1st Annual Banquet
FEMALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE
LORI ANN YODER
Lori Ann Yoder is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Yoder, 1239 West Mulberry Street, Shamokin, Pennsylvania. She is a 1978 graduate of Shamokin High School and is presently enrolled in Geisinger Medical Center School of Radiographic Technology.
During her high school career, Lori was a four-year varsity member of the girls basketball team, acting as captain during her senior year. She also captained the girls track team during this past season. In addition, she also participated in softball and cross-country.
While varsity sports took up much of her time, she also participated in volleyball and badminton on an intramural level. Her teams won championships in each of three years in volleyball and in two years in badminton.
During the 1977-78 academic year, Lori was Merit Award Recipient and is awaiting her biography to be published in Who’s Who Among American High School Students. In addition, Lori was given the American Legion Award and was the Shamokin Elks Teenager for the month of December.
Last fall, Lori was chosen Shamokin Area’s Homecoming Queen and, this last summer represented Shamokin Area High School as a member of the Queen’s Court in the Annual Anthracite Memorial Parade.
Lori Ann Yoder’s personality and fine example will certainly serve as guidelines for future recipients of the scholar athlete award given by the Lower Anthracite Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.
MALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE
Robert Zavarick is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Zavarick, Locust Gap, Pennsylvania. He is a 1978 graduate of Mount Carmel Area High School and is presently a freshman at the University of Maryland.
In addition to graduating in the upper fifth of his class, Bob was recognized as being one of the finest all-around athletes in the history of the school. As captain of the football team, Bob holds 48 individual records at MCA. He scored 54 TD’s during his three year varsity career, averaging about 32.3 yards/TD. His total of 362 points ranks second on the all-time list. Robert gained a total of 4,571 yards, averaging 9.7 yards every time he touched the football. His 21 career interceptions are recognized as a regional record. In addition, he is the only player in school history to score every possible way. Bob was honored as a first team defensive back on the 1978 Associated Press All-State team in addition to being named to the Pennsylvania Big 33. Bob was also named to the All-East Central Regional team, eagle All-Anthracite team, Patriot All-Anthracite team, News-Item Southern Division team, Susquehanna Valley Conference team, M-S All-Star team, Unico
All-Star team, won the Mike Terry Award and Len Eshmont Award, and became the second player to have his jersey permanently retired(#23).
"It all started because I like to throw rocks at old tin cans instead of working in the mines. Practice at what I considered a game of my boyhood days paid off in success. I could hit the tin can blindfolded."
Stanley Coveleskie worked 12 hours a day in the mines at Luke Fidler. He went to work in the mines as a boy 12 years old, working from 7:00 AM to 7 PM for $3.75 per week.
Coveleskie's career started when he was 18 years old when he began playing with a semi-pro team in Shamokin. After that he was signed to a contract with Lancaster and as Coveleskie out it "...I was out of the coal mines."
From 1909-1916 Coveleskie played mostly in the minor leagues with such teams as Lancaster of the Tri-State League, Spokane of the Northwest League and Portland of the Pacific Coast League. During this time, in 1912, Coveleskie played with Philadelphia where he appeared in 5 games compiling a 2-1 won-lost record.
During the 1909 season, Coveleskie's first in the minor leagues, he won 23 games with Lancaster to lead the league in that category. In 1915, with Portland, he tied for the leadership by appearing, in, 64 games while compiling 17-7 won loss record.
In 1916 Coveleskie made his move into the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians, Playing for Cleveland from 1916-1924 Coveleskie appeared in 360 games, compiling 171-122 won lost record. During this period Coveleskie led the American League by giving up 286 hits in 1919; and in ERA hit a mark of 2.76 in 1923. He also led the league in strikeouts with 133 in 1920. In both 1917 and 1923 Coveleskie pitched the most shutouts to lead the league in this category. In 1925, he also won 13 straight games.
