By Jean DePlacido
---- — DANVERS – There were eight outstanding athletes and one legendary coach that were inducted into the St. John’s Prep Athletic Hall of Fame last night at the Danversport Yacht Club.
But nobody attracted more attention than three-sport star Peter Frates of Beverly.
Frates (Class of 2003) was a gifted athlete in football, hockey and baseball who went on to excel in baseball at Boston College for four more years. Frates, who has been diagnosed with ALS, is now battling the disease with the same courage and determination he showed on the athletic field.
Assistant baseball coach Ryan Leahy (SJP Class of ’99), who was inducted into the Prep Hall of Fame last year, and came to honor his friend and fellow BC graduate. Looking across the crowded dining room, Leahy said he knew he would find Pete wherever the biggest crowd was gathered.
Matt Antonelli and Frates played football, hockey, and baseball together at St. John's Prep. The newly-married Antonelli said he came to see everybody last night — but especially Frates.
“There are so many great athletes at St. John’s Prep, and Pete was one of the best,” said Antonelli, who is working out and giving baseball lessons at Route One Sports Plus while waiting to see where he will be playing pro baseball next season. “I got lucky because we played the same three sports. I haven’t seen him in a while and know what a special night this is for him and his family.”
Frates, who recently got engaged, was named to the All-Big East Conference team in 2004 and the Big East All-Academic team in ’05. He was selected All Atlantic Coast all-star in 2006 and ’07 and went on to play pro ball in the German League.
“This is a very humbling experience for me ... and very exciting,” said Frates, who said he is doing well, all things considered. “It’s nice to see so many old friends.
"Matt and I played hockey together since we were five; we were together in high school for classes and at practice. The nice thing about playing a few different sports is you make a lot more friends.”
Back in 1958 when Ed Eagan graduated from St. John’s Prep, it was a boarding school. The Lynn native played two years of varsity football as a running back and ran three seasons of varsity track. He won the Class C shot put his senior year and had the distinction of being on the track team during an unbeaten streak that lasted seven years.
Eagan, who now lives in Dover, NH, is a graduate of Yale University and Tufts School of Medicine.
“I lived at St. John’s for four years, and it was truly an amazing change for a kid from Lynn,” said Eagan, a retired optomologist. “Football turned out to be a big deal because I was picked to play in the second year of the Agganis Game. I wanted to go to Yale, and as a result of having a good game that night (at the Agganis Game) the Yale coach came to see me.
“I'm awed to be here tonight. My old track coach, Brother Patrician, nominated me before he died. I’ve been out of high school for 50 years, so I wasn’t expecting to be part of this with all the young guys.”
Todd Buckley of Peabody is now a chiropractor in his native city. The 1988 graduate ran all three seasons of track and served as captain of each two years in a row. He was a three-time conference all-star in every season and went on to have a great career at Providence College as a Division 1 miler and two-miler. He has run several marathons, including New York City and Boston.
“I run every day, but I haven’t done any marathons in a few years,” said Buckley. “I’m busy coaching my kids in their sports now.
"I had a great coach here in Ray Carey, and it is nice to be part of the Prep community that has been so supportive over the years.”
Dan Carnevale (Class of ’79) will never forget his senior hockey season when the Prep beat Matignon for the state championship at the Boston Garden, 3-2, with 12 seconds left.
“I got an assist on that goal by Kevin McKenna,” said Carnevale, who went on to play at Boston University and still lives in Beverly. “McKenna jumped on the ice during a line change and scored a beauty over the goalie’s right shoulder.”
Carnevale co-captained that team and was a two-time Catholic Conference All-Star who was the second-leading scorer in the conference as a senior.
“I transferred to the Prep from Beverly High my freshman year. I thought I knew Spanish and had been getting A’s, but the teacher at St. John's spoke Spanish all during class here and I didn’t understand one word," he laughed.
"I had to learn to be a role player at BU. Coach (Jack) Parker taught me a lot about working hard. I was a little fish in a big pond, but I did get Most Improved Player in my junior year — and we won the Beanpot.”
John Aucone had a winning record as a soccer coach wherever he went and was 108-27-13 at the Prep, winning six Catholic Conference titles, five Division 1 North crowns, two Eastern Mass. championships and one state title between 1990-’97. He also founded Salem Youth Soccer and the Lynn English soccer program.
“This is a very special honor,” said Aucone, who lives in Beverly. “It’s great to see the kids again. I was pretty lucky because I had a lot of talent, and I have great memories of St. John’s Prep.”
Pat Gould (’89) grew up in Peabody and played three years on the state champion golf team. He was undefeated and MVP his senior year and went on to play at Bryant University. He also was a member of the South Florida PGA for five years, winning several tournaments.
Peter Roy excelled on the lacrosse field, where he was captain and MVP in his senior year. A high scoring attackman who also played hockey and soccer, Roy went on to star in lacrosse at Wesleyan University. He captained the team and set many records. He is currently the second-highest scorer in the school’s history. Roy grew up in Marblehead and lives in Danvers.
Scott Macdonald (’93) was a three-season track star who set an indoor mile record and was a member of the distance medley relay team that placed fourth at nationals. He was also on the All-State champion cross country team. Macdonald, who grew up in Salem and now lives in Winston-Salem, N.C., competed in track at Wake Forest.
Jeremy Long (’95) led the state in scoring his junior year, and was a member of the state championship soccer team in 1994. He was named Catholic Conference MVP and both Umbro and Parade first team All American. He went on to an outstanding career at Wheaton College, where he led the conference in goals and assists as a senior before playing professional soccer.
Also honored were the 1987, ’88 and ‘89 Prep golf teams that won state championships. The regular season record during that span was an amazing 42-3-1.