John “Steamboat” Lawrence Knight spent his
years at Stoneham High School on the gridiron, the ice, and the ball
field. Making his debut as a sophomore on the SHS varsity football team,
he played a total of three minutes at tackle, broke his wrist, and was
out for the remainder of the season. As a junior, he was a starting left
tackle. Headlined as one of the most brilliant victories of SHS
football, the final game Thanksgiving Day of the 1941 season against
Reading proved to be a sweet one. Although the overwhelming odds were
predicted to be 33-0 Reading, underdog Stoneham defeated Reading 6-0.
Knight’s blocking proved to be the season’s best. As co-captain his
senior year, Knight, although hurt, continued to improve his aggressive
football skills to lead Stoneham to a winning record. Again, playing
against Reading at the Thanksgiving Day game, Knight displayed his
finesse, tenacity, and competitiveness. According to the Independent,
“John Knight, right tackle, played a sensational defensive game as
Reading runners gained no ground through him. He also did a great job of
kicking, running, and passing.”
The 1942-43 hockey season was
very successful for Stoneham. By mid-season, Stoneham was tied for first
place in the GBI League with Knight scoring three goals in the first
four games. Knight was one of two Stoneham players selected as
All-Stars. The All-Star team played Catholic High School of Montreal at
the Boston Arena winning 6-3. The Stoneham Independent reports,
“Knight’s brilliant defensive plays saved the team several times from
being scored upon and his checking discouraged many opponents.”
Upon completion of the hockey season, John Knight enlisted in the Army
on March 4, 1943. After completing his tour of duty, Knight enrolled in
South East Louisiana State University but later transferred to Boston
University where he played football with Harry Agganis during what was
considered one of BU’s strongest football eras.
recruited by the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions but decided to
teach and coach, first in Franklin, NH, then Lexington and Burlington.
In 1969 Knight was hired as Physical Education and Athletic Director at
Marblehead High School.
Knight passed away in 1979 after a
courageous battle with cancer. He left a wife Barbara (who passed away
in 2004) and a son Ron who followed in his footsteps by coaching
basketball for a time in Marblehead. In 1980, Marblehead named a new
Physical Education Center at Marblehead High School, currently
Marblehead Veterans Middle School, after John Lawrence Knight.