22nd Annual Banquet
Imagine spending six decades of your life involved in athletics – as a player, as a a coach, as an administrator, as an official. It is only fitting that today Jim Bush be honored for his dedication to athletics in this lower anthracite region of Pennsylvania.
Jim’s involvement began as a player in the Mount Carmel Area Junior Baseball League. He began his coaching career as an assistant to “Hobie” Forti for the Atlas Fire Company team in 1970 and is presently manager there. Atlas has probably been the most dominating team in the junior baseball league during the time Jim has been with the team. They boast a number of league titles and tourney championships. Jim has also served as president of the Mount Carmel Junior Baseball League.
As a high school baseball player, Bush was a three year starter for Coach “Tufky” Andrulevich and was recognized as the leading pitcher in the Schuylkill League in 1965. That season the Tornadoes posted a 13-1 mark which was good enough to win the Schuylkill League Championship. Bush was the captain of that squad, completing the season without an error as an infielder and posting a .335 batting average. During his three years, the Tornadoes posted a 29-9 record.
Following high school Jim played both basketball and baseball while in the army and played on year with the semi-pro team Arnot Sox. After his return to the area, Jim became one of the most prolific hitters in the Intercity Softball League. Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Hodrick once stated that, “Bush was the most difficult batter to strike out,” a fact supported by the season in which Intercity pitchers failed to strike him out at all. Jim’s versatility was noted as he was selected to various all star teams at three different positions during different years.
Bush has also coached basketball in the CYO League for 26 years, leading 39 teams during that time. Jim has led both boys and girls teams at Holy Spirit to 14 league titles during his tenure. Jim has served as president of the Shamokin-Mount Carmel CYO Boys Basketball League and as president of the West End Playground Association of Atlas.
Jim and his wife Betty Jean are the proud parents of three children; James, Robert and Rochelle all reside in Atlas.
The Play! 1981 – third game of the year – less than one minute remaining in the game with Whitehall leading 12-7 and inside the Tornadoes 10 yard line at the Bleacher Creatures end of the field. Instead of downing the ball and letting time run out, the Whitehall coach decided to run up the score with a play they had run earlier for a touchdown. Only MCA’s defensive back had recognized the play, and despite a blown coverage, stepped in front of the ball and ran it back 99 yards for the winning touchdown giving Big Red a 13-12 victory. That would be only one of a number of big plays John Diminick would make that season and during his career at MCA. That play always comes up by Tornado Faithful in discussing legendary games in Mount Carmel’s fabled history.
John would go on to play running back, tight end and defensive back at MCA and averaged an amazing 43 yards per touchdown and 10.6 yards each time he touched the football – the highest average of all 6 Diminicks. John still ranks in 8 top ten lists at MCA and has a 99 yard run, 94 yard kick-off return (longest in school history) and 78 yard receiving TD to go along with his 99 yard INT. John would be named 3rd team all-state by the AP as a defensive back and was chosen to the Big 33 Team in the summer of 1983. Diminick was named this chapter’s scholar athlete in 1983 as well as MCA’s outstanding athlete and recently was named to the Reading Eagle’s All Decade Team for the 80s as a defensive back.
John also has the distinction of being the only brother to score TDs in the same game with 2 different brothers – Ed in 79 and Mike in 82!
In the spring, John took his talent to the cinders for the Tornado track team and was undefeated in the 100 meters for 3 seasons in dual meets. He won the gold at the Dost. IV meet in the 100 meters in 82 and 83 and was victorious in the 110 meter high hurdles in 1982 and silver medalist in 1983. John’s 4 x 100 meter relay team had held the record at MCA with its 43.55 clocking until it was broken in 1998 by MCA’s Sebes-led teams 43.3. John ranks third in career scoring for Tornado thinclads with 544 ¾ points to brother Mike’s 656 ¼ and brother Gary’s 683 ½. John was a 4 letter winner in track, adding to the 3 in football and served as captain of both sports during his senior season.
For his efforts, John was rewarded with a full scholarship to Lafayette College and participated in football prior to his graduation in 1987. Today John joins brothers Gary, Ken, Joe, Ed and Mike as well as father Jazz as members of the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. Not to be overlooked, would there be a hall of fame for mothers, Ann Louise would surely be a member of the inaugural class, having been the backbone of this outstanding athletic family.
Today, John is an auditor for the State of Pennsylvania and along with his wife Kris are parents of three children, Luke, Connor and Paige.
