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  • January 11, 2024
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The 1962 Mount Carmel Catholic High School Anthracite Catholic Conference Championship football team will forever be recognized as one of the best teams ever to take the field representing Catholic High. What makes the championship more astounding is that the Rams were led by rookie coach Bob Oravitz, who took over for long-time mentor Frank Ulicny. The Rams entered the season with high hopes considering 13 lettermen were returning including: Frank Callahan, Marty Wynne, Russ, Cesari, Dennis Bender, Joe Lubeskie, John Davis, Mike Petroskie, Frank Walnock, Jim Sheehan, Tony Martino, Tom McDonald, Jim Bach, and Ron Merlavage.

The Rams would open the season with 1 47-2 pounding of Tri Valley, led by touchdowns from Lubeski, Bender, Davis, Callahan, Kalinoski, and Connaghan. Lubesko would lead the team with 134 yards rushing – the first of 6-100 yard games in ‘62. In their second win, Catholic High topped the once mighty Lansford Panthers by a 27-6 score with Lubeski and Bender topping the 100 yard mark. The Rams had their toughest early test in a 7-0 squeaker over the Lourdes Red Raiders. The win was set up by freshman Bob Schoopy’s interception and runback leading to a Denny Bender TD. The Rams lost four fumbles and had 3 passes intercepted allowing the Raiders to stay in the game. The Blue and Gold racked up 352 yards in total offense in win number four over St Francis Prep by a 24-7 score. Catholic made everyone stand up and take notice in a 46-0 whitewash of the Shenandoah Blue Devils. Jim Connaghan paced the Blue and Gold with 3 tallies on 38 and 50 yard tosses from Davis, and a 27 yard TD from Marty Wynne. The Rams went over the 400 yard mark in total offense, while Petroski added a punt block and Bach rushed for an extra point.

The Rams then had a mid-season showdown with undefeated Marion Catholic and came away with a 14-6 win, paced by an interception by Davis, a TD pass from Davis to Bender and a plunge from Lubeski. The Rams then overwhelmed the Blue Jays of Central Columbia up front with Bach, Petroski, Cesari, Walnock, and Sheehan leading the way for 17 first downs in a 19-13 win. In a struggle with defending Catholic Leage Champoon Nativity, Russ Cesari kicked the game winning extra point giving the Blue and Gold a 7-6 victory. Catholc High’s winning streak was stopped at 8 by a powerful Lebanon Catholic team in a sea of mud at Lebanon. Catholic would close out the 62 campaign with a 19-13 victory over Frackville with Lubeskie running for 155 yards in his finale. The 62 team would put up 216 points and only give up 73 with Lubeskie (66), Bender (60), Connaghan (30), David (24) and Cesari (22) leading the way.

Following the season, Jim Bach was named to the Pennsylvania Big 33 squad, the first such honor ever accorded a Catholic High gridder. Walnock, Cesari, Lubeskie, and Bach were given All-Anthracite Catholic League honors. More importantly, this Catholic High squad would set the standard for future Ram teams to measure themselves by.

Categories: 2010 Hall of Fame