SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

August 30, 2010

The Baron of Beverly

Walsh ushered in an era of greatness never before seen at Beverly High

(Continued)

Within four years of Walsh's arrival, Beverly produced the first unbeaten, untied regular season in school history (9-0-0), losing only to Brockton, 14-6, in a postseason game known as the "Exchange Bowl" on Dec. 6 before an estimated 20,000 fans at Manning Bowl in Lynn.

The 1958 Golden Warriors (as Beverly was known as back then), his final team, were also unbeaten. Four other BHS squads lost just one game under Walsh and three more had only two losses.

Just as important to the denizens of Beverly, Walsh won the most important game on the schedule more often than not. His teams beat arch rival Salem High 10 out of 15 times on Thanksgiving Day, including nine of the last 11 meetings he patrolled the sidelines.

"He always preached to everyone about doing their 1/11th on the football field to help us win," said Tony DiVincenzo, who played on Walsh's final three teams (1956-58). "If you grew up in Beverly, you grew up with this great respect and awe for the man. And if you got to play for him ... that respect just grew and grew."

No nonsense

Walsh didn't just win football games; he cultivated an image and lived it to the fullest in the way that he dressed, how he handled himself and how he dealt with his players.

He was not only well respected by his players and the city at large, but was also paid handsomely, too, earning more money than the Beverly superintendent of schools at one point.

To be sure, Walsh could be hard and unflinching if he saw the situation called for it. "He'd just look at you and kids would be shaking," said Hamor. "He had that glare that made it seem like he was looking right through you."

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