For those of you who were Tornado football fans in the late 60s and early 70s, the picture will be forever embedded in your minds. That of the wide receiver running downfield with his arm behind his back directing his running back which way to go. That running back was Gary Diminick in the 1969 Eastern Conference Championship game with Valley View. The wide receiver – Dennis Hepler, today’s inductee in the Ed Romance Chapter of the PA Hall of Fame. That play symbolizes what Hepler has done throughout his athletic career and his life as a public servant; that is, to do whatever was needed to make his team and his community better.
As a freshman for Coach Jazz Diminick in 1967, Hepler had a rifle arm and was thought by many to be the next Buchinski or Doviak. Jazz, however, needed help elsewhere and had a player in Tom Alexander who could lead the Tornadoes at QB. Hepler became an end who would go on to nab 48 balls for 962 yards and 17 TDs during his career at MCA. The 962 yards still ranks 9th on the all time list while the 17 TDs ranks 4th all time. You have to realize that these numbers were put up when throwing the ball was not what it is today. For his efforts Hepler was named a United Press International 3rd team all-state player in 1969. His team would put up a 44-3 record from 67-70 and go on to win 3 Southern Division Championships and one Eastern Conference Crown.
Hepler was also a standout baseball player at MCA for Coach Ed Wojciecowski, playing shortstop and earning 3 varsity letters. He won the Schuylkill League batting crown in 1970 with a .470 average and was chosen for tryouts with the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals.
Following graduation in 1971, Dennis won a football scholarship to North Carolina State University. He later transferred to Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio where he participated in both football and baseball.
Today, Dennis can be found officiating regional basketball and baseball games as a PIAA official. In his only venture into coaching, Dennis took the Kulpmont VFW teener baseball program and went on to win 2 consecutive Teener Championships during his 3 year reign. In 1995, Dennis and his son Corey made MCA history by becoming the first father-son tandem to earn all-state honors in football when Corey was named to the AP second team as defensive lineman.
Hepler now continues his community service as a member of the Mount Carmel Area Board of Education and as a member of the Education Foundation. Dennis resides in Shady Acres with his wife, the former Susan Thomas, and are parents of daughter, Susan and son, Corey and have a grandson, Derek.
ALBERT “BERT” JONES
Nine varsity letters in three different sports. Not bad for a great high school athlete, except we’re talking about a college athlete! Today’s inductee, Bert Jones, did just that at Gettysburg College from 1929 thru 1933. You must also consider that freshman in those times were not allowed to participate in varsity athletics. Bert participated in football, basketball and track during his time at Gettysburg and was elected as team captain of the basketball team.
In 1929, Jones served as a player and coach for the Natalie Buffaloes, a semi-pro basketball team. As he returned to Gettysburg in 1933 to finish up some teaching credits, Bert played for a semi-pro basketball team called the Fleetwoods in and around the Gettysburg area.
Bert’s athletic career began to take shape while he was a student at Mount Carmel High School in the 20s. It was as a basketball player here where Bert excelled. He was the leading scorer for the Tornado basketball team in both his junior and senior seasons. Jones has the distinction of playing in Mount Carmel basketball’s 100th career victory in its 33-28 win over Shenandoah on Feb. 19, 1926. His starting five in his senior season for Coach Ray Singley consisted of Jones, Masciantonio, Singley, Ambrose and Dallabrida; all names still recognized today as part of Mount Carmel’s history.
In 1927, Jones decided to try out for a position with the Tornado football team. He began the season as starting right halfback and moved over to quarterback halfway through the season. That season was the 1927 State Championship campaign which saw tiny Mount Carmel come out victorious over mighty Bellefonte 7-6. Jones, George Homiak and Ed Sarisky are believed to be the only living members of that outstanding football team.
In 1934, Jones returned to Mount Carmel as head coach of the Red Tornadoes. He posted a 19-10-4 record over the next 3 seasons. He also served as head basketball coach here in 1934. Today, Jones is the oldest living former Mount Carmel football coach.
In 1938, Jones served as the head basketball coach at Perkiomen and did double duty as sports official. 1939 brought Jones to Springfield in Delaware County where he became the head football and basketball coach. His 1944 football team went on to a perfect season. He later served as athletic director at the school, and even filled in as the tennis and golf coach when he – the athletic director – couldn’t find someone to do the job. Bert continued as an official for football and basketball until his retirement in 1973.
Bert is married to the former Mary Leisenring; and they are parents of one child, Al and grandparents of two boys. Jones now resides in the Danville area.
