23rd Annual Banquet
John was a two sport star at Mount Carmel Area High School from 1976 until his graduation in 1980. As a three year letterman under coaches Paul Bartko and Ken Kline at that time, Andrade established school records with 16 assists in a game, 187 in a season and 408 in a career. His ability to distribute the “rock” is evidenced by the fact that no less than 4 teammates scored more than 1000 points during careers with Johnny at the point. The 27 wins during his senior season, where he also serves as captain, are the most ever by a Tornado Five.
As a second baseman for Coach Ed Kaczmarek, “Pistol” was a four-year starter and two-time captain. As a sophomore, he had the game winning hit in the Schuylkill League Championship game against St. Clair. In his final two seasons, he was named the Schuylkill League’s all star second baseman after winning the batting title as a junior.
His baseball career continued at the collegiate level at Towson University under former major league player, coach and manager Billy Hunter. John established school records for base hits, runs scored for the most hits, runs scored, walks, triples and most home runs in one game. During summers, John played for the Scranton Red Soxx of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. In 1981, as Andrade was reunited with former high school infield partner Bob Zavarick, he established a new league record for the most hits in a season.
Following his junior season at Townson, Pistol was signed by the Texas Rangers. His minor league career lasted two years with stops in Sarasota, Florida and Burlington, IA, until a serious injury ended his playing days.
John has since served as an assistant baseball coach at both Townson and the U.S. Naval Academy. He is a former PIAA umpire and basketball official. He has also established a niche in coaching girls basketball and currently is an assistant for the Shamrocks of Trinity High School in Camp Hill.
Andrade has become a golf fanatic and carries a single digit handicap. His love of sports is shared by his wife Betty Lou who, along with John, are both member of the Townson University Athletic Hall of Fame. Coincidental or not? Betty Lou was also a point guard! The Abdrades reside in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
Ray Barkouskie graduated from Kulpmont High School in 1949. He had the privilege of playing for three head coaches during his time there: Mike Terry, George Wrona, and Bob Magalski. He began as a freshman reserve on the 1945 Wildcat Eastern Conference Championship Team and concluded as the captain of the 1948 squad and earned honorable mention all state honors. During his career, Ray played tackle and fullback and earned four varsity letters. His football abilities and leadership earned him a full football scholarship to North Carolina State University.
Upon entering North Carolina State, he was a blocking back in the single wing offense for the freshman team, which went undefeated that year. Over the next three years, Ray started every game both offensively and defensively and was elected captain of the Wolfpack in 1952. During his sophomore year he was awarded the Best Blocker trophy given to the teams outstanding lineman. Ray also served as the Wolfpack’s extra point specialist.
During his four-year tenure at NC State he was a friend and teammate of Alex Webster (former N.Y. Giants player and head coach). Webster attributed much of his success as a tailback to Ray’s abilities as a blocking back. Ray went on to graduate from North Carolina State in 1954 with a degree in Industrial Arts Education.
After two years of Armed Forces, Ray coached football at Georgetown, Delaware for seventeen years. During his tenure as head coach he had one undefeated team and four conference titles. Both of Ray’s older brothers, Al and Bernie are former Kulpmont High School football standouts who went on to have standout collegiate careers; Al at Villanova and Bernie at the University of Pittsburgh. Today, Ray joins both brothers as members of the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
After spending six decades of his life as an active sportsman, Joe Biros comes home today to be recognized for his great accomplishments by being inducted into the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Living in Marion Heights, Joe attended schools in Mount Carmel Township and was a two-sport standout for the Golden Bears in the late 30’s. Joe was a backfield mate of the great “Galloping Ghost” Len Eshmont at Mount Carmel Township High in 1936. That was probably the Township’s greatest team going 9-1 and losing only to the powerhouse Ashland team 26-6. Joe played under coach Al Masciantonio, a 1988 inductee into the Hall.
During the winter, Jumping Joe was a three year starter on the Golden Bear basketball team for coaches Masciantonio and Charlie Karlow. He led the team in scoring for two years as the starting center and was elected captain during his senior season.
Following graduation in 1938, Joe began working in the mines like many other young men of the time until after a cave-in, his mother told him that he would no longer go down under the earth to earn a living. He packed his bags and went to play baseball in West Palm Beach until the war years saw him enter the service.
