The inaugural event of Fenway Parks 100th birthday year, was Frozen Fenway 2012; which began and will end with a “Free Skate” with college and high school hockey sandwiched in between. The first high school hockey contest featured Latin Academy and East Boston High School. The last was played yesterday, “Rivalry Day” Saturday January 14th and included Catholic Memorial and Boston College High Schools. There is serendipity in high school sports, their rivalries, their historic significance and Fenway Park.
You see 100 years ago when Fenway opened her gates, the very first non Red Sox baseball event held was a high school football game. Now this was not just any high school football game but it was Boston English High against Boston Latin High. That day in November of 1912, those schools were celebrating the 25th year of their rivalry. Thanksgiving Day 2012 Latin and English will play each other for the 125th consecutive year, the longest high school football rivalry in the nation. In the 1912 game, Latin emerged victorious 7-6 and left the field unaware that a century later two other high schools in a whole different sport would play out their passion in the same environs. The CM/BC High hockey rivalry, although not as longstanding, is filled with a heated intensity.
In the first decade of this new millennium, the Knights of Catholic Memorial have been the state’s “Super 8 Champs” in 2003, ’04’, ’05’, and ’09’. The Eagles have held that same crown in 2002, ’06’ and ’07’. It is high school rivalry at its best and yesterday it unfolded in the shadow of the “Green Monstah” upon New England’s most hallowed ground.
BC High came in as the decided favorite, sporting a record of 6-1 while Catholic Memorial’s Knights were 4-3. Yet you wouldn’t know it by the play of a scoreless first period as the Knights out shot BC 12-3. However, things turned around quickly in the second period as BC High scored 39 seconds in and added two more en route to a 4-0 win.
BC High sophomore Tom Besinger assisted on the Eagles second goal.
So the day ended with the Eagles at 6-1 and Catholic Memorial back to even at 4-4. Six weeks remain in the Massachusetts Prep hockey season and these rivals will meet again. But yesterday the young men of two Greater Boston institutions steeped in tradition made history, and when Fenway Park celebrates her 150th birthday, they will proudly tell their grandkids about the day they laced up their skates and took to “the field”. The day that heaven froze over!
And so it is on this day in Fenway Park history January 14, 2012.