38th Annual Banquet
DANIEL E. CHUCOSKI
Sometimes it only takes one defining moment for an athlete to forever be remembered. Dan Chucoski had his moment during the MCA-Shamokin game in 1975.
The Indians had already clinched the Southern Division Championship and were riding a 10 game win streak. The Tornadoes, on the other hand, were struggling through a 7-3 season that saw them losing 3 of their last 4 games to Pottsville, Shenandoah, and Shikellamy. The Tornadoes were decided underdogs, but Coach Diminick had a plan and his players executed it to perfection. They were led by Danny’s outstanding game that saw him run 25 times for 150 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also had a pass reception for 14 yards and 1 PAT conversion for a total of 26 points in the 34-0 whitewash of the Division Champs. The win became that much sweeter when the Indians went on to defeat Dunmore for the Eastern Conference Championship. You have to realize that this was an offense that had Hall of Famer, Bob Zavarick and Joe Girolami. Only 10 players have scored more than Chucoski’s 26 in that game. In an interview only a few years ago, Coach Diminick in reflecting on the game said, “there was always great pride in tat game like today. I remember one of our players, the late Dan Chucoski, keeping the mud on his shoes from that game and never cleaning or getting rid of them.” It would be another nine seasons until the Indians beat the Red Tornadoes.
Dan was a solid performer for three years for Coach Dim, with substantial playing time during the 1973 undefeated, 12-0 Eastern Conference Championship season. During the ‘75 campaign, Dan led the Tornadoes with 823 yards rushing and 10 TD’s. He was also the 2nd leading tackler with 86. During his career, Dan had 232 carries for 1215 yards and 12 TD’s and had a terrific defensive career with 94 solo, 74 assisted, for a total of 168 tackles. Dan was named to the All Anthracite Team, the Susquehanna Valley team and Reading Eagle All Anthracite team. In addition to winning the Mike Terry Award fr his play in the Shamokin game, he was given the Len Eshmont Award at he annual Rotary Football Banquet.
Dan was also an outstanding pole vaulter for MCA track and field. In 1975, he had the region’s best height jump of 12’6”. “Chuckers” was voted “most handsome” in his Class of 1976 Carmelite, in addition to winning the Babe Ruth Award as the outstanding athlete in the class of 1976. Besides being a dedicated father and uncle, Dan spent most of his time doing the things he enjoyed like hunting, fishing, archery, off-roading and wood-working. He really enjoyed his craftsmanship and became quite a skilled wood worker. Dan was killed in a motorcycle accident on May 5, 1985 at the all too young age of 28. He is survived by proud sons Ian and Daniel, Jr. and was the son of the late Raymond (Peck) and Yolanda Chucoski and sister of Judy Hummel.
JOEL ANTHONY GONZALO
It is the goal of every athlete to be the best at something, to be the first person ever to achieve something, or to finish your career as one of only a few to have realized something great. Joel Gonzalo, after his stellar career at Mount Carmel Area High School, can say that he has done just that. Joel was a 12-letter, three-sport captain, during a tremendous time for MCA sports. As a wide receiver/defensive back for coaches Joe Jazz Diminick and Whitey Williams, Joel shattered receiving records that had stood for 28 years. He would be the first ever to record 50 receptions in a season, and is the only receiver to pass the 50 mark twice (51 in 93 and 52 in 94). He was the first to surpass the 100 mark and finished his career with 123 receptions for 1850 yards and 20 TD’s. (The 123 is still the all-time mark, while the 1850 is second to Tim Wargo’s 1866). He also became the first MCA athlete to register 11 interceptions in the 1994 season, a mark that still stands today. Joel also established a career record with 32 consecutive games with a reception. He was a first team Associated Press Small School wide receiver following MCA’s first ever 1994 State Championship season. That allowed him to become the only person named to both Big School and Small School all state as he was a 1993 Big School selection. He was also receiver of the year named by the Reading Eagle.
