South Norwood athletes have held a leading part in Norwood athletic history for many years. The average South Norwood boy is a determined type of athlete who fully realizes and appreciates the healthful and character-building qualities to be derived in systematized athletics.

Perhaps Norwood’s most famous athlete, whose athletic achievements are still remembered throughout the state, was Johnny Dixon. Johnny was a great star for Norwood High excelling in football, basketball and baseball. People in Springfield, Worcester and other large Massachusetts cities still ask how Johnnie is faring.

Dixon won fame as a punter on the Boston College varsity football team. Coach McKenney used to pull Dixon from his end position in the line to the backfield when a long kick was needed in the pinch.

Johnnie’s other brothers, Felix and “Yo Yo”, also won fame as g misters. Jack Connor, popular physical instructor, told this reporter last winter that he considered “Yo Yo’’ the most natural athlete he ever coached. Felix also won fame for his family as a “granite block” tackle for Pat Hanley’s Boston University grid teams. He gained possibly the greatest honor in football when he was chosen as dll-star tackle by over a million people in a nation-wide poll last year.

There have been many other South Norwood boys who have won fame as all-round athletes of good, outstanding character.

George Bader is currently South Norwood’s most versatile athlete. George showed the real determination so prevalent in athletes in that section several years ago, when it is said that Bader used to practice passing a football through a barrier for hours in order to improve his accuracy and passing technique. His diligence and thoroughness ultimately won for him a Massachusetts all- scholastic rating in football along with his close friend, Johnnie Howard.

Bill Tranavitch, another South Norwood great is being acclaimed as an all-American fullback for Rutgers University this year. Bill starred as an all-round athlete for Norwood High, winning state honors in track, football, and baseball.

These are some of South Norwood’s more outstanding athletes, but there have been hundreds who have passed through the years, dominating a large part of Norwood athletics. No one can forget such names as Yero Yenkowski, George Abbott, Tony Karsh, “Smickles” Smelstor, Peter and Frank Clem, Joe Bonigli, James Elias, M. Spierdowis, “Gus” Wazniak, J. Chubet, Felix Babel, Al Trepanier, Joe Casse, Benny Duikis, Hilda Zimlicki, Bill Di Marzio, and Gazio Gugliotta.



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