8th Annual Banquet
CARMEN DEFRANCESCO, JR.
Carmie DeFrancesco was one of the great Tornado running backs of the 10-year period from 1965 through 1975 who looked like they were all produced on an assembly line. They were all small, lightning quick, score-from-anywhere-on-the-field types. Names like Hamernick, Veach, Pizzoli, Hynoski, Gary Diminick receded him. At that time, the Tornadoes were so deep that a running back never really got an opportunity to get the ball until his junior year or senior year.
Despite that, Carmie lettered four years during the period when the Tornadoes completely dominated Coal Region football. Their record during the four-year period suited up was 44-3. He played on three consecutive Southern Division Class A champions.
And also despite the fact there was so much talent the ball carrying suits has to be split up, he still was able to elbow himself into the record books. He is one of the only seven Tornado rushers to gain more than 1,000 yards in a season. Against Shamokin in 1970, he rushed for 217 years (the third best in school history).
He played at Juniata College from 1971 to 1975, lettering all four years and starting at tailback the final three.
He presently owns and manages NAPA Auto Parts of Mt. Carmel and Shamokin, and coached the backs at Mt. Carmel High School. He is married (the former Karen Welker) and has three children, only one of them a running back.
JOE "SAMMY" OSOSKI
Joe “Sammy” Ososki is a Mt. Carmel boy who left home and “made good” a great example of a person who used his athletic career as a springboard to success in other fields.
He was one of Mt. Carmel’s greatest runners; one of the few who captioned the team as both a junior and a senior.
In 1939 he enrolled at Fordham University and was an immediate sensation. In 1942 Fordham defeated University of Missouri 2-0 in the Sugar Bowl. After the game, the New York Times called him, “Fleetest in Fordham’s galaxy of runners.” He was a great runner; but humble to the point that the Immortal sports writer Red smith characterized him as “a guy named Joe”.
World War II intervened and he left Fordham in 1942, joined the Marines and fought at Iwo Jima. After the war he returned to Fordham where he graduated in 1947. In his final year at Fordham, he played on the Eastern Collegiate All-Star Team, which lost an exhibition game to the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. The Giants liked him well enough to sign him to a contract, but he injured his knew while playing for the Jersey City Giants, which ended his playing career.
He immediately became an assistant coach at Fordham University and began a recruiting pipeline which resulted in more than 30 Coal Region youngsters playing at Fordham. He remained at Fordham until they dropped their football program in 1953.
Joe “Sammy” Ososkie is the kind of person and athlete Ed Romance had in mind when he felt the need to start a regional Hall of Fame to honor athletes for their contributions.
DOCTOR JIM MORRISON
Doctor Jim Morrison was a terrific all-around athlete who lettered for three years in both basketball and football for Mt. Carmel High School. Yet for many old-time fans his entire career as an athlete is focused on one play. But what a play it was! Doc caught a toss from Mike Terry for the extra point that enabled the Tornadoes to beat Bellefonte 7-6 and win the fist ever State Championship for Mt. Carmel in 1927.
The game was played in the snow on December 8, 1927 at Beaver Field on the Penn State Campus. The Big Red had scored on a touchdown run my Mike Terry to come from behind to tie the score 6-6. Because of the condition of the field it was obvious that a single point would loom large in the final outcome.
The Tornadoes lined up as if to kick the extra point…with QB Bert Jones apparently set to hold the placement for Mike Terry’s attempted kick. But the ball was snapped directly to Terry; and Doc Morrison was able to get free in the end zone to catch the deciding point. Mt Carmel made the point stand up for the victory and the state title.
Doc continued his athletic career in college as a baseball player for the Gaels of Mt. St. Mary’s as a freshman. But after a single season there he transferred to Georgetown, where he earned his degree in Dentistry. He was always a great sports fan and supporter of local athletics. But he is remembered most for that one play in 1927 that won a state championship.
Bob was the holder of 48 individual records at Mt. Carmel High School. Yet, to characterize his career only on the basis of statistics is unfair and does not fully picture what he accomplished in a three-year athletic career at Mt. Carmel High School. If you can believe it, he was an even better player than the statistics indicate.
