This is the first in a multi-part series highlighting the Berlin High School Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2019
Edward Maguda, 1937
Edward Maguda graduated from Berlin High in 1937 and is No. 21 in the 1936-37 football team photo to the right. He played baseball for the first three years of the start of the program, being selected as a co-captain his senior year. He also played two years of football, starting in the second year of the program being organized at Berlin High. In basketball, as in football, he started in the school’s second year and played for two years before graduating. He was one of Berlin’s first three-sport athletes and the Berlin Beacon referred to him as the second Babe Ruth because of his baseball prowess. In addition to playing varsity baseball and basketball he also played on the intramural teams at the same time.
After graduating, Maguda played with the Kensington Maroons semi-pro baseball team, which would typically play before 1,000 fans at Percival playing field.
In 1941, he joined the Navy, serving on the aircraft carrier USS Wasp as a deck gunner, which on Sept. 15, 1942, while on patrol in the South Pacific covering operations for convoys and resupply units headed to Guadalcanal, was struck by Japanese torpedoes, which resulted in the loss of 193 of his shipmates, while 171 officers and 1,798 enlisted men survived.
After leaving the service in 1945, Maguda played fast pitch softball for Villa Garden Restaurant for five years as their catcher. Maguda worked at Pratt and Whitney in Southington for 24 years before passing away in 1997.
Ken Burt, 1957
Ken Burt graduated from Berlin High in 1957, where he was a three-sport athlete. He was the catcher on the baseball team as a freshman before switching to golf during his sophomore year. He also played football for four years and was a co-captain his senior year.
During his football career at Berlin, Burt played offensive end and defensive linebacker. According to Hall of Fame member and co-captain of the 1955 state championship team, Robert McCann, Burt was an athlete that although he was not an extremely big man, no one had a bigger heart on the football field. In the championship game that year, Burt caught a pass with four minutes to go when Berlin was down by five points. The team ended up winning the championship game by three points, ending an undefeated season.
The golf team at Berlin started out as a club team in 1953, led by legendary coach Dan Bates. In 1954 the team became an official sport with a few matches played. With no home course, Bates would pile everyone into his station wagon and play the hackers nine at Goodwin. He would have everyone sign in with BHS after their name, as if they were from Bulkeley High School, to qualify for the Hartford half price discount of .15 cents per nine holes. In the years Burt played (1955-57), what set the team apart from the other sports at the high school was they played their matches against schools above their small school class. In the 1956 state tournament, Berlin was the only small school participating and Burt was the medalist. The following year, 1957, the team qualified again for the state tournament, and out of 73 schools, Berlin was ranked 27th as the only Class S school represented, with Burt one of the best golfers in the state, ranked sixth in individual scoring. The Berlin golf program went on to produce more college All-Americans than any other Berlin sport.
After graduating, Burt joined the Air Force, and while stationed in Sacramento, Calif., in his spare time, played in and won many tournaments on base, and though he was not the type of guy to brag or keep records of his accomplishments, if you played alongside him you experienced his desire to win, recalled one of his high school teammates.
The induction ceremony will be held on Sunday, April 28 at 3:30 p.m. at the Aqua Turf, 556 Mulberry Street in Plantsville. For ticket information contact Diane Egazarian at 860-828-0635 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Hall of Fame’s website at bhshalloffame.org.