36th Annual Banquet
ROBERT J. BURNS
Bob was born in Mount Carmel and was a standout football player for the Rams of Mount Carmel Catholic High School. He as known for his outstanding speed and was once timed in 9.9 for the 100 - in pads. Following graduation in 1952, Bob moved to Philadelphia and was employed for 14 years by the Sylvan Seal Milk Corporation.
Bob was then diagnosed with MS in 1964 and it eventually confined him to a wheelchair in 1967. His first words to the doctors wee "I don't have MS, People who have MS are bedridden and they die young, That's not me." Interestingly enough, Burns may have been right in listening to his doctors diagnosis. When he finally passed in August of 2013, Bob was 78 years old, not young. He and his loving wife, Rose, fought the dreaded disease for nearly half a century, He refused to become bedridden and would go on to become one of the best swim coaches in the Delaware County region, impacting 1000's of lives of young people he coached.
In the summer of 1969, Bob was sitting by the pool at the Briarcliffe Swim Club when he was asked to judge diving. After a crash coarse in judging, Bob moved on to become a swimming-diving instructor at Briarcliffe and the Chester YW. It scared him and he thought "how am I going to teach because as he watched other coaches they would actually demonstrate the skill. He became an excellent coach by explaining what he wanted leading to his biggest asset - communication!
Bob's life was a long, drawn-out sacrifice, but he would always have a smile on his face. It wasn't just that indefatigable Mount Carmel resolve that made him persevere through his physical challenges. His deep and abiding faith also helped him transcend his limitations. He was described by one of his swimmers as "The Terrible Mr. Burns.", because he always expected them to give their very best. He got in the water with the kids, using his powerful arms and shoulders to pull him through the water. He became a role model for even though he was intense, he always had a soft spot for those less talented youngsters who gave it their all. He taught people not to underestimate another person's power or ability because of any limitations
Bob would coach the Briarcliffe Swim Team for 15 years and would record a 52-23 record. He also coached the Chester YWCA Swim Team from 1970-1972 and a best-ever second place finish in the Penn-Del Winter League. He would be remembered for more than wins and losses as he touched the lives of so many young people in the Del-Co area. His philosophy of "every athlete counts regardless of the skill set" and to coach with intensity, but at the same time, give the kids a nod or a smile to let them know that you care about them.
Bob is survived by his loving wife, Rose Marie (nee Bernot) and four children, Bob, Jr (Lori) of Allentown, Kathleen (Paul) Moran of Midlothian, VA, David (Cheryl) of West Chester and Angela of Springfield and four grandchildren.
JOSEPH "JOEY" COSTELLO
The era between 1968 and 1973 has generally been considered the "Golden Era" of MCA football. The Tornadoes during that time won 5 Southern Division Championships and 3 Eastern Conference Crowns while winning 63 games and losing only 8. 1994 thru 2002 has to be considered the "Platinum Era" when the Tornadoes would win 5 State Championships, 6 District Championships and 2 Eastern Conference Crowns while going 110-16. The 'face" of Tornado football during that era was Joey Costello, and it is only fitting that he be recognized as the first player from that era to be honored by the Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Costello immediately made his presence known when he became a freshman starter at defensive end in 1993. He would go on to start 54 consecutive games in his career, surpassing the previous best of 50 by Michael Higgins. Joey's tenacious attitude and physical type of play rubbed off on his teammates and made the Tornadoes a very difficult opponent during that time. That team in 1993 was Head Coach Whitey Williams first at MCA and would end up in the District XI AAA Championship game, losing to eventual state champions Allentown Central Catholic. Costello would establish freshman record with 68 tackles and 8.5 QB sacks on the season and 15 tackles in a game with Pottsville.
1994 saw the Tornadoes drop down to the PIAA AA classification and began their decade of success. Costello would take over one of the linebacker spots and helped his team to a 14-1 record and the first ever modern-era AA State Championship in a thrilling double over time win over Forrest Hills. Casty saved his best for the games with Dallas and Forrest Hills, where he recorded 10 tackles.
In 1995, the Tornadoes would lose to 3 AAA teams, while going 7-3, but would roll through the Eastern Conference in wins over GAR and Panther Valley, with Joey again leading the way with 2 - 12 tackle performances when it counted the most. The records show that he posted double-digit tackles in 10 of the 13 playoff games that his teams played; winning 12 of them.
As a team captain in 1996, Joey would guide the Tornadoes to a perfect 15-0 record and the second state championship in school history. He posted 138 tackles with 35 for loss and would establish a new school record with 406 tackles for his career. He would become only the 2nd two-time first team all state player in school history and was the Reading Eagle Defensive Player of the Year. Joe also managed to run for 1,144 yards in his career and punted 88 times for a 36.0 yard average with a long of 67 vs Naticoke . It was in that Naticoke game where Joe averaged 26.4 yards per carry - a new school record at the time.
Joey will always be remembered for the goal line stand against defending state champion Bishop McDevitt at Kemp Memorial , an 18-7 win that vaulted the Tornadoes into the state championship game with Tyrone. His will to "never give in and never give up" provided the Tornadoes with the credo that led them through the late nineties.