He then returned to Pennsylvania and entered York Jr. College: playing basketball and going on to win a Pennsylvania State Championship with the York White Roses in the Eastern League. From 1946 to 1952, Joe played professional baseball with affiliates of both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Senators in Albany and Bridgeport.
Joe then returned to Gettysburg College where in 1952, he graduated with a B.A. degree in education. He received his Masters from Western Maryland in 1954. He coached baseball and basketball for 3 years at Central High School in York and then coached baseball, basketball, and football for 30 years in York City Schools until his retirement in 1982. Brios spent 35 years as a PIAA official and 10 years as a CBOA official.
Joe and his wife Janet reside in York and are the parents of twin girls, Elaine and Susanne.
Joe Bressi began his coaching career, like so many other “future greats” at a small catholic school not even coaching the sport that would make him famous. He started out as an assistant football coach at Marion Catholic High School in 1971, later assuming head coach duties and winning a football championship in 1972. He was also the Head Track and Field coach while at Marian. He then moved on to Central York High School and as the head wrestling coach set a record for wins with 11 during the 1975-76 seasons.
Joe’s first try at basketball was at Bishop McDevitt High School where from 1976 through 1986 his teams won 238 games while losing 40. His girl’s teams won 8 Conference Titles, 5 District III Titles, 4 consecutive appearances in Eastern State Finals, and won 2 Eastern State Titles.
Joe’s next stop was at Bloomsburg University where his woman’s teams compiled a 175-47 record in 8 seasons. During that time, his teams won 6 PSAC Eastern Division Titles, one Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Title, one NCAA Regional Championship in 1988-89, 4 straight NCAA appearances and was named PSAC Eastern Conference Coach of the Year 3 times and was named Converse District II Coach of the Year in 1989. Bressi coached the first team to finish a regular season undefeated since the NCAA began sponsoring women’s basketball in 1982 by going 26-0 during the 1989 campaign.
Bressi took on a new challenge in 1994 when he took over the men’s basketball program at Lycoming College. During his first 6 seasons as Warrior head coach, Bressi has compiled a 97-53 record for a .647 winning percentage – the best in school history. His 1996 team won 21 game, the most in Lycoming history, and made it the the second round of NCAA playoffs. He has led the Warriors to MAC Freedom League playoffs during 4 seasons and was named Freedom League Coach of the Year in 1998.
Even more impressive than the 510 wins in his career, is the fact that he has only 139 losses – a 78.6 winning percentage. It was during the 2000 season when Bressi won his 500th game as a head basketball coach and joined Chuck Daly, P.J. Carlisemo and George Karl as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
ROBERT C. BREZINSKI
Leadership is a quality, which you will find in many great athletes. 25 years after he stepped off the playing field, Bobby is still best remembered for being in charge of any team on which he played. As the point guard of the basketball team or the catcher on the baseball team, Bob was clearly the leader, having served as captain of three sports during his senior season at Mount Carmel Area while earning 8 varsity letters in Cross Country (2), Basketball (3), and Baseball (3).
As a harrier for the cross-country team, Bob was a District Place winner as a junior and earned All-League honors as a senior.
As a member of the Tornado basketball team, “Boog” was the starting point guard during the 75 and 76 seasons for Coach Paul Bartko and was named to the All-Schuylkill County All-Star Game following the 76 season.
It was as a baseball player where “Boog” really excelled. As the catcher for coach Ed Kaczmarek’s 1976 squad, Bob led the team to a 13-4 regular season record and the Schuylkill League’s Northern Division Championship. That team also became the first Mount Carmel Area baseball team to win a district playoff game before being knocked out in the second round. Bob’s play earned him All-League Honors and was chosen to play in the Schuylkill League All-Star Game. During that summer Brezinski was selected to play in the Susquehanna Valley Legion Game and was later chosen to play in the Northeast Regional Legion All-Star Game. For his accomplishments, Bob was named Mount Carmel Area’s Outstanding Male Athlete for the 1975-76 school year.
Following graduation, Bob went on to Wilkes University where he was a 4-year member of the varsity baseball team and a 3-year letter winner. He was a member of the Colonels 1977 MAC Championship Team and a member of 3 MAC Playoff teas as well as 2 NCAA Division III Playoff Teams. Bob now resides in Catawissa with his wife Jane and son Jared.
