- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 12, 2024
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During its previous Championship runs, the Pittsburg Steelers were led by their “Bus” Jerome Bettis. Mount Carmel Area had its’ own “Bus” during its state championship era – Big Jon Else. Jonathan started 42 consecutive games at center for the Red Tornadoes, winning 39 of them. Along the way MCA picked up two state championships in 1996 and 1998. Big #75 was the man at the point of attack for Big Red, leading the way for MCA backs to gain close to 10,000 yards rushing and another 3500 yards passing while scoring over 180 TD’s and 1335 points. His 1996 team was a perfect 15-0, noted as the first team to win 15 games in a season and had the distinction of never trailing in a game. That team averaged 8.1 yards per rush which is the best ever for an MCA team. The 96 team with 533 points scored and the 98 team with 505 are 2 of the top 3 in MCA history.
Coach Whitey Williams was so confident in Jon that he gave quarterbacks Vic Kornaski and Nick Sebes the greenlight to audible to a QB sneak whenever they felt it was there. In three years, they were never stopped short of first down yardage. Jon was chosen a senior captain of the 98 team after garnering 2nd team all-state honors as a junior – only the 8th underclassman in history to be named to the all-state team. As a senior in ’98, Else was named to the first team all-state lineup by the Associated Press and was named the Lineman of the Year by the Reading Eagle. After mulling over offers from Georgetown, Lycoming, and Susquehanna, Jon chose to stay closer to home and play for MCA’s Frank Sheptock at Wilkes University.
After enrolling at Wilkes, Jon started in 18 games for the Colonels in 1999 and 2000 at the center position. In ’99, the Colonels qualified for the ECAC Southeast Playoffs and registered a 27-6 win over FDU Madison. They also qualified for the 2000 playoffs before losing to Muhlenberg by a 22-26 score. Jonathan then decided to concentrate on golf and lettered for 4 years from 2000-2003, serving as a co-captain for 3 of those years. After graduation Jon, continued to compete in professional bass fishing tournaments and was ranked 9th overall in 2010 in the Eastern Division of the FLW Series. Jon still is the owner/operator of Lone Goose Guide Service where he conducts tours for waterfowl and smallmouth bass on the Susquehanna River.
Else earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 2003 and a Master of Business Administration in 2005 from Wilkes. He returned to the area following graduation and served as the Vice President and then President of Operations for King Coal Tours from 2005 to 2013. Jon is now an insurance producer with Klebon Insurance Group of Elysburg. He is the son of Kathy and the late Bob Else of Elysburg and currently makes his home in Elysburg with his wife, Diane.