Joe also started as a shortstop for 2 years as a freshman and sophomore and led the baseball team in home runs. As a junior, Joey switched to track and won League and District Championships and placed seventh in the PIAA state meet in the javelin. His senior season was cut short with an elbow injury. He attended Bloomsburg University and was the punter and played on special teams as a freshman.
He was working for Kinsley Construction when an unfortunate accident on June 28, 2004 took him from us way too soon, He is the son of Jan and Joe Costello and the father of a son Tanner, 12. Today, he joins his brother Jeff as a member of the Ed Romance Chapter.
ROBERT J. DELBO
Bob Delbo would distinguish himself as one of a long line of "coal region" athletes to excel at the collegiate level. Delbo became the starting middle linebacker for Coach Joe DeMelfi and the Wilkes University Colonels as a sophomore. He and his teammates would help to turn around a Wilkes program that had won only 1 game in 1991 to a powerhouse that would go 24-4-1 over the nest three years. In fact, the 1993 team would post a perfect 10-0 record on the way to the Middle Atlantic Conference Championship, as well as, a spot in the Division III National Championship Playoffs. It was the first perfect season for Wilkes since 1968 and only the 5th team in history to accomplish the fete. The Colonels would eventually lose to Frostburg State by a 25-25 score in overtime. Bob and his MCA teammate Jake Cole would lead the team to a number one rank in Division III takeaways and a second spot in scoring defense.
As a senior, Bob would again lead the team to a terrific 9-2 record and an Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Southeast Championship in a win over Stony Brook by a 28-21 score. He would be named to the MAC 1st team all star team, an ECAC Division II all star, a Freedom League first team player and a second team spot on Don Hansen's Division II All South Region All-American Squad. During his senior campaign, he led the Colonels with 120 tackles and was named ECAC Defensive Player of the Week for his 19 tackle performance against rival Kings College, as well as, the MAC Defensive Player of the Weeks with his 12 tackle performance against Pioneer Valley. Following the season, he was chosen to play for the Division III All Stars in a game against the Ohio Division III Stars. He received the Dedication and Commitment Award at Wilkes in 1994 and continues to hold the Wilkes Dead Lift record at 600 pounds
Bob began his football career for Coach Jazz Diminick at MCA and was a three-year starter in the offensive line, He added linebacker duties in 1989 and helped that team to a fine 9-3 record with the season ending loss to eventual AAA State Champion Dunmore by a 14-12 score. The other 5 losses during Bob's junior and senior seasons at MCA were to Berwick - AAA State Champ in 1988, Pottsville, Southern Division Champ in 88 and 89, Bethlehem Catholic - AA State Champion in 1988 and Williamsport. He was named All Anthracite and was given an honorable mention to the 33rd Big 33 classic.
Delbo graduated from Wilkes in 1995 with a B.S. In Political Science/Administration of Justice and is currently employed as an Administrator at Emmanuel Home Personal Care Facility in Northumberland. He is married to the former Kim Bridy and resides in Elysburg along with three children Robert, Gabriel, and Gabriella. Bob has been a volunteer at MCA and has coached C and B midget football team for the Shamokin Little Indians, and at the A level with the Ralpho Raiders. He is currently a volunteer weight coach for the SCA football Tigers.
There is no question that Aaron Jayman's name should appear on the list of best-ever three-sport athletes to come out of Mount Carmel Area High School. Jay earned 11 varsity letters, was the captain of three sports, and was the Babe Ruth Foundation Award Winner and was voted most athletic by his class of 1993.
Aaron was a three-year starter at tight end for Coach Joe Jazz Diminick and helped to provide terrific balance to the Tornado attack with his pass catching ability. Jayman had his biggest game on the biggest stage as MCA defeated Blue Mountain by a 33-0 score in the 100th Anniversary game at the Silver Bowl. He would nab 5 passes for 61 yards and 2 touchdowns. Aaron would also grab 3 passes in his last game vs Shikellamy giving him the all-time reception record at MCA, surpassing the 76 established by Len Guarna in 1983. The Shik game was also Coach Diminick's last game coaching at MCA and ended in a 7-7 tie. His 77 receptions still rank 5th as does his 1.175 receiving yards - only 10 players have surpassed the 1000 yard mark in MCA history. He was named the Joe Grey Award winner and was named to the Press Enterprise and Reading Eagle all star teams following the season.
Aaron also excelled in Coach John McKay's system on the basket ball court, He was a starter on the 1991 District XI Championship basketball squad, the first ever in MCA history. That team defeated Northwestern Lehigh by a 41-36 score to win its title and would continue to the Eastern semi's before losing to Archbishop Kennedy by a 61-62 score. That team also was the only team to defeat Shamokin on its 22-1 run deep into the playoffs and was part of the 700th win in MCA history - a 56-52 win over North Schuylkill. Aaron was also part of the team to be the first ever MCA team to beat rival Our Lady of Lourdes. Aaron would go on to score 823 points and pull down 375 rebounds. He was a two-time selection to the Knights of Columbus All Tournament team.
