Ken's Quiz: Evolution of the Tri Valley League
Bulletin Sports Editor Ken Hamwey
Bellingham sports fans are well aware that their Blackhawks play in the Tri Valley League.
The league, which was formalized in 1966, attracted schools that basically had been either playing independent schedules or competing in a small league called the “Southern County League.’’ The TVL underwent some changes in its infancy but has evolved into one of the most respected conferences in Massachusetts. Its history and the way all the pieces of the puzzle meshed is a tribute to the high school principals who decided to form the league, which is now 51 years old.
The principals chose a commissioner in 1966 — Alfred “Hap’’ Mazukina, who served as its chief for 23 years. He’s 93 years old and lives on Cape Cod. As effective as Mazukina was with his organizational skills, the circuit, nevertheless, had some early growing pains. Because of geographical concerns and enrollment differences, several schools left the conference, but others were quick to fill vacancies and become members.
The league began with 12 members; six schools formed an Eastern Division-- Millis, Medway, Medfield, Dover-Sherborn, Holliston and Hopkinton; and six more comprised the Western Division--Bellingham, Norton, Hopedale, Nipmuc, Norfolk Agricultural and Blackstone (merger with Millville came in 1967).
The TVL, which has been a 10-member league for a long stretch, increased its membership for the 2017-18 school year to 11 by adding Dedham, which formerly played in the Bay State Conference. Another school will likely be added soon to return to 12 members again.
Try your luck with this quiz and see how you fare with these 10 questions dealing with the history of the TVL.
1. Mazukina, who lived in Medfield during his reign as commissioner, was a guidance counselor, but he did not work at a TVL school. Name the school where he was employed.
2. Only seven of the original 12 schools had football on their sports menus. Name the seven.
3. True or false. When the TVL was formed, no girls sports were scheduled.
4. Name the two schools who were the first to defect from the league.
5. When the Dual Valley Conference was formed, four schools left the TVL to join the DVC. Which ones were they?
6. Name the two schools that left the Dual County League (not to be confused with the Dual Valley League) and joined the TVL in the early 1970s.
7. The Tri Valley League’s name is linked to three river valleys. Name the rivers.
8. List the five boys sports that were on the TVL’s schedule for the first year.
9. What court action at the college level sparked the inclusion of girls sports in the TVL’s scheduling?
10. When the TVL was formed in 1966, seven of the 12 schools played football. A year later, another school added the sport in 1967. Which school was it?
ANSWERS1. Wellesley High School.
2. The seven original schools that played football were Millis, Medway, Medfield, Dover-Sherborn, Holliston, Hopkinton and Norton.
4. Norton and Norfolk Agricultural.
5. Nipmuc, Hopedale, Blackstone-Millville and Blackstone Valley Tech, which had replaced Norton.
6. Ashland and Westwood.
7. Charles River, Blackstone River and the Taunton River.
8. Football, basketball, baseball, track and tennis.
9. Title IX.