It’s only been a little over a month since Brendan Flaherty left his indelible stamp on Beverly High football history by leading the Panthers to their second Super Bowl triumph in three seasons while producing the school’s best-ever season at 13-0.
Now, the superstar running back/defensive back is ready to continue his gridiron career by staying in the Bay State.
Flaherty made his decision official after receiving his acceptance letter into Holy Cross, where he’ll suit up for the Crusaders on a full scholarship.
“I’m definitely relieved,” said the 17-year-old National Honor Society student. “It was a bit of a stressful process. There were a lot of great options out there both athletically and academically, but in the end Holy Cross was the best decision for my family and I.”
Holy Cross football is part of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), which plays at the level formerly known as Division 1-AA. As a member of the Patriot League, the Crusaders went 2-9 last season under head coach Tom Gilmore.
The reigning Northeastern Conference Player of the Year will likely begin his college career in the defensive secondary.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Flaherty was being heavily wooed by Ivy League schools such as Penn, Brown and Columbia. Another school, Stony Brook in New York, wanted him as well — as a Division 1 scholarship lacrosse player.
“They’re all great schools, and I’m sure I would have had fun going to any one of them. But I’m happy with my choice,” said Flaherty.
“Playing (football) in college was definitely something I wanted to stick with. I wanted to keep playing at the highest level I could play at.”
The oldest of Tim and Anne Flaherty’s four children could arguably be referred to as the best all-around football player in Beverly’s long and glorious history.