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29th Annual Banquet




Versatility! An often over-used word to describe someone's ability to play a number of positions. Jerry Brazinski took it to another level. Before settling on being a tight end and placekicker, Jerry played every offensive line position (5), halfback, fullback, punter, kicker ( kick-offs and extra points), both defensive end spots and nose guard - total - 14. Playing for coach Joe Jazz Diminick in 1963 and 64, Brazinski would earn honorable mention to the Big 33 as a tight end following the 1964 season. He also made good on 52 of 75 extra point kicks over 2 seasons and would lead the Eastern Conference in 1964 with 25 of 35. He still holds the MCA record for most field goals attempted in a game with 5 vs Kulpmont in 1963. That '63 team would go 10-1 with their only loss to Pottsville by a score a 14-6.

Brazinski was also a four-year letter winner in track and field for Hall of Fame Coach Gerald Breslin. His versatility again showed up as a hurdler, jumper, and pole vaulter. He was the Eastern Conference Southern Division pole vault champion

in 1965.

Following graduation in 1965, Jerry would attend Millersville University and Bucks County Community College before entering the military. He continued his love of sports by winning the Fort Monroe Base Championship in flag football and by serving as his team's pitcher in fast-pitch softball. He then served in Vietnam with the 545th Military Police Company of the First Air Cavalry Division. He cam home with a National Defense Service Medal, a Vietnam Service Medal, a Vietnam Campaign Medal, a Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and Army Commendation Medal, and The Air Medal

He would continue his sports affiliations as a coach of the Bensalem Ramblers and a 12 year old All Star Travel Team. He would coach football at Assumpta Academy in Wynwood and was the defensive co-ordinator for the Frankford Yellowjackets, an Eastern League semi-pro football team.

Jerry currently resides in Bensalem with his wife Anne (Brophy). They are parents of three children Meghan, Brian, and Eric. Brazinski is the president and owner of Park Avenue Wine and Spirit Company, and is an importer, distributor and broker of fine wines. Brazinski joins teammate and classmate Wayne Shierent as inductees in the Romance Chapter Class of 2007.



There will always be those that will argue as to which team was the best - 1938 Kulpmont 11-0 State Championship team, the 1945 11-0 Eastern Conference Championship team, the 1951 10-0 undefeated team, or the 1944 - 11-0 undefeated team that was nosed out of Eastern Conference play by the old Saylor Rating System. An integral part of that '44 team was Ron Haas. Ron would help the '44 team rack up 8 shutouts and would give up only 21 points all season. The first team D was unscored upon, even while playing perennial powers Mount Carmel, Coal Township, Coaldale, Ashland, Shenandoah and Scranton Tech. The 21 points given up are the fewest in Kulpmont's 34 year history. The offense would put up 357 points while averaging 31.9 points per game - second only to the 381 points scored in 1950. Hass would be on the receiving end of 5 of the 19 touchdown passes thrown by 6 different players on that '44 Wildcat eleven. Remember that was long before the pass became an integral part of area offenses. Ron would be part of the era which would produce a 27 game undefeated streak at Kulpmont, extending from 1944 thru 5 games of the ' 46 season. So good was that team, that Haas becomes the 7th member of the 28 man roster to earn induction into the Ed Romance Chapter.

Haas was also an outstanding basketball player who would lead the 1943 Wildcats to a 22-2 record and the Keystone League Championship During his senior season, Haas would surpass Sammy Brazinski as the school's all-time leading scorer. Coach William Beierschmitt would proclaim him "one of the finest basketball players I ever coached."

Following graduation in 1945, Haas would play Semi-Pro football with the Anthracite Maroons, Shamokin Indians, Shenandoah Presidents, and a few games with the famed Pottsville Maroons. As an Anthracite Maroon, Ron would help them to their first ever undefeated season in 1945. He would also play basketball in the Anthracite League with the Kulpmont Legion and Maurer's Dairy of Mount Carmel.

