hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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October 17, 2013

Resuscitating our Sports Hall of Fame

(Continued)

He has done this for other cities where he has worked. A new committee is being formed and new members will be inducted annually.

You may know some of the honorees: Walter “Budger” Wysocki, Leo Thomas, Don White, Pat McCarthy, Mike Sargent, Roger Buchika, Paul Moran, Ann Sampson, Mike Ryan, Eugene Goodreault, Al Emilio, Joanne Goodwin and Gerry Ashworth.

All of them hallowed in their time. All of them worthy candidates. Picking one over the other for supremacy would be like favoring your own child over the siblings. Each commands their own respect and vestibule.

I see the Haverhill High football team of 1920 enshrined, as well as the St. James football team of 1924, but what happened to the Haverhill High football team of 1936 that gave up only one touchdown all season? Guys like Leo Thomas must have felt deprived.

So where did they go? Why wasn’t this perpetuated? Who dropped the ball? It’s been the city’s 30-year mystery. People have gone looking for it like a prospector panning for gold.

Well, it’s been found — lying in boxes inside the Buttonwoods Museum after once being obscurely housed at the Citizens Center, which is open primarily to our city’s elderly. The items were donated by former City Councilor and prominent journalist/talk show host Billy Pike.

Pike stepped forward 10 years after the last induction and it’s been silenced ever since.

Kicking off this renaissance are Haverhill High history teacher E. Philip Brown and English teacher Jules Kahn. The two are spearheading the Haverhill Sports Hall of Fame and Trivia Book with Kahn’s sports writing class.

Brown was eager to give a hand with this project because his History of Haverhill class had difficulty finding sports trivia when students revised the Pat Garwich Haverhill Trivia Book last year.

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