By Rick Smith/Daily News Staff
Bob Yesue will always remember Sept. 10, 1967. After graduating from Hudson Catholic the previous spring, Yesue, who recently turned 60, was honored that day with Bob Yesue Day in his hometown of Hudson.
Yesue, a 5-foot-9, 190-pound running back and free safety for the Green Wave, had led the state in scoring during the 1966 season with 142 points, including 22 touchdowns and five two-point conversions.
“It was a huge thrill for me and the school,” Yesue said. “Governor John Volple came and gave me a plaque, and the Hudson Board of Selectmen declared it Bob Yesue Day. They had a parade and a dance in my honor.”
The Green Wave played an independent eight-game schedule in football at the time, and Yesue remembers playing schools like Clinton, Maynard, Lunenburg, Ayer, Nashoba. One of his most memorable games came his senior year against the Panthers of Ayer.
“I had six touchdowns and 300 yards rushing against Ayer in a game at the Morgan Bowl,” Yesue said.
One of Yesue’s fondest memories from high school football was his association with his coach, the late Owen Kilcoyne.
“Owen was a great coach, and he was so great to my family over the years,” Yesue said.
Once football ended, basketball was on Yesue’s dance card during the winter months. He played guard for the Green Wave.
“Paul Hester was my coach,” Yesue said. “We played a lot of basketball, and it was a lot of fun, but I played basketball to stay in shape.”
During the spring, Yesue’s sports focus turned to playing in the outfield and pitching for the baseball team.
“It was the ultimate, playing three sports in high school,” Yesue said.
Yesue had a short stint playing college football. He went to Western New Mexico University on a full scholarship but soon returned to Hudson.
Forty years ago, he became a barber at what was then a two-chair barber shop on the main street in Marlborough. He now owns that business, known as Roc’s Unisex Salon, which currently employs 27 people.
“Our business is thriving,” Yesue said. “I’m very fortunate. Things couldn’t be any better.”
Yesue also married his high school sweetheart, Janet, a classmate of former Governor Paul Cellucci, who is the godfather to the Yesues’ daughter, Heather.
Heather, 36, graduated from Westfield State and is currently a stylist and accountant for Roc’s.
The Yesues’ son, Chad, 30, who owns Joy-Den Jewelry, a store right next to his father’s unisex salon. The Yesues have three grandchildren.
Yesue recently ended a long stretch on the State Barbers’ Board.
“That is a political appointment,” he said. “I’m proud of the fact that I served on that board under five different governors.”
Like anyone associated with the school, Yesue is saddened by the recent closing of Hudson Catholic.
“It was heart-wrenching to see the school close,” Yesue said. “My father was the music director at Hudson Catholic and the head of the CYO band. I can remember people sitting at our kitchen table helping to raise money to get the school built. It still bothers me to go by Hudson Catholic.”