Hass would also try his hand at coaching and headed the Kulpmont Wildcat Midget Football Team for approximately 6 years and would produce one championship team. He would also coach an All-Star team that played in Baltimore.

Ron would meet and marry his wife Alice in 1958 and would live his entire life in Sunbury. They had 2 sons, John and Scott. Ron worked for Celotex Industries and later Knights Industries until his retirement in 1989.



9.8 yards per carry - Those kinds of numbers are usually thought of with the names Doviak, Diminick, and Hynoski. However, Joe Hanlon, Kulpmont High's super back, did it way back in 1950. According to statistics provided by the News-Dispatch following the 1950 season, Hanlon carried the pigskin 68 times for 667 yards in pacing Robert Magalski's Kulpmont eleven to a fine 9-2 record. He would also score 12 TD's and an extra point for 73 markers - good enough for the 6th best season ever in the Wildcats 34 year history. Joe's 85 career points ranks 5th all-time at Kulpmont. Hanlon, along with Ralph Nard (84) and Jack Buchinski (60) would pace Kulpmont in scoring 381 points that season, the highest in school history. Joe would score in 8 of the 11 games in 1950 and would have 4 - two-touchdown games.

In addition, Hanlon, who was the Wildcats leading breakaway threat, would also pass for 300 yards and 4 touchdowns. When not throwing, Joe managed to catch 8 balls for 77 yards and 2 scores, 10 and 21 yard passes from Lasehndock. As if that wasn't enough, Hanlon would punt 19 times for 859 yards - that's a 45.2 yard average.

Following the season, Hanlon was elected to play in the First Annul Dream Game - pitting stars from Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel Catholic and Kulpmont against the stars of Shamokin, Selinsgrove, Sunbury, Trevorton and Mifflinburg. Hanlon was chosen as the captain for coach Mike Terry's team and would lead them to a 44-15 victory. Hanlon would score on a 98 yard run after a botched snap on a punt.

Joe was also two-year letterman in basketball for the Wildcats. Joe established a new season mark with 327 points during the 1949-50 season. The lefthander would average 15.6 points per game in surpassing Sam Brazinski's 316 point total in 1939.He would then help the Wildcats to the Championship of the Keystone League in 1951, and would be recognized as a first team forward on the All-Keystone Team

Hanlon was a three-year letterman in baseball at Kulpmont as a first baseman and later played first base with the Cocoa-Rockledge Club, a Washington Senators Affiliate.

Joe would eventually end up in the retail sector as a store controller for GEM, Inc out of Falls Church, Virginia, and eventually Harrisburg, until his retirement in 1986. Joe, and his wife Adele, are the proud parents of three daughters, Michele, Beth Ann, and Kathleen.



George Curry and Jim Roth! - They are the two area coaches we would have to use to compare Wayne Shierant's career winning percentage, with all winning over 80% of their games. Shierant, in 15 years as the head football coach at West Islip, New York, has maintained an .805 winning percentage. He has posted a 112-26-3 record from 1981-1995 and had his team in playoffs for 14 out of the 15 years at the helm. He has guided the Long Island team to 7 League Titles, One Conference Championship, 4 Big Four Championships, two Division County Championships, two Suffolk County Championships, symbolized by the Rutgers Trophy, one Long Island Runner-up trophy and one Long Island Class II Championship.

At West Islip, Shierant registered two undefeated seasons in 1985 (10-0) and 1994 (11-0). He has the most wins of any coach in West Islip history and had two winning streaks of 19 (1985-86) (1994-95). On a personal note, Wayne has been named League Coach of the Year on 6 different occasions, was the Suffolk Count Coach of the Year following the 1985 and 1994 seasons, and was named the Bay Shore Moose Lodge - Man of the Year in 1994. Sheirant culminated his career by being named to the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and was added to the New York State Century Club by virtue of his 100 Plus Varsity wins.

