P.O. Box 968
Easton, MA 02334

Oliver Ames High School
Athletic Hall of Fame

CLASS of 2004



Long-time and highly successful Tiger coach Sue Rivard calls Beth Aries “one of the most gifted OA girl athletes of the ‘70s.” As a goalie, Aries lettered three years in field hockey. A shooting forward in basketball, she lettered four years, and was a co-captain of the hoops squad as a senior. In softball, she lettered four years, and was a co-captain of the team as a junior and senior. Basketball was Aries’ best sport; she led the Tigers in scoring as a junior and senior, and made the Hockomock League all star team as a senior.

Following graduation from OA, Aries went to Stonehill College and established herself as one of the top players in the history of the school’s basketball program. Over four years, still at the forward slot, she averaged 17 points a game, became the first Chieftain woman to score 1000 points, and was a backbone of a team that won the Massachusetts Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (MAIAW) Div. 3 championship. In 1998, Aries was inducted into the Stonehill College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Aries has coached first grade basketball in Medfield, and still plays hoops once a week in the Walpole Recreation League.



Allen Bashian’s record of accomplishment in track & field – as an athlete, coach, author, lecturer, and administrator – spans almost 50 years.

A passionate technician and student of the high jump, Bashian earned the moniker “form” for his smooth and efficient straddle technique. He won multiple Hockomock League and South Shore Principals Association titles in the high jump. As a senior at OA, Bashian won indoor and outdoor Massachusetts Class D high jump titles. That year, he finished second in the New England outdoor championships with a school record leap of 6’3”.

As a high jumper at Tufts University, Bashian lettered three years in track & field, and placed every year in the New England intercollegiate championships. Following time in academia and earning a doctorate in physics, Bashian turned to coaching. He served stints as the national track & field coach of Uganda, Gambia, and the Dominican Republic. After coaching overseas, he was the head coach at Kent State, and then coached field events at the University of Idaho and Harvard University.

Bashian has directed track & field meets, and lectured and published extensively on the sport. Today he coaches the throw events for the men’s and women’s track & field teams at Wheaton College in Norton.



Save for his freshman year in basketball, Charlie Christensen started for an OA sports team every season while he was in high school. He was awarded the J. Francis O’Neill Trophy his senior year.

His junior year, Christensen played defensive halfback for the 4-0-4 football team. At that position, he intercepted several passes on the season. As a starting forward in basketball, he played on teams coached by Jack Mason that won three consecutive Hockomock League championships. Playing first base for Clem Spillane, the lefty Christensen provided trusty fielding and high percentage batting for OA baseball teams that won Hockomock League and South Shore championships in 1945, and a Hockomock championship in 1946.

After high school, Christensen served in the U.S. Navy. Even in the service, he was passionate about sports. While in the Pacific aboard a destroyer, Christensen helped organize a schedule of baseball and softball games for the crews of four destroyers and two carriers in the division. The games were played at ports that had suitable facilities.

Since the late ‘50s, Christensen has been a golfing enthusiast and winning competitor. While living in California and Arizona, where he now resides, he has been a member of several championship teams. He also has directed golf tournaments, and helped administer a program that introduces kids to the sport. Today, a 10 handicapper, Christensen plays golf three to four times a week.



Joe Connolly is like the Energizer Bunny: he just keeps on going … and going … and going. You see, for Connolly, OA was merely the infancy of a life of tremendous athletic accomplishment, the vast bulk of which came in endurance sports – sports in which, at the age of 71, he continues to compete.

A graduate of Harvard University, Connolly has competed in hundreds of endurance events, and on five continents. He is also a championship tennis player.

Connolly was a distinguished and valuable athlete at OA, earning 10 varsity letters, and starting three years for the football, basketball, and baseball teams. He was the high scoring and playmaking guard on OA hoops teams that won two Hockomock League championships, a South Shore Tournament Class A championship (1949), and in 1948 made it to the Tech Tourney Class C finals at Boston Garden. He was awarded the J. Francis O’Neill Trophy.

