Ed Romance Chapter 2017 Inductees: Jim Christiana, President Frank Niglio, Andy Bubnis, John Savitski, Glenn Adams, Jr., Bill Joraskie
Kevin Stancavage, Olivia Lubinski, Chapter Scholarship Chairman Jose Gonzalo, Maura Fiamoncini, Madelyn Witkoski, missing from photo: Zach Zarkowski
39th Annual Banquet
The Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame has always been very proud of the diversity of those selected during its 39 years of existence. In addition to the usual football, basketball, baseball, track and field, and wrestling, the hall has also honored bowlers, paddle boarders, boxers, race car drivers, speed boat racers, golfers, and media representatives. The class of 2017 will find the first Motocross rider in John Savitski.
Back in his prime, they used to call Johnnie “The Polack.” Well, at least that’s what his longtime mechanic, Bevo Forti, and his old teammate Bob Hannah used to call the Atlas, Pennsylvania-born rider. Savitski, a 1974 Mount Carmel Area High School graduate, first found prominence on the national scene as a privateer Bultaco rider. – A privateer was what they recognized as those who were not funded by sponsors. – He then began working his way up through the ranks as a DG Yamaha rider with direct support from Yamaha. He consistently found himself in the top ten in the 250 Nationals, and even appeared on the cover of Motocross Action in September of 1978, as well as many other Motocross publications.
From 1974 through 1979, Savitski was regularly ranked in the top ten nationally in the 250 class and is generally considered to be the most successful pro to ever come out of central Pennsylvania. Savitski posted at least 30 top ten finishes in races from Pocono Raceway to Houston to Irving to Omaha and Anaheim. John then went on to work on super cross tracks for a long time, following the circuit as a contractor and building tracks for the likes of Rick Johnson and Jeff Stanton. In 1999, John was hired to come up with a design extending an old Indiana stock car track for Podium One.
John founded Stadium Dirt Designs in 1984 to fill an international need for experienced track builders within the motocross industry. A fourteen-year race veteran, Savitski's first-hand knowledge of the industry and on-the-job perseverance soon made him an invaluable asset to track building crews around the world. His expertise has been used on the Bologna Sports Arena; Bologna, Italy, Scandinavium Dome; Goteborg, Sweden, Palau Saint Jordi; Barcelona, Spain, Parc des Princes; Paris, France, National Exhibition Center; Birmingham, England, Kawasaki Stadium; Tokyo, Japan, Aloha Stadium; Tokyo, Japan, Rose Bowl; Pasadena, California, Orange Bowl; Miami, Florida, and Three Rivers Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Although it has been a long time since he raced, John likes to show up at events in the hope that he may get involved once again in building tracks. John actually rode in an invitational race around eight years ago in a similar format to an “old-timers” all-star game. The sport has taken its toll as Savitski has broken almost every bone in his body during his grueling career. He is comfortably back in Elysburg running Stadium Dirt Designs and realizing the good fortune Motocross has brought to him. He is the father of one son, Jared, who runs a transportation company in the Philadelphia area.
JAMES M. CHRISTIANA
Just like so many of our inductees, Jim Christiana had to leave before he came back. He went as far as Toms River, New Jersey, where he is recognized as one of the state’s outstanding softball coaches. He was inducted into the Toms River Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. He now comes back to the Lower Anthracite region where he will be inducted into the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Christiana was the head softball coach at Toms River South from 1981 to 1996 where he registered 247 wins, finishing in 1996 as the #2 ranked team in New Jersey and #37 nationally for the National Softball Coaches Association Athletic/Academic Award. His teams won the Ocean County Tournament in 1982, 1985, and 1990, and were finalists in 1981, 1987, and 1991. The Indians were the Shore Conference Class A South Champions in 1986 and 1982 and were 12-time qualifiers for the New Jersey Softball Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament. They were NJSIAA Scholar/ Athlete Team Award winners from 1989-1992. Jim was named the Softball Coach of the Year by Star Ledger, WOBM Radio in 1986, and Softball Coach of the Year by the Asbury Park Press, Times Observer, and WOBM Radio in 1982. In 1987, Christiana received the Franklin Life “Select Circle of National H.S. Coaches” Bronze Coaching Award.
