More than 40 years ago, the first “Barrie's Boys” were being trained to do the right thing on the track and in life. Now, the legacy of the Hall of Fame coach is being preserved for the next 40 years.
On July 7 at Autumn Ridge Golf Course, a group of former Northrop High School runners are hosting a golf outing as a fundraiser for the Barrie Peterson Scholarship Fund. The outing is designed to be an annual event but only one in a series of fundraisers needed to endow the scholarship.
“For us, it's an opportunity to give back to Coach Peterson and to recognize him for the hand he had in our lives,” said Doug Ford, 1973 Northrop graduate and one of the men behind the scholarship.
Beginning with the Class of 2013, the scholarship will award $1,000 to a graduating Northrop boys track and field/cross-country athlete who plans to attend college. The scholarship was the idea of Ford's classmate Rick Magley, who quickly enlisted the help of several former teammates. According to Ford, it didn't take much prodding.
“There was a lot of response right away,” Ford said. “We started planning the outing in the spring, and the plans came together very quickly. Support has been tremendous.”
That does not come as a surprise to those who know Peterson or any of his former runners, many of whom are still members of the local running community or serving as educators and coaches.
“He was, and is, like a second father to me as far as his influence on my life,” said Wayne assistant principal Chuck DeFord, Northrop Class of 1977. “Coach treated everybody the same, whether you were a 6-minute miler or ran under 4:30. We were all Barrie's Boys, and he taught us about doing the right thing, about perseverance and what to do in life when things don't go your way.”
DeFord told a story about his senior cross-country season when the team was struggling.
“Coach grabbed the phone and called (the University of) Oregon and asked for Bill Dellinger,” DeFord said of the famous college coach. “And Dellinger took his call! All Barrie wanted to do was help his boys, and that's what great coaches care about most.”
The golf outing begins at 1:30 p.m. and is a Florida Scramble with a shot-gun start. Registration, lunch and practice on the range begin at 12:30 p.m. Golfer registration is $75 and includes lunch, and registering by June 29 is recommended.
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