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Marlborough Sports History

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The history of sport in Marlborough, Massachusetts, from 1660 to the present. Presented January 30, 2013, by Bob Kane, curator of the Marlborough Historical Society. More information on Marlborough and on the historical society is at


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Marlborough Sports History

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Researched and presented by Bob Kane, curator of the Marlborough Historical Society

January 30, 2013

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Early Times (1660 – 1860s)

Puritans settle in Marlborow

“Time was Money”

Revolutionary War

Types of Sports 

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The First Sport


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1860 – Present• Water Sports• Snow Skiing• Fish & Game• Bicycling• Bowling• Running• Boxing• Wrestling• Harness Racing• Soccer• Hockey• Golf• Basketball

• Football• Baseball• Marlborough High• Olympic Torch• Lacrosse• Ralph Grasso &

Louis Ghiloni

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Water Sports

Popular in the 1890s 1st recorded race was June 1891 with 3 boats Raced around Lake Williams 5 times and the winning boat

was “Electric” with a time of 1 hr., 15 min., 17 sec.


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Water Sports

FT. MEADOW SKI CLUB• Organized summer of 1954 by

9 boys• Built a regulation “American

Water Ski Assoc. ski jump in 1957

• Sponsored “AWSA” official tournament

• Hosted the New England Open Championship

• Charles River expedition• Became the largest club in the

East• Harry Belafonte water skied on

Ft. Meadow in 1964


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Water Sports

• Purchased and built through the guidance of the “Recreation Dept.” and its new director “Louis Ghiloni” and dedicated in 1953 as the World War II Memorial Park


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Snow Skiing

• Late 1930s constructed a ski jump


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• 1943/44 removed jump & constructed ski hill & tow


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• 1944 organized Ski Club• 1950s - One of first in country to make

snow• 1980-81 - Purchased by City

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Fish & Game Club• Started in 1924 with a

very modest beginning as “Marlboro Sportsmen’s Club”

• Formally chartered as “Fish & Game” on July 27, 1933

• Purchased 28 acres on lower Elm Street

• Developed indoor & outdoor rifle & pistol ranges, archery course and trout pond, etc.

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Marlboro Bicycle ClubOctober 24, 1880

Bicycle Racing

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July 18, 1891 – First known race sponsored by the Marlborough Rubber Co. 7 cyclists participated. Started in Marlborough, went through surrounding communities. Won by Cliff Wolcott.

June 12, 1893 – Sponsored by Marlboro Rubber Company with the same route of the 1891 race but with 12 cyclists, and Cliff Wolcott won again.

August 1990 – Stratus Computer 20 mile bicycle race (part of city’s 100th Anniversary)

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• Bowling at Flynn’s Alleys - 1894

• Bowling Alley opened in Monument Square –1899.

• Pastimes Alleys on Rawlins Avenueo Became Allen’s Alleys in 1915.


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Allen’s Alleys in Pastimes Building on Rawlins Ave.


• Leo Ballard set world record at Pastimes• Over the years there were many different leagues

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• Bowling at Flynn’s Alleys/Six team league – March 6, 1896.


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Maple Lanes -164 Northboro Road

During WWII there were no bowling leagues for 3-4 years. Ten pin bowling came when Maple Lanes opened. Maple Lanes destroyed by fire in 1989.


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• Amateur runner/Legendary trail runner

• Has run in over 70 Marathons, 61 Ultra Marathons.

• Ran the Vermont 100 at age 72.

• Raced in over 60 Snowshoe Races.

• Busa Bushwhack Trail• Runs in 25 +/- races a



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• Won 7 Gold Medals in his age group in the

U.S. National Snowshoe Association Race.

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• 1900 – 1910o Old Marlboro Theatre -

Newton Sto Local favorites Hookie

Kane & Ed Stanton

• 1915-1928o Pastimes Hallo Sponsored by the

Marlboro Driving Clubo Local favorite Frankie


• 1928-1935o Pastimes Hall – every

other weeko Vic Lotti & Alec D’Angelo

leading lightweights in N.E.


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• In 1908, he won the Boston Athletic

Association Sparring Open.


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Lyonhurst• Many athletic events held at the Lyonhurst as well

as dancing and roller skating.

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S• Professional wrestler in the

1940s, 50s, and 60s. A total of 25 years.

• Fought Killer Kowalski and Haystack Calhoun.

