DiZoglio Senate Amendment Could Bring Pickleball for Seniors to Haverhill’s Riverside Park

When the state Senate passed a $47.72 billion budget last week, it included earmarks for senior pickleball at Haverhill’s Riverside Park, prevention of student substance abuse and a youth and community center in Methuen, among others. Sen. Diana DiZoglio was among senators statewide that tacked on an additional $63.7 million in spending. The Senate and House must now work out differences between their plans in a six-member conference committee. In separate amendments, DiZoglio called for $25,000 in additional fitness equipment at Riverside Park near Trinity Haverhill Stadium and $100,000 to construct pickleball courts. “Pickleball is among the fastest growing sports in the United States, especially among our older residents—our seniors.

Sapienza Memorial Track and Athletic Field to be Rededicated Next Week After Renovation

Following a long and thorough renovation, the Anthony B. Sapienza Memorial Track and Athletic Field at Haverhill High School will be formally rededicated during a ceremony next week. School Committee member Toni Sapienza-Donais, daughter of the man for whom the track is named, made the announcement at Thursday’s School Committee meeting. “I’m pleased to announce that we are going to have our official ribbon-cutting ceremony at Sapienza Memorial Track on Wednesday, May 12, at 2:45 p.m., at the entrance to the track. I’m so proud that this was able to come to fruition after a long time and I thank the mayor for making that happen,” she said. Sapienza-Donais said Mayor James J. Fiorentini will open the ceremonies which include special guest speaker Tom Derderian, a world class runner and author of the books “Boston Marathon: The First Century of the World’s Premier Running Event” and “Boston Marathon: 100 Years of Blood, Sweat, and Cheers: 1897-1996.” A ceremonial lap around the new track illustrates the passing of the baton followed by introduction of Sapienza’s family, Haverhill High School Track Team seniors, ribbon cutting and scholarship raffle.

Whittier Tech to Bring Back Sports Thanks to Two Convincing Students; School to Tap Off-Campus Space

With a little convincing by students, Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School has had a change of heart and will bring back sports immediately. The change, which brings back football, girls and boys soccer, girls volleyball and cheerleading, requires the school to find additional space off campus. Superintendent Maureen Lynch told WHAV she credits two students in particular for showing her the way. “I had two amazing kids meet with me yesterday. They were respectful and thoughtful.

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

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.

Reported COVID-19 Case Sidelines Pentucket Regional School District Boys’ Hockey

All Pentucket Regional School District boys’ hockey team practices and competitions are being postponed for two weeks following a report of a positive case of COVID-19. Superintendent Justin Bartholomew and Athletic Director Dan Thornton said the district was notified Friday that someone involved in the boys’ hockey program, a regional co-op team with Georgetown Public Schools, has tested positive for COVID-19. The person is self-isolating in accordance with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols. Under state and federal privacy laws, no further information is available about the individual. “This decision has not been made lightly, but the health and safety of our student athletes and coaches is at all times our top priority,” Thornton said in a statement.

Whittier Tech Also Drops Winter Sports, Citing Rising Numbers of COVID-19 Cases

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School is the latest school in the area to forego winter sports because of the coronavirus pandemic. Whittier Superintendent Maureen Lynch cited the rise in COVID-19 cases locally and throughout the region for the decision. “This was not a decision we made easily, as we know how important these activities and events are for our students,” Lynch said. “However, this will further help to protect the health and safety of our entire community, and keep our students learning in-person as much as possible.”

She said the decision was made after careful deliberation between school administrators, the School Committee and local health officials

Intramural conditioning courses will remain available this winter and begin next month. Whittier Tech students will continue to follow a hybrid learning model.

Health Board Extends Haverhill Youth Sports Ban, While Allowing Out-of-Town Groups to Use Venues

A ban on certain Haverhill youth sports was extended Wednesday to privately owned skating rinks and swimming pools even as those venues may remain open to out-of-town youngsters. Haverhill’s Board of Health, responding to a proposed mayoral executive order, agreed to the temporary restrictions, but gave in to appeals from private businesses who said their livelihoods would be at risk. Paul Gilmartin, owner of Haverhill Valley Forum skating rink in Ward Hill, said 90 percent of his business comes from outside of Haverhill. “We’re one of the few businesses that has been shut down for five months and continued to pay our taxes, continued to pay our mortgage, but this would be crippling and may put us out of business,” he said. Mayor James J. Fiorentini asked the Health Board to consider additional restrictions as Haverhill’s COVID-19 positive cases have risen. Although he had an executive order drafted, the mayor asked the Board to approve stronger rules instead.

Whittier Tech Opts to Delay Fall Sports to MIAA-Approved Floating Season in February

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School is delaying such sports as football, soccer, cross country, volleyball and golf until a new “floating” season late February. As WHAV reported last month, schools are following COVID-19 guidance issued by Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Whittier Tech Athletic Director Kevin Bradley said the school chose to hold the season until February. “After significant consideration and a careful weighing of our options, we felt postponing the season would be the best decision for our student athletes, coaches and the broader Whittier Tech community,” Bradley said. “We know this will deeply disappoint many of our student athletes, and we are right there with them.