Wayne began his football career as a halfback for coach Joe Jazz Diminick in the 60's. He would lead the 1964 team in rushing with 595 yards and a 6.6 yard average and would rack up 983 all-purpose yards. He went on to Sterling College, where he became a four-year starter at wide receiver and led the '69 Kansas College Athletic Championship team with 38 receptions.

He would earn a Bachelor of Science Degree from Sterling in December of 1969 and would follow that up with a Master of Arts Degree from Adelphi University in 1975. In May of 1990, he added a Professional Diploma in Educational Administration from Long Island University. He is currently the Director of Athletics, Physical Education, Health and Recreation at West Islip. He is the President of the Suffolk County Athletic Directors Association and 1st Vice President of the Section XI Executive Board. He also serves on the Administrative Staff of the Boomer Esiason Empire Challenge Football Game between Long Island and New York City. Wayne is the father of three children: Simeon, Jessica, and Jonah. He currently resides in Westhampton, NY with his wife, Cindy.



Hard work, dedication, commitment, and perseverance! Words that are usually reserved for someone who has made it the hard way. BJ Swaldi did just that. As an undersized lineman on the MCA '79 football team, BJ failed to letter. In 1980, he began to see some time at tackle and earned his first letter. In 1981, after committing himself to the weight room, he became a two-way starter for Coach Diminick's Red Tornado football team. He was one of the strong points on the offensive line and contributed 47 tackles and 2.5 QB sacks on defense. His efforts made him an All Anthracite Defensive tackle and a scholarship to West Chester University. He would letter as a long snapper during his freshman year, playing every game of the 1982 season.

That was only the beginning! BJ continued to get bigger and stronger - 6'3" - 278lbs - and would transfer to Bloomsburg University. He would rejoin former Tornado teammate Frank Sheptock, and, together would be among the players who would take the Huskies from 0-10 to 14-0. BJ was a mainstay on the offensive line while starting 37 consecutive games over a three year period. The 1985 team would go as far as the Division II semi-finals before losing to Northern Alabama in 1985. That team also came away with the PSAC Championship.

Swaldi would succeed his old teammate, Sheptock, as captain of the 1986 squad and, was named an honorable mention All-American following the 1986 season. He was a two-time first-team PSAC all star at offensive guard.

At Mount Carmel Area, Swaldi was also a three-year letter-winner for the Tornado basketball team under coaches Ken Kline and Al Madalis. The 1979-80 team is the team with the most wins in school history - 27. That team also won a school-record 12 consecutive games. Swaldi would serve as the co captain of the 1981-82 Tornadoes..

Swaldi would continue his weight lifting after college and would place second in the AAU Mr. Maryland competition in 1989 and 5th in the 1990 Chesapeake Regional Competition. He owns Max Muscle - a retail company of sports related nutritional products and apparel. He has proposed to fiancé Julie on a valentines Day- Sharon Osborn Special on National TV.



With girls sports still evolving at Mount Carmel Area, it has been difficult to find enough role models to satisfy all of the disciplines. Cheryl Kent, Maria Fantanarosa, Joanne Menapace - all come to mind. You can now add Tammy Trione to that short list, for she has helped to establish standards of excellence in both Cross Country and Track and Field.

In 1985, Tammy was the first Mount Carmel Area High School female to go undefeated in dual cross-country meets and would earn the Bonne Bell Award as the outstanding runner on the Schuylkill County League All Star Team. She was the top runner and team captain for the ground breaking Lady Tornado cross country team, which captured the first ever PIAA District Championship title and the Schuylkill All League Meet in the fall of 1985. Trione was a two-time PIAA State Meet participant in cross following the team championship in 1985 and a top ten finish in 1984.

Tammy also won three District IV gold medals in track and field, capturing the AA 800 meter in 1986 and followed that with a 7th place finish at the PIAA AA State Championships.

She was also a part of the 3200 meter relay team, consisting of Margot Guinan, Angela Vaughan, Joanne Menapace and Trione, which placed 4th at the PIAA AA State Championships with a regional record 9:42.8. Trione, Menapace, Val Zbicki, and Holly Green established another regional record in the 4 x 400 meter relay with a time of 4:12.7. In total, Trione won 7 S.I.A.L. gold medals during her high school track career.

