27 area athletes were inducted into the Carbon County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall Of Fame during the chapter’s 22nd annual induction ceremony and banquet held on Sunday, May 24, 2015 at Memorial Hall in Jim Thorpe.
Carbon County Chapter committee member Bill O’Gurek served as event emcee. Chapter President Danny McGinley Jr also spoke during the event.
This year’s inductees included:
Tamaqua – Charles Connelly, Dave Lehatto, Mike Miorelli.
Coaldale – Jack Evans, James “Blue” Bonner, Mike Frendak.
Lansford – Robert D. “Bob” Popik, John “Nini” Kranchick, Edward J. “Moose” Kosciolek.
Summit Hill – Brad Miller, Joseph D. Perilli, Gary John Evans.
Nesquehoning – Anita Misantone, Robert “Bob” Rehatchek, James “Jim” Agosti, Carl Mikovich, Katherine A. “Kitty” Curry.
Lehighton – Carl Wolfe, George Tkach, Wayne Wentz.
Jim Thorpe – Scott Kmetz, Mary Gillespie Whalen, Kevin Trice.
Palmerton – Jan Sosik, Nicole Levandusky, Joe Visnosky Jr., Charles “Biddy” Romig.
Page down all the way to view video and more photos.
Following are inducted members of the 2015 Tamaqua Sports Hall of Fame class:
Connely graduated from Tamaqua Area High School in 1971 and lettered in two years of both football and basketball as a Blue Raider. From there, he moved on to Kutztown State College and played football for one year, before graduating in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education/Social Studies.
After teaching at Marian Catholic High School for 15 years, he moved on to teach at Mount Carmel Area School District as a seventh grade social studies teacher and is teaching there to this day.
Married to wife, Suzanne, Charles has two daughters, Rachel and Sarah, and they reside in Tamaqua.
As a coach, Connely has been coaching for the past 39 years, and has been a part of championships ranging from Eastern Conference, District and State Championships.
He served as a coach at Marian Catholic from ’76 to ’92, and then returned in 2000 and has been there since as the offensive and defensive line coach and defensive coordinator. While at Marian, Connely’s teams have collected Eastern Conference championships (1980, ’86 – undefeated, ’92 and 2013), and were the runners-up in 1981. His teams earned District championships in 1989, 2000, and ’07, and were the runners-up in 1988 and 2014. The Colts nabbed an Anthracite League title under his tutelage in ’07, and in 1990, he saw his team capture the PIAA State Class A title. He also was named the Schuylkill County Coaches Association “Assistant Coach of the Year.”
Connely coached football at Mount Carmel, as well, and continued to garner accolades while serving there as the offensive and defensive line coach, along with defensive coordinator. While at Mount Carmel, the Red Tornados won PIAA Class AA State championships in 1994, ’96 – undefeated and never trailed, and ’98. In 1994, the team won the District XI AA championship, the District IV AA title in ’96 and ’98, and were the runner-up in ’97, and were the District XI AAA runner-up in ’93. The Red Tornados also were the Eastern Conference Division II champions, as well.
Other than coaching football, Connely also manned the helm as a baseball coach at Marian Catholic for 17 years (two years as assistant, 15 as head coach). He has compiled an overall record in baseball of 192-101, a league record of 154-53, qualified for districts for 14 years and also managed to capture championships throughout that time. In 1980, ’81 and ’82, his team won the Hughie McGeehan League championship, and in ’81 won the District XI AA Championship and moved on to the final eight teams in the state tournament that season, as well. In the Hughie McGeehan League, Connely’s Colts were the Southern Division champs in 1980, ’81 and ’82, and after moving to the Schuylkill League, his team was the Division II South champs in 1984, ’88, ’89 and ’90.
Connely was named to the Marian Catholic High School Hall of Fame in 2008 and in 1989, he recieved the Basball Coach ‘Bronze Award’, which is awarded by the Scholastic Coach Magazine.
DAVIS A. LEHATTO
A graduate from Tamaqua Area High in 1969, Lehatto made his presence felt in three sports – football, baseball and swimming. After high school, he moved on to Kutztown State College, where he continued his football career and eventually was a three-year starter for the Golden Bears.
As a Blue Raider, Lehatto was a two-way starter on the gridiron as a fullback and outside linebacker. He was the leading rusher in 1968 with 742 years, while averaging 5.1 yard per rush, and was eventually nominated for the Big 33 game. In baseball, he started two years in left field for the Blue Raiders, and in swimming, he was a district qualifier in the 100-breaststroke, was a member of the 400 Medley Relay team, a member of the 400 freestyle relay team and received the Outstanding Swimmer Award in 1968.
While a member of the football team at Kutztown, Lehatto was a three-year starter at defensive back, and led the team in interceptions (1972). In his senior year, he saw action at running back, punt returner, and kickoff returner, as well. He was elected a tri-captain, was named the Outstanding Offensive Performer at Spring practice in ’72, and was eventually honored by the Touchdown Club of Berks County as Most Valuable Player for Kutztown for the season. “Lehatto is the perfect athlete, too valuable to sit on the bench,” said the assistant defensive coach at Kutztown State College from 1973-76, Bob Mazie.
Lehatto has been an educator at Governor Mifflin School District for 36 years, teaching social studies for nine years, serving as school counselor for 27 years, and as selected as Head of the Counseling Department. Also, from 1976 to 1984, Lehatto served as assistant football coach at the school.
