(Johnny Stank) John R. Stankewic
- Post by: mcalibrary
- December 19, 2023
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Johnny Stank was an outstanding quarterback for the Tornadoes from 1931 through 1933. He led the fine teams which also included fellow Hall-of-Fame Inductees Pete Avizienis and Tom Vershinski (Vernon).
Stank was an outstanding drop-kicker, a phase of the kicking game no longer used, in which the kicker would kick field goals and extra points by dropping the ball in front of his foot and kicking it through the uprights as it bounced off the ground.
He was a particularly fine baseball player, and had a tryout with the St. Louis Cardinals; but a knee injury sustained in a high school football game prevented his signing. Soon after, he was drafted into the Armed Forces and the four year interlude effectively put at end to his dreams of a major league baseball career.
It didn’t keep him from playing on a Semi-Pro basis however. He continued to play with organized teams from Mt. Carmel to Berwick.
Stank soon took up bowling as a serious pursuit; and he became one of the areas finest bowlers. At that time bowling was in its heyday and organized leagues sprang up throughout the coal regions. John Stank was named the “Bowler of the Year” three successive years and in some years averaged 250 per game. Twice he bowled 299, just one shy of the perfect game which is so rare an achievement for bowlers. Were he alive today, he could no doubt make his living as a Professional Bowler.
He also developed a passion for golf, and was instrumental in getting many youngsters interested in the game. He approached golf with the same enthusiasm he approached all other sports and soon became a good player.
John Stank died in 1988 at the age of 75. His life was dedicated entirely to sports.