14th Annual Banquet
RON LEWIS (WASILEWSKI)
Ron was an all State Football player in 1963-1964 as an End and a Punter for the Tornadoes. But he was more than just a football player: he was also an All State nominee in basketball and finished second in the State in the discus throw two years in succession.
He still holds the Mount Camel High School Stadium record for the discus throw. While at Mount Carmel he was captain of the basketball team, co captain of the track team and winner of the Babe Ruth Award which in those days symbolized the school’s Outstanding Athlete.
“Washie” was recruited at West Point, where he played one year before transferring to Bucknell. He had tryouts with both the Giants and Browns as a Punter in 1971 and 72.
He has been just as successful in the business world as on the field of play. He presently heads the Ron Lewis Automotive Group, a Western Pennsylvania organization which represents six automobile dealerships and employs more than 200 people.
He is married to the former Barbara Moratelli of Mount Carmel. The couple has two daughters, Gwen a Junior at Bucknell and Romi, a seventh grade student.
JOHN M. NICOLETTI
Johnny was a 4-year letterman on the Tornado Track squad from 1964thru 1968. Very few have compiled the kind of records he did as both a high school and college runner.
In 1967 Nicoletti was the Southern Conference Mile and 880 Champion, the District IV Mile Champion and finished 6th in the Mile and 7th in the 880 at the State Championship Meet.
His Senior year he did even better. He repeated as Champion in both the Mile and 880 in the Southern Conference and District IV meet; but moved up to second in the 880 and third in the mile at the State Championship meet.
He also captained that fine Tornado squad and set school records in the 880, Mile, and Two Mile; then participated as part of the Mile Relay, Two Mile Relay and Sprint Medley Relay Teams which also set school records.
From 1968 through 1971 he continued a fine running career at Mount St. Mary’s College. He was the 1970 Mason Dixon Mile Champion and finished 3rd in the NCAA Regional Meet in his Mile specialty.
He also captained the Mt. St. Mary’s team while there set school records in the 1000 Yard Indoor, Mile Indoor & Outdoor, 2 Mile Relay, 4 Mile Relay and the Distance Medley Relay.
Niccoletti presently lives in Pleasant Valley New York.
PETER (WAR-HORSE) AVIZIENIS
Big Pete Avizienis was one of the first “Three-Sport Stars” at Mount Carmel High School in the early ‘30’s. He was unusually big for a teenager, especially in those days. AS a Sophomore he was over 6 feet tall and exceeded 200 pounds. He showed great early promise in all three sports.
AS a Junior he led a basketball team that was one of the best in school history. That team won 13 games and lost only to Mahanoy Area, a traditional region basketball power.
He competed in all the weight events as a trackman; but as a shot putter he was particularly proficient, and won the State Championship with a record 44 foot 1 inch heave in 1933.
Big Pete was part of the construction crew that dug holes for the light towers at the new stadium which opened in 1932.
He was a terrific Football Lineman under Coach Walter “Bull” Levine and his size and athletic talent made him a prize cathch for the college coaches. He chose the University of Pittsburg, coached by the legendary John B. (Jock) Sutherland. He did well for the Panthers initially, but was unable to complete a college career because of an injury. He eventually died from a brain tumor.
Big Pete was one of the best ever at Mount Carmel. And he was joined by a great group of teammates which included Joe Paskevich, Tom Vershinski, Ray Green, Frank Ososki and Frank Merges.
LEONARD P. (DEKE) DE CONCINI
“Deke” attended Mount Carmel Township High School and played football under Coaches Al Masciontoni and Charlie Karlow. He played most positions, but he was notes as a fine “Pulling Guard”. Both his coaches are members of out Hall of Fame.
He attended Fordham University on a Football scholarship. While there he was coached by “Sleppy Jim” Crowley, one of the legendary Four Horsemen of Notre Dame. One of his teammates at Fordham was Steve Filipowicz, another Hall of Famer.
He played in the 1941 Cotton Bowl against Texzas A & M, led by All American “Jarrin Jack” Kimbrough. Deke scored a touchdown, but it was note enough to overcome the Kimbrough led Aggies who won 13-12.
The following year he played in the Sugar Bowl, where the Fordham Rams defeated Missouri 2-0.
After graduation he joined the Navy, and played for the Pensacola, Florida Naval Air Station under Coach Patsy Clark. He was a flight instructor during the war, and later a carrier fighter pilot. He remained in the Naval Reserve and retired as a Commander.
Deke spent 35 years with American National Insurance Company, both as a General Agent and Sales Director for the North Central States and Alaska.
He and his wife Donna raised five boys and 2 girls and have 12 grandchildren.
LEO W. SHU
Leo W. Shu was an educator and sportsman who was devoted to the sports program at Mount Carmel Township High School for 32 years. He participated in basketball and baseball during his high school and college days.
He graduated from Bloomsburg with degree in Education and earned his Masters Degree at Bucknell University.
He was responsible for instating the sports program at Mount Carmel Township High and became the school’s first coach in football, basketball and track. He coached all three sports without payment until they were able to stand on their own and the district could afford full-time coaches.
Shu was the Principle at Township for 32 years from 1919 through 1951, when the Township District joined the Mount Carmel to for the Mount Carmel Area School District. His interest in athletics was constant and for many years hew was a District Representative as a Director of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Leo Shu was a behind the scenes force largely responsible for the many athletic successes forged by so many great Mount Carmel Township athletes. He died in January, 1965; but his wife the former Elizabeth Cress, is still alive.
ROBERT LOUIS SGRO
Bob Srgo was an outstanding Guard –Linebacker for the Kulpmont High Wildcats till his graduation in 1950. After leaving Kulpmont he played a year at Fork Union Military Academy, where he led his Prep Team to League Championships as a catcher in Baseball and Guard-Linebacker in Football.