Yet, some of the stats boggle the mind, He scored 54 touchdowns, and the average length of each touchdown was 32.2 yards. He averaged 9.7 each time he touched the ball in a career that accounted for more than 45000 yards. In 1976 alone, he scored every possible way you could score n football: Rushing, receiving, punt return, kickoff return, fumble, recovery, interception return, extra point rush, extra point pass, extra point catch, extra point kick, field goal and tackle for safety in end zone.
He holds the MCA record for scoring in basketball and averaged .495 for three years as a starter for the Tornadoes baseball team. He is the only Tornado to have jerseys retired in both football and basketball. He was chosen All State First Team as a defensive back by the Associated Press in 1977. As a defensive starter in the Big 33 game, he was the outstanding player on the field-and then put into the game on offense late in the game is carried once for a 48-yeard touchdown run.
He opted for a career in baseball and accepted grant-in-aid to play baseball at the University of Maryland. Over a four-year period as a starter for the Terps he hit .356.
FRANK "JIGGS" FICC
If you check the record books you won’t find the name of Frank “Jiggs” Ficca among the leaders in any statistical category. But here’s a funny thing: Get into a discussion with a knowledgeable Tornado football dan and start liting the best players to have played Mt. Carmel High football, and chances are good the name “Jiggs” Ficca will come up in the conversation.
Frank was the leader of the 1954 team which won the Eastern Division Championship, the first in 27 years- and while he didn’t ring up the big statistics, he scored 3 TDs and an extra point in leading the Tornadoes to an early season win over Tamaqua, which was expected to challenge for the championship. Along the way he made many of the big plays as he led the team to a 10-0-1 record. Trailing 7-0 against Coal Township late in the game, Frank was inserted even though he was nursing a sprained ankle. He caught a 32-yard pass bringing the ball down to the 2-yard line, but re-injured his ankle and went to the sidelines again. “Speedy” Butella carried the ball over from the 2, making the score 7-6 Coal Township. While the coached debated what play to use for the tying point, Frank ran on the field and kicked the only extra point he ever attempted. The tie with Coal kept the win streak alive and allowed the Tornadoes to win the championship, and won on to win the Eastern Pennsylvania Championship.
He wet on to letter three years as a running back and defensive back at Villanova under Coach Frank Reagan.
He works for an investment firm in the Philadelphia area and lives in Gulph Mills, Pa.
CAPTAIN MARTIN DEFRANCESCO, M.D
Marty DeFrancesco almost single handedly forced people to accept Lourdes High as a football power capable of playing on even terms wit other schools. Not that the Raiders hadn’t produced fine teams and excellent individual players prior to Marty’s career; but it was in 1974 that Lourdes entered the Southern Division and he led them immediately to the Southern Division crown and tie for the Eastern Conference Championship. In a sense, he accomplished for Lourdes what Joe Namath has accomplished for the American Football League.
During his three-year career at Lourdes, the Red Raiders won 29, lost two, and tied one. In 1973, he set a school record with 13 interceptions and was AP all State Honorable Mention and First Team All Anthracite. The following season he was named Second Team All State by the AP on defense and Honorable Mention on offense. He also set Lourdes’ career interception record with 22 and threw the longest pass for a touchdown ever at Lourdes – a 95-yarder against Berwick.
He was also the only player named to both offensive and defensive squads on the All Anthracite Team named by the coached.
He was recruited heavily by the major colleges, including Penn State and Michigan, as a defensive back, but decided to attend Brown University where he majored in Pre Med. While at Brown, he quarterbacked and captained the Bruin frosh. He lettered the next three years.
He graduated from Brown University in 1979 and received a degree in Medicine from Milton S. Hershey Medical School in 1984. He is married to the former Barbara A. Atkinson of Lower Burell, Pa., who is a physician.
Greg Doviak was the quarterback who led the beginning of the “Diminick powerhouses” even though that ‘66 team did not win the championship. A late season loss to Shikellamy prevented that team form getting into the championship game; but their 10-1 record ushered in the beginning of an eight year reign where the Tornadoes were the most dominant football team in Eastern Pennsylvania.
In 1966, Greg had as fine a quarterback year as it is possible to have. He threw at least one touchdown pass in every game. In nine of the 11 games, his passing yardage exceeded 100 yards. Twice he threw more than four touchdown passes in a game. And against Bloomsburg he had a total offense contribution of 402 yards. All these are tornado records which still stand.
