4/26/73-5/10/73

[Posted 6/5]

Uh oh…PATH strike…a few of your parents didn’t come home too happy during this time, I imagine.

It’s all about the baseball team this spring.  After the first five games, the varsity was only 3-2, however, and just 2-2 in Suburban Conference play.  Jim Gross shutout Millburn, but then Colin Leisher had to take the mound and Verona whipped him.  And after five contests, there was still no mention of junior Willie Wilson.

Well, that was all about to change as Wilson’s bat heated up over the next six games, all Summit wins, and the Hilltoppers reached 9-2 with a 8-0 victory over Westfield in the first round of the Union County tournament.  Wilson homered in consecutive games during the winning streak (plus he had countless other key hits), and Leisher starred at the plate, as did George Gross.  Jim Gross ran his record to 4-1 with the win in the UCT.  Rob Kelley also shutout St. Mary’s of Elizabeth in his varsity mound debut.

But the freshmen team received some good press in the Summit Herald in those days.  As of 5/10, I don’t have an overall record but our classmates were on a three-game win streak, led by the likes of Rob Guida, Rick Gross, Alan Wessel, Joe Osmulski, Mark Herman, John Merchant, Ron Ruppert, Bobby Cotterell, Pete Wallburg and Kenny Hudgins (forgot he was a good pitcher back then) and Bob Kocis.  Kocis came out of the pen to win a few.  At least these are all the team members mentioned in articles during this period.  Cotterell threw nine innings in a 2-1 win over Madison, which was the single best performance thus far that I came across.

But when it came to sports, one of our classmates was just heating up.  “15-year-old blond” Kathy Heddy.  [I didn’t write that…some anonymous reporter did.]  The week of 4/26/73, Kathy had just returned from the National AAU Championships in Cincinnati, where she was 5th in the 100-freestyle and 2nd in the 200-IM.

Heddy would soon be off on an extensive foreign tour as a member of the U.S. national team.  Talk about an experience, she traveled to London, Tunisia, Morocco, Algiers and Madrid.

Her coach commented everything was geared for Montreal and the ’76 Olympics.  Over the coming years, Kathy was to train 4 hours a day, seven days a week.

Yes, there will be lots of Kathy Heddy bits as we go through our high school years; a real superstar.

Switching gears…I just have to note that the week of 5/3/73, Susan Clark and Barb Hamilton were named to the All-State High School Orchestra, quite an accomplishment, which leads me into a personal anecdote from this past weekend.

I went to New Providence High School to see my 8th grade nephew appear in a joint Morris-Union County concert.  But as part of the affair, there was a 5th-6th grade orchestra and one of their pieces was the “1812 Overture”; rather ambitious, my brother, father and I noted as we awaited this one.  You know, the kids did well, but boy did their conductor fall short.  She didn’t have a clue what to do with the piece!

But wait…there’s more!  In the 5/10/73 edition of the Herald, there was a music review of the SHS chorus and one of their concerts.  I’m leaving out the reviewer’s name on purpose, but get what this guy wrote….remembering, again, this is a high school concert he’s talking about.

“(The) chorale’s tonal weakness is in its tenor and bass sections….It seemed to me, that perhaps too many of the men, especially in the bass section, do not attend rehearsals as faithfully or in the same frame of mind as the women do.”

Who let this joker write this stuff back then? As far as I know, he didn’t end up reviewing for the New York Times, either.

More on June 28.

BT

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