Sam Skelding

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  • January 11, 2024
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How many athletes can boast of only losing one game in their varsity careers – in two sports? Sam Skelding is one of those special athletes for he went 33-1-1 as a football player for Coach Jazz Diminick and was 43-0 in dual meets for track coaches Breslin and Diminick. As a hurdler on the Tornado track team, Sam ran the 180 lows, 330 yd intermediate hurdles and participated as a member of the 4 x 220 yard relay. Sam won District IV gold in 1975 in the 330 yard IM and 4 x 220 yard relay. During his four years with the track team, MCA won four consecutive Schuylkill League Meets and won two District IV Championships and placed second on two other occasions.

It was as a football player where Skelding made his mark. Sam became a starter during the 1973 championship season as a strong safety and helped lead the defense to 12 consecutive wins and an Eastern Conference Crown. As a senior co-captain, Sam led the Tornadoes to a 9-1-1 record, with their only loss coming in an upset loss to Tamaqua 9-7. Sam helped the team with 71 tackles and was the second leading scorer with 10 TD’S on only 86 rushing attempts. He was named All Anthracite, Al Central Susquehanna Valley, and First Team on the Reading Eagle All Anthracite Team. Sam was also recognized as the Ed Romance Player of the game for his 27 carry – 152 yard performance in a 16-6 win over Pottsville.

Following graduation, Sam was given a full scholarship by Coach Wayne Hardin of the Temple Owls. Sam became the starter at strong safety four games into his freshman season. The Owls went 6-5 and 4-6 during those two seasons, but had upgraded their schedule to include teams such as Penn State, West Virginia, Boston College, Syracuse and Pittsburg University. Sam got to play against Tony Dorsett from Pitt and former teammate Joe Diminick at Penn State. Sam was featured in an article in the Philadelphia Inquire recognizing his 10 tackle effort vs Dorsett and the Panthers. Sam returned a punt for a touchdown against Grambling and ran an interception back to paydirt vs Rhode Island. A severe knee injury shortened Sam’s career, but he graduated on time in 1979 with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree, and followed that up with a Master of Computer Science Degree from Dayton University in 1984.

Sam continued in football as a grad assistant under Hardin and coached outside linebackers. Sam had the priviledge of working under coaches Carson Long at Cardinal Brennan, Bill Flynn at St Clair and Gerry Slemmer at Wilson High. That Wilson team went 13-1 in 1989 and lost in the AAAA state final to Upper Saint Clair.

Sam is currently Director of Global eCommerce Software, a division of Systrends Inc. located in Tempe, AZ. Sam lives with his wife Denise and children Kera, 17 and Tyler, 11 in the Reading suburb of Blandon.

Categories: 2004 Hall of Fame