Following are some of the highlights of Joe Connolly’s competitive endurance running, biking, and swimming career: completing six Ironman Triathlons (2.4 mile ocean swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run), twice winning (at the age of 52 and 56) the USA championship for his age group; completing 92 running marathons, including finishing in the top 10 in his age group in the Boston Marathon when he was in his 40s, 50s, and 60s; at the age of 60, finishing fifth in 60-69 age bracket in the Boston Marathon with a time of 3 hours and 17 minutes; at 64, finishing first in the over-50 division of a 250-mile bike race from Boston to New York City; at 70, finishing first in the over-50 division of a 50-mile bike race in Florida.



On Sunday, February 24, 1980, Don Craig received international recognition. His son, Jimmy, the goaltender for the U.S. Olympic hockey team that had just defeated Finland to cap the “miracle” gold medal run in the Lake Placid games, skated the ice of the Olympic arena and queried, “Where’s my father?” The world didn’t hear the words, of course, but with cameras rolling, it read the goaltender’s lips. The moment was immortalized.

Those watching shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that Don Craig, himself, was one heck of an athlete – a multi-sport star at OA, and a leader on both the field & court.

One of 13 kids, Craig played four years each of football, basketball, and baseball. As a senior, Craig was a captain of all three sports. Baseball was Craig’s best sport, and he was awarded a full athletic scholarship for baseball to Assumption College. However, Craig’s baseball career was cut short when, in the summer after graduating from high school, only weeks before he went off to college, he sustained a serious hand injury while working at a local factory.

Craig’s high school sweetheart, Margaret “Peg” Downey, was also a talented athlete. The two were married for 36 years until Peg’s passing in 1977. Peg apparently was never too impressed with her husband’s athletic accomplishments, and was fond of saying that she could give her spouse a run for his money in any sport.

Don and Peg Craig had eight children, six of whom graduated from OA, and two who graduated from Bishop Feehan. Two of their children played professional hockey – Jimmy in the NHL, and Danny in Europe,.

Craig served on the Easton Board of Health for close to 30 years.



John Everett is one of two OA graduates to have competed in the Olympic Games. He is among the most distinguished rowers in U.S. history.

Everett earned eight varsity letters in high school – in cross country and winter and spring track & field – and was cocaptain of the cross country team as a senior. He was also the valedictorian of his class, president of the National Honor Society, and scored a perfect 800 on the math portion of the SAT three times.

It was in his first semester at MIT that Everett was introduced to rowing. While at MIT, he rowed on teams that finished second in the national collegiate championships three consecutive years (1973-75). Less than two years after he started rowing, while still a teenager, Everett won a gold medal at the 1974 World Rowing Championships as a member of the U.S. eight-oared crew. The next year he won a gold medal at the 1975 Pan Am Games. Everett rowed on teams that won six U.S. National championships. He was a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic eight that finished ninth in the Montreal games. Everett made the 1980 U.S. Olympic eight, a crew that had a solid shot at a medal (in 1980, prior to the games, it beat the team from Great Britain that would win the Olympic silver medal that year), but it did not have the chance due to the U.S. boycott of the Moscow games. Everett also won a silver medal at the 1981 World Rowing Championships and a bronze medal at the 1983 World Rowing Championships.

Everett holds bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees from MIT, and a master’s degree from Stanford. He is a member of the National Rowing Foundation’s Rowing Hall of Fame.



“One of the best high school football players I have ever seen,” is how Richie Holmes was described by Bill Vellante, his football coach at OA. “Richie was a superb athlete who excelled in all areas of sport,” said Leo McEvoy (OA ‘52), a teammate of Holmes’s and a fellow 2004 OAHS Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. Toughness and versatility were the hallmarks of Holmes, one of the top OA athletes of the early ‘50s. Playing four years each of football, basketball, and baseball, he earned 10 letters, and was a captain of the football team his senior year.

He was a hard-nosed ball carrier on the gridiron, and was a ferocious tackler from his middle linebacker position. Yeah, he was a tough football player. How tough? Well, consider that in the third quarter of the second game of the season his senior year, he broke his arm, and played the remainder of the game. After convalescing for a total of two weeks, he suited up again for OA and played out the schedule.

