Wakefield, MA – In honor of Peter Gonnella and in recognition of November being Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month, the WHS football team will be wearing purple athletic tape at each of their last home games. Peter, a 1981 Wakefield High School graduate, was a standout in basketball, an All Scholastic Athlete, a two time Middlesex League All Star, and a Wakefield Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. Under legendary Head Coach Sonny Lane, Peter was one of the top five highest scorers at that time and his record still stands for most points scored in a quarter.
In college, Peter continued to play basketball for some of the best coaches in the country, including Coach Kevin O’Neill, currently of the University of Southern California, and Tom Thibideau, currently of the Chicago Bulls. Peter went on to graduate from the University of Mississippi in 1995.
Peter’s love of sports led him to a career in teaching physical education and in coaching a variety of different sports. He first started teaching at Northeast Vocational Technical High School in Wakefield, MA. He then went on to teach at Harwich High School, Harwich Middle School, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, and Everett High School. Students will forever remember his ability to communicate, to listen, and to inspire everyone to push themselves further and to believe in themselves. In addition to teaching, Peter coached many sports, including football, lacrosse, tennis, baseball, and especially basketball. As a basketball coach at Northeast, he led his team to a Commonwealth Athletic Conference championship; the first time in eleven years. Two years later, he went on to win it again. Because of his accomplishments, Peter was twice voted Coach of the Year by the Commonwealth Conference. Peter was last head coach of the Harwich High School’s girls’ varsity basketball team, where he led his team to the Division 4 Sectionals two years in a row.