Jim also won 70 games as the head girls’ basketball coach from 1989-1994. The maroon and white also won the NJSIAA Scholastic Team Academic Award from 1990-1992, and claimed the Shore Conference Class A South Championship in 1991. He was named the Ocean County “Coach of the Year” following the ’91 season.
Jim also served as a varsity assistant for boys basketball from 1977-89 and again from 1995-99. His team would win a total of 284 games during that span.
In addition to his coaching duties, Jim served as the athletic director at Toms River from 1990 to 2007, and was named the Ocean County “Athletic Director of the Year” in 2006-2007.
Jim is a 1968 graduate of Mount Carmel Area High School, where he led the baseball team in RBI’s, stolen bases, and runs scored while hitting .391. He then matriculated at Lea College in Albert Lea, Minnesota where he played baseball for one year. He then received a B.S. in Elementary Education from Mansfield State College in 1972 and a Master in Educational Administration form Monmouth University in 1986 and a Post Master Degree in Athletic Administration from Kean University in 1989
Jim and his wife of 43 years, Leah make their home in Toms River, N.J. They are the parents of a daughter Jennifer Semanchick(Phil) of Toms River, and a son James(Lana) of Charleston, WV. They are also grandparents to Leah Mae-10, Madelyn Grace-8, Joren Michael-2, and Jemma Rose-4 months.
All athletes strive to have their names etched into their school’s record book, if only for a little time. To have a record stand for 48 years, with the possibility that it will never be broken, is truly incredible. Andy Bubnis owns the season interception record at Mansfield University with 11 thefts in 1969. The closest challengers to the mark have registered 7. The Mountaineers played football since 1891 until 2007 when it was reduced to a Collegiate Sprint level squad. Andy was a starting cornerback for Mansfield in 1969 under former Coal Township and Penn State Nittany Lion, Bernie Sabol. Andy also returned punts for the Mountaineers and was recognized as a 2nd team defensive safety by the Pennsylvania State Conference. The ’69 team recorded a 6 and 3 record, one of the best posted in that era. Andy completed his 4-year degree in three years at Mansfield. Andy was recently selected as one of forty-six players named to the Mansfield University All NAIA Era Football team (1940-1970) and has been nominated to the Mansfield University Alumni Hall of Fame.
Prior to enrolling in Mansfield, Bubnis played quarterback and cornerback on the Hawaiian Marine Football Championship team in 1964. They were a member of the Hawaiian Armed Forces Football League. Unfortunately in 1965, there was no marine football team, as most of them were sent to Viet Nam.
Andy’s playing career actually started under Coach Ralph “Bambi” Miriello in the Kulpmont midget leagues at Kulpmont. In High School he played under head coach Ed Stavinski where he was a three-year starter in football and baseball for the Wildcats.
He was the quarterback and defensive back and earned all-state honorable mention following the 61 season. Andy was also selected as the Outstanding Athlete at Kulpmont High School in 1962.
His coaching career began as the freshman football, freshman girls basketball, and freshman baseball coach at Pemberton Township High School in New Jersey from 1970-1975. His freshman team was a co-champion of the Burlington County Football Conference. After moving back to the area, Andy became an assistant and freshman football coach at Mount Carmel Area High School (1975-80) under legendary Jazz Diminick.
Andy then moved on to Columbia-Montour AVTS and, after a year as an assistant, became the head coach from 1981-1985. He finished his education career at Columbia-Montour as Director of Student Services in 2005 after 35 years in education.
Andy and his wife, Sandra, currently reside in Elysburg. They are parents of three boys Mathew, Michael, and Steven, as well as, four grandchildren.
Glenn Adams – no, not that Glenn Adams – has earned his own way into the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Glenn, the son of MCA legend Glenn “Bonesey” Adams, made his presence felt in his first varsity football game in 1971 by kicking a 20 yard field goal, allowing MCA to defeat Panther Valley 3-0 in the opening contest of the season. He would add field goals against Minersville, North Schuylkill, and Shikellamy that season giving him 4, the best ever season in MCA history. He would also kick 14 extra points and earned Reading Eagle Player of the Week honors.