Married for 41 years to the former Dianne Smulligan of Tamaqua, Lehatto is the father of two children – Kathryn Lehatto of Wyomissing, and Andrew Lehatto of Glen Allen, VA, and also has two granddaughters, Camryn and Leighton.
Miorelli graduated from Tamaqua in 1976 and was a three-year letterwinner in football, basketball, and baseball, along with being a three-year starter in baseball and basketball and two years for football.
In football, Miorelli quarterbacked the ’74 team, which has been called one of the best in school history, to a 9-1 record, passing for more than 1,000 yards and 13 TDs. The following season, the team was 7-4, after losing its first three games of the season. In his career, Miorelli passed for more than 2,500 yards and 22 scores. He was named to the First Team All-Schuylkill County in his senior year and became the second Tamaqua grad to be named Schuylkill County scholar athlete in ’76.
In basketball, Mike started three seasons and was the captain in the 75-76 season that won the Schuylkill League championship, finished 19-3 overall, and was also a three-year starter in baseball, and earned all-county honors as a catcher for the Blue Raiders.
After being recruited to play for Delaware University for football, he played one season, but decided to play baseball instead. For the Blue Hen baseball team, he proved to be a four-year letterwinner, starting two years as catcher, and earned All-East Coast Conference honors as an all-star in 1981.
Miorelli has spent his professional career in journalism, working for the Hazleton Standard-Speaker, the Reading Eagle and The Morning Call in Allentown. He has served in a variety of ways, including assistant sports editor, sports editor and metro editor throughout his career. Currently, he is the metro editor/sports editor at The Morning Call.
Following are inducted members of the 2015 Coaldale Sports Hall of Fame class:
Jack earned three varsity letters in football, including one as a freshman (illness sidelined him in his sophomore year). A running back, kicker and punter for the Coaldale Tigers, under coach Geno Poli, he amassed approximately 1,000 all-purpose yards in his senior season. As a result, he finished tied for third place in individual scoring in the Valley in 1961. Evans also earned two varsity letters in track, and led the team in individual scoring in his senior year.
Jack excelled in baseball, as well, and played on championship teams in both Tamaqua and Coaldale programs. In his final season of organized baseball, he led the league in several hitting and pitching categories.
Most of his adult life was spent in the Lehigh Valley, where he was heavily involved in various sports. As a member of the East Penn Football Officials Chapter of the PIAA, he worked numerous league and conference championship games. He also served on the Executive Committee of the Chapter, was a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Football Officials, and the ECAC, working in the Mid-Atlantic region. He also spent nine years as a Football Official Observer for the PIAA.
In 1975, with two friends, Evans formed the Lehigh Valley Ice Hockey Club and served as its President, while also serving as the Vice President of the Delaware Valley Hockey League. He was a Board Member of the Atlantic Region of the US Amateur Hockey Association. He was also named the first general manager of Eastern Pennsylvania, in the inaugural Keystone Games. As manager of the West End Legion baseball team in Allentown (seven years), his 1982 squad won the Lehigh Valley League Playoff title. He also served as President of the Tri-County League for nine years, and served as Commissioner of the Lehigh Valley Legion League for ten years.
JAMES “BLUE” BONNER
James Bonner was one of the most talented football players to grace the Coaldale gridiron. Formed in 1912, the Coaldale “Big Green” was one of the most successful football teams in Anthracite Coal Region history, and was led by a number of stars, including halfback/fullback, James “Blue” Bonner.
Winning the Curran Cup, emblematic of Anthracite supremacy, in 1921, 1922, and 1923, “Blue” and the Big Green helped to pioneer what is today’s National Football League.
“Blue” Bonner was the Big Green’s best ball carrier, whose favorite weapon was a hip movement that would send would-be tacklers flying. He was once rated, “one of the very best men playing football in the country,” by Robert W. Maxwell, the namesake of today’s Maxwell Award, which is given to the best football player in the United States.
A journalist, Joe Devire, who covered the Big Green games in 1924, said of Bonner, “He is the most colorful player in independent football circles, built like a warrior, one of the most feared athletes on the gridiron. Bonner never went to a college, but he has played against stars of great colleges and has shown them things about football that they never knew existed.”
During the 1944, 1945, and 1946 football seasons for Coaldale’s legendary coach, Tom Raymer, Mike started on offense at left guard, on defense at nose guard, and linebacker, and as kicker. In the 1946 season, the Tigers won seven games, including shutouts over Atlantic City, Mahanoy City, and Hazle Township, and culminating with a thrilling 7-6 victory over archrival Lansford. Following his senior season, he was honored as a member of the “Dream Game,” playing on the Southern Division team of the 26-team Eastern Conference.
During a five-year semi-pro football stint, Frendak started for the Lansford Blue Devils, the Tamaqua Indians, and Ashland Miners.
Mike served as a head and assistant coach for numerous basketball teams, including Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Coaldale, St. Michael’s in Lansford, Panther Valley Junior High and Panther Valley High Schools. During the 1985-86 season, he assisted Coach Rich Davidyock in leading the Panthers’ boys’ team to a 29-2 record, along with a spot in the Eastern Finals of the PIAA State Basketball Championships.
Frendak coached football at the knee-high level, where he led a Panther Valley football team to four consecutive undefeated seasons, and assisted coach Geno Poli during his successful 33-10 football tenure at Coaldale High School in the early 1960s.
Frendak also served as umpire and financial chairman for the Lansford Little League.
Outside of the sports realm, Mike served our country during the Korean War as a member of the US Navy’s famed Seabees. He later became a Food Safety Inspector/Supervisor for the state of Pennsylvania. Since retiring in 1990, he has continued to serve as a Food Safety Consultant with the Hazleton Health Department.
