Al (Barkowski) Barker

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  • January 3, 2024
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Al, born and raised in Kulpmont, was the first of what was to become a legendary football family at Kulpmont High. Exceptional play, especially at tackle, became synonymous with “The Barkowski Boys” for a total of 12 years.

Al played 4 years at tackle for Coach Mike Terry during an era which saw the Wildcats post a 30-10-1 record, highlighted by the great 1938 team which won the State Championship. In addition to playing 2-way tackle, Al handled kicking chores during his junior and senior seasons while serving as captain his senior season.

Al is best remembered for being tough, hard-nosed and aggressive and as one who best enjoyed going nose to nose with his opponents regardless of size. Following graduation in 1941, Al won a scholarship to Villanova where he played for 2 years until the war called him to active duty. In 1946, he returned and earned a starting position on both offense and defense. Although only 5’10” and 180lbs., he had the reputation of being a “watch-charm” guard with fierce competitive desire. Because of his toughness and quickness, he was able to outperform many players of greater proportions. Against Army, he hit the great Doc Blanchard and put him out of action for 3 games. His play earned him the respect of his teammates who voted him captain for his senior season. He has since been inducted into the Villanova Hall of Fame.

After graduating from Villanova in 1948, Al became sales managing engineer for the Disston Co. encompassing the entire east coast. He married former Cynthia Kilczewski of Philadelphia and is the father of twin sons, Barry and Brian and a daughter Cynthia, all living in the Feasterville, PA area.

Today, the Barkowski’s contribution to area sports-brother Bernie, a hall of fame member who went on to Pitt, brother Ray who went to North Carolina State, and now Al who will today be inducted into the Ed Romance Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame.

Categories: 1999 Hall of Fame