Pittsfield community mourns death of 24-year-old Gabe Anthony; woman charged with DWI

Gabe Anthony (right) plays the ball for Pittsfield during the 2014 D-IV boys' soccer championship game. Anthony played soccer and basketball for the Panthers from 2013 through 2017.

Gabe Anthony (right) plays the ball for Pittsfield during the 2014 D-IV boys' soccer championship game. Anthony played soccer and basketball for the Panthers from 2013 through 2017. Courtesy

Pittsfield's logo in remembrance of Gabe Anthony. 

Pittsfield's logo in remembrance of Gabe Anthony.  —Courtesy

Gabe Anthony (right) with his father Rick before the two officiated a boys’ soccer game between Bow and John Stark on Oct. 1, 2022.

Gabe Anthony (right) with his father Rick before the two officiated a boys’ soccer game between Bow and John Stark on Oct. 1, 2022. Chip Griffin / Photos By Chip

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 12-23-2023 2:55 PM

Gabe Anthony’s senior basketball season ended in heartbreak.

Pittsfield had finished the 2016-17 regular season 16-2 but lost its first-round playoff game to Portsmouth Christian in a major upset. Anthony had desperately wanted to end his high school career hoisting the championship plaque with some of his closest friends.

The next year, the Panthers finished the regular season 17-1 and rode that momentum to a Division IV state championship. Anthony was one of the first people the team called after they won.

“I know a lot of the kids from the ‘18 team really felt for Gabe,” said Jay Darrah, Pittsfield’s athletic director and boys’ basketball coach. “They had done it for him because they felt bad that they lost that opportunity the year before and wanted to make sure that he knew that he was just as important and part of the 2018 championship.”

Anthony wove himself into the fabric of the Pittsfield community, as a student and an athlete, and later, as a referee and game director.

On the night of Dec. 15, his life was tragically cut short along Interstate 93 in Sanbornton. Anthony was standing next to his Volkswagen Jetta in the breakdown lane when police say Kristina Perry struck him from behind. Perry was released on bail after being charged with driving while intoxicated. The Pittsfield community, meanwhile, has only begun to mourn.

Coming home, giving back

Born on April 1, 1999, Anthony graduated from Pittsfield Middle High School in 2017. He was in the ski and snowboard club, played varsity soccer and basketball, was part of the National Honor Society and won numerous scholar-athlete awards.

“As a young man, Gabe loved hiking, snowboarding and spending time with his beloved dog, Stevie,” his obituary said.

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After graduating, he decided to explore a new part of the country, attending the University of Oregon. He moved back to Pittsfield after receiving his degree and worked for a real estate company while also staying involved with local athletics as a soccer official. It was an activity he shared with his father, Rick, who is also a referee.

His dad, formerly the athletic director in Pittsfield, coached his son from the beginning. Those who grew up around Rick and Gabe didn’t have to look hard to see where Gabe’s love of sports – and competition – came from.

“Gabe was always around the game, around dad and the team,” said Pittsfield principal Derek Hamilton, who was also Anthony’s teacher and varsity soccer coach. “Soccer was his passion. He was very competitive, really hard worker, one of those players that every coach wants to have on his team.”

In addition to officiating, Anthony had returned to his old high school to be the game director for the basketball team, responsible for running the scoreboard and overseeing orderly operations on game days.

There’s something particularly meaningful, Hamilton said, when former students are willing to come back and help out the school and the community.

“You can see how much the athletic experience at PMHS had an impact on him as a student-athlete,” Hamilton said. “It just speaks to both the type of experience that Gabe had here as a player and the type of person that he was to want to give back and support that experience for others.”

‘His competitive spirit’

Pittsfield canceled its basketball games on Thursday night when the family held Anthony’s funeral service.

Darrah and Hamilton want to ensure his legacy endures. Darrah’s son, Cameron, who played with Anthony through high school, suggested renaming their “All-Floor Burn team” – for athletes who display a notable effort, energy and work ethic on and off the floor – after Anthony. Moving forward, these standout athletes will be named to the “Gabe Anthony All-Hustle team.”

They also plan to have the basketball teams wear warm-up shirts with a logo that honors him.

But when Darrah, Hamilton and the rest of the Pittsfield community look over at the scorer’s table during games, Anthony won’t be sitting in that chair manning the scoreboard; when Darrah checks his emails, he’ll no longer see compliments from other area athletic directors about how good Anthony is at officiating soccer matches; when the 2018 championship team inevitably reunites some day, one of their most memorable teammates will not be there.

The Pittsfield community will not soon forget Gabe Anthony – his selflessness, his achievements and his love for where he grew up.

“I think what I’ll always remember most about Gabe is his competitive spirit,” Hamilton said. “He was such a hard worker in practices, in games. He took such pride in his play and our team, in our school. Those types of things will be what lives on for me, that competitive spirit he always carried with him.”