The Big Squeeze

by Eric Bal


I'll never forget that night in the fall of Freshman year, 1967. I went to the HF basketball game with some of my Freshman B classmates, Gary Ferrante, Tom Brophy, Louie Carpenito, Mike Vaclavicek, and some others. Who would have expected the strange event that would happen and bring the game temporarily to a halt.

We filtered into our usual seats way up at the top of tall stands along the wall that housed the entrance door into the gym. We found that we were sharing that lofty seating place with some guys from the Freshman A class, Jim Azzolini, Mike Lombardo, Patrick McCort, Jim Callegy and some others. They were a different click than ours, and we wound up jawing at each other relentlessly.

While the game was ongoing our two groups kept sniping at the other, with verbal vollies, with thrown objects, with taken possessions, and so on.

Then it started. Our two groups started pushing each other. All of us were pushing in their direction, hoping to push them off their end of the stands. They pushed back, all of them, trying to push us the other way.

The stuggle was intense. Those in the middle were getting crushed. But neither side would relent. Eventually those in the very middle, who were subjected to the full force from both groups, started to magically get pushed up towards the ceiling, creating a bizare sight!! Freshman getting crushed up into the air!!

Needless to say this intense struggle with its incredible movement of bodies towards the ceiling, caused all the basketball spectators to watch this spectacle. No one was watching the game!

So the game was officially stopped. If I recall correctly Father Young appeared and demanded that we immediately desist from any further disruptive behavior or we would be ejected from the gym. So we calmed down. And the game then continued ...