- Post by: mcalibrary
- December 15, 2023
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John Zukowski was only the second Mount Carmel wreslter to win a State Championship. He was coached by Alfred Morse, who had also developed the Tornadoes’ previous state champion, Ed Rakocy.
He was certainly no one year flash. He dominated District IV for three consecutive years, winning the Championship easily all three times. In his sophomore year, John went all the way to the State Quarterfinals before losing a tough match. In 1941, as a junior, he was undefeated right up until the State Championship final. He lost the Championship match to Clearsfield’s Frank Shirey.
In his final season, the tough 145 pounder dominated his weight class completely. He was undefeated for the entire season, and ran through the State Championship Tournament with no trouble. He beat Tom Smith of Kingston 12-2 in the quarterfinals, and Smith was the last wrestler to score a point on him that season. He defeated Richard Lape of Boswell in the semifinal match and then completed the whitewash with an 8-0 decision over George Yates of Cannonsburg. Another MT. Carmel wrestler did not win a State Title until Hall of Famer Attorney Bob Sacavage was able to turn the trick in 1969.
Zukowski now resides in Chester, Pennsylvania. He is a retired employee of Scott Paper Company and spends much of his time rooting for a grandson Keith, a contender of the PIA 145 pound championship in 1986.