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of Freeland, Pa.
FREELAND AREA BASKETBALL TEAMS
Written on this issue of the Penny Saver: "Freeland 'Crescents' 1903?" So apparently there were both a Crescents football team and a Crescents basketball team. From the Penny Saver 3(1): February 1965, front page: "The Freeland Crescents as they were called, played in an independent league, playing most of the active teams in the Anthracite region." Front row: George Jaquot, William Davis -- 2nd row: Jerry Sloan, Peter O'Donnel, Connie Welsh, John Novak -- 3rd row: George "Butch" Hartman, Former Burgess of Freeland, Walter Davis, Louis Stolts, Former Freeland Chief of Police. Photo courtesy of the Freeland Historical Society.
Postcard postmarked 1911, and the message mentions Brogan and the Tri-County League. Player seated second from left is labeled "Kugler" at his feet. Photo from John Zubach.
Freeland Pros basketball team 1913-1914. Back row: Dr. Maley, Alfie Biscowsi, Butch Hudock, Gene Boyle, John McGarey -- front row: Butch Schaub, Tom Baskin, Effie Welsh, Jim Brogan, seated John Welsh. Photo from John Zubach. The Freeland Historical Society had this copy of the photo as published in the Penny Saver 2(1): March, 1964. "Presented here for basketball fans is Freeland Professional basket ball team playing in the Penn State League. According to information, Freeland when playing in a play-off with Wilkes Barre imported Billy Kummer. Kummer, at that time, was considered one of the best players in the world. For this play off a special train ran from Freeland to Wilkes Barre … Freeland Lost!" Photo courtesy of the Freeland Historical Society.
Freeland Independents basketball team 1914-1915. Photos from John Zubach.
YMCA Girls Basketball team 1915. Written on the ball: "1915 L.C." - anyone know what that means? Photo courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
This photo of the 1916-1917 Freeland High basketball team comes to us courtesy of Tom Lavinka. The larger image of the photo has been repaired digitally by Jay Cawley.
Junior Independents basketball team, ca. 1917. Written on the back: L-R Jonus Steward, _____, __ Hoch, John Sullivan, Geo Thomas; T. E. Lewis (in front, I think). Also, here is George Thomas, Junior Independents basketball team, ca. 1917. Photos courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
This photo of the 1917-1918 Freeland High basketball team also comes to us courtesy of Tom Lavinka.
FHS varsity basketball team, 1917-1918. Front row, L-R: Bill Nagel, Sullivan, P. Shoemaker, B. Flad -- back row, L-R: _____, Bill Collins, Dick Lentz, John Oberrender, Dr. Robert Seitzinger, coach. Information written by Tom Landers. Photos courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
FHS girls basketball team, 1919-1920. What a great photo! That's St. John's Reformed Church in the background (before the brick church was built), and they're seated on the grounds of DCM. Great navy-style middy shirts. Photo courtesy of the Freeland Historical Society.
FHS girls basketball team, 1921-1922. Photo from John Zubach.
Freeland High School Boys Basketball Team 1921-1922. From the PennySaver 7(2), April 1969, p. 8. "Again you can have the fun of naming the face. At forward was Nocchi, and Hoch, center A. Dreisbach, and the guards were Sweeney and MdGroarty. Nocchi was high man on the foul line with 176 points shooting scores like 23 out of 32 tries." Photo from John Zubach.
MMI basketball team, 1922-1923, won 18 out of 20 games. This is great, someone wrote the names on the back, AND wrote the first initial of each player's last name on their shirt, so we can see who's who! C. Schaube (forward), A. Nocchi (guard), D.J. Toomey (forward), W. Marshman (sub), E. W. Dogget (guard), E. Schaube (center), S. Miller (sub). Photos courtesy of MMI Preparatory School.
FHS girls basketball team, 1924-1925. Photo courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
Freeland "P" basketball team, 1924-1925. Written on the basketball: “P 24-25,” and their shirts have a P with a circle around it. Written on reverse side: “Mrs. Alfred Urenovich, 712 Ingham St.” - “Hauseknecht, Fox, Billman, Fisher, Williams” - also, “Florence Welsh” in pencil (the other writing is in black crayon). Photos from John Zubach.
FHS basketball team, 1926. Sorry this photo isn't clearer. Photo courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
This photo of the 1926 Freeland High basketball team comes from another longtime site contributor Eddie Barna. The photo at top left shows the basketball they used when they won this championship game. Eddie wrote: "The only two I can identify are in the back row; second from the left is my uncle Andy Brezina and the guy in the center back is Howard Hontz, the teacher."