As the point guard for John McKay’s Red Tornado basketball team, Gonzalo led the team to 3 consecutive playoff appearances, losing to eventual winner Pine Grove as a sophomore, losing the District XI Championship game to Northern Lehigh as a junior, then defeating the Catasauqua Roughies to win McKay’s and MCA’s second District XI Championship. During the playoff run, Gonzalo averaged 18 points, 8 assists, 4 steals, hit 13 threes and was 26 of 31 from the line. He is the first, and only player, from Mount Carmel Area to be named to the first team all anthracite basketball team by the Reading Eagle. Along the way, Joel became only the second player in school history to record 500 assists, finishing with 575 and over 900 points. Gonzalo also ran track for Coach Mike Woytowich. He participated in the sprints and jumps, but specialized in the 400 meter. He has 6 District XI medals to his credit and would win the District XI Championship in the 4 x 400 meter relay along with Gary Spears, Bob Veach, and Scott Sebastian. Their 3:13.3 would be a meter record at the time and would finish just out of the money at the PIAA State Championships with a 9th place spot. Winning the District Gold in track would enable Gonzalo to become the first athlete in MCA history to earn gold medals in three different sports. He was the recipient of MCA’s Babe Ruth Award as 1995’s outstanding athlete.
After weighing opportunities from Colgate, West Chester, Georgetown, and Shippensburg, Gonzalo decided to attend Wilkes University and enroll in its pharmacy program. A severe ankle injury prevented him from continuing his career. He would later win intramural basketball titles at Wilkes and the first ever Pharmacy school golf tournament. During his time at Wilkes, Joel would twice qualify for the National 3 on 3 Basketball Championship in Denver, Colorado. He would graduate Magna Cum Laude from Wilkes in 2001. He is currently employed by Pharmerica, a pharmaceutical nursing home provider,, in the Harrisburg area. He is the son of Rose and Jose Gonzalo, Shady Acres.
DR. MICHAEL P. HIGGINS
Seven yard! 21 feet! The distance covered so eloquently by former Red Tornado Robert York in his article “Closing the Circle”. The seven yards represented the connection of the past and present for all Red Tornadoes. The seven yard gain happened to be the touchdown that gave MCA its first modern day state championship in 1994. The play, by Michael Higgins, is also one of the most iconic plays in the fabled Red Tornado history, along with Jim Morrison’s extra point pass from Mike Terry in 1927 to give MCA its first state championship, John Diminick’s 99 yard interception return over Whitehall in the game’s last seconds, Frank Niglio’s “catch” against Carlisle, and the goal line stand against Lakeland leading to Jon Veach’s 92 yard TD.
Mike did much more than run that 7 yards. He is one of the most prolific passers in MCA history. Starting from game one of his career as a freshman for legendary Coach Jazz Diminick, Mike would start 50 consecutive games and demolish all of the school’s passing records. He established new records for completions in a season, 116, career, 355, career passing yards, 5,177, and career TD’s, 55. Michael also has 2 top 10 seasons in passing yards and TD’s, Often overlooked was Mike’s leadership, both on and off the field, giving him his “Chief” moniker. He was actually an extension of Coach Whitey Williams on the field, calling many of his own plays. Mike was named to the first team as a quarterback on the PIAA Small School All-State team by the Associated Press.
Mike was also an integral part of Coach John McKay’s 1995 district XI Basketball Championship team. It was after Mike was inserted into the starting lineup that the team gelled, going 9-1 on the way to its fine 21-8 record, the 2nd most wins in school history. Michael also started for 3 consecutive years for Coach John Lepley’s baseball nine and was named the team MVP following the ‘95 campaign. Mike completed his high school career as a captain of three sports, doing what high school athletes should do, and that’s play every sport they can play.
Michael graduated from Franklin and Marshall in 1998 with a B.A. in Biology with a minor in government, and then from Philadelphia College of Optometry in 2003. He is currently a Primary Care Optometrist with the Geisinger Health Systems in Danville. He makes his home in Denmar Gardens with his wife Tara, and three sons, Mikey, Gabe, and Sam. He is the son of Mike and Patti Higgins, Shady Acres.
Although there have been many terrific female athletes to play for Mount Carmel Area High School, few have found themselves in the discussion as being the best in their particular sport. Kelly Klusman is, without a doubt, one of the best to ever play the game of softball at MCA. When Kelly came out as a young freshman, Head Coach Mike Trocki knew that she was going to play. He just had to figure out where. He had an established shortstop, but needed catching help, so she found herself behind the plate for her freshmen season. Those games would be the start of her 74 straight games as a starter for Big Red Softball.
