1973 EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM
- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 11, 2024
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It had begun two years earlier after a heart-breaking loss to Shamokin in 1971. The underclassmen from that team had vowed to never lose another game while representing Mount Carmel Area. The 1972 edition of the Big Red had kept their part of the bargain and completed a 12-0 campaign on their way to an Eastern Conference Championship. It was now up to the ’73 team to complete the mission. It would not be easy, for the Tornadoes had lost Big 33 tackle Joe Grey and all state nose guard Rich Ferri. Also gone were offensive linemen, Joe Ahrensfirled, Dave Kijewski, and Mike Molesevich, as well as leaders Dirk Berezovske and John Muolo.
As pre-season practice opened, the focus was on finding offensive line help to go along with returning starter Dave Williams. The call was answered by Girard Miscavage, Bob Muolo, Bob McSurdy, Ed Shuda, Henry Federowicz, and Dave Moratelli. Although not as big as the ’72 O-line, this group proved to be very strong, equally as tough, and super quick. Led by returning skill position players Lou Cole,Joe Diminick,Ken Diminick, and Vince Rawa. The Tornadoes opened with a 28 -0 victory over Panther Valley and followed that with a 23-6 win over Tamaqua on the strenght of Rawa’s second consecutive 100 yard rushing game.They then survived 51 pass attempts- with the help of 3 interceptions and two fumble recoveries – in getting by Berwick 32-22 and then had their largest margin of victory in a 34-2 rout of West Hazleton, led by Dave Gibboney’s 82 yard punt return. The defense began to assert itself in a 29-0 win over Minersville and followed that up with 22-6 and 20-8 wins over Pottsville and North Schuylkill. Lou Cole’s 23 tackle effort against Pottsville still ranks as the 2nd best game in school history. The offense took over in 36-6 and 33-7 wins over Shenandoah and Shikellamy. A 45 yard TD pass from Joe Diminick to Ken Diminick vs Shikellamy would prove to be the only one of the year. In a much anticipated first-ever game vs Lourdes Regional, the Big Red defense, led by Bill Joraskie, Frank Strike, Ed Shuda, Sam Skelding, Walt Wywadis, Fred Alba, and linebackers, Cole and Rich Greco, came up big in holding the Raiders to 83 total yards in a 14-0 win. The Tornadoes ended their quest for an undefeated regular season in a bittersweet 20-15 win over Shamokin in the last Thanksgiving Day game ever played. Big Red found themselves behind for the first time during the season until Lou Cole bounced in for the winning score. The Tornadoes were paced by Ken Diminick’s 106 yards rushing and Lou Cole’s 19- tackle performance. The win gave the Tornadoes their 5th Southern Division Championship in 6 years and put them into the Eastern Conference Championship once again. Led by Ken Diminick’s two touchdowns, 73 yard kick-off return and 116 yards rushing, the Tornadoes – with the help of the Tornado in the Sky – capped off the ’73 season with a 15-6 victory over Jack Henzes and the Dunmore Bucks
The ’73 team, led by captains Ken Diminick and Lou Cole, finished the season with the only 12-0 record in the state; and at the time, had the second longest win streak in Pennsylvania. The Tornadoes had just completed a 24-0 run over the last two seasons and did it without posting big numbers and blow-out wins, all they did was win! They scored 306 points while giving up 78 but recovered 20 enemy fumbles and snagged 19 interceptions Post season honors went to Cole – a first team all state selection and to Ken Diminick, who was named to the Big 33 team and recognized as a third team all stater – Honorable mentions went to Joe Diminick, Rich Greco, Vince Rawa, and Dave Williams
The ’73 team’s “Refuse to Lose”mentality helped to set the stage for Tornado teams that would follow and certainly helped to establish what is known today as TORNADO PRIDE! They thrived on being physical. They won because they had the mindset that nothing could get in their way. They won because they played the game the way it was meant to be played.
CAPTION FOR 1973 TEAM PHOTO
Row 1-Dave Williams, Bob Muolo, Carl Shoffstall,Dave Moratelli,Dan Skonecki, Ed Shuda, Rich Greco, Lou Cole, Vince Rawa, Girard Miscavage, and Bill Joraskie
Row 2 – Tom Poremba, Bruce Williams, Tom Molesevich, Frank Strike, Joe Diminick, Walt Wywadis, Fred Alba, Henry Federowicz, Bob Mc Surdy, Paul Niglio, Ken Diminick, and Dave Gibboney
Row 3 – Tom Sebastian, Frank Kwiatkowski, Ed Semborski, Pat O’Brien, Tom Gallagher, Jon Greco, Sam Skelding, Marty Robbins, Dave Shoffstall, Dan Chucoski, Joe Girolami and Dom McGinley
Row 4 – Rich Kerestes, Len Zlocki, Tony Mirarchi, Nick Gard, Vic Kocur, Steve Shoffstall, Mark Cress, Dave Chuprinski, Bill Brokenshire, Ed Narcavage, John Lawler, John Tafner and Francis Murin
Row 5 – Coaches Al Santos, Jazz Diminick, George Wrona Missing – James Sheehan