• Shepherd Hill Football Player Kevin Mensah Can’t Play All Season, Losing D1 Scholarship Offers Because Holy Name Administrators, MIAA Don’t Care About Kids

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    On Friday night Shrewsbury High School and Shepherd Hill Regional squared off as two of the top football teams in Central Massachusetts. Shrewsbury won the game 34-27. But when reading the Turtlegram’s coverage of the game, this part stood out:

    Shepherd Hill played without recent transfer Kevin Mensah — a standout running back when he played for Holy Name — in the active lineup, a situation that reportedly prompted coach Chris Lindstrom to sit out the game as well. “Coach Lindstrom made the decision — and the team knew about this yesterday — that in solidarity with Kevin (Mensah), if Kevin was not able to play today that he wasn’t going to coach,” said Dugan, who led the team on the sideline. “It was a decision that had the support of all of the coaches and the support of all of the players.”

    “(Coach Lindstrom) believes that we are all in with Kevin, and he felt that it would be a statement that football is more than wins and losses,” said Dugan, who only stated that it was an issue with the MIAA. “Football is about is getting better and bettering yourself as a person and as a student.”

    “That’s what Kevin is trying to do and the fact that he wasn’t able to play was very disappointing. Coach Lindstrom wanted to make sure that people knew — particularly our team — that we’re going to stand with him no matter what.”

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    Oh look, the MIAA is actively working against the best interest of kids. In other words, nothing has changed. This is an organization that schools are required to join. The MIAA then extorts money from its members for membership fees, and creates insane amounts of rules and regulations that completely take the fun out of sports. Like that time they suspended Beverly lacrosse players from playoff game because they smoked a cigar with their Dads at graduation. Or that time when they refused to reschedule a baseball playoff game become Methuen and Chelmsford, even though 40% of the players could not go to the game because of SAT’s, simply because rescheduling the game would mean less gate revenue. They literally made kids choose between the game and SAT’s. Or that time they made Gardner forfeit their swim title, and banned all other Gardner teams from participating in the postseason, unless the Mayor of Gardner handed over a state championship trophy to them.

    Screwing over kids is just par for the course. Because ultimately all they care about is power and money, which is why they pay their Executive Director William Gaine a salary of over $230,000 according to their tax return.

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    So what was the infraction exactly? Kevin Mensah is a senior, and he is extremely fast, and very good at football and track.

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    He’s actually getting a lot of looks from Division 1 colleges, including UMass, Boston College, and Michigan, who he visited with recently:

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    He was gonna go to prep school for his senior season, so he left Holy Name. However, his mother decided that she wasn’t ready to give up her baby quite yet (because that’s how Moms can be) and he decided to enroll in nearby Shepherd Hill instead. And as you can see from his preseason highlight video for Shepherd Hill, Kevin Mensah is a dynamic and filthy football player:

    Disgusting.

    But kids switch schools all the time. Especially when they’re moving from public to private schools. But I guess when the opposite happens (a student moves from private to public school) it becomes a MIAA issue. So what exactly is the problem here? Well, according to the long and arduous MIAA rulesrule 57.3 and 57.4 states the following:

    Before a transfer student can be certified as eligible in a specific sport within the year of his/her transfer, the sending school principal and athletic director must certify on Form 200 by signature what the student participated in – sport & level (sub varsity, varsity or non-school team) during the year prior to the actual transfer. 

    The receiving High School Principal may utilize Form 200 to declare a transfer student eligible, providing it is prior to the start of the season and if the sending school Principal certifies the following (3a through 3e on Form 200):

    •  a. Recruitment was not involved in any way.
    • b. At the time of transfer, the student was in good standing.
    • c. The student would be academically eligible at the sending school.
    • d. The transfer was in no way motivated by athletics.
    • e. The student would have been eligible by MIAA and local rules at the sending school.

    In other words, Holy Name and Shepherd Hill would both have to fill out this form, stating that Kevin Mensah was not recruited by employees of Shepherd Hill, he wasn’t flunking classes at Holy Name, and he wasn’t transferring for athletics:

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    OK, so the adults sign this form and the kid gets to play for his new school. That’s what is ultimately in the best interest of the kid right? And these adults are in this for the kids, correct?

    Well as it turns out the administration at Holy Name  is refusing to sign the form.

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    Why? Because they’re butthurt that his best athlete has left his school and wants to play football at a new school. Ya got that? Adults are actively trying to keep a kid from playing a sport during his senior season in which he is actively being recruited by Division 1 schools. No big deal. Not like there’s college scholarships or once in a lifetime opportunities on the line. Ed Reynolds and company don’t just let a kid walk away from their football team like that. Because ultimately your future is irrelevant. The only thing that matters to them is winning a pissing match in order to screw over a kid.

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    Of course the ironic part about this is that Holy Name is a “catholic” school that has long been a destination for kids who want to start super teams for sports. Parents don’t send their kids there for a good education. They send them there to keep them away from North High kids. In 1998 Holy Name had one of the top basketball teams in the state. They wanted to go over the top and win a State Championship, but they needed more height. So what did they do? They literally recruited from across the ocean. They went and found a 7’5″ sophomore named Neil Fingleton from England, who never played much basketball. They brought him here for one reason and one reason alone – to play basketball.

