John “Herman” Horoschak was an outstanding work-horse running back for Coaldale in the late 50’s. He was a three-year starter and four-year letterman, known for running off tackle and turning the play into an end sweep; he was a combination of power and speed for Bob Wear and Tom Leonard’s Tigers. A true forty-eight- minute man, John was a defensive stalwart playing safety. In addition, he excelled as the punter.
As a sophomore, with fewer than five minutes left in the game, he closed out the win for the Tigers with a thirty-nine yard touchdown gallop to seal the win over Lansford by a score of 13-0. His junior year began with wide acclaim as he scored four touchdowns which included an eighty-yard punt return in the opening game. Later in the year, against rival Tamaqua, he tallied the only Tiger score on a sixty-eight yard run. Scoring the winning touchdown over a heavily favored Schuylkill Haven team chalked up another win for the Tigers in mid-season. On Thanksgiving, once again he was a thorn in the side of Lansford in the traditional Turkey Day clash, intercepting a pass and racing down the sideline for a sixty-eight yard score to seal the win.
In his senior year, “Herman” continued to do the bulk of the ball-carrying. He scored two touchdowns against Nesquehoning leading to the first Coaldale victory over the Warriors in eight years. This resulted in a school holiday the following Monday. In his final game against Lansford, one writer described his game as “brilliant” as he scored two touchdowns and played a fine game on defense.
At the conclusion of the season, John was named All Panther Valley and selected to play in the prestigious Schuylkill County Dream Game. In addition, he was an AP All-State honorable mention.
John had several scholarship offers but decided to join the Army and was stationed in Germany. After his service to our country, he attended Bloomsburg University. Always driven by the entrepreneurial spirit, John owned and operated a real estate business in Palmerton and, later, in Oklahoma City. John passed away in 1997 in Oklahoma..
Bob Urban was born and raised in Coaldale, attending St. Mary’s grade school and graduating from
Coaldale high school in 1962.
As a youngster, he honed his basketball skills playing for the Harps in the Panther Valley CYO, averaging in double figures and was recognized for his overall academic and sportsmanship values, by receiving the St. Mary’s scholar-athlete award as well as receiving the American Legion Citizenship Award. In baseball, Bob played for the Saints and in one season attained a batting average over .600.
While at Coaldale, he played football, basketball and participated in track. Playing football for the Tigers under Geno Poli, Bob was a big factor for a defense that yielded only 9.8 points per game in the 1961 season. Bob’s most memorable performance at defensive end was against Nesquehoning in which he recovered 2 blocked punts for touchdowns. In that game, there were 6 block punts which was recognized as the defensive game of the year in the Anthracite Region by the Morning Call.
At the conclusion of the season, Urban was selected to play in the prestigious Schuylkill County Dream Game in which he had an outstanding performance scoring a receiving touchdown and was credited with a safety. In track, he lettered participating in the hurdles and the long jump. In his senior year, he finished second in the 120 high hurdles in District 11.
After attending Bloomsburg State College he began his newspaper career as the Sports Editor for the Tamaqua Courier. Covering Valley sports, Bob was always fair and used his position to nominate many of the local athletes to various region and state honors. After 3 years he moved on to the Pottstown Mercury as Sports Editor and worked his way up the ranks to become Editor.
While at Pottstown, he was an officer of the Schuylkill Valley Touchdown Club; co-founder of the
Pottstown Area Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and served as Public Relations Director for the Pottstown Firebirds pro-football team. Bob was also co-founder of the Pottstown July 4th Celebration in which the town recognized all its athletes participating in sports and concluded with the Montgomery County All Star football classic. Also, he received the Pottstown area’s Humanitarian Award for a series of articles he wrote on racial equality. As Editor, the paper was presented journalism’s most prestigious award, the Pulitzer Prize.
After 20 years at the Mercury, Bob returned home as Managing Editor of the Times News and devoted the next 27 years to continue to show his writing skills and completing a 50 year journalism career. Bob retired in 2014 and is enjoying retirement living in Lake Wynonah with his wife the former Mary Sweeney of Lansford and enjoying time with his two sons and two grandchildren