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February 10, 2013

Memory Lane: Upset nets Methuen's Weymouth 100th victory

15 years ago: Upset win nets Weymouth his 100th

The element of surprise makes everything better, even a milestone victory.

Fifteen years ago, Methuen High boys basketball coach Jim Weymouth was seeking his 100th career victory but his 2-13 Rangers were at 12-2 Chelmsford.

Methuen trailed by three points at the half, but a dominating effort from Nick Rose (28 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks) allowed the locals to pull it out, 54-53.

“I can’t say enough for Nick. He was immense,” Weymouth said. “It was a big one for me and for the kids.”

15 years ago: Silva enters racing Hall of Fame

Ollie Silva was born into a family of 16 on a farm in Topsfield before moving to Haverhill. Silva’s driving style built over 32 seasons made him synonymous with the best in the sport, especially at Pines Speedway in Groveland.

His lightning-quick reactions and innate ability to find the front of the pack made Silva and his ‘34 Ford coupe a fan favorite. Just by seeing the “Big O” on the track, crowds knew they were in for a great race.

He had 500 career victories including in 1975 in Waterford, Conn., in a NASCAR modified field filled with drivers in well-sponsored, well-equipped vehicles. After enduring snickers from some of the competitors pre-race over his self-made ride, Silva had the last laugh as he won the race by two laps.

Fifteen years ago, Silva received the ultimate acknowledgment of his accomplishments as he was inducted into the New England Racers Hall of Fame alongside Daytona 500 winner Pete Hamilton and three-time NASCAR champ Carl “Bugsy” Stevens.

15 years ago: Hillies topple Central Catholic

Dick Licare couldn’t have put it any better, or simply, 15 years ago.

“I think (Haverhill’s) better than us,” the Central Catholic coach said after a 76-69 Hillie win. “Other than South Boston, they’re as good a team as we’ve faced in two years.”

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