Edward M. Grant, president of the Agganis Foundation Board of Trustees, has been a part of Agganis All-Star Week from the beginning.
The principal of Grant Communications and former editor of the Daily Item, Grant has watched it grow from one game, the Agganis Football Classic, to the nine games that are being played this week. “It’s the greatest weeklong celebration of high school sports in the Commonwealth,” says Grant.
Grant credits Paul Halloran, executive director of the Agganis Classics and managing editor of Grant Communications, and Attorney Thomas C. Demakis, chairman of the Agganis Foundation Board of Trustees, for building the event to the immense stature it holds today among North Shore athletes and families.
Close to 400 athletes will compete in the nine All-Star Classics that are being held this week, according to Halloran.
The former sports editor of the Daily Item and a prominent college basketball referee, Halloran said tradition has a lot to do with the event’s success and why so many seniors hope to receive the honor of an Agganis invitation and look forward to the event as the culmination of their interscholastic sports careers.
“The longevity of the event with the football game starting in 1956 and in 1995 we started adding other sports and we have gone from one game to nine games – I think there are lot of singular all-star games that are being played out there, probably the only thing comparable to this would be the Bay State Games but that’s spread out over two or three weeks.
“I think for one week to bring together this many people is what makes Agganis Week unique,” said Halloran.
The Agganis Foundation has presented more than $1.5 million in scholarships in its 58 year-history. The Foundation and Agganis Week are tributes to Harry Agganis, the former Lynn Classical, Boston University, and Boston Red Sox star who died in 1955 at the age of 26.
Halloran said a decision was made this year to hold the Agganis Foundation Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony at halftime of the football game that will be played Thursday night at Manning Field.
“We thought the ceremony would give greater exposure to the scholarship winners and the award winners simply because there will be more people at the football game than there would have been at the awards ceremony,” said Halloran. “We wanted to still recognize all the athletes and have an opening ceremony but we wanted to really shine a light on the scholarship winners especially because that’s what the Foundation is all about.”