• Also a body builder, winning the title of Mr. Florida.


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HENRY “MOSES” DUFUR • National Champion of Collar and Elbow wrestling.

• At age 17 defeated a 250 lb. wrestler

• Moved to the Hudson section of Marlborough

• 1863 moved to what is now Marlborough

• 1878 issued a challenge in a New York paper.

• 1880 battled John McMahan over 5 hours

• He fought 127 matches and lost but one!

Collar& ElbowWrestling

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Harness Racing Dacey’s stables started in 1896.

Marlboro Trotting Park opened May 30, 1898 Development of Pari-Mutual Harness Racing Many Marlborough people associated with Harness Racing


withDr. Eugene

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Harness Racing

JOHN HOGANHall of Fame Trainer & Driver


50+ year career as a professional Ranked among the top 100 drivers in the

country 3rd ranked in 1970 Won close to 4,700 races Won 6 driving titles One of Marlborough’s best horses

o Royal Joseph

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Harness Racing

Some of Marlborough’s Best Horses over the years

Tom Kyle’s “Highland Piper” Fred & Ruth Condry’s “Shadydale Judge” Carl Rowe’s “Justanuf” Jim Hogan’s “Shadydale Feather” & “Claude

Lybrook” Ralph Seymour’s “Southern Boy” Dr. McGee’s “Newport Ali” Jim Hutch’s “Chief Canuck” Bill Dacey’s “Tommy Song”

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Jack, driving Royal Joseph, at Hinsdale Raceway in


Jack Hogan on the right with his father, Jim, and Little Piper.

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Jack Hogan driving Southern Boy, owned by Ralph Seymour. At Jack’s left is Ralph, at his right, Bob Kane, and far right is Mike



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Started at age 6 High School All State

team 2 years 4 Years at Hartwick

College World Hockey player Olympic Games N.E. Revolution San Jose Earthquakes Kansas City Wizards N.E. Revolution



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Marlborough High School Years Played for Univ. of New Hampshire 2010 signed with NHL’s Ottawa

Senators 2012 Signed with NHL’s New

Jersey Devils.


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• Was a talented 3 sport athlete at MHS

• Was a standout player and captain of the 1993/1994 squad when at West Point

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Opened on June 3, 1922 with Francis Ouimet Exhibition match 

Golf was played on New Year’s Day, 1944

Added second nine holes in 1970 

Bob Hope and National Champion, blind golfer, Joe Lazaro played here

Over the years has had many golfers & champions but one in particular stands out…

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Won 28 “Women’s Club Championships” in 40 years.

Won numerous state championships

When she was 78 she shot her age!

She was also an outstanding athlete in bowling and was State Archery Champion for 2 years.

The new walking bridge on the 17th hole at MCC was dedicated in her name this past November.

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• View from the #4 Tee, looking east

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From 1965 to 1967 had 41 Wins and 1 Loss Won 1967 State Championship



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One of the first PGA TOUR Senior Tournaments, held in 1981o 1981 Tournament

won by Bob Goalby

Brought to Marlborough some of Golf’s All Time Greats

Won by Arnold Palmer, the “King” of Golf in its 2nd year, 1982!


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Arnold Palmer,1982 winner & Mayor Ferrecchia

Bob Goalby1981 winner

Bob Kane

Sam Snead

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The “GOLDEN ERA” 1894-1940 “Hotbed of Semi-Pro Basketball”

o 1894 Introduced to Marlborough by a YMCA instructoro Team comprised of 8 playerso Part of a 7 team league



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Basketball YMCA League folded

o Same group form “Young Men’s Athletic Club”

o N.E. Professional League

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1899 - The YMCA ceasedo Replaced by the “BBA Team”o Marlboro Basketball Assoc.o Due to a lack of suitable halls, very little

Basketball was played for 7-8 yearso except for “Williams & Ryan Team” of 1906

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1899o Games were played in the old City Hall until

it burned down on Christmas Day, 1902, not that long after a game was played there!