1972 proved to be a banner year for the Red Tornadoes, as well as, Adams. Big Red would go 12-0, capturing both the Southern Division and Eastern Conference Championships. The 12 wins would be the start of a 25 game regular season win streak into the 1974 season. Glenn, again kicked 4 field goals during the season, including a school record 39 yarder against Shenandoah. He also made 43 of 53 extra point giving him a school record of 55 points scored via kicking in a season. His 57 career extra points at the time was the third best ever placing him behind Bob York and Wally Diehl. His 8 career field goals continues to stand as the MCA all-time record. Following the season, Glenn was named to the All-East Central Regional Football team.
Glenn continued kicking at Susquehanna University and Villanova University. He had a long of 48 yards and had a number of games with 3 field goals. He then received invitations to tryouts with the Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, and Seattle Seahawks as a placekicker and punter.
Back at MCA, Glenn, with the guidance of Mr. Breslin, started a golf team and claimed the District IV Championship and participated in the PIAA State Championship at Penn State University.
In 1982, Glenn qualified for the PGA while a teaching pro at Radnor Valley Country Club and earned his Players Card for PGA Tournaments. He then participated in numerous PGA sanctioned tournaments and qualified for the U.S. Open.
Adams earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Villanova University in 1978. He was a prior realtor with Coldwell Banker Hearthside and is currently a realtor for Bonaventure Realty in Collegeville, PA. Despite his busy real estate career, Glenn finds time to be involved with community and professional organizations such as the Perkiomen Valley Optimists, The Helping Hand Society, and the St. Eleanor’s Church. He makes his home in Collegeville, PA with his wife Tammy and their two daughters, Cassandra (a freshman at Penn State) and Natalie (a junior at Springford High School.)
MIKE GARCIA JR
Mike Garcia is considered one of the best wrestlers to ever come out of our area. Very few have ever produced at such a high level over an extended period of time as Mike, not only on a state-wide basis, but nationally and internationally as well. Mike burst onto the scene as a freshman grappler for Coach Bucky McCollum at Mount Carmel Area High School. Wrestling mostly at 130 pounds, Mike would win 44 matches, losing only 6, and wrestling back to finish with a 5th place medal at the PIAA Championships.
He won his first state championship as a sophomore, going 35-0 at the 130pound weight class. Bumping up to 140 as a junior, Mike would go 34-1, winning his second state title by avenging his only loss in the Regional Finals to returning state champion Brett Werkheiser. During his senior season in 1994 at the 145 pound class, Mike faced defending state champion Scott Kurtz of Shamokin in the Schuylkill League final, winning an 8-3 decision and the Outstanding Wrestler Award. He went on to win his third AA state title with a 34-0 record, while Kurtz would win the AAA state title. He finished his career with a 147-7 record, still the MCA all-time best, registering 97 pins along the way.
Garcia also competed in the tough USA Wrestling Circuit where he was a 5-time State Champion and All American in both Greco Roman and Freestyle events. The highlight of his career at the time was defeating the Russian Champion in an International meet in 1992. Garcia added a European Championship for good measure in 1992.
Mike received a scholarship to wrestle at Bucknell University and as a sophomore in 1996 won the East Coast Wrestling Championship at 150 pounds. He would wrestle in the 66th NCAA Tournament in Minnesota and eventually lost to the 8th place medalist Uker from Iowa.
Mike assumed the head coaching position at MCA from 2000-2003, where he immediately got the program heading up going from 1 win in 1999 to 10 in 2003. He also placed four wrestlers into the PIAA State Championship meet in 2002 – Eric Lupotsky, Eric McAndrew, Vince Yasenchak, and Bob Bilder - the first and only time in MCA history.
Mike now makes his home in the Mystic Mountain section of Numidia with his wife Melissa and their four boys – Gaige, Gavin, Garrett, and Grady. He is a supervisor with Waste Management and owns Garcia Trucking and Towing
WILLIAM H. JORASKIE Jr.
