LYNNFIELD — The Cape Ann League will be expanding this September as Essex Tech will be joining. Essex Tech, which is based in Danvers, opened in 2014 when Essex Aggie and North Short Tech combined. They have been in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference since the merger.

The Hawks’ athletic director, Mike Murphy, feels that now the situation is right as they thought about moving to the CAL a few years ago.

“The timing just feels right,” said Murphy, as the Hawks are in the CAL already in indoor track and gymnastics. “We have continued to grow as a school in population, CTAE areas, and academics.  This move will allow us to match that growth and give us the opportunity to grow competitively within athletics.”

With Essex Tech coming into the league, the CAL will be back to 12 teams as Masconomet left in Sept. 2020 to go to the Northeastern Conference.

The CAC, meanwhile, will drop to 12 schools this September as the league has all of the other north shore tech schools along with a couple of small Catholic schools and charter schools.

Essex Tech will be the only tech school north of the Mass. Pike not in the CAC and will be the lone tech school in the CAL although a majority of the students are from Cape Ann League towns.

With their larger enrollment, most Hawk teams will play in the CAL Kinney (large) Division. Essex Tech will also not cut ties with the CAC schools as far as non-league games.

“We absolutely plan on playing CAC teams in non-league games moving forward when the opportunity presents itself,” said Murphy, as they will continue playing Wakefield’s Northeast Metro Tech for the Thanksgiving Day football game.

Some Lynnfield High head coaches gave their thoughts about the addition.

“We scrimmaged them this season,” pointed out Pioneers boys soccer coach Brent Munroe. “This year’s team would have been one of the better ones in our league. It is geographically great to have them in our league and they have good facilities up there so I am happy for them.”

John Bakopolus, the Lynnfield boys’ basketball coach, welcomes the Hawks to the league.

“It is good for the league to get back to an even number of teams and they are a good replacement for Masconomet,” he said. “They also have a great location there in Danvers.”

Lynnfield boys’ hockey coach, Jon Gardner, is looking forward to facing Essex Tech.

“I am excited about them joining,” said Gardner. “They had a good year this year (19-2-2) and will return a lot of firepower next year. They also have a nice rink on their campus.”

The only down side is that most Pioneers teams will be playing two less non-league games to accommodate the Hawks.

“We normally play four non-league teams against tough competition and now that will be cut to two,” said Munroe. “We plan on playing Masconomet in one of those games to will just have to find one more non-league opponent.”

Bakopolus agreed with Munroe.

“The only down side is that we will have to cut down to four non-league after playing six this year,” said Bakopolus. “We usually play home-and-home against those teams but will not be able to do that.”

For Gardner, he is not sure what division the Hawks will be put in for hockey.

“They are still working on that but, if we do have to play them twice, it will be disappointing to have to cut some of our longtime non-league opponents,” he said.