Offensive People

Back in August I wrote in praise of great defensive performances by Hyde athletes. So, I thought I’d get offensive…. that is, move to the other side of the ball.

There are some athletes who just “get” offense. Invent a sport and within moments of taking the field, they will isolate the scoring molecule and start putting the ball in the back of the net while you’re still explaining the rules. Here are eight that immediately come to my mind from Hyde’s first 25 years (1966-91). I welcome your additions.

Dave Barr ’70 – Although he had a sweet jump shot, Dave once scored 3 touchdowns….as a tackle: 1. end zone fumble recovery; 2. blocked punt recovered and run in for 6; 3. tackle-eligible play. But, check out this sequence: Starts out on the golf team. Golf was discontinued on a Monday. Goes out for lacrosse on Tuesday. Scores 2 goals on Wednesday. That’s the way he was.

Tom Baez ’78 – 40+ point games (with both inside moves and nothing-but-net outside shots) helped us beat Maine juggernauts like Cheverus and South Portland and earned him a try-out with the Puerto Rican national team. I remember one lacrosse game that he completely dominated to the extent that in the post-game cheer the Kents Hill kids chanted: “Rah, Rah Hyde…. Rah-Rah Baez.”

Al McClain ’80 – I am a lifelong gym rat and I have never seen a better shooter than Al. He’d put it up from anywhere and he fully expected it to go in. (So did everyone else in the gym.) His 52 points against Suffield for the 1980 NE prep championship stands as the greatest individual performance I’ve seen by a Hyde hoops player. (Had there been a 3-point line, he would have had 60.) Quiet and unflappable, everyone called him “Smooth.”

Brian Ashforth ’81 – A great quarterback, soccer player, and wrestler, Brian shined on the lacrosse field as a high school All-American. He had two 60+ goal seasons, a boat-load of them assisted by side-kick Tom Burhoe ’81. The opposing coach would yell out the coming play to warn his players (we really only had one!!!) and these two would combine for a goal anyway.

Linda Bertschy ’82 – A 4-sport star (soccer, basketball, tennis, and track), Linda seemed to score at will in soccer. We weren’t keeping good records then, but I’m sure that no one has matched her in that department.

Ken McCafferty ’88 – Football, basketball, or lacrosse, Ken loved to score and did a lot of it. His 100+ yard kick-off return vs. KUA lives in Hyde lore. There was no question that he would take Hyde’s first 3-point hoop shot. (He made the first one too, but that was several shots later, if you get what I mean.) Completing the Trifecta, he was named All-American in lacrosse.

Sarah Cotterman ’91 – Four year stalwart in 3 sports, Sarah saw herself as a hoops player but I was fortunate to coach her in soccer where we went all the way to the NE prep finals thanks to her goals. The opposing team would set up a special defense to stop her and you could see the wheels turning in her mind to figure out a way to beat it.

Larquette Johnson ’91 – Whenever a Maine high school basketball player scores his/her 1,000th point, they stop the game, make a presentation, etc. It’s a major milestone. Well, there have been a dozen who have scored 2,000 points and Larquette Johnson is one of them. And as good as he was in hoops, I have always thought he was an even better football player.

Got any to add?

Onward, Malcolm Gauld