Kelly was the obvious leader as the Tornadoes got better and better every year. Klusman would take over shortstop duties two games into her sophomore season. As a junior, Kelly would help the Tornadoes into the District playoffs for the first time since 1989. Their fine 13-8 record and the return of 8 starters would help to propel the Tornadoes into their magical 1992 season.
Kelly’s senior season would produce many firsts for MCA softball. At one point, the Tornadoes ran off a string of 11 consecutive wins and breaking one of the longest streaks in the Schuylkill League. The girls would defeat Schuylkill League powerhouse Pottsville by a 2-1 margin during game 9 of the season. They would end Pottsville Ace Andrea Smith’s 55 consecutive scoreless inning streak. The loss would be the first for the Crimson Tide over a 57 game period, covering 5 years in Division 1. That win would give the Tornadoes the confidence to roll through the regular season and into the District XI playoffs.
Klusman’s .435 batting average would lead the Tornadoes to their first and only District XI Softball Championship in 1992. She led the team with 30 hits and 10 extra base hits. Her team would post a .300 average with 173 hits and .935 fielding percentage.
Her play at shortstop allowed her to be named to the Schuylkill League All Star Team during her junior and senior seasons. Kelly would finish her career with a .340 life-time average, including 66 hits – 26 for extra bases – and 50 RBI’s. Not seen in statistics, was her rifle arm that threw out many potential infield hits.
She then enrolled at Central Penn College and was named to the All-Conference Team as a shortstop, then played for one year for the Lady Lions while at Penn State Schuylkill.
Kelly is still playing ball, but now for a cause. For the last 10 years, she has been involved with and playing for the Make-a-Wish Softball League, based in Pottsville. Teams are assigned a child each year and work toward fulfilling each child’s wish. Additionally, she is involved with the BCPS Softball Tournament, where its motto is Helping Kids one pitch at a time.
Kelly currently is the Office Manager/Legal Assistant at the Law Offices of Stephen T. Carpenito, where she continues to take various Paralegal Continuing Educational Seminars on a wide range of topics in order to stay on top of changes in the legal field. She currently makes her home in Lake Wynonah with her long-time boyfriend Brian Yackenchick. She is the daughter of Dolores (Dee) Klusman and the late William J. Klusman, Sr.
Growing up the daughter of Betty Katona, and being exposed to water from an early age, has certainly helped to guide Anne through her life in sports. Anne began as a Junior Life Guard at age 13 and Senior Guard at 16. She also helped to teach swimming at Knoebels for nearly 15 years. She was a competitive diver and member of the Mount Carmel Area swim team for 2 seasons. She aso competed at Bloomsburg University as a diver.
It was in 1994 that Anne learned to surf while living in Tampa, FL. She became one of the few women in Pennsylvania to surf on a river. She moved on to Whitewater Rivers and paddle boarding, making the first descent by a women on the Lehigh River and the Savage River in Western Maryland. She placed 3rd in the Red Mo and 1st in the Lehigh Classic for two years. She has traveled and connected with Stand Up Paddlers all over the country and world. She and her husband own a company KiltSup, selling boards and other gear and offering lessons for Stand Up Paddle Boarding. She has also taught kayaking and coordinated several trips in the Lehigh River for small groups such as youth church groups and boy scouts.
Anne has also run in many races in California, such as the California-Bay Breakers, Bridge to Bridge, and Santa Cruz, Capitala. She also competed a Disney Marathon as a member of Team in Training (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) in 2005.
She has also run the Allentown Half Marathon, Philly Half Marathon, and many 5k/10k races along with multiple sprint marathons. She has competed in a number of triathlons including the Pacific Crest Olympic Distance Tri in Ben, Oregon and other local tri’s including the Lackawanna State Park, Iron Tri, and LARA.
Katona-Linn has also serves as an athletic trainer at many basketball camps at Stanford and has served for SFSU men’s and women’s basketball, track and football teams. She has worked the Pro-Am semi pro basketball League in SF and Tampa and a high school league in San Francisco when Jason Kidd was a player. She has also worked at Functional Rehabilitation and Sports Training working with Olympic and Professional Athletes such as Butch Reynolds (400, Hurdles) Olympian and World Record holder, Tom McCaffrey (Denver Broncos/NY Giants), as well as, Glyn Milburn and Chris Walsh.
