9th Annual Banquet
ROBERT C. VEACH
Robert C. Veach is his name. But you could never call him anything but “Bob”. He belongs to that group of athletes who never quite got the recognition they deserve for any number of reasons. AS a result, the hall dof fame has not honored him as quickly as maybe it should have. But he belongs- You could look it up.
In three years of varsity competition at Mount Carmel, Bob scored 40 toushdowns and rushed for 2,138 yds. His senior year alone he gained 1,203 yrds. His career records of 3,372 All-Purpose yards ranks him fifth on the school’s all-time list. In 1968, he was All-State Honorable Metion both UPI and AP, and a finalist for the Big 33 Squad. A great Tornado squad won the Southern Division Championship and lostnarrowly to Blakely for the Eastern Division Championship. It wasn’t Bob’s fault that the Tornadoes also had a running back named Gary Diminick who was getting most of the headlines with his own brilliant performances.
From 1969 to 1973, he attended Susquehanna University. During that period, he established 15 career records, all of which still stand. His all-purpose running of 3,524 yards puts him way ahead of any other S.U. back in that category (more than Larry Erdman, more than Dick Purnell-more than anybody!).
Bobby’s other college awards:
1973- Clyde R. Spitzner Memorial Award as MVP
1972-All Lutheran College Honorable Mention
All-State First Team, Middle Atlantic Conference Co-Captain.
1971-Outstanding Offensive Player.
He topped it off by being inducted into Susquehanna’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1983. Welcome to the Hall of Fame, Bob.
DR. LOU COLE
Lou Cole was an all-around athlete who lettered four years in track and field and three years in football. He received the Most Outstanding Athlete Award in his senior year and received National recognition in the Letterman Magazine as the first backfield football performer nationwide to bench press 400 pounds.
In 1973 he was selected to the Associated Press All-State first team in football; Prep all American Football Team 1973; The All South Eastern Conference first team as linebacker and fullback 1972 and 1973; All Anthracite Fullback and Linebacker of the Year Special Award which was given by the Reading Eagle in 1973. Lou played on consecutive Eastern Conference Championship Teams 1972 and 1973 which were undefeated in 24 games. He served as co-captain in 1973 and led the team with 61 unassisted and 73 assisted tackles. He added to his impressive statistics with pass interceptions and defensive fumble recoveries.
He was undefeated in dual meets in the Javelin in his junior and senior year. He was district champ in the shot put in 1973 and 1974 and set a shot put record of 55’5” and a javelin of 207”9”. He also participated in the state finals in the shot put and javelin in 1973/74. He was c-captain of the track team in 1974.
Lou attended Brown University where he majored in Premed. While at Brown he co-captained the varsity in his senior year. In 1976 he was the starting linebacker on Brown’s only Ivy League Championship football team. Lou was chosen twice as ECAC player of the week and was selected to the Al Ivy Football Team in 1976 and 1977.
He was nominated from Brown University for a Rhodes Scholarship and did not accept the nomination because his entrance into medical school.
TONY "BUDDY" COSTELLO
From 1947 to 1949, you could have gotten into a great sports argument discussing the relative merits of Mount Carmel Area running backs. Tornado and, of course, thought Glenn “Bones” Adams was the greatest. Mount Carmel Township fans would fight you over Dave Ficca as the top choice. And Catholic High fans backed off from no one over their choice: Tony “Buddy” Costello. Since the other two have already been inducted, it’s only fair that “Buddy” Costello is inducted tonight.
Buddy was a great open field runner. A tireless two-way player who had a reputation for toughness. Since all three great runners competed for schools now part of the area jointure, it would be fun to imagine a team that had all three in the same backfield.
After high school, he received a scholarship to Fordham University. There, he was teamed with Ficca in the same backfield. Fordham was an outstanding Eastern power then. One of its great rivalries was with the University of San Francisco, with whom they split two games. That U.S.F. team had nine of its starting 11 go on to the NFL. Included were Gino Marchetti, Ollie Matson, Joe Scudero, Bob St. Clair, and Ed Brown.
