The following is a sample of the work I’ve been doing for the Fairhaven Public Schools.
Friday night lights return. On a crisp Friday evening, hundreds of students and fans packed into Fairhaven High School’s Alumni Stadium for the start of the fall Football season. The blue devils hosted Sandwich High School during their home opener game.
“It’s an honor to have an opportunity to dedicate this press box to an incredible man,” school committee chair Pamela Kuechler addressed the crowd. “This press box is dedicated to Gil Santos, FHS class of 1956, FHS hall of fame 1996, and the voice of Boston sports and New England patriots.”
Gil Santos’ friends attending the press box dedication reflected on Santos’ career. “I’ve never seen anybody fall into his profession. It was meant for him. He was meant to be an announcer.” added Dennis Duval, FHS class of 1957 and long-time friend of Gil Santos.
Before kickoff, Mark Santos, Gil Santos’ son, took to the fifty-yard line and told the crowd, “My dad had a 36-year career in broadcast with Patriots’ football. And for a kid who started in the town of Fairhaven, dreaming of being a broadcaster, my dad certainly did. “
After remarks, Blue Devil football players removed the sizable blue tarp on the press box, revealing a large plaque honoring Gil Santos. Friends and family members of Gil cheered and wiped tears away from their faces.
“A classic small town guy who made it big”
Gil Santos was born in Acushnet, and his family moved to Fairhaven, where he spent much of his childhood. After graduating from Fairhaven High School in 1956, Santos began to explore sports radio commentary, broadcasting sports games at Fairhaven High School and New Bedford High School.
Gil Santos furthered his education at Southeastern Massachusetts University. After serving in the army during the Vietnam War, he attended the New England Broadcast school. He ultimately landed a job as the broadcaster for the New England Patriots.
After broadcasting 743 games in 36 seasons, Gil Santos retired from broadcasting and received an induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame.
During his hall of fame induction speech, Santos spoke about Fairhaven High School as a cornerstone of his career. He shared a story about one of his former teachers, Mr. Wood.
“So Mr. Wood said to my parents… Every time I turn from the blackboard, he’s ‘blah blah blahing,’ to the guy on his right… I don’t know what he’s going to do for a living, but if he can get a job blah blah blahing, he’ll do ok.”
Mark Santos thanked the Fairhaven School Committee and Superintendent’s office for honoring his proposed dedication and added. “He just loved the town’s people, and they loved him back. He never forgot where he came from. My dad is a classic ‘small town boy who made it big.’”
Gil Santos passed away in April 2018 at 80, and now the Fairhaven High School press box carries the name of Gil Santos indefinitely.