For Mark Sassani, winning has been the one constant in his life as a high school athlete, college wrestler and high school wrestling coach. After breaking into the starting lineup of a very talented wrestling squad, Mark suffered a broken arm in his first varsity match as a freshman. Little did he know at the time that injuries would play a major role during the remainder of his athletic career.
He did go on to register a 43-9-2 record as a schoolboy wrestler and was able to win a Dist. IV Southern Sectional Championship as well as a Dist. IV runner up trophy. This was at a time when there were no classes and Dist. IV contained approximately 60 schools. It also meant one loss and you were done! Mark was the first recipient of the Lawrence D’Angelo Award, given to the outstanding senior wrestler. Overall, Mark’s high school teams had a combined record of 80-9-1 over a 4 year period.
During the fall, Mark was a member of the Tornado football teams which went on to win 2 Southern Division Championships and one Eastern Conference crown in 1969. Mark played guard, nose guard, linebacker and halfback during his playing career.
Sassani continued his wrestling career at Mansfield University where he was recognized as the outstanding freshman and give the Dr. Wallace Maurer Award. He served as co-captain during his junior year and as captain his senior campaign where he was first the recipient of the Marion “Spotts” Decker Award as Mansfield’s outstanding senior athlete. During his stay with the Mounties, Mark wrestled anywhere from 158 to 190 pounds depending on where he was needed. In 1974, he became Mansfield’s first NCAA Division III All American by placing in the NCAA tournament to cap off four winning seasons as Mountie grappler. He lost at least one third of each season due to injuries but was able to wrestle 12 national champions in addition to NCAA champions, Wade Shalles and Floyd Hitchcock, as well as Olympic Games medalist and future coach Stan Deitzig.
As a matter of fact, rumor has it that a wrestler from Mansfield once had the great Shorty Hitchcock pinned in a match at Bloomsburg University but the official didn’t call it because of the hostile crowd. Years later, that official admitted the story to be true. The wrestler from Mansfield? Mark Sassani.
After college, Mark returned home to MCA where he took over the wrestling program and immediately started the elementary and junior high programs. During his 7 year stint at MCA, 10 of his wrestlers were Dist. IV finalists including 2 champions and 3 wrestlers who placed in Regional competition. Mark was inducted into the Mansfield University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.
Sassani now lives in Mount Carmel with his wife Donna and daughters, Lori Ann and Elizabeth. In addition to teaching at MCA, he is the owner of St. Joseph’s Art Studio in Mount Carmel and recently completed the beautiful mural inside of Divine Redeemer Church in Mount Carmel.
Jim began his athletic career as a tackle on Mount Carmel Catholic High’s 1962 Catholic League Championship football team. That team went on to a 9-1 record, losing only to powerful Lebanon Catholic. Many people believe that the Ram offensive line of Petroski, Wolnock, Bach, Cesari and Sheenan was one of the best in Catholic High history; and sadly would be one of the last teams to represent the Blue and Gold.
Sheenan then enrolled at St. Vincent’s College, earning his B.A. in 9167 and his M.A. from Bucknell in 1970. He took a position at Mount Carmel Area High School as an English teacher in 1968. In 1970, Jim was convinced by Jerry Breslin to come on board as an assistant track coach concentrating in the weights – shot, discuss and javelin. Jim was reluctant since he had never thrown a track implement; however, he began to read books and watch film and basically talk to anyone who could help him. Little did he know at the time that he would go on to be one of the most respected weight coaches in the area over the next decade. He even became a “coaches’ coach” as he was asked to hold clinics on the weekends by other track coaches in the area.
His throwers over the years never lost a meet, scoring over 22 points out of a possible 27 in each meet, averaging over 25 points for the first 5 year period. Jim had the privilege of coaching a number of Dost. IV champions and 3 athletes – Lou Cole, Mike Revenis, and Barry Kent, who went on to bring home state medals.
In the fall of 1971, Jim expanded his coaching duties as a member of Jazz Diminick’s football staff. Sheenan was responsible for the offensive and defensive lines and also held “crow’s nest” or “eye in the sky” duties on game nights. During his tenure, Tornado teams went 95-19-1 and won 2 consecutive Eastern Conference Crowns in 1972 and 1973 and had a 25 game win streak. Rich Greco, Dave Williams, Joe Grey, Rich Ferri, Ed Shuda, Sam Scicchitano, Paul Szymanski, Joe Rogutski, Ralph Stellar, Walter Wywadis, Bob Burns, Dave Chuprinski, Jon Greco, Mike Revenis, Mike Bergamo, Greg Kent, Emmett Kent and Ed Cuff were some of his lineman who were honored as all-state or honorable mention all state players.