    Two years ago 18 yr old Neil Fingleton traveled to Worcester from his home in Durham, England to learn a game he had never played. Tommorow (Dec1) he will have come full circle when he announces ( at a press conf at Holy Name High School of Worcester) his decision to accept a full Basketball scholarship at the University of North Carolina. Staff Photo: Mark Garfinkel

    neil

    Quite popular amongst his peers, 7'6" Neil Fingleton fits in nicely thank you at Holy Name High in Worcester. Staff Photo: Mark Garfinkel

    And play basketball he did. Here’s a true story. This Turtleboy went to South High. We sucked and we had to play them twice a year. We went to a game his junior year at Holy Name. They were beating us 98-40 with 30 seconds to go in the game. I looked down at the bottom of the bleachers we were sitting at and I noticed a South High conga-line forming, led by an Ecuadorian midget. When you see something like this you don’t ask any questions. You just jump in the line.

    So we did a conga-line around the perimeter of the court during a timeout, the refs waited for us to walk out the door, and that was that. The next day I came into school and found out that everyone in that line, including Turtleboy, was suspended from school for three days. Swear to God, real story. They used to be able to suspend kids for pretty anything back in day and we didn’t whine about it. Neil Fingleton and Holy Name made us do it by beating us so badly.

    At the end of the day Holy Name won just one district title, and no state titles in Fingleton’s three years there. He ended up getting a full scholarship to North Carolina, where he SUCKED, before transferring to Holy Cross, where he continued to suck. Today he is a type-casted actor who played one of the ogres on Game of Thrones.

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    Anyway, “recruiting” isn’t technically allowed, but as you can see from Fingleton, catholic schools have been bringing kids in for athletics for as long as they’ve existed. Look at St. Peter Marian. Very small school, with an almost all white population. Except for the starting five on their basketball team every year. St. John’s is a great school all around, but if you think kids like Green Bay Packers tight end Richard Rodgers would be going there if there basketball team sucked, then I have a horse ranch in Nantucket I’d like to sell you.

    So Kevin Mensah left Holy Name and went to Shepherd Hill. He does not live in Dudley or Charlton, but that’s OK because lots of kids school choice to Shepherd Hill. When your district borders Southbridge, Webster, Spencer, and Oxford, that’s gonna happen. Plus, Wachusett, Auburn, and plenty of other public schools have been getting kids from Worcester and Fitchburg for years. Kevin technically lives in Worcester, but he stays in Dudley a lot with his cousin graduated from Shepherd Hill last year and spoke highly of his experience there. He also played on some all-star teams with Michigan tight end and former Shepherd Hill star Sean McKeon, so school choicing to Dudley was a no-brainer.

    Kevin does not come from much. His mother is an immigrant from Ghana. Football has opened up new doors for him, and is his ticket to social mobility as an adult. But he’s being denied the American dream because adults at the MIAA and Holy Name are being petty. And check out who is the MIAA’s Central MA representative:

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    Jim Manzello – the Athletic Director from Holy Name. This is how corrupt and abusive the MIAA is. They let adults like Jim Manzello screw over kids like Kevin Mensah because they’re butthurt about a game. He has the power to end this, but he and the rest of the Holy Name administration would rather keep a poor kid out of college than see him play anywhere else but Holy Name.

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    One of the rules for transferring is that athletics can’t be a motivation. Good luck proving what motivation is. What you can prove though, is that Shepherd Hill is a vastly superior academically than Holy Name. They have a longer school year, a much bigger population and thus offer way more AP classes and electives. They are viewed more highly by college acceptance boards, and their teachers are all required to have Master’s Degrees. Since Kevin Mensah wants to play football in college, and college athletes are students first, this move makes perfect sense.

    But instead Ed Reynolds and the MIAA are denying this kid a chance at a superior education because they don’t want Shepherd Hill’s football team, which is one of the top teams in Central MA every single year and is already much better than Holy Name, to get THAT much better than them.

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    Not to turn this into a racial thing either, because that’s not really our style, but Kevin Mensah is black and administration at Holy Name is all white. They’re basically treating this kid like a runaway. If the fast black kid isn’t gonna play for their school then he isn’t gonna play for anyone. Yea, that’s not a good look. How can you get away with doing that in 2016? Where’s my good friends from black lives matter on this one? Here’s a good kid who could actually use your help. Some white guys are using their power to make sure he can’t get into a decent college or play high school sports. You wanna help him, or are you too busy rounding up the next herd of misguided youths who think a song oppresses them?

    Anyway, the fact that coach Chris Lindstrom sat this game out speaks volumes. He’s not your typical high school football coach. First of all, he’s a former NFL player and BU legend, who towers over the kids he coaches:

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    Secondly, even though Shepherd Hill football is pretty much always really good, winning isn’t his main priority. He was one of a small minority of coaches who voted against the MIAA playoff format, because he believes these are kids first and foremost, and extending the football season is detrimental towards their overall purpose as students.

    Thirdly, his teams at Shepherd Hill are widely known for their sportsmanship, which is why they always seem to win those awards:

    He and his staff have won three CMCFO Sportsmanship Awards (2010, 2011, 2013). He was named a recipient of the Positive Coaching Alliance’s National Double Goal Coach Award in 2014.

    If coach Chris Lindstrom is sitting out a game to protest the MIAA, it’s probably a pretty legitimate beef that he has. And he’s definitely in the right. What if Kevin Mensah was leaving Holy Name because his family fell on hard times and couldn’t afford the tuition? Would they punish a student for being too poor? As of right now Kevin Mensah will not play all season, and that’s not right. We’ve called the MIAA offices in Franklin but they haven’t returned our calls. But we’d highly suggest that you call Holy Name High School and let them know how deplorable it is that these adults are purposely screwing over a kid because they’re butthurt about football:

    (508) 753-6371

    Do the right thing MIAA and Holy Name. Let the kid play. Let the kids be kids, just this one time.

