Monday, August 22, 2011

Countdown to Kickoff: 10 Days...The Legend of Jon Morris

Does time fly or what? I believe I first communicated in mid to late June about the historic event that will take place upon Mt. St. James on September 1st. We are now ten short days away from this momentous occasion which will bring together so many members of the Purple faithful. 

The outpouring of pride and passion surrounding this event has been spectacular. I thank every single individual who in their own way has played a part in assuring that this event will be an enormous success. On that note, let's dispense with further formalities, and bring you up to date on developments: 

1. Ring of Honor
I have received word that Steve Osmanski, grandson of Bullet Bill '39, will be with us on the 1st to represent his grandfather. How great is this!! 

Steve will join Vince Promuto, John Provost, and Gordie Lockbaum at midfield to welcome this year's inductees (Al Connor representing his Dad, George Connor ex' 46, Jon Morris '64, Joe Wilson '73...we should inform you that Bruce Kozerski '84 will be working his own sidelines the evening of the 1st as coach of Holy Cross HS in Kentucky. Bruce will be inducted on the 1st and will join us at Homecoming vs Harvard on the 17th). 

Steve Osmanski is one of Milwaukee's finest and we thank him and his entire extended family for embracing the tradition and displaying the Purple Pride!! 
2. Television Viewing
A few people who can not join us on the 1st have inquired about how they can view the game. The game will be nationally televised on CBS College Sports. You need to make sure your cable provider carries this station. If not, find a local establishment  that does and give another hoiah ....

3. Local Marketing  
The local marketing effort for this game is going into overdrive with direct outreach to schools, hospitals, and corporations in full swing. 

Additionally, Holy Cross will have a presence at a Worcester City Hall afternoon concert this coming Friday and in local malls. Hats off to the Holy Cross cheerleaders who will go into town to 'rally the local subway alumni'!!

4. Ticket Sales
Ticket sales remain brisk. Check the Ticket Thermometer at Fill Fitton Field ( for updates over the next ten days. 

The buzz and excitement from near and far for this game is unparalleled and dare I say increasing as kickoff approaches. I hope every individual on this distribution will join us on the 1st. How can you be a part of the event? 

If you can not join us in person, please buy a ticket or tickets and inform the ticket agent that you want to donate it/them to the Ticket Fund for needy and deserving local Worcester schoolchildren.

Thank you in advance to the alumni and friends who have displayed real Christian charity and already donated multiple hundreds of tickets to this initiative. If you can not be with us in person, please take the mere five to ten minutes tomorrow to call the HC Ticket Office and make this donation. The number is (508) 793-2573.   

5. Student Pep Rally 
I have been informed that the students will have a pep rally Thursday afternoon of the 1st starting at 5:30 in Kimball Quad and are strongly encouraged to create a Purple Wave by dressing 'in uniform' for the game.     

6. Gameday Details
5pm: Gates Open
5:30pm Football Alums and Friends Tailgate at Tent on Left Field Line at Baseball Stadium.

6:45-7:15pm Ring of Honor Recognition and Public Remarks by Honorees at the Tent referenced above

7:45pm Crusader Walk of Honor formed on Fitton Field by Football Alums and Friends for honorees and then the 'Saders!!
7:50pm Ring of Honor On Field Ceremony

8pm Kickoff to VICTORY!!

11pm est Postgame Tailgate on Left Field Line at Baseball Stadium (recommended you bring a few cold ones for this postgame victory celebration)

Parking is expected to be tight so I recommend people get to the Woo early and "get comfortable" 

6. The Legend of Jon Morris  

Thank you you to Bernard Dempsey, a teammate of Jon Morris both on the Hill and prior to that for sharing this recollection of the legend that is Jon Morris.
I regret deeply that I will not be at the ceremony to honor Jon Morris for all his accomplishments as an athlete. 

But I would like to discuss my lasting impression of Jon which is so much more treasured than him leading our high school team to the Washington, D.C . City Championship and our having played together at Holy Cross. 

Unlike anyone else who is his contemporary, I think I have known Jon the longest, going back to grade school.  Then, of course, we both played at Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C.  along with others who went on to Holy Cross, such as Jimmy Holloran and Henry Partridge.

My lasting memory is the very first day we all reported to summer pre-season practice at the Cross.  Everything was new to us with new faces, a new part of the country, rough hewn coaches, and ungodly two-a-day practices in broiling heat.  

At the end of the day we could barely make it to dinner after practice and then to Wheeler Hall to sleep. 

Jon was my roommate during that first year of summer practice.  We commiserated and groused about  everything that was new and strange.  

We talked about our families, friends, and those who were enjoying the balance of the summer in a more conventional way than were we.
Then it would thankfully come time for us to crawl in bed.  The one memory I have carried with me and I have tried to emulate from that late summer of 1960, is seeing Jon, after the lights were out, kneeling at the side of his bed and saying his night prayers to Almighty God as his last act of the day.

We all know that Jon was the farthest from being ego-driven.  Rather, he always was and remains a good man and his example sent a strong message to me that his spiritual life was more important than the acclaim which he so richly deserves.

Warm regards,
Bernard Dempsey '64

LD '83

Please share this message with family, friends, and colleagues who may not be on this distribution. 

HCGLC Mission: Committed to excellence in helping Holy Cross Football win on and off the field.

No comments:

Post a Comment