Victor “Wop” Dirienzo

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  • December 18, 2023
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Victor “Wop” DiRienzo, nicknamed the “Township Express”, player for the Mount Carmel Wolverines in the late 20’s and early 30’s.  He was lightning fast and could turn direction at any time regardless of field or weather conditions. He was considered one of the greatest runners of early day football.

In one of the best games against Kulpmont Sons of Italy, Wop scooped up a punt on his own 30 yard line, reversed his field, and ran 70 yards through an ocean of mud through the entire Kulpmont Sons of Italy team for the only touchdown of the game. The run was the only score in a game which helped the Wolverines retain the County Championship. Earlier the same year, the “Township Express” ran 50 yards for the only touchdown of the game to beat the Shamokin entry in the league. Unlike present day athletes, whose accomplishments are recorded faithfully, old time athletes cannot rely on their statistics to prove their greatness. Instead, it is necessary to rely on the word of fans who have seen these players in action.

Wop DiRienzo’s fans are many. Anyone who has seen him play will testify to the fact that he was a great athlete, a great runner who would have starred in any era.

Categories: 1987 Hall of Fame