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slides: Greatest Athletes in Central Mass History: Orange-Sturbridge

Friday, July 27, 2012

 

This list counts down the greatest athletes in Central Mass, alphabetically, from Orange to Sturbridge.

There are plenty of high school legends, football stars, and even one of the most recognizable body-builders in the world on this particular list. It's a rugged group of athletes who dominated their sports with plenty of power. 

There's also a pair of legendary women's basketball players, and yet again, a couple of old-school baseball stars.

Take a look at the greats from Orange to Sturbridge.

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Orange

#1: Isaiah Jones, football.

Ralph C. Mahar High School's all-time leading rusher finished his career with 5,028 rushing yards and helped lead the team to a CMass Super Bowl title in 2009. 

Teamed with Brian Beauchemin, the duo combined for over 3,000 rushing yards that season.

Jones now plays running back and wide receiver at the University of Maine.

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Orange

Runner up:

Brian Beauchemin, football. 

Beauchemin is the all-time leading rusher at Ralph C. Mahar High School, rushing for over 4,000 yards in his career. 

He teamed with Jones to form an unstoppable backfield and led Mahar to the CMass Super Bowl championship in 2009. 

Beauchemin now plays at Westfield State College.

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Oxford

#1: Carla Berube, women's basketball. 

The all-time leading scorer in Oxford history, Berube scored over 2,000 points in her high school career.

She went on to play for the University of Connecticut and its storied women's basketball program just as it was about to rise to national dominance.

Berube's Huskies went 35-0 in 1994-95, her sophomore year, and won the first national championship in school history. UConn also reached the Final Four in 1996, losing to Tennessee.

Berube went on to play professionally with the New England Blizzard of the now-defunct American Basketball League. 

She ranks 25th on Connecticut's all-time scoring list, with 1,381 points.

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Oxford

Runner up:

Bill Herrion, basketball.

Herrion was a basketball star at Oxford High School, and went on to play collegiately at Merrimack College.

As a coach, Herrion led Drexel University to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 1994 and '95. 

He is now the head coach at University of New Hampshire. 

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Palmer

#1: Bill Dunlap, MLB.

Dunlap played two seasons with the Boston Braves in 1929 and 1930. 

He received 58 at-bats with the team, hitting .241 with one home run and four RBI.

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Paxton

#1: Paul Goewey, cross country.

The Wachusett Regional High School Hall of Famer set numerous records at Appalachian State University, including 1,000 and 1,500 meter times.

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Princeton

#1: Jennifer Smith Solin, soccer. 

Solin played collegiately at the University of Vermont and on men's teams in Ecuador and women's teams in Peru. 

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Royalston

#1: Kathy Horrigan, softball, field hockey.

The former standout at Athol-Royalston High School is the only athlete to have been selected to the school's Hall of Fame as a player and a coach. 

She went on to play softball at UMass.

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Rutland

#1: George Mangus, MLB.

Like others on this list, Mangus could have been immortalized as "Moonlight Graham" in the movie Field of Dreams.

His time in the big leagues was short; he played just 10 games in the majors and collected just 5 hits in 25 at-bats for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1912. 

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Shirley

#1: Jerry White, MLB. 

White hit .253 over 11 seasons (1974-86), mostly with the Montreal Expos. He hit .253 with 21 home runs and 109 RBI.

White also played two seasons in Japan for the Seibu Lions and Taiyo Whales.

He is now the first base coach with the Minnesota Twins. 

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Shrewsbury

#1: Fred Borchelt, crew.

Borchelt competed on the U.S. Olympic Rowing team from 1976-84, competing in three Olympics.

He was part of the silver medal-winning men's eight event team at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

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Shrewsbury

Runner up:

Peter Perreault, NFL. 

The Shrewsbury High School graduate played nine seasons in the AFL and NFL in the 1960s and '70s. 

Perreault played both guard and linebacker for the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, and Minnesota Vikings.

He died in 2001, and is honored with the Peter Perrault Student Athlete of the Year Scholarship Award, presented each year to the school's best athlete.

Perreault was inducted into the Shrewsbury High School Hall of Fame in 2003.

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Southborough

#1: Laurie Belliveau, women's ice hockey.

The St. Mark's star goalie was a member of the U.S. National Women's Ice Hockey team from 1991-00.

She was named First-team All-American as a collegian at Yale, and won the Gerald R. Ford Scholar Athlete Award in 1998.

Belliveau also played lacrosse at Yale, and was the third-leading scorer and starting attack on a nationally ranked team.

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Southbridge

#1: John Fitzgerald, NFL.

Fitzgerald was a monster, 300-pound fullback at Southbridge High School, and went on to play both defensive and offensive tackle at Boston College.

He was selected in the fourth round of the 1970 NFL draft, and spent ten seasons as a center with the Dallas Cowboys, taking over the starting job in 1973.

He won two Super Bowls and played in 137 games in his career. 

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Southbridge

Runner up:

Sue Peters, women's basketball.

A standout at Southbridge High School from 1973-76, Peters remains the school's all-time leading scorer.

She is also UMass' all-time leading scorer, putting up 1,858 points in 93 games and was inducted into the UMass Athletic Hall of Fame.

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Southbridge

Runner up:

Bill Swiacki, NFL.

Swiacki played five seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and New York Giants from 1948-52.

The wide receiver caught a total of 139 balls and gained 1,883 yards in his career. He scored 18 touchdowns in his career, and found the end zone 10 times in his rookie season in 1948.

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Spencer

#1: Jim McCormick, MLB.

Central Mass truly was a hotbed for nineteenth-century baseball talent.

McCormick won 265 games and posted a 2.43 ERA over ten seasons from 1878-1887, most notably with the Cleveland Blues.

He ranks 11th on the all-time MLB complete games list with 466. 

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Spencer

Runner up:

Duane Corriveau, basketball. 

Corriveau is the all-time leading scorer in Clark University basketball history. He poured in 1,875 points, all of which before the three-point shot was introduced into the game.

Corriveau dropped 50 points on Amherst in 1964, and was inducted into the Clark Hall of Fame in 1994.

He was drafted by the Boston Celtics, and played on the practice squad during their dynastic days in the '60s. 

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Sterling

#1: Jay Cutler, bodybuilder.

The four-time Mr. Olympia champion is one of the world's most famous bodybuilders.

He won the Mr. Olympia award in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010. He also placed second in the competition four times.

Cutler is a graduate of Wachusett Regional High School.

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Sturbridge

#1: Bill Fox, MLB.

Fox was a versatile infielder who played four seasons in the majors with the Washington Senators in 1897 and the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1901.

The Holy Cross grad played in the minor leagues in stints from 1894-1901 and also managed from 1908-15.

 
 

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