The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association might not be holding state tournaments this winter, due to COVID-19, but Andover High sports teams will have the chance to play for titles this winter.
The Merrimack Valley Conference announced over the weekend that it will hold league championship tournaments, to be played during February vacation.
“The Merrimack Valley Conference is excited to announce that this winter season will conclude with end of season cup championships and tournaments,” said the MIAA in a press release. “These tournaments and championship meets will take place over February vacation week.”
Boys and girls basketball and boys hockey will follow the same format, with each sport seeding schools 1-10. The top four seeds will play in the MVC Division 1 tournament, and seeds 5-8 will playing in the Division 2 tourney. The bottom two seeds will play home-and-home consolation games to close out their season.
Official dates will be announced later this week. Tewksbury High will host the boys title game, Chelmsford will host the girls championship game and the Tsongas Center in Lowell will host the boys hockey title game. Semifinals will be hosted by the higher seed.
“This is great!” Andover boys basketball coach Dave Fazio said on Twitter.
Girls hockey will seeds teams 1-5. The top seed will earn a bye into the final (on Feb. 20 or 21 at the Tsongas), while seeds 2-3 will play a semifinal (Feb. 17). Seeds 4 and 5 will play a consolation game.
“We’re very excited for the chance to play in the playoffs,” said Andover girls hockey legend and current Methuen/Tewksbury coach Sarah Oteri. “Our league is super competitive, and the majority of the games have been very close. So it’s awesome the athletic directors found a way to let us add some more competition.
“It’s also great for our seniors to continue experiencing some sort of tournament, as we have in previous years, and for our younger players to learn from the playoffs.”
Boys swimming will compete in a virtual MVC meet during championship week, with teams reporting their times and scores to decide champions.
Gymnastics will seed teams 1-8, with the top four competing for the MVC Division 1 title and 5-8 competing for the Division 2 title.