Jayman was also a three-year starter for Coach John Lepley's baseball squad. He started at short stop but also excelled on the mound. He threw one of only 15 no-hitters in school history as a sophomore in a 12-0 win over Lourdes Regional. He also had three-hit wins over Shamokin and North Schuylkill twice. He also tossed a two-hit win over Mahanoy Area. The Tornadoes made the District XI playoffs in 1992 and would eventually lose to Williams Valley in the playoffs. He was a two-time Press Enterprise All-Star selection.
Following graduation, Aaron played three years as a tight end at Susquehanna for Steve Briggs and local assistants Bob Pittelo and Mike Klembara. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1997 with a B.A. in Political Science and with department honors. He then received his J.D. from Widener School of Law in 2000, cum laude.
He is currently a shareholder of Dickie, McCarney & Chilcote, P.C. He concentrates his practice in the area of medical Malpractice defense and insurance litigation. He resides in Dillsburg, Pa. with his wife, Erin and daughters Leah and Kate. He is also the son of Linda and Francis Jayman, formerly of Shady Acres. He is currently a PIAA football official and has been credentialed as an NCAA football official effective 2013.
Mark Vottero's distinguished athletic career will finally be recognized with his induction into the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Mark is most remembered for his contributions to the 1991 District XI Boys Basketball Championship team. It was the first of only two in MCA basketball history, both guided by Head Coach John McKay. Mark, along with gentle giant Chris McCarthy, led the Tornadoes to the 41-36 victory over Northwestern Lehigh in the championship game at Martz Hall. With the Tornadoes up by one with 18 seconds left, Vottero grabbed an errant Tiger shot and calmly sank four free throw in the final 16 seconds to seal the win and the championship. Mark also helped the Tornadoes to their first-ever win over Lourdes Regional by a 68-55 score in the season's opener. Vottero ended the year with 406 points, 129 assists and 44 steals.
He led the 1992 team averaging over 16 points per game and would become the Tornadoes 7th 1000 point scorer, ending with 1096. Even though he was a prolific scorer, Mark was named MCA's top defensive player in 1989 and 1990. His 1989 and 1990 teams were also District XI Silver and Bronze Medal Teams. He was named to the Knights of Columbus all Tournament Team, the Press Enterprise all star team, and the 1991 and 1992 Reading Eagle All Anthracite Team.
Vottero also excelled on the track at MCA winning 9 Distinct XI medals, including 5 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze. In 1991, Vottero won three gold at the District XI meet in the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes. He followed that up with a PIAA 6th place medal in the 400 meter dash. That followed his 5th place medal in the state meet in 1990 in the 200 meter dash. He was undefeated in the 100, 200 and 400 in dual meets in the 1990 and 1991 seasons. He owned Regional bests of 11.0 in the 100, 22.7 in the 200 and 50.04 in the 400.Mark is one of only 5 MCA athletes to earn state medals in two different sprint events and one of only 9 to win a PIAA sprint medal.
Mark then attended Albright College where he was a Middle Atlantic Conference qualifier in the 100M and 200M in 1993 and 1994 and still holds the 100M record at 10.9. He then transferred to Susquehanna University where he continued his outstanding track career. He won a MAC Championship in the 4 x 100M in 1995 and was a silver medalist in the 100M. In 1996, he added 4 x 100M and 4 x 400M MAC Championships to go along with 100M and 200M Silver Medals. He ran the 4th fastest 100M time in SU history and the 5th fastest 200M time at SU and both times continue to rank in the Crusaders Top Ten List.
Mark graduated from Susquehanna with a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Sciences in 1996. He is currently employed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in Harrisburg where he is the Recycling Grants Coordinator. He is currently the Susquehanna Township School District's Boys and Girls Sprint Coach. He also coaches various levels of basketball and track and field for the Palmyra Area Park and Recreation Commission.
Mark currently resides in Annville, PA with his wife Colleen and their three sons, Markus, Luke and Jake.
JOHN "JAKE" WOJCIK
Championships ultimately are what we are all seeking as athletes or coaches. They are what truly define our legacy and our credibility as athletes. Jake Wojcik won 20 championships during his career as a player and coach in basketball, football, baseball and softball. His first championship came with the St Casmir's 8th grade basketball team in 1963. His next was on a much bigger stage with Mount Carmel Area as the starting second baseman on the 1965 North Schuylkill League Championship team. That team, led by stars Bolick, Bush, Doviak, Delaney, Bartosic, Shannon, Fracalossi, Zarlinski, and Wojcik, would avenge their only loss of the season in a 4-3 win over Shenandoah to win the crown with a 13-2 overall record. They would also be a part of the 200th win in MCA baseball history.
Jake also played varsity basketball for three years at MCA and was an integral part of back to back winning seasons in 66 and 67 going 12-9 and 13-9. He also played defensive back for one year for Coach Jazz Diminick's football team in 1966, a terrific 10-1 team with its only loss to Shikellamy by a 26-19 score.
Following graduation, Jake played softball, hardball, and basketball in various adult leagues in the area. His most successful stint was with the Marion Heights Politicals, a team that won three consecutive championships in 1971,72, and 73. It was at that time that Jake was featured in the box scores on ESPN when they did a story on Peewee Kirkland, who at the time was in the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary and had been the best basketball player to come out of NYC. Kirkland was always the leading scorer in the league; however Jake's team upset Kirkland's team in the championship game in 1972. The feature ran again on ESPN in 2012.
