GPSA Locations

GPSA Office
P.O. Box 413
Pueblo, CO 81002

Massari Arena
Colo State Univ.- Pueblo
Pueblo, CO 81007

Hall of Fame Wall
Thatcher Building (Main Floor)
5th and Main
Pueblo, CO 81003

Top Panel
Sunday, 18 February 2018

GPSA Meetings

Below is a list of remaining meetings dates for the GPSA during the 2018 calendar year. All meeting held on the third Monday from Jan. to May and Aug. through Nov. in the GPSA at Massari Arena. Dates are subject to change if necessary.

Feb. 19 Mar. 19 Apr. 16 May 21
Aug. 20 Sept. 17 Oct. 15


Application Deadline

The deadline for nominations each year is Aug. 1.  The 2018 Banquet is tentatively set for Wednesday, Nov. 14. Go to the Application Tab above to download and fill out an application today.

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Melvin L. "Mel" Spence

High School: Attended Englewood H.S., in Englewood, CO, graduating in 1945.

College: Went to Colorado State College of Education (CSCE) in Greeley, Colorado, where he graduated in 1950...Participated in football, wrestling and baseball at CSCE...Mel won the Rocky Mountain Conference 165 lbs championship three consecutive years...He wrestled in the NCAA tournament and was defeated by the 165 lbs National Champion the famous Bill “Wizzer” Smith of Iowa State Teachers College.

Advanced Education: Earned a Masters Degree from CSCE in 1959.

Coaching Background:        
  Football, Wrestling, Track Coach: Center H.S. (1949-50)    
  Football, Wrestling, Track Coach: Brush H.S. (1950-55)
     Only one State Wrestling tournament in 1955:  Englewood 1st with 60 pts., Brush 2nd with 43 pts.; Grand Junction 3rd with 41 pts.; Colorado Springs 4th with 30 pts.; Montrose 5th with 29 pts...
     There were 56 Schools competing and 192 Contestants...    Brush received the State Champion trophy for A Schools.    
        Brush H.S.  Individual State Champions: Charles "Buddy" Hunt and Kenny Bostrom.  
        Second place: Larry White, Heavyweight; Third place Bernard Linder (145 lbs)
  Football, Wrestling Coach: Pueblo Centennial H.S.  (1955-59)    
      Wrestling: Coached three State Champions: Franklin Jordan (120 lbs) in  1956; Ernie Fresquez at 95 lbs 1957 and 103 lbs in 1959.
  Football, Wrestling Coach: Pueblo East H.S. (1959-64)

    Assistant Principal: Pueblo East H.S. (1964-68)
    Principal: Pueblo East H.S. (1968-81)
    Director of Secondary Education: School District #60 (1981-83)
    Principal: Canon City H.S. (1983-88)
   Became a member of the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1977.             
   Pueblo East High School’s Gymnasium named after him.

Occupation:  Spence is a teacher/coach/administrator for School District #60 and Canon City H.S.  

Personal: Lives in Pueblo with his wife, Mary.

As narrated by Hoy Frakes:
Spring 1952:
The first time I Saw Mel Spence was in the Spring 1952 at a baseball game (Brush H.S. vs. College H.S.) at Greeley's Jackson Field...My brother Lloyd "Fritz" Frakes was playing for College High and I was in College...Lloyd got on 1st base and was given the order to "Steal"  he got about 1/2 way to second when Charlie "Buddy" Hunt (Mel's future State Champion in Wrestling at 103#), who was covering 2nd base got the ball from the catcher...He was waiting for the runner...Fritz ducked his shoulder and hit Buddy and knocked him out into left-center field and the ball went flying out of his hand...Fritz was laying on the bag with a big smile on his face and then I saw Mel, run out on the field and grab Fritz by the back of his baseball uniform and with one hand pulled him up and gave him a few words of life.

Winter of 1953 or 1954:  
I was wrestling at Colorado State College and my Wrestling Coach John Hancock asked me if I would like to go to Brush and referee a Wrestling match...He gave me all the instructions and said that the wrestling coach, Mel Spence, would have me for supper at his home and then I would referee the match at night and come home...I met Mel, Mary and Mike..Mike will know the date because he was still in a Baby basket...Mel and Mary were very proud of their young son. My son Hoy Jr., was born May 17, 1953 -  I didn’t know that someday in the future Hoy would wrestle on a team that Mel would be principal of that school (Pueblo East H.S.)...Mary had fixed a wonderful meal and the match went real well...Mel had a great team at Brush and they won easily...So I felt I did a good job.

December 1957 - 1959
I had just got the job as the first head wrestling coach at Adams State College...My home town was Greeley and my family and I would go to Greeley for a few days over Christmas Vacation...Ft. Morgan had a High School Wrestling Tournament each year near the end of December and Mel, having coached at Brush, took his Centennial Wrestling Team to that tournament each year...I officially met Mel at that tournament and the next two years I would look forward to seeing Mel...One day in the spring of 1959, I stopped at Pueblo Centennial H.S., and saw Mel...He was real excited and told me he was going to be the football and wrestling coach at a new school in Pueblo named East H.S...Mel showed me the football uniforms that he had ordered for the new school.

Spring of 1960
Ron Crawford, head of the Physical Education Department at Adams State and I stopped at the Pueblo Centennial track to talk to Euphrates Hill and some other athletes...Mel was coaching Pueblo Centennial and invited us to come to lunch at the Centennial Cafeteria where they were feeding all the coaches and athletes...I told Mel that I had been fired at Adams State and was looking for a job...Mel was coaching at East H.S. and he told me that the wrestling coach job at Pueblo Centennial would be open next year...Ivan Gilbaugh, who wrestled with Mel at Greeley, was quitting coaching and returning to Greeley to sell insurance...He suggested that I apply for the job.  

Wrestling in Pueblo
Spence was my good friend everywhere except when an East boy met a Centennial boy on the wrestling mat...Then it was War!...After the match we were back to being good friends... There was a wrestling referee’s meeting one Sunday afternoon in November after Thanksgiving at Pueblo Centennial...Mel and I were both in attendance... About halfway through the meeting I got up and was leaving and Mel said “Where you going Hoy?”  and I said to Wrestling practice...Mel said "You can’t practice on Sunday" and I said something smart like "Watch me."..In about three weeks Brian Macartney, my principal, told me that we were in deep hot water because the state had informed them that I had broken their rule about practice on Sunday...I didn't know that practice on Sunday was illegal...We had practice at Greeley High in Football, in 1948 on Sunday...There was a tie for the Conference Championship after we played Friday and we were going to play Boulder Tuesday for the playoffs...I didn't know you had to get special permission from the state to practice on Sunday.

Spring of 1964: Betrayed by Mel
Mel and I were such good friends that I wanted Pueblo Centennial and Pueblo East high schools to make a joint trip to the Western slope and wrestle Fruita, Grand Junction, Montrose, Palisade, Delta...We would share a bus and have a good time riding over and back and I would make all the plans...I made the schedule and Mel took the assistant principals job at Pueblo East and I had to make the trip with their new coach Bill Corder and Fitzgerald.

Lions Club - 1983: Betrayed by Mel the Second time
I joined the Pueblo Charter Lions club in 1983 and Mel was a member...I was real pleased that I would finally get time to visit with Mel again...Then he took the principals job in Canon City and dropped out of our Lions Club.

GPSA - 2007
Mel joins the Greater Pueblo Sports Association after being inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1980.  Since I am a member of that organization and try to make all the meetings I was REAL EXCITED TO SEE MY OLD FRIEND JOIN!  Looking forward to many more good times!


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