Greg ranks as the second leading passer in tornado football history. He threw 26 touchdown passes in 1966 alone.
Greg capped that fantastic season by being named first team All State quarterback by both the Associated Press and United Press International. He was nominated a member of the Big 33 Squad and represented the East Team as quarterback in that late summer game.
Greg attended Bucknell University from where he graduated in 1971. While with the Bisons he was a three letter winner, and part of the time shared quarterback duties with Sam Havrilak, who later played for the Baltimore Colts. Greg received his Masters Degree from Penn State in 1973.
He is married and has one daughter aged 10, and is expecting another child in July.
Sam Brazinsky played at Kulpmont High School from 1935 through 1938. He was the starting center and linebacker of the Kulpmont High State Championship team In 1938. Sam also participated in basketball and track in high school. He once scored a high of 39 points in one game, which was a record for that time. He also finished second in the high jump at the Pennsylvania State finals at Penn State University.
HE attended Villanova University from 1939 to 1943 on a football scholarship. After graduation, he joined the United States Marines Air Force in 1943. There, he played for the Cherry Point Marines football team and was selected on the All-Service Team of the South. In 1945, he was the starting center on the Great El Toro Flying Marines of California. This team had 27 former All-Americans and a number of pros playing for it. In one game against St. Mary’s pre-flight Navy team from San Francisco, he brought down Lenny Eshmont of Mt. Carmel Township in the open field on a tackle that prevented, or would have been the tying touchdown. As a result of Sam’s tackle, the Marines went on to win the game 7-0 and won the All-Service Championship.
Sam also played in what was the first Pro Bowl game in the coliseum in Los Angeles, Calif. At that time, the All-Service team played against the NFL team. He started at center for the All-Service team. After World War II, he signed professionally to play with the Buffalo Bills.
He and his wife, the former Dorothy Sebes of Mount Carmel, have operated the family shoe store in New Jersey for the past 30 years. He has two sons, Sam, Jr. and Jack.
Aubrey Alexander was an excellent sandlot football and baseball player locally. He was a mainstay of the semi-pro St. Peter’s Crusaders teams in the late 40’s and also played a significant role as both organizer and player for the Apollos, a very good semi-pro basketball team that flourished here in the early 50’s.
By that time however, Aubrey was getting a little old for the young men’s games, and needed a form of expression for his competitive instincts, he turned to golf. It was a marriage made of heaven.
Aubrey took to the game like a duck in water. At that time there were no municipal or public golf courses in our area. The only golf being played was at Private Country Clubs, by men who were using it merely as a form relaxation from more important money-making pursuits. Aubrey, more than anybody changed that around in our area.
He brought golf to the common man. He introduced literally hundreds of young people to the game. Only the game he taught was not for relaxation. His game was a $2 nassau, fight to finish, all-out competition. He played golf the way he played other sports: at top speed. With the pedal to the floor. Competitive golf in the Coal Region was born.
Over a 25-year period Aubrey Alexander was known at practically every golf course around between Williamsport and Allentown. And much more often than not, when the match was over, he’d give you that great grin…say “nice match Our Lad, c’mon, I’ll buy you a drink”, and put your $6.00 in his pocket.
BOB PIZZOLI, JR.
Bob Pizzoli was a “fun to watch” runner in a three career at Mt. Carmel High School. He was a typical of what came to be known as a “Mt. Carmel runner” by rival coaches-waterbug quick, running like a scalded cat.
Bob practically excelled as a pass receiver and kick returner where his sure hands lightening reactions could show up best.
His name appears all over the Tornado record book. He had the second best season for pass receptions-37; he is the second best career reception leader; the fourth best career reception yardage leader; had the best in season and career for touchdown catches.
As a punt returner, he ranks as the Tornadoes’ 10th best all-time returner of kicks (including punts and kickoffs). He ranks sixth for single season and career punt returns.
Bobby holds the record for most touchdown catches in one game: three against Tamaqua in 1965; his six receptions against Shenandoah in 1965 in second on the all-time list, and; his 80 –yard touchdown reception from Joe Buchinski in 1964 is the second longest tornado history.
