By  Kevin E. Kelly

Help keep me in the “loop”…If anyone knows of a Charlestown youngster who is competing in a sport (elementary school, high school, college, or otherwise), please e-mail me at [email protected] with the information, or photographs, and I will be sure to include them in a column.  I’d also love to hear about any honor roll students or scholar athletes.

Let the games begin…The Charlestown hockey legacy continues.  Alexa Hingston, daughter of Jim and Andrea Hingston, is off to another great start as her St. Anslem hockey team won 3-out-of-4 games to open the season.  A senior captain, Hingston made the ECAC All-Rookie Team as a freshwomen and last year added ECAC All-Conference Honorable Mention to her resume.

Not to be outdone, Tufts University (3-1-1) senior sensation Tom DeRosa, son of Tom and Kathy DeRosa, notched his second New England Small College Athletic Conference player-of-the-week award.  A two-time All-NESCAC pick, DeRosa has led his team in scoring each of the last two seasons.

Another “Townie” hockey player to keep an eye on is Harvard University freshman John Caldwell, and look for Ryan DeRosa and Michael Clough to make some noise on the Latin Academy hockey team.  Clough, in particular, has put in some serious gym time and seems primed to have a breakout year.

Is this the year Malden Catholic finally wins the Super 8 hockey tourney?  If so, once again it will be a group of “Townies” who play a big role.  In days gone by there were names such as Powers, O’Neil, Goodwin, Fidler, Devlin and Wilkins.  Today, the names are Collier, Myers, Wrenn and Carrier.

On the basketball court, “Townie” sensation Richard “CoCo” Duran, one of the most exciting point guards in the Boston City League, looks to put South Boston High School back on the “hoop” map.

The more things change, the more…The Boys Club memories I have from my pre-teen days become more treasured as time goes by.  Growing up, my friends and I spent as much time as possible there, completely absorbed in the plethora of activities that the “Club” had to offer.  Not all of the memories I have were pleasant, but certainly the good far outweighed the bad.

On Halloween, they really did scare the “begeezus” out of you inside the second floor “haunted house.”  Also, I didn’t enjoy swimming in a crowded pool stark naked and I often got paper cuts on my fingers taking the printed swim ticket out of the machine at the front desk (it was like grabbing a razor blade).  My won-loss record from the impromptu fisticuffs that inevitably occurred when walking in either direction of the “dreaded” corridor leading from the pool to the gym was abysmal and a few of the older kids at the gym were prone to throwing you down the spiral stairs.

I wonder whether Gene Lawrence, a former standout Golden Gloves pugilist, or ex-boxer Billy “Mysterious” Smith honed their skills in that same corridor.  Smith’s professional record was an impressive 21-3, which included fights in the UFBA and IBA.

On the other hand, there were the Saturday “Three Stooges” and “Flash Gordon” movies, flicking Topps baseball cards in the hallways, the ranch house and Hillbilly “Hey Days,” the Freckle Contest, the Christmas and Bunker Hill Day parties, the annual Kiwanis Club dinner, the woodworking shop, the games room, the gym (especially when they lowered the curtained partitions) with the trampoline, climbing ropes and scooters, and of course the cool feeling of being a member of the Intermediate Room (all the best stuff was there and it was definitely worth the wait to finally be able to go in).

All of these activities improved our recreational and athletic talents, but it was the adult staff who served as role models who expedited the development of our life skills.  People such as Bob Munstedt, Charlie McGonagle and Harvey Brooks helped us to understand the importance of courtesy, respect, effort and a sense of fair play.

Today, the Boys & Girls Club’s new generation of dedicated social workers continues to adhere to the same principles of decency, community and character-building, and I am comforted knowing my children are enjoying the same unique experiences and learning the same important lessons that I did so many years ago.

What’s in a name…More names to add to the list of “Townie” athletes:  Russell, Guitar, King, Brooks, Babine, Regan, Shea, Copithorn, O’Neil, Ring, Harmon, White, Noonan, Trainor, Mellen, Butler, DiDiego, Coyne, Burns, Garrett, Boyden, Griffin, Mooney, Roche, Strano, Tierney, Bryant, LaFrenniere, Connors, Melanson, Watson, Miller, Elwell, Conway, Black, Sheehan, Morrison, Chiampa, Lynch, Nolan, Goggett, Buckley, McNeil, Marra, Hurley, Gordon, Perrault, Quinn, Moore, Darrah, Curtin, McKeon, Upton, Piper, Matson, Guerelle, Arsenault, Picardi, Rose, McGrath, Ragucci, Dunbar, Ryle, Owens, Duncan and Alwood.

More name that nick…Softy, Butsy, Rumple, Bunzo, Dumma, Big Bird, Humpa, Speedy, Butch, Tanka, Kitty, Smucky, Okie, Dibs, Mac, Jimbo, Dino, Edzo, Rocky, Daisy, Ace, Deadeye, Dusty, PeeWee, Sugar, Buddy, Goody, V, Peppy, Smiley, Sunshine, Odie, Fuzzy, Snuffy, Cat, Ensign, Redeye, Hokie, Dots, Bugeye, Nipper and Wimpy.

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