In 1920 the Cleveland Indians appeared in the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. This was to be Coveleskie's greatest achievement
He’s a lightning bolt in a football uniform. Catching him is like trying to grab dandelions swishing in a stiff breeze. One minute he’s going in one direction and almost faster than the eye can follow he’s off in another. Such descriptions were often used in describing the athletic abilities of Gary Diminick,
Gary showed early signs of greatness when, as a freshman he returned a kick-off 85 yards for a touchdown in a game against Minersville. It was the first of 73 touchdowns he would score during his high school athletic career between 1966 and 1969 His Tornado teams enjoyed a 43-3 record while winning two Southern Division Championships and one Eastern Conference Crown.
The “galloping comedian” as he became known, went on to become the most prolific scorer the anthracite area has ever known. He scored over 100 points in three consecutive seasons; his 244 points during the ’69 campaign establishing a new state record. He also established state marks for TD’s scored in a season, 38; and rushing yards in a season, 2,099. During his career Gary scored 473 points and amassed a total of 6,144 yards as an all-purpose runner. He averaged 9.1 yards each time he touched the football.
Following the ’69 season, Gary was named to the AP First ALL-State, UPI first team, Big 33, Coach and Athletic First team All-American, Scholastic Magazine All-America, Scholastic Coach All-America, Senior Scholastic Magazine All-America, Kick-Off magazine top 100 backs in America, was featured in Sports Illustrated Faces in the crowd, and became the first athlete in history to have his jersey retired- #33. He became one of the most sought after high school players in the country which over the 100 colleges competing for his services. One college coach said “Gary’s the best high school player I’ve seen in 20 years of scouting.” Another said “of 600 high school backs we have looked at, he’s our number one pick.” That was the Ara Parasegian of Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish, who would eventually win the battle for Gary’s services.
Leonard Charles Eshmont was born in Mount Carmel in 1918, a son of Charles Eshmont and Rose Shulski Bergal Eshmont. He was reared form infancy in Atlas, attended Our Mother of Consolation parochial school and was graduated from Mount Carmel Township High School in 1937.
Len began his football carrier as a freshman with the Golden Bears of Mount Carmel Township in 1933. The next four years saw Len become the greatest athlete in Mount Carmel Township history. As a halfback under Coach Al Masciantonio, he led the Bears to a record of 9-1 in 1936, best in school history. During that season Len earned such nicknames as “Galloping Ghost”, Golden Galloper, “Green Ghost”, and Atlas Antelope. As a senior Len scored 114 of the Townships 147 points. Len finished with a total of 186 points during his four year career, almost one-half the total number of points scored by the Township teams during that period.
Against Danville in 1936, Len scored 5 touchdowns in his team’s 31-15 victory. In that game, Len returned a kick-off for a touchdown, only to have it called back due to a violation. Not dismayed, Len took the ensuing kick-off on the 14 yard line and returned it 86 yards for a touchdown. This time it counted! Len totaled 325 yards during that game as an all-purpose runner. Against Kulpmont, the “ghost” rushed for 201 yards, returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown, and scored on a 5 yard run, leading the Bears to a 14-0 win. Len finished the season rushing for over 150 yards against Selinsgrove, Freeland, and Girardville, a truly remarkable fete at that time.
Following graduation, Sleep Jim Cowley was able to lure Eshmont into going to Fordham University in New York. Fordham at that time was known as “Anthracite University” because of the great many coal region athletes who played there. Len would go one to be remembered as one of their all-time greats, along with Alex “The Great” Wojciehowicz, Lou DeFilipo, Vince Lombardi, George Cherverko, Joe Andjreco and Steve Filopowicz.
Sleepy Jim Cowley described him as being a natural, the most natural player he ever has on Rose Hill (Fordham). At 5’8”, 198lbs., his body was like a block and his legs were heavy, yet he was uncommonly swift afoot. He could be described more vividly as having the general contour of a small tractor…Steve Filipowicz.
Steve Filipowicz was born in Donora, 1921, the son of Stefan and Gladys Wynocki Filipowicz. As a small boy in second grade, he carried his mother’s basket to the grocery store before the third bell rang at Kulpmont grade school. As a result his classmates called him “Farmer’, a name which would stick with him throughout his lifetime.
