“Bobby and Eddie”

Through the years, many people have asked me about some of my outstanding runners.  Each one is a story in itself.  My most famous runner was a kid named Bobby Goss.  God sent him to me when he was in the 7th grade, and I was coaching the Chelsea Central Junior High School track team.  In the history of school boy distance runners, there have been only a few with the God given natural talent that Bobby Goss possessed. Most kids that get to like running distance races have to work very hard to be as good as they can. Bobby worked hard to get better, but it also came so much easier for him to ultimately get the great results that he did. Bobby Goss was one of the most talented school boy milers that a coach could ever have. Bobby’s auspicious freshman debuts in both cross country and mile competitions are the things that Hollywood script writers dream about. As a freshman, he not only won his first cross country race (he would go undefeated in duel meet competition his entire career), but in doing so he defeated a (senior) all scholastic two mile champion. Bobby’s introduction to the varsity mile, in invitational competition, was against the very best school boy milers in the state. They were all seasoned upper classmen. Among them was Catholic Memorial’s Billy Martin, a runner who had never lost a varsity race and had won the all class state meet cross country championship less than two months earlier by running down Wayland’s great distance runner, Alberto Salazar.  Bobby led from start to finish in that race (The Coaches’ Invitational Mile), and in doing so set a new national freshman mile record of 4:23, breaking the old record by an amazing 10 seconds. By the time Bobby was a senior, his "story book "career was culminated by him winning the all class state meet outdoor mile. In indoor track, he devastated a field of some of the very best milers in the country when he won the "Easterns" by an amazing 60 yards. The entire track world had now known about the "phenom" from Chelsea, Massachusetts, named "Bobby Goss."

Eddie Richard was not a born gifted runner. His varsity debut as a freshman was inauspicious as he finished 9th in a field of 12. His time was 14:41 which was two minutes and 21 seconds behind the winning time. Eddie looked at that race as something to build on. Eddie was the "hardest worker" that I not only coached, but have ever been around in all my years in the sport of track and cross country. All the kids I coached worked hard. They had to. Their record certainly speaks for itself. But nobody ever worked harder than Eddie Richard. Although Eddie, unlike Bobby, was anything like a "phenom," his ascent to being one of the very best school boy stars around was "phenomenal." This was all through hard work, dedication and perseverance. Eddie, like Bobby, was a product of my junior high program. He was the youngest of the four "Richard" brothers that I had the privilege of coaching. Two of them, Jim and Jack, had been Captains of both our cross country and track teams. Eddie’s sophomore year as a cross country runner was his "break out season." He and Bobby went on to be one of the top duos in Massachusetts cross country for the next three years. In thirty duel meet races, Eddie ran second twenty five times to Bobby’s first place finishes. One of his few non-second place finishes was a third place finish behind Bobby and Revere’s ace Dom Finelli in that great show down meet against the then defending GBL Champions. In some of the big Invitational meets we had, Eddie’s performance was always all out with great results. He finished sixth in the Div 4 state meet his sophomore and senior year, eleventh in the all state as a senior. He was a member of the Massachusetts team that beat Connecticut for the inter-state championship. Bobby was the individual winner in that race. Eddie ran second behind Bobby in the prestigious Greater Boston League/Northeast Conference All-Star meet as a senior. In one of the biggest east coast cross country invitationals, The Our Lady of Providence, Eddie finished third as a junior and fourth his senior year. Eddie Richard became only the second person to run under 14 minutes on the GBL home course at Medford’s Playstead Park. In one of his finest efforts, Eddie was the individual winner in the "Northern Area" cross country meet his senior year. In track, Eddie had his own spotlight. He went undefeated in the two mile his junior and senior years. He ran second in the class "C" two mile his junior year and won it his senior year. Eddie holds both the indoor and outdoor two mile CHS record. His also holds several "relay records." With all these great accomplishments as a high school runner, I would be remiss as a coach, if I did not point out that Eddie went on to be a tremendous college runner. He ran for an outstanding cross country and track program at Northeastern University. Eddie ran sub nine minute two mile races three times, with a personal best of 8:56. He also ran a 4:12 mile. As the years went by, and  young aspiring runners would ask me about some of the runners I was blessed with and how could they become successful like them, I  would simply tell  them," if you are not "born" a Bobby Goss then you will have to “become” an Eddie Richard."

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