     

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    Discussion

    1. Yaya


      Rule 57 parts a and d is possibly why the waiver is not being granted.

      I love the idea of anyone blasting MIAA, but there is more to this story I think.

      Dig some more, is there recruiting by the school that benefits by getting an all state RB.

      You would think TB would see through any smokescreens.

      Dig more, ask where the kid is living and why he would all of a sudden have access to housing in Dudley or Charlton. Is he with his family? If no, then it’s fishy. I am sure plenty of towns could find a willing family to put up a kid to allow him to play for their team. Easy to open up your home when it’s an all state caliber player.

      Dig more, ask about where he is being recruited to play at the next level and if there is any connection to the family housing him or anyone else offering to help him.

      Dig turtle, get in the dirt and see if anything is there.

      1. Bill


        Because… high school football is more important than this kids future? Glad to see a private Catholic high school sticking to their guns… Glory days and all.

        Ya… makes sense. Bureaucracy and rules is always whats best for the kids.

      2. Mgriz


        Did you read the entire article?

      3. Passionate Parent


        Charlton is a school Choice school! He doesn’t need to live in charlton to go there at all!!! It’s the child’s and parents right to get the best FREE education for their child and if Shepard Hill was their choice everyone else should go screw! Sign the damn papers Holy Name and stop being sore idiot losers!!!

      4. Diva


        Right on.. Dig dig dig- definately some “things” going in here.,

      5. Turtleboy


        All of the things you asked were answered and covered in this article.

        1. There was absolutely not recruiting involved.
        2. The kid has access to housing in Dudley because his cousin, who he is close with, lives there with his family. The kid is humble and doesn’t come from much money, and moving around is a reality for people living below the poverty line. He could not afford the tuition at Holy Name, which apparently means he can’t play football at a public school. That’s simply an indefensible policy that punishes poor kids.
        3. He has been recruited by UMass, BC, and Michigan, all which we provided pictures of in this blog.
        4. Coach Lindstrom has a documented history of sportsmanship and is well known in the Central Mass community for not emphasizing wins and losses. He would never even think about recruiting a kid from a catholic school. The kid left Holy Name and saw an opportunity to go to a great school and he took it. God forbid.

        1. Worcester Resident


          The facts in this story are so slanted toward one way in telling of the story that it is completely laughable. It would make sense that someone connected to shepherd hill would be telling the story this way, TB.

          Lets talk some real facts with this story.

          The kid committed to Chesire Academy in April of 2016. That was documented with coaches and people recruiting wise at this time. This included current college coaches he was talking to, and the coaching staff at Chesire. He never applied for school choice in May of 2016 to Shepherd Hill. There are reasons why later that make this even more obvious.

          In July there were some questions about whether he was still going to Chesire, for a number of reasons. As you mentioned, family was a large part to it but also there is a very strict and tough academic policy at Chesire to get in and stay in.

          When that fell through, other options, which had been pushed by others before, were brought back to the front. This included connections by SH players with him, which is all fine and legal. Where it gets completely shady is when parents of said players start to get involved and start to push to for him to come to SH. This happened on multiple levels. At 7v7 tournaments for an elite “AAU type” 7v7 team. Throughout the summer at foley in their 7v7 tournament. Through it all, by the end of July, the player was playing for SH in 7v7 and the parents were filming and recording him to help send out to colleges. (all still online to view). The average person not connected to this, they probably don’t care, but many others- this represents an agent of the program working on behalf of the program to promote the program. Knowing the SH coaches, they most likely weren’t involved. But the people who represent their program where, and that is as illegal as it comes.

          Basically, where it is at now is a between a rock and a hard place. The right thing is to let the kid play and let the kid have his senior year. By doing that, however, you open the door fully to a precedent of allowing students to transfer for athletic purposes. In this case, he really hurt himself by doing two interviews with multiple reporters from a large sports network in boston which covers high school sports. In each article, (and I can post links if needed), he speaks of this was his chance to go to the division 1 level and he’s going to follow the foot steps of other kids who have gone division 1 from this school. That in itself, is the real problem. If he had just shut his mouth, he would be playing right now. But he made it abundantly clear, that he left holy name for a chance at a division 1 scholarship (which in my honest option, playing at HN or SH, he could gotten no matter what)

          But this is the problem. if the MIAA lets it happen, it opens the door completely to all transfers for this purpose. Further more, its promotes the concept that smaller school kids can’t achieve a chance to play at the highest level so those kids must transfer to bigger high schools. The MIAA can’t allow that to happen because it will promote more and more of this happening, particularly to the weaker programs with 1 or 2 kids on them that are legit.

          As someone who enjoys seeing worcester kids succeed, I still don’t understand why people would be behind him leaving the city to go to a school 30 minutes away. Don’t city people want to see the city kids stay in the city and have success? You can’t say that kids from doherty, who have 3 current division 1 players playing, haven’t been able to have success in the recruiting world. Why can’t he go there?

          The answer to all of it is he was lured to a fit that he thinks will get him to the division 1 level. And in the end, whether he plays or not, he will suffer to find out that the was sold crap. As much as I feel bad for the kid, this was a decision he made and tried to make real fast. And decisions like this can hurt you. For the sake of rules and equality in the game for all schools, I think he shouldnt play or if he does play SH shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the post season. If its really not about wins and losses then that shouldn’t be a problem

          1. fattydaddy


            Well put by someone who knows.

          2. Paul Messer


            Kind of like the Muslim cemetery then right??? Why drive 30 minutes away why not look for a location in Worcester. Why because you can that’s why.