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1910 - The Irish Americans (I.A.A.C.) organized  The I.A.A.C. folded

o Same group formed a new team called “Williams & Ryan”

  1915 – Chris Ghiloni organizes “TD’s” (Totally Different)

o Opens season with Northboro A.A. winning 67-21 o Broke up when World War I started


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1920 – Industrial League with 6 shoe factories formed

o played for about 4-5 years  1926 – “Marlboro Bears” played until 1934

o Rated as the top team of the day in New Englando Won New England Championshipo Beat Bunker Hill K of C in quintuplet over time 23 –

22o Top notch professional teams came to play them


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Early 1930s - Company K National Guard team

o Played against the best of them  St. Jean’s was playing about the same time

o Featured local stars  1934 – popular WPA league with 16 teams formed

o 2 classes, Class A & Class Bo Marlborough’s Navy Yard dominated the Class A loopo The Navy Yard had local stars o The younger Crusaders beat out Navy Yard for title in


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World War II ended the WPA League & there was little basketball until after the war

o The Crusaders & the Bears were re-activatedo Played double-headers at St. Jean’s Hallo City league operated with a six team circuit during war


o Marlborough Boys Club organized a team with local stars that dominated play for several yearso Nucleus of group played for different teams such as

the I.C. Senior CYO, Halon’s Jewelers, Ethier’s Motors & the Boys Club in city basketball league

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Basketball 1960

o Boys Club organizes team that won 30 straight games  Another top team was the “Central Auto Rebuilders”

1962-1967o Central Auto Rebuilders, one of top Semi-Pro teams in MA 

Former top high school players Played in Lowell Town League Played all the top teams in Boston & Worcester Played Boston Patriots w/Larry Eisenhower, Nick

Buoniconti Top former high school players such as: Bill Miller, Pat


o Central Auto was last semi-pro team in city 

1968 – Presento Mostly city leagues & tournaments at the Boys Club &

High School

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Football 1880s – 1940s

o Marlboro Redskinso Marlboro Yellow Jacketso Marlboro Trojans

o Marlboro Tigers Existed for 12

years Lost only 4 games

Marlborough Tigers

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Two Marlborough athletes were in the Pros

o 1942 - Leo Brennan

played for the

Philadelphia Eagles

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Football 1960/61 Mike Long

played for the very first

Patriot’s team

Mike Long beingtackled by

Goose Gonsoulin

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Formed 1965 Won National

Championship 6 times Won Eastern League

Championship 19 times

Won 7 East Regional Titles

Seven members in National Hall of Fame

460 Wins – 98 Losses – 2 Ties


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Baseball• 1865-1870 – “Fairmount Baseball Club”

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• 1869 – Fairmount

ranked 4th in the country

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No text

• 1870 – Fairmount playedCincinnati “Red Stockings” June 10, 1870

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Baseball1878-1879 – THE “MADDEN BROTHERS”

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• 1878-1879 – The Madden Brothers• Organized in 1878• Nine brothers• Played on Stevens Field and Prospect Park• Played two years• Toured country• Played Chicago Cubs in 1880 – Lost 4-2

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o MARLBORO TEAM along with the Carters of Franklin


o BOSTON RED SOX with Cy Young

o Last game of Boston’s 1901 postseason

o Played at Prospect Park

o The Score was 4 to 3

The Game

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o Major League Catchero Played for 8 teams in 18 year careero Home Run Champion – 1891o Won 1903 World Series w/Boston Americanso Ranks 94th on MLB All-Time Triples listo Ranks 4th on MLB All-Time Runners Thrown Out list

Duke Farrell

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BaseballDuke Farrell

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• Other Marlborough people who played in major leagues

o Harry Bemis (Cleveland Indians – 1902-1911)

o John Buckley (Washington – 1889)

o Jack Quinn (Philadelphia – 1911)

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• 1948 TED WILLIAMS visits Marlborough

• 1912 - Tris Speaker and Smokey Joe Woods visit Marlborough

Ted Williams

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o 1970-1972 Philadelphia Phillies

o 1973 - Milwaukee Brewers

o 1975 – St. Louis Cardinals

o 1976 – San Diego Padres

o Player/coach Toronto Blue Jays

o Coach for Chicago Cubs farm system

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From the 1860s on, the High School has always been represented in the Athletic Field in both Football &


Marlborough High School

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• 1869 – Prospect Park• 1898 – Trotting Park• 1898 – New High School


Marlborough High School

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• 1900 – 1928 Basketball was played on & off• 1900 – 1947 Hockey was played on & off• 1906 – Traditional Thanksgiving Day Game w/Hudson


1906 MHS Football Team

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1909 MHS Baseball Team

• 1907 - Baseball lost glory of equaling “World Record”• 1909 – Baseball one of best in state