Bill Joraskie began his athletic career as a defensive end for legendary coach Jazz Diminick at Mount Carmel Area. He was a major component in the back to back 12-0 seasons in 1972 and 1973 when the Tornadoes would win consecutive Eastern Conference Championships over Valley View and Dunmore. Bill’s 55 yard interception return helped to spark Big Red to a convincing win over Berwick 42-6. In 1973. He would have another INT vs Berwick and going 17 yards in aiding the 33-22 win. Bill also took over kicking duties from fellow hall of famer Glenn Adams and added 2 field goals and 8 Pat’s. Bill contributed 32 solo and 16 assisted tackles as a senior and added 42 kick offs. Both the 72 and 73 teams gave up only 78 points in their seasons, one of the main reasons that they were so successful. He was named a first team defensive end in the Susquehanna Valley Conference and a 2nd team DE All-Anthracite.
He then went on to Lebanon Valley College and immediately contributed as a kicker, booting field goals against Dickenson, Weidner, Swarthmore and 2 against Albright. He added 2 more field goals in 1975 along with 21 PAT’s and was given Honorable Mention MAC as a place-kicker. Bill also started for three years at outside linebacker for Coach Lou Sorrentino and earned Honorable Mention MAC at outside linebacker. Although the Flying Dutchmen were ranked either 2nd or 3rd defensively in the MAC, they could never get the offense to the same level in going 17-19 from 74-77.
Joraskie also competed in the pole vault and high jump at MCA and would win a District IV Championship in the pole vault and a 2nd place in the high jump in 1974. Bill also participated as a pole vaulter at LVS and collected a 4th place finish at the MAC Championships as a freshman with a jump of 13’ and moved up to a third place finish in 1976 with a 13’6” jump. The 13’6” height would establish a new Flying Dutchmen record that would last until 1990.
Following his time at LVS, Bill worked for 18 years in the residential and commercial construction business until moving to the Pa. Dept. of Corrections, where he would spend the next 23 years before retiring. He continued to give back to his community as a coach for the JETS for 13 years and MCAJBL for 15 years. He is currently a volunteer coach for John Darrah’s Red Tornadoes, working mainly with the kickers.
He is the son of William and Marie Joraskie and is married to Nancy (Przekop) Joraskie. They are the proud parents of four boys – William III, Adam, Eric, and Austin, all of whom played football for the Rd Tornadoes. Today he joins Adams and 15 other teammates as a member of the Ed Romance Chapter.
JOSEPH JAZZ DIMINICK MALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE
KEVIN MICHAEL STANCAVAGE
Kevin Stancavage is the type of athlete that Jazz Diminick always knew was so important to his team’s success. Never the star or headliner, but the “meat and potatoes” player that made all of his teams better. Kevin has been a mainstay of Mount Carmel Area Cross country for the last two years, posting a terrific 16-5 record. Although a late addition to the sport, Kevin established himself as an important component in the team’s success. Stancavage was able to manage a 9th place finish at the Heartland Conference League Championship and moved up one spot to an 8th place finish in the District IV Championships by running a personal best of 17:27. His top ten finish allowed him to compete at the PIAA State Championship meet in 2016 and had a very respectable 85th place finish. His coach Chris Catton – “He became a leader of our cross country team and led the squad to a third place finish at the District IV meet. He speaks to the blue collar attitude of our program and serves as an example for those to come.” He was chosen as the Ed Romance Chapter Athlete of the month for November.
Kevin has been a four-year member of the MCA boy’s track and field team for Coach Catton. Kevin has mainly competed in the distance events from the 800 to 1600 to 3200 meter runs. His personal bests are 2:11, 4:56, and 10:32 respectively. By virtue of their second place finish at the District IV meet, Kevin and his 4 x 800 meter relay team had the privilege of competing at the PIAA State Championships at Shippensburg in 2016. He joins a select number of athletes who have been able to compete at the state level in two sports.
Stancavage is ranked in the top 20% of his class at MCA and has been a member of the National Honor Society and is a Distinguished Honor Roll student. He is a member of the Calculus Club and Latin Clubs at MCA. He has assisted behind the scenes for 3 years as a member of the stage crew and for 2 years as a member of the WKMC TV studio.
Kevin also serves as an altar server at the Church of Our Lady in Mount Carmel and helped to set up and aid in any way for the annual church picnic for Father Karwacki. He plans to attend either Rochester, Bucknell, or Penn State to pursue a master’s degree in computer science and eventually work as a computer programmer. Kevin resides in Kulpmont with his mother Tammy Keretski and step-father Peter Keretski.
