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Garfield Heights High School
Class of 1966

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At the conclusion of the 1965-1966 interscholastic athletic program, the athletic council held its annual All-Sports Banquet to honor varsity letter winners and to present a MVP trophy to the most outstanding letterman in each sport. The banquet was held on June 1, 1966, in the High School's cafeteria. Guests included coaches, varsity letter-holders, and parents. Dinner was served before the awards ceremony.

Those recognized for their athletic achievements as the most valuable player in their sport were: Rich Globokar (baseball); Rich Globokar (basketball); Stanley Slempka (bowling); Terry Cottrell (cross-country); Bob Ritley (football); Don Antenucci (golf); Tom Waryas (track); and Mike Rubin (wrestling). Rich Globokar won two MVP awards during the 1965-1966 season. The MVP warded to Terry Cottrell was his second in two years.

The final event of the evening was the presentation of the Hertrick Memorial Award to the varsity athlete with the highest grade point average. The 1965-1966 ward went to wrestler Geoffrey Karney who in fact was co-valedictorian of the Class of 1966.

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Today's high schools have awards systems that are slightly different from the one used at Garfield Heights for the Class of 1966. Here's how ours worked.

NUMERALS: Interscholastic sports in ninth grade were divided into first and second teams. In high school there would be varsity and junior varsity of the same sport. Those on the first team who competed against other schools were eligible to be awarded their numerals. These numerals (1966) would be sewn onto the official letter sweater. This all-wool sweater was of the cardigan-style and purchased (usually) at Blepp-Coombs on Prospect Avenue near East Ninth Street in downtown Cleveland. It is this sweater that one would hope to later a varsity letter. The 19 was sewn to the right shoulder and the 66 to the left. For small extra charge your first name was added to the right-front-bottom of the sweater. These freshman numerals were however not acceptable at the Senior High, where a sweater with numerals only was looked upon unfavorably by upper-classmates, so the sweaters were put away until a varsity letter could be won.

VARSITY LETTER: All interscholastic sports had both a varsity and junior varsity team. Not everyone on the varsity teams received a letter. Earning a letter meant that the recipient reached a certain level of performance in the sport in which it was awarded. There were no smaller junior varsity letters awarded. The letter was made of chenille fabric and only one was ever actually awarded to an athlete in a sport. Preparing the Letter sweater required no 19 on the right shoulder and a small 66 on the left. A stripe was added to the left arm. When you earned a second letter the following year in the same sport, you added another stripe. It is important to note that a letter sweater's use was confined to one sport only. For example, one couldn't earn a letter in football and then add a stripe for a letter earned in basketball. In 1966, the maximum number of stripes for a Garfield sweater was three since a letter could not be earned in ninth grade. In addition, a metal pin was authorized to designate the sport and was worn pinned to the bottom leg of the "G". A star was worn if the athlete was the team captain.

SECOND "LETTER" AWARD: As only one physical varsity letter was ever awarded to an individual, a problem arose when one earned a letter is another sport or a second in the same sport. This issue was solved by awarding a small trophy for the second letter.

THIRD AND SUBSEQUENT AWARDS, the "SHEEPSKIN": The "sheepskin" was actually a certificate made of a velour fabric. It was awarded when an athlete earned a third letter. In the event a fourth letter was earned, the sheepskin was given back to the Athletic Director before the awards ceremony, an additional year was added in ink, and then the same sheepskin was re-awarded at the ceremony. All subsequent letters were recognized in the same manner.

AWARDS CEREMONY: There was always a fall, winter, and spring ceremony where the entire student body was called together for an assembly in the gym. Athletes who were to be recognized sat in folding chairs behind a table where the awards were placed. After a short review of the season was given by the coach, the athletes were called one by one to go up and receive their award. There were no all-day eulogies of each athlete as is the custom today.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD: This was the ultimate athletic award. In each season only one athlete on a varsity team was selected as the Most Valuable Player and considered the best on the team. Two members of the Class of 1966 were honored as such during their junior year and seven in their senior year.

THE HERTRICK MEMORIAL AWARD: This award was presented at the All-Sports Banquet to the one athlete who met three special qualifications. He had to be a varsity letterman, he had to be a senior, and he had to have the highest academic grade point average.

THE VARSITY G CLUB: Any athlete who won a varsity letter was technically a member of this club. The club, which met on a monthly basis, promoted fellowship and sometimes sponsered a dance.

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