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October 26, 2012

Moving The Chains: As great as 88? Comparing two of Beverly's best

He still attends all the home games, making the short walk from his home on Warren Street over to Hurd Stadium, where he enters by the back gate and sits on the outer edge of the visitors’ stands.

As the only man to ever coach the Beverly High football team to double digit wins without a loss in the regular season, Bill Hamor is still very much interested in anything to do with the Panthers.

And he really likes what he’s seen out of this year’s team, which is 7-0 heading into tomorrow night’s matchup with Gloucester at Hyland Field in Manchester (7 p.m.).

So much so, in fact, that he can see comparisons between the current squad and the last BHS club to win its first seven contests: Hamor’s legendary 1988 team.

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a quarter-century since that ‘88 Panther edition ran the table in winning the Northeastern Conference championship (Beverly’s third in five years). Now, there are folks who are saying this 2012 team is the Garden City’s best since that unbeaten powerhouse.

“Those kids were very close, a real good group of kids. They respected and liked each other,” Hamor said of the 1988 club. “That’s the way it’s got to be with this year’s team, too. You need that to have the kind of success they’ve had.

“But you’ve got to have the talent, too, and these guys have it. They have so much depth, especially in the running back position. That shows week in and week out.”

The 1988 Beverly High team, captained by Division 1 lineman prospect Steve Costa (who went on to play on scholarship at Northeastern), rugged fullback Winston Trefry and bulldog center Lon Hamor, had big expectations that they more than lived up to. After crushing Everett in its season opener, 41-16, they began their NEC slate with a 23-12 win at Lynn English, followed by a 34-0 whitewashing of host Saugus and a 32-7 triumph at Winthrop.

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