Following graduation, Tammy attended Bloomsburg University and achieved the distinction of earning varsity status in women's cross country and track. She competed in the legendary Penn Relays and the 800 meter in a 2:23.1 to qualify for the PSAC Championships. She then completed her academic studies at Penn State University, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a Business Minor in 1990.

Trione moved to Los Angeles in 1996 to pursue a career in the Entertainment Industry. Since then, she has worked as an International Publicist at major studios (20th Century Fox), small independent film companies (PolyGram) and is currently employed at Rogers & Cowen, a top Hollywood Marketing and PR Firm.

Tammy still enjoys running as it fits perfectly into her busy schedule. All she needs is a pair of running shoes and off she goes, whether it is Hyde Park in London or the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.



Ending up where you started. Most would believe that not to be a good thing. For Rodger Williams, it was a very good thing! When he walked off the field at the Silver Bowl following his last football game at Mount Carmel in 1958 as a player, I'm sure Rodger had no idea that he would culminate 44 years of officiating by walking off the field at the Silver Bowl. Williams finished that game with Mount Carmel and Selinsgrove without being noticed; just the way officials like it.

Williams cam back "home" to Shamokin as a teacher in 1965 following two years of teaching and coaching in New Jersey. Roger has officiated a number of Eastern Conference Championship games, several Eastern Final games, as well as, a number of District and interdistrict playoff games He also officiated the PIAA AAAA State Championship game in 1996. In addition to high school, Roger has officiated at the college level. For 25 years. He has worked games in Division III, Division II and Division I-AA, including the Ivy League, Yankee Conference, and Patriot League. He was chosen to work in two NCAA playoff games. In 1976, Williams was one of 33 finalists from which the NFL hired six officials.

Rodger also spent more than 25 years umpiring baseball, working two PIAA finals at Shippensburg. He worked his last game behind the plate in 1986 in a PIAA playoff game in which Montoursville ace and New York Yankee Mike Mussina defeated Boyertown.

Williams played freshman football at Lafayette College in 1959 and participated in baseball in 1960.Following graduation, Williams worked as an assistant baseball coach at Waldwick High School in New Jersey in 1965, before returning to Shamokin as an assistant in 1966. He served as the head coach for the Indians from 1967 thru 1972.

Rodger's playing career started at Mount Carmel where he would earn 8 varsity letters in football(3) basketball(1) and baseball (4).

Williams and his wife, Dianne, have operated a real estate appraisal firm for the last 20 years.



Jazz, Farmer, Hoosie, Sugar, Boogie - Just say the name and most folks know which Kulpmont athletic great your are talking about - Joe Diminick, Steve Filopowicz, Joe Pezelski, Michael Lashendock, FrankNicola. You can add "Booker" to that instantly recognizable list. Although his athletic exploits were at Lourdes Regional, Kulpmont's Daniel Zlockie brings instant recognition to the name "Booker".

Zlockie was three-sport standout in the mid 80's at Lourdes in football, basketball, and baseball. Booker would have his coming out party as a sophomore against West Hazleton when coach Bob Chesney inserted him in as a defensive back. Dan would respond with 2 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries and 13 tackles. He would register 250 tackles over his career - 187 solo and 63 assisted. He may have been part of one of the most memorable games in Raider history in 1985 vs Southern Columbia. Despite being 4 touchdown underdogs, Daniel would go 19 for 31 and 303 yards and 2 TD's in leading Lourdes to a 20-19 upset win over Jerry Marks's Tigers. As he completed his career, Dan would own records for completions in a season - 99, completions in a game - 19, most passing yards in a season - 1499, and most rushing yards in a game by a QB - 125. He would eventually throw for 2,595 yards on 182 completions in 380 attempts - still good for second place on the all-time Raider list. He would also rush 229 times for 529 yards. He would also add 6 interceptions, 6 fumble recoveries, and 3 QB sacks to his defensive totals. He was given honorable mention all-state as a junior and Big 33 honorable mention as a senior.

