Mary Evelti Guyette '34
The combination of being a first generation American and being born into a family which embraced athletics make it no surprise that Mary T. (Evelti) Guyette embraced what America had to offer and emerged as a pioneer in Cathedral High School’s Girls’ Basketball program.
Women’s basketball in the 1930’s bore little resemblance to what we see today. Depending on the area of the country there could be two or three zones in the court with six or nine players on the court for each team, also based on the number of zones in that version of the game. Women might wear skirts, bloomers, or shorts, and were permitted to dribble the ball three times and hold the ball for three seconds before passing, while never leaving their zone. In Vermont, girls’ high school basketball was played according to grade in school so all freshmen played against freshmen, sophomores versus sophomores, etc. Mary played this game for all four years of her high school career, playing as a center and dominating the game. As a freshman, she managed the team in addition to playing. Sophomore year she was selected as captain, a recognition of her strong leadership skills and dynamic personality. Junior year, the first year that a cup or trophy was awarded to the winning team, the girls went undefeated, bringing home the trophy as well as bragging rights. Senior year earned Mary the opportunity for bragging rights of back-to-back titles. Capping this off, Mary was elected by her classmates as Best Athlete, Female, Class of 1934.
Mary was passionate about sports at Cathedral, and then Rice Memorial High School as she moved from player and sibling to parent, grandparent, great-grandparent and always the proud fan. Mary’s brother, Vincent “Pickles” Evelti ‘32 joined the Hall of Fame in 2001. Three of her sons, Al (HoF ‘94), Bill (HoF ‘05) and Mark Guyette played in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. One of her nephews, Michael Evelti ‘77, is also in the Hall of Fame. Mary’s legacy continues through the generations with children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and now great-great-grandchildren playing, coaching, and officiating the sport she loved. Tradition really doesn’t ever graduate!