13th Annual Banquet
“Coach” Joe Paskevich was a four-year starter as a Mount Carmel High School lineman from 1930 through ’34. Along the way he also held the javelin throw record for the Tornado Track Squad. He was also president of his graduating class.
After graduation he headed for Wyoming Seminary in Wilkes-Barre, where he continued his fine athletics career. He was the recipient of Wyoming’s Gold Award honoring the outstanding athlete there. He also competed successfully on the varsity level as a wrestler at “The Sem”.
He enrolled at Fordham University in 1936, and for the next four years was an outstanding lineman there. He was the backup center for Alex Wojiehowicz, who later starred for the Philadelphia Eagles, and a member of the famed “7 Blocks of Granite” of Fordham.
After graduation he returned to Mount Carmel as a teacher and coach. He was an outstanding line coach under both Joe Ambrose and Mike Terry from 1942 through 1948. He also served as an assistant wrestling coach to fellow inductee Charles Sacavage through the late 40’s and early 50’s.
“Coach” also found time to play football on a semi-pro level with the Shenandoah Presidents of that era. He was known for his strength; and achieved a reputation as a strong disciplinarian as a teacher at MCAHS. He is fondly remembered by a generation of student athletes who had the opportunity to come under his wing.
CHARLES A. (ENDRUN) SACAVAGE
Charles Sacavage was a terrific football and track competitor at Mt. Carmel High School and Gettysburg College; but it was a wrestler where he gained most prominence.
He was the District IV Long Jump Champion and once scored two touchdowns in less than two minutes, testimony to his performance in those sports. But as a wrestler, he had no parallel.
He was involved in wrestling continuously from 1934 to 1989 either as a wrestler, coach or official. He was undefeated throughout his career at Mt. Carmel; and then went on to become a Three-Time Middle Atlantic Champion at Gettysburg.
After completing his college career he turned to teaching and coaching. He coached at Lansdowne and Wiconisco High Schools throughout 1947. At Wiconisco he was head coach in football, basketball and baseball.
He returned to Mt. Carmel in 1948 as an assistant to Mike Terry. From 1952 through 1964 he was head wrestling coach at his alma mater.
From 1940 through 1990 Sacavage was licensed PIAA Wrestling Official and was one of the founding members of the Keystone Chapter of Wrestling Officials.
His three sons: Charles Jr., Bob and Greg competed with outstanding success as both football players and wrestlers at Mount Carmel. He joins his sons Bob as a member of the Hall of Fame. Bob, a State Champion, was inducted in 1983.
(JOHNNY STANK) JOHN R. STANKIEWIC
Johnny Stank was an outstanding quarterback for the Tornadoes from 1931 through 1933. He led the fine teams which also included fellow Hall-of-Fame Inductees Pete Avizienis and Tom Vershinski (Vernon).
Stank was an outstanding drop-kicker, a phase of the kicking game no longer used, in which the kicker would kick field goals and extra points by dropping the ball in front of his foot and kicking it through the uprights as it bounced off the ground.
He was a particularly fine baseball player, and had a tryout with the St. Louis Cardinals; but a knee injury sustained in a high school football game prevented his signing. Soon after, he was drafted into the Armed Forces and the four year interlude effectively put at end to his dreams of a major league baseball career.
It didn’t keep him from playing on a Semi-Pro basis however. He continued to play with organized teams from Mt. Carmel to Berwick.
Stank soon took up bowling as a serious pursuit; and he became one of the areas finest bowlers. At that time bowling was in its heyday and organized leagues sprang up throughout the coal regions. John Stank was named the “Bowler of the Year” three successive years and in some years averaged 250 per game. Twice he bowled 299, just one shy of the perfect game which is so rare an achievement for bowlers. Were he alive today, he could no doubt make his living as a Professional Bowler.
He also developed a passion for golf, and was instrumental in getting many youngsters interested in the game. He approached golf with the same enthusiasm he approached all other sports and soon became a good player.
John Stank died in 1988 at the age of 75. His life was dedicated entirely to sports.
Sam Scicchitano was a “tough as nails” running back for Mt. Carmel Township Golden Bears from 1929 to 1933. During that period he rushed the ball long enough and often enough to place him among the Township’s All-Time Leaders in every conceivable rushing category. He is listed among the top ten in scoring, single-game scoring, season scoring, career scoring and holds records for both longest run and longest punt return.
“Tiger Sam” as he was known, for his speed, durability and most of all his toughness. And after his high school career he competed as a pro and semi-pro with both the Atlas Wolverines and the Kulpmont All Stars.
Sam was also a pretty fair country baseball player for the Atlas Yankees; and competed as an amateur boxer for a number of years.
After his career as a player ended he got involved as trainer of the Mt. Carmel Township team. He served in that capacity for 10 years. In 1944 he took over as head coach of the Township Football Squad and held that job during the war years.
Sam stays actively interested in sports to this day; he has 9 grandchildren who competed in various varsity sports for the Mt. Carmel Red Tornadoes. He very seldom misses a football practice during football season.
Edward C. (Ed) Hennessey
In this area of the coal region, along with great high school athletes, there was always a fine semi-pro circuit and certain men dominate all types of sports. Even though they worked 5 to 6 days in the mines, they were not too tired to get out after work or on weekends to compete.
Such a person was Ed who was always in demand especially in baseball where he played on many area teams, covering center field where his speed was best used.