MMI basketball team, 1926-1927. Photo courtesy of MMI Preparatory School.
FHS girls basketball team, 1926-1927 - the ball says Champions! First row, L-R: Louise Ferdinand, Mary Della Croce, Ann Corazza -- 2nd row, Jennie Lentz, Hazel Yannes, Helen Brennan -- 3rd row: Earl Unger (coach), Ruth Lesser, Helen Gaffney, Anna Nemeth, Rose Capece, Elnora Bell, Ruth Kramer (manager). Photo courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
MMI basketball team, 1927-1928; photo by Steward's. L-R, seated on the floor, L-R: Harry Chamberlain, Carl Richards -- seated on chairs: Joe Rogan, Bill Bray, Bill Davis (captain), Emil Petchel, Warren Welch -- standing: Daniel S. J. Buckley (assistant manager), David Jones, Al Sulima, Vic Oleyar (manager), Charles Kunze, Pete Kobrick, Anthony J. "Tony" Dougherty (coach). Photo courtesy of MMI Preparatory School.
MMI basketball team, 1927-1928. L-R, seated on the floor, L-R: Harry Chamberlain, Carl Richards -- seated on chairs: Joe Rogan, Bill Bray, Bill Davis (captain), Emil Petchel, Warren Welch -- standing: Anthony J. "Tony" Dougherty (coach), David Jones, Al Sulima, Vic Oleyar (manager), Charles Kunze, Pete Kobrick, Daniel S. J. Buckley (assistant manager). Photos courtesy of MMI Preparatory School.
FHS Girls Basketball - 1927-1928 Eastern Pa. Champs. Standing: Adeline Singer (center), Dorothy Slusser (guard), Herbert Rathey (coach), Annette Learn (manager), Melba Mayberry (forward), Ruth Lentz (center) -- sitting: Harriet Mayberry (side center), Jennie Chehoskey (forward), Jenny Lentz (captain, forward), Elizabeth Porter (guard), Josephine Corazza (guard) -- first row: May Chenetz (side center), Mary Capece (forward). Also written on back of photo: "Board of Strategy" - H. E. Rathey, coach; J. E. Lentz, captain; A. D. Learn, manager. Photos courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
FHS basketball team, 1928. Sorry this photo isn't clearer. Some names identified: M. Nocchi, C. Coxe, F. Lorenzetti, Marchetti, and coach Rathey in the back row. The label was written by Tom Landers. Photos courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
MMI basketball team, 1929. Photo courtesy of MMI Preparatory School.
Marion Gabuzda Boyle Denion is sharing this great photo of the 1931 Freeland High School girls' basketball team. She wrote: "In the photo I'm sending, Eleanor Yannes is seated with the ball. Irene Gabuzda is standing on the right end. The coach was Herb Rathey." Can anyone reading this identify anyone else? Please let me know and I'll post the information here.
After I initially posted this, I heard from Eleanor Boyle Duckett, who says that the woman standing in the back row, next to the coach, is Eleanor Boyle. One of her brothers, James Boyle, is pictured in the 1934-1935 championship picture further down on the page. James went on to play basketball at the University of Scranton. At Freeland High, he was #7.
FHS girls varsity basketball team, 1931. Now from the Y we have the names of these girls! L-R front row: T. Gross, H. Moore, J. Balon, E. Yannes, T. Miller, A. Eroh, M. Kramer -- back row: H. Rathy, E. Boyle, M. Abrams, H. Maysory, R. Seidenberg, P. Raneri, I. Gabuzda. Label written by Tom Landers. Photo courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
This photo of the 1931-1932 Freeland Y.M.C.A. basketball team (I had previously mistakenly labeled it as Freeland High, sorry) comes from another correspondent, Ethel Maso Paoletti. It is from her late brother Silvio's scrapbook, which she sent to me awhile back so that I could make a copy and then return it to her. Silvio died in 2007 at age 89. Back row, left to right: Jack Kresge, financial secretary; George Yannes, guard; Herb Rathey, forward and guard; Duke Wright, coach; Eddie Deitch, center; Joie Rogan, forward; William D. Morgan, manager. Seated, left to right: Danny Gauz, guard; Eddie Simms, guard; Charlie McGeehan, forward; Charlie Coxe, guard; and Dr. Gauz, forward. The team's mascot, shown holding the ball, was Jack Beltz. Here's the full page from Silvio's scrapbook.
