Photo Archivist's Selection of the Month:October 1905
Football in Stamford, 1890 to 1942: Michael Boyle & Boyle Stadium
This writer recently came across a 1942 Dedication Program, naming the Stamford High School Stadium
for the late Athletic Director Michael Boyle. The following are excerpts.
|The death of our beloved teacher and Athletic Director Michael A. Boyle has left with us all a deep sense of sorrow and loss. He gave to Stamford and to our High School in particular the very best that he possessed. His fearless loyalty, honesty and devotion to duty endeared him to all those with whom he came in contact. His strength of character will ever be a fond memory and a priceless heritage that will remain with us always.
He is gone from our public life, from our school and from his old familiar place with his boys on the gridiron bench, but his spirit will live forever in our hearts, guiding and inspiring generations of the future. As this beautiful stadium is dedicated today in his beloved memory, we can truly say that Almighty God has called one of his real noblemen home to rest.
Resquiescat in Pace
“You know what to do; now go out and win!”
“MIKE” leaving the pre-game huddle.
(image from the 1937 Annual Report of the Town of Stamford)
HISTORY OF THE BOYLE STADIUM
BY GEORGE T. BARRETT
The Stamford High School Playfield, including the football field, the cinder track, the pole vaulting and jumping pits, etc., was conceived at the depth of the depression, by the Town Engineer, Mr. L. Bromfield, Jr., during the administration of the late Mr. John Hanrahan.
The entire project was planned and estimated by Mr. Bromfield and his staff and money was secured from the United States Government under a W.P.A. project for the carrying out of the work. Theoretically, the labor entailed was to be paid for by Government funds, as was the pay for the use of machinery on the project.
The materials were to be furnished by the Town of Stamford, and the work was to be performed under the supervision of W.P.A. foremen, leaving with the Town Officials the right to stop the project if they felt that it was not being properly constructed, or that it was not being efficiently carried out.
The East Side of the Stadium was partially completed on October 1, 1938, when Mr. George T. Barrett was elected First Selectman.
The baseball field had already been completed.
Under Mr. Barrett's administration, the W.P.A. plan was still carried out with some minor changes. The field itself was graded and seeded and the west stadium, with its heating plant, and locker rooms and showers, was also completed.
Plans had been made for a clam-shell band stand at the north end of the field, money was appropriated for the land but, differences of opinion and a few seemingly unimportant technicalities, have held up the purchase of the land between the present field and Holcomb Avenue. The delay has prevented the building of the band stand and extra bleachers because Government money is no longer available for the completion of the project.
The present wooden fence around the Stadium was put up in a hurry in order to control the gate receipts and assure a reasonable "take" at the gate of the different games. It resulted in a most successful season financially for the High School Football team. Later on, the fence around the playing field was erected before the well remembered Norwalk game, which taxed the field to its capacity and did away with encroachment of spectators upon the field. This has proven a constant benefit at all subsequent games.
The settling of the field has been a constant problem, due to the failure of the original builders of the field to excavate the old Betts Pond and to fill it with solid materials which would not settle.
In 1941, failing to get the necessary cooperation and the necessary funds to properly finish the field, Mr. Barrett, as the sponsor's agent, signed it over to the Board of Education, under whose control it has been since that date.
At that time, he had planned and drawn up specifications for the present metal fence which he turned over to the Board of Education. They have since had that fence erected. Today, although unfinished, this Stadium stands as a monument to the football players, the scholars, and the teachers of the Stamford High School-and particularly to their coaches, Mr. Kuczo and especially Mr. Boyle, whose thirty years record as a high school coach has never been equaled in the United States.
The approximate cost to the taxpayers of the Town of Stamford of all the work of the entire play area, including the baseball field, the football field, the cinder track and the cement stadium, has been 585,000—and the total cost of the Stadium, in round numbers, is approximately $400,000.
Good judgment and long-range planning demands the immediate purchase of the available land surrounding this Stadium. Failure to purchase this land is definitely a short-sighted, penny-wise pound-foolish policy.
George T. Barrett
The Stamford High Cheerleaders
||Front Row: Jean McConaghie, Ann Crofton, Betty Sandow, Jean Brown, Peggy Kreiter. Middle Row: Louisa Marsico, Jean Dora, Mary Stepchew, Ruth Gardella. Last Row: Sally O'Grady, Chickie Iacovo, Doris Prater, Helen Cowan.
Our famous High School Cheerleaders, who have won All-State fame year after year for their energy, inspiration and enthusiasm are the prime factor in the development of one of the finest cheering sections in the State today. Well-drilled, colorful and attractive, they are examples of the keen school spirit existing in Stamford High School. The Cheerleaders and Cheering Section are under the direction of Mr. Thomas F. Clear of the Faculty.
Stamford High School Band,
William O'Shaughnessy, Director
|| Our famous high school band furnishes entertainment and color at all of our home games. It is another worthy project partially supported by the High School Athletic Association which helps pay for uniforming, traveling, music and instruments. Under the capable direction of William O'Shaughnessy it has developed into a popular phase of the high school extra-curriculum program.
Pictured above are a group of Baton-twirlers and Bandleaders.
L-to-R Evelyn Burriesci, Jane Burriesci, Ann Keezer, Margaret Brennan.
More Photos with Michael Boyle from our Archives
1922 Basketball Team
left to right:
Girls’ Basketball Team 1920
Baseball Team 1922
Photos © Stamford Historical Society
Football in Stamford 1890 to 1942
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