Memorial vs. Central, Year 1
When friends turned rivals
Here’s the 1959 Central High football team. Front row (class of 1960): Stan Kowaloski, Bruce Jelley, Ray Belaire, Tom Hopkins, co-captain Lloyd Wells, co-captain Boyd Jajesnica, Andy Dominick, Jr., Gus Giardi, Roy Whalen, Tom Gramatikas. Second row (class of 1961): Bill McKee, Butch Tremblay, Don Stone, Ron Girolomon, John Kapranopoulos, Teddy Ling, Bill Jajesnica, Roland Cantin, Marty Martineau, Mike Kobilarcsik, Ed Wynot. Third row: Walt Rozmus (‘62), Tony Hunkins (‘61), Conrad Gagne (‘61), Bob Bergeron (‘61), Dick Bergeron (‘61), Mo Landry (‘61), Hugh Rostad (‘61), John Olson (‘61), Danny O’Neil (‘62), Rodney Hudoba (‘62), James Psaledas (‘63). Fourth row: Dave Gladu (‘62), Jimmy Dickey (‘62), Cecil Jordan (‘62), Billy Scribner (‘63), Dave Purcell (‘63), Eddie Katz (‘63), Jay Rozmus (‘63), Chuck Hennessey (‘62), Jay Botop (‘62), Paul Martel (student manager). Fifth row: Assistant coach Nicholas Gabardina, head coach James King, assistant coach Walter Tafe. (COURTESY)
One year they were teammates, the next, opponents.
At Central, meanwhile, recalls Mike Kobilarcsik, a captain and two-way starter on the 1960 team, the Little Green had mixed emotions about playing against former teammates who remained close friends.
They got over it, with Rozmus directing Memorial's ground-based attack behind that big offensive line.
Kobilarscik attributes what happened next to teenage bravado. He could have run around the end for the conversion, he recalls, but instead he attempted to run over former teammate Ed "Big Daddy" Wynot. His attempt failed, and Memorial maintained an 8-6 lead.
"Memorial won," Kobilarscik said while recently recounting the game, "and they deserved to."
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