Anne received her M.Ed in Special Education from Lehigh University, is a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Educational Psychology at West Virginia University. She is a member of the advisory council of the Jones Center for Excellence in Special Education at Bloomsburg University.
She enjoys spending time with her husband Mark and twin daughters Emily and Claire paddle boarding on whitewater. She joins mom Betty, and brothers Tim and Tom as members of the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
FRANK J. PECAITIS
Although many outstanding athletes have graced the lower anthracite coal region, very few of them were as versatile and successful, despite battling adversity, as Frank Pecaitis. He excelled in two diametrically opposing sports in baseball and wrestling, and also competed in cross country. He captained all three sports and earned 11 varsity letter at MCA.
Frank began wrestling in junior high and posted an undefeated season in eighth grade, propelling him into the varsity lineup as a freshman. During the first tournament of his high school career, he was paired against defending state champion John Brennan. He would win the match but would sustain a severe injury to his right elbow, essentially ending his season. He underwent “Tommy John “ surgery but still managed to crack the starting lineup for Tornado baseball in the spring.
Despite many different orthopedic injuries during his career, he still managed to win the 1982 PIAA Class AAA 138 lb District IV Championship. He was undefeated in dual meet competition in his senior year and went on to win the inaugural MCA Holiday tournament that year. He was recognized by the media by being named to the “Top 100” wrestlers out of 5000 considered across the state of Pennsylvania. He was named to the Susquehanna Valley All Conference team and to the Reading Eagle All Anthracite team. One of Frank’s more notable victories was over North Schuylkill’s Joe Cesari, who was a World Schoolboy and National Freestyle Champion, as well as, a 3-time PIAA State Champion and 3-time NCAA Division 1 championship qualifier. Pecaitis finished his career with a fine 42-14-4 record.
As a red Tornado baseball player, Frank was a four year starter and captained the team for 3 years. As a senior, he would lead Big Red into the District IV AAA playoffs with a .360 average. He also played in the Intercity Softball League for St Francis, a team that dominated in the 80’s.
Following graduation, Frank would receive a B.S. in health planning and administration from Penn State University, and completed a residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He has had a distinguished career as a corporate executive with companies such as QuadrMed, GE, and Agfa Healthcare.
Pecaitis currently resides in Mission Viejo, CA with his wife Carol and three children, Daley Marie, Stephanie Lynn, and Nathan Francis. He now joins his brother Joseph and Papa Frank as members of the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
1996 AA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL TEAM
Unlike many of the teams that won championships, expectations were very high entering the 1996 season. MCA had come off the ‘95 season with a team that rolled through the Eastern Conference Playoffs with 34-0 and 35-0 wins over GAR and Line Mountain. They were arguably one of the best AA teams in the state at the end of the ‘95 season and returned many starters including Joey Costello, Brett Veach, Dave Evans, Eric Higgins, Shawn Jayman, Joe Scicchitano, and others. Their 9-3 record included loses to AAA teams Shamokin, North Shuylkill, and Blue Mountain, but 1996 found them raring to go.
They opened up with 43-0 and 54-0 wins over Tamaqua and Panther Valley. Then came the first-ever showdown with Southern Columbia. Southern was ranked #2 in the state and found themselves on the short end of a 41-12 score. Vic Kornaski had a coming out party with his 10-18 performance for 200 yards and 2 scores. Veach (121) and Evans (110) would register 100 yard receiving games while Veach also ran for 138. A very balanced defense held the Tigers to 224 yards. Veach’s 168 yards rushing and Kornaski’s 144 yards passing led Big Red to a 33-7 win over Shamokin. Costello (132) and Veach (101) would pace the Tornadoes to a 47-0 win over Naticoke. They would post 243 yards of offense in the first quarter and would run only 8 plays in the “mercy-ruled” second half. Brett Veach would establish a new single game rushing mark in the 35-14 win over the Colts of Marion, while Costello and Joe Scicc would register 15 and 13 tackles respectively. That would set up the season’s closet game – a 14-0 win over North Schuylkill. The Spartans would actually outgain the Tornadoes 160-146 yards in this defensive slugfest. Kornaski’s 117 yard passing, along with his 42 yard TD to Dan Malakoski paced the Tornado on this night.
