ADs say teams won’t boycott Benedetto

Lynn English athletic director Gary Molea said Thursday that he contacted the other ADs in the Northeastern Conference and all of them said their teams that were scheduled to play in next Saturday’s Elmo Benedetto Jamboree would be there.Molea’s confirmation that there would be no boycott of the event comes one day after Saugus boys basketball coach Paul Moran told The Item that at least six teams had talked about pulling out of the Jamboree, which is at English this year, as a way of protesting English seeking waivers, or other similar-type permits, for several basketball players who have transferred into the school.English principal Andy Fila said Thursday that even if the coaches decided not to play, the final word on their participation rested with their principals, not them.”The principals make the decisions on whether their schools play in this jamboree, not the coaches,” said Fila, whose school is scheduled to host the jamboree a week from Saturday at the Paul Cavanagh Field House.English is dealing with several transfer cases, among them former Classical player Jarell Byrd.Ultimately, the Byrd situation did not require a waiver, as Classical agreed to allow the senior center to play before it ever got to the official Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) waiver stage.However, there are other transfer issues that may require English to seek waivers from the MIAA. One of them involves Bryan Ortiz, a fifth-year senior from Salem, who was an Item all-star last season. Ortiz transferred into the school this fall.According to Fila, Ortiz has met previously established conditions to qualify for a spot on the basketball team. And, he said, he is going through the process – which could ultimately include applying for a waiver – that would allow Ortiz to play.The MIAA policy on transfers who have had previous varsity experience in a sport is that they must sit out a year unless they are cleared, via waiver or other arrangements, to play.In the case of Byrd, Classical had to sign “Form 200,” which stipulated that he hadn’t been recruited, that he was in good standing and academically eligible, that the transfer was not motivated by athletics and that he would have been eligible if he’d remained with the Rams (Rule 57.4, MIAA Handbook).In the 2008-09 season, English survived a rugged postseason draw of games to win the MIAA Division 1 North Sectional championship with a victory last March over Central Catholic of Lawrence. The Bulldogs then defeated Brockton in overtime to win the Eastern Mass. championship and secure a spot in the state final against St. John’s of Shrewsbury, which English lost.Although the Bulldogs lost key seniors Justin Young, Jeremy Subervi, Eugene Turner, Charlie Rucker and Archie Allen, the addition of Byrd and Ortiz to a lineup that already includes Item Player of the Year Ryan Woumn and guard Travonne Berry-Rogers would seem to boost their chances to win their fourth straight Northeastern Conference/North championship and go deep into this season’s tournament as well.However, Fila points out that English is not the only school in Lynn to benefit from transfer students. While Classical lost Byrd, it picked up junior forward Josh Cheever, who transferred in from Lynn Tech. English has lost its share of players to other schools as well, including former Memphis University star Antonio Anderson, who blossomed into a star while at Tech.

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