By Jean DePlacido
---- — 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.
“We’ll have to pick on our older brother Bob,” said Giunta, who played football and lacrosse in high school and went on to be a three-year starter in football for Tufts University, where he was an Academic All-American and electrical engineering major. “Bob was a two-sport athlete at Beverly and played football at Brown. For now he’s the only one not in the Hall of Fame, but that could change.”
Giunta captained the 1979 football team and was named team MVP as well as winning the Bucci Award as the Panthers’ top lineman. A lacrosse defenseman, he led Beverly to the state tourney in both his junior and senior years. He was captain and MVP in lacrosse and named a Northern Lacrosse Division first team all-star.
“It’s wonderful to be in this class with so many great people,” said Giunta, who lives in Andover. “The thing I loved most about Beverly was playing sports with my closest friends, people I’d known since I was 10 years old.”
Pam Jalbert Morose (Class of 1983) made the trip from her home in St. Thomas to see old friends and be inducted for her athletic prowess as field hockey and softball captain, followed by her coaching accomplishments. A prolific scorer, she set the all-time record in field hockey with 55 goals and 17 assists, including an astonishing 30 goals her senior year. She went on to have a great career at Salem State, leading the Vikings to the NCAAs before returning to her alma mater to coach field hockey.
“This is fabulous,” said Morose. “I can’t believe all the people who have shown up for me, even my junior high coaches. It’s amazing, just overwhelming. I’m proud to be part of the Hall of Fame because for me Beverly High means tradition, always striving to put great teams on the field. To this decade that tradition continues, and I am very lucky to be part of the school and contribute with so many great coaches.”
Peter Wynne (Class of 1981) was represented by his family. Wynne is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player to ever come out of the city, and his battle with future NBA star Patrick Ewing will never be forgotten. In a Division 1 North state tournament game against the 7-foot Ewing and his Cambridge Rindge and Latin squad, Wynne (then a junior) scored 29 points. Underdog Beverly lost the game, but Wynne’s heroic performance is still talked about.
A dominant post player was also an outstanding rebounder, Wynne finished his career as the Panthers all-time scoring leader (1,351). He was heavily recruited and chose Syracuse, where he played for two seasons. He died three years ago at the age of 48 but will long be remembered in his hometown.
“This means a lot to our family,” said Wynne’s sister Tina Sherman, whose son Jonathan spoke about his uncle. “We always felt my brother was one of the best players and gave the most effort every single game.
“For him to finally be recognized is wonderful. I just wish he could be here tonight. He loved Beverly High, and those were the best years of his life. We’re here to say thank you for him to all those who supported him.”
Jessica Davidson (Class of 2003) is the first female swimmer to be inducted into the Beverly Hall of Fame. She started swimming at the North Shore YMCA, where she still holds records and was a 16-time YMCA All-American. She won the state championship in the 100-yard backstroke for Beverly High (and still holds many school records) before going on to have a terrific career at Harvard.
Brian Nelson (Classs of 1974) led the Northeastern Conference in goals (24) his senior year of hockey. He was only a sophomore when the Panthers beat Needham in seven overtimes in the state tournament, with current Beverly High hockey coach Bob Gilligan and his brother Bill leading the way. That earned the Panthers a berth in the Division 1 semifinals at the Boston Garden. Nelson also scored the 1,000th goal in the program’s history. In addition, he was one of the best track sprinters in the NEC.
Emily Rinaldo (Class of 2003) holds the distinction of being the only athlete in the school’s history to win a high school national championship while still at BHS. She did it at the 2003 National Gymnastics Championship, taking top honors in the individual all-around title and leading her Massachusetts team to the title. She was undefeated in the all-around in every postseason competition all three years for the Panthers and set many records. Rinaldo went on to win the NCAA Division 1 college championship on bars.
The 1967 relay team of Lloyd Hartwell, Paul Tache, Tom Whittenhagen and Bob Broudo was honored for winning six of seven relays in the big meets, including the 880-yard relay All-Class state championship meet at MIT in 1:31.4. That earned them the right to advance to the New England championship, where they won again in one of the fastest times ever at the meet (1:30.2).
Whittenhagen went on to run at Northeastern and is in the Huskies’ Hall of Fame while Broudo competed at Bates and is now headmaster at Landmark School. Tache was the state Class A champ in the 220 yard dash. He now lives in Arizona as does Hartwell, who was a career Marine.