He has eight children and is presently Vice President and Controller of PLM Companies, Inc. in Pleasonton, California.
JOSEPH "JAZZ" DIMINICK
Most area football fans think Jazz Diminick’s football career began when he started coaching at Mount Carmel High School. The old timers, though, remember Jazz as a great football player. This, even though his total football career as a high school player, spent only one full season and a portion of the second. He began in 1942 as a tackle at Kulpmont High School. In 1943, he alternated at running back, but broke his ribs and missed more than half the season. In 1944 as a junior, he led what many considered to be the Kulpmont’s greatest team ever to an undefeated 11 and 0 season. That great Kulpmont team showed up with a new fangled “T” formation. Which they had borrowed from the Chicago Bears. The “T”, however, needs a great running back to make it go, and they had one in Jazz Diminick. He led the team in rushing, Kick returns, and scoring. He was also an outstanding pass receiver and an exceptional blocker, though only 5’8” and 142 pounds. In eleven games, he returned at least one kick all the way for a touchdown.
He spent his senior year at Seton Hall Prep School where he was coached by the famous Bobby Nork. While at Seton Prep he led the team in rushing, scoring, passing and kicking. He was names All-Metropolitan New York-New Jersey.
In 1946, he moved to Boston College to begin his collegiate career. E was a 4-letter winner and a starter both ways for three full years. The Associated Press’s great sports writer, Milt Richman, placed Jazz on his own personal First Team All-American.
After graduating from Boston College, Jazz was courted by the Giants, Packers, and Redskins. He signed with the New York Giants. He was doing well and probably would have made the team, but received a severe elbow dislocation during a scrimmage, which put him in the hospital for three days. The Giants then farmed him out to the Jersey City Giants where he finished his career.
Ralph Menapace, one of the rugged smaller men who played football for Mike Terry in the late 1940’s, demonstrated that size was not necessary to be a lineman. His quick reactions and his superb knowledge of the game enabled him to outplay his larger opponents for three years of varsity football.
When Ralph matriculated at Yale University, he realized that football was “out” and studies “in”. His excellent undergraduate success enabled him to enter Yale’s Law School, where he continued his outstanding achievements. He was an editor of the YALE LAW REVIEW.
When he died in 1984, the New York Times obituary noted that, “The monuments to Ralph’s good sense and good manners are all over New York. It is due to him that such landmarks as Grand Central Station, Radio City Music Hall, Lever House, and the Upper East Side Historic District were preserved.
The president of New York’s Municipal Art Society noted that “Mr. Menapace was quiet and courteous and a defender of the things that made New York Special.” He was also someone who looked back on our area with pride, and someone we can look upon as “SPECIAL”.
VICTOR "WOP" DIRIENZO
Victor “Wop” DiRienzo, nicknamed the “Township Express”, player for the Mount Carmel Wolverines in the late 20’s and early 30’s. He was lightning fast and could turn direction at any time regardless of field or weather conditions. He was considered one of the greatest runners of early day football.
In one of the best games against Kulpmont Sons of Italy, Wop scooped up a punt on his own 30 yard line, reversed his field, and ran 70 yards through an ocean of mud through the entire Kulpmont Sons of Italy team for the only touchdown of the game. The run was the only score in a game which helped the Wolverines retain the County Championship. Earlier the same year, the “Township Express” ran 50 yards for the only touchdown of the game to beat the Shamokin entry in the league. Unlike present day athletes, whose accomplishments are recorded faithfully, old time athletes cannot rely on their statistics to prove their greatness. Instead, it is necessary to rely on the word of fans who have seen these players in action.
Wop DiRienzo’s fans are many. Anyone who has seen him play will testify to the fact that he was a great athlete, a great runner who would have starred in any era.
FATHER FRANCIS PAUL CRAWFORD
The 1935 yearbook at Mount Carmel Catholic High School spoke of Francis Paul Crawford:
Born for success he seemed, with the grace to win and the heart to hold, with shining gifts that took all eyes. His exploits on the gridiron were second to none.
