21st Annual Banquet
AL (BARKOWSKI) BARKER
Al, born and raised in Kulpmont, was the first of what was to become a legendary football family at Kulpmont High. Exceptional play, especially at tackle, became synonymous with “The Barkowski Boys” for a total of 12 years.
Al played 4 years at tackle for Coach Mike Terry during an era which saw the Wildcats post a 30-10-1 record, highlighted by the great 1938 team which won the State Championship. In addition to playing 2-way tackle, Al handled kicking chores during his junior and senior seasons while serving as captain his senior season.
Al is best remembered for being tough, hard-nosed and aggressive and as one who best enjoyed going nose to nose with his opponents regardless of size. Following graduation in 1941, Al won a scholarship to Villanova where he played for 2 years until the war called him to active duty. In 1946, he returned and earned a starting position on both offense and defense. Although only 5’10” and 180lbs., he had the reputation of being a “watch-charm” guard with fierce competitive desire. Because of his toughness and quickness, he was able to outperform many players of greater proportions. Against Army, he hit the great Doc Blanchard and put him out of action for 3 games. His play earned him the respect of his teammates who voted him captain for his senior season. He has since been inducted into the Villanova Hall of Fame.
After graduating from Villanova in 1948, Al became sales managing engineer for the Disston Co. encompassing the entire east coast. He married former Cynthia Kilczewski of Philadelphia and is the father of twin sons, Barry and Brian and a daughter Cynthia, all living in the Feasterville, PA area.
Today, the Barkowski’s contribution to area sports-brother Bernie, a hall of fame member who went on to Pitt, brother Ray who went to North Carolina State, and now Al who will today be inducted into the Ed Romance Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame.
Ed Diminick may never have been called the “best” at any sport but he was “always” someone who you wanted on your team. During his high school career, Ed won 10 varsity letters in 4 different sports and was always a total team player who would do anything necessary to help his team be successful.
As a football player, Ed was an outstanding defensive back who was compared to the Oakland Raider’s Jack Tatum by one local sportswriter. A tough and devastating hitter, Ed led his team in interceptions and passes broken and still shares the school record for INT’s in one game with 3. On offense Ed touched the football 238 times in his career and averaged 10.2 yds per touch, a number that can be compared with anyone who ever played at MCA.
He was named AP HM All-State, Reading Eagle, Patriot News, Susquehanna Valley League ALL-Star and won the Terry Award, Pizzoli Award, Piccoli Award and was selected to play in the Unico and M-S all star football games in 1979.
After an outstanding year in track as jumper, Ed turned his attention to baseball as a sophomore and became a three year starter. He was the team leader from his catcher position and was named captain for his senior campaign.
As a wrestler Ed compiled a 42-21-1 record as a 3 year starter and co-captain. He was a 2 time silver medalist in District Four and was awarded the 1980 Coaches Outstanding Wrestler Award and D’Angelo Awards as Outstanding Wrestler. Ed was also recognized as the Ed Romance Chapter Scholar-Athlete in 1980.
Following graduation, Ed accepted a scholarship to the University of Connecticut where he played for one season before transferring to Penn State. He earned a degree in Petroleum and Gas Engineering n 1984 and followed that with an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business and the University of Pittsburg in 1989. He is currently employed by Mcnie Oil and Gas Company of Detroit as a Senior Asset Manager.
He is married to the former Elizabeth “Tizzy” Bishop of Bristol, Tenn. And has two sons Bradley, age 5 and Chad, age 4 and resides in Northville, Michigan. Today Ed joins father Jazz and brothers Gary, Ken, Joe and Michael as members of the Ed Romance Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame.
Frank Klassen was a fierce center and linebacker for the Lourdes Regional Red Raiders where he led his team to a fine 15-4-1 record during the 1965 and 1966 seasons. The Raiders captured the Anthracite League Championship in 1966, winning 9 games, which at that time were the most ever for Lourdes Regional team. He capped his brilliant high school career by being named the reams Most Valuable Player and being named to the Associated Press All-State team.
Following graduation in 1967, Frank went on to Albright College where he became a starting linebacker. Because he wore #51 and played in the same fiercely angry mood as Dick Butkus, famous Chicago Bears linebacker, Klassen became known as the “Dick Butkus of Small College Football.”
He was named Albright’s defensive MVP as a senior and was chosen on the ECAC All East team and the NCAA Small College ALL American Team. The Berks County Touchdown Club voted him their outstanding athlete. He still holds the Albright College record of 40 tackles (that’s right, 40) in one game against Springfield.
After graduation he signed to play with the Pottstown Firebirds of the Atlantic Coast Professional Football League, but the franchise folded along with the league. He then refocused his attention, got an MBA degree and is no Vice President of Wometco Food and Vending Services with offices in Nashville, TN.
