Cheers to Danvers’ Day and the Prep’s Yanchus As We Catch Up

Danvers continues to be the Hub of North Shore high school sports, thanks to the spectular early season showings of the DHS and St. John’s baseball teams. They rank among the best in Eastern Mass., just as the schools’ basketball team did during the winter.

Doubly big news regarding the two squads has emerged of late. Danvers coach Roger Day won his 400th game Monday after junior ace Brandon Hyde fired a three-hit shutout at Gloucester on chilly Stage Fort Park Field.

Equally noteworthy was the announcement from 33rd-year coach Pat Yanchus that he would be retiring at the end of the spring from his positions as baseball coach and mathematics teacher.

Day’s milestone moment comes as no surprise. Since covering him as a floppy-haired three-sport standout at Ipswich High too many moons ago, I sensed greatness in the baby-faced Day as a future leader of young men. And here he is enjoying yet another notch on his Massachusetts High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame resume.

Roger has made the Falcons into a state powerhouse during his tenure. Over the last 15 seasons, as The Salem News’s Phil Stacey reported today, Danvers has won one state title (2001), lost another (1999), won 12 of the last 14 Northeastern Conference titles and who knows where the 2013 season will lead to, what with an 8-0 record to date.

Yanchus, meanwhile, as unassuming as any coach I have ever known at any level, has his Eagles sitting strong at 8-1, riding an eight-game win streak after Monday’s 3-1 success over visiting Malden Catholic. His players are shooting for nothing less than a 3rd Division 1 state title before sending Yanchus off into the sunset.

Having grown up with Yanchus in Danvers’ Great Oak School district (Pat actually could walk to the school in two minutes), I have followed his career from Great Oak to St. John’s Prep to Brown University, back to the Prep with admiration and pride. Pat’s been the most exemplary teacher-coach-counsel-husband-father-friend I have ever known outside my own family. Ask Prep athletic director Jim O’Leary of Headmaster Ed Hardiman or anyone who has known Pat for 1 week, 1 month, 1 year or 55 years, as I have.


  • Last week’s life-jolting terrorist bombings at the Boston Marathon, if nothing else, reminded us how much we should appreciate today’s communication technologies. How many hundred of thousands, probably millions, of us whether we were in the city of some place else, rushed to our hand-helds as fast as we could, once he heard the news, to contact a loved one? We all did. Without those devices, imagine the heartache we’d have experienced scrambling in other ways to locate those we care about most.
  • We can never overstate the importance of the jobs all first responders do, a fact brought home to us in the most deadly of ways last week. Paramedics, firefighters, police officers, doctors and nurses. They can never be paid enough, in my estimation.
  • Amazing start for the Red Sox, disappointing playoff start for the Celtics, mysterious inconsistency by the Bruins, big test for the Patriots braintrust Thursday night and Friday with the NFL Draft.
  • Fabuklous documentary on the Discovery Channel last night, produced, directed and narrated by Robert Redford, on the 40th anniversary of the Watergate scandal breaking wide open and the superb movie that sprung from within, starring Redfords and Dustin Hoffman; arguably the greatest journalistic achievement in the history of this country. Thank you, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Ben Bradlee and The Washington Post.
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