          3. MT


            Your response is very slanted and pro HN. You seem very close to this, HN administration maybe? In the state of MA students have the right to school choice, the MIAA should not grant any protection for private schools who pillage the local schools of their talent and then whine like big babies when they lose an athlete. This not the first time the MIAA has been caught with their head of their A#$ and unfortunately it probably it probably wont be the last. Kevin is not HN’s property and they have no right to ruin his future. The MIAA is acting like Roger Goodell “protecting the integrity” when in reality they are only protecting the interests of their board member. The MIAA and HN should be ashamed themselves for acting so childish. Who cares why he chose a school, the fact is he doesn’t want to be at your school. Shepherd Hill and other public has lose players to the area private schools all the time, who actually recruited them, why is that ok? Worcester Schools lose players to other schools due to school choice all the time and I don’t hear them running to the MIAA. Get off your high horses and grow up. Setting a real example for the students showing them bureaucracy is stronger than common sense.

            1. Worcester Resident


              First off, not connected to this at all. Could care less what the end result is many different levels. I get my information from all public sources and although some people don’t want it to get out, when you illegally recruit a player from another school and leave a trail, your going to get caught.

              Second off, I am in no way connected to HN. That place can fly a kite. Sorry if you went there or work there but that place is a shell of what it once was.

              Third, I can’t under the amount of people who don’t understand the real issues here. All the blame gets put on the school that won’t sign the waiver but in reality its the MIAA choice. Just like you wouldn’t blame a victim for reporting a crime if the Court System doesn’t operate correctly, I can’t fathom why people put all the blame on HN. HN has very little to do with this.

              The issue from the get go is the illegal recruitment of a kid. The rules are in place in order to make sure that kids can’t be lured by a number of things. People on this site and all over the place say, let the kid choose where he wants to go to school, but they don’t understand what that means for all students. The bigger issue here isn’t just with what happens with mensah but rather what it does to school athletics and culture beyond that. I don’t disagree, that in Kevin’s case, the move to a school like shepherd hill is a good one for him.

              But when you open the door to the blind world of high school athletics, you have people who put winning ahead of doing what is right and working with kids. On many levels, coaches will skirt the rules left and right. Opening the last remaining door that the MIAA has to protect against poaching of players from poor teams and poor schools is something that they are very reluctant to do, regardless of the kid or his personal situation. Many of the adults around state know this too. They understand the transfer rules and understand what can happen if you lead a kid down the wrong path that you can trap him there.

              Imagine what the boards would be like if suburban school with money after suburban school with money came in and grabbed kids out of the city to come play on their sports teams and go to their school. Not so much in Kevin’s case, cause from all accounts he’s a good kid, but what happens beyond the court or field with those kids. Who gets them places? Takes care of them? Helps them grow as people? If kids start getting pulled out of worcester schools, what happens to those left in those that aren’t blessed enough to be asked to come by “school choice”

              All and all, this issue has nothing to do with a school not signing a waiver. This issue has to do with a kid who last minute is trying to go to a school that a reputation for sending kids to division 1 in the last few years, runs the same offense where he thinks he can shine to show colleges, and is being woo’d by families to help them win. It’s sad on many levels but not matter how you look at it, its not right and fair. It’s not what high school athletics is all about.

              And don’t give me this private vs public talk either. Legally in the state you can go to private schools, and you are making the choice to pay for that service (or at least you are suppose to). I hate private schools just as much as anyone on this board but don’t tell me this is the same. This is a last minute marriage where both sides are trying to get something from the other. Unfortunately for Kevin, there are rules against things like this

              If wins and losses don’t matter that much, and its all about the kid’s development, then SH should not partake in the post season. I know that would solve a lot of issues around cmass

            2. MT


              WR,

              You are missing the point here. Students use school choice all the time and there no issues with eligibility. All the surrounding towns of students from Worcester in their system, it happens all the time. Kevin had his school choice forms in april as required which is why he is a student their. This is far from a last minute decision. The only difference in this case is that it involves a private school which just happens to have an AD that is on the MIAA board. This AD is taken advantage of a terrible MIAA bylaw and holding a students future hostage. If the AD cared about students like he claims, he would sign the document and let the kid go on with his future. The fact is the AD is acting like a child and should be ashamed of himself. Also, if the MIAA was concerned about “poaching” the first place they would need look is at the private schools who actively recruit students from their districts, they’re the real problem. They’re at AAU tournaments, summer camps, etc poaching players all the time.

            3. mgriz


              The MIAA guidelines to poaching only apply to MIAA schools and not schools that are not part of it. Of course it happens all the time, but the fact Kevin came forward saying he was transferring for a better athletic opportunity is where he messed up. There are a few mentions of hit and the articles can be found online. The AD has every right to not sign given this information, yes it sucks for Kevin but he should have kept his reason for not returning to HN after opting out of the prep school to himself. the same articles also state he didn’t decide to transfer until August.

            4. MT


              sorry for spelling errors, fat fingers with little phone.

        2. BeantownBuck


          Turtleboy,
          Certainly not your best work. Firstly, this kid went to Holy Name for FREE. Secondly, Holy Name is probably the least racist school in all of Central MA. Most every kid of color goes there for DONUT.

          Come on TB, you’re better than this…

      6. Michele


        Ughh dig, really . None of that matters. Its school choice. Which means he can choose which ever school he wants for what ever reason he wants. So let the poor kid play.

    2. fattydaddy


      You’re way off base here TB, way off Base! Just by making the comment “not to turn this into a race thing” that’s exactly what you did, you race baited by stating HN has an all white administration.

      1. Jay


        Turtleboy is a hypocrite, it’s no secret. He’ll whine about race baiting but since it’s an effective tactic he’ll race bait and shame people for not living in the fucking Bronx at every opportunity.