When Father Clark decided to make Mount Carmel Catholic a four-year high school in 1932, he felt a football program would help promote activities. Even though a sophomore, Francis “Pretz’ Crawford became the leader and for three years captained those first Ram Squads.
Upon graduation, he did not go immediately on to college. Economics forced a short stint as a mine worker, and he began boxing as a local amateur to pass the time away. He began a love affair with boxing which lasted all his l ife.
He received his undergraduate degree at Villanova, then continued in the Seminary at Catholic University. He also held a special degree in education from DePaul University. He was ordained a priest in 1944.
His assignments were primarily at two Chicago High Schools: St. Rita’s and Mendel. He held titles of Dean of Discipline, Athletic Director, and Principal. His love of boxing caused him to start a Golden Gloves Boxing Program in Chicago. The program brought him into contact with many leasing boxing figures, including one young man named Tony Zale, who went on to great renown.
He died in 1979 at age 62. He was honored in 1981 by St. Rita’s High School by being included in their Hall of Fame.
Jack Buchinski was Jack Armstrong come to life. In the late 30’s and early 40’s, Jack Armstrong was a storybook sports hero who made all the big plays under pressure- an all-round athlete who quietly led his team to victory in all sports.
Mike Terry used to say great athletes come in cycles. And in that period, 1948 to 1952, Kulpmont High had many of its greatest all playing at the same time. Jack starred in basketball, football and baseball at Kulpmont High. He and Joey Hanlon led the Wildcats to Championships in all three sports.
But it was in basketball that he found his special place. During the 1950-51 season, Jack averaged 21.5 points per game over the 23-game season, as he led Kulpmont to the Keystone League Championship. He topped off his terrific season by being named Honorable Mention All-State. At that point, it was the most points ever scored by a Kulpmont Basketball Player, and you can put his All-State Mention is perspective by realizing that his All-State Teammates included Julius McCoy, Joe Hollip, Tom Gola and Ed Fleming.
Jack also starred as an end and halfback in football and a pitcher and second baseman in baseball. He became the highest scoring end in Kulpmont High School history, and averaged 9.9 yards per carry as a running back.
1927 FOOTBALL SQUAD
The legend, of course, becomes the truth. We’ve heard about it dozens of times, yet never tire of hearing it again. But, it seems everyone has a story about that state championship game. Were they really the best team ever to represent Mount Carmel? Were the weather conditions really the worst ever? The best thing is that one of life’s most enjoyable pastimes is a sports argument and that team provided more than its share. Thirteen of that team’s members still live. They are: Joseph Ambrose, Springfield, Mo.; Charles Beierschmitt, Grand Crest Nursing Home; Dan Helwig, Willow Grove; Albert Jones, Elysburg; James Magennis, Mount Carmel; George Homiak, Diamondtown; Albert Masciantonio, Atlas ; Albert Mickalitis, Mount Carmel; Raymond Miller, Mount Carmel; Joseph “Pooch” Orzechowskie, Detroit; Charles Reed, Sunbury; Edward Sarisky, Mount Carmel; Robert Toy, Grand View Nursing Home.
One of the most important functions of the Hall of Fame organization is honoring outstanding student athletes. Ed Romance always felt that the combination of outstanding ability and performance in sports and classroom was so unique that it deserved special recognition and honor. We have has a great succession of honorees, and Cheryl Darrup continues that fine tradition.
Cheryl ranks fifth in her class, and is a member of the National Honor Society, testifying to her academic achievements. She is class secretary and student council president, which mirrors her leadership abilities. She is her parish representative to the Diocesan Synod, a lector at St. John’s Church, the winner of the Mount Carmel Legion Women’s Auxiliary Americanism Award, and an exchange student in Holland as testimony to her community and religious involvements.
But she is also an outstanding athlete. Cheryl will letter in softball, basketball, track and cross country as a senior.
She is captain of the softball, basketball and cross country teams. Voted the MVP of the 85-86 basketball team, she was a member of the Schuylkill League All-Stars (Cross Country) in both 85 and 86. She is the only 3-time qualifier for the state cross country meet in school history. A terrific athlete and student. Exactly the kind of person Ed Romance had in mind for this honor.