The following year Sgro began a great college career at Richmond University. From ’51 through ’54 he started every game at both positions. He was All Southern Conference Linebacker in 1954 while captaining the Spiders. He also displayed his versatility by kicking off and kicking extra points for Richmond.
As a result of his great leadership qualities he was asked to stay on as an assistant line coach for the Spiders. He did this job for two years and then as promoted to head line coach, a position he filled for an additional two years.
After the 1959 season, Bob resigned his coaching position in order to get into the business world. He was general Sales Manager and then the Agency Manager for one of Virginia’s fine life insurance companies.
He demonstrated the same qualities of leadership in the business world as he did in football; serving as President of the Richmond Association of Life Underwriters, the Kiwanis Club of West Henrico and the Richmond Spider Club.
He is also a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Army.
He currently resides in Richmond.
ALBERT W. ROSS
Why does it seem so often that the best athletic teams also seem to produce people who are the most successful in later life? But we’ve seen it over and over again here in Mt. Carmel Area. The 1938 Kulpmont Team is one example. The 1972 and 73 Mt. Carmel Teams produced at least a half dozen doctors, lawyers and engineers; and the 1927 Mt. Carmel State Championship Team had a galaxy of great athletes who went on to become leaders of our community for many years after.
One of the most prominent of these is Albert Ross. He was a tough tackle on the 1927 team, and afterward lettered as a lineman for Albright University for four years. After completing his career at Albright he went on to Columbia University where he received his Master Degree.
He taught Physics and Chemistry at Kulpmont High for a number of years before being appointed Principal. And from 1933 through 1949, a period which was Kulpmont High’s Golden Years athletically he was not only Principal, but also an assistant coach handling lineman. During that period, Kulpmont produced four undefeated teams: 1938, 1944, 1945, and 1951.
Albert Ross was a renaissance man, the kind of unique individual who combined the highest ideals of athleticism and scholarship during his term of leadership at Kulpmont.
Rom Mareski was probably the best of the parade of Coal Region athletes who starred at Fordham University during the late 40’s and early 50’s. Mareski was a Sturdy Guard who was captain of his Mt. Carmel Catholic High School squad and then joined the annual migration to Fordham under the sponsorship of Tom Cuff, the coal gas station owner who was a talent scout for the New York school.
He was the Rams most valuable player as a Senior, and twice was selected as an All Catholic American. He won the Madow Trophy for his performance against NYU as a Senior; and his Coach Ed Danowski called Mareski ‘The best Defensive Guard I have ever coached.”
After graduation he played one year of service football at the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, and was selected First Team All Army Guard.
He was inducted into Fordham’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1991, and during that ceremony was acknowledged as “A player who would have been right at home on the Immortal Seven Blocks of Granite”.
Mareski presently resides in El Paso, Texas.
ROBERT "JIGGS" CONNOLLY
One of the great sports discussions, when the football groups get together, is to okay “What IF” and to put together a high school team comprised of players from Mt. Carmel Catholic, Mt. Carmel Township and Mt. Carmel High School who played at the same time.
For example, “What If” Glenn Adams, Dave Ficca, Buddy Costello, Skippy Watkins, Joe Thiroway, Kenny Wenrick, Bibby Lavish and “Jughead” White all played on the same team. These were all terrific Running Backs who played at the same time for one of the three local high schools.
Well one of the names that always come up in those discussions is “Jiggs” Connolly. He was a Center Offensive and the Safety Defensive for the Catholic High Rams…A strange combination when you think of it: A guy tough enough and solid enough to be the snapper and most important blocker on the line, and yet quick nough to cover the opponents best receiver as the Safety. In addition, “Jiggs” kicked off and kicked extra points.
There were some solid players on that 1942 team assembled by “Tufki” Andrulevich and Walter Dugan. Bill Jacobly, John “De De” Gredzinski, Joe Delaney, Len MJarchinski and Bob Dondero were a few of the names that helped the Rams to one of their better seasons.
Mark Vottero is the latest in the proud line of athletes whose excellence academically equaled their outstanding contributions on the athletic fields.
Mark maintains an 89 average in the difficult academic course curriculum while setting records in track, football, and basketball for the Mt. Carmel Area Red Tornadoes.
He is undefeated in Dual Meets in all three of his specialties: 100 Meters, 200 Meters and 400 Meters. He has also won the 200 Meters in Districts the past two years, and the 100 and 400 last year.
He finished 5th in the State Meet in the 200 Meter as a Sophomore; and moved up a notch last year to advance to the semifinals in all three events. In his final year of state competition he is bigger and stronger, and will almost certainly be among the finalist n all three events.
He has lettered 4 years for the Tornado Basketball Team; playing his best in the big games. He has been the teams Defensive Player of the Year the past two years, usually drawing the assignment of guarding the opponent’s toughest scorer.
Becoming a State Champion is a wrestler’s ultimate goal, but to achieve this as a Sophomore is truly a great accomplishment. After finishing 5th in the State Tournament in 1991, Mike set his sights to this year’s tournament. His record this past season was a perfect 35-0. On route to capturing the 130 lb. weight class title, Mike took first place finishes in the following tournaments: Southeastern Regional, District XI, SIAL, Piux X Tournament, and the Central Columbia Tournament. His overall two year record is an outstanding 68-5.
In addition to being a member of Mt. Carmel Area’s Wrestling Team, Mike is an Honor Student, currently ranked 25th in a class of 130. His high school activities include Latin Club, Students Against Drunk Driving, Stand Tall, and Biology Club.
Mike is coached by “Bucky” McCollum. Other former M.C.A.H.S. Wrestling Champions are: Ed Rakocy, John Zukowski, and Bob Sacavage, our present District Attorney.
Mike is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Garcia of Atlas.