Lasting Nesquer Memories
July 29, 1999|by RUDY BEDNAR (A free-lance story for The Morning Call).
"The following year (1938) he (Sam Pagano) played for the Hazleton Redskins, a Washington Redskins' farm club along with several area high school coaches including Jim Horn (West Hazleton), Nick Kotys (Pottsville) and Steve Martinec (Coaldale)."
"In between, he (Pagano) managed to play for the Nesquehoning Hurricanes while also assisting Lansford's Mike Lukac in coaching the Panther Valley Big Greens in the Pennsylvania Semi-pro football league."
My story in the Oct. 31, 1949 edition of the Sunday Call-Chronicle was headlined "Nesquer Nuggets."
It was about the success of Nesquehoning High School football and why the Nesquers were suddenly so dominant.
I had no idea about the dynasty being established. After all, as an alumnus of Palmerton High, where basketball, not football, was king, this was new to me.
But, it was also newsworthy.
Not knowing much about the school's grid past before I came here in 1946, and unable to research it in our files, I simply based the story on my first two years on The Morning Call sports beat.
An 8-1-1 record in 1946 followed by a 7-1-1 finish in 1947 convinced me there was something behind this mastery on the gridiron.
Hence the story on the Nesquer Nuggets and longtime coaches Tony Mezza and Sam Pagano.