17th Annual Banquet
Fred Hynoski was a super high school football player, teaming with Jimmy Darrup to give Mount Carmel one of the best running back combinations ever to play for the Red and White.
However, it was as a college player that Fred really hit his stride. At the University of Cincinnati, Fred found the perfect showcase for his versatile talents. He was one of the last of the two-way players; guys who did everything on the football field.
He was the lone starting sophomore for the Bearcats when they opened the season against Hardin-Simmons...and he held onto the position for three years.
During that period he not only led the team in rushing; but also was the leading punt and kick-off returner and averaged 38.6 yards as the Bearcat punter. His particular specialty was the quick-kick. At that time. A team with a quick-kicker was at a tremendous advantage. IN one game against Air Force Academy, he gained 72 yards rushing, 59 in a final TD drive that ended up just short of victory for the Bearcats. And quick-kicks of 50, 50, and 40 yards kept the high powered offense of the Academy at bay keeping the score close until the end.
For that performance he was named Missouri Valley Conference Back of the week.
His versatility made him an outstanding threat anywhere on the field. As a senior he led the team in total offense, was second in rushing and was the leading scorer. He had a 77 yard punt return which was the Bearcat record at the time. He led the Missouri Valley Conference in both punting and punt and kickoff returns...and he was 20th in the nation in punting average.
He was voted All Conference Honorable mention as a junior; and was second team as a senior.
Fred’s entrance into our Hall is long overdue. He was an outstanding player who did it all against major competition.
ANTHONY J. "BRONX” DIFRANCESCO
All over the country people are beginning to question the value of kid sports. Measuring the obvious benefits against the excesses and the overemphasis on winning at all costs leaves some people wondering.
Not to worry where “Bronx” is concerned. For 26 years he has coached the same simple philosophy: “Try your hardest. Fun is more important than the final score. Everybody plays. Learn to execute the fundamental things.”
The problem has been that most people who coach do so because they want to favor their own kids. Bronx has done it where none of his own kids was involved. He gave all his time teaching the game to other peoples kids. He began in 1969 as a volunteer to Mike Rudock and ha hes continued for 26 summers. Many of them assisted by George Kroutch.
The real test of how successful he has been is in the makeup of some of his present day rosters. They contain the sons of some of his original players who want their kids to learn the same lessons they got on baseball and sportsmanship.
Bronx was a pretty fair country softball player for Atlas Hose Company, managed bu Joe “Hobie” Forti. And their friendly rivalry continued for many years, including several league championship series. But it was as a junior league coach where “Bronx” has made the most important contributions.
ALEX “FUZZ” FILOHOSKI
Alex is another of those unselfish guys whose devotion and commitment to kids sports has contributed to the community and the kids whose life he touched.
He was a four sport star at Conyngham Township until 1941. Like so many others at the time, he left school to enlist in the Army.
From 1943 to 1945 he was a Military Policeman with the U.S. Army in Germany. While there he found time to compete in football, baseball, and boxing. After the was he returned home and got involved with semi-pro baseball with Star Lane.
In 1950 he was a coach for the Mount Carmel Legion Team which won several league championships. In 1958 the Atlas Fire Company Softball team. In 1963 the Atlas Hose Little League Team. In 1966 the Atlas Black Diamond Teener Team. In 9173 he tool over the Mt. Carmel Rotary Teener Team. Everywhere he went there was a common occurrence: his teams executed fundamentals extremely well and the won championships.
He has won championships on every level. Bush League, Little League, and Teener League. And always he coached because he loved baseball, the kids and the opportunity to be around the game.
TOM COLE, JR.
Tommy Cole was a special athlete. A great combination of strength and intelligence, speed and power. You might say he was bred for the job.
He set the school shot put record, broken in 1992 by Mike Fantanarosa. But until Mike got in the act, that record was strictly a family affair. Held originally by Tom’s Dad, the record was in turn held bu his uncle, Dan Ficca, his brother, Lou and finally Tom with a heave of 56 feet 9 inches in 1981.
He won the District Championship in both 81 and 82: and as a senior finished second in the state indoor championship and 6th in the outdoor championship. That year, they were the only meets he did not win.
But it was as a footballer that he achieved special status. As a senior Red Tornado he scored 9 touchdowns and was an all league, All State and All American Linebacker.
Strength training was always an important part of his training regimen; and spurred on by his father, Tom who was almost visionary in his recognition of the importance of weight training to athletics. Tommy bench pressed 400 pounds as a junior in high school. Not coincidentally, the only other Tornado athlete to accomplish that at the time was his brother, Lou.
Tommy started three years as a linebacker for Brown. As a senior he led the ream in tackles and had two interceptions. He was the heart and soul of a Brown defense that was number one in the Ivy League and the East and seventh in the nation. That team shout out four of its opponents, setting a school record in the process.
He was player of the week after a 15-tackle performance against Penn; and the recipient of the Hillhouse Limited Award as the unsung hero of the football squad.
Tommy graduated Cum Laude from New England School of Law. He is presently an associate with Clark, Lauder, Fortenbaugh & Young in Philadelphia.