He attended Delaware Valley but was stricken with cancer. He died in July 1970. His teammates established an award in his name which is given annually to the Tornado who personified the character and courage which were so much a part of his personality.
ATTORNEY JOHN L. PIPA, JR.
John Pipa was an outstanding four-sport athlete at Mt. Carmel High School from 1914 to 1918. At Mt. Carmel he played football, baseball and competed on a club basis in track. He captained the football team in both his junior and senior years in High School.
He did not go on immediately to college, first serving a three-year stint in the US Army during World War I.
After being discharged, he enrolled at Dickinson College from where he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in 1924. At Dickinson he captained the football and baseball teams and set records as a track and field star. His speed and power combined to make him a feared and powerful runner who led the Carlisle team to some of its best gridiron seasons. In 1922 John Pipa was named to the All American Squad by Walter Camp.
He was actively involved in other kinds of athletic activities…as a matter of fact, he held a record for the shortest time to ascend Mt. Washington that stood for many years. He was also the National Collegiate Arm Wrestling Champion while at Dickinson.
He enrolled in Dickinson Law School and received his degree in law in 1926. He returned to Shamokin and began to practice law; but his athletic career was not over. He played for several years for the Mt. Carmel entry in Anthracite Professional Football League. He was then convinced to leave to become Player coach of the Shenandoah Yellow Jackets.
After completing his athletic career Attorney Pipa became one of the leading trial lawyers in the State of Pennsylvania. He died in 1967.
Lou Costello graduated from Mt. Carmel Catholic in 1941. He was a 4 letterman for the Rams, a hard-driving runner who led Catholic High to some of its finest seasons. Under coach Ray Green and led by Lou Costello, they lost only one game his final two seasons.
Lour received a full scholarship to play football at St. Bonaventure and starred there as a frosh. But his father was killed in a mine accident in 1942 and Lou had to leave school to help support his family. This was a pattern repeated often in those days. One wonders how many great athletic careers were curtailed because of higher priority of helping support the brothers and sisters of your family to your own personal education.
Lou’s mother decided to move the family away from the Coal Region to guarantee there would be no other family members lost to the danger of working in the mines. They moved to Phoenix where he made his home til his death.
He transferred his own unfulfilled dreams of sports and education to his children, however, and four of his five children have graduated from college and the fifth and youngest is a junior at Millersville State presently.
Our scholar athlete for ’86 compiled some terrific statistics, both academically and athletically. Joe ranks Number 1 in his class of 138, with an average of 97.8 in all subjects. He scored 1600 in his college boards, for which he received a letter of Recognition from the P.H.E.A.A.
He was a Hugh O’Brien ambassador- and award given in recognition of outstanding scholarship and student leadership of both the National Honor Athletic Society and the National Honor Society. He has been a member of Student Council for 4 years. He was also President of the Key Club, a service organization, for 1985 and 1986.
He was no shrinking violet athletically, either. He lettered 3 years for the tornado football team, which he captained the last year. He was voted first team linebacker on the all Susquehanna Valley Conference Team; and was a Big 33 nominee on two different occasions. He also won both the Len Eshmont and the Bobby Pizzoli Awards. He’s a 4-year letter winner in track. He won letters in wrestling as a freshman and sophomore; but a shoulder injury prevented him from wrestling afterwards.
High School Principle Rich Beiershmitt called Joe, “A silent leader, a hard worker, and terrific role model.”
TAMARA (TAMMY) TRIONE
Academics: Ranks 12/138, average 91.34, National Honor Society, National Athletic Honor Society, Rotary student of the month for October, Who’s Who among American High School Students, National History and Government Award, National Leadership Award, Key Club treasurer, Spanish Club 4 years, cheerleader 4 years, Glee Club 4 years, Pep Club 4 years, Operetta, Newspaper Editor 2 years.
Athletics: letter winner in track 4 years, all-league championship 800 meters, 1600 meter relay, and 3200 meter relay teams. Second in 1600 meter run all-league and 2nd in District 4,800 and 1600 meter runs. District Champion 3200 meter relay team, 3rd place winner State Championship Meet 3200 meter relay team. Leading scorer on team, captain 1986.
