When Stafford began coaching, the NEC did not have the javelin event; that changed six years ago after a short pilot period. When Salem competed in the old Essex County League at the time the girls’ track program first began in the 1970s, one of the events was the javelin.
Friday the 13th may be considered an unlucky day by many, but that’s not the case for Danvers National Little Leaguer Jacoby Catanzaro. He and his dad, David, will have great seats at the Red Sox-Yankees game next Friday night at Fenway Park thanks to the generosity of season ticket holder Richard Bettencourt of Danvers, who grew up in Peabody and played baseball for the Tanners and later at UNH.
Catanzaro, who made the big leap from the Challenger program to play for a team in the regular Danvers Little League, was an all-star on the 8-9-year-old team. He loves baseball and especially the Red Sox so much that the sport is like a medicine for him. The youngster plans to wear his full Red Sox uniform to the game and will have the thrill of seeing his name up on the Jumbotron (arranged by Bettencourt).
Bettencourt brought his wife and daughter up to meet the Catanzaro family at their home in Gloucester. He asked Jacoby, who has dealt with severe medical conditions his entire life, to send him a picture from the game. He also promised to give him tickets to one game every year as long as he keeps having fun and working hard.
Bettencourt has lived in Danvers for the past eight years and helped coach his daughter’s Little League and softball teams. He played competitive baseball for many years before giving it up four years ago.
“I saw first hand what the Challenger League does, and couldn’t be more proud of our town for making hundreds of dreams come true each and every year,” Bettencourt said.