Defense: Old School

Looking back over 40+ years of great performances by Hyde athletes, some of the brightest ones took place on the defensive side of the ball. Here are some from the old days:

November, 1969: Cardinal Cushing Academy (a Mass. school no longer in existence) had a juggernaut of a football team that routinely destroyed its opponents by 50-60 points. Coach Ed Legg’s brilliant and inspiring strategy had Barry Williams ’70 covering their all-star pass receiver. Barry rammed into him at the line of scrimmage on each play, thereby preventing him from getting out into the open field. The kid caught only 2 passes all day. We were only down by six at the half and went on to lose by 2 or 3 touchdowns, CC’s lowest margin of victory all year and a moral victory for us. I was a bench-riding sophomore and Barry’s performance left a big impression.

May, 1972: My classmate, lacrosse teammate, and good friend Donny Anderson ‘72 covered Hebron’s All-American (Maine’s first) Peter Suyama and really tied him up. Unfortunately, we didn’t do our job on the offensive end that day. (I attribute my success that year as an attackman to the way Donny worked me over every day in practice.)

April, 1978: With unrelenting (and dead-pan) persistence, Geoff McConnell ’79 shut off Proctor’s excellent all-star attackman, throwing a wrench into their offensive plans and enabling us to earn an improbable lax win over the heavily favored Hornets.

February, 1979: Mt. View HS and the Ellis sisters had come south and whooped us on our basketball court with Emily torching us for 23 points. When we went up there for the return match, we had sisters Linda ’82 and Pam Bertschy ‘81 match up with their Ellis counterparts. Pam did her part and Linda “held” Emily to 17 points. We won by 6, the exact margin of difference between Emily’s points in game #1 and game #2. (Note: Emily Ellis went on to rewrite the record books at U. Maine.)

Winter, 1979: Anne Peterson ’80 basically rewrote the rules for point guards as a defensive specialist. As her coach, I breathed easy knowing that our opposing point guard would be as busy as a Maine tourist battling a swarm of mosquitoes. Anne was a perpetual pest from opening tap to closing horn, a huge factor in our 13W & 2L season.

May, 1980: Hebron had a quick-as-lightning attackman named Antonio Minondo. Antonio and our defenseman Lee Blank ’80 had some epic duels for a couple of years. We never lost to them in that stretch but Minondo gave me coaching nightmares throughout. Lee helped put me back to sleep.

November, 1989: We were playing Cushing Academy down at Exeter in the NE Prep Soccer Semi-Finals. They had the best player (name escapes me) I saw during my decade of coaching women’s soccer. We put Danni Santanella ‘93 (a freshman!) on her. Although the girl got all 3 of Cushing’s goals in regulation, she could have had double that. (My heart would beat in double-time every time she got her foot on the ball.) We managed to match their three goals and we beat them in the shoot-out at the end for perhaps Hyde’s biggest women’s soccer win ever. Special defensive mention for that game goes to goalie Eleanor Jackson ’90. (Think Sylvester Stallone in the film Victory!)

Now that I’ve shown proper respect to the Old School, I’ll poll coaches here to identify great defensive performances of the past 20 years. Feel free to submit your memories!

Onward, Malcolm Gauld