Father John J. Pierce O.F.M.
Class of 1950
Father Pierce, who spent his early years in Melrose, was an impact athlete at Concord High who excelled in three sports. However, his best sport was football and he was a bell-ringing, two-way star for Coach Bernie Megin's fabulous unbeaten and untied 10-0-0 1949 club.
Father Pierce was a fullback, linebacker and defensive back. At almost 6 feet and a rugged 175 pounds, he combined better-than-average speed with power and toughness.
Although he broke numerous long touchdown runs, including an off-to-the-races 70-yarder that helped Concord defeat a stubborn Hudson team, 20-14, Father Pierce loved the physical challenge of the sport and he was a hardhitter who used the shoulder pads to sting the opposition.
Scored three touchdowns as a junior against Lexington. During his two-year varsity football career, Concord never lost-going 20-0-0, outscoring the opposition 433-87 and posting 11 shutouts during that stretch.
Father Pierce also was a versatile track and field athlete who excelled in the long jump, high jump, 440 and mile relay for the late W. Harold "Skip" O'Connor.
In addition, he was the leading scorer and captain of the basketball team, although a knee injury prevented him from playing his senior year.
Following high school, Father Pierce enrolled at St. Bonaventure University, the alma mater of his Concord coach, friend and mentor, Walter Carew. For the Bonnies, he played with two fellow Concord Hall of Famers - Jim McKenna and the late Joe Callahan.
Father Pierce was such a good athlete that, at age 41, he played varsity hockey at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Father Pierce wore number 21 in football, the same number worn by his nephew and fellow Hall of Famer, Brian McNally.
For the past 32 years, Father Pierce has been a Roman Catholic priest serving the Order founded by St. Francis of Assisi between 1209 and 1224. Today, he is a parish priest at St. Joseph's in West Milford, NJ.