Following are inducted members of the 2015 Lansford Sports Hall of Fame class:
EDWARD ‘MOOSE’ KOSCIOLEK
Kosciolek attended Lansford High School from 1958-1962 and lettered in football, basketball and baseball for three years of his high school career.
In high school, Kosciolek’s football career started as a center in his sophomore season and he played left guard on offense and linebacker on defense in his junior and senior years. Lansford put together an 8-2 record in 1960, and in 1961 was 9-2. He excelled on defense as a linebacker and had three touchdowns to his credit. He was co-captain of the team as a senior and was named honorable mention on the Pennsylvania Big 33 team.
On the baseball team, “Moose” played first base, and was nicknamed after the New York Yankee, Ed “Moose” Skowron. He also played two summers for the Palmerton Legion team. In 1961, he made the Lehigh Valley Legion All-Star Team as a first baseman and in 1962, the Palmerton Legion team was in the Legion playoffs. He attended several baseball tryouts, including ones held by the Yankees, the Cardinals iand the Pirates.
After graduating from high school, Kosciolek attended Stevens Trade School in Lancaster, PA for three years and graduated with a Certificate in Architectural Drafting. He played basketball for three years and as a senior, was selected co-captain. He played football for two years and was a fullback on offense, and linebacker on defense, while also being the team’s co-captain.
Moose then enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve for two years of active duty, and achieved the rank of 3rd Class Illustrator/Draftsman upon separation.
Ed worked for three different architectural firms in the Lehigh Valley. He spent 30 years as Director of Construction for Brookhaven Homes in Allentown, PA.
During that time, he pplayed for fast pitch softball teams in the Lehigh Valley and East Penn Leagues.
Kosciolek resides in Hokendauqua, PA, and is married to the former Janice Daubenspeck of Coaldale, has two daughters – Laura and Lisa. Ed and Janice have five grandchildren – Meghan, Jenna, Emily, Koleson and Matthew.
Bob Popik began his athletic career for the Coaldale Tigers in 1948. As a freshman and sophomore, Bob participated in football, basketball, and track. During the football season, Bob played tackle and handled the kicking chores.
Just before his junior year, his family moved to Lansford and Bob enrolled in LHS for his junior year. During the Coaldale-Lansford game of 1951, the game remained scoreless until the fourth quarter. Bob rushed from his tackle position and blocked a punt that rolled through the endzone for a safety. Lansford won that game, 2-0, elating his present teammates and seriously disappointing his former. Bob was selected to participate in the Lions Club Carbon vs. Schuylkill All-Star game.
During the rest of his school year, Bob played for and lettered in basketball and track.
During his senior year in football, Bob converted five PATs in a first-game win over McAdoo. He extended his streak to nine over the following two games against Frackville and Summit Hill. During the Coaldale game, he ran off three more to tie a record of 18 PATs for the season. That record stood until1961. Bob was selected to play in the All-Star Game again, where he kicked three extra points. He then continued to play basketball and track for LHS that year, to finish his high school career.
After graduation, Bob attended the University of Wyoming on a football scholarship. There, he played tackle and again assumed the duties of kicking. After one year, he returned back home to the coal region, and in November of 1954, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He became a member of the military police, but continued to play football for an army team, composed of former college players in Munich, Germany. In the Fall of 1955, that team won the European Championship.
Popik was discharged from the Army in 1956 and returned to Lansford, where he used his police background to work for the PA Turnpike Authority, and then the Lansford police force. Three years later, Bob moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where he worked for the city police department as a motorcycle officer. While in Baltimore, he became friends with members of the Baltimore Colts – Johnny Unitas, Alan Ameche, Gaino Marchetti and Dick Sysmanski, along with Oriole all-time great, Brooks Robinson.
Bob passed away in 1980, leaving a son, Bobby and a daughter, Kristen.
JOHN T. KRAUCHICK
Krauchick started his football career during his sophomore year at Lansford High School in 1942, after moving from Hauto.
He quickly moved to starting guard in his sophomore and junior seasons. In his senior year, he was the starting guard on the undefeated state championship team, where he made All-State Honorable Mention.
Krauchick then enrolled at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and played for the Tarheels in his freshman year.
The war then called, and Krauchick joined the U.S. Marines in December of 1944 and spent his time in the South Pacific, along with the earliest occupiers of Japan.
Upon leaving the military, he rejoined the UNC football team for the 1946 season, where he was injured during the University of Miami game on October 4, 1946.
Krauchick then enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he played on the Army football teams, including the U.S. Army All-Star team, playing against the U.S. Airforce All-Stars in the Rice Bowl of January, 1950.
He continued playing and coaching during his early Army career and upon his discharge, returned to Lansford.
John passed away in July of 1977 at the age of 50.
Following are inducted members of the 2015 Summit Hill Sports Hall of Fame class:
Evans is a 1974 graduate of Panther Valley High School, where he played football, baseball and basketball. He was a four-year letterwinner in baseball, a three-year letterwinner in football and earned a letter two years in basketball.
On the gridiron, while playing quarterback, the Panthers put together a 17-4 record over the course of three seasons. Evans was selected for the First Team at quarterback for the Eastern Conference team in ’72, while also earning a spot on the All-Lower Anthracite team and the All-County Football team (Schuylkill). He was selected into the Who’s Who in National High School Athletics as National Football All-American for the 1973-74 season as a quarterback. He was also a member of the undefeated freshman team at PV, playing the positions of running back and safety.
