Merrimack Valley High School to establish hall of fame

Monitor staff
Friday, December 15, 2017

There’s no shortage of memorable athletes or coaches who’ve walked the halls of Merrimack Valley High School since its establishment in 1967. Now, there will finally be a place for the likes of Bob Tewksbury and Scott Drapeau to forever be immortalized in the corridors of their former school.

In conjunction with its 50th anniversary, Merrimack Valley High announced its plans to establish a hall of fame, following a similar path as several other local schools looking to honor their storied tradition of athletics.

“Last year with myself, Merrimack Valley principal David Miller and former principal Pam Burke, we started a 50th anniversary committee,” Merrimack Valley assistant principal Shaun St. Onge said. “So through conversations at the meetings that took place last year with all the people in the district ... we decided it would be a good time. We’ve never had a hall of fame and so we started getting things together for it.”

If everything goes smoothly, the plan is for the first class of inductions to take place in the fall of 2018. Nominations would be open to the public throughout the year, closing around the beginning of spring.

“Our plan is to close nominations around mid-March and that would give the committee a month or two to review the nominations and announce the class, hopefully at the end of the school year to go along with the 50th anniversary celebration,” St. Onge said.

St. Onge also noted that the number of people inducted will be based solely on nominations and they expect the number to fall within the four-to-six range, although the inaugural year could certainly change things.

“We’ll take into account this being our first year,” he said. “So there’s going to be a lot of nominations in years to come, but we want the first year to certainly be special.”

That first class of introductions will likely be highlighted by Tewksbury, a Concord native selected in the 19th round of the 1981 MLB draft who was an All-Star in 1992 and later worked as a player development consultant for the Boston Red Sox after retirement. Drapeau is also likely a top consideration after scoring over 2,000 points for the Pride before going on to have a storied career for the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team.

“I became the point person to start this so I reached out to people in the community and there’s some people that famously went to Merrimack Valley,” St. Onge said. “A lot of people know Bob Tewksbury, he came back and we had a golf tournament this fall … and that’s another thing that will go into this annually is to have a hall of fame golf tournament.

“Going back to Penacook High School, there’s some people that have come up, but there’s also a lot of people that we have to wait and see,” St. Onge said. “We’ve been able to connect with some alumni like Dave Anderson, who coached Tewksbury as a former baseball coach and was one of the original staff members on the faculty in 1967.”

The biggest hurdle for St. Onge and the rest of the hall of fame committee is simply connecting with past players while they pour over nominations.

“Our big thing is just trying to get the word out to the alumni right now,” St. Onge said. “Maybe there’s somebody we don’t know. There’s a lot of history in the district.”

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, jmcaree@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)