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• 1909 – Controversial Thanksgiving Day Game• 1910

o Hudson would not play Thanksgiving Day Game.o Track added

1910 MHS Track Team

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• 1914 – Midland League started

• 1914 MHS Football Team

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• 1921 – Girls Field Hockey started

• 1924 – Ward Park built


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• 1927 – Jr. High w/gym added

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• 1928 – Undefeated MHS Football Team

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1930 – Boys & Girls Basketball start 1939 – Ward Six (Kelleher Field) built 1941 – Tennis & Cross Country added

MHS 1941 Football Team with All State standout player Armand Allaire

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• 1953 – Roy Norden becomes coach of football


o Beginning of football’s “Golden Era”

o 6 Yearso 1st year no wins, then went 36-

6-1o ‘56, ’57, & ‘58 outscored its

opponents 797 to 265o 5 Midland League

Championshipso 2 Consecutive State “Class C”


1944 – Undefeated Football Teamo Outscored opposition 177-20o Average weight was 150 lbs.o Midland League Champso State Champs 

1949 Hockey/Golf/Girls Softball added

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1957 – 1st Norden Undefeated Football Team

o 9-0 record/outscored teams 281-91o Midland League Champso State Champso City raised $8,000 & sent team to Miami

• 1958 – 2nd Norden Undefeated Football Team

o 9-0 record/outscored teams 288-82o Midland League Champso State Champso City raised $4,000 and sent them to NYC

• 1958 – Rifle Team started

Roy Norden

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• These four gentlemen captained an undefeated

Marlboro High School football team.

Paul Drummey - Raymond Richer - Walter Brennan – Libby Ginnetti

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1963o New High School on Union St. opens


o Undefeated Football Team 10-0 record Midland League Champs Class C State Champs


o Gymnastics & Tennis added 

1967o Golf Team “State Champs”

41 wins & 1 loss in 3 yearso Football Team Midland League Champs

  1969 – Soccer added 1970 – Dennis Zilembo scored 41 points in a single

game 1972 – Wrestling added 1972 – Navin Rink Opens

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• 1973o Assabet Valley Reg. High School openso Girls Tennis & Track added


• 1976o Girls Volleyball addedo 1st girl to receive 4 yr. college athletic scholarship for

Field Hockey from Syracuse University - Mary Beth Russo 

• 1977o New High School on Bolton St. openso Girls Hockey


• 1979 - Football Team wins Super Bowl 

• 1985 – Girls Soccer Team State Champs 

• 1986o Boys Soccer Team Midland League Champs

& District Finalists 1987

Boys Soccer Midland League Champs & District E. Champs

Girls Soccer Midland League Champs & District E. Champs

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1988 – Girls Soccer Team State Champs 

1990 – Girls Basketball Midland League Champso “Eighth consecutive year”o Finalists in State Championship

o New Mid-Wachuset League

• 1991 – Girls Soccer Team State Champs 

1995 – New England Sports Center opens 

2003-4 – Girls Volleyball State Champs 

2004-5o Girls Volleyball State Champso Boys Hockey State Champs


2008-9 – Cheerleaders State & National Champs 

2011-12 – Girls Volleyball State Champs

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Los Angeles


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RYAN KANEIn the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay

Torch Bearer

• Ryan was one of several Community Hero Torch Bearers from Marlborough

Ryan – Mark Bonin – Bill Fiske

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Lacrosse• 2003 – Youth Lacrosse started• 2007 – Marlborough High School started• 2013 – “Boston Rockhoppers”

o Playing at the N.E. Sports Centero January – March Seasono Member of the North American Lacrosse



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Marlboro Enterprise & Hudson Sun Sports Editor

Marlboro Youth Baseball Pony League founder Little League Baseball coach 1960-1975 JV & Varsity Basketball coach, MHS 1940s semi-pro Basketball team, “Halon’s

Jewels” founder Central MA High School Basketball League

referee Marlborough Football coach Boys Club Board of Directors, Past President,

and director 1984-1994 Launched the Boys Club’s Youth Basketball

Program Started the Boys Club’s annual winter

Basketball Tournament Boys & Girls Club of America Medallion Award

and Man & Boy Award Boys Club’s Alumni Assoc. President Boys & Girls Club Teen Center dedicated in his

honor Shamrocks football team Gen. Manager Harness Racing Assoc. National & Regional

Director U. S. Harness Writers Assoc. President MHS Athletic Hall of Fame

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