In baseball, Evans was a member of the school’s team for four years, playing the position of third base. In his senior year, he won the Carbon County-Panther Valley area batting title with an average of .473. He was also selected to the Northern Division Schuylkill County Baseball League, to play the position of third base.
After graduation, Evans attended the United States Naval Academy (USNA), and played freshman football as a defensive back. He played his junior and senior years on the Navy varsity lightweight football team as a free safety. He was selected in 1977 for the Eastern Intercollegiate Lightweight Football League first team for outstanding play at safety. In the following year, Evans graduated from USNA with a Bachelors Degree in Oceanography. After graduating, he moved on to flight school in Pensacola, Florida.
While in the Navy, Evans deployed throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans as a P-3 Mission Commander and Tactical Coordinator, flying over 2,500 hours. He retired from the Navy in 1998, and has attained a Masters in Information Systems from the Naval Post Graduate School, along with a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island.
Evans currently works as a civilian for the Department of Defense, working information technology policy issues. He resides in Annandale, Virginia, with his son.
Brad Miller is a 1993 graduate from Panther Valley High School, where he amassed 11 varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball and track and field.
Miller was named to the PIAA All-State Third Team at Wide Receiver in 1992, and also won two PIAA State Track and Field medals in the hurdles. In the 110-meter hurdles, he finished in fifth as a junior, before improving upon that in his senior season, when he finished third in the same event. He was also an integral part of the school’s 4×100 meter relay team that proved to be state finalists in ’91 and ’93. He also qualified for the State finals in the open 200-meter dash in ’93, as well. At the completion of the 1993 sports season, Miller was named the Times News Male Athlete of the Year.
After graduation from high school, Brad attended the US Military Academy Preparatory School in Ft. Monmouth, NJ, where he continued to excel in football and track. He was selected as the offensive MVP for the Black Knights Prep team in football, and led the track team in the 110-meter high hurdles, and sprints.
Following prep school graduation, Miller attended the US Military Academy at West Point, and was a three-year starter and letterwinner as a wide receiver and running back, while also returning punts and kickoffs for the football squad. He was honored as the ECAC Rookie of the Week versus Colgate in his sophomore season, and was a part of the 1996 Army team that went 10-2, with a berth in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, LA.
After graduating from West Point in ’98 with a Systems Engineering degree, Miller was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. He served in Fort Sill, OK, Fort Stewart, GA, and Fort Jackson, SC, and eventually attained the rank of Captain, before leaving the military for a civilian career.
Brad is currently a District Sales Manager for a medical device company, and resides with his wife, Katie, their two daughters, Jacey and Mackenzie, and son, Cody.
Joseph Perilli is a 1990 graduate of Panther Valley High School, where he made his presence felt in football and track and field. A two-time District 11 gold medalist, Perilli proved to be the dominant shot putter in the area. Making two appearances in the PIAA State Track and Field Meet, Perilli eventually finished in fourth place for a state medal in the event, in his senior season. He also won a Keystone State Games bronze medal and was part of a record-setting tandem at the Pottsville Relays. Not limited to one event, Perilli was also a strong discus and javelin thrower, as he took District silver twice in the javelin.
He won two gold medals in the shot put at the All-League Meet, and also added a bronze and silver medal in the javelin, to complete his outstanding track and field career for the Panthers.
Also an outstanding football player, Perilli earned the position of team captain in his senior year. The team posted an 11-2 record for the season, went on to win the Anthracite League, along with the Eastern Conference South Division Championship. Playing at offensive guard, and defensive linebacker, Perilli was named to several all-star teams.
Before dedicating himself to year-round lifting schedules for football and track, Perilli was also a participant in basketball and Little League baseball, where he excelled, as well. In one memorable game, he connected on four over-the-fence home runs (two of which were grand slams), and compiled a total of 14 RBIs in the game.
After high school, he moved on to further his academic and athletic careers at Moravian College. He then moved on to enroll at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, and is currently the Carbon County Assistant District Attorney.
He remains active in youth sports, as a sponsor and coach of football, baseball and soccer teams in the Panther Valley area. He resides in Summit Hill with his wife, Jan, and his two children, Antonio and Mia. Perilli is also the son of Joseph Perilli (a 2008 CC Hall of Fame inductee) and Ruth, of Summit Hill.
Following are inducted members of the 2015 Nesquehoning Sports Hall of Fame class:
ANITA M. MISANTONE
Anita Misantone was a 1967 graduate from Panther Valley High School, and a member of the school’s first women’s baseketball team. After graduation, he moved on to Mansfield University to continue her education and graduated in 1971 with a BS in English. While there, she was recognized as one of the Outstanding Women on Campus. Appointed to that organization, she received recognition for her leadership and commitment to on-campus activities.
In ’71-72, Anita taught English and coached basketball and softball at Williams Valley High School in Williamstown, PA. She was an assistant in basketball, but served as head coach of the softball team, which amassed a record of 14-1 that season. In 1972, she returned to Panther Valley High to teach English. She eventually initiated and coached two programs at the school: softball and volleyball. The softball program had plenty of successful seasons, representing PV at the PIAA State Tournament for two straight years. Volleyball also produced wins and totalled seven consecutive league championships and five straight district champions, eventually progressing to participation in State Tournaments, as well. In 1984, she was named the SCIAA Coach of the Year. Including both softball and volleyball, she had a combined record of 356-84 (.728).
