Feb. 24, 2021 Athletics Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee

Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee

**This meeting is a Committee of the Whole**

Mr. Doug Gutro, Athletics & Wellness Chair
Ms. Kathryn Hubley & Mrs. Emily Lebo, Subcommittee Members

Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 5:30 pm via Zoom

Per Governor Baker’s order suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A sec. 20, the public will not be allowed to physically access this School Committee meeting. Members of the Public can access the meeting live on QATV Channel 22 or at www.qatv.org. The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on the QPS SchoolTube website on Friday, February 26, 2021.

  1. Winter 2020-21 Athletics Update - Mr. Mahoney, Mr. Niamkey

  2. Fall II 2021 Athletics Overview - Mr. Mahoney, Mr. Niamkey


Quincy School Committee

Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee Meeting ~ Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A joint meeting of the Athletics & Wellness and Policy Subcommittees was held on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 5:30 pm via Zoom. Present were Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Courtney Perdios, Mr. Frank Santoro, and Mr. Doug Gutro, Subcommittee Chair. Also attending were Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Susan Foley, Ms. Julie Graham, Ms. Jill Kyranis, Mr. Kevin Mahoney, Mr. Jean-Jacques Niamkey, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Robert Shaw, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri, Ms. Bridget Vaughan; Quincy Education Association President Sean Green; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Quincy High School Athletic Director Kevin Mahoney reviewed the Winter 2020-2021 Athletics Season, thanked the coaches and students and the support of the nursing staff. Participation was at similar level to past years. QHS did not have a Freshman Girls Basketball team, a trend in the league; rebuilding year for both Boys and Girls Basketball. QHS Hockey was competitive, a younger team with only two seniors. Quincy-North Quincy Girls Hockey had nine wins and made it to the Patriot Cup Quarter Finals. The Quincy-North Quincy Swim Team competed virtually at the Quincy YMCA location with the rehabilitation of the Lincoln Hancock pool underway. Basketball and hockey games were livestreamed, which the families appreciated as attendance was limited due to COVID protocols.

North Quincy High School Athletic Director JJ Niamkey agreed that the support of the nurses and the Quincy Health Department was important to the success of the season. Mr. Niamkey also thanked the Superintendent and Leadership Team for their assistance with situations as they arose. QATV, the Mr. Kevin Segalla and Mrs. Doreen Colarusso from the Custodial Department, the Quincy Youth Arena, and the Transportation Department were also key to the success of the season. Both Boys and Girls Basketball saw the rewards of their rebuilding, some good young talent. Girls Basketball played into the second round of the Patriot Cup and Boys Hockey played into the second round of the Patriot Cup.

Mr. Gutro recognized QHS Principal Taglieri and NQHS Principal Shaw who recognized the Athletic Directors, coaches, players, and families for the flexibility. There were constant scheduling changes and everyone handled the day to day changes well.

Mrs. Lebo thanked the Athletic Directors and asked for clarification about participation. Mr. Niamkey and Mr. Mahoney said that the rosters were capped so there were fewer players overall, but they had consistent level of interest. Mr. Mahoney said only a few student-athletes did not participate because of COVID-19 concerns.

Mr. Santoro thanked both the Athletic Directors, a very uncertain season but so important to the students and the community (including extended families and alumni). Mr. Santoro encouraged the Athletic Directors to keep the Athletics website updated with scores as quickly as possible.

Mrs. Perdios thanked the Athletic Directors and asked if the livestreaming will continue into the next school year and they agreed this will continue.

Mrs. Hubley asked about students who tried new sports, Mr. Niamkey said these students will be encouraged to stay with this in future years.

Mr. Gutro said that Athletics is a bridge to normalcy for students, so important to social-emotional wellness. Mr. Gutro asked about any COVID-19 concerns, cases and contact tracing. Mr. Niamkey and Mr. Mahoney said the school nurses coordinated with students and families and the Health Department for cases and household contacts. Students filled out the daily self-assessment form which allowed for students with symptoms to be identified early. Neither high school had any evidence of community spread.

Mr. Gutro asked about missed games, the Athletic Directors said almost all games were able to be rescheduled. Mr. Gutro thanked the Athletic Directors, especially important to the seniors some may be hoping to play in college and others who are ending their athletic careers.

Superintendent Mulvey echoed the thanks of the Athletic Directors, many members of the Quincy Public Schools community worked very hard to create these opportunities for our student-athletes.

The next item on the agenda was an overview of Fall II Athletics, a unique season created for sports that were unable to be played in the regular Fall or Winter seasons due to COVID-19 restrictions. Mr. Mahoney and Mr. Niamkey said that this presentation is based on the guidance for Phase III, Step 1 from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA). The EEA defines sports as “lower risk” (sports or activities that can be done individually); “moderate risk” (sports or activities that involve intermittent close proximity); and “higher risk” (sports or activities with a requirement or substantial likelihood of routine or sustained proximity). Fall II sports that are approved are Football, Cheerleading, and Indoor Track & Field. Wrestling is eligible to be a Spring sport this year. The Fall II season began on February 22 and conclude on April 25. The Spring season is scheduled to run from April 26 to July 3, but the MIAA will be meeting to finalize this. Scheduling is underway for Fall II games within the Patriot League.

All players, coaches, spectators, staff, and referees are required to wear face coverings. Records must be kept of all individuals present at team activities and social distancing between players observed including on bench areas. Indoor practice participants are capped at 25; additional groups can be added provided there is 14 feet of group separation. Locker room usage is limited for changing at the school sites. For spectators, no more than 50 are allowed (under 40% capacity) as long as six feet of distance at all times. Quincy Public Schools will issue two lanyards to each player’s parents and siblings will be allowed as well for Football.

Sports-specific modifications were reviewed for Football (limited roster to 45 players and 6 coaches; players must be spaced apart in huddles and face in the same direction; full contact drills allowed up to 30 minutes per week; all equipment disinfected at end of practices); Cheerleading (no sharing of equipment, spacing at a minimum of six feet, and virtual competitions); Indoor Track & Field (meets will be held outdoors with indoor distances; designated spacing for teams, warmups, and mask breaks; event-specific alterations).

As with Fall and Winter Athletics, there are no MIAA post-season tournaments planned. There is hope to continue the Patriot Cup format into Fall II Athletics.

The Athletic Directors concluded their presentations by reviewing the preliminary teams planned for the Fall II Athletics season, both schools will have Varsity, JV, and Freshman Football; Cheerleading; Varsity Boys & Girls Indoor Track (Collaborative Team).

Mr. Gutro asked about yesterday’s announcement at the state level that three feet is acceptable for in-person school. Mr. Niamkey said the EEA and the MIAA have not adjusted their guidelines. Mr. Niamkey and Mr. Mahoney said adjustments will be made mid-season if necessary.

Mrs. Hubley asked if the roster limits for Football and Cheerleading are drastic reduction from previous years. Mr. Niamkey said that because of the multiple levels at Football, everyone interested in playing will be able to be on a team. The challenge will be spacing everyone out on the field.

Mrs. Lebo asked if the Cheerleaders will be able to be at the Football games and Mr. Mahoney confirmed they will and their competitive season will be in the Spring.

Superintendent Mulvey thanked the Athletic Directors for their dedication

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn the Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee meeting at 6:30 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.