“Farmer” began his athletic career as a freshman gridder under coach Mike Terry. He would also star in basketball, baseball, and track in high school, winning the 1939 State B. Championship in the Javelin.
As a football player, he did everything but pump up the football for the Wildcats. As a senior in 1938, Steve and his mates captured the state football title, no mean feat for one of the smallest school districts in the state at that time.
In the 1938 state championship game against Ferndale- remembered mostly for Joe Pezelski’s six touchdowns- Steve threw three touchdown passes, scored one h himself and kicked an extra point. One of the TD passes went for 73 yards to end Sam Brazinski.
Following graduation, he received over 65 scholarship offers from colleges and universities throughout the country, but decided to cast his lot with the Fordham University Rams, then one of the football powers of the nations.
In 1948, while playing for the Sunbury Reds, Filipowicz’s base-clearing double in a Wilmington, Del. ballyard enables Sunbury to beat the Blue Rocks and fellow named Robin Roberts. It was Roberts’ only loss as a minor league pitcher before he joined the Phillies and became a pitcher of the first magnitude.
DR. JOSEPH F. GRECO
Either through destiny or fate a 1940 press release from Susquehanna University described their defensive end as being “tough, speedy, and having remarkable diagnostic ability as a defensive player.” Today he is recognized as a true
Dr. Greco began his athletic career when only a freshman, participating in both football and basketball. He became a starting end as a sophomore, playing both on offense and defense for three years. During his senior year in 1936, he along with the legendary Len Eshmont, led the Mount Carmel Township Golden Bears to a 9-1 record-best in the school’s history. Known as a defensive standout, he ranks as the 8th all-time scorer in Township history, scoring at least one touchdown in each of his four varsity season. In addition, Greco served as co-captain of the football and basketball teams during his senior year.
Following graduation in 1937, Greco was awarded a scholarship to Villanova where he became a starter on the freshman team. At the end of his first semester he transferred to Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove. Playing under coach Amos Alonza Stagg, Jr., Joe Greco became a fixture for three years at the end position.
Despite being injured during his junior season, he was named to the UPI Little All-American team; the first Susquehanna gridder accorded such an honor. Prior to his senior year, Greco had an operation to repair his damaged knee. Showing interest even then in medicine, Greco remained awake during the operation, watching through a series of mirrors as doctors worked on his knee. Seven weeks later he was in the starting line-up for the start of the 1940 season..
Dr. Greco’s contributions to athletes did not end with his retirement as a player. His three sons, Joey, Jeff, and Jon all starred at Mount Carmel during the 60’s and 70’s. Joey went to Villinova where he became a three year started as a defensive back and return specialist.
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER
Penn State Basketball Coach
Dick Harter is Penn State’s new basketball coach. He has compiled a 13 year record of 217 wins and 134 losses. He was 16-9 in his only season at Rider (1965-66), then turned Penn’s program around in his five years at the Philadelphia school, compiling a 52-5 record and qualifying for the NCAA tournament in 1969-70 and 1970-71.
His first team at Oregon was 6-20, but he then led the Ducks to six straight winning seasons and three tournament bids since then. He has taken his team to postseason tournaments five of the last nine years and his teams have won nine tournament or conference titles.
He has sent seven players to the NBA in the last seven years, including five first round draft choices- Corky Calhoun, Bob Morse, Phil Hanknison, Ron Lee and Greg Ballard.
Harter has appeared and spoken at basketball clinics in more than 30 states and three foreign countries.
Harter was an outstanding all-around athlete at Hill School in Pottstown, Pa. where his father was head of the science department for 40 years.
He earned three basketball letters at Penn, helping the Quakers win the Ivy League title in 1952-1953. He was graduated from Penn in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science degree.
After serving three years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, he became the basketball coach and taught history at the Germantown Academy in Philadelphia for two years.
He served as lightweight football coach, assistant basketball coach, freshman tennis coach and freshman athletic director at Penn for seven years before his one-year stint as head basketball coach at Rider.