Dan would eventually take his talents to Kutztown University and would graduate in 1992 with a degree in marketing.

Daniel was also a two-year letterman for Coach John McKay's Red Raider basketball team and would help the Raiders to a District IV - A title with a 22-8 record in 1986 and a AA title in 1987 with a 22-7 mark. He was a three-year letterman as a catcher in baseball and was named to the Schuylkill League all-star team in 1987.

Booker now lives in Mountain Top with his wife Jeanine (Mirarchi) and three children, Braden, Marley, and Kennedy. He is employed in Wilkes-Barre as a Branch Manager for First NLC Financial Services



Dan was elected to the Hall in 2006 and was unable to attend the banquet, He will be inducted today with the as a member of the Class of 2007

FAKE 44 - X CORNER - That was one of the many plays that would separate Danny Rupp from others on his way to becoming the career completion leader at Mount Carmel Area following his graduation in 1980.Dan would connect on 210 of 438 passes from 1976-1979 as a three-year starter for Coach Jazz Diminick's Red Tornadoes. The fact that he surpassed the legendary, and fellow hall of fame quarterback, Joe Buchinski would make the accomplishment that more meaningful. The completions still rank third today behind David Shinskie and Michael Higgins. His '78 season, with 89 completions, still ranks 9th on MCA's all-time list. Dan's single game effort with 15 completions stood atop the list until 2001. Rupp's season total of 1,502 yards in 1978 was the 3rd best at the time and still ranks 10th all-time. His career total of 3,584 stood behind Buchinski's 3,763 at the time of graduation and still ranks 4th today. His 32 career touchdown passes still rank 4th all time. All of these marks are more impressive when you consider that Dan played before wide open offenses took over the game of football.

Dan's career started when he opened at quarterback in the opening game of the 1977 season and lead Big Red to a 50-12 win over Marion Catholic. He completed 4 of 6 passes for 113 yards and 2 TD's. He would lead the Tornadoes to a 28-7 record over the next three years and register 15 - 100 yards games and 4 - 200 yards games, while throwing at least one TD in 22 games. His 15 of 24 - 257 yard game vs Panther Valley is especially interesting in that all of his completions in that game would go to fellow hall of famers - Paul Szymanski, Jed Karpinski, Ed Diminick, and Bobby Joe Niglio.

Dan would also excel on the track for Coach Diminick as a high hurdler. Following graduation, Dan enrolled at Delaware Valley College and would earn four varsity letters playing for the Aggie football team that won the MAC North Championship in 1981 and 1983 under Coach Al Wilson. He graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and earned the DVC Football Scholastic Achievement Award - given to the graduating senior football player with the highest GPA.

He is currently employed by QTG ( Quaker, Tropicana, and Gatorade) a subsidiary of PepsiCo. He is the Senior Manager of Logistics for the Southern Region. , Prior to QTG, Dan worked for Nabisco Brands, Inc. in Pennsauken, NJ. He and his wife Susan live in Wewahitchka, Florida with their daughter Sara, 14.




In what may have the been the most competitive year in recent memory, Jonas Pachuski has emerged as the Joseph Jazz Diminick Male Scholar Athlete named by the Ed Romance Lower Anthracite Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Jonas, and his brother Justin (2002), become only the third set of brothers to be so honored. Pachuski took his place at the head of the class by virtue of his outstanding performance in 2 sports as well as his excellence in the classroom.

