L. Samuel Procopio
- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 11, 2024
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To area sports enthusiasts, “Sam’s Song” was always the article they turned to when local sports information was desired. Sam Procopio began writing “Sam’s Song” when he was a freshman on the campus of Penn State University in 1950. The column became a favorite from 1966 thru 1994 as part of the anthracite coverage in the Reading Eagle.
Sam eventually became the sports editor of the Penn State Daily Collegian as a senior in 1954. After receiving his bachelor of arts degree in journalism, he was employed as a general news reporter for the Lewistown Sentinel, moved to the Centre Daily Times in State College, and eventually to the Harrisburg Patriot News.
Sam then served for two years in the U.S. Army, during which he continued to write “Sam’s Song” for the News Chronicle about military life. He then took the job as sports editor for the Shamokin Citizen from 1957 to 1961. He then completed stints with the Milton Standard and Sunbury Daily Item until moving on to the Eagle in 1966. He then covered the Kutztown State football program fro 14 years and in 1977 was asked by football coach George Baldwin to help establish a Football Hall of Fame at Kutztown College. He served as its first and only secretary until 1989. He was given special recognition into the University Hall in 1988 and served on its induction committee until 2000.
From 1966 thru 1981, Procopio founded the All East-Central High School Football team that covered 15 counties – the largest outside the wire services all state teams. He has received numerous awards throughout his career including the Old Golds Award as a Penn State campus leader, Milton Booster Club Award for outstanding sports coverage, Mount Carmel Rotary Club Award for excellent sports coverage, and the College Football Centennial Award for Kutztown State College. He was also inducted into the Penn State Pioneers during the 50th anniversary reunion of the Class of 1954 in June, 2004.
Sam was also recipient of the William A. Schnader Memorial Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association for outstanding reporting in the field of law and judicial administration. Currently, Sam is a modern western square dance caller, a hobby began in 1982. He established wheel chair dancing for residents in the Berks County Home and founded a modern-square dance club called the Star Rounders in 1970. Sam, a 1950 graduate of Mount Carmel Catholic High School, resides in the Reading area with his wife, Dolores. They have four children, David, Ronald, Ellen, and Brenda and eight grandchildren.