George A. McFee, Jr.
- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 12, 2024
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The Mount Carmel Area football program, in addition to having the most wins in the state of Pennsylvania (785), has generally been recognized as a forerunner in things needed to make a program successful. Weightlifting, off-season conditioning, and booster club involvement were all important to the success of the program. The use of film also became an important ingredient in the success of Tornado football, and no one was more instrumental than George McFee in making it available to Tornado coaches. McFee began filming games for Jazz Diminick in 1962 and used the “Crow’s Nest” to give Diminicl a perspective that very few coaches had available to them. George also gave the Mount Carmel Area program a “face” when he began broadcasting games in the fall of 1968. The first cable-cast was made from the cable system’s antenna head-end building atop Locust Mountain. It was a game between MCA and Tamaqua, and used the team’s analytical film with commentary by Coach Jazz Diminick. The broadcast gave the Mount Carmel Area school district the distinction of being the first high school in the United States to have its own cable casting station to provide educational and sports programming via television cable.
Under the direction of McFee, the station – WJPM-TV – would grow to provide educational and informational programming such as school board meetings, borough council meetings and local election results. The station has also broadcast special events, such as the Annual Rotary Football banquet, art festivals, proms, graduations, and band concerts. Sports coverage would also expand to include boys and girls basketball, wrestling and track.
With the completion of the new high school in 1977, a state of the art color TV studio was located on the campus of the Mount Carmel Area High School. As a result of an agreement between MCA and Service Electric, WKMC-TV was established on the Service Electric Cable System, where subscribers in a fifty-mile radius can now receive programming. Because of McFee’s effort and guidance, many students have gone on to careers in engineering, electronics, movie production, photography, computer programming, and teaching as a result of what they learned at WJPM and WKMC.
During the 1999 graduation, a plaque was presented by the school board to the McFee family in memory of George, who had taught at MCA since his graduation from Kutztown University in 1956. The work started by Mr. McFee continues today under the capable direction of his son David, and the students and residents of Mount Carmel Area are the true beneficiaries. McFee’s induction today recognizes his 40 year contribution to the sports programs at Mount Carmel Area.