- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 11, 2024
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In the mid 70’s, girls varsity sports had just begun to appear at high schools in the Anthracite Region. Girls track was started by Coach AL Santos in 1971, while varsity basketball took to the hardwood in 1973-74 under the leadership of Coach Nancy Bobkoskie. In order to take their game to the next level, young girls needed a role model. Enter Cheryl Kent! Over the next four years, Cheryl would become one of the best female athletes to ever come out of Mount Carmel Area. Her tough, aggressive attitude on the court and her work ethic on the track took her and girls sports to a new level of competition.
Cheryl became a starter in her freshman year for Coach Bobkoskie and over the next four years helped to make the Tornadoettes a respected team throughout the region. She would become the first girl in MCA history to go over the 1000 point mark as only a junior. As a senior, Cheryl broke the boys and girls career scoring marks at MCA by posting 1,557 points. She led the Schuylkill League in scoring during her junior and senior season with a 19.4 point average. Her 1977-78 total of 486 points was the single season record at the time , as was her 36 point single game performance in 1978 vs Williamsport. Her overall ability is reflected in the fact that she took down 979 rebounds in her career – a mark that would stand until Sue Humphry took down 1000 in 1990. She also registered 108 assists and 390 steals . Following the ’70 season, she was named to the Pottsville Republican ALL Star Team as well as the first-ever Reading EagleAll Anthracite Girls Basketball Team. She was the first girl to ever have her number – 23 – retired in Mount Carmel Area history.
In the spring, Coach Santos thought that he had a sprinter; that is, until he saw her throw. She would go undefeated in dual meets for four years in the discus. She placed in the top six – 6th in 1976 in AA and AAA combined, 3rd in 1977 in AA, 4th in AAA in 1978 and 6th in AAA in 1979.- at the State Meet in each of her four years with the Tornado track team. She held District IV records in the javelin – 114’2″ and discuss – 120’9″. She held school records in the javelin – 120’3″, discuss – 127’8″, shot put – 36’3″ and 80 yard shuttle hurdle relay – 47.4 seconds. She posted meet records at The Harrisburg Invitational, Dickinson Invitational, Mount Pocono Invitational, and the Chester Invitational. Her javelin record stood until 1998, when broken by Ana Ditchey; while the discuss record still stands.
Cheryl was the first female from MCA to be named a scholar athlete by the Ed Romance Chapter in 1979. Following graduation, Cheryl went on to Brigham Young University to play basketball. She then transferred to Penn State, where she completely shifted gears and became a starter on two teams that made it to Nationals. Kent graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Administration of Justice. Cheryl continues to play softball competing in the California Police Olympics.
The 70’s were over, but one thing surely changed at Mount Carmel Area – Female athletes had their role model. And because of her, women’s athletics would go on to win district championships in track, softball, basketball, and cross country. Today, Cheryl is an 18 year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, serving with a status of detective/sergeant in West LA.