WINCHESTER, Mass. — The decision to allow fans in the stands at Massachusetts high school winter sports events is a tough call. The MIAA has left that decision up to the leagues and many leagues around the state are allowing limited fans into the games as long as they practice social distancing.
The Middlesex league has decided that there will be no fans to watch their games.
“I understand it, but you look up in the stands and the rinks are dead. You know, there’s really no emotion,” said Winchester High School Boys Hockey coach Gino Kahachatourian.
Winchester Athletic Director Marc Aria tells Boston 25 “This decision to have no fans was made by League Superintendents, Principals, and Athletic Directors to try our best to keep transmission rates down in our towns and to protect our student-athletes. It was an extremely difficult decision but was supported unanimously by the league superintendents.”
The Winchester boys hockey players and parents are disappointed but they decided to do something about it. So Steve Ciaccio and several other hockey parents created cardboard cutouts of parents and loved ones that they can pay for to be put in the stands at games. The proceeds go to support the Winchester Hockey program.
“We did it. We raised some money, showed some support and when the kids look up in the stands they can see mom and dad and it might not be real but they are there,” said Ciaccio who’s son Nick is a senior Assistant Captain.
“It’s always nice to see a familiar face in the stands, even if it’s a cutout,” said Martin Mario who’s son Angelo is a senior Captain and Winchester’s goalie.