Text and Photos By Steev Riccardo
This past weekend I was sitting around with a bunch of local coaches talking hoop (which was a total blast by the way) and Billy “The Kid” Herrion’s name came up in the discussion. Of course I was the one that brought it up because I usually do.
The former Oxford high basketball star was fresh in my mind for good season. I was recently interviewing Kirsten Doldoorian, a member of the Oxford High School 1000-point scorer club and we ventured into the Oxford gym to snap some photos and there was the 1000-point club banner with Herrion’s name on top hanging on the wall.
Ironically even though Herrion is the all-time boys leading scorer ay Oxford, he isn’t the all-time scorer, that honor goes to Carle Berube, who scored over 2000 points, a record that will never be touched unless some sort of a modern day miracle happens. Still “Billy The Kid’s” accomplishments in a Pirate uniform will never be forgotten.
Back to the conversation that got this all started. One of the guys sitting at the coaches’ table was Paul Bolio, who as a junior played with Herrion at Oxford, and of course reminded me that he was on the team and played in “The Game.” Yes “The Game”.
If you were around in 1976 then you know exactly what game he was talking about. It was that infamous 85-83 double overtime game in which Oxford beat Bartlett and our boy Mr. Herrion dropped in 47 points. It was without a doubt the greatest high school basketball game I had ever seen and Bolio didn’t dispute that for one minute.
As incredible as the game was it was Herrion’s performance that was out of this world. Lets not forget that there was no three-point line in high school basketball back then, which makes his performance even more special. It was a shooting exhibition that you couldn’t believe and unfortunately no one had a video camera in the room that night.
It’s great performances like that which will always be remembered. This of course leads us to some of this past school year’s unforgettable high school performances, some of which will also always be remembered.
Fornaro Mania Hits 40 (left, below): It was Megan Fornaro’s last home game and an opening round district game against North Middlesex when the senior captain went berserk and dropped in 42. She was unconscious at times, ice in her veins, hitting 8 three-pointers and putting on a clinic that left everyone in the gym shaking their heads.
Rocco’s Hit Vs. Prouty: Recently I met a kid who played for the David Prouty high school football team this past season and I told him I was on the sidelines during their game against Bartlett at WPI and we both looked at each other and said “the play” at the same time. The play we were speaking of was easily the play of the year in high school football. Well, at least in these parts it was.
Bartlett QB Ricky Spooner had just thrown an interception on the last play of the first half with his team trailing and the Prouty defender that made the interception decided to try and cross the field and run down field. He never saw Bartlett’s Rocco DiStefano (above with Megan Fornaro), who came out of nowhere and clocked him jarring the ball loose. An alert DJ Kirby-Thomas scooped up the ball and ran it 40 yards down field into the end zone giving Bartlett a half time lead which they would not surrender. The crowd was shocked and there was this crazy sportswriter jumping up and down on the sideline. It was epic.
Lemay The Strikeout Machine (above): It was opening day in high school baseball when Oxford Pirates lefty Nick Lemay set the tone for a very successful season for the Pirates striking out 16 batters en route to a 10-0 season that was unmatched in Central Mass.
On this day in retrospect like many of his other starts Lemay was unhittable. The star pitcher is headed to Becker College in the fall but for now lets remember him for producing one of the best high school performances of the year.
Honorable Mentions: There are so many other great individual performances this past year that we could mention from Shepherd Hill’s Stella Worters to Bartlett’s Nick Kobel to Oxford’s Nicole “The Franchise” Mangaudis.
If you want to get really technical about it, The View Athlete of the year award winner Emily “The Sweet Assassin” Dawidczyk, who was a running and jumping machine in Indoor and Outdoor track for Oxford could fill an entire highlight reel herself. That’s how good of a year she had.
All it all it was fantastic a real pleasure for me to get to see it all.
Photo of The Week: This week’s photo of the week is Oxford senior athletes Tyler Barre and Gina Manzi, who took a few minutes away from their busy school schedules a few weeks back to smile for the camera!
- Friday, 06 July 2012
- Posted in Categories: : View from the Sidelines