JOHN “PET” MULDOON
Pet is mostly remembered s being one of the most outstanding sandlot athletes to pass through the coal region, competing in baseball, football, and boxing. AS a professional boxer, he compiled a record of 22 wins in 24 bouts. In one fight, he was credited with a 28 second knockout. One local sportswriter at that time described Muldoon as one of the best fighters ever turned out of this area. He possessed a wallop and had footwork to carry him away from danger. He later went on to coach boxing at Kulpmont High School in the early 40’s.
As a baseball player, Pet was an outstanding shortstop for the Mount Carmel Jednota Society Team which competed on a statewide basis with teams from as far away as Allentown, Reading, Pottstown and Scranton. He once batted against the great Grover Cleveland Alexander in an exhibition game against the touring House of David team.
He is one of the founders of Mount Carmel Little League Baseball. He served as a coach for both the Moose and Out Lady’s teams, leading both to outstanding records. He gave his time as an umpire for a number of years and is probably the leading authority on baseball rules in this area.
As a football player, Pet used his speed and quickness as an outstanding pass-catching end with Gerry Breslin proclaiming that he had “the best hands he’d ever seen.”
Previously honored as a special honoree, Pet now takes his rightful place as an inductee into the Ed Romance Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame.
ROBERT “BOB” MUOLO
Bob Muolo exemplifies what it means to be a Red Tornado. When Bob couldn’t break into a very talented offensive and defensive backfield, he told Coach Diminick that he would do whatever had to be done to get on the field. He won a position as a starting guard on a team that went 12-0 and won the Eastern Conference Championship in 1973. During his 3 years as a letter winner at MCA, Bob was part of 2 Eastern Conference champions and left with a 24 game win streak.
Bob was also a 4 year letterman with Coach Gerry Breslin’s track team which won 2 District IV Track Championships and individually was part of the 880 yard relay championship team in 1972.
Following high school, Bob went on to Dickinson College where he continued to be a 2 sport athlete. As a member of Dickinson’s football team, Bob became a 3 year starter; one defensive end and 2 at defensive back where he lead the team in interceptions in 1975.
He was a 4 year letterman in track while at Dickinson and captained the 1978 Dickinson College track team. He was a member of the 440 yard relay team which won the MAC Championship for Dickinson.
Bob has remained active in sports presently coaching football for Selinsgrove Midget Football League. He also maintains a position as an assistant track coach with the Shikellamy High School girls track team.
Bob is currently a partner in Wiest, Saylor, Muolo, Noon and Swinehart Law Firm in Sunbury.
JOHN F. (Jake) PATRICK, JR.
Today, Jake joins his father John F. Patrick, Sr. and his uncle, Clem Patrick as a member of the Ed Romance Lower Anthracite Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame.
A graduate of the class of 1946, Jake’s athletic career included three years of high school football under Coach Joe Ambrose. He was co-captain of the 1945 squad that posted a record of 8 wins, 2 losses and 2 ties. He played basketball for three years for Coach Frank Kostas and was a steady contributor to the track team, where he ran the which and low hurdles and was a member of both the mile and half mile relay teams for Coach Gerald Breslin. He was a member of the Tornado squad which captured the mile relay at the Penn Relays and went on to win the Pennsylvania State Championship in June of 1945 along with George Teufel, Bob McCann, and Adam “Ace” Williams.
Jake continued running in the Navy where he won the 50 yard dash and placed third in 100 in an AAU meet held aboard the flight deck of the USS Randolph while docked in Boston. Following his Navy Service, Jake walked on at Villanova and after one week of practice was awarded a full scholarship by Coach Jordan Oliver.
During the next 4 years, Jake played in 20 varsity games that included wins over Penn State, Boston College, Texas A&M, NC State, Army, Duquesne and others. Jake played both offensive and defensive end early in his career before establishing himself as a starting quarterback during his junior season. Unfortunately, a serious knee injury after 2 games of his senior season limited his playing time during that season.
He then entered the teaching profession and coached football and track at Lakewood High School in NJ where his track team won the Shore Conference Championship twice and had four state champions during his tenure.
He has enjoyed success in tennis and golf since leaving contact sports and was honored as a recipient of the N.J.A.S.A.’s Distinguished Superintendent’s Award upon retirement.
ROBERT PARKER II
Bob Parker was an athlete whose greatness was not appreciated or recognized until he had gone on to other things. He was an athlete at Kulpmont High School immediately before the Golden Era of Kulpmont sports from 1938 thru 1945. He was an outstanding track athlete for then Coach Glenn Menges and lettered for four years in both track and cross country before his graduation in 1935.
After leaving Kulpmont, Bob enrolled at Bloomsburg State Teachers College where he repeated as a four year letter winner in both cross country and track and field. During 1937and 1938, he was a member of the Bloomsburg track teams which went on to win the Pennsylvania State Teachers College Track and Field Championship. The Bloomsburg team had also won the championship at the famed Penn Relays in 1938. He was one of five seniors on that team who had never lost a dual meet their four years on the team.
