SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

October 19, 2013

NEC says no to Masconomet, four GBL schools

The 11 high school principals of the Northeastern Conference schools voted down a proposal yesterday from the conference’s athletic directors to add Masconomet, as well as four schools from the Greater Boston League, into the NEC.

Six NEC schools — Salem, Danvers, Swampscott, Lynn English, Winthrop and Gloucester — voted against admitting Masconomet, Medford, Malden, Everett and Somerville in, which would have created a 16-team conference. A successful vote would have meant that two-thirds of the principals voted yes (8 out of 11).

This is the third time that a vote where Masconomet and/or the Greater Boston League’s four remaining teams might join the NEC has been shot down.

“It’s disappointing that this is it; there’ll be no more votes on this,” said Beverly High AD James Coffey, who presented the proposal to the NEC principals at Lynn Classical High School. “I thought it would’ve been great for the league.”

A plan to admit Masco and the GBL (which at that time included Cambridge, a school that has since departed) was previously shot down within the last calendar year, before the NEC athletic directors had put a plan in place. Coffey said he had emailed all of the principals saying that the ADs would get together this fall and come up with a written proposal that they could vote on.

“We were coming from 11 different points of view at first,” said Coffey, “but we eventually got to a point where we all agreed, ‘If we’re going to do this, then this is the best possible alignment for everyone if they’re voted in.’”

Factors such as travel for some NEC schools to their GBL compatriots, making the playing field in certain sports more level and the natural concerns of conference schools having to face state football powerhouse Everett on a yearly basis were all discussed and ironed out, said Coffey.

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