Inducted into the Class of 2003 were:
Coaldale's inductees were Pete Julo, who excelled in football, basketball and track at Coaldale High in the early 50's; the late John Oscar Swenson, who was a bruising runner for the Coaldale High football team back in the late 20's and early 30's; Bob Parfitt, current editor of THE TIMES NEWS who was a three-sport letterwinner in football, basketball and track at Coaldale High in the 50's. and who also served as Evening Record Sports Editor prior to being named the paper's editor in 1963; and the late Eddie Urban, who was one of the premier sports writers in the Panther Valley area in the 30's and 40's and remained close to the local sports scene even after he took a job with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in 1950 and Hall's Motor Transit Company later.
PEOPLE - May 15, 2003
CARBON COUNTY AREA CHAPTER OF PA SPORTS HALL OF FAME
When speaking about some of the finest all-around athletes to ever hit the Panther Valley-Carbon County area, it would be hard to leave out the name of Pete Julo. This gifted athlete burst onto the Coaldale scene in 1950 and when he graduated in l954 had made quite a name for himself.
Pete excelled in three sports, football, basketball and track. He broke onto the gridiron scene as an end for the Orange and black and with good hands and blazing speed caused fits for Tiger opponents. In his senior season he was moved to the quarterback slot and was having an outstanding season before being hit by a broken bone in his foot. He had two long returns of punts for touchdowns as Coaldale defeated West Hazleton before being forced to the sidelines with the injury. He returned for the Turkey Day game and ran the option play to perfection as the Tigers upended a heavily favored Lansford team 14-9.
Pete was a great passer and scorer for the Tiger cagers for several seasons. After a successful basketball career he moved outdoors with the track squad where he blazed to a number of victories in the 100, 220 and 440-yard dashes in some record times. He was having an outstanding day at the Coaldale Black Diamond Meet when spiked by another runner in the 220-yard dash which closed out a great high school career.
In 1954 Pete moved on to the Valley Forge Military Academy from where he graduated and received the Eric Fisher Award as the Outstanding Athlete of the Year. At the academy, he broke an 11-year record in the 440-yard dash.
Pete resides in the Allentown area with his wife, the former Joan Klapac of Coaldale. They are the parents of three daughters and a son, all college graduates.
John Oscar Swenson
The late John Oscar Swenson, better known as "Swede", wreaked havoc on Coaldale High School opponents in the late 1920s and early 1930s. A bruising runner, Swenson, who played at 185 to 190 pounds, was gifted with sprinter's speed.
Coached by the late Irv Murphy, who Swede called 'Murph," Oscar lettered in football in 1928 as a freshman and did likewise in the ensuing years until his graduation in 1932. Newspaper clippings chronicled a number of his exploits during his gridiron career. One such incident was when Coaldale was playing Nesquehoning in his freshman year and Swede returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Reality quickly set in when the rabid Nesquehoning fans chanted, "Kill him, kill him." All Oscar would say concerning that game was, he did well and was glad he could run like a deer.
During his senior year John Oscar received a scholarship to play football at Temple University, which was a top 10-ranked school of that time. Temple's coach was Bert Bell, who later became the first commissioner of the National Football League. His career at Temple terminated with a knee injury. Oscar then endeavored to play for Muhlenberg College but another knee injury again side-lined him. Oscar rarely spoke of his football accomplishments. When they were mentioned it was in conjunction with his teammates whom he highly valued and admired.
Oscar also lettered in basketball and track.
John Oscar, born in 1913, was the son of the late John Peter Swenson and Anna Dubetz Snoich. He was educated in the Coaldale school system and in 1939 married Mary Pascoe, who was a Coaldale High School cheerleader and honor roll student. They were married for 49 years and six months. Mary lives at Simpson House in Philadelphia.
Oscar and Mary lived in Chester and raised two sons, Peter Bruce and Jon Eric. They became proud grandparents of five grandchildren. Oscar worked for Sinclair Oil, Sun Oil Construction Company and Sun Ship Building Company. He passed away in June of 1989.
Athletics taught Oscar there was a difference between 'performance' and 'who a person was.' He always valued character more than accomplishment. His 'athletic-giftedness' caused him to be empathetic to those not so endowed. If there is one phrase that could sum up Oscar's character it would be this: He was a man without guile.
