Despite community support and a petition filed by Hull High School senior class president Ben Olivieri, winter sports are currently on hold after a School Committee meeting earlier this week.
School Superintendent Judith Kuehn and athletic director Scott Paine both made recommendations against starting winter sports, which consist of basketball and hockey.
“We need to limit exposure as much as we can,” said Kuehn.
If winter sports were allowed, Hull would play only away-games so as to limit the number people coming into the school. Locker rooms would be closed; no spectators would be allowed; and students would be masked the entire time.
After much deliberation, School Committee member Stephanie Peters made a motion to revisit the controversial issue on Dec. 28. In the words of committee chairwoman Jennifer Fleming, “We’re on hold; we will re-evaluate on the 28th.”
Community participation was a large part of the meeting, with many residents sharing their thoughts on the subject. Almost all supported starting winter sports.
Olivieri, the class of 2021 president and a hockey player, launched a petition drive prior to the meeting in support of starting the sports. He also spoke during the committee’s meeting.
There are currently 630 signatures on the online petition. “We wouldn’t have come so far if it wasn’t for everybody that was supporting us,” Olivieri said.
He suspects that the outpouring of community support contributed to the postponement of a final vote. “If it weren’t for the community support, it wouldn’t have been delayed,” he said.
To sign the petition, visit https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bring-back-hull-high-winter-sports-season.
Victoria Dolan is school correspondent for The Hull Times.