Yours truly had the privilege of emceeing a Salute to the Champions banquet for the Division 3 state champion Danvers High boys basketball team on April 24 at Spinelli’s in Lynnfield. A fantastic evening was enjoyed by all, including surprise special guests, coach John McGrath and the 1975 Northeastern Conference championship team, the last to win an NEC title until this year’s team.
Pat Veilleux, a key player on that team, as well as a former DHS boys head coach and current DHS girls head coach, congratulated the first DHS hoop team to win a state title. Pat has made history on the girls side, leading the Falcons to their first two NEC titles in 2010 and 2011.
The keynote speaker was Dana Skinner, the UMass-Lowell athletic director and the best player ever to come out of DHS, the school’s first Boston Globe all-scholastic in the early 1970s and later a Division 2 All-American at Merrimack College and a Boston Celtic draft choice.
It was one historic night for a history-making team, led by the latest DHS Globe all-scholastic George Merry, who will take his imposing game to WPI in the fall.
Banquet organizers Kim Merry, Brenda Clifford and all the Basketball Boosters can be proud for a first-class production for a first-class group of young men and their coaching staff, led by 32-year-old John Walsh.
With four starters and some promising backups returing, the Falcons will be the clear favorite to bring home another NEC Division title next winter.