To the editor:
Although I moved away from Newburyport in the early ’70s, I still love the city, read “The News” when I can and visit every year.
I happened to see my classmate and teammate’s (Bino’s) letter to you in regard to naming the football field after Coach Stehlin.
As I recall, Coach Stehlin came to Newburyport when the class of ’65 were seniors. We always had some great athletes in Newburyport but never seriously threatened the Northeast conference (that I can remember) until Coach Stehlin’s arrival.
In only his second year NHS won a share of conference title. His third year in the fall of ’66, his team went undefeated! Conference champs!
This was heady stuff for all of Newburyport and it happened very quickly!
By the time the ’75 and ’76 seasons found NHS undefeated, I was gone and maybe Newburyport had grown accustomed to that level of success, but those early days were special and it had been orchestrated by one man — Coach Stehlin!
He really changed the whole culture of football in Newburyport. His influence went well beyond the football field too.
Coach Stehlin’s favorite word was pride. And this word was not only about playing football. It was about all aspects of life.
Sure, we knew what the word meant and at the time many of us probably didn’t really fully grasp the concept, but there was an undeniable change for the better moving forward.
Following Bino’s letter, I saw where a reader mentioned that Coach Stehlin was named on the Wall of Fame — the implication being, that was enough.
I strongly disagree. This man made a real difference in our whole community — not just on the football field.
NHS class of ‘67
Miami Beach, Fla.