HENRY “KELLY” FESNIAK
Henry “Kelly” Fesniak received his elementary education at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic School in Marion Heights and then attended Roosevelt High School in Kulpmont for three years.
As a high school athlete, Kelly played both JV and varsity football with the Kulpmont Wildcats during the 1941, 42 and 43 seasons for Coach Mike Terry. He excelled in his position as right guard and was acclaimed “outstanding” during the Kulpmont/Mount Carmel 0-0 classic in October 1942. The Tornado offense was stopped not once, but twice, bumping into a stonewall – the hardest stone in the wall being Fesniak. He was a defensive stalwart and was an integral part of two goal line stands during that game. Kelly was a valuable defensive asset to his team throughout his football career with the Wildcats.
Fesniak also excelled in basketball while in high school and was often the high scorer for the Wildcats and finished second in scoring in the Keystone Basketball League following the 1943 season.
Baseball was also on Fesniak’s agenda. As a 16-year old, Kelly could be found playing catcher and left field with the Marion Heights Adult Baseball Team.
As a high school junior, Kelly was inducted into the Marine Corps, and prior to being shipped overseas was selected as honorary captain of the Kulpmont-Shenandoah football game.
Kelly was involved in sniper action during WWI with assignments in Guam, Spain and Tinian. His outfit was the first to land on Nagasaki, Japan after the atomic bomb had been dropped there.
Following his tour of duty, Kelly remained active in sports. He played semi-pro ball with the Anthracite Maroons, Shenandoah Presidents, and Shamokin Indians and was one of the original members of the Tri-Boro Eagles semi-pro football team. He had offers to play with the professional Wilmington Delaware Clippers and Bethlehem Bulldogs but could not because of his contract with the Presidents.
His greatest achievement was the opportunity to play with the Mansfield NJ semi-pro team against the Hamilton Tigers in Ontario, Canada. He was named the Outstanding Player of the Game by his teammates as well as the Mayor of Mansfield. No doubt that today’s induction into the Romance Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame will also rank high on Kelly’s long list of achievements.
EDWARD “DUKE” NARCAVAGE
Ed “Duke” Narcavage was born one of eight choldren of John and Josephine Narcavage and has lived in Mount Carmel all of his life. He attended Mount Carmel High School and was one of the few four-year lettermen in football at that time. Duke played on the 42, 43, 44 and 45 Tornado football teams under head coach Joe Ambrose, posting a 28-10-7 record. Duke played both fullback and guard for those teams and was elected captain for the 1945 squad. That team would be the first team in Mount Carmel history to play 12 games in a season with the addition of a post season benefit game with Mount Carmel Township that ended in a 0-0 tie. One of the highlights of Duke’s career came in 1944 when in a game with Shenandoah, Duke threw a 43 yard touchdown pass to Ed “Smokey” Kobilis with less than 2 minutes to play to give the Tornadoes a 14-12 win.
Ed also won three varsity letters for Coach Gerald Breslin’s track teams and was the 155 lb. Intramural wrestling champion as the war canceled the varsity season.
Following graduation, Ed played with semi pro Anthracite Maroons in 1948 and the Tri-Boro Eagles in 1949. He also served as a line coach at Mount Carmel Catholic High School during the 1948-1950 seasons.
Although he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950, Ed never lost the taste of athletic competition. He played football with the U.S. Army 43rd Division as a starting guard and won the European Championship in 1951. He was discharged from the army as a Master Sargent in 1952 and returned to coaching at Catholic High from 1953 through 1955.
In 1963, he was encouraged to start a Little League for Football at Holy Spirit School and became the team’s first coach. An unfortunate accident in 1964 cut short a promising coaching career for health reasons.
Ed continued his interest in sports when as a Mount Carmel Area School Director in 1969, he was instrumental in obtaining the funding for the new field house, new press box, rest room facilities and the first “new” goal post in the region at the time. Narcavage was also instrumental in obtaining the funding and the purchase of the property now occupied by the current Mount Carmel Area School District.
