Norb Bonjo

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  • January 11, 2024
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Mount Carmel’s pile-driving fullback, Norb Bonjo, certainly did everything to live up to his description. When called upon by head coach, Mike Terry, Bonjo came through time and time again. Norb would score 15 offensive touchdowns in his time with the Tornadoes and only one was over 5 yards. Third and short was also the time when Terry looked to Bonjo to “keep the chains moving”. Norb would be one of only a handful of players to score over 100 points during that era and was given honorable mention all-state by the United Press International wire service. He was also a hard-nosed linebacker who led the Tornadoes to a 16-4-2 record in his final two years. He also happened to be the captain of the Tornado squad that came back to overcome a good Shamokin team by a 19-13 score on the day that coach Mike Terry would succumb to a heart attack.

Bonjo was also a three year letter winner and captain for Coach Gerald Breslin and was a consistent winner in the shot, discus, and javelin. His senior season found the Red Tornadoes at the top of District IV after a three year absence. Norb would win the Southern Division Javelin Crown in ‘61 and ‘62. Norb’s athletic career began when he was the only freshman on the Schuylkill League Championship baseball team, coached by Tufky Andrulevich in 1959. During his graduation in 1962, Norb was named winner of the coveted Babe Ruth Award, as the outstanding male athlete.

Norb would then move on to Fork Union Military Academy coached by R.L. “Red” Pulliam, where he was named co captain of the football team in the fall of 1962. He would then earn a full football scholarship from Head Coach Hanley Painter to Lenoir Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C., where a serious knee injury forced him to leave the Bear football team.

Bonjo would then find himself employed by the Federal Government Department of the Army and would move on to the Department of the Interior and the United States Park Police in Washington, D.C. He was eventually promoted to and served as Sergeant of the Horse Mounted Training Staff, where he supervised and trained the United States Secret Service Horse Mounted Detail for President Ronald Reagan. In 981, Norb was assigned to the Secretary of Interior Protection (Bodyguard) Detail, and from 1981-1999 was assigned to protect four Secretaries of Interior. He would spend the better part of his career in and around the top level of the federal government from the White House on down. During that time, he received an Associated Degree in Administration of Justice from American University.

Norb married his high school sweetheart, Donna Strawn; and together, wold have two children, Denise and David. They are also grandparents to five including: Rachel, 11; Matthew, 9; Timothy, 4; David Jr, 4; and Andrew, 2. Today, Norb joins Jim Moncavage as the only graduates of the class of ‘62 to be inducted into the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Categories: 2010 Hall of Fame