Following graduation from Bloom in 1939, Bob returned to Kulpmont where he coached basketball for a number of years. During that time he was also an outstanding sandlot basketball player for a team know as the Imperials and also played basketball with the Mercuries. Bob later earned his Master’s degree from Columbia University before moving to Bucks County with his wife Helen. They eventually returned to his beloved cola region and retired in Denmar Gardens, Kulpmont.
Frank has coached wrestling for 30 years, including 25 years at Mount Carmel Area. He began when he introduced the sport at Susquenita in 1959 and produced 6 Sectional champions and coached the school’s first District champion.
In 1964, Frank became Mount Carmel’s head coach and went on to compile the best winning percentage in school history. Frank’s teams posted a 75-21-1 record – 77.3% - and during wrestling’s “Golden Era” from 1967-69 managed a 37-3-1 record – 90.2%. During that time, Tornado wrestlers posted a 25 meet win streak at home and 20 consecutive dual meet victories overall. Impressive wins were posted over Shamokin – the Susquehanna Valley League Champ; Line Mountain – the Mid State League Champ; and North Schuylkill – the Tri County League Champ. Frank’s teams won the Northumberland County Team Championship in 1967, 68 and 69 and were Dist. IV Southern Sectional Champs in 1969 and 1970. His 1969 team placed third in Dist. IV out of 44 teams when there was only one classification. Frank coached one state champion in Bob Sacavage and had 13 Southern Sectional champions during his reign.
In 1968, Frank became the first MCA coach to defeat Shamokin in 25 years and twice stopped North Schuylkill winning streaks at 23 in 1969 and 26 in 1971.
Frank’s overall record of 98-48-3 was compiled against wrestling hall of fame coaches Larry Lachie – Shamokin, Larry Sinabaldi – Shikellamy, Dale Cochran – Milton, Joe Cesari – North Schuylkill and Paul Stehman – Line Mountain.
Frank is married to the former Rose Marie Wojcik and has two sons, Joseph, Gettysburg and Frank, Mission Viejo and is the proud grandfather of four.
1969 FOOTBALL SQUAD
30 years after they walked off the football field following their 47-6 thrashing of the Valley View Cougars in the Eastern Conference Championship game at the Silver Bowl, the 1969 football team remains the measuring stick by which all Tornado teams are compared. The Mount Carmel Area squad blew through the 69 season with a perfect 12-0 record and left little doubt that they were the premier team in eastern Pennsylvania.
As August of 1969 rolled around, expectations were high coming into the season, since the Tornadoes were coming off an 11-1 season with the loan loss coming at the hands of Blakely in the Eastern Conference Championship in 1968. Led by their All-American running back, Gary Diminick, the Big Red handled their opponents with relative ease. The closest game during that year was a 19-6 win at West Hazleton followed by a 28-6 win against rival Shikellamy. The offensive machine scored over 40 points in 4 games and went over the 50 point mark in 4 others. Two 30 point efforts that year completed the scoring on the way to a 504 point season. The 42 point per game average still ranks as the nest in the 106 years of Mount Carmel Area football. The 64 rushing TD’s that season still ranks as the most ever while the 388 yards in total offense per game ranks as the second best in MCA history.
Another indication of how good that football team was can be found in the fact that no less than seven players from the team were honored with Division One football scholarships as well as a number of other at D-2 and D-3 schools. The seniors on that team had only experienced three losses during their 4 years at MCA while winning an amazing 43 games. Under today’s system of state playoffs, its scary to think about how far they might have gone.
Captained by Gary Diminick and Bob Churpinki, the team was lead by head coach Joe “Jazz: Diminick and assitants George Wrona, Ralph Evans, Joe Greco, Len Guarna, Al Santos and Steve Zarlinski. There is no doubt that the 1969 edition of Red Tornado football will always be included as one of the best teams to ever play the game in the history of Mount Carmel Area High School.
Carol Varano, a senior at Mount Carmel Area High School is this year’s Scholar Athlete recipient and fits perfectly with previous winners of this award.
Athletically, Carol has won 10 letters in three different sports at Mount Carmel Area. She has been a four year starter at guard for the Lady Tornado basketball team and served as Co-Captain this past season. She has led the team in assists over the past 2 years as well as being the team’s leading three point threat. She has won the team’s Scholar Athlete Award for three years as well as the Mattucci’s Chef Award. She has just been notified that she will play in the Northumberland County Basketball All-Star contest on April 6th as a member of the South Team.
Carol has also lettered for 4 years on the Lady Tornado track team excelling in both the hurdles and jumps and earned 2 letters while running cross country. She has been involved in intramural volleyball and powder puff football, as well as cheerleading during her varsity career. She has been chosen to both the Homecoming and Field Day courts.
