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)

Like many of Walsh's former players, Manuel believes a good deal of the team's success should be directed Pelonzi's way. An assistant for all 15 years of the head coach's tenure, the two Charlies formed a football bond that resulted in getting the absolute maximum out of their players, resulting in a majority of wins on game days.

"Charlie Pelonzi would go out and scout our next opponent," said Manuel, "and come back on Monday and give us everything we needed to know about the other team — including their underwear sizes. Charlie (Walsh) respected his knowledge and wasn't afraid to use (it)."

With Hurd Stadium filled to the brim every week, there was no doubt pressure on Walsh that only manifested itself with each passing year. But the coach always found ways to suit his system to fit the talent he had.

"Half of Beverly worked at the United Shoe (Machinery Corporation) back in those days," Hamor recalled, "and everyone, it seemed, had a kid who played football, so everyone talked football. Charlie was like a god to those people; he made believers out of them pretty quickly."

One of the great thrills of Hamor's life as a youngster was when he'd be playing junior high football at Briscoe and walk the back road home past the BHS clubhouse, where he'd encounter Walsh and Pelonzi.

"Coach Walsh would say, 'Hello there, Mr. Hamor'," he remembered. "Just knowing that he knew who I was and that I loved football, wow, that was just great to me."

Going out in style

Beverly won back-to-back North Shore League titles in 1954 (8-1) and '55 (5-1-1) before Walsh suffered his only losing season the following fall (3-5-1). Many sophomores played on that '56 team and gained valuable varsity experience, which paid off when they went a combined 16-1-1 as juniors and seniors.

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