Wojick also played in 5 State Class A Fast pitch Softball tournaments with both B & E and St. Francis Home Association. During that time, Jake had an offer to try out for the Reading Rising Sun, Semi-professional fast pitch softball team, as a catcher for the World's Greatest Softball Pitcher, Ty Stofflet. An injury to his shoulder prevented him from competing for the team in 1977.
Some of Jake's other championships including 4 with B & E in 1975, 76, 78, and 79, and 3 with Shuda Cafe in 1972, 1974 and a perfect 33-0 season in 1973. He also won three others with St, Francis in 1982-1984.
Jake also contributed his time as a coach with the Moose Little League team in 1989 and 1990, leading them to the World Series Championship. He also led the Mount Carmel Jets A Division team to an undefeated season and playoff championship in 1992.
Jake also coached the Shamokin Indians Girls softball team from 1999-2007. During that time, he led the Indians to their first District playoff game in 19 years and was named the News Item Coach of the Year in 2005. He finished his coaching career, coming back home to the Mount Carmel Area girls Softball program from 2008 to 2011.
JOSEPH JAZZ DIMINICK MALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE
Zach Wasilewski has earned the distinction of being 2014's Joseph Jazz Diminick Male Scholar Athlete for the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Zach has been a three-sport athlete for four years at Mount Carmel Area, starring in football, basketball, and track. Zach's greatest successes have been with the Red Tornado football program. Zach took over the quarterback duties midway through his sophomore season in 2011. He play helped the Tornadoes to their 8th District Championship with a 28-0 victory over Bloomsburg. In 2012, Zach again took the Tornadoes to the championship game before losing to eventual winner Danville. Wasilewski paced the young Tornadoes of 2013 into the District playoffs for the third consecutive year, losing in the quarter-finals.
Zach has positioned himself throughout the Tornado record book as a result of his 262 completions for 3653 yards and 35 touchdowns. The completions rank 4th one the all-time list behind hus brother Marcus (408), Dave Shinskie (400) and Mike Higgins (355). The 3653 yards passing and 36 touchdowns rank 5th on the all-time list. Zach also set the single game mark of 315 yards passing in a game against North Schuylkill in 2012, surpassing the 309 by brother Marcus against Chichester in 2007. His 4 TD passes vs North Schuylkill ties as the second best game in MCA history. Zach's toughness is born out with his 700 plus yards rushing, the most by a quarterback at MCA since Nick Sebes.
Zach was the named the Mike Terry Award winner in the season's finale with Shamokin, MCA's 18th consecutive victory over its arch rival. Zach was also named the Len Eshmont Award winner, the Glenn "Bonesey" Adams Award winner, and the Joseph F. Greco Kiwanis Award winner.
Zach was also a three-year letter-winner for Coach John Lazicki's basketball team, appearing in playoffs the last two seasons. He is also a three-year letterman for MCA baseball.
In the classroom, Zach is a member of the interact club and is the Vice President of the Spanish Club. He is a distinguished honor roll student and a member of the National Honor Society. In addition, he is an altar server at his church and enjoys outdoor activities including fishing, snowboarding, and golfing. He is the son of Mark Wasilewski and the late Lisa Wasilewski of Denmar Gardens. Zack will be attending Penn State University. He has been accepted into the college of Health & Human Development as a Kinesiology major and currently has an interest in Physical Therapy
JOSEPH D. WASILEWSKI FEMALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE
In what may have been the most lopsided vote since Tom Seaver received 98.84% of the baseball writer's Hall of Fame votes, Alison Varano has been chosen MCA's Joseph Wasilewski Female Scholar Athlete. Ali has excelled at everything she has attempted, both on the athletic playing fields and in the class room. Ms. Varano ranks number one in her class and has earned 13 varsity letters in 4 different sports. As to which is her best, just pick the one that is in season.
Ali, along with her mother Lisa, has been an integral part of the remarkable success of the Tornadoes basketball program over the last four years. The Tornadoes have won an unprecedented four consecutive District IV Championships and have gone 97-14 over that span. Her Tornadoes have won four consecutive PHAC Division II Championships and added the overall PHAC Championship this season. The 97 wins are the most ever in a four year period surpassing the 77 from 2009-2012. The 27 wins registered in 2012 are the most ever in school history as is the 27 game win streak. Ali recently became only the 11th female in school history to score 1000 points in her career while adding a more than 450 steals to go along with it. She was part of the schools 500th win in the thrilling OT win over Warrior Run in 2013 and had a career high 29 points in a win over Shikellamy. She was named to PHAC conference first team all star team the last two years.
As the captain of the MCA soccer team, Ali became only the second athlete in MCA history to score over 100 goals during her career (101). In 2012, she helped her 8th seeded District IV team to a third place medal and a trip into the state tournament. They would make it to the 1/4 finals, the best finish ever for MCA girls soccer. She was also a PHAC first team performer for three years running. She also participates with the CSSC Legends and BTSC Teal Waver Soccer Clubs and has won numerous awards and championships.