After continuing her education on at Penn State University and Bloomsburg University, Anita attained her Masters in Education in 1976 from Bloomsburg. In 1989, she relocated to Florida, where she taught English and coached volleyball at Indian River State College. She manufactured nationally-ranked teams, and several players named to the Florida All-American Team. She also coached United States Volleyball club teams (formerly known as USVBA), and travelled to Las Vegas for two straight years to compete against other strong teams from around the nation.
Misantone currently resides in Jensen Beach, FL with her dachsund, Dieter, and is the daughter of the late Reno and Mary Misantone, Nesquehoning.
A graduate of Nesquehoning High School in the class of 1955, Rehatchek was an outstanding all-around athlete and participated on the football, basketball and gym teams for all four years, and three years of participation in track.
In football, he played the position of quarterback in his senior year, and received recognition, being nominated to play in the All Star Game, which was played in the Lansford High Stadium. He kicked the longest field goal, which was a school record at the time.
On the gym team, he excelled on the parallel bars and was part of one of the best gymnastics teams in the area, coached by George Roscoe and Kathryn (Kitty) Curry.
After graduation, Bob joined the United States Army and became a paratrooper, spending 27 months of his three-year Army career in Germany. He spent time teaching on the rifle range, being a life member of the NRA.
Upon returning from Germany, he married the former Mary Helen (Sniscak) Rehatchek and when he finished the army, they moved to New Jersey. He went to college at the Programming Institute School, while attending Middlesex College at night. He eventually worked for Ford Motor Company as a process engineer, before retiring after 32 years of service and moving back to Lake Hauto.
Bob was involved with the Lansford Amvets and was president of the Lansford Home Association in 1999.
The son of Ermano and Diane Agosti, Lake Hauto, Agosti was a three-sport athlete at Marian High School, before graduating in 1978. James “Jim” played football for four years, basketball for three and track for one season as a Marian Colt.
A three-year starter in football, Agosti broke the existing high school record for yards rushing in a single game, going for 256 yards in one game, while also re-setting the single-game record of touchdowns in a game, as he reached paydirt five times in a game. He was Marian’s scholar-athlete in 1978, a Big 33 nominee, and the Schuylkill County scoring champion. He also managed to become the all-time Carbon County Panther Valley Area scoring champion, as well. He finished his career in football with 212 points, and as a running back, compiled 2,512 yards rushing and 3,019 total yards.
Jim also was a two-year starter at forward and co-captain for the Marian Colts basketball team and was eventually selected to the Schuylkill County All-Star team.
In his one year of participating on the track team, Jim broke the existing school record for the javelin and took first place in the Schuylkill County League meet.
Currently residing in Tamaqua with his wife Tracy and three childre, Abbigale, Tavio and Ava, Jim owns and operates the Mahanoy City Food Store, along with co-owning A&C Catering.
Carl Mikovich was a 1952 graduate of Nesquehoning High School, where he excelled on the football field and basketball court.
In football, Carl played four years at center under head coach Anthony Mezza, and assistant Sam Pagano. During his senior year, he served as team captain, was named to the Carbon-Schuylkill All-Star team, and played in the 1951 Anthracite All-Star game.
In basketball, Mikovich played for four years, as well, under head coach George Roscoe and assistant Sam Pagano. He was captain his senior year, as the team won the 1951-52 District XI Championship. It was an honor he was very proud of when, years later, both of his sons were captains of their respective D-11 Championship Basketball Teams.
After graduation, Carl moved on to Temple University on a full football scholarship, and graduated with a degree in Business. He played on the Owls football team for all four years, and after graduation, enlisted in the US Army with the 34th Armored Division. Upon honorable discharge, he returned to Nesquehoning and was employed by the Quartite Lamp Factory. He then moved on to Mack Trucks in Allentown as a line supervisor, until retirement. He and his wife, Jean, were among the founding members of the former Panther Valley 12th Man Club, and the Panther Valley Hoopster Boosters.
On October 4, 2012, Carl passed away, and is survived by his wife Jean, sons John and James, along with James’ fiance Judy, daughter Carla and her husband Joseph. He also has grandchildren Trajan and his wife, Tori, Marley, Jamey and Connor; and great grandchildren Kaden, Kale, and Karnby. Carl is also survived by his brother Victor and his wife, Janet.
KATHRYN A. CURRY
Kathryn taught school at Lehighton, Nesquehoning, and a private school in Mount Holly, New Jersey. She spent over 25 years teaching at the Nesquehoning High School, however.
Kathryn, a.k.a. Kitty, was a graduate of East Stroudsburg State Teachers College and received a BS in Physical Education. She earned her Masters Degree at New York University, and studied at Columbia University with a degree in Hygiene and Physical Education. In the private school in Mount Holly, she worked with the special education program for children.
In 1941, both the Nesquehoning girls and boys gymnastic teams gained first place at competition as a team at the East Stroudsburg State Teachers College Gymnastics Meet. As gymnastic individuals, the firls finished second in ‘tumbling,’ and the boys team was runner-up. The girls that were on the second place team included: Lois Becker, Vilma Drigan, and Agnes DeAngelis. Kitty’s teams also competed in a gymnastics meet at Penn State Finals on April 7, 1951.
Kathryn was instrumental in putting together the gym team with choreographed dance and music, along with the gymnastics on the mat. All the while, she nobly guided the students to improve their abilities and minds throughout their school days in the classroom. Every year that Kitty coached, along with George Roscoe, they put together a girls and boys gymnastics team show for everyone from the area to attend the night performance. Their teams were of high quality and known to be some of the best around.
Kitty was also the girls’ basketball coach with 14 players on her team.