Ed is married to the former Marie Trocki and is the father of five children: Mary, Joseph, Edward, Judith and Celine and is the grandfather of nine. All that he ever asked of his players was to “share your talents, pass them on to the young: if not by your words, then by your actions”. Duke certainly has followed his own words, especially by his actions.
FRANK “BOOGIE” NICOLA
Kulpmont High School’s period from 1937 through 1951 saw 15 consecutive years without a losing season. Four of those seasons, the Wildcats went undefeated – 1938, 1944, 1945 and 1951. Frank Nicola played on three of those teams from 1942 to 1944 and served as captain of the 1944 squad, which went 11-0 under head coach Mike Terry. During his three years with Kulpmont High, Frank’s teams won 22 games while only losing 5 with 5 ties. So dominant were the defenses on those teams, that 18 games were won via shutout – 8 of those during the 44 campaign. In only 5 of those 32 games did teams score more than one touchdown. One of their leaders at linebacker was Frank Nicola. Frank was responsible for eight interceptions during his career – one of those a 65 yard touchdown vs. Mount Carmel Catholic in 1944. Coach Mike Terry once said that “I coach them all week and now (game time) they are in Frank’s hands”. So important was he to have on the field that in 1943, he was only off the field for one minute the entire season.
Although he had scholarship offers from Penn State and Villanova, Frank was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1945. Frank was named to the All-Regiment Team at Fort Bragg as a basketball player. After his service obligation, where he served as a tank commander, Frank played professionally with the Tri-Boro Eagles for on year and with the Anthracite Maroons for eight years until the team folded.
Frank also played basketball at Kulpmont High, winning the Keystone League Championship in 1943. He was named an all star when playing for the American Legion Team and also played with the Kulpmont AC Basketball Team. Frank served for eight years as a member of the Kulpmont Borough Council and was its president for two years. Frank then worked for 20 years as an investigator for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Boogie continues to be a local sports enthusiast while currently living in Shamokin.
CLEM “TOMBA” THOMAS
Clem “Tomba” Thomas was an outstanding two-way lineman for the undefeated Kulpmont High School Wildcats in 1944 and 1945 while lettering all four years. These teams easily dominated every team they played in recording a 22-0 record in two years. Those two teams recorded 14 shutouts in 22 games and did not allow any team to score more than one touchdown in any game. The team concluded its season with a 12-7 victory over Larksville in the Eastern Conference Championship game in 1945. For his efforts, Clem was the first player in Kulpmont history to be named First Team ALL STATE by the Associated Press.
After being highly recruited, Thomas took his talents to the University of Tennessee. He then enlisted in the USMC and played two years with the Quantico Marines. It was at this time that Military Service Football was one of the most competitive levels of sports in the USA. While at Quantico, Clem’s team won the Middle Eastern Services Championship and played in the East Coast Championship in the Gator Bowl and the East and West Coast Championship held in California. In 1947, Clem was selected to the ALL USMC Football Team and received a certificate of Achievement Award from the Secretary of the Navy.
After victory in the East and West Coast all Navy Championship, Thomas went on to sign a players contract with NFL Hall of Famer Glen Turk Edwards for the Washington Redskins.
Clem went on to further his education with a scholarship at Susquehanna University but was called back to the USMC during the Korean War conflict. While playing at Camp Lejeune, he was invited to attend the New York Giants football training camp.
Clem then returned to his roots as an assistant to Ed Stavenski for the 1961 undefeated Kulpmont Wildcats. Clem finished out his athletic days as a third baseman for many area local teams and also played some semi-pro football.
How many athletes out there can say that they only lost one football game during their high school career? Walt Wywadis can! As a member of the Red Tornado football team from 1972 through 1974, Walt’s teams were 33-1-1. They were 24-0 in 1972 and 1973 when they won 2 consecutive Eastern Conference crowns and 9-1-1 during Walt’s senior season when they lost out on points to OLOL. Walt was a devastating blocker from his offensive tackle position and was rewarded following the season with All Conference and All Anthracite Honors and was named honorable mention by the Big 33. He was nominated to and played in the 1975 All Stars vs. MS Football game.