JOSEPH WASILEWSKI FEMALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE
Maura Fiamoncini is without a doubt one of the best female athletes to ever wear the red and white of Mount Carmel Area High School. She is as tough mentally as she is physically, although one would not know it to look at her. What people don’t know is how hard she works at her craft and has truly earned all of the accolades that have come her way. A severe knee injury during basketball season put her track season in jeopardy. As Coach Ana Ditchey has noted; “she worked tirelessly at the hope of coming back to just throw, not knowing how she would be impacted. To go from a season in question to becoming a Penn Relays and State Champion is the ultimate sports story.”
Fiamoncini became MCA’s first ever female state champion in 2016 – in any sport – when she threw 155’1” in the javelin at the PIAA State Championships. She was undefeated during the 2016 season, winning the League Championship, District Championship, and the Penn Relay Championship. She also won League and District Championships in 2015 and placed second at the PIAA meet. She was named the News Item, Daily Item and Press Enterprise Player of the Year for Track and Field following the 2016 season. Maura was also chosen as the SECV8 Female Athlete of the Year in 2016.
Fiamoncini also starred on the basketball court for Coach Lisa Varano, becoming the best “6th man” anywhere and helping the Tornadoes to their 4th consecutive District Championship in 2014. She led the team in scoring in 2015 with 532 points and a third place finish in District IV. Only Maria Fantanarosa (4 times) scored more points in any season than the 532. Even though she struggled with the knee injury toward the end of the 2016 season, Maura helped the Lady Tornadoes win their 6th District Championship. Maura would become the 5th underclassmen to score 1000 points in her career with her total standing at 1128. Maura also registered 102 three point goals in her three seasons, surpassing the previous best of 96 by Lesley Gilotti in 1993. She also earned News Item Player of the Year for basketball in 2015.
Maura also excels in the classroom with her second place standing and over 1200 in her SAT’s. She is a Distinguished Honor Roll Student and a member of the National Honor Society. She is a School Board Merit Award winner and Elk’s Teen of the Month. She serves as treasurer of the senior class and is a Thing Big Student Leader, as well as, a Special Olympic Volunteer. This combination of academics and athletics has earned her a full scholarship to Bucknell University where she plans to receive a B.A. in Mathematics and pursue a career as an actuary. She is the daughter of Games and Justine Fiamoncini of Mount Carmel.
MICHAEL FRANCIS MYCHAK TORNADO HERITAGE AWARD
This year’s Mike Mychak Tornado Heritage Award winner is Olivia Lubinski, daughter of Scott and Nicole Lubinski of Mount Carmel. One of the criteria of the award, in addition to excelling on the fields and in the classroom, is to show pride in Mount Carmel Area both at school and in the community. What better avenue to show that pride than as a cheerleader, something that Olivia has done for all four years. She served as a captain for both football and basketball squads as a senior and was named to the National Cheerleaders Association All American team for four years in a row. Olivia has completed four years with basketball and three years with football.
Athletically, Olivia has excelled on the soccer fields for MCA for four years, and was named a co-captain in both her junior and senior seasons. Her teams qualified for the District playoffs for 3 of those years. She was named to the News-Item Girls Soccer All Star team as a senior.
Lubinski has shown the most versatility as a member of the girls track team at MCA. She has competed in the 100 meters, 100 meter high hurdles, 300 meter intermediate hurdles, long jump, 4 x 100 meter relay, 4 x 400 meter relay and 4 x 800 meter relay. She has attained personal bests of 15’9” in the long jump, 17.64 in the 100 m hurdles, and 50.48 in the 300 m hurdles. She has qualified for districts in the 100HH, 300IH, long jump, 100m, 4 x 1 relay and 4 x 8 relay, going to the state meet as an alternate as a freshman. She is dedicated to both winter and spring track and works hard to better herself and is a positive influence on her teammates. Coach Ditchey remarked that “her work ethic, attitude, and leadership will help her become a vital member of this year’s team and fully expects that her best season is yet to come.” She will be one of the team captains for 2017 season.
