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Because Of “More Information” Holy Name AD Shamed Into “Supporting” Kevin Mensah So He Can Play Football For Shepherd Hill This Year

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Good news – it looks like Holy Name administration has been shamed into doing the right thing and letting transfer student Kevin Mensah play football at Shepherd Hill Regional High School, where he is enrolled as a student:

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It’s amazing what a littler public shaming can do. From the Turtlegram’s article:

Shepherd Hill football coach Chris Lindstrom will return to the sidelines on Friday night, Dudley-Charlton Regional school officials announced Thursday after meeting with Holy Name High administrators. Lindstrom sat out the Rams’ first game after his star running back, Kevin Mensah, was not granted a waiver to play after transferring from the Worcester school. Mensah, however, will not be allowed to play against St. John’s at 7 p.m. Friday.

Gregg Desto, superintendent of the Dudley-Charlton Regional Schools, said he’s optimistic Mensah will be back on the field soon. Shepherd Hill plays Wachusett on Sept. 23 and Algonquin on Sept. 30. Mensah will have his appeal heard by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association on Sept. 29. Mensah, a Worcester resident and Division 1 college prospect, who rushed for more than 2,500 yards at Holy Name, transferred to Shepherd Hill as a school choice student over the summer. MIAA rules state he must sit out his senior season unless he is granted a waiver, which must be signed by the principal and athletic director from both schools. Holy Name officials elected to not sign, but Desto said both schools are now on the same page.

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“I am pleased to say that we met (Thursday) and, with the benefit of more information about Kevin’s reasons for transferring, Holy Name has offered its support for him,” Desto said in a statement. “We are hopeful that both schools agreeing that the best interest of the student is what matters most will be taken into strong consideration at the appeal.”

The superintendent said Holy Name is not at fault for refusing to sign Mensah’s waiver.

“Over the course of the past several weeks, we have been working with the Holy Name administration to try to find a course of action that will serve the best interest of Kevin Mensah, a young man we all care a lot about,” Desto said. “Holy Name has been very receptive and willing to consider Kevin’s best interest throughout this process, and we regret that they may have been portrayed otherwise. I am extremely grateful for their willingness to take a course of action that supports the best interest of a young person who is still learning and developing. It is in keeping with Holy Name’s core values and track record that they decided to show support for the young person at the center of it all.”

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“With the benefit of more information.” Wait….what? More information? What information could they possibly have discovered? They were refusing to sign the waiver because they believe the kid was recruited by Shepherd Hill to play football there. What could’ve possibly changed their mind? A pinky swear that he went to Dudley for academic purposes?

Translation – Turtleboy made us look like idiots. We wanted to crush some kid’s dreams to teach him a lesson that no one leaves Holy Name to play sports somewhere else. Only vice versa. The message had to be sent, and it was. But then Turtleboy came along and pointed out the gross conflict of interest because HN AD Jim Manzello also works for the MIAA board who will be hearing Kevin’s “appeal.” Not a good look for us. Once we started getting bombarded with emails and phone calls we had to cave in and do the right thing so we don’t look like jackwagons. But we still would like to save face so now we’re pretending like there’s “more information” that we didn’t know about.

Holy Name owes Gregg Desto and Shepherd Hill a HUGE thank you for being so kind to them in the press. They’re basically just being politically correct because they kind of have to make these adults at Holy Name feel good about themselves so they’ll shut up and sign the paperwork. Turtleboy wouldn’t be so diplomatic. Good guys win again. Sucks this kid won’t get to play against St. John’s, but Wachusett’s always good at football too, so he’ll get the chance to get some last minute film in for the college scouts. Don’t. Poke. The. Turtle. 

 

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10 Comment(s)
  • Not a modern liberal
    September 16, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I am out of my depth on this issue. I am happy this kid gets to play football.

  • Publius
    September 16, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Can the SH Running Back who was the starter until this kid was recruited a few weeks ago transfer ? Hope he wasn’t waiting three years to be named starter to have this happen.

  • Publius
    September 16, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Virtually every Athletic Director, parent and teacher think High School players should not be recruited. Especially given 5% at most will ever play at college at any level and a mere 1% at D1 Level. So 99% of kids would get screwed. Sounds like this wasn’t even on Holy name in first place. According to SH anyway.

    • Phantom
      September 16, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Right. If this was about HN, then why isn’t he playing right away? Just seems as if the MIAA is still making the call. Which means most people, including myself, don’t fully understand the process.

      I can see both sides of the issue. But I wonder if he was a QB and his joining the team relegated the current QB to basically no playing time would it be so easy to say, “let him play”,”do what is best for the kid?” Which kid? Someone else who has invested a lot of time and sweat in that program will be playing less. To some extent that is life…. But you can see why there are rules in the first place.

  • Not a modern liberal
    September 16, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Good job TB!! Who cares if he was recruited? That is the best lesson of capitalism. The cream rises to the top. If schools want to keep great students and athletes they need to perform.

  • Phantom
    September 16, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Good ending? It is still up to the MIAA isn’t it.

  • AJ
    September 16, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    A good story that had a good ending. Let’s call it what it is right now. The end was all about this kid, which it should have been. He should be allowed to play, without getting tangled up in all this red tape, some of which I’m sure was intentional. If there was no evidence of academic failure or disciplinary issues, he should be on the field this week. Those two points are noted in the MIAA rules. If neither factored in to the transfer reason, there should be no hold up.

    The first article mentioned that this young man’s mother immigrated from Ghana, maybe she did not have the means to keep him there, and maybe she did not feel good sending him to a public school in Worcester.

    At th end of the day, he should be able to play while getting an education and preparing for college.

  • Publius
    September 16, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    does any sane person believe he wasn’t recruited?

  • Bill
    September 16, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Congrats TB. Thankfully, the “adults” did what was right for the kid (when a spotlight was shone on them, but nonetheless). Have a great season Kevin!

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