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Sports

August 24, 2010

Bill of Goods

Hamor took reins at a crucial time in Panther football history — and delivered

(Continued)

"And one of his best attributes was his sincerity with the kids. He didn't promise them pie in the sky; he told them what they had to do to play football for Beverly High. Everything in the program became so consistent that you could almost predict how successful we were going to be the following year."

Harrington jumped aboard in 1985 and was Hamor's trusted line coach through the 1989 season. He quickly discovered that Hamor wasn't just a capable coach but a person of high character. He loved being around Hamor because of what the head coach instilled in his players.

"Billy was a presence," said Harrington. "When he walked into a crowded room, you wanted to go up and talk to him. He always made you feel good about yourself and was very positive with the kids. Billy has great family values, so the players and coaches were always exposed to that stuff and it was a really good influence.

"As a coach, Billy's toughness stood out. He was an imposing kind of guy and you believed in him. His offense wasn't complicated, but it was difficult to stop because of the way we executed. We had a strong running game and, as a line coach, I really loved that. When Billy called for a pass, we'd raise our eyebrows and make jokes."

The Super Bowl season

Hamor is not the type to play favorites with his teams. But record-wise, everything came together in a perfect way in 1988, when the Panthers went 10-0 in the regular season.

In a season filled with memorable games that year, Hamor vividly recalls two in particular.

There was tremendous hype for the Swampscott game on Nov. 12 because it was a meeting of 8-0 teams and Beverly ended up clobbering the Big Blue, 34-14. However, that game was preceded by an unexpected classic as the Panthers barely got past an underrated Marblehead team, 8-7 (the Magicians went 7-3 that year). Running back Dana Peters capped a long drive with a touchdown late in the game, cutting Marblehead's lead to 7-6. Fellow back Winston Trefry punched in the two-point conversion as the Panthers survived a major threat to their unbeaten record.

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