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Springfield Public High School Sports Hall of Fame to induct Class of 2013

Former Commerce High School star Mike Vaz headlines the Springfield Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013  

It all began in the summer of 2007. A small group, dedicated to one idea, met in the office of Mike Martin, director of athletics for the Springfield schools.

By the end of that meeting, a Springfield Public High Schools Sports Hall of Fame was on its way. It would be patterned after Halls of Fame already in place at Cathedral, Ludlow and Monson.

Martin, whose father Bill and son Mike are enshrined in Cathedral’s Hall of Fame, became chairman of the city committee, and still serves in that role.

So far, 429 people from the city’s public high schools have been enshrined. The list consists of 391 athletes, 18 coaches and 20 contributors.

The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013 joins them Saturday night as the committee enshrines 44 athletes, three contributors and one coach – Jim Carlin of dear old Classical High School.

Mike Vaz, a Commerce football/basketball superstar, heads the list of athletes.

The ceremonies are set for Central High School’s gym. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with a buffet soon to follow.

Throughout the evening, the audience will be entertained by the School of Science and Technology’s jazz band, directed by Gary Bernice.

FALCONS IN FESTIVAL: The Springfield Falcons will be part of the “Festival of Trees,” a fund-raiser that will take place from Nov. 29 to Dec. 15.

The 130 businesses and organizations involved each will donate a Christmas tree to be raffled off, with proceeds going to the Springfield Boys Girls Club.

The Falcons’ tree, with accompanying gifts, will be on display downtown in the second floor meeting room of Tower Square, 1500 Main St. For more information, visit the Festival of Trees web site.

FOR CATHEDRAL: To raise funds in support of Cathedral’s baseball program, coach Pat Moriarty plans a “Night of Baseball” Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the John Boyle O’Reilly Club, 33 Progress Ave., Springfield.

Former Cathedral stars Scott Barnes, now on the Cleveland Indians 40-man roster, and Nick Gorneault, who serves as Northeast scout for the Los Angeles Angels, will be guest speakers.

A pasta dinner will be served and a raffle will follow a question-and-answer session with Barnes and Gorneault.

FOR EILEEN: In a recent interview, city Hall of Fame electee Terry Rhicard cited his sixth-grade teacher as one of the people who inspired him early in life.

That now-retired teacher’s name is Eileen Worthing, not Worthy, as was originally reported by Yours Truly. “She convinced me that I could do anything in life,” Rhicard said.

He went on to become a local star in baseball, then an elementary school principal. In 1993, he received a “distinguished principal” award from the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

BEST BET for the weekend: Tamarando, in the Real Quiet Stakes at Sana Anita.

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