Former Tiger Athletes Paid Final Respects to Raymer

(Source: Reading Eagle, Jan 15, 1967)

Coaldale, Jan 14, 1967 – A countless number of Tom Raymer’s former athletes, many who came from neighboring states, paid their last respects to “the coach,” whose quarter century at Coaldale represented the school’s golden era on the gridiron.

Coaldale is another once-famous name missing from the scholastics sports scene. Its athletes are now helping Panther Valley along with those from Lansford, Summit Hill and Nesquehoning, who were arch-rivals of Coaldale for years.

From 1921 to 1963 Coaldale had eight head coaches. Irvin Murphy served from 1921 to 1923, Raymer from 1924 to 1948, Andy Kalen from 1949 to 1955 and then a rapid-fire turnover the next four years as Bob Wear, Tom Leonard, Bill Rolller and George Greiner each served one season. Finally Geno Poli handled the job from 1960 to1963.

Raymer’s tenure was the most successful, as he compiled a 166-60-21 record. His first outstanding team was 1928 when Coaldale won seven and tied one. The 1930 squad won all 10 tilts, and the 1934 team bowled over 10 foes. The ’28 team allowed just 13 points and the ’34 team only 12.

The only honor to escape Raymer was earning a berth in the Eastern Conference playoff. The Tigers finished third in the Southern Division in 1946 and 1947, posting identical 7-2 records both years, and was runner-up in 1949 with 9-1-1. Raymer was 14-8-3 in the traditional Thanksgiving games with Lansford.

Raymer remained active in the sport until the very end at Coaldale. He was line coach under Poli in 1962 when the school was undefeated in 11 games but was third in the Southern Division ratings behind Tamaqua and Mahanoy Area, who had gained points by tying each other.

Raymer served ar Panther Valley’s first faculty manager of athletics. Long-time track coach at Coaldale, he also tutored the Panthers’ first track team.