Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame
ANDY C. KALEN
The late Andy C. Kalen was part of Coaldale sports for some 35 years.
Born in 1904, Kalen burst upon the scholastic scene in 1920 as a three-sport performer on some of Coaldale¹s earliest football, basketball and track teams. He was known for his quickness and toughness, the latter spewing over to the coaching ranks.
Upon graduation in 1923, he matriculated to St. Joseph¹s College in Philadelphia, where he again participated in his three favorite sports. In 1926 Kalen set an intercollegiate record by returning a punt 105 yards for a touchdown. He graduated from St. Joe¹s in 1927, and did post-graduate work at NYU and later East Strouds-burg.
He began teaching in Coaldale in 1931, a profession he continued until his retirement in 1956. During his first few years, Kalen served as an assistant coach in basketball and football, while credited for developing some outstanding gymnastic teams. In the mid-30s, he remained with the gym teams while launching a long and fabled career as a football and basketball coach.
From 1940-43 he was head basketball coach and 1940-45, head track coach at Coaldale. Then, after an absence from coaching, he was named football and basketball mentor in 1949.
After retiring from Coaldale, he moved to Falls Church, Va., and became backfield coach at George Washington University, helping guide the Colonials to a Sun Bowl victory in 1957. In 1963 Kalen returned to teaching physical education in Maryland, retiring in June of 1974. Less thana year later, he passed away.
An excerpt in St. Joseph¹s 1927 yearbook, of Kalen, states: ³...but the memories of his deeds will not soon be forgotten, and we rank his name alongside those whom time and tradition have called the greatest.²
We add, ³not only by his college mates, but by his family, his friends and by his fellow students.²
JOSEPH ZENKO, SR.
One of the most gifted all-around athletes the Northeastern Pennsylvania region has ever seen, Joseph J. Zenko Sr. will never be forgotten by his hometown of Coaldale.
Better known as Yoshko, he starred on the gridiron and basketball court in addition to performing brilliantly in track and field.
Born in 1928, Yoshko began his outstanding career for the Orange and Black in 1944, and became an instant sensation. No one will soon forget his quick bursts through the line from his tailback position in Tom Raymer¹s short-punt formation, nor his long kickoff returns. His powerful running, quick moves and breakaway speed made him one of the finest running backs to ever grace the hard coal fields.
In his final game for the Tigers, his last-minute dash to paydirt capped a great year for Coaldale as it defeated the Panthers of Lansford.
His two long touchdown runs in the annual North-South All-Star Dream Game earned him the Most Valuable Player award. Many Coaldale followers wondered what would have happened had Yoshko been running from the T-formation throughout his career. He may well have set marks that would never have been surpassed.
In track and field he was a marvel, a dash man deluxe. His long strides on the kick portion of the 440, and his anchor leg of the Tigers¹ half-mile and mile relay teams were things of beauty.
Yoshko also tried his hand at amateur boxing, and proved quite adept at the art of pugilism.
Upon his graduation from Coaldale in 1947, he earned a scholarship and played as a freshman for Lafayette before deciding to join Marine Corps, where he attained the rank of sergeant and gained the Purple Heart in in the Korean War prior to his 1954 discharge. He also played on the company team for the Marine Corps.
He and his wife, the former Vickie Vitrone, wed in 1957 and are the parents of two children, Vickie and Joseph Jr.
While residing in Union City, N.J. Yoshko spent 12 years coaching various sports in St. Anthony¹s CYO Grammer Recreation Program. He was also involved in Union City Recreation programs, the U.C. Little League and Biddy Basketball programs, and was awarded the Parent Youth Council Award and Mayor¹s Office U.C. Proclamation Award.
Presently residing in Elizabeth, N.J., he still enjoys long distance running and performing with the Union County Senior Softball Program.