The city of Boston was established in 1630. Boston Latin School (BLS) was founded in 1635; it is the nation’s oldest and most respected school! Academically, BLS has no equal. (Don’t bother attempting to compare your high school to BLS…I won’t believe your outlandish claims!) The school was originally located in Downtown Boston until 1844, when the institution moved to its current home in the Fenway area, 78 Ave. Louis Pasteur to be exact.
You want to talk alumni? We can talk alumni! Maybe you heard of these guys, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Peter Teixeira. (Not too shabby!)
It is important to note that I am discussing THE Latin School. There are two imposter institutions located within the city limits. The first is named Boston Latin Academy; it was originally named The Girls Latin School (GLS) until boys were admitted. The school was originally created as an all-girls alternative to the all-boys Boston Latin School. Eventually, the two schools became co-ed and Latin Academy became the location for the students who lacked the ability to gain admittance to BLS. Latin Academy became the second choice!
The second imposter Latin school is Roxbury Latin, located in West Roxbury. The school has a reputation for being the manly man’s Latin school. Wrestling is the most popular sport and there is a long standing tradition of singlet sharing! (Speaking of wrestling, I suggest everyone view the Booker T video on Youtube! ‘Booker T accidentally calls Hogan a N****’) The school remains all-boys, because the founders wanted to create a place where young men could gain an education without having to share the classroom with “icky” girls! (I’m sure the school dances are FANTASTIC! Sounds like good times!)
In 1881, The English High School of Boston moved directly across the street from BLS and a sports rivalry was created. Beginning in 1887, the schools have played an annual Thanksgiving Day football game, the nations’ oldest continuous rivalry. Although the game is played every year, the rivalry officially ended in 1964. Since then, BLS has only lost twice, 1981 and 1997! The Wolf Pack is currently on a thirteen game winning streak. The tensions between the two schools often resulted in street brawls, scholars against the criminals, until English High relocated to Jamaica Plain. (The fighting between the two schools is the most likely reason our rallying cry is “Bomb the Blue!” BLS wears purple to represent the royal color of ancient Rome, and English wears blue to represent the feeling the students experience when they open college rejection letters!)
There is an interesting story regarding one of the two losses. I was a senior during the 1997 season. My friend Lu was slated to be the team’s star running back, but he suffered a torn ACL during the summer practices and was unable to play. I should have joined the team, but I was focused on Basketball! (The true reason i refused to play football was the fact that my family vacationed in Florida during the summer, and I wasn’t about to miss out on the trip so I could punish my body at two-a-days! Selfish, I know!)
The team lost the game by a score of 8-6, because the offense had no identity. It was one of the worst days for me while I attended BLS. The interesting fact about the game is, “The class of ’97 gets blamed!” The annual game is played in November, so it’s known as the ’97 game. I was a member of the class of ’98! (I would feel bad, but the class of ’97 exhibited such deplorable behavior, during their senior year, that the school changed its policy, which caused us to lose our senior privileges…they can suck it!)
While playing for BLS, my cousin Kevin enjoyed destroying the soft English defense. In 1994, he led the Wolf Pack to a 41-0 victory; the 1995 game ended with BLS winning 36-12, and his career culminated in a 31-6 drubbing of the “Blue man group!” Kevin was a Four-year letter winner for Boston Latin. He ran for 1,450 yards and 25 touchdowns during his senior season, and posted over 2,000 all-purpose yards in his final year. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the Dual County League and a Boston Globe All-Scholastic choice during his senior year. Kevin was chosen as the team captain, and played in the Shriner’s All-Star game before moving on to play at UMass Amherst. (The guy was amazing, but don’t expect me to sing his praises during our conversation tomorrow!)
Last year, I joined “P” and we attended the Thanksgiving Day game. We didn’t follow the high school football season, but we were hopeful that Latin would continue to dominate. The game started off horribly for the Wolf Pack. English returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. “Did the boys in Blue pull off the massive upset?” Unequivocally, NO! BLS destroyed their “rivals,” breaking the record for most points scored in the series, 54-12! It was actually a hard game to watch; sort of like a traffic accident; we wanted to look away, but we couldn’t. With six minutes and forty-four seconds remaining in the “contest,” the Wolf Pack quarterback lined up the team in the victory formation. (That’s right! With over a quarter remaining, BLS started kneeling the ball!)
Boston Latin School will continue to dominate the Thanksgiving Day game; I will be there to watch the carnage in November! (Most of you have probably noticed that I am not a gracious winner! English High was lucky I didn’t coach BLS; we would have gone for a hundred!) Hold your collective heads up high English alumni…there is always 1997!
“Shouldn’t the institution be called ‘Boston Latin High School’?” No! The work load is above the college level. Boston Latin Higher School would be more appropriate!
Carpe Diem! Purple and White FOR LIFE! GO WOLF PACK!!!