|Football, Men's Basketball & Track & Field|
Alfred “Sonny” Dennis, a member of the Class of 1955, was a star at Middlebury in football, basketball, and track from 1951–55. He stood 6’4,” weighed 200 pounds, and ran like the wind.
Dennis finished his Middlebury basketball career with the record among all Vermont schools for most points in a single season (456) and in a career (1,554: third at Middlebury), earning all-state honors in each year of play.
In his junior year he averaged over 24 points a game and was selected by Collier’s Magazine as first-team All-New England with players from Holy Cross, Boston College, and Dartmouth.
In the mid-1950s, the Panthers played in the New England Tournament against teams such as Dartmouth, Brown, and the Universities of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Dennis led all scorers, earning a first-team spot on the All-Tourney team both years.
As a football player, Dennis was renowned for his long and electrifying touchdown runs. In his senior year, he scored on a 96-yard pass play against Bates, a 77-yard reverse against Norwich, an 80-yard pass play against Colby, and a 92-yard kick-off return against the University of Vermont. He was praised by Red Smith, the preeminent sportswriter of the day, for his “remarkable running” and was drafted by the Chicago Bears.
In track he was hardly less extraordinary, winning all four running events (100, 220, 440, hurdles) in the only track meet he entered during his junior year.