Lynnfield’s fall sports status unknown

Sep 16, 2020 by

More CAL news including no fans

Published September 16, 2020

By DAN PAWLOWSKI 

LYNNFIELD — Athletics at Lynnfield High School are in jeopardy for the fall season following the town’s designation as a “red” community in the state’s most recent COVID-19 Public Health Report. 

With an average daily incident rate per 100,000 residents currently at 11.0, Lynnfield joins other red districts including Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, Methuen, Revere and Winthrop.

According to the MIAA and DESE joint report on high school sports this season, “Districts designated as ‘red’ based on the Department of Public Health (DPH)’s metric of average daily cases per 100,000 residents and which therefore have their high school students learning remotely at the start of a season, must postpone their entire season, including practices, until the floating season later in the year.”

The floating fall 2 season will take place from Feb. 22 to April 25. 

The Cape Ann League’s administrators have already voted that indoor fall sports volleyball and swimming will join football as being postponed to the floating season.

Lynnfield Athletic Director Michael Bierwirth confirmed that the Pioneers pushed their fall athletics start date to Sept. 30 while every other CAL school can begin practice this Friday.

“If Lynnfield is still a ‘red’ community as of Sept. 30, there will be no fall sports at LHS,” said School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman in a Facebook post. “This is not something that the School Committee has the authority to overrule. Personally, I want to get our kids back into school buildings and our athletes back on the field ASAP. For that to happen, it will take a community-wide effort to stop and prevent community spread of COVID. A number of towns, including Saugus, were red at one time and rapidly dropped back into yellow, green or white, so it is very much possible. As a parent, School Committee chair and community member, and as we head into the weekend when many club sports and other activities are beginning, I ask that each and every person in our community take the necessary precautions to help get our kids back into the school buildings.”

The CAL recently made some more decisions regarding fall sports in order to follow the MIAA’s guidelines and sport-specific modifications. The league will not be allowing fans of any kind, including parents, for the beginning of the fall season. They are working on a potential streaming option to watch games online.

With 11 teams now in the league after Masco left for the Northeastern Conference this year, the CAL is planning on having 10-game schedules for most fall sports, playing every other team in the league once. Buses will be provided for student athletes with a max of 23 allowed on a bus at once. 

In the event of a COVID outbreak, that team will need to stop playing for at least 48 hours as school officials will work with the state and opponents to make sure it hasn’t spread. Teams are subject to full season cancellations if an outbreak becomes severe. 

Full schedules for the sports that will be played in the CAL this fall (boys’ and girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ cross country, golf and field hockey) are not yet finalized.

With no MIAA state tournaments happening this fall, the league is currently trying to figure out the logistics of a potential CAL postseason tournament. The idea is to be able to crown a regular season champion like always, and a playoff champion if possible. That may be determined based on how the regular season goes. 

More news on the ongoing status of LHS fall sports will be available next week. 

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