As a track athlete, Ali broke the school record in the 200 meters with a time of 26.34 and qualified for the state meet in the long jump. She has earned 8 District IV medals in a variety of events including the 100M, 200M, 400M, 4 x 100M relay, 4 x 400 M relay, long jump and 300 meter intermediate hurdles. It comes as no surprise that she may eventually compete in the women's heptathlon on the collegiate level. Ali was also chosen as the Sunbury Daily Item Female Athlete of the Year in 2013.
In the classroom, Ali is the senior class president, a member of the National Honor Society, National Athletic Honor Society, and Future Teachers of America, She also participates in the Spanish and Interact Clubs, and was the Rotary Student of the Month for October. She is a member of the Hope Community Church in Mount Carmel and is the daughter of Robert and Lisa Varano. Her future plans are to attend Bucknell University and major in Biology. Alison plans to run track for the Bison.
SAINT PAULINE VISINTAINER SCHOLAR
The Saint Pauline Visintainer Scholar for 2014 is Bryce Fiamoncini, son of James and Justine Fiamoncini of Mount Carmel. Bryce is currently a senior at Mount Carmel Area and plans to attend Bloomsburg University and enroll in its' nursing program and eventually becoming a nurse anesthetist. Bryce currently ranks second in his class of 112 students and maintains a 102.6984 average. Bryce has enrolled in a rigorous but rewarding academic path including Advanced Placement Courses, Honors Courses and Luzerne County Community College Courses. Fiamoncini has been chosen annually since his freshman year to be a speaker at the Veteran's Day Program and has represented MCA in The Scholastic Scrimmage and the Lock Haven University Math Competition.
Bryce was also chosen the treasurer of the senior class and has received multiple perfect attendance awards. He was selected as the Junior High Pride Award winner, the Elks Junior Teen of the Month, the Elks Teenager of the Month, the Rotary Student of the Month, and most proudly, the Elks Teenager of the Year. He has also been a member of the Junior High National Honor Society and the National Honor Society and was chosen as MCA's representative to the National Youth Leadership Program in his junior year.
Most of his community service stems around his church, Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church and their sister parish Assumption of the Blesses Virgin Mary. He is a weekly lector and altar server and volunteers at all of the church fundraisers. He also serves every Lenten service during the week and teaches religion classes on a weekly basis to the youth of the parish.
Athletically, Bryce has been a member of the golf team at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional through the cooperative program with MCA. He has qualified for the District Tournament in each of the last two years, placing 13th and 10th respectively and missed moving on to the state meet by four places. It was a very unique and rewarding experience as a senior as he was the only golfer on the team. Since he didn't have to worry about winning, he and coach William Chesney worked to become the best golfer that he could be. He posted a low score of 74 and maintains a 12 handicap. Bryce also participated in baseball and basketball earlier in his career and is currently a basketball referee and baseball umpire for youth sports in the Mount Carmel Area. He is also the statistician for the very successful Mount Carmel Area girls basketball team.
Fiamoncini's character and work ethic make him a perfect choice for the St Pauline Visitainer Award, as does his spiritual character.
JAMES M. BACH SCHOLAR ATHLETE
The 2014 recipient of the James M. Bach Scholar Athlete Award is Rachel Schultz. Rachael is a senior at Our Lady Of Lourdes Regional School, where she has been a member and captain of both the soccer and basketball teams. She has also been an integral member of the track and field program at Mount Carmel Area High School through the very successful cooperative sports program.
Rachel has been a mainstay for the last for years for Coach Mike Klembara's girls basketball program, which has won four of the last 5 District IV championships. She has led the Red Raiders in scoring for the last two years. She was a recipient of the Black Diamond Award and was named to the News-Item All Area Basketball Team. Rachel ended her career just shy of the 1000 point mark with 968 points.
Rachel has also been a member of the OLOL Red Raider Soccer Team under the tutelage of Coach Jessica Trell, where she has placed herself as the leading scorer in school history with 51 career goals. She was named to the News Item All Area soccer team for 4 years.
Also among her athletic credits, Rachel is a member of the Mount Carmel Area Tornado Track and Field team for Coach Angela Farronato and Ana Ditchey. She has qualified for District competition in each of the last three seasons, medaling in the 4 x 400 in her sophomore and junior years and in the 200 M during her junior year.
Aside from athletics, Rachel is an exemplary student, maintaining honors status throughout her high school academic career. At Lourdes, she currently ranks second in her class and is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society. Her other extracurricular activities include being class treasurer during 10th and eleventh grade, Student Ambassador, Math and Science Clubs, Respect Life and involved in Students Against Destructive Decisions.
Rachel is a member of Holy Angels Parish, where she assists with church picnics, breakfasts, and dinners, She also volunteers with the Mount Carmel Area Youth Track Camp as an instructor. She is employed by the Valley Gun and Country Club, Elysburg, where she is a scorekeeper.
She is the daughter of Thomas and Michelle Schultz of Mount Carmel. Her plans are to attend Elizabethtown College to major in accounting and to participate with the NCAA Division III Blue Jay Women's Basketball Program.
MICHAEL FRANCIS MYCHAK TORNADO HERITAGE AWARD
The first-ever recipient of the Michael Francis Mychak Tornado Heritage Award is Lauren Hause of Den Mar Gardens. Lauren is currently a senior student at Mount Carmel Area High School and is positioned in the top ten of her class of 2014. Lauren, not surprisingly, used athletics as a means to challenge herself and to give her the confidence to become more involved in school activities she may have avoided. Lauren first became a member of the cross country team as a freshman and found something that she really enjoyed - running.