In basketball, Holmes was a tenacious defender, and was frequently assigned to guard the opposition’s top offensive threat. In the spring, Holmes was the nemesis of pitchers throughout the area as he frequently hit for extra bases.

Holmes is the younger brother of 2003 OAHS Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Harold Holmes (OA ‘39), and the uncle of Butch Holmes (Haddy’s son), a 1962 OA grad who was also inducted in the OAHS Athletic Hall of Fame last year.



In his far too short time on earth, Jim Johnson achieved big things, and gave back to society in a big way. His teachers and fellow students at OA knew early on that Johnson, a sports star, was also a star in life.

Johnson, president of his class at OA for four years, was the first recipient of the J. Francis O’Neill Trophy. Gifted athletically, Johnson worked hard to optimize his gifts. He lettered all four years in basketball and baseball. Johnson battled injuries in football, but still lettered two years. “Jim was a superb athlete – fast, agile, well coordinated and tough,” said his OA teammate Herb DeCouto (OA ’45), a 2003 OAHS Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. “He was the best athlete at OA in the early ‘40s.

After OA, Johnson attended the University of Notre Dame. Following his freshman year, with the world at war, he entered the military. Johnson served in Europe as a medic with the Army Corps of Engineers from the landings on D Day to VE Day. After the war, he returned to Notre Dame, entered premed studies, and graduated in 1948. From there he went to Tufts Medical School, graduating four years later. Johnson worked as a surgeon and radiologist.

While living on Cape Cod, Johnson gave a tremendous amount of time to coaching youth athletic teams and administering youth sports programs.

Johnson was only 49 when he suffered a fatal heart attack. Many fondly remember him. The annual Dr. James Memorial Golf Tournament has been sold out since its inception more than 25 years ago. All proceeds from the tournament go to youth sports programs on Cape Cod.



Robert “Tippy” Larson did it all – playing linebacker and offensive back, and passing, punting, and kicking off – for a 1948 OA gridiron squad that was undersized, but not lacking in scrappiness and fighting spirit. Indeed, save for season-ending injuries to Larson and outside running threat Tom Buckley (OA ‘50), a 2003 OA Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, in the sixth game of the season, it stood a good chance of becoming the school’s first undefeated and untied football team. Injuries, though, are facts of life, and sport, and in that fateful contest against Middleboro at Frothingham Park, OA, then perfect at 5-0-0, lost its two top players. OA salvaged a 6-6 tie that afternoon, but dropped its final two games to Foxboro and Stoughton.

While Larson was a utility man in football, he was most effective at linebacker – a “ferocious tackler” in the words of his high school teammate Larry Hurley. Larson also pitched and played third base for the OA baseball team, and threw the shot one season for the track & field team.

Larson played a year of varsity football at the University of New Hampshire. On weekends he came down from college to play semiprofessional football for the Whitman Townies. Following college, he played semi-pro for the Brockton Pros. Larson also played baseball for the Easton Huskies.



For a while, many primarily thought of Martha MacAfee as the younger sister of Ken MacAfee (OA ‘48), a 2003 OAHS Athlete Hall of Fame inductee. That image was readjusted, though, when Martha began to write her own athletic resume on the fields of autumn and spring, and the hardwood of winter. She became one of the top all-around scholastic athletes in the area.

At OA, MacAfee played three years of field hockey, four years of basketball, and four years of softball. She was highly effective at the “inner” position for the legendary 1950 field hockey team, a squad that finished undefeated and unscored upon. She was a co-captain of the basketball team as a senior. But softball may have been McAfee’s best sport; she was an overpowering pitcher, leading OA to undefeated seasons her junior and senior years. In the Brockton Enterprise, cartoonist William Pennay portrayed MacAfee and her rocket underhand delivery. (In the cartoon, an excited fan bellows, “THAT’S ZIPPIN’ ‘EM ACROSS MARTHA, DEARIE!)

Of course, today, Martha MacAfee is known in Easton as Martha Gomes. She, along with her husband, the late Alfred Gomes, to whom she was married for 47 years, were pillars of the community. They had eight children, all of whom played sports for, and graduated from, OA. Gomes, now with grandchildren playing for OA, is as avid a follower of the high school’s teams as ever.


