There was barely a dry eye in the house.
His words drove at the very core of every person in the room. Former coaches, administrators, athletes, alumni and family by the dozens filled the banquet room at the posh Oyster Harbors Club Saturday afternoon (Nov. 25), and the room was stone silent as former Red Raider standout athlete Kerry Delaney (Class of 1972) described his late, lifelong best-friend and teammate Michael J. Duffley Sr. (Class of 1972) who passed away unexpectedly at age 52 in 2007.
"He taught his children and the youth he coached that what you put in, is what you get out," Delaney said.
Duffley was honored as the 7th annual recipient of the prestigious William Leo Shields Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor given as part of the annual induction ceremonies put on by the Barnstable High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He was one of the original founding fathers of the Barnstable Silver Bullets youth football program, a longtime Barnstable Little League coach and was co-captain of the 1971 Red Raider football team as well as the starting shortstop his senior year for the varsity baseball nine.
His son, Michael J. Duffley Jr., who co-captained the undefeated Div. 1A Super Bowl Champion Red Raiders and went on to play linebacker at the University of Rhode Island, was inducted along with his father, Mike Sr. Inducted alongside Mike Jr. was his fellow co-captain Jon Sproul who went on to captain the Columbia University team in 1998.
"The overwhelming sense of community, tradition and history that I've been blessed to be borne into," Duffley said, "I'm humbled and honored just to be in the same room with all of you."
Also inducted was three-sport captain (soccer, ice hockey and baseball) Tim Lus of the Class of 1987, BHS gymnastics superstar Kristen Pierce-Laube (1992), football and basketball star Mike Gill (1985), volleyball star Liz Curley (2003), the late William F. Naylor Jr., BHS tennis coach from 1966 to 1979, cross country and track star Jon Way (1993), three-sport captain Ryan Sifflard (football, basketball and baseball, 2003), running back extraordinaire Mike Broughton (1998), and BHS all-time golf great Lee Dion (1999).
"I was the beneficiary of being in the right place at the right time with a great group of people," Duffley said. "The tradition here is unique."
The BHS Athletic Hall of Fame Board of Directors - Kim Christian, John Ellis, Dave Pina Jr., Tom Turco, Steve Francis, Gerry McDowell, Joe Hassett and Murray Scudder - voted recently to induct new classes every other year, rather than annually. The next class will be inducted in the fall of 2014.