Jonas's work ethic allowed him to become a three-year starter for Coach Mike Brennan's Red Tornado football team. After three years, Jonas hauled in 58 receptions for 1000 yards and 15 TD's. The receptions (9th), yardage (8th) and TD's (6th) all rank in the top ten for a career at MCA. Jonas also has three games in the top ten for yardage - 166 vs Shamokin (2nd), 143 for Holidaysburg (4th) and 137 vs Pius (8th). His 4 touchdown catches vs Shamokin this past year established a new single game mark, as no other receiver in 114 years at MCA had a 4 TD game. Following the season, Jonas was given honorable mention all state by Pennsylvania Football News and was the only player named to the Reading Eagle All Area Team. Pachuski was also named to the Press Enterprise, Pottsville Republican and News-Item all-star teams. In addition, Jonas has been selected to play in the District IV All Star game in June. The team co captain was also honored as the Lewisburg Touchdown Club Player of the week following the Shamokin game.

Jonas also excels for the Tornado track team where he has run the 100, 200, 400, 800, 4 x1, 4 x 2, 4 x 4, and 4 x 8. He has personal bests of 52.2 in the 400 and 23.5 in the 200. He was also a member of the state qualifying 4 x 800 meter relay team, which placed 1st in the League Meet, 3rd in Districts and 10th at the State Championship Meet in Shippensburg. Their 8:11 is the second fastest time in MCA history.

Pachuski currently ranks 5th in a class of 144 and has served on Student Council for 6 years. He has been a National Honor Society member for 7 years and is a member of the Latin Club and Science Club. Jonas was named Rotary Student of the month for December and was the Ed Romance Chapter Athlete of the month for September.

Jonas is the son of Pete and Val Pachuski of Kulpmont and will attend Rochester Institute of Technology as a Presidential Scholar, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in film animation.




Karrisa Tocyloski has recently added her name to the impressive list of previous Joseph D. Wasilewski Scholar Athletes. To say that she has earned this honor would be an understatement. Karrisa has excelled in the classroom, on the athletic stage, and in her involvement in her community.

Tocyloski, as a four year member of the girl's soccer team, has helped to establish the Lady Tornadoes as one of the premier soccer programs in the area. She has paced them to four consecutive appearances in District IV soccer play. The team has posted 56 wins over the last three years. As a team captain in 2005 and 2006, Karrisa led her team to two consecutive Schuylkill League Titles. The Tornadoes placed 4th in District IV in 2004 and 3rd in 2005, moving on to the state tournament in both years. She was named to BRINE 1st team all state team in 2005 and is a three-time 1st team Schuylkill League all-star. Her play earned her the Ed Romance Chapter Athlete of the Month for October. Her 82 goals rank second in the school history.

As a four-year letterman with the MCA track team, Karrisa has separated herself with her work ethic and willingness to help her team in any way possible, She has run in events from the 100 meter dash to the 800meters with bests of 13.1 in the 100, 28.2 in the 200, and 64.1 in the 400. She also has a best of 15'4" in the long jump. She has qualified for Districts in 2004, 2005, and 2006 and went to the State Championships as an alternate in the 4 x 100 as a freshman and junior,.

Tocyloski is a distinguished honor roll student and ranks 8th out of 144 in her class, with an 1100 in her SAT's. She will be attending Millersville University in the fall to major in Biology. She is enrolled in the Pre-Optometry Program and eventually plans to attend the Pennsylvania College of Optometry.

Karrisa has also given her time to many organizations in the area. She has been a team captain for a Relay for Life team for 2 years, has been involved in Hoops for Heart, the MS Walk, and is a volunteer for Special Olympics.

At MCA, Tocyloski is a member of the Interact Club, Latin Club, Science Club, and is a news reporter and anchor for WKMC-TV. She is Homeroom Representative for Student Council and is a member of the Yearbook Staff. Karrisa resides in Kulpmont with her parents, James and Karen Tocyloski.




We recognize Shawn Collier today by virtue of his becoming only the 11th player in Mount Carmel Area boys basketball history to achieve the 1000 point mark. And he did it in the best way possible - as a total team player. Shawn was one of only a few players to step in and start the first game of his varsity career as a freshman. He would start in 101 of the 103 games in is career; giving up his spot to seniors as they would play in the last games of their careers.