The Tornadoes would run through the next three games with Shikellamy (42-15), Blue Mountain (43-6), and Selinsgrove (46-7). Steve Sinkovich (14) and Scicchitano (10) would pace the Tornadoes on defense in the Selinsgrove game. MCA would begin its playoff run with a 28-0 win over Wyalussing with Kornaski again throwing for 117 and another TD to Malakoski. Evans ripped off a 78 yard punt return for MCA, while Jayman posted a sack that began his streak of at least ½ sack in every playoff game. Veach again went over the 200 mark with a 247 yard performance against Central Columbia in MCA’s 21-0 win. Costello (13) and Jay Malakoski (11) would lead the defense. In the Eastern Semi, Veach (115) and Kornaski (118) lead the Torandoes over Hanover Area. J Malakoski, Scicchitano, Higgins, Steve Sinkovich and Jayman would also register sacks in the total dominant performance over Hanover.
That set up one of the most iconic games in coal region history with defending State Champion Bishop McDevitt at Shamokin. Kornaski’s 218 yards passing with 2 TD’s (Veach and Evans) would pace the Tornadoes on offense while Joe Costello’s 41 yards punting average and 13 tackles led the defense. The anti-climactic State Championship game with Tyrone would give MCA its second state championship in 3 years after the 25-6 win. Steve Sinko (12), J. Malakoski (10), Costello (9), Higgins (8) and Jayman (7) would lead the balanced defense that held Tyrone to 122 total yards.
The 1996 team was the first 15-0 team at MCA and went through the ‘96 season without ever trailing in a game. Veach, Costello, Evans, Mike Boyer, Higgins, Scicchitano, and Jay Malakoski were named to various all state teams while Head Coach Whitey Williams was named PIAA Coach of the Year.
STAR PHYSICAL THERAPY AND FITNESS
It has always been the belief at Mount Carmel Area High School that, even though we are a small AA school with limited resources, we have been able to provide our athletes with the tools to be able to compete. From the support of our School administration to the community support of booster organizations and great fans, we are usually able to field teams that are competitive. This school has been fortunate enough to have Hall of Fame Coaches like Gerald Breslin, Mike Terry, Jazz Diminick, John McKay, Mike Woytowich, Charles Sacavage, Mike Trocki, Whitey Williams, Angela Farronato, and Carm DeFrancesco, and future hall of famers Mike Brennan and Lisa Varano. Their facilities are mostly second to none. But the secret to our success is keeping our athletes on the field, and to that end, Star Physical Therapy and Fitness ranks as one of our most important assets.
Established in 2003 by Tom and Lori Swaldi, Star’s facility is a 5,000 square feet facility and offers comprehensive physical therapy services delivered by top specialists in the field. They also offer a full service gym, aerobics programs, and athletic training services to area high schools.
Tom and Lori have completed their Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees through Temple University. Both licensed physical therapists since 1996, the Swaldis maintain the philosophy of experience, credentials, and compassion to ensure their patients have the most advanced treatment options available today. In addition to being Doctors of Physical Therapy, Tom is a Certified Athletic Trainer and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, providing Sports Medicine Services to both Mount Carmel Area and Shamokin Area High Schools. Tom is a former Red Tornado, graduating from MCA in 1990.
Lori is a Clinical Vestibular Specialist, specializing in the treatment of dizziness and balance disorders, the ONLY physical therapist in the area with those credentials. She has recently taught seminars at Kessler Rehabilitation in NJ and at Clemson University in SC. She also lectures nationally on the topics of dizziness and balance rehabilitation.
Lori has also participated in the lecture series at Neurocon, PSCC in Juniata, focusing on concussion management, balance and on field return to play decisions. She has also taken part in talks at Lancaster General, St Lukes, Reading Rehab Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Lankaneau Hospital in Philadelphia. Lori has taken part in a Successful Completion of Vestibular Competency Series at Emory University in Atlanta.
All of these credentials have allowed Tom and Lori to treat our athletes in the best way possible. The concussion studies they do enable our athletes to remain as safe as possible in the sometimes violent games of football and soccer. Their services were never as important as this past football season where our “30 for 30” football team had to stay in the field. They and athletic trainer Jeff Sluck played a vital role in the success of that team and its athletes.