During the winter Walter took his talents to the mats as the heavyweight wrestler for the Tornado grapplers and won the coveted D’Angelo Award as the outstanding senior wrestler, and was voted the most improved wrestler and won the Juniata Holiday Wrestling Tournament Championship. In the spring “Bear” set a new indoor shot put record at MCA and went on to win both the shot and discus at the District IV Track and Field meet. For his accomplishments Wywadis was named MCA Male Athlete of the Year and won the Babe Ruth Memorial Award as the outstanding senior athlete at MCA.
Walter won a scholarship to Kansas State University after being recruited by Jim Bates – current Dallas Cowboys defensive coach. As a freshman, Walt won the red Raider Award for outstanding JV player at K State. He then lettered for 3 years at offensive right tackle and won game balls for outstanding play against Nebraska, University of Missouri and the University of Tulsa. After graduation Walter had tryouts with the Houston Oilers of the NFL and Montreal Allouettes of the Canadian Football League.
Walt has remained active in sports, coaching the Highland Park PAL Queens 19 and under fast pitch softball team to a second place finish at the Kansas State ASA Tournament in 1996 and a first place in 1997.
Today Bear remains active in AAU track and in 1996, he and his three daughters all won the shot put and discus in their respective age groups in an AAU competition.
Walter now resides in Topeka, Kansas with his wife Reva Jo and three daughters. He is presently a Lieutenant with the Topeka Police Department.
2000 CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL TEAM
In March, 2000, the prospects for Mount Carmel Area’s 2000 football season were not very bright, to say the least. Their coach of 7 years, Whitey Williams, had just resigned to take a job at AAAA Nazareth. They had only 2 offensive and 5 defensive starters returning on a team which went 11-4 in 1999, losing the state championship game to Tyrone by a 13-6 score. Also gone was player of the year Nick Sebes and first team all-stater Al Bailey, not to mention 5 of the 6 starters on the offensive line. On top of this, the school board has just hired a new coach with TWO years experience at a single A school. Little did we know that Mike Brennan’s hiring would make all the difference to Tornado prospects for 2000.
Led by captains Matt Bucher, Ron Lentini, Dave Schoppy and Jon Veach, the Tornadoes opened their season with a convincing 46-20 victory over eventual Dist III runner-up Wyomissing and followed that with a 48-0 thrashing of Panther Valley. Their first test came in a 19-12 victory over new rival Southern Columbia and followed that with a convincing 46-6 win over arch rival Shamokin. The 20-7 victory over traditional AAA power Allentown Central Catholic turned people’s heads, then a 47-6 crushing defeat of undefeated Marian Catholic put the Tornadoes on a “short list” of teams to watch. Wins over North Schuylkill, Shikellamy and Wyalusing brought the Big Red one victory away from an undefeated regular season and career win 700. Although devastating, a 42-28 loss to AAA Selinsgrove found the Tornadoes with new found enthusiasm and a new focus for the remaining “new season”. Win 700 came the next week against Troy and was followed with the Dist IV Championship win over Wyalusing Area. The year’s most exciting game followed the next week with 12-0 win over previously undefeated Lakeland in a game that will be remembered for decades to come. The next week saw a repeat victory over Marian by a 38-7 score putting the Tornadoes in Hershey for the 3rd consecutive year. The 26-6 victory over Aliquippa gave the Tornadoes their 4th state title in the 90’s and left the seniors on this team a 49-8 record over 4 years and sweet revenge for the loss to Tyrone the previous year.
The 2000 edition Red Tornadoes leave as the all time leaders in total offense with 5,390 yards and first downs with 267. They also established a first when ever starter (14) was named to at least one post season all star team. They had four all state selections in Pennsylvania. Player of the Year Jon Veach, DE Nick Cuff, LB Vince Yasenchak named to the first team and DE Aaron Ziegler named to the second team. Rookie Coach Mike Brennan was named AP AA Coach of the Year. This team, which showed what hard work and dedication will do for you, will go down in history as one of the finest to ever take the field wearing the Red and White.
1951 UNDEFEATED KULPMONT WILDCATS
Although Kulpmont football is best remembered by the legacy of the 1938 Eastern Conference/State Championship Team and followed by the 1945 Eastern Conference Championship Team, one of the greatest of all times was the 1951 edition. That eleven went 10 and 0 during the 51 season and gave up only 47 points while scoring 333. They were denied their rightful place in history when Tamaqua refused to play the Wildcats that season. You see, the Blue Raiders had been defeated by a 61-0 score in 1950 and didn’t want more of the same in 51. Because of the old Eastern Conference rating system, the Wildcats were nosed out by Pottsville for the Southern Division Crown.
