Newsletter subscribe

Methuen News, Sports

Methuen Field Hockey in 1959

Frank Benjamin’s book “Mr. B’s Sports Memories” is for sale. At the recent Roast in his honor, Mr. B requested that the evening’s profit be dedicated to the Canal Street Boxing Gym, a place he greatly admires for the work they do with Lawrence youth. This is a great keepsake for anyone growing up in the Merrimack Valley.
Posted: November 17, 2017 at 5:17 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Frank Benjamin

Dorothy Chadwick was the coach and was on her way to a place in the Methuen High School Hall of fame. One of the area’s finest female athletes Chadwick had some good and athletic girls on this year’s squad and they were eager to show their “Rangerette” ability and pride.

The high school was called the Tenney High School in those days and now the junior carries that name. This season was to be very special because it was to be Methuen Field Hockey in 1959 Methuen’s first ever venture into this sport.

It remains to be very popular under the tutelage of Karen McLaughlin who has recently been named the new hoop coach after serving as an assistant hoop coach under legendary coach and woman athlete Mimi Hyde who is a Hall of Famer, as welI. Karen’s daughter played for her mom and won many awards and a trip to college. Her dad, Frank, is president of the Lawrence Teachers Union. In those days not many schools were featuring girls’ sports and field hockey was not yet popular, thus the crowds were sparse.

Chadwick was fortunate that a brave and adventurous group decided to give this new sport a try. Her hopefuls included Dot Marquette, Diana Sleeper, Mary Pierce and future city league fast pitch softball player Sandy Seglin. Sandy starred for the Ace of clubs perennial champs of that league.

Other pioneers of this sport included Barbara Lancaster, Jane McQuillan, Vera Martell, Elsie Esperian, Lorna Mailhot, Barbara Lavoilette, Sharon Lane and Ursulla Stundza.

The blue and white won 3 and lost 2 with 5 games being cancelled due to sickness to one team or the other. The Rangerettes shut out North Andover twice 1/0 and 2/0; big wins as the red and black were big rivals in those days. They took the measure of Topsfield 2/1 and suffered a loss to Wilmington 2/1. With a contest looming with the defending State Champs Marblehead, the Methuen coach knew her kids had to be at the top of their game. Imagine the scene, it’s your first season ever at field hockey and you are to meet the best in the State.

Chadwick’s kids were equal to the task but the champs eke out a 1/0 win. The winners were picked to win big but the Rangerettes displaying lots of heart and courage would not give in.

Dot Chadwick, a name to remember in Methuen sports was also a physical education teacher and later the supervisor of that division in the school system was pleased at the showing of her charges against such great odds. She singled out Seglin who scored every goal except one in the season. Barbara Lancaster registered that one. Dot Marquette was the goalie only her second year at that position. Last year she was the netminder as a junior varsity player before field hockey became a varsity sport.

Ursy Stundza was a star at right wing. Others wearing the blue and white and making big contributions were Dot B udd, Sheila Pierce, Carole Androski, Susan Alt, Nancy Worth, Marie Toohey, Charlotte Whiteside, Julia Dwyer, Gail Budd, and Susan Whiteside. Frances Foster was the Captain, Dot Budd and Phyliss Whittaker were the team Managers. This team will be able to say we probably weren’t the best ever at Methuen but we will always be the first ever.

The legendary Dot Chadwick was the proud coach of that first field hockey team in 1959. They compiled a 3 win 2 loss season.