Mike Marlow Team Captain of the Tornado ’85 Corss-Country Team, finished 22nd in the 1985 State Championship Meet. This was the best finish ever for a Mount Carmel runner in the State Cross-Country Meet. Mike was also honored on the first All Schuylkill League Team for ‘85, He finished 3rd in the All Schuylkill League, 2nd in the Shikellamy Invitational, and 5th in the District IV Meet. Mike will attend Bloomsburg University where he’ll major in Business Management.
In 1985, Frank Sheptock became Bloomsburg University’s first 3-time All American and 3-time Sports Captain. At this time, he enjoyed it even more because he towed the team along, too. Despite setting just about every conceivable defensive record for the Huskies, Sheppy took the most pride in the fact that his Bloomsburg finished undefeated in the regular season, and went all the way to the National quarter finals before losing.
As this is being written, Sheppy‘s awaiting word of the NFL draft which will determine his football future. No matter what happens, Frank Sheptock has attributed the finest college athletic career every enjoyed by a graduate of Mount Carmel High School.
Vic olear, a rangy 6’2” Tight End Land Linebacker, completed a brilliant career at Lourdes by setting records for pass receptions on offense and solo tackles as a linebacker on defense. Olear’s single season mark of 51 receptions for 755 yards and his career record of 116 catches for 1,755 yards figure to stand for some time as Lourdes records.
In addition, he recorded 112 tackles as a linebacker; also a Red Raider record. He received All State Honorable Mention for three successive seasons and was on the Big 33 Checklist 6 times in ’85.
Vic is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Vic Olear of Mt. Carmel.
B.J. was a 1982 graduate of Mt. Carmel High School. While a Tornado he was a three-sport letter winner and was names All Anthracite First Team as an offensive lineman in 1981.
He began his football at West Chester University and lettered there as a frosh; but he transferred to Bloomsburg University at the end of his freshman year. He was a three-year starter as an offensive guard for the Huskies. He capped his three-year career by being named First Team All conference P.S.A.C. offensive guard and being a member of the 1985 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship team. This year’s Husky team won the Lambert Cup Trophy emblematic of the best small college team in the East.
John was Middle Atlantic AAU District Champion in 1984, 1985, and 1986. He won the Mt. Carmel Area Holiday Tourney in 1984 at 98 pounds and he repeated in 1985 at 112 pounds.
In 1986, he finished third in both Districts and Regionals; was the sectional runner-up and topped off his great year by going all the way to the State Quarter Finals. He was selected to represent Districts 3 and 4 in the State Challenge of Champions Meet, and he won his weight class. His overall career record was 71 wins, 16 losses and five ties.
He is the son of Barbara and John Bewick of 458 W. Saylor St., Atlas, Pa.
Tony Niglio is another of those people who have contributed so much to Coal Region sports. An outstanding athlete on his own, Tony competed for 18 years as a softball pitcher and won more than 300 games. In 1957, he won 27 games and lost only one, while being the league MVP.
As a bowler he was equally proficient. He averaged 187 over 20-year period, and there are people making a living at the game doing not much better. He once had a game of 257. Additionally, he has coached kids for more than 20 years.
His St. Mary’s of Kulpmont teams have always stood out, winning three Deanery championships, and in 1971 an overall league title.
Tommy Latshaw capped a great 1986 season in which he won 29 bouts and lost only six, by finishing fourth in the Pennsylvania State Championships. He was runner-up in District IV at 132 lbs., but he went on to win the championships in both sectionals and regionals at the same weight class. On the way, he established a school record for most pins in a season with 20. Tom also won the MCA Invitational Championship at 138 lbs. He is also a defensive mainstay of the Mount Carmel football Tornadoes, despite his lack of size.
SCOTT THOMAS MICHAEL YAGODZINSKIE
Scott Yagodzinskie is the first Mount Carmel swimmer to make it to the State finals in swimming. Scott placed 3rd in the P.I.A.A. District IV diving competition which enabled him to make it to the state finals. The Kulpmont youngster handled the pressure of competing against older divers from much bigger schools very well. Despite the fact that he did not earn a ribbon, he represented the school well, and more importantly, broke ground so that other Tornado swimmers will find it easier to compete there in the future.
Scott was honored by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Swim