Over the years, Star has treated a number of athletes with ACL, MCL, ankle sprains, shoulder separations, hip pointers, and many other injuries that in the past would have severely limited the athletes playing time and production. The fact that most have returned in shorter than normal time periods, has greatly allowed a small school like MCA to stay competitive. They have now become more involved with strength and conditioning. Many of our athletes continue to eek advice and counseling from Star well after graduation.
Allen Yancoskie recently became the 11th wrestler in MCA history to record 100 wins during his career. He did it in dramatic fashion at the Northeast Regional Championships. He joins Mike Garcia (140), Josh Malick (140), James Haynes (137), Dylan Hornberger (130), Eric Lupotsky (122), Nick Dusendschine (121), Dave Evans (112), Brett Przekop (11), Shane Wondoloski (110), and Randy Elliot (109). Allen completed his career with an overall total of 100-46. He wrestled most of his career in the 182-185 range. Allen has qualified for Districts in each of his four seasons at MCA. He was also a Northeast Regional 5th place finisher in 2015. Allen’s season records stand at 20-11, 19-16, 31-11, and 30-7. He was a third place finisher in District IV, qualifying him for the Northeast Regional Championships. He was named the Ed Romance Chapter Athlete of the Month for February. Allen will continue his education at either the Naval Academy or at Penn State in the NROTC program and major in civil engineering.
JOSEPH “JAZZ” DIMINICK MALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE
Just as some of the hall of fame greats like Bob Sacavage, Greg Sacavage, Marc Sassani, and Walt Wywadis: Allen Yancoskie has parlayed the combination of football and wrestling into a very successful career. That, along with his academic prowess, has allowed Allen to be named this year’s Joseph Jazz Diminick Male Scholar Athlete. Allen has been a tw0-year leader of the defense for MCA football, leading the team in tackles as a junior and senior. He registered 105 in 2015 and 111 in 2014, becoming one of only a handful of players to go over 100 two times in a career. He has accumulated 114 solo and 115 assisted for a total of 229 tackles in his career with 25 of those for loss. He has added 7 and ½ QB sacks for 49 yards lost and 6 quarterback hurries. He is a two-time Heartland Athletic Conference linebacker, two-times Press Enterprise and two-time News Item performer. He also earned an honorable mention spot with Eastern PA Football in 2015. He is a two-time Keystone Club member for tackles with Pennsylvania Football News.
As one of the captains in 2015, Allen added 186 yards rushing and 13 receptions as a fullback. His leadership will be sorely missed as the Tornadoes move forward.
Allen has also been a very successful wrestler at MCA, qualifying for Districts in each of his four seasons at MCA. He was also a Northeast Regional 5th place finisher in 205. Allen’s season records stand at 20-11, 19-16, 31-11, and 30-7 for a career total of 100-46. He was a third place finisher in District IV, qualifying him for the Northeast Regional Championships where he earned his 100th victory in the ¼ finals over Namir Murphy of Myers on a 13-4 decision. He has won many title matches at MCA, including championships at the Tunkhannock Kiwanis Tournament and the Darren Klingerman Invitational.
Academically, Allen is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Athletic Honor Society and a top 10 student. He serves as the Student Council president and the AP Calc Club president. He is a member of the Reading Club, Interact Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Future Teachers of America, Spanish Club, Tech Ed Club, and Chemistry Club. He was also a participant in the Lock Haven Math Competition and was chosen a Rotary Student of the Month and Ed Romance Chapter Athlete of the month for February. Allen plans to attend either the Naval Academy or Penn State and its NROTC program to major in civil engineering. He is the son of Allen and Jessica Yancoskie of Mount Carmel.
JOSEPH D. WASILEWSKI FEMALE SCHOLR ATHLETE
The 2016 Joseph D. Wasilewski female scholar athlete at Mount Carmel Area is Chantelle Skavery. Chantelle has been a fixture on the road and on the track for Mount Carmel Athletics for the last four years. Chantelle has excelled for MCA Cross Country as one of the lead runners for the last four years. She has consistently improved each and every year. She has 41st, 15th, 8th and 5th place finishes at the PIAA District IV meet, qualifying for the PIAA State Championships as a junior and senior. Her 105th place finish in 2014 was bested by her 80th place finish in 2015. Her best time was her 21:12 at the the District IV meet. Her efforts saw her being named to the PA Heartland Athletic Conference All Star team in 2013, 2014, and 2015. More importantly, she served as both a mentor and role model to up and coming MCA runner Ava McGee during District and State Championship meets.
