Haverhill Parents Now Able to Watch Senior Athletes Once During Winter Sports

Haverhill High School Athletic Director Thomas O'Brien speaking to Haverhill City Councilors May 7, 2019. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Parents of Haverhill High School seniors that play winter sports will soon have the opportunity to see their sons and daughters in action.

The Haverhill School Committee responded favorably to a request last Thursday that the school’s “no visitors” policy be suspended for one game in each sport. Athletic Director Thomas O’Brien told the Committee the 11 directors of the Merrimac Valley Conference gave their blessings to the idea, but approval from the School Committee is also required to move ahead with the plan. O’Brien explained how the senior night would work.

“We’ve got some strict parameters in place. They will register ahead of time and there will just be two parents per senior. We will have assigned seating for everybody; obviously masks at all times. We simply want these parents to be able to see their son or daughter play just one time this year,” he explained.

O’Brien said social distancing rules will not be a problem. He cited, as an example, the hockey rink, which holds 1,500 people, will have only 20 parents in the stands.

School Superintendent Margaret Marotta added the event has been approved by the Department of Public Health as well.

“We are following under DESE regulations as a school gathering, so it would be acceptable and they would not have an issue with that,” Marotta noted.

All spectators, including parents, have been barred from attending any games this season due the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee approved the request 6-1 with Mayor James J. Fiorentini opposed. The mayor said such activities should take place only after all students are back in their classrooms.

The senior night games are scheduled for the week beginning Feb. 8.

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