John H. "Jack" Carney '49

Class of 2014
Wrestling, Football, Crew

Jack was universally recognized as the class athlete during his years as a student at Nobles. His primary sport was wrestling, and he was undefeated throughout his three-year varsity career. In 1948, he led the undefeated team by pinning eight of his ten opponents, while winning the last two matches by decision. He was able to top that performance as a senior captain in 1949 pinning all eleven opponents he faced. One opponent lasted only 16 seconds against Jack. The Boston Globe called him “Automatic Jack,” and featured him in a weekly piece throughout the season. Altogether, Jack finished his career with 20 consecutive pins. His best friend Charles F. Davis ’49 recalled one wrestling match at Nobles against “a powerful, well-muscled opponent where the Headmaster, Eliot Putnam, was on his hands and knees beside the mat urging him on. He won that one too.” He later competed in the Massachusetts regionals, which were open to anyone at any age. Jack admitted, however that “Mr. Storer is the only man I ever wrestled that I could not pin. I don’t think I wanted to pin him, either.” He was awarded the Wrestling Medal in 1948 and the Wrestling Cup in 1949.

Jack was captain of the football team, earning three varsity letters during his career. He was the clear leader of the team on both sides of the ball as the starting quarterback and middle-linebacker.  Jack also amassed five varsity letters with the crew team in the spring. During his junior and senior years, he rowed the Second Crew to two consecutive undefeated seasons.

His page in the 1949 class book reads: “His suave manner on the debating stand, his phenomenal string of 20 consecutive wrestling pins, and his general congeniality are stellar examples to the lower classes. Jack is one of the most likeable members of his class, and his warmth and general good spirits have won him lasting friends among both the student body and the faculty.”

Jack would eventually go on to play football at Middlebury College before serving in the US Air Force during the Korean War.


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