She has also been a constant for MCA track, participating in the 1600 and 3200, as well as, the 4 x 800 meter relay. She has a best time of 6:08 in the 1600 at the Lasagna Invitational in 2014, and a 12:48 in the 3200 in a meet with Montourville. She was a part of the Bronze Medal 4 x 8 team at Districts with a terrific 9:58.
She has also been very busy as a three-year member of the Cheerleading squad at MCA. She was a leader for “Cheer Camp” where girls in grades kindergarten through eighth grade are taught basic cheerleading skills and group dances. She was named an NCA All American partial cheerleader.
In addition to athletics, Chantelle has been named an Elks teenager of the month and an Elks student of the month. She is her homeroom representative for Student Council, vice-president of Future Teachers of America, Sergeant at Arms of the Reading Club, and Sergeant at Arms of the Interact Club. The Reading Club collected over 2000 books for the Spring 2015 book drive, while the Interact Club raised money for the American Heart Association. She is also a member of Future Business Leaders of America and the Future Nurses of America. Chantelle is a four-year Distinguished Honor roll Student and a member of the National Honor Society.
Ms. Skavery has also taken on the role of Lead Editor for the 2016 Carmelite Yearbook. She is the youngest in a family of six siblings and the daughter of Gerald and Theresa Skavery of Mount Camel. She will be attending Pennsylvania State University at the College of Agricultural Sciences to major in food science.
SAINT PAULINE VISINTAINER SCHOLARSHIP
Four years of hard work and rigorous training has paid off for David Fletcher, Mount Carmel Area’s outstanding cross country and track performer, with his commitment to Lehigh University to compete in both sports. Fletcher is also this year’s Bob Greco Family St Pauline Scholar. David has excelled for three years as a cross country runner for Coach Ben McConnell. After not running as a freshman, Fletcher decided to use it as training for track. Pushed by McConnell, Fletcher soon became one of the leaders of MCA’s team that won back to back District IV titles in 2013 and 2014. They were undefeated in the regular season in each of those years. The team placed at the state championship for two consecutive years. He has a best of 16.44 for the 5k and a 17.07 at the District IV Cross Championships.
Fletcher is a middle distance standout who has earned two PIAA Class AA State medals in the 800 meter run. Along the way, he established a new MCA record for the 800 meter with a time of 1:55.07. He had a PIAA 4th place finish in 2014 and a 2nd place spot in 2015. He also helped the 4 x 800 meter relay team of Tom Moser, Ciaran Fisher, and Treyvon White to a new school record 8:02.29 with their third place finish at the PIAA State Meet in 2015. He has been a first team selection in the Heartland Athletic Conference in both cross and track and field, and currently serves as a captain for both sports. With a year left in his track career, David owns 3 PIAA State Medals and 8 PIAA District IV Medals. Dave recently placed 6th in the PIAA Indoor State Championships with a time of 1:55.8, good enough to qualify for Nationals.
He chose Lehigh over similar offers from Bucknell, Duquesne, Susquehanna, and Shippensburg. He has established a goal of getting under 1:50 in the 800, and may also compete in the 400 and 1500 events while at Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks are a Division 1 Patriot League school that specializes in mid-distance. His track Coach Chris Catton describes him as being very coachable and the type of kid you would want on your team.
Fletcher currently participates in the Advanced College Experience program at Bloomsburg University and has taken part in the Young Scholars Program at Luzerne County Community College. At MCA, he has participated in the Interact, Future Teachers of America, and the Calculus Club. He is a National Honor Society and National Athletic Honor Society member and a consistent Distinguished Honor Student.
Outside of school, David has served as an altar server and picnic volunteer for Holy Angels Church, Kulpmont for the past nine years. He was the recipient of the St Ceril and Methodius Leadership Award, given for “demonstrating the attitudes and good works of a student leader.” In the fall of 2016, David will attend Lehigh University to major in business or engineering. He s the youngest of six siblings to parents Susan and Michael Fletcher of Kulpmont.
