Peter Garland '41

Class of 2013 
Football, Track, Baseball, Crew

The dominant Nobles athlete of the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, Peter Garland was revered by classmates and underclassmen for his athleticism, intellect and kindness. 
The 1941 Classbook reads: “When the name Garland is mentioned, one automatically thinks of one of the finest athletes ever to attend the school.” An incredible physical presence, taller and bigger than the other Nobles boys of the time, Peter captained two football teams through undefeated seasons in 1939 and 1940. The 1939 team was celebrated as the first to go undefeated since the school moved to Dedham in 1923. That season was summarized as follows: “Under the inspiring leadership of Peter Garland ’41, the team displayed a spirit which enabled it to develop rapidly from very inauspicious beginnings in a matter to please Blue and White supporters and confound opponents beyond all expectations.” In the fall of 1940, Peter’s senior year, he once again played a critical role as the leader of the squad: “Fortified by the return of eight veterans and the inspiring leadership of re-elected Captain Peter Garland, the boys rose to new heights, and were able to produce repeatedly an impassible goal-line when the offense failed to ‘click.’” At the end of the season, the outlook looked grim for the varsity in their final game against Milton. Peter came to the rescue -- running 80 yards for a touchdown that turned the game in favor of Nobles for good and cemented the undefeated season.
Peter was also a track captain. Coach Dick Lewis said he was “best all-around track athlete I have coached.” He earned 226 points in his track career, garnering 56 as a sophomore, an astonishing 102 as a junior, and 68 in his senior year. In 1939, Peter broke the shot put record in the Private School Meet and ran the 600 in 1.19.1, a new Nobles record. The following season, he broke his own shot put record with a heave of 54 feet. In a meet against Moses Brown, Peter “came through with a second place in the last race of the day, the 300, (shortly after having set a new school record of 5 feet, 9½ inches in the high jump), to clinch the meet 32-31.” The 1941 Classbook explains: “More than one quarter of the total points won by the track team this year were due to (Peter’s) efforts alone.  Always first to arrive and last to leave the track each afternoon, Pete’s superiority came mainly through tireless effort.” 
In the spring, he was a starting pitcher in baseball, hitting .300 in his sophomore year, but he shifted to crew for his junior and senior years. One afternoon in 1941, however, he left his boat to pitch the baseball team to a win against Belmont Hill.  Although the first crew, on which Peter was the sole returning rower, did not find much success in the spring of 1941, the crew was remembered for its “determination and cheerfulness, in victory or defeat.”
Peter’s yearbook page tribute, written by his classmates, reads: “Rare indeed is the morning on which Pete cannot be found putting the finishing touches on his homework before school, for, unlike the rest of us, he has a knack for utilizing every spare moment. His greatest scholastic achievement this year was his ‘Little Essay,’ which received the top mark of 95%, amidst many groans of envy from the rest of English 1.” Peter was beloved by his classmates, who referred to him as “our fair-haired 210-pounder.” 
Peter went on to Harvard, where he played end of the varsity football team and was a stand-out in track.

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Peter Garland