Collier established himself as the floor leader as a freshman point guard during the 2003-04 season and led the team into District playoffs. As a sophomore, he took on a bigger load of the scoring and would help the Tornadoes to the District IV title game in a game the Tornadoes would lose to Loyalsock. His leadership took the Tornadoes to 16-9 and 15-10 record during his junior and senior season, marking 4 consecutive years that Tornado basketball would appear in District IV play. Shawn would open his senior season with a 25 point effort against Bloomsburg and follow that with a 25 point binge against Lourdes in the K of C tournament. His 1000th point would come in dramatic fashion in his last game with only 3 minutes to play in 67-57 loss to Wyalusing in the District IV opener. He averaged 15.5 pts per game as a senior, and eclipsed Joel Gonzalo (49) as the season 3 point shooter with 54. He also became MCA's career 3 point leader with 150, surpassing John Christian's 121.

Collier is also a 4 year letterman in baseball, playing third base and pitching. He would also help Coach Ed Kaczmarek's nine into District play following the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

During the fall of 2006, Shawn, in only his first year of soccer, would help the Tornadoes to a 14-6 record and a 4th seed into District IV play. It would be the first-ever appearance for boys soccer in playoffs since its inception in 2000. Collier would be named to the Press-Enterprise and News-Item all star teams as the goal keeper.

Shawn plans to attend a four-year college - with a possible major in Broadcasting or a sports-related field. At this time, he is looking into Susquehanna, Keystone College, Lock Haven, or Bucknell.

He is the son of Jack Collier, Kulpmont, and Millie Collier, Mount Carmel; and has two sisters, Jacklyn and Cassidee, both students at Susquehanna University.




34 years! That's how long girl's basketball has been played at Mount Carmel Area High School. - ONE! - That's how many District Championship banners hang in the gymnasium. That honor goes to the 1985 Lady Tornado basketball team coached by Deb Greco (Perles). Although long overdue, the Ed Romance Lower Anthracite Chapter today recognizes the wonderful achievement of the "Girls of 85."

Entering the 84-85 season, girls basketball had been on the rise, having played in the District IV Championship game in 82 and 83 and finishing 3rd in 1984. The 85 team was led by Pennsylvania's all-time leading scorer Maria Fantanarosa, but was different in that the team now had an 11 member bench and had 6 quality players who provided outstanding depth. Fantanarosa now had 500 assist point guard, Margot Guinan, and 4-year starter Lisa Balitchick - the do-everything 3-guard to help her out. Add Lori Adamcik and Lil Cole as tough, inside players, and you had a recipe for success. Of course, no team is complete without the bench and with Cheryl Darrup, Kim Little, Shannon Guinan, Melissa White, and Mary and Peggy Scicchitano, MCA had the players to finally get over the frustration that was District IV Play-offs.

The Lady Tornadoes would post a fine 17-10 record that season, even though they lost 5 games by 5 points or less. In addition, they would face adversity in the middle of the season as Fantanarosa went down with an injury, but managed to go 2-2 in games without her with Cheryl Darrup putting in 20 vs Pottsville and Lisa Balitchick leading the way in a win over Shamokin. The girls played their best when they had to, winning 6 consecutive games, including the championship game, and extending it to 7 with MCA's first-ever victory in a PIAA play-off game win over Reading Holy Name. The District Championship game was a slugfest with MCA coming out with a 71-70 win over Middleburg. The girls opening game may have been the most satisfying - a 57-40 win over old nemesis Loyalsock - a team that knocked the Tornadoes out of District play the previous 2 years.

Of course, no talk of this team can be complete without some mention of Fantanarosa. During her career at MCA, she shattered the state scoring mark with a total of 3,823 points. The most amazing numbers are her averaging of 31.3 points per game in 122 games and only one of them in single digits. But it is that championship, that ONE championship, that brings these girls together today as a TEAM. That wonderful team that has set standards for all future girls basketball players at Mount Carmel Area.

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