In 1980, Sheenan chose to change the direction of his own life and enrolled at the Dickinson School of Law, graduating in 1983 with a J.D. degree. He worked as a law clerk to the Federal Judge in Harrisburg from 1983-1985 and became a partner, managing partner in the Harrisburg Law Firm for Goldberd, Katzman, and Shipman P.C. from 1985 to 1995. From 1995-1999, Jim served as the Chief Counsel to Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education. Today, Jim has completed his journey from the “crow’s nest” to the “governor’s den” as General Counsel to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.
Jim is married to his wife Jacqueline since 1967 and are parents of three children, Jason and Jonas, both neurosurgery residents at the University of Virginia and Jessica, a graduate of Shippensburg University. They are also grandparents of James Patrick Sheenan and Daniel Scully Sheenan.
Being able to adjust and make changes is a quality all of us would like to have. No one was able to use this ability as well as Rob Varano. Robbie came on to the Mount Carmel athletics scene as a sophomore and broke into the starting lineup as a defensive back for coach Jazz Diminick. Later that season, he became the first sophomore to ever win the Mike Terry Award for his play against Shikellamy.
At the start of the 1983 season, the Tornadoes were in need of a defensive end. Up stepped Varano and over the next two seasons was responsible for 24 quarterback sacks. The 24 sacks established a new career record at MCA while his 13.5 sacks during the 84 season marked a new season high. His 218 career tackles were good enough for 5th place on the all time list at the time. As a captain during the 84 campaign, Rob led the Tornadoes into the Eastern Conference playoffs for the second consecutive year and won the Terry Award for the second time in 84, this time as a defensive end.
Varano also competed in baseball and basketball while at Mount Carmel Area and served as captain of each sport while earning 10 varsity letters. His versatility and excellence in the classroom earned him a scholarship to Lehigh University.
At Lehigh, the coaches considered using him as a linebacker, defensive back or tight end as a freshman but he was considered too small to play the position. Rob then adjusted to the situation by improving his speed and earned the starting job as a wide receiver in his junior season. Rob established Lehigh records for receptions in a single game (14) and in a season (78). His totals, along with 1,131 yards receiving were good enough for second in the nation in Div. 1AA in 1989. At the time, his 152 career receptions was a Patriot League record and his 2, 388 yards in receptions ranks 2nd all time at Lehigh. His play allowed him to be named a 2nd team All American by Sports Network and 3rd team by the Associated Press. He was named a GTE Academic All American second team performer and was named the Patriot League’s Scholar Athlete of the Year. Following graduation, Rob was invited as a free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL.
Rob then returned home and began work at the Varano Agency in Mount Carmel, but soon realized that a law degree was in his future. He attended Widener University and has since established his own office in Mount Carmel. Rob has continued to teach as a member of the Mount Carmel Area coaching staff and has been responsible for the receivers since 1994 and was instrumental to the 81 and 15 record enjoyed by MCA over the past 7 seasons.
Today, Rob joins his father Robert – a 1994 inductee into the hall of fame – as a member of the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. He also joins high school classmates Mike Diminick and Maria Fantanarosa as members of the hall. Rob is married to the former Lisa Balitchik and is the father of 3 children; Robbie, Allison and Nicole.
Mike Woytowich is a 1964 graduate of Kulpmont High School where he earned nine varsity letters. He led the football team in scoring, averaged 14 points per game for the basketball team, batted over .300 in baseball and was voted the best All Around Athlete by the Kulpmont Athletic Club, as well as honorable mention All-State in football. He holds the record for the longest kick-off return, 97 yards vs Cass Township in 1962. The return is longest in history for any of the schools which now compromise the Mount Carmel Area School District.
Mike graduated from Central Missouri State University in 1970 where he received a bachelor of science degree in physical education. At CSMU, he was the fraternity handball champion and an MVP in softball. After graduation, he was drafted and served two years with the United States Army in Germany.
Following his discharge from the army, Mike began his teaching and coaching career at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School. At Lourdes, he served as an assistant coach in girls basketball, wrestling and football. It was during his tenure when Lourdes won the Eastern Conference Championship in 1974.