For Lauren, running was an escape from reality, but it also taught her a lot about herself. She discovered self-motivation and a drive that would carry over to other aspects of her life. As with other athletes, Lauren experienced the failures and hard times, but found that perseverance would pay off, as she became one of the best runners in the area. After missing qualifying for the state meet as a junior by two places, Lauren realized that with a little more work, she could reach a goal she had thought about for 3 years. It was very gratifying as a senior to finally qualify for the state championship meet as a result of her 7th place finish in the District IV meet. She did manage a116th place finish at the 2013 State Cross Country Championship. She credits coach Ben McConnell for the work he put in to allow her to become the competitor she is. Lauren also attributes her time at Mount Carmel Area for giving her the opportunities to learn about herself and helping her to become the individual she is now.
Lauren also runs with the Red Tornado track team for Team-Farronato and Ana Ditchey. She participates in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter runs as well as the 4 x 800 meter relay. She was a district qualifier for three years with a 9th place finish in the 1600 as a junior. Lauren also medaled at District's in the 200 free relay for the MCA swim team and Coach John Backes.
With all of the drive, determination and sacrifices that she made as a cross country athlete, it is no surprise that she is an excellent student and a distinguished honor roll student. She also is involved with the Art Club, Interact Club, Future Nurses of America, Future Teaches of America, Students Against Destructive Decisions, the Chemistry Club and the Latin Club. Lauren was also chosen as MCA's Homecoming Queen during the 2013 football season. In addition, Lauren serves as the senior class Secretary, as well as, the secretary of the Future Nurses of America.
Her future plans are to attend Misericordia University to major in nursing. Not surprisingly, Lauren will continue to run cross country and track for very successful Coach Chris Wadas and his Cougars. The Cougars are annually in the run for the MAC Championships. She is the daughter of Mike and Susan Hause.
ANTHRACITE STEAM FIRE COMPANY NO 1
The Ed Romance Chapter is conferring special achievement honors to The Anthracite Steam Fire Company No 1 of Mount Carmel. The Anthracite was one of the original sponsors when the Mount Carmel Area Junior Baseball League played its first baseball game in 1948. Since that time, Anthracite is the only organization to sponsor a team every year since the inaugural season.
Other original sponsors were Clover Hose Company, Elks Club, Holy Cross Church, Maurer's Dairy, Moose, Social Civic Club and Star Lane.
The Firemen had the honor of playing in the league's first game on June 14, 1948 at the Silver Bowl and posted its first league victory in a win over the Social Civic Club by a 6 to 5 score. Anthracite was crowned as the first ever League Champions following its 5 to 4 victory over the Moose in a post season playoff game before an estimated 2500 fans.
Since that first season, the junior firemen have won titles in 1950, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1960, 1972, 1982 and 1991. They were silver medalists in 1957, 1967, 1968, 1973, 1996, 2005 and 2006.
On March 17, 1950 the Northumberland County Board of Commissioners leased a parcel of land to the Company to be used for recreational purposes. A baseball field and picnic sheds were erected in the northern end of the borough between Market and Oak streets. The first ever game on that field was won by the Anthracite on June 9, 1950 with a win over Beck and Beck. The land was donated to the Borough to be used for recreational purposes in January of 1971. Still known as the Anthracite Field, it is the only ballpark in the borough and is still used today for league games and tournaments.
Each year, the Anthracite sponsors offensive and defensive MVP's of both teams playing in the Junior League Championship Series. The award is named in honor of the Company's long-time manager Harold "Ducky" Dettrey.
Members of the Romance Chapter who have played for the Anthracite include Judge Robert Sacavage, Charles Sacavage, James Bush and the late Dr. Thomas Revak. Coach Dettrey, Paul Semicek and Michael Marlow were honored with special achievement awards.
2014 will mark the 67th year of sponsorship by the Anthracite and that type of commitment is rare and special.
1994 PIAA AA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL TEAM
Expectations entering the 1994 football season at MCA were obviously high. The Tornadoes, under second year head coach Whitey Williams, were returning 20 lettermen, no less than 12 starters at 17 positions, record-breaking pass-catch combo Mike Higgins and Joel Gonzalo, and an attitude and mindset to succeed. They had lost the District XI AAA championship game to Allentown Central Catholic and were going to compete at the AA level for the first time.
They began their season with three consecutive wins through the "Valley Tour" in wins over Tamaqua, Panther Valley and Marian Catholic by a combined scored of 132-14. The Tornadoes then got by traditional rival Shamokin by a score of 21-18 for their first win over the Indians in 5 seasons. What happened next came as a total surprise, but may have been the catalyst to the rest of their season. The Tornadoes lost a slugfest to Montoursville by a 13-12 score in a hot, misty, cramp-filled night. That lead to a meeting organized by the seniors that continued to be known as "Pride Night" - where the players vowed to not lose another game. Big Red followed it up with a 34-7 shellacking of Hanover Area and set up the meeting with rival North Schuylkill. The Spartans entered the game at 6-0 and had only given up 33 points in the season. The Tornadoes took care of business and had scored 29 by halftime on the way to a 42-0 rout. The Tornado defense, upstaged most of the season by the Spartans, held North Schuylkill to minus 54 total yards and prompted Coach Rick Geist to say that they were 'just beat up physically.'