She was married to John Polohovich and they resided in Mount Holly, NJ.
Following are inducted members of the 2015 Lehighton Sports Hall of Fame class:
A 1965 graduate of Lehighton High School Carl always considered himself fortunate because it seemed that winning teams followed him around.
He was a four-year letterwinner in track and field as a thrower. In his senior year, he placed second in the discus in the in the Lehigh Valley League meet and was one of three Indians to place in the shot put. He qualified for the PA State Meet at Penn State by capturing the District 11 silver medal. He also qualified in the javelin at the District 11 meet, even through the Lehigh Valley League didn’t allow that event for safety reasons.
Wolfe was a three-year letterwinner in football. A two-year starter, he played guard on offense and outside linebacker on defense. In his senior season, he was selected to the All-Lehigh Valley League first team. The 1964 team he played on was the first LVL football championship since 1924.
Carl also lettered in basketball his senior year and received the Daniel Frank Award for scholarship and athletics.
He continued his education at East Stroudsburg State College and graduated with a B.S. in Health and Physical Education in 1970. While at ESSC, Wolfe helped lobby to have track and field retained as a sport. As a result, he was in the first class of four-year letterwinners at the school.
He was also a three-year starter on the football team under Coach Charlie Reese. Wolfe was a two-time PA State College Conference All-East selection. In his senior year, he was selected to the All-SAC First team as a tackle and to the All PA College/University second team behind Mike Reid of Penn State.
Wolfe was selected as the MVP of the ESSC Red/Black Spring Game in his junior year after suffering a severe knee injury prior to the final game of his sophomore season.
Wolfe later was honored by East Stroudsburg State College by being named to the All-Decade Football Team of the 1960’s.
After graduation, Wolfe taught in the Lehighton School District where he co-authored the first adaptive PE curriculum. He also became one of the first certified Sewage Enforcement Officers in Pennsylvania.
Wolfe married his high school sweetheart, the former Lynda Rudelitch. They had three sons and a daughter.
George Tkach was a dedicated PIAA football and baseball official for over 35 years.
Tkach graduated from Lehighton High School in 1950 after winning seven varsity letters in basketball, baseball and football.
George worked as a maintenance control officer at the Lehigh Valley Post Office in Allentown and in the spring of 1952, he started working baseball games and added football to his list the following fall. One of the District 11senior officials, in his later years, he still worked 18 to 20 football games a year.
Tkach also worked basketball games for 22 years before giving up that sport in 1976, mostly because of his full-time job, where he worked steady night shift.
Even though he gave baseball a slight nod over football, he enjoyed the umpire position in football because “you’re right in the heart of the thing, you’re behind the offensive and defensive lines.”
Tkach enjoyed cheering for Notre Dame and Alabama on the college football level.
Two games he called special as one’s he was part of was a Northampton-Whitehall game that ended in a 0-0 tie and the last Coaldale-Lansford Thanksgiving Day battle that Lansford won 6-0.
When he began working games in 1952, baseball umpires were paid $5 and only slightly more for football. That fee has skyrocketed today.
Wayne played baseball in Midget League, Junior League and for the Lehighton High baseball team. After graduating from Lehighton High School in 1965, he played Legion ball for Post 314 before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He served 13 months in Vietnam attached to the 3rd Marine Division in I Corp supplying troops headquartered in DaNang.
He served as adjutant for the VFW Post 256 from 2002 to 2013 and is a charter member of the Carbon County Vietnam Veterans organization and was recording secretary for two years. He also served on the Lehighton Area Recreation Commission as the representative from Franklin Township.
Since 1981, Wayne has been a member of the Franklin Township Athletic Association and has served as President since 1987. He has coached 27 years in District 18 Little League and Keystone Senior Babe Ruth. He also coached the Carbon County Babe Ruth where he has served as Vice President.
During his tenure, Franklin Township Athletic Association has grown in that time from a league with 34 players and three teams to one with 600 players and 49 teams. Wayne worked towards establishing the Russell “Bups” Ahner Memorial Old Timers game which has helped raise over $100,000 for sick or needy children.
In 1990, he was voted Citizen of the Year by the Franklin Township Lions club.
In 2008, Wayne was awarded a plaque by the U.S. Postal Service when the Little League baseball postage stamp was issued.
Wayne served as an assistant District Administrator for District 18 Little League since 1987 and in 2009 was inducted into the Pa. Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was honored as a Community Hero by Mauch Chunk Trust Company.
He currently serves on the Lehighton Area School Board for the past seven years acting as chairperson of the athletic committee and building and grounds committee. Since 2007, he is a member of the CLIU 21 board of directors.
He is married to Sharon (Solt) Wentz for 45 years and had two children, Shannon, married to Attorney Robert Frycklund and a sone Ryan, married to Jan (Yenser) Wentz and has five grandchildren.
Following are inducted members of the 2015 Jim Thorpe Sports Hall of Fame class:
A graduate of Jim Thorpe Area High School in 1984, Kmetz gave his athletic talents to both basketball and baseball throughout his high school career.
In basketball, Kmetz collected varsity letters in three years (’82-’84), and in his senior season scored 597 points, which is the second most points scored in a season for JT boys’ basketball history. He also averaged 22.9 ppg in that senior season, finishing second in the Panther Valley/Carbon County scoring race. He averaged 23.5 ppg in Schuylkill League games, as well. He became a member of the 1,000-point club at Thorpe, and at the time was only the fifth player in school history to do so. He finished his career with a total of 1,043 points and became the first father/son duo of 1,000-point scorers (father – Jack). As the Jim Thorpe MVP, Kmetz was selected to the Schuylkill League All-Star First Team, the District XI Boys Basketball Team, and was also Honorable Mention All-State for his impressive season.