FRANK J. SHEPTOCK
“Sheppy” was a dominating football player on every level. Yet he got better as he went along, and by the time he finished at Bloomsburg University he held most of the career and season tackle and defensive point records for the Huskies.
A tipoff on how well he was regarded at Bloomsburg: he was team captain for four years, 1982, 83, 84, 85. He was the most valuable player in 84 and 85; and the University’s undergraduate male athlete of the year in 83-84.
“Sheppy” led or tied the team in tackles in 35 of the 43 games in which he played. In his four year career at Bloomsburg, he started and played in every game.
He was first team AP All American Linebacker in both the 83 an 84 season, and All East the same years. He once registered 17 tackles in one game against Millersville State.
He was so much fun to watch. Much is made about how offenses made special plans to handle Lawrence Taylor in his prime as a linebacker for the New York Giants. But in his way, on his level, Frank Sheptock was every bit as dominant. He was always on or around the ball, and more importantly, he made the people around him better because of his presence.
He also holds Mount Carmel records for tackles in a season (166) and tackles in one game (24).
A great, great football player, Frank Sheptock is Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator at Wilkes University. His team was 1993 MAC Champions and participated in the NCAA playoffs. His 94 teams was Freedom Division Champions and ECAC Southeast Champions.
JOHN (LEFTY) KERDOCK
“Lefty” Kerdock was a Mount Carmel buy who has the dream and almost made it come true. He grew up fantasizing about playing with the St. Louis Cardinals and in 1928 he achieved step 1 by being signed by Branch Rickey, then general manager of the Cardinals.
He began his career in the South Atlantic League, and began to progress through the Cardinal Farm System. In 1934 he was added to the roster of the 1934 St. Louis Cardinal Championship Team for Spring Training.
He sustained a heart-breaking arm injury in training, ruining any chance he had of being on the opening game roster. However, the Cardinals loved his attitude and Coal Region approach to work; and they carried him with them team as batting practice pitcher.
He later filled the same role as batting practice pitcher for the Phillies until 1940. He attempted a comeback with Binghampton in the New York Penn League and Hazleton in the Eastern League. But the arm no longer had the zip and he eventually retired.
He returned to Mount Carmel...and for a time helped to manage the Mount Carmel Legion Teener Team in concert with Frank Merges, another Mount Carmel player with a distinguished minor league career.
He died in July 1979. Never quite fulfilling the dream of playing with the Gas House Gang Championship Teams.
VICTOR B. DALL
“Vic” Dall was a big, strong, tough, intelligent, mostly quiet guy who was universally requested by people who knew him as an athlete, official, and school administrator.
Viewed from the perspective of a seventh grader, he was imposing...a guy so big he seemed to fill up the room. You just knew that he was not a guy seventh graders messed around with too much.
He was a member of the 1927 State Championship Team. (Was there any one on that team who was not successful in life as they were athletically?) From there he went on to Villanova University where he played the other end opposite Mike terry. Their coach at Villanova was Harry Stuhldreher, one of the immortal “Four Horsemen.”
After graduation he returned to Kulpmont as an assistant to Mike Terry, and after a year let to join Walter Levine’s staff in Mount Carmel. When Levine was replaced by Al Jones he continued as an assistant for another three years. In 1937 he was co-coach of the Tornadoes, along with Joe Ambrose. After a year he left coaching and became a PIAA Official, and became one of the most respected officials in the area.
He continued as an official until 1950, when he was persuaded by Mike Terry to coach linemen for the Tornadoes. He remained in that capacity until 1956, when he again gave it up and concentrated on his administrative duties as principal of Mt. Carmel Junior High School.
Vic was an excellent administrator, and was instrumental in setting up the jointures between Mount Carmel and Moutn Carmel Township, and later the addition of Centrailia, Kulpmont, and Marion Heights.
“The Bull”, as he was known to a generation of students, was a respected and admired member of the community. A terrific athlete who was also an exemplary student and teacher. He is a wonderful addition to our Hall of Fame.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
1945 KULPMONT HIGH SCHOOL EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
The 1945 squad of coaches Mike Terry and George Wrona began the season under a lot of pressure. After the stunning success of the 1944 team which had won 11 in a row and the Eastern Conference Championship they felt pressure to maintain the unbeaten streak and to repeat as champions.
Coach Terry knew his team would be strong again defensively; but in an attempt to add some punch to the offense he moved Bernie Barkouskie, who had been a two tackle to fullback on offense. Barkouskie became a battering ram in an offense which emphasized ball control.
The defense performed as expected, giving up only three touchdowns and a total of 20 points in the 10-game regular season. In the title game against Larksvillw, the Wildcats trailed 12-6 late in the game when they began a sustained drive, featuring the powerful short-yardage runs of Barkouskie. With the time running out, and a first down at the Larksville 5 yard line, Barkouskie carried three consecutive times to the one yard line. With fourth and one, Larksville gathered for one final shot by Barkouskie. Instead, the Cats ran the Buck-Lateral series, faking to Barkouskie then pitching wide to George Rick, who walked into the end zone, completely taking Larksville by surprise.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
1945 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RELAY TEAM ADAM WILLIAMS, GEORGE TEUFEL, JACK PATRICK, BOB MCCAN
(COACH BRESLIN’S REPORT)
“The Mile Relay Team was the backbone of that undefeated track squad. Made up of only one natural quarter miler, Adam Williams (who also won the State Championship in the 440), the remainder of the team was made up of George Teufel, a sprinter; Jake Patrick, a hurdler, and Bob McCann, a half miler.