The Tornadoes then dismantled Shikellamy by a 24-7 score and set up one of the closest wins of the season, a 14-10 win over Blue Mountain highlighted by a Mike Higgins to Brett Veach 70 yard touchdown pass late in the game. A six-turnover, 11-penalty sleep-walk win over Townada set up the District Championship game with Catasauqua., The Rough Riders had only allowed 64 point during their 10-0 season and were playing at home The Big Red defense again paved the way, holding Catty to 78 total yards, including -7 rushing, as the Tornadoes prevailed by a 19-0 score. It was the first Mount Carmel Area Championship since the 1973 15-8 win over Dunmore( the Tornado in the sky game). The Tornadoes would then win their first-ever state playoff game with a 41-22 win over the District I champion Lansdale Catholic.
That set up what is often considered the most pivotal game in MCA history against Dallas, They were the defending AA state champions and were riding a 24 game winning streak. The Mountaineers had only given up 29 points all season, but ended up giving up 21 in the first half as Higgins hit Gonzalo with a 38 TD on the opening series. Then came one of the most famous plays in Tornado lore as Higgins ht his brother Eric with a 15 yard touchdown toss on a fake field goal with one second on the clock in the half. It was set up with Brett Veach's 34 yard gain on a shuffle pass and stepping out of bounds with one second on the clock. All of the elation came to and end as Cocalico jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the Eastern final at North Schuylkill. The defense, led by linebackers Shawn Sheptock and Joey Costello, down linemen Gratti, Rohrbach, Hepler, Burns and Pultynovich shut down 1000 yard rushers Brubaker and Hall the rest of the way and the Tornado offense went on to score 35 points on 20 plays in 7:08.
Altoona was the destination for 1000's of fans, including 20 bus loads of loyal followers and the Tornadoes in their first-ever modern-day state championship game with Forrest Hills. Coach Williams and his staff finally came to the conclusion that they were watching themselves in studying game film of the Rangers. Tailback #22, wide receiver #88, multiple formations, trips, motion. The weather changed everything for both teams, but in the end - a 7 yards run by QB Mike Higgins in the second overtime - gave MCA its state championship by a 20-14 score. The offensive line of Ryan Geary, John Yastishak, Jamie Rowland, Dave Baksi and Bill Anderson hepled the Tornadoes to 286 yards in offense while the secondary of Joe Wargo, Dave Evans, Veach and Gonzalo set a state championship record with 5 interceptions. Burns, Sheptock, Higgins and Gonzalo earned first team all state honors and Williams was named PIAA coach of the year, as the Tornadoes joined Southern Columbia and Berwick in winning state championships for the "Coal Region"
More than anything else, the 94 team would lay down the blue print for future state champions. They did it all on the road, most of the time as underdogs. They did it with balance, running, passing and defense. The defense only allowed 616 rushing in their first 12 games, surpassing the 784 given up by the 1970 championship team. 24 interceptions was the 3rd best ever. Offensively, the 117 completions ranked as the best ever and the 449 points scored was second only to the 1969 team. The 1994 team established many firsts, many memorable games, and a host of iconic plays which will forever go down as one the Tornadoes finest teams to wear the red and white.
Chris Steck has managed to etch his name in the Bloomsburg University record books during his tremendous four-year career with the Huskies. A four-year starter and two-time captain, Steck played his first collegiate game against Ashland University and hasn't missed a game since. He has started all 48 games in his time with the Huskies and has posted a 39-9 record, the second best 4 year period ever at Bloomsburg. He has been named to a number of post season all star teams including Datonics Super Region One and PSAC East following the 2013 season. He also earned Don Hansen Division II honors in 2012. He was also named to the top 100 players in Division II football prior to the 2013 season.
Steck anchored an offensive line that had the pleasure of blocking for 2- 1000 yard running backs in Franklin Quieteh and Eddie Mateo in 2011 and 2012; the first PSAC team to ever accomplish the fete. Quieteh was also named the Harlon Hill Award winner as the outstanding player in Division II after running for 7,523 yards and registering 42- 100 yard rushing games.
Chris would lead the Huskies to the PSAC Championship in the 2013 season, their first season since the 1985 season. Co-incidentally, their captain that year was Frank Sheptock, another former MCA great.
While at MCA, Steck became the 38th first team all state player in Mount Carmel Area's 116 year storied history. Steck anchored the Red Tornado offensive line for four seasons from his center position. He also started every game in his high school career (46) making it a total of 94 consecutive games at a high level. Chris was also named to a first team slot by the Pennsylvania Football News and was named by WNEP TV 16 to its annual Dream Team.
Also a team co captain, Chris would lead the Tornadoes to 13 consecutive wins and it's 7th District Championship, before losing to Lancaster Catholic in the Eastern semi final during the 2008 season. The team would average 360 yards per game in offense and would establish a new school record for points scored with 539. Chris is the son of Karen and Mark Steck, Mount Carmel and is currently doing an internship at Penn Sate University with the Nittany Lion football program.