      2. guthrie


        TB merely implied it appeared that way, thus showing the hypocrisy of BLM. What HM and the MIAA are doing is still just as bad.

        1. Nap


          HN is the whitest school possible, admin, faculty and students, except for the Ghanans they ship over every year.

      3. Publius


        Holy Name might be many many things. One thing everyone knows is racial diversity. Terrifies ARHS.

    3. Joy


      TB I usually agee with 90 percent of your post………….Not even close on this one. All the Football Coaches is Central Ma. are happy and agree with this decision. Get the facts, yes the kid suffers or go back to HN and play. I am not a private school fan, but they were right to contest it. SH Coach should be the one suspended.

      I agree the MIAA is filled with fover priced Meatballs. The lawyers will becoming in and he will play by the 5th game. Kind of like Karl Hobbs and Cambridge Ridge and Latin in 1981 when Pat Ewing needed a point guard to win the State Championship. Hobbs adventually played.

      1. glug glug glug


        “Have another one you fucking lush.”
        Adam Sandler

    4. wtatnuckgangsta


      If you send your kid to a Catholic School, you’re an idiot. So much time wasted in bullshit religion classes, masses that lasted for hours, and trying to either stay hidden or “play the game” with the administration, which always favors keeping up appearances over quality academics and athletics. Looking at you SPM.

      I trained myself in my sport and I taught most of junior high and high school to myself with the exception of one good teacher, who doesn’t even have the same program there anymore. It must have been too hard and schools look bad when too many well-connected entitled dumb kids fail. Going there was more of a distraction than anything with all the social games among the faculty/staff/admin. I just needed some textbooks and a computer and I would have been better off.

      Just kiss ass, be cute and socially perfect. They’ll bump up your grade a little or make you captain of a team. It’s not skill and I proved that by being near the top of my class and a top ranked athlete for 6 years but still on a shit list because I said I’d rather be at Doherty to the wrong people and spoke up when I had to miss math and programming for a 2 hour mass. It’s all for those who thrive in being lazy but talking a good game….oh and have the right parents. SPM grooms you to just be part of SPM and send your kids there to keep the church business alive.

      1. Worc Taxpayer


        My daughter attended SPM and is now attending a college in DC that had a less than a 25% acceptance rate with over 25,000 applications. SPM taught her well and her parents believe they got their moneys worth. And believe me, we are not the “right” parents, whatever that means.

        1. Black Jesus


          Bet it’s a Catholic college.

      2. Publius


        sounds like someone who thinks religion is bullshit. With a bitter agenda. Relax HS is over.

        1. Black Jesus


          Religion is bullshit. Get over it.

      3. GoneWest


        I didn’t realize Will Hunting went to SPM with me.

        1. Black Jesus


          Maybe you should have studied harder and you would have met a smart kid in class. Level III was pretty good at taking up space and drooling.

    5. Hank


      TB, Get your facts straight. Of course he was transferring for athletics, and secondly if he wanted to go to SH as part of school choice program, he would have needed to complete the needed paper work by May not just decide one day in the middle of August that HN was not a good enough team for him. It has nothing to do with academics, if it was why would KM brother still be enrolled at HN. If your a great player D1 coaches will find you any where!!

      1. Turtleboy


        1. He completed the necessary paper work in May, just as you requested. Ya know, because he goes to school at Shepherd Hill now. Like, he’s a student there. He just can’t play football at the school he goes to because his butthurt former coaches care too much about the glory days.

        2. If you think that Holy Name would contest this if he was playing at North High you are delusional. They only care because their prized athlete, whom they seem to think they own the rights to, is playing for a school that’s better than them at football.

    6. Derek


      Tb. Love you man but this article is bs. First off ed reynolds is loved by past and present students. Great guy thats cares about all kids. Second neil fingleton is an amazing humble guy, no need to shit all over him. What the hell did he do? Yes hes an actor, posted a nice pic working with mila kunas the other day. Hes doing good for himself. Who cares if he wasnt the greatest ball player. Theres more to life than that. Third, i do believe kid should be able to play football wherever he wants. But something is shady, def recruited or something in it for someone. But, thats life. Let the kid play.. way off base about hn staff and neil though.

      1. Turtleboy


        Are you saying that Neil Fingleton wasn’t recruited to play basketball at Holy Name? Like, this kid across the ocean was suddenly inspired to come to Worcester, MA? Right. Definitely. Yup, nothing hypocritical about a school that’s known for recruiting pulling a stunt like this because they believe (without any evidence) that a kid was recruited away from them. Gotcha.

    7. Windows 29


      This WAS a move motivated athletics and recruitment activities.

      There is a possible BC, UMichigan and Shepherd Hill connection, that’s the dirty secret. When you find where he may be staying you’ll understand why there is an issue.

      TB is wrong here, but he is not alone. In the age of twitter these stories take off without all the facts. Hashag campaigns don’t create truth. There are several local sports bloggers and reporters who fall victim to this and often present a story that does not have the whole story. Lazy journalism is ugly and often unfair.

      Look at the Doherty story, many ran with the version of the story they gleaned from Twitter before fully understanding it. Now many are back tracking off of it.

      Mensah was not brought into the Hill to take full advantage of their AP courses. He may be in them, and if he is that’s great – but not the reason.

      I think you would find most local coaches would agree with the MIAA, that should tell you that these rules are in place for a reason.

      Attack MIAA for the 100’s of other reasons that are legit, not for enforcing a rule that is a must have.

      1. College ha haa


        This story and the Doherty story only in that the student was black.

