Special achievements deserve special acknowledgments. Thus the unveiling upcoming Tuesday night, prior to the game with Winthrop, of the third state championship banner the Danvers High boys’ basketball team has won in the past four years.
The program’s achievement, under the guidance of head coach John Walsh, represents an unprecedented achievement for a Danvers High varsity sports program.
Equally remarkable, the team’s accomplishment ranks among the greatest in Massachusetts high school basketball history. The Falcons, after defeating Marlborough in the state title game last March in Worcester, became only the fourth school to win three state titles in a four-year span. The others have been Charlestown (winners of four straight, in fact, a feat that may never be matched), Springfield Commerce and Avon (the most recent, 1997-99).
This new standard is astonishing on another level when one considers, before Walsh’s arrival for the 2010-2011 season, the Falcons had never won more than one tournament game in a post-season. Now, they have wiped out the field of challengers three times, reached a Division 2 North final Another year (2014) and won two tourney games in Walsh’s first year on the job.
All of which sets the stage for Tuesday night’s ceremony in the DHS field house, which should begin shortly before the start of the varsity game with Winthrop, most likely around 6:55.
Your truly will serve as host, with Walsh and last year’s captains, Devan Harris, Vinny Clifford and Peter Merry, teaming up to official unveil the latest MIAA state championship banner.
In a way Winthrop is a fitting opponent for this night, since for many years in the 1960s and 1970s Winthrop often battled the Falcons for Northeastern Conference basketball superiority.