By Matt Williams Staff writer
The Salem News
---- — St. John’s Prep football fans have good reason to arrive early for Saturday’s league opener against Catholic Memorial.
At noon, the school will hold a memorial service and dedication to honor the life and service of James Rice, a 1987 Prep grad and Peabody firefighter who gave his life in the line of duty last December.
The ceremony will take place at the entrance to the Brother Linus, CFX Athletic Commons (near the varsity baseball field) and was organized by Rice’s classmates.
“We felt it would be a fitting tribute to bring a memorial to St. John’s where Jim had made such an impact and lasting impression on everyone there,” said Steve MacDonald, one of Rice’s classmates.
Rice, who was also a baseball captain, was a 2-way starter for the Prep football team, lining up at wide receiver and corner back. He was also a punter and kick returner, seldom coming off the field.
“He was the perfect teammate,” said MacDonald, “Quiet, and leading by example.”