Robert "Bobby" Parfitt
Bobby Parfitt, athlete and former sports editor, will be a part of the Coaldale contingent entering the Carbon County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame this year.
Parfitt was a three-sport letter-winner at Coaldale High School in the mid-50s, as a member of the football, basketball and track squads throughout his high school career. Small, but gutty, Bob played both ways as a Tiger gridder, guiding the offense from the quarterback position and moving to the safety spot on defense. During his senior season he was utilized in the tailback slot for the final few games when the Orange and Black employed the short punt offense. In his final game, the Annual Thanksgiving Day battle against Lansford, Bob scored the 39th point, in a 39-7 win for the Tigers, on a run around end. Neither school, before nor after that year, scored more than 38 points against the other in the long and storied history of their meetings.
Bob was a starting forward his junior and senior years for the Coaldale cagers, averaging close to 17 points per game in his final season when he was among the top five area scorers. He tallied 38 points against host Northwestern, holding the one-game scoring record on that court for a number of years. Following the close of the 1957 season, he was named to the All-Schuylkill County team.
Bob was a pole vaulter and dash man on the track squad and a member of Coaldale's half-mile relay team that ran in the state finals at University Park.
Following his graduation, Bob attended Penn State University at Highacres in Hazleton.
When the Tigers, who had used the Lansford stadium for 10 seasons, returned to the school's football field for the 1958 season, he became the public address announcer for Coaldale's home games and served in that capacity until the merger of the Panther Valley School District in 1964. He became sports editor at the Lansford Evening Record in l960, covering the local scene and helpng a number of valley athletes to gain statewide recognition and earn college scholarships. In 1963 he was named to the editor's position, a title he held until the paper was purchased by Pencor in 1968. He has served as editor of the TIMES NEWS since 1972.
Bob is the son of the late Robert (Dauber) and Sue Parfitt and speaks proudly of his dad being a member of the famous Big Greens and the fact that a picture of the outstanding squad of 1919, of which he was a member, hangs in the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Bob remained active in sports for many years, playing sandlot baseball and recreational league basketball. He was also touted as one of the finer dart throwers in the region, having won a number of state titles, before settling down to his present hobby of golf.
Edward J. "Eddie" Urban
The late Edward J. "Eddie" Urban helped give legendary status to what many consider, "The Golden Age" of sports in the Panther Valley area.
It wasn't with his legs, or his arm where Urban contributed. It was with a typewriter.
The Coaldale native, who graduated fom Coaldale High School in 1933, became one of the premier sports writers in the area during the 1930s and 1940s. As sports editor of the former Lansford Record he covered some of the most historic games, and many of the area's premier athletes during that period.
His column, "From This Corner" became everyday reading for thousands of area sports fans, who were informed and entertained by Urban's compilations of anecdotes, facts, statistics, trivia and names.
He doubled as the public address announcer for all the football games at the Lansford (now Panther Valley) Stadium. And, he was a popular master of ceremonies and after-dinner speaker at many area sports and church functions.
His sports writing career was interrupted by World War II when he served five years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of First Lieutenant.
During his career in Lansford, he helped many Panther Valley athletes earn scholarships so they could continue playing on the college level.
In 1950 Urban became Director of Public Relations for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, and later became associated with Hall's Motor Transit Company, one of the nation's leading trucking firms.
In 1982, he was named the Executive Director of the philanthropic Hall Foundation in Harrisburg, a position he held until the time of his death in 1993.
Throughout his career Urban remained close to the sports scene. He was a board member many years for The Big 33 Game in Hershey, and the year he died he was honored at halftime ceremonies of the Big 33 game for his many contributions to the game's success.
He was a member of the Penn State Nittany Lion Club, and the Athletic Association of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
Eddie established many close friendships over the years with notable sports figures which included Coaldale native George Welsh; former Navy Heisman Trophy and Dallas Cowboys star Roger Staubach; Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno; former Navy and Temple Coach Wayne Hardin; Lansford native and former Boston College Star and alter general manager of the Houston Oilers, Mike Holovak; and Ben Martin, long-time footbnall coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Urban is survived by his widow, Charlotte Urban, who resides in New Cumberland, and a step-daughter, Susan, of Camp Hill. Also three grandsons and several nieces and nephews.