Co-Op schools will be bumped up a division.
The Merrimack College football program saw nine student-athletes recognized when the Phil Steele Preseason All-Northeast Conference teams were announced on Friday.
A trio of Merrimack defenders earned first team honors in junior Cory Hagerman, sophomore Nicholas Lenon and junior Darion McKenzie. Hagerman and Lenon landed on the first team from their defensive end positions while McKenzie earned first team honors as a punt returner.
Besides those nine players, also returning to the team this season will be Wilmington resident Tyler Roberts. A junior, who stands at 6-foot-3, 240-pounds, he played last year, appearing in all 11 games mostly as a tight end. He finished with three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown.