27TH Annual Banquet
MICHAEL R. BERNOT
Perfection! Twice! - That’s exactly what this year’s inductee Michael Bernot has accomplished with his 2 sanctioned 300 games being recognized by the International Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis, MO. One was on September 17, 2001 and the other on January 20, 2003. Bernot has been bowling in the Philadelphia area since 1970 and was inducted into the Rodley Township Old Timers Hall of Fame in 2000. Mike has participated in the Delaware County Senior Games for Bowling since 1998 and has come away with 3 singles championships and 4 doubles championships, as well as a number of 2nd and 3rd place finishes. He was selected as the Outstanding Bowler of the Delaware County Senior Games in 1999.
Mike began his athletic career at Mount Carmel High School in the fall of 1943, when he earned his first of 4 varsity letters in football for Coach Joe Ambrose. Bernot would start at center, linebacker and end during his career and would post a 28-11-7 record during his time with the Tornadoes. The 1945 and 46 teams would be the first teams in history to play 12 games in a season.
He would then go on to play for Coach “Tufky” Amdrulewicz and the Tornado basketball team. He would earn 2 varsity letters and his 1946-47 team would post the most wins in a season, up until that time, with their 19-4 record. They won the second half Keystone League championship with a 50-27 win over Shamokin and then lost the overall championship to Coal Township by a 47-41 margin. Mike was selected to play on the All East basketball team and would help them to end the west monopoly in the Dream game with a 37-23 victory.
Mike’s athletic ability took an extra step in the spring when he would earn 4 more letters, but more importantly would qualify for the PIAA State Championships at State College in each of 4season as a discus thrower. He would also qualify in 1946 and 47 in the high jump and shot put. He won the 1947 District IV Championship in both the shot and discus. During graduation in 1947, Bernot was recognized at Mount Carmel High School for the Most Outstanding Contribution as an Athlete.
Mike would go on to Bloomsburg University, graduating in 1955 with a B.S. in Social Studies and Mathematics. He was a varsity letter winner in football and was President of the Varsity Club in 1953-54. He went on to have a 35 year career at Ridley Park and Ridley South School Districts as a teacher and administrator. Mike and his wife Dolores make their home in Morton, Pa and are the parents of three children: Michael, Rachelle, and Paul and are the proud grandparents of Nicholas, Christopher, and Michael.
From the back room at the “Greeks” to the largest ballroom of Resorts International in Las Vegas – that is the route taken by Dave Daya on his way to becoming one of the nations great billiards players. Dave first started shooting pool at the age of 10 in the billiards parlor known as the “Greeks” and now know as the Academy Sports Center. Dave’s father Joe was the manager there and he and well known Eddie Murray taught Dave how to handle the stick. At the age of 14, he won his first local tournament and, after a meeting with Tom Monaski – the organizer of Pennsylvania State Pool Championships – entered the State Pool Championships. That was only the beginning.
Dave would go onto become a 6-time State Champion by winning the 1980 PA Straight Pool Championship, the 1986 PA 8-Ball Championship, the 1987 New York State Championship, the 1995 PA 10 Ball State Championship, and the 2000 and 2001 PA * Ball Scratch State Championship. He was named the Tim Skruggs Player of the Year in 1998 and the Tim Skruggs 9 Ball Champion in 2000. Dave recently placed 2nd in the 2002 State 9 Ball Tournament and 2nd in the 2001 Valley Forge 8 Ball Open.
Daya has played most of the top players in the world including Jim Rempe, Allen Hopkins, Mike Massey, Johnny Archer, Nick Varner, Corey Deul, and Mike Lebron. He was able to play in an exhibition match with the top 2 women players in the world, Allison Fisher and Janette Lee, to raise money for a Philadelphia hospital.
In what Dave considers the highlight of his career was beating Allen Hopkins in the semi-final match to go on to win the 1987 New York State Championship. He has also placed in the top 5 at the Las Vegas Open and National Eight Ball Tournament in Columbus, Ohio. He has also participated in the U.S. Open in Virginia Beach and Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. He is a member of the Pro Billiard Tour and has been favorably mentioned in “Pool and Billiards” magazine.
One of Dave’s life-long desires was to play the nest player n the world in his home town of Mount Carmel. Daya organized the Jared Mariano 9 Ball fund and raised over $10,000 in a match with world-renowned Jim Rempe at Mount Carmel Area High School.
Dave is a 1971 graduate of Mount Carmel Area High School and is a partner in the Mount Carmel Auto Supply since 1980. He is the father of 2 daughters, Jennifer, and Didi, and has 2 grandsons Derick and Diono. He and his wife, the former Rose Shannon, make their home in Mount Carmel.
AMY L. (Kalbarchick) FRIES
Amy Fries has highlighted her athletic career with a brilliant four-year stint as the catcher of the Dickinson College Red Devil softball team. During her time in Carlisle, Amy established six single season records including best batting average - .464, slugging percentage - .712, total bases – 89, hits – 58, RBI’s – 38 and triples – 6. In her senior season, Amy started all 32 games as the catcher and was named to the second team ECAC South All Star team. As a junior, Fries started all 41 games and threw out 16 of 34 runners attempting to steal. Her .464 batting average ranked 51st in the nation among all Division III schools. Her team finished as the runner-up in the NCAA East Coast Atlantic Conference, while she was named to the 1995 ECAC South All Star Team as a catcher. Her exploits on the field earned her the Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Award, selected from all 5 women’s sports teams at Dickinson. She also served as co-captain of both the ‘95 and ‘96 Red Devils.
Amy honed her catching duties for head coach Mike Trocki’s Lady Tornado softball teams from 1989-1992. She also captained the 91 and 92 teams at MCA. As a senior, Amy helped the Lady Tornadoes to their first and only District XI Softball Championship. The Tornadoes would have a dream season in the Schuylkill League, ending Pottsville’s four-year unbeaten streak with a 2-1 win. Kalbarchick would score the first run off the Tide’s ace pitcher Andrea Smith in 55 consecutive innings. She also batted out of the 4-spot as the Tornadoes upended number one seed Northern Lehigh and would go on to defeat the number two seed Minersville by a 4-0 score. Minersville came into the game outscoring their opponents by a 20-1 margin and were the defending Dist XI Champions. Amy would contribute 2 hits and an RBI in the championship game. That Lady Tornado team with their 17-4 record, would set the standard for all future softball teams at Mount Carmel Area.
Fries also earned four letters in swimming and diving at MCA, where she also served as captain for 2 years. Amy continued to play softball as a member of the 1998-2002 Carlisle Area Women’s Slowpitch team and has a member of Carlisle Summerfair’s “battl of the sexes” softball all star team. Amy graduated from Dickinson College in 1996 with a BS in Mathematics and concentration in statistics and is currently an Analyst for Waste Management in Camp Hill. She and her husband, Tom, are the parents of a daughter, Cora.
JOSE ANTHONY GONZALO
He never scored the winning touchdown, never hit the game winning basket, and certainly never hit the “walk-off” home run to win the game in the league championship. However, like Ed Romance, he has been a great supporter of area athletics – male and female alike – and a positive influence on them. He has guided and counseled kids who were ready to quit our teams and “kept them in the game.”
Gonzalo began his 29 year stint as the MCA statistician in 1976 when then-statistician Ed Kaczmarek decided that he wanted to concentrate on baseball. Gonzalo agreed to do the job until they found someone else. In his first game against Tamaqua, Jose saw Bob Zavarick return 2 punts for TD’s. That sent him to the library to find out if anyone else had done anything similar. A year later, Gonzalo published his first “Football Guide” - complete with every game ever payed since 1893 and top ten lists in most statistical categories. He followed that up with revisions in 1979, 1997 and 2000 – the last 2 in corroboration with his buddy Phil Gergen, MCA’s Sports information Director. Gonzalo has now worked 357 games from the sidelines and has seen 468 consecutive MCA games since 1966 and 558 out of 559 since 1958.
Football players ear all state honors on the field, but a little help from the sidelines never hurts. While Mount Carmel has had 36 first-team all state players from 1939, 27 of those have been named since 1976. The Tornadoes also have been represented with a first team selection in every year since 1994. He has been on the field for each of MCA’s 5 state championships.
Gonzalo’s support of the program is obvious off the field as well, notably his involvement with the Breakfast/Supper Club since its inception in 1983. The Club has donated weight equipment, clothing, shoes, video equipment as well as provide a venue for student athletes to improve their communication skills.
In 1979, Gonzalo was one of the original founders of the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and served as its first secretary and ghost writer. He continues in that capacity today as well as the Historian and Board Member. His work has been recognized in articles in the Shamokin News-Item, Pottsville Republican, Bloomsburg Press Enterprise, Hazleton Standard Speaker, Harrisburg Patriot News, The Reading Eagle, and Pennsylvania Football News.
He has served his community as a member of the Mount Carmel Area School Board for 8 years, the Mount Carmel Area Education Foundation since 2000 and currently acts as the banquet chairman for the Mount Carmel Rotary Club’s annual football banquet. He and his wife Rose live in Shady Acres and are parents of 3 children, Jill, a pharmacist with Rite Aid, Joel, a pharmacist with CVS and Jed, a third year medical student at Penn State Hershey.
Can you even imagine doing something for over five decades of your life? And doing it because you loved it; but mostly because it helped young men mature in a structured manner. George Kroutch, and his involvement with the Mount Carmel Junior Baseball League, did just that.
George’s love for baseball started when he joined the little league team sponsored by Our Lady’s Church, now the Knights of Columbus in the Mount Carmel Little League, coached by the late Johnny Patrick. He then went on to play for the Rams in the Senior League which was coached by the later Joseph Kerprich. George lent his spare time to keep score and help Patrick with Our Lady’s until he entered the United States Army in 1960. After his military duty, he returned to assist Coach Patrick until Johnny relinquished the helm.
George assumed the position of manager of the Knights of Columbus Junior League team for 19 years – from 1975 through 1993. During that time, his teams won 2 National Division Championships. The team also won 2 prestigious Holy Spirit Tournament Championships. He managed in 2 National League All Star games and 3 Twelve Year Old All Star Games. He also served the Mount Carmel Junior League as Secretary/Treasurer. He always tried to be fair to his players and instill in them “to do the best they could. If they lost, it wasn’t important as long as they tried their best.” One of the more difficult aspects of coaching, he stated, is watching and calculating the movement and play of 9 youngsters, while the parent is focusing on one – his own. Sometimes it was more difficult dealing with the parents than the youngster.
Kroutch is still serving as the Knights of Columbus Junior League Baseball Team Representative since 1966. He has presided as Knights of Columbus Youth Chairman since 1972, overseeing youth activities sponsored by the club, coordinating pizza parties, banquets, and the children’s Annual Christmas Party. He also was the Knights of Columbus Basketball Free Throw Chairman for 16 years and chaired the District and Regional levels of competition.
He served as Treasurer for Cub Scout Pack #3176 and Boy Scout Troop #176 for more then 20 years, and received the “Scouter of Note” award by the Susquehanna Council for Boy Scouts of America in 1972. He was appointed by Bishop Joseph T. Daley in 1974 as a representative of the Catholic Committee on Scouting and was awarded the St. George Catholic Diocesan Scouting Award from Bishop Daley in 1980.
He graduated from Mount Carmel Catholic High School in 1955. He is married to the former Mary Krehel and are the proud parents of 3 children – G. Bryant of Olathe, Kansas, J. Kevin of Mechanicsville, Virginia, and Alexa of Mercersburg. They have 4 grandchildren – Nicholas, Garret, Kelsey, and Lauren. He retired from the PA Liquor Control Board in 2001 and 32 years of service in Kulpmont, Hershey, Milton, Sunbury, and Mount Carmel.
L. SAMUEL PROCOPIO
To area sports enthusiasts, “Sam’s Song” was always the article they turned to when local sports information was desired. Sam Procopio began writing “Sam’s Song” when he was a freshman on the campus of Penn State University in 1950. The column became a favorite from 1966 thru 1994 as part of the anthracite coverage in the Reading Eagle.
Sam eventually became the sports editor of the Penn State Daily Collegian as a senior in 1954. After receiving his bachelor of arts degree in journalism, he was employed as a general news reporter for the Lewistown Sentinel, moved to the Centre Daily Times in State College, and eventually to the Harrisburg Patriot News.
Sam then served for two years in the U.S. Army, during which he continued to write “Sam’s Song” for the News Chronicle about military life. He then took the job as sports editor for the Shamokin Citizen from 1957 to 1961. He then completed stints with the Milton Standard and Sunbury Daily Item until moving on to the Eagle in 1966. He then covered the Kutztown State football program fro 14 years and in 1977 was asked by football coach George Baldwin to help establish a Football Hall of Fame at Kutztown College. He served as its first and only secretary until 1989. He was given special recognition into the University Hall in 1988 and served on its induction committee until 2000.
From 1966 thru 1981, Procopio founded the All East-Central High School Football team that covered 15 counties – the largest outside the wire services all state teams. He has received numerous awards throughout his career including the Old Golds Award as a Penn State campus leader, Milton Booster Club Award for outstanding sports coverage, Mount Carmel Rotary Club Award for excellent sports coverage, and the College Football Centennial Award for Kutztown State College. He was also inducted into the Penn State Pioneers during the 50th anniversary reunion of the Class of 1954 in June, 2004.
Sam was also recipient of the William A. Schnader Memorial Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association for outstanding reporting in the field of law and judicial administration. Currently, Sam is a modern western square dance caller, a hobby began in 1982. He established wheel chair dancing for residents in the Berks County Home and founded a modern-square dance club called the Star Rounders in 1970. Sam, a 1950 graduate of Mount Carmel Catholic High School, resides in the Reading area with his wife, Dolores. They have four children, David, Ronald, Ellen, and Brenda and eight grandchildren.
Bob Rovito was a 1952 graduate of Kulpmont High School where he started at tackle for three years for the Wildcats. Although the Kulpmont teams of 1938, 1944, and 1945 are the most mentioned when talking about the great ones, Bob’s 9151 team could be the best of all. The team that year went 10-0 and scored 333 points while giving up only 47. They were denied their destiny when Tamaqua refused to play them during the regular season because of a 61-0 drubbing the year before. Because of the old Saylor rating system, the Wildcats were nosed out of championship play by Pottsville for the Southern Division Crown. The Wildcats were coached that season by co-coaches Ed Stavenski and Bobby Balent. They would also register the most points ever scored in a game for Kulpmont in a 66-0 rout of West Mahanoy Township.
Rovito’s teams would go 24-7-1 during his three years as a starter. One of the losses in his junior year was to Coaldale and, Navy and Virginia Coach, George Welsh. Welsh would throw 4 touchdown passes that day and later in life would list beating the Wildcats as one of the highlights of his career. Bob would graduate and move on to Mansfield and, along with teammates Nick Bruno and Fred Murdock, would have to play against old QB Sugar Lashendock, who had gone on ot Bloomsburg State Teachers College.
Bob would go on to play for two years at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, going undefeated and winning the Army Championship.
Rovito would take his talents to Yonkers, NY and over a period of time earned his business degree in New York’s State School System. He would continue to coach Pop Warner football for 10 years in Yonkers before moving on to Valley Cottage. He would continue to coach at the Pop Warner level for 20 years until 1986. Three of his teams would qualify for the national championship games in Coral Gables, FL and Jacksonville, FL.
Rovito worked as a hospital administrator at Nyack Hospital for 20 years before his retirement. He and his wife, the former Jackie Arasim, are looking forward to their 50th wedding anniversary in October. They are parents of three children: Robert – who played on Weidner College’s National Championship in 9182, Ronald – a football official in New York, and Karen – a registered nurse. They have 9 grandchildren and currently reside in Valley Cottage.
CHARLES M SACAVAGE
Charles Sacavage was literally born to wrestle. He is the eldest son of the late Charles A. Sacavage who was on the first Mount Carmel High School Wrestling Team in 1934 and was the first coach after the school reintroduced the sport in 1952. Together with his two brothers Bob and Greg, they have followed their father’s lead as a a wrestler, coach, and referee for a period spanning over half a century of service to the sport.
A 1964 graduate of Mount Carmel High School, Charlie led the Red Tornado wrestlers as one of its senior co-captains. Sacavage was a true scholar athlete. In addition to his athletic success, he was also the valedictorian of his class of 1964. He continued his wrestling career by competing at the collegiate level at Bucknell University where he was co-captain of the Bison wrestlers in both his junior and senior years. He graduated in 1968 with a BA in History and was also commissioned a Lieutenant in the United States Army.
While serving his country, Charles continued to serve the sport of wrestling. He was the assistant coach of the All Army Wrestling Team in 1969 that won the Inter-Service Tournament and head coach of the Fort Hood Team that would go on to win the Fourth Army Championship in 1970. After returning to civilian life, he became the head coach at Steelton-Highspire High School from 1970-1973. He then returned to his coal region base as the head coach of the Pottsville Area High School Crimson Tide Wrestlers from 1973-1982.
While achieving excellence on the mat with his many teams, Charlie maintained equally high standards in the classroom. He earned a Master’s in Education, received the Excellence in Education Award from Time Warner, was selected as Educator of the Year in Schuylkill County, and received the Exceptional Performance Award from Partners in Distance Learning.
In 1982 he became a member of the Keystone Chapter of Wrestling Officials where he served as Rules Interpreter until 1995. Sacavage also worked for many years as a volunteer coach for the Pottsville Youth Wrestling Program. In 1997 he was inducted into the Bucknell University Wrestling Hall of Achievement in recognition of success in life and contributions to society.
Sacavage and his wife Mary have two children: Charles, a First Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corp and Susan, a Lieutenant JG in the US Navy. Since leaving public education in 1999, he has worked as an Adjunct Professor of History at Alvernia College and an Educational Consultant. Today, Charles joins his father Charles A. - 1991 – and brother Robert – 1984 – as inductees of the Ed Romance Lower Anthracite Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
CHARLES V. GRISCAVAGE INDUCTEE SCHOLARSHIP
SEAN THOMAS DIMINICK
Diminick! If the name sounds familiar, it should for the name has been synonymous with coal region greatness for over 60 years. First it was Joe Jazz running all over the field for the Kulpmont Wildcats in the 40’s. Then it was his 6 sons who took the Mount Carmel Area sports programs to new heights from the 60’s thru the 80’s. Today, another Diminick comes home as the first recipient of the Charles V. Griscavage Inductee Scholarship; given to a child or grandchild of an inductee of the Ed Romance Chapter.
Sean Diminicl, son of the legendary Mount Carmel and Notre Dame running back, Gary Diminick, has continued the Diminick tradition, albeit in Vermont. He was a three sport star in football, basketball and lacrosse at Essex High School, the state’s largest high school. As a receiver and defensive back, Sean led the Hornets to a 19-2 record in 2002 and 2003. He was named the MVP of Essex football following the 2003 season and was chosen to play as a defensive back in the Vermont North/South All star football game and later chosen to represent Vermont in the annual Vermont/New Hampshire Senior All Star football game as a wide receiver and kick returner. His 24 catches for 441 yards and 7 TD’s led the Hornets in 2003. He was also named First Team Vermont Division I Defensive Back and Second Team Vermont All State Defensive Back.
As a basketball player, Sean was chosen to play in the Vermont North/South Senior all star basketball game in 2004 and was given honorable mention to the Metro Division Basketball Team. He was named the Essex Varsity Basketball Team Defensive Player of the Year after leading the team with 80 steals and posting 10 in one game. In the spring, Sean lead the Lacrosse team to 14 consecutive wins before losing in the state semi-final. His 56 goals established a new season mark for the Hornets. He was named to the First Team Vermont All State Lacrosse Team and was chosen to play in the Vermont North/South All Star Lacrosse game and again represented Vermont as a participant in the Vermont/New Hampshire Senior All Star Lacrosse game. He was named Essex High School Varsity Lacrosse Team MVP and eventually was chosen Essex High’s Outstanding Male Athlete for 2003-2004.
Sean also stood out as a student where he was a member of the National Honor Society, was a member of the Essex High Athletic Leadership Council, attended the National Student Leadership Conference, and was a Vermont Boys’ State Delegate.
Following graduation Sean was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to attend Susquehanna University and as a freshman, has participated in football and lacrosse for the Crusaders. Sean is the son of Patti and Gary Diminick, and the grandson of Ann Louise and Joe Jazz Diminick.
JOSEPH JAZZ DIMINICK MALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE
RICHARD J. CHESNEY
Unlike most of the past recipients of this award who excelled in the more traditional sports like football, basketball, wrestling, baseball and track and field, Rich Chesney made his way to the head of the class by way of the soccer field and cross country course. Being the top ranked male in the class of 2005 has also played a role in his being named the Joseph Jazz Diminick Male Scholar Athlete by the Ed Romance Lower Anthracite Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Chesney has excelled for the Red Tornado soccer team for four years, serving as captain in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. As a junior, Rich led the Tornadoes to a 9-10-1 record in only their fourth year of existence. He scored 29 goals and chipped in with 13 assists for a total of 71 points. Both numbers established single season marks at MCA. As a senior last fall, Rich added 21 goals and 18 assists, giving him a career total of 55 goals (a school record) and 35 assists and a total of 145 points (also a school record) in his career. His efforts earned him News Item all star honors in 2003 and 2004; being named Soccer Player of the Year in 2003 and Offensive Soccer Player of the Year in 2004. He was also named a Schuylkill League All Star as a junior and senior.
Chesney was also named a Schuylkill League All Star following his junior and senior seasons with the Tornado harriers. He finished 12th in 2003 and 11th in 2004 at the Schuylkill Interscholastic All League Meet and medaled with an 11th place finish at the 2004 District IV Meet in a time of 17:56; qualifying for the PIAA State Championship Meet.
In addition to his 98.8 GPA, Richard ranks 4th in his class of 114 at MCA and has posted an 1120 on the SAT’s. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Interact Club and was recognized by “Who’s Who Among American High School students”. He has participated in the Science Olympiad, the Envirothon, and has volunteered in teaching elementary students and as a coach of u-14 AYSO soccer.
Rich has been awarded a Vickroy Scholarship at Lebanon Valley College where he plans to pursue a doctorate degree in physical therapy and also play intercollegiate soccer. He is the son of Richard S. and Shirley Chesney of Kulpmont.
JOSEPH D. WASILEWSKI FEMALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE
This year’s female scholar athlete is Adrienne Baksi. Baksi is on track to become the second consecutive valedictorian to be named the female scholar athlete. She currently ranks number one in her class with a GPA of 100.98 and has become a member of the 1300 Club by virtue of her 1320 SAT score. She is a member of the National Honor Society and as a member of the Science Club has participated in the Science Olympiad, Elementary Science Lessons and Science in Motion. She has taken part in the Bloomsburg University math competition for 3 years and was involved in the Exploring Environment Chemistry Workshop at Muhlenberg College in the summer of 2001.
Adrienne can be seen daily as an anchor of “MCA Live” Mount Carmel Area’s student run school television program. She has served as the morning new editor for 2 years, as well as acting as the editor of “Tornado Times”, MCA’s seasonal news and feature magazine. Adrienne also serves as the sports editor for “The Watch”, MCA’s school newspaper. She is the Co-president of the Interact Club, heading up such projects as Food and Coat Drive, Food bank stocking, Hoops for Heart, Hams for the needy, Toys for Tots, SPCA Drive, Crop Walk, and visits with the elderly. Other extracurriculars include serving as SADD secretary, Developmental Studies President, Yearbook staff, homecoming float committee and performing in the school musicals.
Athletically, Adrienne has the distinction of throwing 2 no-hitters for Mike Trocki’s Lady Tornado softball team. Unfortunately, one of those games was a loss vs Pine Grove in her sophomore year. The second was a win over Lourdes Regional in 2004. She has lettered for three years with the Tornado softball squad as a pitcher and left fielder with a .900 fielding percentage. Baksi has also lettered for 3 years with the Lady Tornado Basketball squad as a point guard and 2-guard. Her hustle and aggressiveness is noticeable whenever you see her play. Adrienne has also participated in intramural volleyball for three years and Powder Puff football for two years, serving as captain of this year’s team.
Adrienne has certainly distinguished herself both on and off the court for Mount Carmel Area and deserves to have her name up there with past winners of this award. She is the daughter of Elaine and David Baksi, Marion Heights, and will continue her education at Franklin and Marshall College to major in Biology with an interest in pursuing veterinary medicine.
He has been a fixture on the Mount Carmel Area gridiron since the second half of the Shamokin game in his freshman year. He went on to start his next game with Allentown Central Catholic and made it 45 in a row until he walked out of the Silver Bowl following the Selinsgrove game in November.
During his career, Drew would become only the 5th back in MCA history to run for 1000 yards in 2 seasons. He would also become the 5th back in MCA history to rush for over 3000 yards in his career finishing with 3,127. He also had 38 receptions for 627 yards, 50 punt returns for 580 yards and 23 kick off returns for 483 yards. His total of 4,817 all purpose yards also ranks 5th on the all-time MCA list. He scored 44 touchdowns and 268 points in his career – good enough for 6th on the all time list. His 255 yard rushing game against Shikellamy was the third best individual performance in MCA history.
It was as a defensive back where Drew elicited most of the oohs and aahs from the crowd. A devastating hitter, Drew posted 253 tackles – 144 solo – as a free safety: adding 10 interceptions, 17 passes broken up and 2 fumble recoveries. Only Mike Diminick had more tackles than Letcavage as a defensive back.
Drew would help his teams win one District IV championship in 2002 and one PIAA AA State Championship in 2002. He added an Eastern Conference Crown in 2001. He would be honored as a Pennsylvania Football News 3rd team running back in 2002, a second team defensive back in 2003 and first team defensive back in 2004. He would become a 30time Reading Eagle, Pottsville Republican, Press Enterprise, and News Item first team all-star. He capped his career following the 2004 season by being named to the Associated Press AA First Team All State Team as a defensive back. He was also honored by WNEP-TV as a Dream Team All Star and was named to the Patriot News Platinum 33 Team as a defensive back. Drew has recently been chosen to play in the East-West All Star game in Altoona in June.
Andrew is the son of Annette Buczeski and Thomas Letcavage. He has accepted a full scholarship to William and Mary University as a safety, a position he excelled at while at Mount Carmel.
Eric Lapotsky has truly earned his special achievement award with his 5th place at the PIAA AA State Wrestling Championships this last weekend at the Giant Center in Hershey. Eric sealed his 5th place medal with a pin over Central Columbia’s Simon Fowler, the same wrestler who handed Eric a 6-4 defeat in the quarterfinals. Lapotsky finished the 2005 season with a 39-2 record. He has been a four year varsity performer with the Tornado grapplers and became the first-ever four-time Southern Sectional Champion in District IV. He is also a three-time District medalist, winning the 2005 championship at 171 pounds. He is a two-time Northeast Regional Champion in 2004 and 2005. He was an 8th place state finisher in 2002, as well as, his 5th place finish this year. He is a two-time Schuylkill League Champion and a three-time Schuylkill League All Star. He has concluded his high school wrestling career with a 122-25 record and recently joined Dave Fantini, Dave Evans, and Mike Garcia as the only MCA wrestlers to win 100 matches in their careers. His 122 wins ranks second only to Garcia. He entered the state tourney last weekend as one of only 14 undefeated wrestlers in AA in the state of Pennsylvania.
Eric keeps in shape as a distance runner with the Tornado Cross Country team and did it well enough to be names a Schuylkill League All Star twice.
Lapotsky was named to the 2004 Pennsylvania All-Academic Wrestling Team as a first team selection. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the Athletic Honor Society and has received a McKelvey Scholarship. He has been recognized as a student of the month by the Mount Carmel Rotary Club and is active in the Science Club, French Club, and as a member of the Envirothon team.
Eric will continue his academic and athletic careers at Slippery Rock University, where he has been accepted into the pre-doctorate program in physical therapy. He is the son of Joseph and Katherine Laportsky.
1965 NORTH SCHUYLKILL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM
From last to first! With the help of a few sports writers from Schuylkill County, that is the route taken by the Mount Carmel Area North Schuylkill League Baseball Champions in 1965. Coming into the season, the Red Tornadoes had lost 6 talented starters from the 1964 team that had gone 9 and 5, so many of the pundits had Big Red finishing no better than last or next to last. Led by co-captains Frank Bolick and Jim Bush, the Tornadoes opened their season with a 2-1 victory over Mahanoy City behind Bolick’s 3-hit, 16 strikeout performance. Opening day starters were Jerry Delaney at third, Greg Doviak in right, Bolick on the mound, Jim Bush at short, Steve Zarlinski behind the plate, Ray Bartosic at first, Bob Shannon in left, Bob Fracalossi in center and Jake Wojcik at second base. Other contributors were Anthony Thomas, Dick Bridy, Frank Niglio, Al Bressi, Tom Taddeo, Paul O’Brien, John Linetty, Vic Zanella, Bob Coyne, Joe Haffey, John Grodzunaki, Mike Szymanski, John Tarlecky, Mel Graham, Tom Orzechiwski, Bill Ayres, Mike Raulinaitis, and Coach Theodore “Tufky” Andrulewicz.
Doviak and Bolick would then 2-hit Ringtown in a 3-2 win, followed by a Bolick 4-1 win over Saint Clair. Bush would pick up the win against Frackville by striking out their clean-up hitter with the bases loaded to end the game. Bolick would follow up with a 2 hit 5-1 win over Panther Valley to go 5-0. Bush would then pitch the Tornadoes to a 2-1 win over Ashland before Bolick would lose his first in an 8 inning 4-3 loss to Shenandoah. Bush would go 3 for 3 and pitch a 7-hitter in a 4-3 win over the Bears of Mahanoy City. The Tornadoes would then get by Saint Clair and Ringtown before the most controversial game of the year with Frackville. With the Tornadoes leading by a score of 8-3 in the 6th, the Frackville coach was charged with unsportsmanlike conduct when he was heard telling his pitcher to hit Bolick for the third time in that game. The game eventually ended in a forfeit. The win gave the Tornadoes a 10-1 record and a virtual lock on the championship. That game also ended Bush’s 10 game hitting streak.
The Tornadoes, with Doviak on the mound, would pick up win number 11 by rallying in the 7th to overtake Panther Valley by a 3-1 score. Heroics were provided by Bartosic, Bridy, Fracalossi, Ayres, Bressi and Jerry Delaney. MCA officially clinched the title with a 2-hit, 10-strikeout shutout by Bolick over Ashland 2-0. The win would mark the 200th win in MCA’s baseball history. The Tornadoes would avenge their only loss by virtue of Bush’s 3-hit, 11 strikeout performance in a 4-3 victory over Shenandoah. They would eventually lose to Sunbury by a 5-4 score in the opening round of District IV play, but would savor their second Schuylkill League Championship.
This championship was unique in that the Tornadoes hit only .214 as a team, committed 35 errors, had only one 300 hitter (Bush at .333) and did not his one home run during the season. They won 6 games by 1 run, 2 games by 2 runs and 3 games by 3 runs. All they did was win!