Most impressive, considering all the time spent on the filed or the court, Carol has managed to rank second academically in her graduating class. She is a member of the Nation Honor Society, National Athletic Honor Society and has been nominated for Nation Honor Society Scholarship. She has been a member of Student Government for the past 3 years, serves as the president of SADD, V.P. of the Interact Club, V.P. of the Spanish Club, Secretary of the Pep Club and serves as a Peer Tutor. She has also been involved with the school news and the establishment of the MCA Homepage.
Following graduation, Carol hopes to pursue a degree in child psychology at either Lycoming or Bucknell University. She is the daughter of Virginia and Frank Varano, Mount Carmel.
Pete Dray has established himself as one of the best long distance runners to ever come out of Mount Carmel Area High School. During the 1998 cross country season, Dray went undefeated and established new course records on 10 different courses. Pete won the Schuylkill League Championship for the 3rd time and set a new standard with a time of 15:37. He won the Dist. IV championship after finishing second twice. He is a 3 time state qualifier, finishing 38th his sophomore year, 10th his junior year and just this past season placed third – the best finish ever for an MCA runner. Dray placed fourth at the 1998 state championship track meet in the 1600 meter with a time of 4:22.0. Peter has just concluded the indoor track season winning the state championship in the mile at Lehigh University with a time of 4:21.
Big Jon has been the anchor of the Tornado offensive line for the past three years where he has started at center for 42 consecutive games. During Jon’s tenure, the Tornadoes have won 39 games and lost 3 while winning 2 State Championships in 1996 and 1998. With Jon at center, both the 96 and 98 teams have gained over 5000 yards in total offense, the only 2 teams in Tornado history to accomplish the feat. Else is one of 8 two-time all-state players in MCA history and was named Offensive lineman of the year by both the Reading Eagle and Bloomsburg Press Enterprise. Jon will continue his career at Lycoming, Susquehanna or Wilkes.
Jason has been a three year starter at defensive tackle for the Big Red and has been named to an all-state team for 3 consecutive years and first team in 1998 and 1997. Jason has been in on 292 tackles during his career, the 6th best total in MCA history and the most for a down lineman. His 14 QB sacks during the 1998 season established a new season record while hie 32.5 sacks in his career establishes a new career mark. With Jason anchoring the defensive line, the 1998 team, in giving up 533 yards rushing in 15 games, established an all-time mark for one season. Jason will continue his playing at Rutgers University.
Steve has been recognized as the leader of the Tornado Red Death defense which many believe to be the best front seven in MCA history. Sinkovich led the team in tackles the past 2 seasons and finished his career with 347 - 3rd best in school history. Steve also played nose guard, tight end, fullback and tailback during his career as well as his linebacker position.
Steve is also being recognized today for his winning the PIAA AA State Wrestling Championship in 1998 at 171 pounds. He is only the 5th athlete in MCA history to win a state title. An injury to his shoulder during the football season cut short his wrestling career however he has received a full scholarship to Hofstra University and will resume his wrestling career there.
MCA 1998 PIAA AA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL TEAM
In being recognized today, the 1998 edition of the MCA’s football elite joins the long list of great football teams who have played under the colors of red and white. This year’s team went on to win 14 games, losing only to AAA Champion Allentown Central Catholic. Their performance in the state championship game with Shadyside Academy will long be remembered as one of the most dominant wins in Pennsylvania Championship history.
Offensively, the 1998 team scored 505 points and racked up 5,201 yards in total offense, both the second best totals in 106 year history. Defensively, the 533 yards given up rushing the 64 QB sacks both established new team season records. The team also boasts 8 players named to all-state teams as wll as the PIAA AA Player of the Year, Nick Sebes. This year’s seniors also leave knowing that the 48 wins I their 4 years represent the most ever in a 4 year period in MCA history.
Nick Chesney, Chris Cuff, Dan Dowkus, Jon Else, Jeff Evans, Chris Hughes, Jason Malakoski, Terry Meyer, Josh Parisella, Chris Schu, Jake Shellhammer, Mike Sinkovich, Steve Sinkovich, Mike Smith, Jamie Voeckler, Al Bailey, John Bartol, Paul Hibler, Tom Jacobs, Jeff Karpinsky, Matt Lupotsky, Ryan Miller, Mickey Mroz, Matt O’Brien, Mike Powell, Chad Prezlomski, Rick Prexlomski, Nick Sebes, Jason Skavery, Brian Swaldi, Sean Thomas, Matt Van Doren, Mike Wegrzynowicz, James Zublick, Jeremiah Brown, Matt Bucher, Justin Dillow, Scott Hutko, John Kerprich, Ronnie Lentini, Dave Schoppy, Jon Veach, Matt Wolfe, Aaron Ziegler, Vince Yasenchak.