The 15th annual Carbon County Area Sports Hall of Fame banquet will be held on Sunday, May 28, 2006 at Memorial Hall in Jim Thorpe.
Following are the inductees from Coaldale:
Ed Kassak, Joe "Lily" Kerak and Andy Yarosky
Ed is the youngest son of the late Frank and Helen Kassak of Coaldale. From an
early age he showed signs of his athletic excellence when he led SS Cyril and
Methodius CYO basketball team to league and diocese championships while he was
in seventh and eighth grades.
In hish school he lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track. He was
the last four-sport athlete in Coaldale history. It was football where he
achieved his greatest triumphs.
As a junior in 1961, Ed rushed for more than 1,000 yards and was named honorable
mention All-State. As a senior he rushed for more than 1,200 yards, was named
first team All-State and finished his career with an average of 7.4 yards per
Ed's senior year resulted in an undefeated season for Coaldale. He was
co-captain along with Rich Miller and Mike Panchura of that squad which went
He was the most productive ball carrier in Coaldale history, scoring 122 points
as a senior, 84 as a junior and 36 as a sophomore for a career total of 242
An additional honor awarded to Ed in 1962 was when he was named Schuylkill
County's Scholar Athlete.
He also played in the Schuylkill County Dream Game in 1962 and was selected as
the game's MVP.
Ed was the only Coaldale player ever selected to the prestigious Big 33 game in
Hershey, playing in the summer classic in 1963.
Following high school, Ed attended Bullis Prep School with two of his high
school teammates, Rich Miller and Mike Panchura. Another teammate at Bullis was
Jake Scott, who would eventually become a Hall-of-Fame defensive back with the
After a year at Bullis Prep, Ed decided on the University of Rhode Island, where
he was a two-year starter at linebacker. While in college he played against
future NFL stars, Greg Landry and Milt Moran.
Ed's football career continued after college when in 1968, he played cornerback
for the Goshawk Navy base, while he was in flight training school in Pensacola,
Fl, The quarterback of that team was former Heisman Trophy winner and future
Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Roger Staubach. During that season Ed's service
team played against Youngstown State University and its quarterback, Ron
Jaworski, who went on to star for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Ed served 21 years as a helicopter pilot in the United States Naval Reserve and
retired as a Commander.
Ed, who works for OSHA currently, lives in Lakewood Colorado with his wife,
Fran. They have three children and four grandchildren.
Joe "Lily" Kerak
Hard-nosed, gritty and determined are words which could best describe Joe
"Lily" Kerak who is one of this year's Coaldale inductees into the Carbon County
Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.
Kerak, an all-around athlete, graduated from Coaldale High School in 1950 after
an outstanding sports career which included two years of track, four years of
basketball and three years of varsity football. He was the starting halfback on
the undefeated 1949 Orange and Black team, whose accomplishments included 13-7
and 14-6 victories over Berwick and Scranton Tech respectively. A bruising
runner, he combined strength with speed to cause many problems for the
He was also a member of a stellar mile relay team that captured its heat and
recorded the third best time of the day at the 1950 Penn Relays, an event that
attracts schools from throughout the state.
Following graduation he continued to play with the Shack Gang, a crack softball
team of that era. He also was a member of the VFW basketball team which captured
several amateur titles.
His employment included a stint with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Office in
Harrisburg before his move to New Jersey and later Archbald (1974-80) with
Triangle Pipe and Tube Company. In 1980 he began work with Ametek in Hauto,
where he was employed until his retirement in 2000.
Joe is married to the former Mil Felsoci of Tamaqua and they are the parents of
five children, Brian of Scranton, Michelle of Massachusetts, Joel and Tanya of
Philadelphia and Kerry of Tuscarora. They also have two grandchildren.
The late Andy Yarosky was one of those rare athletes who seemed to get better
with age. Arguably one of the finest all-around athletes ever to come out of the
Panther Valley area, the Coaldale standout played well into his 40s on the local
baseball and basketball scene after an earlier outstanding career in high school
where he participated in basketball, football and track. He graduated fromCoaldale High School in 1932.
Andy, who was one of 10 children born to Alexander and Anna Yarosky, will be
inducted into this year's Carbon Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.
Following graduation, he played on the farm teams of the Philadelphia A's both
in Canada and down South. In the late 1930s he played for Lansford in the Black
Diamond League and various other baseball and basketball organizations before
being drafted into the Army in 1941. While stationed with the Army at Fort
Jackson, South Carolina, Andy married Anna Balish from Coaldale. He was promoted
to sergeant at the Charlotte Army Air Base in North Carolina and there played
for several basketball and baseball championship teams.
After his discharge from the Army, Andy returned to Coaldale and continued to
display his athletic prowess with his hometown team in the Panther Valley League
and also performed with the Beaver Meadow Legionnaires in the Twin County
Basketball League. In 1947 he played for Easton in the Eastern Shore League and
earlier for Lancaster in the Interstate League. He also played for the Coaldale
Legion basketball squad and later was the manager of the Coaldale Legion
Andy is remembered as a fine fielding first baseman but was better known for
swatting some of the longest home runs ever seen hit in the area. A powerful
southpaw, he ended his playing career when the No. 8 breaker closed and he moved
to Bristol, where he worked until retirement. He moved back to Coaldale in 1976
and passed away in the fall of 1983 while residing in his native community.