Billy “Lolly” Fracalossi

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  • December 15, 2023
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From the Mid-20’s to the beginning of World War II in 1941 there was a “Golden Era” in sports which may never take place again. Ruth, Gehrig, Jack Dempsey, Bill Tilden, Joe Louis, Connie Mack…all names that captured the imaginations of the nation’s sports fans in a country crazy over sports. Little town had their own sports legends, too. Of course, statistics were not kept the way they are now…so many of the local heroes had their exploits repeated over and over by sports writers and fans. Whenever you’d talk sports with an old-time fan one name would constantly creep into the conversation; Bill “Lolly” Fracalossi. Lolly grew up in Atlas and played football, basketball and track for the Mt. Carmel Township Golden Bears. He letterd all four years he was eligible tin football and basketball and two years in track.

Newspaper stories for the period 1931 through 1934 when Lolly led the Golden Bears to 18 wins against 5 losses and 2 ties, are filled with his exploits. One writer said “Fracalossi rose to great heights, throwing the Maroons for two consecutive losses, forcing a punt, which he then blocked.” He later forced another punt, which he blocked for a safety. Then he moved to fullback and displayed his talents by the greatest line plugging and broken field running of the game, “a 40-yard run in which he straight armed, dodged and squirmed until he was over.”

Consider how rarely you see a punt locked in today’s football, then consider this; During the 1934 season he averaged two blocked kicks per game!2 Additional, he averaged 45 yards per punt, a figure which would lead the NFL today. He played 60 minutes per game at center, linebacker or fullback, wherever he was needed most.

Categories: 1985 Hall of Fame