LEO D. McEVOY, 1952

As an accomplished athlete and devoted civic leader, Leo McEvoy has contributed tremendously to sport in Easton. At OA, McEvoy earned 10 varsity letters: two in football, four in basketball, and four in baseball. As a senior, he was selected to the Hockomock League all star team in baseball. An excellent student, he was elected to the National Honor Society as a junior and senior. He also served on the OA student council his freshman through senior years.

Playing for the varsity baseball team at the United States Military Academy at West Point, McEvoy was a catcher, starting part of his sophomore season before taking over the starting role exclusively as a junior and senior. Also at West Point, he played fullback and linebacker on his company’s intramural football squad that finished undefeated in a league that fielded teams from all 24 companies at the academy.

McEvoy served as an officer and pilot with the U.S. Army from 1957 through 1961. Following his service he returned to Easton. He started at catcher for the 1962 Easton Huskies team that won the Cranberry League championship. McEvoy served on the Easton School Committee for 12 years, including three years as chairman. He also served for four years as a trustee of Frothingham Memorial Park.



During the ‘50s and early ‘60s, one could select a basketball team comprised solely from kids who lived within a half mile or so of Frothingham Park that would be fairly competitive against most of the best high school teams in the state. One of those kids, a member of the “Hayward Street Gang,” was Charlie McMenamy.

McMenamy was a bull of an inside, down low, player during an age of OA basketball dominance. McMenamy started for OA as a sophomore, junior, and senior. His sophomore year the team made it to the Tech Tourney Class C finals before bowing to North Andover. A year later, with McMenamy (a co-captain) playing tough along the baseline and in the paint, OA gained revenge, beating North Andover for the Class C title at Boston Garden.

His senior year, McMenamy, again a co-captain, was called on to shoulder more of the scoring responsibility than in past, and he responded. Playing center, he tallied 400 points on the season, tops among all Bristol County Class B schools. Included in that total were the 49 he scored in a single game against Canton; the mark established a Hockomock League single game scoring mark. McMenamy was selected as a Record American 2nd Team All Scholastic (chosen from all public high schools in Eastern Massachusetts) and a first team Bristol County Small School All Scholastic.



At OA, Jane Miller was quite simply one of the most talented all around athletes in the history of the school, a star, leader, and focused and determined competitor on the field hockey field, basketball court, and softball diamond. But, for sure, at OA, Miller was just ramping up.

At Northeastern University – just like at OA – Miller established herself as an all around sports star. She was a standout in field hockey, basketball, and a new found passion – lacrosse – earning 12 varsity letters and captaining all three sports. For her accomplishments in three sports at NU, Miller was inducted into the Northeastern University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1983.

For all her athletic success, lacrosse is Miller’s signature sport. As a player, she was a first team New England Lacrosse Team selection from 1972 through 1977 and started for the United States National Team in 1972, 1974, and 1976. Miller not only starred on the lacrosse playing field but on the sidelines as well. She is the winningest coach in the history of the University of Virginia women’s lacrosse program, posting a 12-year (1984- 95) record of 145-44, including six NCAA Final Four appearances and two national championships (1991 and 1993). Miller was a coach for six U.S. national teams and an assistant for the 1986 U.S. World Cup lacrosse team. She is a member of the Virginia chapter of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, New England chapter of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, and U.S. Lacrosse National Hall of Fame.

Miller, the senior associate director of athletics for programs at UVA, was also head field hockey coach at UVA, with a record of 100-65-7 over nine seasons (1983-91).



John Miller was “Mr. All Around” at OA – a top-notch student, talented and competitive athlete, and exemplary citizen as well. In sports, he was not only physically gifted, but also a leader and focused competitor. Miller was president of his class as a freshman, junior, and senior, and was elected to the National Honor Society. As a junior, he was selected as the OA delegate to Massachusetts Boys State.

