From The Boston Globe
Friday night, October 11, 2013, Masconomet Regional held a ceremony at halftime of its matchup against Pentucket to honor its 1963 squad that finished 9-0, the only undefeated squad in program history.
Nineteen former Chieftains, the majority dressed in game shirts, gathered at the center of the field, to reminisce, share a few laughs, and soak in the moment. Their perfect run culminated with a 22-0 win over fellow unbeaten Pentucket.
The highly anticipated showdown was scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 23, 1963. But the nation was in mourning.
“I remember clearly, I was sitting in a classroom in the early afternoon and the public address system came on with no introduction from anybody,” recalled Dave Doughty, a cocaptain on the squad who went on to play at Bowdoin College.
“It was a radio station, it was broadcasting and it said that John F. Kennedy had just been shot in Dallas. They didn’t say he was dead yet, but it was just shocking.”
The game was postponed for one week.
Masco was the underdog against a highly touted Sachem defense that reportedly had not yielded a rush of more than 10 yards the entire season.
But star junior back Steve Chew opened the game with a 20-yard run and never looked back, scoring twice in the romp, capturing his first of two state scoring crowns in the process.
“We had a great backfield, but we had a great, great line that was second to none,” recalled Chew, who still lives in Boxford. “They could do everything, I mean some of the holes we would run through you wouldn’t believe.”
Fellow captain Dick Ray, a left end on that line, received the game ball from Hall of Fame coach Walt Roberts (the football field at the high school bears his name).
He held onto the pigskin until last Friday night.
“I still had the game ball up in my attic,” said Ray, a resident of North Hampton, N.H. “So I thought this was the perfect opportunity . . . it really belongs in the trophy case at school, and this was the perfect opportunity to present the game ball from the only undefeated season Masconomet’s ever had.”
He presented the ball to coach Jim Pugh, who is in his 25th season, who has since put it in its rightful place in the trophy case.
“It’s good for the kids to see there was pride in Masco football since the school opened [in 1959] and it’s important for our players to see that other players led the way,” said Pugh, who took the ’63 team on a tour of the high school on Saturday.
“It felt good to touch their success and have them share some of their success with the current team and current coach.”
And it was a special moment for Ray, as well, who has pancreatic cancer. “Facing what I have to face with the cancer is not a pleasant thought and this was just such an emotional boost to my spirits, it’s something that was just magical for me.”
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