        The problem here seems to be the relationship between the MIAA and HM. The central ma rep works there. These private schools actively recruit its been obvious to most from worcester there entire lives. How else does a single mother from Ghana afford to send a kid to that school.

        The problem with Doherty story is no matter which way you flipped it the school was in the right.

    8. Diva


      Maybe you should ask Kevin why the MIAA won’t let him play? He knows.., and so does Coach L. The bs about Holy Name is uncalled for. The ENTIRE school (parents, teachers, administrators) went out of their way to accommodate Kevin and his family in EVERY way possible. It’s too bad what’s happening to him now, BUT… This is all on Kevin (and the dumb adults were giving him bad advice).

      1. College ha haa


        Oh soorrry masha i didnt mean to runnaway

    9. Worc Taxpayer


      Mensah didn’t decide to transfer until the 1st week in August and told reporters that he did so so “for a better shot at a top level scholarship”. No mention of going to a prep school at all. I think thats something he came up with, with some help(?), so the MIAA would approve his transfer. When did he decide to attend prep school because he never told the Holy Name coach or the administration so they could transfer his school records.

      You don’t just decide to attend a prep school like you would a public school. You must first apply and then be accepted. It is a process and it takes quite a while. It is almost like attending a college.

      Why would he get a better offer if he were at Shepard Hill vs Holy Name? Because Shepard Hill is a much better team and would be even better with Mensah on the team. That is against the rules. I am no fan of the MIAA or Holy Name, my daughter is a recent grad of St Peter Marian, but in this case I believe they are right.

    10. [email protected]


      Sounds like Hill coaching staff, football famalies and players went out of their way to get him to their school.

      Head Coach of hill throws a hissy fit when MIAA enforces a rule and ignores the other 50 players on his team to stand behind ill gotten gains.

      Bloggers run with story with out getting all the facts.

      What a mess, kid loses and adults will run and hide.

      Almost got away with it, #freethetruthaboutmensah

      1. Diva


        We will see if he actually gets away with it or not. A few things:

        1) There is paperwork and approval processes in place regarding school choice. It’s usually wrapped up by May. However- Kevin claims to be “living with an Aunt” in Dudley which is why he could skirt the whole School Choice process.

        2) What happened to Cheshire Academy and that transfer? You mean to tell me SH is academucally superior to CA? Dream on! For that matter, you mean to tell me SH is academically superior to Holy Name? Not even close! And yet, this is all about academics ( if you believe that, there is a bridge in Worcester I want to sell you)

        3) Kevin lead on Holy Name all summer while the administrators and coaches worked tirelessly on his schedule and helped him in anyway they could. But…somehow Holy Name is a butthole?

        4) The MIAA is a monster for following the rules? Only when it’s Kevin Mensah it seems.

        I am very sorry that Kevin may not play-yes, he is a good kid with a good heart- who deserves a chance. Too bad some idiot adults gave him some bad advice. He still may get that D1 scholarship he wants, God knows there’s been plenty of press with his name attached!

        All I can say is: “Life lesson learned”

        1. Make MIAA go away


          Yeah you suck as an adult. Listen you snooty up tight helicopter mom go fuck yourself. You think this kid owes you something? Do rules and fair play only apply when they don’t hurt HM’s bottom line? I guess so. This kid should be playing football and competing in track in field. You talk about the kid like he is criminal for not wanting to stay at HM. How many times did you invite him over for stovetop?

          1. Diva


            Well- you snotnose ignoramus- you don’t know squat. Maybe if you took your head out of your big ass once in awhile you might actually have two sentences to put together that make sense!

        2. You suck at life


          “Life lesson learned” — Yeah… Fuck that kid… He “lead them on”. Lesson truly learned. The lesson being, people suck.

        3. concerned parent of a student athlete


          The fact that you think a catholic school has better academics than Shepherd Hill. Now that I know you’re ignorance, the rest of your commentary is irrelevant.

    11. #Freemensah


      These comments are laughing out loud funny…when you spell the name of the school wrong, you have no idea what your talking about. None of you know the real story, and if you did, you would understand why TB wrote this. Its a no-brainer. He is 100% Correct with everything! I love how you called the MIAA out for blood sucking thieves when it costs a family of 6 over $60 to go to a district game, and the school sees a 50/50 cut, BEFORE PAYING OFF THE REFS, EMT’s, POLICE, ETC…after its all said and done, the school makes zero, while the MIAA rakes in the cash. They could care less about the kids. I wish TB would of posted how Holy Name got there up and coming Girls Basketball stud Jaini Edmonds to go there. TB, you may want to dig up some dirt on that one. Before you idiots post negative comments about this kid, do your research first, the kid is innocent, and he is 100% getting screwed.

    12. high school football fan


      It’s pretty obvious what’s going on here. Mike Pucko the coach of Holy Name last year and one of his bffs, coach Lindstrom, hatch a plan to land Kevin in Shepard Hill’s backfield after Pucko departs Holy Name. Really sad for Kevin, but let’s not blow this out of proportion, Kevin is a d2 running back at best. The saddest part of this is Kevin is going to miss his senior year of a game he loves and is pretty dam good at because he listened to the advice of two washed up coaches who’s used up all of their eligibilities in the seventies. It’s pathetic when grown men mistakenly think that high school athletics is all about them. I hope Kevin still gets a real look from some d2 schools and this doesn’t scare them off. Good luck Kevin.

      1. fattydaddy


        You hit it on the head exactly!

      2. Jasper Wantifuguero


        Assumption College would gladly take poor Kevin….without any film from senior year.