Academically, Olivia currently ranks 4th in her class and is a member of the National Honor Society and regularly earns Distinguished Honors. She serves as the Sargent at arms of both the Reading Club and Spanish Clubs, and is a member of the tech-ed club and is a Think Big student leader. She has been recently chosen the Rotary Student of the Month for January and was the Ed Romance Chapter Athlete of the month for September. Her future plans are to attend Penn State University to major in Civil Engineering.
JAMES M. BACH SCHOLAR ATHLETE
The 2017 recipient of the James M. Bach Scholar Athlete Award is Zachary Zarkowski. Zachary is a senior at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School. Zachary has been an integral member of the varsity football and track and field teams for the Mt. Carmel Red Tornadoes through the Cooperative Sports Program between Mt. Carmel Area High School and Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School.
During his freshman year, Zachary played basketball for Our Lady of Lourdes Red Raiders under Coach William Gilger.
For the past four seasons, Zachary has been a member of the Mt. Carmel Red Tornadoes Football Team. He has played in the running back position under the direction of past head Coach Carmen DeFrancesco and the current Coach John Darrah. During the course of his career, Zach was able to run for a workman-like 687 yards with 6 TD’s and a 5.1 yard average. He also contributed 53 tackles and 252 yards in kick returns. For his efforts, he recently received the Joseph Buchinski Award at the 98th annual Rotary Football Banquet honoring the 2016 Red Tornado Football team.
Zach is also a member of the Mt. Carmel Red Tornadoes Track and Field Team under Coach Chris Catton, where he participates in the sprints and the hurdles.
In addition to athletics, Zachary is an exemplary student and has maintained honors status throughout his high school academic career. He is a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the Spanish Honor Society. His other extracurricular activities include Spanish Club, Boys Service Club, Respect Life, and Students against Destructive Decisions.
Zach is an active member of Divine Redeemer Parish where he has been an altar server, is involved with the parish’s youth group and assists with various fund raising projects.
Zarkowski has enlisted in the United States Army National Guard where he has fulfilled the requirement of basic training and will continue with his advanced individual training in Infantry in the summer of 2017. Zach will serve in the Army National Guard while he attains his college degree in Exercise Science at Shippensburg University.
Zach is the son of Albert Zarkowski of Elysburg and Carrie Zarkowski of Ashland.
BOB GRECO FAMILY ST. PAULINE SCHOLARSHIP
MADELYN ELIZABETH WITKOSKI
This year’s St Pauline Scholar is Madelyn Witkoski. Madelyn is an active member of Divine Redeemer Parish in Mount Carmel where she has participated with her sisters in singing for the Christmas masses. She also helped the sisters make decorations and completing other tasks for the church as a student at Holy Spirit School. She is currently in the ACE Program at Bloomsburg University and will enter college in the fall having amassed 33 credits, giving her the option of entering college as a sophomore. She serves as the Secretary of the Class of 2017 and as President of Peer Mediation. Maddy is a National Honor Society student and is consistently on the Distinguished Honor Roll. She is also a Thing Big student leader, a program that has raised thousands of dollars for Geisinger’s Janet Weiss Children’s Hospital. She also spends time with the Art Club, Reading Club, Interact Club, Science Club, Future Teachers of America and the Future Nurses of America. She is planning to attend Kutztown University to pursue a degree in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice.
Athletically, Madelyn has been active in soccer, basketball, softball, and track and field. It is as a four-year letter winner in track and field that Madelyn has made her mark as a discus and shot performer. Her coach, Ana Ditchey says; “her work ethic, attitude and leadership will help her become a vital member of this year’s team. Her best season is yet to come and I see big things in her future as we approach the start of her senior season.” She placed 6th as freshman, second as a sophomore, and 4th as a junior in the discus at the District IV meet, with the second place finish qualifying her for the PIAA State Championship meet in 2015. She has a personal best of 118’1” in the discus and 33’1” in the shot and will serve as a captain for the 2017 season. She has competed in USATF since she was 13 and qualified for the National Championships at Aggie Stadium in North Carolina. She was undefeated in junior high track in both the shot and discus.
Witkoski also lettered in soccer as a sophomore and has added softball to her resume recently, even though it is very difficult to do both during the spring season. Her future plans are to throw the discus in college.