In baseball, Kmetz’s impact spanned four years, as he earned a varsity letter all four years. As a sophomore, he pitched a no-hitter against Freeland MMI. As a pitcher, he thrived, setting school records for most wins for a career (16), most wins in one season (10), and also held records for innings pitched, strikeouts, ERA, home runs (11), runs scored (54), and RBIs (47). His batting average during his senior year was .408, and a .353 average for his career. He was the team MVP his junior and senior years, and was also named to the “Best in PA Baseball All-State Team.” In 1983, he was the co-MVP for the Lehighton American Legion Baseball team, and the solo MVP the following year. In ’82 and ’83, he had tryouts with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and in ’84 was in New York Yankee Scouting System. He played one season at Delaware Valley College in 1985, as well.
Kmetz was inducted into the Jim Thorpe Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
As a basketball coach, Kmetz started as a JV coach at Cardinal Brennan High School in ’97, and the Varsity coach at the same school the following season. Then, in 1999, he became the junior high coach at Jim Thorpe, before eventually earning the High School Varsity coaching position in 2001, where he coached for three seasons.
MARY (GILLESPIE) WHALEN
Mary Gillespie-Whalen graduated from Jim Thorpe High School in 1993, during which she accomplished many athletic goals. Her most significant contribution was becoming a member of the 1,000-point club, and also setting the three-point record with 136 treys. In both basketball and softball, she was named the team’s MVP in both her junior and senior years. She was TV-13 Player of the Week on two different occasions, as well. In softball, she served as the co-captain of the only team in school history to make it to districts, and was also named to all-star teams in that sport, as well.
After graduating from JTHS, she moved on to Cedar Crest College, where she immediately made her presence felt, as she became a starter in her freshman season. She ended up scoring a total of 1,197 points in her collegiate career. During her sophomore season, she averaged about 21 points per game, which ranked her 18th in the nation for AAA schools. She was awarded the team MVP in all four of her seasons, and was selected to all-Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (PAC) all-star teams in each season. She served as a great leader to her teammates and was the team captain her junior and senior years. She received the Varsity Award in her senior year at Cedar Crest, and was recently inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in April of 2014.
A member of the graduating class of 1977 at Marian High School, Kevin Trice was a four-year letterwinner as an offensive and defensive lineman, where he helped the Colts rise to excellence on the field in the 1970s. Leading the team to records of 10-1 and 9-1 in (’75 and ’76, respectively), he won numerous honors for his dominating play on the line of scrimmage. He was selected for the offensive and defensive All-County teams, All-Southern Division teams, All East-Central, and the Big 33 Honorable Mention laurels. He was voted the most outstanding lineman of the 1977 Charity Bowl game and also played in the Unico All-Star game that season, as well. Trice was recently inducted into the Marian Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, for his outstanding football career at the school.
Trice received numerous offers to play at the next level, but opted to enlist in the Army in August of ’77. He continued to play football as a member of the Fort Benning (GA) Battalion Squad. After his discharge in 1980, he received a full scholarship to play at the University of Texas (El Paso), where his brother David was also playing on scholarship. Kevin played briefly before returning home to begin his working career at Kovatch Corporation.
Kevin and his wife Nancy, had two children, Amanda and the late Kevin Jr, who passed untimely while a junior at Marian. Amanda and her husband Brad have three children – Parker, Mason and Myla. Upon Kevin’s death, the Trices began a football scholarship in Kevin’s memory, which recognizes a senior football player that plays with heart and a pure love for the game, like the Trices did before them.
Following are inducted members of the 2015 Palmerton Sports Hall of Fame class:
Graduating from Palmerton in 1965 and from Rutgers University in 1969, Sosik made his impression on Palmerton Area High School sports as an athlete and coach. In high school he played basketball and tennis, before rowing crew for three years at Rutgers.
He began teaching in Wayne, NJ in 1969, before returning to his alma mater in 1970. Sosik took over the tennis team in his first year at Palmerton, and then coached freshman basketball from 1971 until 1977.
In 1978, Sosik took over the reigns as head boys cross country coach, and guided the Blue and White to many successful seasons. In his second season as coach, he started the Palmerton girls cross country team program, and eventually won league titles in the sport. His record with the boys was 77-21 overall and 60-12 in the Centennial League, while his girls’ teams went 46-10 overall and 43-5 in the league. Under his leadership, the boys won three league championships and two league meet championships, while the Lady Bombers won four league titles, four league meet championships and two District 11 AA titles. His girls’ teams didn’t lose a league meet in their first four seasons in the Centennial League. Sosik currently is the winningest boys cross country coach at Palmerton with his 77 wins.
In 1994, Sosik and Bill Rosado approached the school board and urged them to begin a soccer program at the school. The next year, PHS fielded its first soccer team, consisting of both boys and girls. The school now has both boys and girls teams as a result of that start.
Sosik continued to teach at the Palmerton Junior High, before retiring in 2006. He and his wife, Karen, have been married 44 years and have two children, Kelly and Michael. In his spare time, he has been involved in showing and training Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and currently owns the number one Chesapeake for 2013.
A 1997 graduate of Palmerton, Levandusky proved to be one of the finest athletes to ever go through the school’s sports programs. She participated in field hockey, basketball and softball.
