Danvers does have the two holes to fill left behind by 6-foot-8 center George Merry and defensive specialist Jon Amico. Merry was one of the North Shore’s best two-way threats last year, while Amico often drew the assignment of covering the opposition’s best scorer.
“Those two losses are huge. We could always count on Jon to shut down the best player. Eric would cover the point guard and Jon would shut down the other best player. Ninety percent of the time, that’s how it worked,” Walsh said. “George erased so many more mistakes. People wouldn’t even try to enter the paint.”
Junior guard Kieran Beck and sophomore guard Vinny Clifford are in line to get some of the minutes left behind by Merry and Amico. Seniors Evan Eldridge and Duncan D’Hemecourt will also be fighting for playing time this winter.
Overall, Danvers appears to be in good shape to keep the program operating at a high level, but Walsh can’t say that the Falcons have a true winning tradition yet.
“I’d like to think so, but I don’t know yet. It’s only been two years. Other schools have put two good years together,” Walsh said. “I think that it’s very important that this senior class passes it down to the other kids and that they buy in. Winning does breed winning, but you also have to have talented players.”