Madelyn is the daughter of Karen and Jeff Witkoski of DenMar Gardens. She is the oldest of four including Reed, 14, Rachel, 12, and Katie, 12.
The Ed Romance Chapter also honors special achievement and this year is no exception. Maura Fiamoncini has actually earned the recognition in two different sports. Maura became only the 12th girl in MCA history to surpass 1000 points in her career, and she accomplished the feat as a junior. She would finish her career with 1,128 points, 532 in her sophomore year with only Maria Fantanarosa scoring more points in a season. Her teams won District IV Championships in 2014 and 2016 and earned a third place finish in 2015. She was a track captain and Pennsylvania Heartland Conference All Star and was the News Item Player of the Year. Her teams were 73-13 during her tenure.
Fiamonicini again made MCA history when she became the first female athlete ever to win a state championship, throwing the Javelin 155’1” and again breaking her old school record. Maura also placed second in the PIAA meet in 2015 and 10th as a freshman in 2014. She surprised everyone by taking a 5th place at the Penn Relays as a sophomore and bested every in 2016 to take the Penn Relays Championship with a throw of 150’11”. She also won District IV Championships in 2015 and 2016, establishing a new meet record with a 147’7” toss. She earned Daily Item and News Item Player of the Year honors and Press Enterprise MVP.
Maura will go down as one of the premier female athletes to ever wear the red and white and one can only wonder what she would have been able to accomplish had she been able to complete as a senior. She is the daughter of Jim and Justine Fiamoncini of Mount Carmel.
1965 MCA CROSS COUNTRY DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM
In 1965, the Mount Carmel Area Cross Country team posted the best season on record in MCA Cross Country history. It was the first time ever that the Tornado harriers were credited with an undefeated season in Mount Carmel history until that time. They were also recognized as the champions of the newly organized Valley League. It was the first “hill and dale” crown of any kind for legendary Coach Jerry Breslin’s boys, registering a perfect 10 – 0 record.
Following the regular season, the Tornadoes competed in the annual District IV meet at Bloomsburg State College. Although MCA’s lead runner, Ray Rothermel, won the district championship, with a new district record time of 12:40, the team was nosed out by two points by the Williamsport contingent. Following an appeal by Mount Carmel coach Gerald Breslin, MCA was named champion by use of the system of “no displacement”, a method employed since 1958 in district meet competition. The change in the result gave Mount Carmel an undefeated season and it’s second-ever District IV Championship. (The first was in 1940) The 10 wins became the start of a 20 meet win streak that ended at the end of the 66 season. The 65 season also was the start of the greatest era in cross at Mount Carmel, as the 65,66,67,68 teams put up a 47-3 record with 3 District Championships.
As a result, MCA qualified 6 runners to compete at the PIAA State Championship meet at Penn State. They were Ray Rothermel, John Rusnak, Bob Matukaitis, Jerry Breslin Jr, Bill Evans, and Paul Williard. The Tornado harriers would end up finishing tenth at the PIAA Championship, the best ever finish by an MCA team at the time. Coach Breslin noted: “This is the best any Mount Carmel team has been able to do in the state-wide meet. The first three teams were from the western part of the state – North Allegheny, Baldwin, and Penn Hills.”
MCA’s Rothermel got jammed up early in the 200 boy field, but fought back to finish 49th. Rusnak came in at 54, Matukaitis, 55, Breslin 94, Williard 107, and Evans 133. Other schools in the top ten were William Tennant, Kennett Square, Wilkes Barre Meyers, North Penn, Altoona, and State College. Mr. “B” again stated – “Our team did exceptionally well to finish this high in state-wide competition. They deserve a lot of credit for their season-long performance.”
It has to be noted that this team was grouped with all of the largest schools in Pennsylvania and acquitted themselves in the best way possible. They also helped to set standards for all future cross country teams to emulate. Other members of the team were Ron Butkera, Hugh Jones, Rick Altmire, Larry Maurer, Rich Brennan, Mike Sejuit, Tom Brokenshire, Joe Meyers, and Rick Bolstrum. If Mr. B wee here today, he would just show a little smile and that familiar nod of his head with the news that this great accomplishment is recognized today.