Miller started at quarterback for the Tigers as a sophomore and senior; he was a co-captain as a senior. He started at guard on the basketball team From his sophomore year on, and was a co-captain of the squad as a junior and senior. He played four years of varsity baseball, pitching and playing first base and the outfield; he was co-captain of the team as a senior. Miller made the Hockomock League basketball all star team his junior year. He received the John C. Mason Trophy, given to the outstanding OA boy senior student-athlete.

In high school, Miller played for the Bridgewater Junior American Legion baseball team that won the 1967 Zone 10 championship. He went to the University of Maine in Orono where he played varsity baseball.

Miller is inducted this year along with his older sister, Jane (OA ’68). They are one of three brother-sister pairs in the OAHS Athletic Hall of Fame.



During her close to 20 years of coaching at OA, Sue Rivard mentored many talented and gifted athletes, and in her estimation, Gina Silva is one of the five best (along with Beth Aries, Donna Barker, Diane Churchill, and Debbie Coe). A “fierce competitor and outstanding leader” is how Rivard describes Silva. As a junior and senior, Silva received the Easton Athletic Council Trophy, given to the school’s outstanding girl athlete.

Silva earned 10 varsity letters at OA: two in field hockey, four in basketball, and four in softball. She was cocaptain of the field hockey team as a senior, and the basketball team as junior and senior. OA won the Hockomock League championship in field hockey, Silva’s junior and senior years; she was selected as captain of the Hockomock League field hockey all star team as a senior. In basketball, as a senior, she made the Hockomock League all star team and the class state tournament all star team. She was also selected to the Hockomock League softball all star team as a senior.

At Bridgewater State College, Silva played two years of varsity field hockey, four years of varsity basketball, and four years of varsity lacrosse (with BSC finishing undefeated in lacrosse her senior year). For 15 years, Silva refereed high school field hockey and high school and college (including NCAA Div. 1) basketball.

Silva is the younger sister of 2003 OAHS Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Bob Silva (OA ’58).





Val Muscato was a beloved and legendary figure, a coach and administrator passionate about helping, teaching, and winning.

Along with fellow 2004 OAHS Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Clem Spillane, Muscato is one of the few coaches to have been inducted into three Massachusetts scholastic coaches halls of fame. He is a member of the Massachusetts Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, and Massachusetts Track Coaches Hall of Fame. Muscato was also the OA

Athletic director of 29 years, and site director for many interscholastic tournament games and track & field meets.

Wins, losses, and statistics are only partial measure of Muscato. In 1990, Boston Globe sportswriter Larry Ames wrote that Muscato has “never learned to say no to anyone,” and that he “has a genuine love of kids and a strong belief in God and his chosen work. And he fought ferociously to get things done for his family and his adopted family – the athletes of Oliver Ames, the Hockomock League and Eastern Massachusetts.”

And Muscato did some winning. From 1956 through 1975, Muscato coached the football team at OA, compiling a record of 111-58-10, including six Hockomock League championships, a share of another league championship, four undefeated teams (three of those teams were untied as well), and two Eastern Massachusetts Class D championships. He coached the boys’ basketball team from 1953-54 season until the 1969-70 season, finishing with a record of 299-63, nine league championships, two South Shore Class A championships, appearances in five Tech Tourney Class C finals, and two Tech Tourney Class C championships. As boys’ track & field coach, from 1956 through 1959, he posted a dual meet record of 28-4.



For many years, Willy Nixon was the assistant, backing up and advising his good friend and close colleague, Val Muscato. But, the fact is – and no one appreciated this more than Muscato – prior to Nixon rising to prominence as a head coach in his own right, his smarts, instincts, understanding of the game, dedication to constant learning, and ability to work with kids and fellow coaches, were critical components of OA’s championship football and basketball teams.

Nixon also coached the OA varsity baseball team for three years, with one of those teams earning a share of the Hockomock League championship. As well, he had success as a sprint and throws coach for the Tiger girls’ track & field squad; one of his athletes won an all state and a New England championship, and two others won all state crowns.

