Mary Jo Riley – Sportswoman Extraordinaire

Once a year, Archbishop Williams High School inducts athletes into its Hall of Fame.

Mary Jo Riley, Class of ’64, was one of those honored in the ceremony March 26 at the Lantana.

Mary Jo, who lives in Milton, was the only woman in the list of eight honored this year.

Another member of the Class of ’64 was also honored. Donald May, a track star and National Honor Society member, moved to Alaska after graduate school. He returned to Massachusetts for the awards dinner.

Several dozen members of the Class of ’64 were on hand to cheer for their two classmates.

She was a pioneer in women’s sports in the days before the government mandated equal spending on sports for female athletes. She was on the first women’s basketball team at AWH. She was co-captain in ’63 and ’64.

“During the 1964  season, Mary Jo led the AWH women’s basketball team to an impressive 10-3 record, placing second in the Girls’ Class A Catholic League and receiving a slot in the Girls’ Canton Invitational Tourney.

“According to her teammates, Mary Jo was the ston the strength on the court who kept the team focused while enjoying the love of the game,” the program said.

True to form, she mentioned every member of the team she played with as she accepted the award. She was also on the sailing team at AWH and at Maryville College of the Sacred Heart she continued sailing, serving as captain of the sailing team.

She earned her master’s in public administration from Suffolk University in 1976.

She continues to be a role model of sportspersonship and integrity.