In basketball, she was a four-time First Team all-league selection (once in the Centennial League in 1994 and three times in the Colonial from 1995-97) and three-time MVP (1995-97). During her career, her teams amassed a record of 101-19, including a school record for most wins (31) in a season (1996-97). Levandusky scored 2,662 points in her career, the most in Palmerton history. She holds the single-game scoring record with 52 points. In 2007, Levandusky was also named to the Lehigh Valley Basketball Hall of Fame.
In softball, Levandusky (who hit a home run in her first at-bat as a freshman) set season records with 45 hits, 29 singles, 49 RBIs and a .577 batting average. For her career, she set records of 122 hits, 83 singles, 103 RBIs, and a batting average of .526. Levandusky was a four-time First Team league all-star (Centennial in 1994 and Colonial in 1995, 1996 and 1997) and three-time league MVP (1995-97). Her team also won CL titles in 1996 and 1997.
In field hockey, Levandusky was named to the All-Colonial League Second Team.
Levandusky moved on to Xavier University, and was the Atlantic 10’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2001 and a First Team All-League selection in both 2000 and 2001. She is fourth on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,755 points and holds XU’s record in three-pointers (287) and steals (364). In 1999, she ranked 16th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.429), and 10th in three-pointers made per game (2.85). In the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament win on March 12, 1999, Nicole scored 23 points. In her senior year, she averaged 18.7 points per game during the NCAA tourney, helping her team to an Elite Eight appearance. She earned a spot on the NCAA All-MidEast Region Team after leading the team to a 31-3 record. Levandusky was named to the Xavier University Basketball Hall of Fame, as well as the “Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame.”
After college Levandusky was drafted by the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, becoming the first-ever entrant into the league for Xavier. She played 13 games in the 2001 season as the Sparks won the league championship. She then opted to retire after that season to focus on coaching.
She is currently the girls head basketball coach at Randell Cooper High School. She previously was at Notre Dame Academy, where she led the team to the 2013 Kentucky State Final Championship game. In four seasons there, she totalled a record of 91-35.
The daughter of Glenn and Cindy Levandusky, Nicole also has a brother, Eric.
JOE VISNOSKY JR.
Joe Visnosky Jr., a 1964 graduate of PHS, was a well-rounded athlete during his scholastic career. Following in the footsteps of his father, Joe Sr., he played basketball, football, baseball, tennis and track & field. During his freshmen season (1961) on the track team, he ran a leg in the 880 yard relay team that won a District 11 “B” championship. That qualified them for the PIAA State Track and Field Meet, where the team finished in fifth place.
Visnosky proved to be a formiddable sprinter, as he collected points for the Palmerton teams that pulled off plenty of championships in the ensuing seasons. the Lehigh Valley League Dual Meet and League Meet champions in 1961; the Lehigh Valley League Meet and District 11 ‘B’ Champions in 1962; Lehigh Valley League Meet and District 11 ‘B’ Meet Champions in 1963; the Lehigh Valley League Dual Meet and League Meet, and District 11 ‘B’ Champions in 1964.
In his senior year during a home meet against Stroudsburg, he dashed to a winning 100-yard time of 9.9, setting a school record that will always stand as distances are now done in the metric system. At the annual LVL Meet that year, he was a double-event winner in record time, taking the 100 in 9.9 and the 220 in 22.4.
Joe was then hampered with ‘ptomaine poison,’ preventing him from practicing properly, but he still went on to the District 11 “B” Meet, where he was the champion in the 100, while finishing second in the 220. At the PIAA State Meet, he remained inflicted with the malady, but still powered his way to second-place finishes in both events.
Joe passed away in May of 1993 and is survived by his wife Harriet, his three siblings Joe III, Chrissy, and Maria, his five grandchildren Andrea, Kaitlyn, Allison, Joe IV, and Brock, and two great granddaughters Harper and Lamiah.
CHARLES “BIDDY” ROMIG
Charles “Biddy” Romig graduated from Palmerton Area High School in 1964, and participated in football and track & field.
Taking part in the pole vault and the high jump, Romig took the art of pole vaulting to ‘new heights,’ as he jumped into a sawdust pit, using straight poles made of either bamboo or aluminum. Besides his own personal records and accolades, Romig contributed to the success of his teams, as they claimed Lehigh Valley League Dual Meet season titles twice, won four Lehigh Valley League Meet Championships, along with four District 11 “B” championships.
In his junior season at the 1963 District 11 Class “B” Meet, Romig took first place in the pole vault, leaping 11-6, to qualify him for the PIAA state meet. There he became the school’s first pole vaulting state champ, clearing 12-6 for that title.
In his senior year, Romig had an unblemished mark in the pole vault for the season that featured 12 appearances, and at a home meet against Stroudsburg he set the school record at the time with a vault of 13-1/2. At the annual LVL meet, he set a meet record and finished first in the pole vault (12-5), and won the high jump (5-10). At the district meet, he became a district champion in both events and broke the District 11 “B” Meet record in the process (13-1). He then went on to win the PIAA state pole vault with a leap of 12-8.
Staff Sergeant Charles Romig served three tours in Vietnam in Co. B 2nd Battalion 327th Infantry 101st Airborne Division. He collected these awards: Silver Star Medal, the Air Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with one Bronze Campaign Star, the Vietnam Campaign Medal from the Republic of Vietnam, the Combat Infantry Badge, and a Parachute Badge.
Romig passed away on May 20, 1977. He was the son of Charles and “Cookie” Romig, each also deceased; he was dubbed “Biddy” by his paternal Aunt Marie and is survived by a brother Gregg, a sister Sally, and daughters Joey and Justine.
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