Hail to the Two-Time State Champion Danvers High Basketball Falcons!!!!!

From a 1-19 record four years ago, new coach John Walsh and his flock of remarkable high-flying Falcons have turned Danvers High into the most successful boys basketball program currently in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

By beating Smith Academy, 66-50, Saturday at the DCU Center in Worcester, Walsh and company became the first boys team to capture successive Division 3 state titles since fellow Northeastern Conference member Lynn Classical pulled it off in 1993-94.

More impressive, the Falcons became the first Greater Salem boys team to win back-to-back state championships EVER — and only the second Greater Salem squad to win two state titles period. Salem accomplished the feat in 1990 and 1995.  Lastly, the Falcons become the first D-3 quintet to cop two state crowns in a row since Pioneer in 1996-97.

The enormity of what the Falcons have accomplished cannot be overstated. From 1-19 the year before Walsh arrived as a jayvee coach with no varsity experience, they posted a 13-10 record his first year in charge, reaching the program’s first North section semifinal round.

Year 2 made history in all kinds of ways, including a 21-4 mark and the program’s first D-3 state championship, led by 6-8 All-Stater George Merry.

That set the stage for this unprecedented season while defending their D-3 title, motivated they could win without the graduated Merry, the Falcons rolled to a 24-2 record in which they started the season with 18 straight wins. They might have won their two Comcast Invitational games against eventual D-2 state champion Brighton and D-1 power Newton North had not Northeastern Conference Small MVP Eric Martin suffered a hip flexor/strained groin. But thankfully he had plenty of time to heal before the Falcons began their title defense. They proceeded to post six straight wins and bring home another MIAA championship trophy.

The greatest two-year run by any major DHS sports team, one of the two greatest sprees ever by a North Shore boys basketball team.

Read the Sunday papers and Monday’s Salem News for all the details of the victory over Smith. Seniors Nick McKenna, Nick Bates, Dan Connors, Eric Martin excelled once again, along with sophomore Vinny Clifford, now the most accomplished group of starters in the history of Danvers High athletics.

More to come.


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