Tamaqua, Coaldale May Never Renew Football Relations

Tamaqua, Coaldale May Never Renew Football Relations

(Reading Eagle, December 20, 1959)

There’s a strong feeling in this area that the Tamaqua-Coaldale football feud has been ended forever.

On the surface, the two schools have discontinued the relationship over a financial squabble. Tamaqua requested that all games with Coaldale be played at Tamaqua on a 60-40 basis or a flat guarantee on a home-and-away basis.

Coaldale authorities asked for a 60-40 split on a home-and-away basis. Previously the two schools split the gate receipts after operating expenses were deducted.

Tamaqua officials claimed they were paying Coaldale more money when the two teams played in Tamaqua than they were receiving when Coaldale was the host. After several weeks of wrangling during which neither side would give an inch, the series was terminated.

Contrary to the opinion of some sources, Tamaqua and Coaldale have not been meeting continuously since 1921. There was a six-year break between 1926 and 1932. Thirty-four games have been played since 1921 with Tamaqua holding an 18-to-14 edge in victories, including a clean sweep the past nine years by scores ranging from 7-0 to 39-7.

Tamaqua officials also pointed out that playing Saturday afternoons at Coaldale resulted in lower gate receipts because of college games on television. Coaldale removed the lights from its stadium in 1949 when the school switched its home games to neighboring Lansford.

The school resumed using its own stadium two years ago in an effort to cut down operating expenses due to dwindling spectator support. The lights were not installed for resumption of night games.

There is a strong feeling that Coaldale High School's days are numbered. The district is financially distressed and conditions are not expected to improve because of the closing of the mining operation that had always been the main support of the men in the community.

There is a possibility in the not-too-distant future of the school entering into a jointure with Lansford, despite the fact that Coaldale is located in Schuylkill County and Lansford is in Carbon County. The jointure possibility has been discussed by members of the two school boards but no definite action has been taken.

Coaldale has a student enrollment of less than 200. Lansford has approximately 225 pupils. The merger of the two neighbors would go a long way toward restoring the football prestige both schools once enjoyed.