By Cary Shuman
Greater Boston League officials will vote at a meeting Thursday whether to approve a merger with the Northeastern Conference (NEC).
NEC principals voted by a 9-3 margin Friday to grant the four GBL schools admission to the league and now Everett, Malden, Medford, and Somerville representatives must take the final step and accept the offer to join the 12-member conference.
The move to the NEC would mean a renewal of intra-league competition for Everett against former GBL members Revere and Peabody, who left the GBL to join the NEC.
Everett would compete against NEC schools in all boys and girls sports except football. That is obviously a nod to the superiority of coach John DiBiaso’s Everett High School football program, a perennial Division 1 state title contender for more than two decades.
Everett would still play Malden, Medford, and Somerville each year in football. Everett would be classified as a Division 1 independent and fill out its schedule with opponents such as Xaverian (Westwood) and St. John’s Prep (Danvers), two games that have become the most anticipated on the Crimson Tide’s schedule.
John DiBiaso, EHS director of athletics, said he’s happy about the merger.
“We think the merger is a good fit for Everett and the four remaining GBL schools,” said DiBiaso. “We’ll do what we have to do in football, but it’s good for all the other sports.”
Everett has been playing NEC schools such as Salem, Winthrop, Saugus, Revere, Swampscott, Marblehead Lynn English, and Lynn Classical in all sports in recent years. Interestingly, the Everett football team defeated Lynn English in the semifinals on its way to a Super Bowl title in the 2011 season.
“Everett has competed well with the NEC schools in non-league games during the regular season,” said DiBiaso.
In a nice extra, Everett teams will get to play at the new Winthrop High School/Middle School that opens this fall, while NEC teams will enjoy playing at Everett’s prime time facility inside the high school.
The merger would likely begin in the fall sports season of 2017.