'Saders hearken back to glory days.


Byline: Paul Jarvey


WORCESTER - When Holy Cross found itself in trouble yesterday, it could have used someone like Gill Fenerty to run some time off the clock and charge up the Homecoming crowd. The Crusaders definitely could have benefitted from an All-American safety like John Provost to finally deliver a knockout punch to relentless Fordham, too.

The HC glory days of Fenerty and Provost were decades ago, of course, but they got to bask in the Fitton Field sunshine once more yesterday, joining two-way star Gordie Lockbaum, 1942 captain Edmund Murphy, former Washington Redskins great Vince Promuto and the late Bill Osmasnki as the first members of the Crusader Legends Ring of Fame.

"It's the icing on the cake," said the 57-year-old Provost, who shared the honor with dozens of friends, family and former teammates under a tent on the baseball field. "It's a tremendous tribute to be part of the inaugural class."

Fenerty is 47 and his hair is turning gray. Provost's mane is thinning. Both look like they might still be able to play.

In their day, both could play.

Provost was the New England Major College Player of the Year in 1974 when he led the nation with 10 interceptions. He finished his career with 470 return yards on interceptions, which was then the most ever in Division 1. His 27 career interceptions were second-most ever when he graduated.

His season-opening demolition of Brown his senior year - four interceptions, two punt-return TDs - is still being talked about. After watching film of the performance in preparation for a game a week later, Harvard coach Joe Restic said there wasn't a better safety in the country.

Provost said the game was significant to him because he was coming off shoulder surgery, having injured the joint trying to tackle a Boston College running back in the last game of his sophomore season.

Provost's teams were always around .500 under coach Ed Doherty, but Fenerty was a big part of HC's resurgence in the 1980s.

He is the Crusaders' all-time leading rusher with 3,680 yards, most of which seemed to come on take-your-breath-away dashes. He rushed for 337 yards and six touchdowns against Columbia in 1983, setting school records in both categories.

Fenerty was drafted by the New Orleans Saints and played three years with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts.

Provost, the son of a welder from Quincy, became the first member of his family to attend college when he enrolled at Holy Cross. He chose HC...

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