Woytowich joined the Mount Carmel Area School District staff in 1987 and is currently teaching PE and serves as Assistant Athletic Director. At MCA he was an assistant boys basketball coach for five years prior to taking over the girls varsity basketball position in 1992. As boys coach, he assisted John McKay with the 1991 District XI Championship team and in 1993 took the girls team to the Dist. playoffs for the first time in 8 years. As the girls leader, he was selected Coach of the Week twice by the Reading Eagle and was able to coach three “milestone” players in 100 point scorers Leslie Gilotti and Carolyn Darrup, and 500 assist guard Jill Gonzalo. Mike also served as head boys track coach from 1988 to 1995 where he produced 11 individual and one relay Dist. XI champions. He had a number of state place winners and one state champion in shot putter Mike Fantanarosa, while his teams won two Mount Carmel Invitation Titles in 1990 and 1991.
Mike also played for many years in area adult basketball and softball leagues. He was a member of the Mount Carmel Lits basketball team which won the ABL Championship in 1975. He also played in the Inter-City and High Arc Softball Leagues. As player-manager for Fantanarosa Construction, he led the team to two High Arc League Championships. He has won over 100 games as a pitcher in slow-pitch softball and was voted the MVP in the 1990 All-Star game. He also coached the Marion Heights Foster Wheeler Little League team to its first ever Mount Carmel Junior Baseball League Championship in 1997.
Mike now resides in Marion Heights with his wife, the former Maryanne Pizzoli, and their three children, Michael, Amy and Jeffrey.
1970 FOOTBALL SQUAD
As August approached during the summer of 1970, expectations were as high as they had ever been when discussing the prospects for the latest edition of the Mount Carmel Area Red Tornadoes. After all, they were coming off the 1969 season where they had gone 12-0 and won the Eastern Conference Championship in resounding fashion. Added to that was the fact that they had only lost tackle Bob Chuprinski and halfback Gary Diminick as starters. It was no wonder then that Tornado fans had the buses booked for December to go north for another Conference crown.
Led by co-captains, Tom Alexander and Phil Klaus, the Big Red flew out of the box, scoring over 40 points against each of their first 5 opponents, Panther Valley, Tamaqua, Mahanoy Area, Berwick and West Hazleton. They ran through Minersville, Pottsville, North Schuylkill and Shenandoah by an average score of 35-6. That brought the Tornadoes to their annual undefeated game with Shikellamy where the defense was able to shut down the Braves while Henry Hynoski scored on a 43 yard rumble and Tom Alexander on a one yard keeper to give Big Red a 14-0 win. A 30-0 rout of arch rival Shamokin on Thanksgiving day gave the Tornadoes their 3rd consecutive undefeated regular season.
All that was left was a rematch with Valley View at Cougar Stadium to complete a 24-0 run. However, the Cougars were able to win a defensive contest by a score of 14-8 and foil the Tornadoes chances of the repeat. The 70 team has left its mark on Tornado history. Its rushing total of 3,450 yards ranks 4th all time even though 2 of the teams ahead of them played in 15 games. Their 4,370 yards in total offense ranks 5th while their 395 points scored ranks 7th. Defensively the 82 points given up ranks as the 7th best in modern day history. At least 7 members of the 70 team were rewarded with Division One Scholarships, while Henry Hynoski went on to play professionally with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL.
The finale of the 70 season put a lid on the First Golden Era of Mount Carmel Area football where between 1967 and 1970, Tornado teams were 44-3. The team was led by coach Joe Jazz Diminick, and his assistants Ralph Evans, Joe Greco, Al Santos, and George Wrona and even though they didn’t fulfill at the prophecies made during the preseason, the 70 gang of Tornadoes will always be remembered as one of the best to ever play the game at Mount Carmel Area High School.
FEMALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE
This year’s female scholar athlete is Ana Ditchey, Mount Carmel Area’s outstanding track and field and basketball athlete. Ana has been a four year letter winner and starter for coach Steve Lapotsky’s Lady Tornado basketball team. During the 1998 season, Ana helped the girls team to a 3rd place finish in the Dist. IV basketball tourney, the highest finish since the 1985 District Championship. During this past season, Ana became only the 7th girl in school history to surpass the 1000 point scoring plateau. As the only senior and Captain of this year’s squad, Ana has led the team into Dist. IV playoff competition once again by averaging 17 points per game and shooting over 70% from the foul line.
In the spring Ana takes her talents to the Silver Bowl as a member of the Lady Tornado track and field team. She has won the Dist. IV javelin Championship in both her sophomore and junior campaigns and has finished 11th and 1oth at the State Track and Field Meets in 1998 and 1999. As a sophomore Ditchey broke the 20 year old Javelin mark held by Cheryl Kent and has since upped the marl to 138’9”, noted by Track and Field Magazine as the 6th best throw in the country in 1999. She is most proud of the fact that her teams have won three consecutive Schuylkill League Championships and have gone 24-0 during the past three season.
