Coaldale Sports Feats -- On This Date 1940s, 1950s, 1960s
(Source: Lehighton Times-News)
-November 30, 1940. Charley Melley's one-yard touchdown plunge on the first play of the fourth quarter lifts Coaldale to a 7-0 victory over Lansford in front of 6,000 fans. The Tigers' win, which occurs during a snowstorm, ends the Panthers' undefeated season and chance for an Eastern Conference championship. Melley, who carries 27 times for 71 yards, sets up his winning score by completing a 37-yard pass to Frank Priggins.
-January 27, 1942. Coaldale jumps out to an early lead and cruises to a 30-17 Black Diamond League win over rival Lansford. Andy Bitsko scores six of his game-high 13 points in the opening quarter as the Tigers gain an 8-2 start. The winners, who up the margin to 16-6 by halftime, also receive eight points from Evan Zlock. Lansford gets a team-high seven points from "Peanuts" Yanitsky.
-February 25, 1943. Coaldale finishes the season with a .500 record after holding off Shenandoah for a 57-46 victory. Mike Rohall leads the way for the Tigers with 19 points while teammate Johnny Harb finishes close behind with 17. The winners, coached by Tom Raymer, outscore their opponent in every quarter. Ed Palkovich chips in with nine points while Teno adds eight.
-January 6, 1949. Ted Lithgow's big game propels Coaldale to a 45-39 victory over Mahanoy Township. Lithgow hits for a game-high 22 points for the Tigers, who outscore their opponent by a 13-0 margin in the first quarter. The winners, coached by Tom Raymer, also receive nine points from Bill Firman while Joe Lopez chips in with seven.
-October 6, 1950. George Welsh tosses a pair of touchdown passes to help Coaldale gain a 13-0 victory over Scranton Tech. Welsh breaks a scoress tie on the first play of the fourth quarter when he fires a 17-yard TD pass to Bob Zebian. The Tigers, who extend their unbeaten string to 22 straight games with the win, hit paydirt again when Welsh hits George McCartney with a four-yard scoring strike. Welsh also finishes the contest with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
-March 2, 1951. George Welsh pours in a game-high 25 points, 11 of them coming at the foul line, to help Coaldale close out regular season play with a 77-70 comeback win over Lehighton. The Tigers, coached by Andy Kalen, fall behind 10-0 and 21-12 before rallying for the victory. Bob Ashmore and Ginger Kalen each finish with 15 points for the winners, while Eddie Shubeck also reaches double figures with 10.
November 25, 1954. Erv Murphy bulls into the end zone from two yards out with 1:15 left to play to give Coaldale a hard-fought 6-0 Thanksgiving Day win over rival Lansford. The Tigers, coached by Andy Kalen, hold their opponent to minus-three yards rushing and receive a blocked punt from Ron Plocinik. Lansford's reaches the red zone once, but is stopped on a fouth down tackle by Plocinik and Russ Rudenko.
-May 3, 1955. Coaldale's mile relay team of Bob Scutta, Stan Laskos, Mike Mayernik and Joe Ozefovich win the final event of the meet against Tamaqua to pull out a 52-48 upset victory. Scutta wins two individual events, taking the 440 and the pole vault. The Tigers also receive first-place finishes from Ozefovich (100), Lou Gregus (mile) and Bob Plocinik (high jump) while the 880 relay team also breaks the tape.
January 15, 1957. Coaldale rides big offensive games from Lou Gregus and Bobby Parfitt to gain a 67-63 Black Diamond League come-from-behind victor over Tamaqua. Gregus pours in 21 points while Parfitt follows closely behind with 20 as the Tigers, who trail at halftime, take the lead for good with a 17-11 third quarter. The winners, coached by Bob Wear, also receive 10 points from both Greg Posta and Ed Trechak.
-February 16, 1960. Burt Gbur hits for a game-high 21 points to help lead Coaldale to a 62-51 Black Diamond League win over Tamaqua. Gbur tallies eight of his points in the third quarter to help the Tigers pull away. The winners also receive 18 points from George Stoffey while Donnie Popik chips in with eight and Mike Domin adds seven. For the Raiders, Lee Neifert tallies a team-high 16 points.
-November 9, 1962. Ed Kassak scores two touchdowns and leads a high-powered offense in helping Coaldale roll to a 41-0 victory over Ashland. Kassak reaches the end zone on runs of eight and one yard and the Tigers finish the contest with 329 yards on the ground. Johnny Yankovich (two yards), Billy Edwards (eight yards) and Bob Winsko (five yards) all contribute TD runs for the winners, coached by Geno Poli, while Edwards also tosses a 12-yard TD pass to Richie Miller.
-October 26, 1963. Coaldale rallies from an early deficit to gain a 39-19 win over Kulpmont. George Hoffman scores two touchdowns, one on a 34-yard run and the other from 12 yards out, to help the Tigers rebound after falling behind 12-0. Jeb Hart returns an interception 35 yards for a score while Bobby Winsko (two-yard run), Ken Hoffman (one-yard run) and Nick Trubilla (fumble recovery in end zone) also register touchdowns. Coaldale's defense also plays well, intercepting six passes.
-November 2, 1963. Coaldale's solid defense, led by Tommy Terry, limits Summmit Hill to just 33 yards rushing and the Tigers post an 18-0 shutout in the last game ever between the two schools. The winners, coached by Geno Poli, also receive a defensive touchdown as Martin Kodlick intercepts a pass and returns it 48 yards for a score. Coaldale receives two TDs from Bob Winsko, who hits paydirt from two yards out and also catches a six-yard scoring strike from George Hoffman.