Ed Hennessey played both football and baseball at the top level of the spot in the 1920’s. After a successful career at Mt. Carmel Township High School, Hennessey attended Mt. St. Mary’s College on a football scholarship. He was an instant success at the Mount; but as often happens he found the need to help support his family more important then college and left before graduation. He continued to play football as a semi-pro with the Ashland entry in a local semi-pro league.
He played with the Mt. Carmel Professionals, and on October 16, 1924 was part of a local All Star Team which played against the American League All Stars, which featured Lou Gehrig, Al Shacht, Tom Zachary and others.
He remained in football as the trainer for the Mt. Carmel Township Golden Bears after completing his own competitive career. He dies in March 1966 at the age of 64.
Frank Miriello was one of Kulpmont High School’s finest all-around athletes during the mid-sixties. He was not only a three-sport star; but his leadership ability was apparent even then, because he was co-captain of the Wildcats football, basketball and baseball teams as a senior.
He played for East Stroudsburg from 64 thru 66. He started all three years at strong safety for East Stroudsburg. They were Conference Champions in two of those three years. As a senior in 66 he was co-captain and an All Conference strong safety. He was honored by the National Sports Foundation as one of the Nations Outstanding Scholar-Athletes after his senior year.
He began his coaching career at Shamokin High School in 1967 remaining three until he became a head coach at Southern Columbia High School in 1971.
He coached at the collegiate level from 1978 through 1985. He coached at various times at Washington & lee, Hampden-Sydney and VMI. He left college coaching in 1987 to become head football and lacrosse coach at Mercerburg Academy, one of the nation’s foremost prep schools.
EDWARD "SECKY" DALLABRIDA
Ed “Secky” Dallabrida was a flashy football and basketball star at Kulpmont High School during the period 1930 to 1934.
After completing his high school career for the Wildcats he played for a local semi-pro team known as the Anthracite Maroons. “Secky” was a stylist, known for his classic running form and his speed.
He never seemed to get enough of the sports participation and competition. If there was a football or basketball game available “Secky” seemed to be bale to find it.
After his competitive days ended he took up bowling and golf and became one of the area’s best at those sports. He also became a PIAA Basketball Official and was well known throughout the anthracite region as a knowledgeable and competent official.
He died in 1986 at the age of 70.
Jim Bach graduated from Mount Carmel Catholic High School in 1963. While in high school, Jim played varsity baseball and football. Bach played both ways for the “Rams” as center, tackle, defensive end, middle guard and linebacker. During his three years as a varsity player, the “Rams” posted twenty-five wins and only five losses. In his senior year the “Rams” were nine and one and voted Northumberland County’s best high school team.
Jim played for the late coach Bob Oravitz who rated him as “the best schoolboy center in the state”. Jim’s post-season honors included being named to the All-Catholic, All-Anthracite, All-State and Pennsylvania Big 33 teams. In his playing days Jim was known as “mobile, agile and hostile”. He continued the tradition of the Bach brothers (George, Joe, John and Frank) who played for the “Rams” in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Jim credits his success to his coach, teammates and family. Jim’s approach to the game was good, old-fashioned, hard-nosed, coal region football.
After his senior football season, Jim was recruited by many Division I schools, including Penn State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Miami, Nebraska, Southern Cal, Texas, Pitt, Michigan, Michigan State, Colorado, West Virginia, Alabama, West Point and Ohio State.
Jim attended the University of Colorado on a full football scholarship. He also played football in the U.S. Army and was names “Player of the Year” after the 1966 season. Jim’s most memorable and rewarding football experience was playing in the Pennsylvania Big 33 Classic in Hershey, Pa.
After graduating from college, Jim attended Samford University Law School and today is a prominent attorney with a general practice in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
JOHN F. (PUD) MCCARTHY
“Pud” McCarthy was one of Mt. Carmel Catholic’s first great football players. He was a four-year starter and was utilized first by coach John Pachuta and later by coach Ray Green as both a lineman and a battering ram fullback.
He captained the team his senior year; the first sign of the leadership qualities which were to surface again later.
In 1940 he entered the civilian conservation corps, at that time a useful outlet for youngsters who had no immediate job opportunities or college plans. World War II intervened, and in 1943 he was inducted into the U.S. Army. He served in the Army till 1947, and after his discharge got the idea that college and football might be an enjoyable combination.
He entered the University of Miami in 1949 and immediately reported to coach Andy Gustafson; but a service-connected disability left him unable to compete successful at that level and he reluctantly gave up the game.
He continued as a student at Miami, and in 1952 graduated from the University of Miami Law School. After completing the Bar Exam he accepted a position as a contract negotiator for the Navy Department. He worked in that position at the Pentagon until his death from cancer in 1974.
Phil Kosvitch continues the tradition of fine student athletes honored by the Ed Romance Chapter. He played football for the Tornadoes as a frosh and sophomore before deciding to concentrate on baseball, cross country and wrestling for the balance of his high school career.
As a cross country runner he made the Schuylkill League All-Star Team. He finished tenth in the All-League meet and 17th in the District II Championship met.
He is captain of this year’s Tornado Wrestling Squad, and his record for the 89-90 seasons in 54-6.
He was the Schuylkill League Champion at 125 pounds this year. He has been recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s 100 top wrestlers for the 89-90 and 90-91 seasons.
He has done similarly well as a student. Presently ranked fourth in his class, with a cumulative average of 94.63. He recently scored 1050 on the SAT Exam. He is a member of both the National Honor Society and The Anthracite Honor Society.