Ana has extended her athletic versatility as the first ever female of the golf team at MCA, winning a letter in the sport in 1999.
Ditchey has qualified for this honor by ranking 11th in her class and posting a 95.1 GPA. She has attained a 1070 in her SAT’s and has been recognized in Who’s Who Among High School Students. She presently serves as Senior Class Secretary, President of the Pep Club, and is a member of Student Council, SADD, Future Teachers of America and Interact Club.
Ana is the daughter of Tootsie and Bill Ditchey, Mount Carmel and plans to attend either Susquehanna University or Penn State University.
MALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE & SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT
What do George Reeves, Christopher Reeves, Dean Cain and Nick Sebes all have in common? They all portrayed SUPERMAN at one time in their lives. Sebes, this year’s male scholar athlete, picked up the moniker after his performance at the 1998 State Track and Field Championships. That weekend, Nick ran 9 races in 2 days, winning a silver medal in the 200 meters, an 8th place medal in the 100 meters and a silver in the 4 x 400 meter relay and led Mount Carmel Area to its first ever team State Championship. During his first 3 years as a member of the Tornado thinclads, Sebes has earned 5 state medals in the 100, 200, 400 (gold), 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 meter relays as well as 8 District IV gold medals as his team has won three consecutive District IV AA titles. He holds school records in the 100, 200, 400, 4 x 1, 4 x 4 and all time regional records in the 100 (10.7), 200 (21,7) and 4 x 400 (3:23.9).
With all of his track success, it may come as a surprise to know that Nick has achieved his greatest success as a football player. He has been named to the AP All-State first team in 1998 as a QB and in 1999 as a defensive back as well as Pennsylvania’s Player of the Year in 1998. Due to an injury during the 1999 season, Nick played flanker, split end, tailback, QB and free safety in helping his team to the state championship game in Hershey for the 2nd consecutive year. His versatility, as well as athletic ability, has earned him a full scholarship to Stanford University after turning down offers from Penn State, Virginia, Georgia, Syracuse, Notre Dame and others.
Sebes finished his career at MCA with a number of top ten rankings including total yards – 5,149 (4th), total offense – 4, 114 (5th), kick return yards – 833 (10th), points – 236 (8th), TDs – 38 (7th), punt return yds – 415 (8th), passing yards – 2,129 (6th), completions – 156 (5th), INTs – 11 (10th).
As if his athletic prowess wasn’t enough, Nick ranks 6th in his class with a 96.8 average and has scored near 1200 on his SAT’s. He is a member of the National Honor Society, SADD, Student Council, and Interact Club. Nick’s travels to the west coast will be followed by many in the Anthracite Region and will be assured that his SUPER efforts on the field and in the classroom will always make us proud.
Nick is the son of Fran and M (Butch) Sebes of Mount Carmel Estates.
Al Bailey has recently concluded an outstanding football career at Mount Carmel Area High School. He is a four year letter winner at MCA as well as being a 3 year starter. Al is now the only player in MCA history to have played in 3 state championship games, winning in the 1996 and 1998 and earning runner-up honors in 1999. While Al was a member of the Red Tornadoes, his teams won 50 games and lost 7. That is the most wins ever in a 4 year period at MCA. During the 99 season, Al served as co-captain and chipped in with 888 yards rushing, 178 yards receiving, 203 yards in kick returns, 84 points scored and was second defensively with 137 tackles – 16 for minus yards.
During his career Al has run his way into the top ten lost with 2,274 yards rushing which stands 8th at MCA, 683 yards in kick off returns (5th) and 3,272 all-purpose yards (11th). He has accomplished this while never being the first option and has become the latest definition of what a “team player” is today. For his many accomplishments, Al was named First Team Associated Press All State as a linebacker, First Team linebacker by Pennsylvania Football News, and was named to the Pennsylvania Supreme Team for Sportsfever Magazine.
Al is also a 4 letter winner in baseball and many feel that the diamond is where he will continue to play at the next level. Playing center field, as well as catching, Bailey led the Tornado nine with a .428 batting average and won the Dave Hodrick Award in 1999. He also led his team with 16 stolen bases while only striking out 3 times in 20 games. Whatever he chooses to do in his life, Al will always be one of the “Fan Favorite Football Players” ever to take the field in the Silver Bowl.
Al is the son of Barbara and Al Bailey, Kulpmont.