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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Orrville History: Here & There

Got to digging through the archives tonight and stumbled on a nice little treaure chest of documents, pictures and articles. Walk with me down memory lane....

Let's start in the 1930's and work our way forward....

1.  The 1937 Red Rider Baseball team. Note the use of "Red Rider" in the text. One of the earliest references to our now common nickname. Here's an up-close of the team. If I'm not mistaken, those steps are located at the former high school, former junior high, and current home to North Elementary, although it's more East now than it is North, no?
2.  The 1937 Red Rider Basketball team. Great uniforms. Is it just me, or do the arms on the rider of the horse look different on different players....and on one player (back row) the horse is facing a different direction. Again, a close-up.
3.  The 1938 Red Rider Football team. Again, note the uniforms, the front 2 rows have a different number font than the back 2 rows...and 2 guys have plain jerseys. Maybe the top 2 rows were the JV team? Here's a more artistic shot of some of the players, along with the results from the '38 season.
4.  Fast forward to the 1970's. Here's a picture from a reunion of one of Orrville's great fastpitch teams. Plenty of familiar names in that list. Big collars and leisure suits were the order of the day apparently.
5.  Here's a shot of the four new coaches for the 1978 football season. Ho-hum right? Not exactly. Check out Coach Mac in the back....notice his shirt? Here's a closer look. Yep, the dreaded "W." Now unless that's a College of Wooster "W," someone dropped the ball. In the interest of full disclosure, Mac did graduate from COW and did coach there for 1 year before coming to Orrville, maybe he didn't have time to dive in the supply locker before this picture was taken.
6.  Lastly, here's an Akron Beacon Journal article from 1984, naming Orrville's Tom Bolyard as their player of the year. He was the first athlete from Wayne Co. to receive the honor. It's amazing to read the schools that were actively recruiting him to play football (seriously...USC, UCLA?), and how much of a can't-miss he was.
An Ohio St. commit, Bolyard was to challenge for the starting QB job in Columbus, but his carrer there never got off the ground. He left Ohio St., and eventually landed at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, where he was named a NJCAA All-American in 1986 as a punter. He then finished his college days at Indiana.
He remains what many fans call the greatest athlete to ever come through Orrville High School. That will always be debateable, but what can't be debated is that he excelled at every sport he participated in. Very few athletes elicit the "awe" factor quite like Tom Bolyard did (and still does), regardless of sport.
Hope you enjoyed that. I like doing stuff like this from time to time, the richness of Orrville sports history is matched only by it's depth.

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