    13. Justin


      The bottom line is its high school football. If the roles were reversed, this would be a non issue as coach Lindstrom and Ad Burke wpuld have signed the papers no problem. They care about the student over anything else. Holy Name had no problem accepting Emil Igwanigu 10 years ago.

    14. Babalooey


      One school calls it cheating, another refers to the same as “taking advantage of enhanced competitive opportunities”.

    15. James


      This article really caught my attention because almost the same exact thing happened to me back in 2008. The difference was I got kicked out of holy name and was attending spm for my senior year. I showed up to holy names first game that year vs St. John’s in my spm football jersey and apparently it got the attention of head coach pucko because the next week I got called into the office saying that holy name complained to the miaa about my grades from the previous year and that I pretty much wasn’t able to play anymore. So my senior year I had to just sit on the bench and watch my teammates play when I know I could’ve contributed. Although my grades weren’t the greatest in high school, if I was able to play football that year I probably would’ve went to some college to play, but instead just didn’t even bother sending in any applications and went to qcc. Although I wasn’t a D1 recruit or anything this is very similar to this kids situation now. It’s sad that holy name is doing this again and possibly ruining a kids future.

    16. Matt


      Most of the articles by Turtle Boy are full of half truths or made up things they were told by very unreliable sources. I would have a hard time believing anything they write.

    17. Publius


      TB is known for facts with source documents. Posters have proven much is missing. Weak blog.

    18. KT


      I’m an Efucational Peofessional and knew this student as a younger adolescent at a very disadvantaged school that was later closed. This is an African Anerican Male that started on a dark path and was able to turn it around. The crews he was originally running with are a combination of statistics (dead, gangs, selling drugs, teen parents). He has made it through more than most white collared Caucasians can fathom. LET. HIM. PLAY. Or, I’m sure those crews are happy to welcome back such a star.

      1. KT


        Ha. And horrified by my spelling. Eek. Oops.

    19. chris Demma


      Wow!!! I need to rant!
      I coached Kevin when he was only 10 years old. The nicest boy on the whole worcester cowboy football team. He will get through this and I hope he is ok.
      Holy Name continues to be Holy Shitty Name.
      Sophomore year, my daughter was bullied out of Holy Shitty Name by Ed Reynolds niece and her mean ugly friends. Reynolds and the rest of the staff let it happen over and over again. Eventually they decided it would be a good idea to stick her in the basement of Holy Shitty Name for 4 months, isolated from the rest of the school. Protected in solitary. The teachers even put that “she was a pleasure to have in class” on her report card, as she was in the basement with no contact with the rest of the shitty school. F you! Her hours were 10-1. She had to sneak in and out of school because of him and his family. Reynolds deserves all that will come to him. I hope he gets what he deserves. I have been waiting for this for 4 years. Fu you Reynolds, you piece of shit!

    20. True Reality Speaks


      Wonder how many of the racist liberal hypocrites defending Holy Name & the MIAA would be on the kid’s side if he were white? JS.

    21. Regina


      My only comment on this is did the kid got into SH legitimately. School choice at SH is done by lottery (like most desired schools). I have known many students who wanted to go there and signed up for school choice but did not get selected, as there are more requests to get in than available spots. If he truly got in by random lottery, then let him play. If strings were pulled to get him selected, then he should not. TB, did you look into how he was selected for school choice there? SH has been known in past for it to be not so randomly selective.

    22. Robert


      Comment made by Worc Resident is dead on. If it’s truly not about wins/losses and it’s about the kid, then I think what you suggested would be a great mutual agreement. Let the kid play, but SH not eligible for playoffs.

      1. concerned parent of a student athlete


        SH coaches and the team wanted to play him at the cost of forfeiting their whole season. The SH administrators vetoed that decision.

    23. Larry Bird


      Looks like you are still bitter from HS. Move on man! Interview the 1000’s of kids HN/Ed Renoylds has helped that came from nothing. To bring race into the mix at a place like HN is weak (troll). HN doesn’t have the funds to recruit and I bet they are barely staying afloat. Your assumptions are laughable. I know bc I was there and witnessed everything. Seems like you have a vendetta against HN when it should be focused on the MIAA. Pulling past HN alum into the story just to get clicks is brutal. Your assumptions are so far off it make me question your previous blogs. You’ve written some good blogs that bring up serious issues in and around Worscester area, but you dropped the ball on this for click bait. Needs more facts and an unbiased opinion.

      1. Diva


        Way to go Larry! Right on! I knew there was a reason I liked basketball back in the 80’s!

    24. Bill


      A KID of eligible age, going to the school all day should be able to participate in the school’s activities! Fuck the MIAA and their stupid fucking rules. These “adults” that think they know better than everyone else making stupid rules to justify their “authoritah” and their undeserved paychecks. It’s high school sports people. Let the kids play their games.

    25. Publius


      The MIAA stinks. Wonder how many would be outraged if St. Johns went around recruiting all the soon to be juniors around. The rules are intended to prevent corruption that would definately follow if no rules. The rules are not perfect but without them it would be chaos and corruption. We are St. John haters but the Holy Name haters or SPM haters can be as funny as we are with their hysterical anecdotes on whatever wrong was committed real or in many cases imagined. Truth is if you are one of the few remaining decent people in Worcester you want your kid to got o St Johns, SPM, Holy Name, Abbey Kelly anywhere but WPS. Especially kids on east side who have watched the entire east side be ruined right to the banks of the Quinsigammond lake.

    26. mgriz


      If folks would take the time to look up this kid you’ll see a few stories on what he is quoted as saying about not returning to HN. You should also know this athletic transfer rule applies across the country and not just in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. All it took was some research and I easily found more information.