The Wildcats were coached that season by Ed “Truck” Stavenski and Bobby Balent. What is amazing is that it was their first year at the helm for both men after taking over for Bob Magalski. Their field leader was captain Nick Bruno, who died saving a fellow workman in July of 1954. They began the year with a convincing win over arch rival Mount Carmel Township by a score of 26-0. Wins over West Hazleton, Ashlad and West Mahanoy Township set up a 34-6 victory over former coach Mike Terry and the Red Tornadoes. They followed that with easy wins over Minersville, Shenandoah and Shamokin. They then defeated Coaldale 32-0 and Coal Township 20-0, avenging their only two losses from the 1950 campaign.
The Wildcats were paced by Harry “The Mailman” Malick, for QB Lashendock would give him the “Mail” and he would deliver. And deliver he would! <ailck went on to score 90 points that season, second only to Joe Pezelski’s 138 during the 1938 season. Malick also scored 18 points in the Coaldale game, good enough to tie the 4th best game in Kulpmont history. His 78 yard run vs Shenandoah is good enough for 7th on the all time Kulpmont list. Sugar Lashendock threw TD passes of 69 yards to Malick and 68 yards to Leo Fuginitti against Coal Township and Mount Carmel Township. Lashendock also chipped in with a 60 yard interception return vs West Mahanoy Township and a 70 yard punt return vs Mount Carmel and 60 yarder vs West Mahanoy Township.
Of course nothing would happen without the front line of Bob Stark, Tony Toter, Steve Pisarz, Joe Wanzie, Rollo Rovito, Puddin Head Yasenchak, Nick Bruno, Charlie “Chow Dog” Else, Jimmie “Dun-Dun” Rovito, Joe “Baggie” Wisneski, and George “Gal” Goodelunas. One of the reasons for success of the 51 Wildcats was the challenges they faced in practice every day. Many of their second team players could have started for other teams, but this was a TEAM. It really felt odd when Bruno, Rovito and Murdock went on to play at Mansfield and they had to play against their old QB Lashendock at Bloomsburg. But today, these Wildcats come together again to be recognized as one of only four undefeated teams in the 34 year history of Wildcat football.
FEMALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE
Jessica Stelma is this year’s female scholar-athlete and certainly fits the mold of previous award winners. How she found the time to be successful in the classroom as well as on the field is truly amazing. Jess has earned 13 varsity letters in four varsity sports during her year at Mount Carmel Area. She has been a four year letter winner in Soccer while serving as co-captain during last year’s mist successful season ever at MCA. This past season, Jess averaged 9 points per game from her guard position while serving as captain for the second consecutive year.
During the spring, Stelma can be found running for the Tornado track team. Jess has run the 100, 200, 400, 4 x 100 meter relay team and 4 x 400 meter relay team as well as the jumping events for the Lady Tornadoes. As if this weren’t enough, Jess has also been varsity cheerleader for two years, acting as a co-captain during her senior year.
Jess is a member of the National Honor Society, National Athletic Honor Society, President of the Pep Club, Vice President of the Spanish Club, and is a member of the Interact Club, Pennsylvanians Against Underage Drinking, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Future Teachers of America, Art Club, and is a member of Student Government. She has also taken part in Intramural Volleyball, Powder Puff Football, Hoops for Heart and AYSO Soccer.
IN addition Jess was chosen as a member of the Homecoming Court in 1999 and Field Day Court in 2000 and was voted as Homecoming Queen in 2000.
Stelma currently ranks 5th in her class of 120 with a 97 plus average and has scored just under 1200 in her SAT’s. She will attend Bucknell University in the fall to major in biology with her sights set on Veterinary Medicine. She is the daughter of Darlene Stelma, Mount Carmel.
MALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE & SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT
During the 90’s, the Mount Carmel Area football program has seen the record books rewritten by a group of athletes from 1994 thru 2000. Jon Veach has rewritten the rushing records all by himself. Without a doubt, one of the greatest to ever wear the Red and White, #25 leaves as the all-time leading rusher in Tornado history with 7,103 yards, good enough for 4th on the all-time list in the state of Pennsylvania. He also established new marks with 8,370 all-purpose yards, 592 points scored, 96 touchdowns, 45 games scoring a TD, 35 games rushing for over 100 yards, 10 games over 200 yards, and 6 games with 4 touchdowns.
