It’s been 28 years since Paul Duchane, a popular football coach in Lynn and other places, died of a heart attack.
Fittingly, albeit tragically, Duchane collapsed at halftime of a football game he was coaching for Matignon High School against Bishop Fenwick in 1989. He also was an assistant coach at Lynn Classical and for the Crusaders; and was head coach at Lynn English.
Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m., a girls basketball jamboree in his name will be played at Classical. As of now, the jamboree is on regardless of the weather, but stay tuned for further developments.
However, safety not withstanding, I hope the games go on regardless. Duchane was exactly the type of guy who would drive through a snowstorm to watch a high school event. He probably didn’t have to do that very often — if at all — during football season, but I imagine he would have had he been forced to.
Duchane was a very enthusiastic guy, full of encouragement and full of passion for what he did. He was always cognizant that high school sports involved more than who won and lost. His mission was to teach his players how to love the game of football (or whatever other sports he coached) and to be good, honest and productive people once the games were over.
Judging from some of the men who played under him — Lynn Police Officers Peter and Paul Holey being two — I’d say he did a very good job of that.
He was coaching right up until the day he died. When he wasn’t, he could be found in the Locust Street end zone at the old Manning Bowl, holding court with people like me, whose Friday nights always consisted of going to the football game, whoever was playing there.
I still miss him, 28 years later. He was a good guy, and it’s fitting to honor him, bad weather or not. If there’s any way you can go, you should.
Not only is it a great way to honor a great guy, it’s a good chance — if you’re a fan of girls basketball — to see what’s in store for the season. There are a lot of questions to be answered, and tonight’s jamboree is one of the first opportunities anyone will have to get them answered.
Here is the schedule for today: Marblehead vs. Ipswich, 2; Malden vs. Triton, 2:40; Medford vs. Somerville, 3:20; Swampscott vs. Georgetown, 4; Danvers vs. Fenwick, 4:40; Saugus vs. Hamilton-Wenham, 5:30; Peabody vs. Billerica, 6; Revere vs. Masconomet, 6:40; English vs. Essex Tech, 7:20; and Classical vs. Reading, 8.
Try to find a way to get to part of this.
Spectator admission will be $5 for adults, and $3 for students and senior citizens. No passes will be accepted since this is a scholarship fund raising event.
A concession stand will be open during the jamboree.