SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

April 7, 2014

Beverly High Hall of Fame inducts its latest class

DANVERS — A distinguished class of seven individuals and a special relay team was inducted into the Beverly High School Sports Hall of Fame at the Danversport Yacht Club on Saturday night.

In addition to the seven individual nominees, the Panthers’ 1967 New England 880-yard champion relay team was honored at the 12th annual dinner and induction ceremony.

It’s an extremely rare feat for a soccer goalie to lead his team in scoring, but BHS Hall of Fame inductee Derek Dionne did it back in 1988 when he scored nine goals while giving up just three goals and recording 14 shutouts.

For Dionne, doing what seemed impossible was a routine occurrence that wasn’t confined to soccer. The Panthers’ third baseman hit a home run off future No. 1 draft pick Jeff Juden of Salem, the only dinger the 6-foot-8 fireballer allowed all season.

“I didn’t know I had the most goals on my soccer team that year until some friends told me. I’d run out of the goal and take off up the field on corner kicks and throw-ins,” said Dionne, who switched from his midfield position to goalie as a senior because that’s what the team needed. He led Beverly to the North final and was named to the Eastern Mass Coaches all-star team as well as honorable mention on the all-state squad.

“I’m very surprised, humbled, and proud to be chosen for the Hall of Fame,” added Dionne, who now lives in Raleigh, N.C. and flew back to Beverly on Friday night. “All my family is still here in Beverly and they’re all here to support me, so it’s a great reunion for us.”

Rich Giunta, a 1980 BHS graduate, joined younger brother Ron (Class of 1985) in Hall of Fame, so now he won’t hear any more good natured ribbing.

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