1969 Football Squad

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  • January 3, 2024
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30 years after they walked off the football field following their 47-6 thrashing of the Valley View Cougars in the Eastern Conference Championship game at the Silver Bowl, the 1969 football team remains the measuring stick by which all Tornado teams are compared. The Mount Carmel Area squad blew through the 69 season with a perfect 12-0 record and left little doubt that they were the premier team in eastern Pennsylvania.

As August of 1969 rolled around, expectations were high coming into the season, since the Tornadoes were coming off an 11-1 season with the loan loss coming at the hands of Blakely in the Eastern Conference Championship in 1968. Led by their All-American running back, Gary Diminick, the Big Red handled their opponents with relative ease. The closest game during that year was a 19-6 win at West Hazleton followed by a 28-6 win against rival Shikellamy. The offensive machine scored over 40 points in 4 games and went over the 50 point mark in 4 others. Two 30 point efforts that year completed the scoring on the way to a 504 point season. The 42 point per game average still ranks as the nest in the 106 years of Mount Carmel Area football. The 64 rushing TD’s that season still ranks as the most ever while the 388 yards in total offense per game ranks as the second best in MCA history.

Another indication of how good that football team was can be found in the fact that no less than seven players from the team were honored with Division One football scholarships as well as a number of other at D-2 and D-3 schools. The seniors on that team had only experienced three losses during their 4 years at MCA while winning an amazing 43 games. Under today’s system of state playoffs, its scary to think about how far they might have gone.

Captained by Gary Diminick and Bob Churpinki, the team was lead by head coach Joe “Jazz: Diminick and assitants George Wrona, Ralph Evans, Joe Greco, Len Guarna, Al Santos and Steve Zarlinski. There is no doubt that the 1969 edition of Red Tornado football will always be included as one of the best teams to ever play the game in the history of Mount Carmel Area High School.

Categories: 1999 Hall of Fame