    27. X-HolyNameParent


      Holy Name should be ashamed of itself, I know that I am ashamed of their stance.

      Is this the example of what they are teaching their students? Instead of supporting a young mans decisions and wishing him the best, they seem to want to get revenge. Not a very flattering stance for the ‘Catholic’ High School that my daughter graduated from. I can’t believe that parents would want to pay money to send their kids to a place that puts their football team above the best interest of a young student. Not very Christian like.

      Holy Name administrators, it’s time to do the right thing. Stop trying to get revenge on a child, let the kid play.

      From an embarrassed X-Holy Name Parent.

      1. Diva


        Have you been paying attention ? It is MOT up to HN if Kevin plays! It’s the MIAA. Kevin and his “advisors” have brought this on themselves.

        1. Reading is FUNdamental


          “as it turns out the administration at Holy Name is refusing to sign the form.”

          Huh… Am I missing something? Are you reading the same thing as me?

          Holy Name is refusing to sign the form… refusing… as in, not releasing him… MIAA is simply backing their play…

          1. Diva


            The statement about the forms is not true. Unless the source is verified ( which it can’t be) The forms have nothing to do with the reason Kevin is not playing.. Check out a reputable news source and get the truth. This BS TB source is shit!

            1. You suck at life


              He’s a kid… legally attending a school… being kept from participating in a school activity by a bureaucratic agency and butthurt adults that think HS football is the end all be all… But that’s ok, because rules are rules… Fuck the kid.

              I hope the Diocese is aware of this stuff. Not a very Christian attitude.

        2. concerned parent of a student athlete


          You again with yet another ignorant comment. Holy Name had the power to sign the 200 form and let him play, they refused to. “After prayerful reflection” It was appealed to the MIAA and now is only in their hands because of what Holy Name did. Most schools sign the waiver and call it a day. Not Holy Name, I mean Reynolds actually. Waiting until a kid decides to transfer schools to help him fix his class schedule to be NCAA eligible, is not helping him BTW.

          1. Diva


            You’re the ignorant one!! If Reynolds signs the forms, both the SH and the HN team run the risk of having their seasons forfeited. Why?? Because KEVIN has already told many news organizations he is transferring for football. Get it now?

    28. X-HolyNameParent


      Putting all of the silliness aside, a ‘Catholic’ High School should never stand in the way of a child’s growth or act as a road-block to their future opportunities as a means of getting revenge or issuing a punishment.

      I truly hope that the teachings and guidance that HN is giving to their students is more Christian like than the example that they are setting here. It use to be, but my daughter no longer attends their school and I can only see what is happening here (not good).

      Let the child play football, and set the correct example for the current and future students of Holy Name.

    29. Turtle Trump


      Stupid article and comments – Turtle Dork never reached out to either Holy Name or the MIAA for a comment – just made the assumption that signing the form was the issue, and Holy Name was doing it out of some kind of spite. Apparently based on a basketball player from the ’90s?!?

      Dumb article and dumb people – Turtle Dork Nation!!

    30. Tortoise Girl


      Totally disgusting. Holy Name losers! Let’s go BLM. Let’s make this about race so they sign the form and the kid gets to college. This is as unfair and beautifully exposed, TBS. Well done. Now everyone call the school, call the AD, and call the Bishop. The Catholic schools shit their pants if the Bishop is called.

    31. concerned parent of a student athlete


      Let this be a lesson to all parents of a student athlete interested in sending their child to a private catholic school esp Holy Name. That they will not let you go once you are there. So if your circumstances in life happen to change, you are screwed.

    32. Diva


      For the real story in this, check Jim Wilsons article In The T&G. True sports reporting? Not the BS from turtle butt

      And really love that you “moderate” comments.!

      1. mgriz


        @Diva you think that’s the real story? Did you not see all the other ones of Kevin saying why he decided to not go back to HN? The Jim Wilson piece is merely a lets make this go away piece. Google Kevin you’ll find more stories, it’s my opinion HN acted based on what they knew he said and probably a some illegal recruiting.

    33. Let's be fair


      This story should be about how he got into SH not about football. My understanding is they have a lottery to get into SH. Was the lottery done at a public meeting or behind closed doors? Is it really a lottery for all looking to go to SH? Does SH lottery rules say they can wave the lottery for star football players? Regarding MIAA rule to have the sending school sign the form sorry rules are rules for all kids.

    34. FSH


      Good joke. Shepherd hill is not, by any means, one of the “top teams in central mass.” In D2 and D2A, we refer to them as “the hype machine,” because that fat moron Jim Wilson treats them like their running the show when they probably won’t see the playoffs for the next 4 years. More importantly, Coach Linstrom is an absolute piece of garbage. I play for Nashoba, and our game against them tonight (which we won) consisted of him screaming, whining, swearing, and using homophobic slurs towards each of his players. Of course he had a temper tantrum when the kid he recruited from Holy Name got benched their first game. Now they have him playing, and guess what? They’re at the bottom of their division, yet again. In his mind, having more D1 prospects on your team than your opponent’s team equates to winning a football game. With Mckeon gone, he had to fill that void. Thus, along came the need to lure Mensah over to Sheperd Hill, a school with PISS POOR academics (seriously, the school produces some of the dumbest 18 year olds in the state) compared to the other school choice options in central mass. Linstrom uses him as an intimidation tool, but when it comes down to the game, it takes a team. Not 1 kid. Linstrom is the worst coach in MA because he squanders great talent by disregarding the importance of teamwork, and he should be ashamed for tricking Mensah into attending a horrible school with a horrible football program.

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