Veach also owns new season marks with 2,834 yards rushing, 42 TD’s, 3,105 all-purpose yards, and 260 points scored. He also set a new single game record with his 296 yard effort vs Lakeland in the eastern semi-final.
During his career, Jon has started in 57 consecutive games and has a 49-8 record as a Red Tornado. His teams have won two State Championships (1998 & 2000) and have one Eastern Title in 1999. Defensively, Jon had 127 career tackles, 11 interceptions, 9 passes broken up, and more touchdown saving tackles than one could count.
For all of his accomplishments, Jon was named Pennsylvania Small School Player of the Year in 2000 after being named AP First Team for the third consecutive year. He is the only Mount Carmel Area athlete ever named first team for 3 consecutive years. Recently, Jon has been chosen to play in the 2001 Big 33 game scheduled for July in Hershey, PA. He becomes the 19th Mount Carmel Area player to be chosen to play in this prestigious classic.
This season saw the end of a 145 game streak where a Veach was a member of the Red Tornadoes – brother Bob from 1990 thru 1993, Brett from 1993 thru 1996 and Jon from 1997 thru 2000.
Veach has also been an outstanding track performer as a sprinter for the Tornado thinclads. He won three Dost IV gold medals in the 100, 4 x 100 meter relay and 4 x 400 meter relay team.
As a student, Jon ranks 3rd in his class of 120 with a 97.4 average and is a member of the National Honor Society and National Athletic Honor Society. He has recently joined the 1300 Club at MCA with his 1320 SAT scores. He serves as a Sgt at Arms of the Art Club, Treasurer of the Spanish Club and has been a member of Student Council for four years. Jon was named Rotary Student of the month for October and currently is an Altar Server at Divine Redeemer Church in Mount Carmel.
Jon, who is the son of Donna and Robert Veach, will continue his studies and take his outstanding football abilities to Princeton University in the fall.
WINNING A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP! BEING NAME PENNSYLVANIA COACH OF THE YEAR! You would think that these accomplishments would be for someone who has been in the business for 10 years or so. Not for Coach Mike Brennan. You see, Mike accomplished the fete in only his first year at the helm of the Red Tornadoes and in only his third year as a head football coach. The championship was Mount Carmel Area’s fourth since 1994 and kept alive its streak of winning titles in even numbered years – 94-96-98-2000. Mike is being honored here today for being named Associated Press Pennsylvania AA Coach of the Year as well as Pennsylvania Football Coaches Association AA Coach of the Year.
Some would like you to believe that all Brennan has to do was assume control and let the players perform on the field. The truth is that Mike inherited a team with only two full-time offensive starters returning – Matt Bucher at guard and Jon Veach at tailback. On defense, four starters returned; Yasenchak, Veach, Lentini, & Ziegler, along with part time starters Brown and Cuff. The first thing Mike did was to assemble his coaching staff, making sure that all were on the same page both offensively and defensively. The rest is history!
Brennan led the 2000 edition of the Red Tornadoes to a 14-1 record and won Mount Carmel Area’s 5th district championship and 4th Pennsylvania AA State Title. The team’s only loss was to District IV AAA Champion Selinsgrove. In addition, the Tornadoes added to their own state history by winning their 700th game with a win over Troy in the Dist IV semi final game. They became the first team in the state to win 700 games with record now standing at 704.
Mike came to us from Pottsville Nativity where he had been the head football coach for two seasons as well as the Director of Development. Brennan received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education from Temple University in 1993. While a member of the Owls Football Program, Mike earned 2 letters as an offensive tackler/tight end. Following graduation, Mike served as an assistant football coach at Holy Cross High School in Delran, NJ. In 1994, Mike moved on to Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT where he served as an offensive line coach and was responsible for recruiting Eastern Pennsylvania.
Mike was recently married to the former Melissa Painter of Pottsville and hopefully he has experienced only the first of many successful seasons as the leader of the Mount Carmel Area High School Red Tornadoes.