After 31 seasons as varsity baseball coach at Danvers High School, Roger Day on Monday announced his retirement. Day compiled a 506-200 career record at Danvers with 27 state tournament appearances, five sectional titles, and one Division 2 state championship in 2001.
“I’ve gone way beyond what I expected,” Day said. “You just kind of know when it’s time. I still have the energy and drive, but it’s so much time, you’re so drained.”
The Falcons had several dominant stretches since Day took over as coach, including a 73-3 run from 1999 to 2001, capped by a state title. Day described the 2001 championship season as “something out of a movie,” as a mentally tough team, which lost 11 seniors from the previous year, found various ways to win, giving the program its first state title.
“That 2001 team was actually the weakest of the three,” Day recalled. “The kids were like rockstars, we had three-to-four thousand fans at our playoff games. The kids dyed their hair blonde, and the tradition stuck.”
To this day, Danvers baseball players still carry on that traditionfrom high school down to Little League. The establishment of a highly-regarded baseball legacy in town ranked as Day’s proudest accomplishment.
When he arrived at the school, the goal was to qualify for the state tournament. Now, the departing Day has changed the culture of the whole program and has earned support from the town.
“When I started this, the kids didn’t believe they could win,” Day said. “It took a lot of tradition, but now our kids believe they’re going to win every game. Without that 2001 team, this wouldn’t be possible.”
Danvers’ most recent success came in the form of three consecutive Division 2 North sectional titles, the first team in the state to do achieve that feat. The Falcons finished 14-8 last season, falling to St. Mary’s in the first round of the D2 North sectionals.
Life will go on for the 63-year-old Day after his Danvers career. He said he planned to spend spring golfing and travelling to watch his former players and offering private lessons to players of all ages.
In addition, he will continue as a part-time physical education teacher at Beverly High School.
Cardinal Spellman 3, Catholic Memorial 1 — Senior Issiah Donahue scored a pair of goals to lead the Cardinals (1-1) over visiting CM.
Holbrook 2, South Shore Voc-Tech 1 — Liam Kelley scored both goals as the Bulldogs handed coach Tim Karalexis his first varsity coaching win.
Latin Academy 2, Saugus 1 — The Dragons prevailed in the season-opener on a tally by senior Steve Dyca and an own goal by Saugus.
Lynn Tech 7, Methuen 2 — Senior Geo Martinez notched a hat trick for the Tigers.
Malden Catholic 3, Bishop Fenwick 1 — Senior Matt Soucy scored two goals to lead the Lancers in a season-opening victory.
Mashpee 3, Dennis-Yarmouth 1 — Senior captain Jack Daigneault netted the game-winner for the 3-0 Falcons.
Medford 5, Xaverian 3 — Kendy Prince tallied a hat trick for the Mustangs in the nonleague win.
Mystic Valley 7, Minuteman 1 — Junior Lukas Drahos had two goals and an assist for the Eagles.
Bridgewater-Raynham 1, Brockton 0 — Junior Coleen Campbell had the lone goal for the Trojans in a road win over Brokcton.
Durfee 2, Dighton-Rehoboth 1 — Abbey Strollo and Emily Steen each tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Hilltoppers (2-1).
Fairhaven 5, Nantucket 1 — Lexi Labonte scored a goal and added three assists for Blue Devils (1-1).
Notre Dame (Hingham) 5, Barnstable 1 — Senior captain Madison Ahern had a second-half hat trick for the Cougars (2-0).
Pentucket 1, Methuen 0 — Senior captain Jacqui Cloutier scored the lone goal for the visiting Sachems (1-1).
Sandwich 3, Bishop Stang 0 — Paige Hawkins, Lily Tobin, and Macey White scored goals for the Blue Knights.
Bishop Feehan 159, Coyle & Cassidy 191 — Sophomore Brad Gillen shot an even-par 24 in the Shamrocks’ rain-shortened victory.
Bridgewater-Raynham 230, Durfee 293 — Ryan Hackerson carded a 1-over par 37 for the Trojans (3-0).
Lynn Classical 36.5, Lynn English 24.5 — Senior Brendan Lannon (37) and junior Tim Nerich (38) led the Rams.
North Reading 118, Malden Catholic 108 — In his first varsity appearance, freshman Tyler Murphy shot a 41 to lead all golfers and seal a Hornets victory at the nine-hole Hill View Country Club course.
East Boston 5, Chelsea 2 — Captains Brittany Bonilla and Andrea Vasquez each tallied a pair of goals for the host Jets in a season-opening victory.
Fontbonne 4, Latin Academy 0 — Senior Isabella Ostis scored two goals for the Ducks in a rout over Latin Academy.
Saint Joseph Prep 4, South Shore Christian 2 — Junior Ellen Cotton scored twice to pace the Phoenix (1-1).
Weymouth 5, Rockland 1 — Drew Dempsey scored four goals for the Wildcats (2-0).
Case 3, Fairhaven 0 — Senior Madyson Medeiros shined with 21 digs in the three-set victory.
Danvers 3, Hamilton-Wenham 0 — Senior Vanessa Brown had 10 digs for the Falcons (2-1).
Waltham 3, Somerville 1 — Junior Olivia Bourque recorded four aces off her nine serves and guided the Hawks to a four set victory. Fellow junior Jackie Robinshaw tallied eight kills.
Central Catholic has hired 2005 graduate Andrew Grange as its varsity girls’ indoor and outdoor track coach. The Class B and Merrimack Valley Conference champion in the 400 meters, and a Globe All-Scholastic, Grange was the first runner to break 46 seconds in the 400 at UMass-Lowell. The most decorated track athlete in program history, he was an eight-time All-American at UMass-Lowell. He was an assistant coach at Central in 2010-11 and again this past spring.