DANVERS (CBS) – The Danvers High School boys’ basketball team plays New Mission Saturday in Lowell in the Division 2 North Final.

The Falcons made the jump to D-2 this year, after winning state titles the past two seasons in Division 3. Fourteen state tourney wins in a row later, the success just keeps on coming under fourth year head coach John Walsh.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jeff Brown reports

But this year things are different, after the October murder of popular math teacher Colleen Ritzer. A former student is charged with killing her at the school.

Colleen Ritzer. (Facebook photo)

Colleen Ritzer. (Facebook photo)

Walsh told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 it’s been a strange year and when that happened it was obviously “very difficult” on the kids.

He says the team has Ritzer in the ‘back of their minds’ when they take the floor and they want to represent the school well.

Walsh gives all the credit in the world to Principal Sue Ambrozavitch, calling her “incredible.” He said watching her bring everyone together last October was ‘pretty special.’

The coach said the community has been unbelievable and they come out and show support in ways that “maybe you don’t find in other communities … but in Danvers, it’s overwhelming.”

Here’s the extended interview with WBZ’s Drew Moholland


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