The delayed — but highly-anticipated — 2021 winter sports season gets underway this coming week for Everett High sports teams.
Although the pandemic has altered the high school sports scene along with everything else in life, the Crimson Tide hockey and basketball athletes will have the opportunity to participate in a shortened winter season against their Greater Boston League (GBL) opponents.
The possibility of even having a season seemed bleak up until just recently because of the continued high positivity rate for COVID-19 in Everett and the communities that compete in the GBL. However, all of the GBL schools, with the exception of Chelsea, have received the go-ahead to play and the coaches and players are eager to get their season underway.
Boys Basketball Opens Season This Evening
“We’re just excited that we’re able to have a season this year,” said EHS boys basketball coach Stanley Chamblain. “Collectively, we were all very anxious and just were constantly reading updates on the potential of it starting, but were just unsure on when it could start. “Once that day came where we were allowed to be in the gym again, you could feel the excitement,” Chamblain continued. “We haven’t been around each other since our last basketball game in that gym, so for us, it was a moment for some kind of normalcy, even though we are restricted on how we have to play the game of basketball.”
The 2021 Crimson Tide boys will be led by two captains, senior Kevin Ariste and junior John Monexant. Other members of the 2021 edition of the Crimson Tide are seniors Edwin Francois, Rovencheney Brice, and Juvens Louis; juniors James Monexant, Nurieni Mohamed, Roby Dormevil, and Ralph Enayo; and sophomores David DeSouza, Steven Cordero, Kevin Ruiz, Roger Vasquez, and Mervens Amazan.
“This season will be different from others for obvious reasons, but it gives us the opportunity to have our seniors, Edwin Francois, Rove Brice, Kevin Ariste and Juvens Louis, play their last games in an Everett uniform and at the same time have our younger guys get an opportunity to grow and compete,” said Chamblain.
“We’re led by our senior captain in Kevin Ariste and our three-year starting guard and junior captain in John Monexant. We have some talented guys in Roby Dormevil, Steven Cordero, David De Souza, and Ralph Enayo who are all underclassmen, but returners to the program. “We also have players such as Juvens Louis, Kevin Ruiz, James Monexant, Nurieni Mohamed, and Mervens Amazan, who are first-year players and who will be impactful to our success moving forward,” Chamblain continued. “I mention all of them, along with Edwin and Rove, because they all have the ability to go out on any given night and give some very valuable minutes.
“With our first game Wednesday (tonight) against Medford, we’re all very anxious, but yet excited to see what this team is made of,” the coach concluded.
The New-Look GBL Resurrects Old Rivalries
Everett will be competing in the newly-reorganized Greater Boston League, which will be a mix of new and old schools from that venerable conference.
When long-time GBL members Somerville, Everett, Malden, and Medford decided to end their three-year relationship with the Northeastern Conference, Revere — which was one of the original members of the GBL (dating back to the 1950s, but which joined the Northeastern Conference in 2005) — also jumped the NEC ship.
Shortly thereafter, both Lynn Classical and Lynn English decided to forsake the NEC, the league to which both of those schools had belonged since 1970.
Chelsea, an original GBL school from the ‘50s, also will figure into the mix. The Red Devils have been a member of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference since about 1990, but are playing an independent schedule this year and are slated to rejoin the GBL next year (except in football).
However, Chelsea will play a predominantly-GBL schedule this season if the Chelsea School Committee gives the athletic program the green light to compete.
The end result is a vibrant Greater Boston League of eight schools that share a commonality in many respects, particularly geography (there’ll no more of those long bus rides on school nights to Gloucester!), as well as rivalries that transcend the generations.
For the 2021 basketball season, the GBL has created a seven-game regular season to be followed by a three-game playoff system. Hockey also will feature a championship playoff after its eight-game regular season.