Of course, when most local sports fans think of Willy Nixon, they think of Tiger basketball. From 1970 through 1994, he was the head boys’ coach at OA, building a record of 332-175, with 11 Hockomock League championships and three South Div. II final appearances. No coach has won more boys’ basketball Hockomock League games or championships. From 1978 through 1989, his teams won nine league championships. From 1974 through 1977, his teams posted a 38 game winning streak in the league. And, by the way, Nixon’s record as the JV hoops coach at OA was 222-49. So, here’s some math: either as an assistant or head coach, coaching either JV or varsity, Nixon was on the sidelines for close to 1100 boys’ basketball games at OA.

A graduate of Stonehill College, Nixon is a member of the school’s athletic hall of fame. In 2001, he was inducted into the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.



Clem Spillane (OA ‘28) believed in academics, sports, hard work, fair play, and winning – and was hugely successful in developing student-athletes who achieved in all those areas.

“I’ll never forget the way he treated his players and how close he got to them,” said Detroit Lions coach Wayne Fontes, who played two years under Spillane before moving to Ohio. “Maybe that’s why I’m a lot closer to my players, because of a man like Clem Spillaine, whom I’ll always remember.”

Spillane was a solid multi-sport athlete at OA - but it was as a coach, not a player, that Spillane achieved iconic status.

He is enshrined in the Massachusetts Football Coaches Hall of Fame, Massachsetts Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, and Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. Along with fellow 2004 OAHS Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Val Muscato, he is one of the few in history to be inducted into three Massachusetts scholastic coaches halls of fame.

Spillane coached basketball in Maine in the mid ‘30s, compiling a record of 33-11. He coached baseball at OA in the ‘40s, winning two Hockomock League championships and a South Shore championship. He went to Wareham H.S. and amazing success: his football mark was 84-15-3, with two class titles and four unbeaten teams; his hoops squads went 208-47, with a Tech Tourney Class C title in 1956, three South Shore titles, and seven out of a possible nine Old Colony League championships; his baseball teams, over 12 years, posted a mark of 168-53, winning four OCL titles. In 1959, Spillane moved to Ashland H.S., where over 14 years, coaching the football and baseball teams, he won several championships including a Central Mass division crown in football, and back-to-back Eastern Mass division titles in baseball.



(Front row, left to right - Johnny Grant, Johnny Nelson, Capt. Joe Tracey, Tommy Long, Joe Derby; back row, left to right, Gus Nelson, Coach Harry S. Pratt, Harry “Dunc” Williams, Nils Goward)


OA has a rich basketball tradition; both the boys’ and girls’ programs have strong pedigrees, complete with high winning percentages, lots of championships, talented and committed coaches, and plenty of gifted and memorable athletes. Yet, in the more than 100 years that basketball has been played at OA, perhaps its most accomplished team is the one that took the court for the 1910-11 season.

The 1910-11 OA boys’ basketball team was the best in Massachusetts, vanquishing high school teams from the small towns as well as those from the cities. As was reported in a retrospective on the team published in the Brockton Daily Enterprise 38 years after that magical season, “The Oliver Ames High Team of the 1910-11 era won 23 of 25 games, defeating such schools as Weymouth, Quincy, Winthrop, Revere, Taunton, Boston Latin, Rockland, Dean Academy and others for the Eastern Massachusetts title, then whipping Westfield High, Western Massachusetts champs, in two playoff games for the State crown.” (In accordance with the championship determining criteria at the time, after dropping the first playoff game at Westfield, OA, on its home court, won the second game by a larger margin than Westfield had won the first, and was thereby named champion.)

Members of the best-in-Massachusetts squad were Joe Derby, Johnny Grant, Nils Goward, Tommy Long, Gus Nelson, Johnny Nelson, Joe Tracey (captain), and Harry “Dunc” Williams. The team was coached by Harry Pratt, a former outstanding athlete at Brown University where in 1900 he was recognized as one of the top collegiate football players in the country in being selected as a Walter Camp All-America Honorable Mention.

Tracey and Nelson were the stars of the team, both touted in the press as among the top players in the state. Of note is that Tracey’s daughter, Anna, appears to have inherited some of her father’s abilities and passion for the basketball. Inducted into the OAHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003, Anna Tracey Lordan (OA ‘51) is the former holder of the OA girls’ single game scoring mark at 27 points.