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With the passing this month of Fred Guyer and Russ Streeter, Springfield lost two of its champion athletes from the 1950s and ’60s. Both graduated from Springfield Technical High School, Guyer in 1956, Streeter in 1961.
Guyer, who passed away Oct. 18 at the age of 81, was a late-blooming football star who went on to an illustrious career in the Springfield Fire Department. Streeter, who died Oct. 5 at the age of 76, starred for Tech in soccer, hockey, baseball and golf, then went on to more athletic glory at American International College.
Guyer never played football until he got to high school. Coach Russ Peterson spotted him one day in gym class and told him he should be playing football because of his strong physique.
Once Guyer decided to give the sport a try, he worked so hard at it that he became a star blocking back for Tech’s 1954 Western Mass. championship team led by single-wing tailback Chet Boulris. Then, as a senior in the fall of 1955, Guyer became the tailback and made The Sunday Republican’s All-Western Mass. first team.
Fred captained the Tech Tigers of 1955, and his brother Ed served as football captain at Springfield Trade in that same season.
With the Fire Department, Fred Guyer served for 36 years, retiring in 1999 as a highly decorated lieutenant.
Streeter, who died at his home in Bartlett, Illinois, was an All-Western Mass. first- team selection in soccer and hockey. Coach Milt Orcutt’s Tech team had an undefeated soccer season in 1959 and capped it with the Western Mass. championship.
In 1960, Streeter served as soccer tri-captain with Dan Socha and Al Leiper on a team that shared the WMass championship with Ludlow.
At AIC, Streeter played hockey for two of the college’s legendary coaches, Bill Turner and then Joe Buchholz.
After graduation from AIC, Russ and his wife, Connie — his Tech ’61 classmate — moved to the Chicago area where he began his career with Sears, Roebuck & Co.
T-BIRDS IN TUNE: Whenever the Springfield Thunderbirds play an American Hockey League game against a visitor from Canada, they have a soloist sing “O Canada” before the puck drops.
Such will be the case tonight at the MassMutual Center, when the T-Birds host the Belleville Senators of Ontario. Bill Squires of Longmeadow will do the honors.
Squires is a veteran of anthem singing at sporting events of all sorts. He’ll be singing the National Anthem at UMass women’s and men’s basketball home openers.
Squires’ performance tonight will be well received by both teams. The Senators and Thunderbirds each have 13 Canadian players on their rosters. In addition, both coaches, Springfield’s Geordie Kinnear and Belleville’s Troy Mann, are Canadians.
LEFTY ON CAMPUS: Larry Hasenfuss, a 67-year-old Sturbridge resident who earned a master’s degree in human services at Springfield College when he was 58, returned to campus this week for a visit. He had lunch with three of his professors, Marty Dobrow, Bill Clements and Richard Andersen.
While he was pursuing his advanced degree, Hasenfuss went out for the baseball team. He made the sub-varsity when he was 57 and did a lot of pitching.
“Larry was a rarity — a left-handed knuckleballer,” Professor Andersen said.
Andersen is well-known as the author of “A Home Run for Bunny,” about the Springfield Post 21 American Legion baseball team of 1934 that took a stand against racial segregation. The team withdrew from a regional tournament in Gastonia, North Carolina, when it found that its one African-American player, Bunny Taliaferro, would be barred from playing.
Dobrow is the author of “Going Big-Time,” the story of the rise of UMass basketball to national prominence; and “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” the story of six local baseball minor leaguers trying to make the majors.
AIC HOMECOMING: American International College’s football team (2-4) hosts Franklin Pierce (1-5) at 11 a.m. today on Ronald Abdow Field as the centerpiece of homecoming weekend activities.
The Yellow Jackets’ two victories have come on their home field, against Bentley and Southern Connecticut. Franklin Pierce comes to town with a five-game losing streak in which it has allowed 50 or more points in each game.
AIC’s weekend activities also include field hockey vs. Adelphi at 3:45 and women’s volleyball vs. St. Michael’s at 4. The schedule also includes alumni games in softball, baseball, volleyball and lacrosse.
MARTIN’S MEN: Brown University men’s basketball coach Mike Martin, a Lahovich Award winner at Cathedral High School in 1999, has a veteran team ready to start the season Nov. 5 at Bryant College.
Martin graduated from Brown in 2004 after an outstanding basketball career, and became his alma mater’s head coach in 2012.
His Bears went 20-12 in 2018-19 — the first 20-victory season in the university’s history — when he was named Ivy League coach of the year.
In addition to a solid core of upperclassmen, Martin has four blue-chip freshmen who figure to see a lot of playing time. His Bears play their first home game Nov. 9 against Canisius.
ATTENTION FAMERS: Springfield’s Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame committee needs contact information (mailing address, email address, telephone number) from the following electees in its Class of 2019, or a family member: Charles Jutras ’51, Philip Brais ’67, Martin Brick ’65, Robert Nyman ’71, Milton Jones ’72, David Plant ’64, Harold Ethier ’38, Barry Muldrew ’65, Ronnie Rose ’71, George Hargrove ’08, George Wilson ’09, Evan Graham ’07, Nate Collins ’10, Daniel Salgado ’10, Anthony Brooks ’11, Bemnet Banks ’11,Wendale Hale ’08, Jayto Teh ’11.
Electees or family members can reach committee chairman Dwayne Early at [email protected], or by telephone at 787 7100, ext. 55490.
TODAY’S TRIVIA: Last night’s World Series game was the first played in Washington, D.C., since Oct. 7, 1933, when the Senators lost the clinching Game 5 to the New York Giants 4-3 in 10 innings. The rosters of those teams included six players who would be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame — first baseman Bill Terry, outfielder Mel Ott and pitcher Carl Hubbell of the Giants; shortstop Joe Cronin and outfielders Heinie Manush and Goose Goslin of the Senators. By the way, that Game 5 featured a real save by veteran Dolf Luque, who was 43 years old. He threw four and one-third scoreless innings for the Giants in relief of starter Hal Schumacher.
BEST BET for the weekend: Maximum Security, in the Bold Ruler Stakes at Belmont.