MICHAEL FRANCIS MYCHAK TORNADO HERITAGE AWARD
Allison Parker’s involvement at Mount Carmel Area High School, especially with basketball and cheerleading, has earned her this year’s Michael Mychak Tornado Heritage Award. Allison has been a mainstay on the court for Coach Lisa Varano’s tremendously successful girls’ basketball program for the last four years. As the “girl in the middle” for the Tornadoes, Allison has helped her team to three District IV Championships, including the 2016 Championship and one District Bronze Medal. The championships in 2013 and 14 were the tail end of the 4-peat from 2011-14. As a senior captain in 2016, Ali helped the girls to a 21-1 regular season record (25-2 overall) and Heartland Division II Championship for the 6th consecutive year. Allison was named the Ed Romance Chapter Athlete of the Month for December.
Parker is also involved with cheerleading at MCA and has been a varsity squad member for 3 years and currently serves as a captain. She has taught at “Just Gotta Cheer Camp” which teaches girls in the surrounding communities cheers, chants, and dances. It helps to better their skills in cheerleading and teaches them teamwork and perseverance. At another MCA camp, she was nominated for “All American” cheerleader in three out of four years at the camp. She was nominated for her leadership skills and made the actual “All American” cheerleading squad as a senior.
At MCA, Allison is a ThinkBIG Student Leader where the ThinkBIG Pediatric Cancer Fund raises money and awareness for the children getting treatment at the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital at the Geisinger Medical Center. Allison has also spent a lot of time at her church, assisting in picnics during the summer cleaning, prepping, serving, and working game stands.
She has served as Student Council Treasurer as a Junior and Vice President as a Senior. She is involved with the Spanish Club, Reading Club, and AP Calculus Club. Parker has been named Elks Student of the Month and the Rotary Student of the Month. She has been a member of the Junior High National Honor Society and the National Honor Society, earning distinguished honors for every single marking period, and currently ranks in the Top 5 of her class.
Allison plans to attend West Chester University to major in Pharmaceutical Product Development, going on to a career involving pharmaceutical research. She is the daughter of Kevin and Patty Parker of Kulpmont.
RUSS AND JO ANN CESARI SCHOLARSHIP
Mason Duran is this year’s recipient of the Russ and Jo Ann Cesari Scholarship, going to an MCA lineman planning to continue playing in college. Duran really came into his own during the 2015 season as a two-way performer for Head Coach John Darrah. Duran was one of the leaders of the much-improved defensive front and contributed 29 solo, 26 assisted and total of 55 tackles, good enough for third highest on the team. The 13 tackles for loss and 5 and ½ quarterback sacks paced the Red Tornadoes, as did his 11 quarterback hurries. Mason also added 7 receptions for 51 yards as the tight end in MCA’s double tight offense. His play earned him an honorable mention notice with Eastern PA Football. He was named to the first team of the Heartland Athletic Conference and to the second team by the Sunbury Daily Item and the Press Enterprise. He was named the Lions Club Outstanding Defensive Lineman at the annual Rotary Football Banquet. Mason also placed his name on the long list of Mike Terry Award winners following his outstanding performance in the annual game with Shamokin.
Duran would finish his career with 41 solo, 51 assisted and total of 92 tackles with 19 of them for loss. He added 8 and ½ QB sack for 75 yards lost, 11 QB hurries, 2 fumble recoveries and one pass broken up. It was his newly found physical style of play that forced opposing offenses to alter the way they attacked the Tornadoes.
Mason also is a 4-year letterman with MCA track and field. Most of his concentration has been with the jumps – long and triple. He was a 2-time Freshmen-Sophomore Long and Triple Jump Gold Medalist. He has volunteered with the Special Olympics and was a Tornado Trot and Glow Run Staff Member.
An outstanding student, Mason is a member of the National Athletic Honor Society and the National Honor Society. He is a part of the Gifted Program and is a National Academy of future Scientists and Technologist nominee, as well as a National Academy of future Physicians and Medical Scientist nominee. He is also a member of Future Teachers of America, Latin Club, and Tech Ed Club.
He plans to attend either Assumption College or the University of San Diego to play football and is currently undecided on a major. He is the son of Mike and Kris Duran of Kulpmont.