But they blended together to win at the Penn Relays and in every other meet they entered, including the State Championship.
In the State Meet that ‘45 Team scored more points than any other Mount Carmel Team before or since. There were two firsts by the relay team and Williams and Place Ribbons for Teufel in the hurdles ad Tom Cole in the Shot.”
“It was a raw, rainy day and each ember of the relay team had already labored through their separate events. Patrick ran in both hurdle races, Teufel ran in both dashes. McCann had completed an exhausting 880 race and Adam Williams had already won the State 440 Championship.
The track was covered with water on both turns, and Coach Breslin juggled the order of runners to compensate for the conditions…
Teufel, McCann and Patrick carried the baton in that order...leaving Williams a four yard deficit to overcome. Adam pursued the leader until he caught him at the 220 yard mark, and at the final turn both began their kick to the wire. The outcome was assured, for their was no one who could match the heart and drive of Adam Williams over the last 160 yards of a quarter mile race.”
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
MOUNT CARMEL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL TEAM ALL STATE HONOREES
Only the fourth player in school history to be names All State in successive years. Was Tornadoes All-Time Leading Receiver, with 123 catches for 1850 yards and 20 TD. Also had team record 11 interceptions and 14 passes broken up. Team Co-Captain, he was Reading Eagles receiver of the year. An outstanding basketball player he recently became only the second Tornado to pass the 500 assist mark.
Started 50 consecutive games for the Big Red. Holds career record for yardage: 5177: completions: 355: and touchdown passes: 55. Holds the season record for completions: 116.
He was Reading Eagle’s Small School Offensive Player of the Year, and is Associated Press Small School First Team All State Quarterback. He is ranked number one in his class, and has been Class President as a Junior and again as a Senior. He also won the 1993 Mike Terry Award.
Co-Captain of this years squad, Shawn led the team in tackles, 144. The third best performance ever at Mount Carmel. He registered 4 ½ sacks and had 23 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Finished with 300 tackles, (third best career performance). On offense carried 110 times for 558 yards and 8 touchdowns. First Team All State and All Anthracite. Was All Anthracite Defensive Player of the Year and Linebacker of the Year. Will continue career at Bloomsburg University.
Led team with 14 sacks for minus 134 yards. Had 60 tackles, 28 for minus yardage. Recovered 3 fumbles, broke up 6 passes and blocked one punt. First Team AP Small School All State, All Anthracite and Press Enterprise All Star. Most impressive aspect of his senior year performance is that he played only a little as a junior, coming from nowhere to his terrific senior year. He will continue his plying career at West Chester State University.
OUTSTANDING SCHOLAR ATHLETE
Ed Romance loved athletes. He considered athletics the highest form of expression for a Coal Region Kid...The Hall of Fame was his idea of how our great athletes could serve as ideals for the rest of us. And when a great athlete was also a great student, or was able to equal his success on the field with similar success in life, Ed Romance loved it even more.
Ed Romance would have been crazy about Mike Higgins.
Mike won the job as starting quarterback during the pre-season practice his freshman year at Mount Carmel: and he went on to start 50 consecutive games...culminating with his score of the winning touchdown in the State Championship Game.
On his way he has accumulated career records for yards passing, completions and touchdown passes; and has been named to every All Star and All State Team of significance. In addition, he is four-year varsity letter winner in basketball, and is co-captain of that squad.
Michael has been ranked number one in his class academically throughout his school career. He is expected to hold that ranking through graduation this year.
He has dine it all. ATHLETICS in the form of breaking records; PERFORMANCE IN THE CLUTCH, in the form of scoring the winning touchdown, on what was actually a broken play; LEADERSHIP, in the form of being elected captain of his teams, and class president; and SCHOLARSHIP, in the form of compiling a 98 plus average over 12 years.
Mike is also active in school plays, student government and service organizations. Over the 17 years that this club has honored student athletes, we have had some great ones, but Ed Romance really would have loved Mike Higgins.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
BRIAN JEPKO – LOURDES REGIONAL
Brian, a senior at Lourdes Regional, is a young golfer you will be hearing about in the future.
He is a terrific all around athlete; but once bitten by the golf bug he abandoned all other sports activities to concentrate on his first love.
Brian has led Lourdes to three straight SIAL Championships. Last year he won the District IV Championship over two-time district champion Greg Klebon of Shamokin. He came from behind, shooting even par on the tough White Deer Golf Club course to win the title over his chief rival, who had won the previous two years.
Brian has played well in the big tournaments, an excellent sign in a young golfer. He hits the ball a long way, and is an excellent putter. That is a lethal combination in a golfer...and a sign that success is about to follow.