Marcus Wasilewski has certainly continued to make the folks at Mount Carmel Area proud. Marcus was named the Gold Helmet Player of the Year and found himself on the FCS All New England Football team. As the quarterback of the Maine Black Bears, Marcus guided them to their first ever CAA Championship with a terrific 10-2 record. It allowed the Bears and Coach John Cosgrove to host their first home post season game ever. He was also the recipient of the Chuck Boone Leadership Award, given to the outstanding player in the CAA.
During the season, Marcus threw for 3,238 yards and 25 touchdowns. He was only the second Maine QB to throw for over 3000 yards. He also ran for 660 yards and 2 TD's. For his career, Marcus was 484 of 749 for 5,612 yards and 46 TD's.
As a senior at Mount Carmel Area, Marcus was named the second team quarterback on the AA All State football team by the Associated Press. He was also recognized by the Pennsylvania Football News as the third team quarterback and was named to the WNEP TV 16 Dream Team. Marcus completed his career as MCA's all time leader with 408 completions and 64 touchdown passes. He also finished his playing days with 23 consecutive 100 yard games and 36 - 100 yard games in his 41 career starts. He also registered 9 - 200 yard games, 14 consecutive games throwing a touchdown pass, and 28 touchdown passes during the 2008 season - all new school records. Washy would also establish new marks with only 1 interception per 40.5 attempts during the '08 season and 1 per 24.3 attempts during the course of his career. His 6,145 passing yards ranks second only to David Shinskie's 6,334. Marcus was one of only 7 underclassmen in the 116 years of MCA football history to serve as a co captain as a junior. As a senior co-captain, Marcus led the Tornadoes to 13 consecutive wins and its 7th District Championship before losing to Lancaster Catholic in the Eastern semi-final.. He is the son of Mark and the late Lisa Wasilewski.
Marcus initially received his undergrad degree in kinesiology and is currently at Maine working on a master’s degree in exercise physiology. He is also working in preparations for Maine's Pro Day to be held sometime in late March. He currently is an assistant strength and conditioning coach and would like to pursue a career in physical therapy or physical training.
Ali Varano is also being recognized today for achieving the 1000 point mark in girls basketball. She is only the 11th female to surpass the plateau in MCA history. She joined the elite club on 1/15/2004 in a game against rival Montoursville. Ali has surpassed 1200 points in her career and has recorded over 400 steals, 500 rebounds and over 225 assists, making her one of the most complete basketball players ever at MCA.
In addition to her individual achievements, Ali was a vital part of MCA's unprecedented four consecutive District IV Championships in 2011,2012, 2013 and 2014. During that time, the team has also won four consecutive PHAC Division II Championships and rounded that out with the overall PHAC Championship this season. She has been named too the first team PHAC all star team the past two seasons, and was named the Sunbury Daily Item Female Athlete of the Year as a junior.
Varano, and her mother, Head Coach Lisa Varano, have also won 97 games, while losing only 14 during their time together. The 97 wins represent the most wins ever in a 4 year period for either girls or boys basketball. She was also on the floor as her mother recorded her 100th coaching victory in a game against Warrior Run this past season.
Ms. Varano has achieved her success through hard work and a grit that is uncommon in today's athlete, and she has done it while totally being a team player. She is the daughter of Rob and Lisa Varano.
ROBERT C. VEACH
The Hall of Fame recognizes Robert "Bob" Veach for his 30 years of commitment and dedication to the Mount Carmel Area Football Program. Bob has served as an assistant football coach from 1985 thru the 2012 football season. Bob began as a freshman football coach under Head Coach Jazz Diminick and would move up to the varsity level in 1993 under Coach Whitey Williams. Bob worked mostly with the defensive backs during his tenure and with the running backs. Bob is one of the few folks who have been on board for all of the state championships in 1994,96,98 2000, and 2002. Bob's calm demeanor and quiet way of getting his message across to the players was a special gift and definitely served the position of "good cop." Bob's knowledge and expertise were certainly a great part in the Tornadoes success during his years with the varsity. MCA football had a team in the playoffs in 18 of the 20 years between 1993 and 2012.
Bob's knowledge of injury, physical therapy and rehab played a great roll with the team, as he was there at every practice and was able to aid athletes on the spot
Bob also helped the Tornadoes as the starting running back from 1966 thru 68. His team would win 31 games, while losing only 3 and earning one Southern Division Championship. He rushed for 1,203 yards druring his senior season and 2,138 in his career. His 3,372 all purpose yards placed him 5th at the time. He then went on to start at Susquehanna University and established 15 career records led by his 3,524 all purpose yards. He was the Clyde R. Spitzner Memorial Award winner in 1973 and was 1971"s Outstanding Offensive Player. He was an honorable mention college all state player in 1972 and was inducted into the Susquehanna University Sports Hall of Fame in 1983. and the Ed Romance Chapter Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.
Perhaps Bob's biggest contribution to MCA football were his three sons, Bob, Brett, and Jon -all of whom have records throughout the MCA Football Record book. He is married to the former Donna Kuzo and still maintains his home in Mount Carmel.