Thomas A. Beierschmitt

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  • January 3, 2024
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The year was 1963 and Sunbury had only to defeat Mount Carmel to claim the Southern Division Crown and go on to the Eastern Conference Championship. Due to a driving rainstorm, the game had been postponed from Friday night. After a slow start, the Braves had just scored a touchdown to bring the score to 14-7 with 20 seconds left in the half. Momentum had definitely moved over to the Sunbury side of the field. But, in what proved to be a Tornado moment to be remembered, Tom Beierschmitt took the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and all but sealed the 26-14 victory for the Big Red. It was only one of many big plays that TB would make during his football career at MCA.

Tom would go 17-1 as a starting quarterback and generated 1853 yards in offense in his career. That 63 team went on to a fine 10-1 record, losing only to Pottsville by a 14-6 score. For his efforts, Tom was given honorable mention all state and was named to the All Anthracite football team and won the Mike Terry Award following the Shamokin game.

Tom also lettered in baseball as a freshman, and basketball as a sophomore, as well as track for 3 years. Tom represented Mount Carmel at the state track meet following his junior and senior season as half miler and as a member of the mile relay team at the prestigious Penn Relays. Tom also acted as a tournament caddie for local golfers Millie Balon – a previous inductee in the Romance Chapter -Leona Grossman and Norm Ackley,

While in high school Tom was recruited by the Ivy League and many Division I schools but he chose to follow in the footsteps of older brother Jim and enrolled at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Tom played freshman football and JV football as a defensive back and place-kicker. He then continued as a member of the 150 lb lightweight football team for 2 years as an offensive end and place-kicker. That 1966 team went on to claim the Lightweight National Championship against teams from the other service academies and Ivy league representatives. While at Army, Tom had the privilege of “rubbing shoulder” with the likes of Arthur Ashe, Paul Dietzel, Tom Cahill, Bob Knight, Bill Parcells, Frank Gantz, Norv Cross, Stan Smith, Danny Ford, Pete Dawkins and Gen. Norm Schwarzkop.

Following graduation from West Point in 1968, Tom served as the head coach of the U.S. Army European Championship Aschaffenburg Cardinals in 1969. He returned as the head coach of the St. Lawrence University Small Bore Rifle Team, and then proceeded to the conflict in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronz Star for heroism 3 times and the Army Commendation Medal as a member of the famous B-Company 3rd Battalion 22nd Infantry.

Tom now works for the Ford Motor Company as a governmental liaison on environmental issues. He and his wife Mary reside in Farmington Hills, Michigan and are the parents of two sons; Thomas, now a junior at West Point, and Stephen, a freshman at Okland Community College.

Categories: 2002 Hall of Fame