Here is the same Y.M.C.A. basketball team of 1931-1932. The basketball shows that they were N.E.PA. Champs that year. Ethel Maso Paoletti had earlier sent me her brother Silvio Mason’s scrapbook that included the newspaper copy of this photo and also gave all of the identifications (see above), so it's wonderful to also have this original photo from Mary Rosenkrans.
Another photo from Silvio Maso's scrapbook doesn't have a date attached to it but would appear to be from the 1930s. The caption reads: This is Herb Rathey's powerful Freeland High School basket ball team, champions of the Carbon-Schuylkill Interscholastic League, which found them closing a hectic race with 12 victories out of 14 games, one of the most decisive triumphs scored by a championship team in years in that loop. The team will go to Pottsville High tomorrow night to meet Frackville High, the undefeated leaders of the Schuylkill region, in the first of the P.I.A.A. playoffs. Reading left to right the personnel is: Front row, sitting - Luckenbill, Putro, Belekanich, Mischissen, C. Boyle and Krone. Standing - Coach Herb Rathey, J. Boyle, Zahn, Manager D. Lesser, Rowlands, J. Lesser. Kuglis, a member of the team, was not present when the picture was taken.
FHS Girls Basketball 1931-1932. Frank wrote: "My Aunt Julie (Balon) Kobelka is to the left of the girl holding the ball. During this time period, the girls played the game with different rules than the boys. There were 6 players on the floor for each team, but you were restricted to the areas of the floor that you could play. Perhaps someone can recognize the coach or other players?" The coach, we now see from all of these other photos, is Herb Rathey. Photo courtesy of Frank Balon; previously posted by him on Facebook and re-posted here with his permission.
FHS Carbon-Schuylkill Interscholastic League Champs ca. 1930s. L-R front row: Luckenbill, Putro, Belekanich, Nischissen, C. Boyle, Krone -- back row: Herb Rathey (coach), J. Boyle, Zahn, D. Lesser (manager), Rohlands, J. Lesser. Kuglis (Kuklis?) absent. Photo courtesy of the Freeland Historical Society.
St. Ann's basketball team, 1932-1933. Photo courtesy of the Freeland Historical Society.
MMI Basketball team, 1933 - here on the back are most of the names for this photo. L-R back row: Harold Domchick (manager), Ben Wysocky, Andrew Nemshick, Tony Daugherty (coach), Harold Yevak, Eddie Malloy, _____ (equipment manager) -- front row: John Krusko, Anthony Dipronio, Tiny Peterso, Jack Fairchild, _____, Ferdinand ... Photos courtesy of MMI Preparatory School.
FHS basketball team, 1933. L-R seated: Mike "Tixie" Surgent, Karl Krone, J. DellaCroce, Rudy Corazza, George Kuklis -- standing: Herb Rathey (coach), Punko Snyder, William "Whipper" Karpowich, Chappy Boyle, S. Koskolis, Stan Kopetz (student manager). Photo courtesy of the Freeland Historical Society. In this other version, some names were mistyped. Photo courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
This photo of the 1934-1935 Freeland High team comes from Eleanor Boyle Duckett and her brother Gerald - their father James Boyle was number 7.
This *might* be the label for the 1934-1935 photo, but I'm not sure because we're one name short for the front row. L-R first row: Bob Luckenbill, Jim Boyle, Mickey Mischissin, Henry Putro, Chappy Boyle -- second row: Herb Rathy (coach), Rolands, Doug Lesser, Bill Zahn, Kuglis (Kuklis?), P. Lesser. Label written by Tom Landers. Photo courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
Eleanor Boyle Duckett sent this scan of her brother James Boyle's FHS Varsity Basketball certificate for 1934.
This photo of the 1936 Freeland High team also comes from Eleanor Boyle Duckett and her brother Gerald - their father James Boyle was number 7. Eleanor added: "Gerald believes "Chappy" Boyle may be number 10 in the 1936 photo. We have no idea what the names are of the other players.".
This photo of the 1936-1937 MMI basketball team comes from Barbara Bartol Rentenbach, and that's her father Wante Bartolo in the front row, center. Front row, left-right: Joseph Gresko, John Spire, Wante Bartol, Julius Fox, Bruno Procopio. Second row, Martin O'Donnell, Edward Hershock, Captain George Gabuzda, George Davis, Irving Biasi. Third row, Coach Anthony Doughterty, William Gallagher, Managers John Herkalo and George Miglas, Albert Petrosky, and MMI Principal Lambert E. Broad.
And here are two more versions of the same photo of the MMI basketball team, 1936-1937. L-R back row: Coach Dougherty, Gallagher, Mgrs. Herklo, Miglas, Petrosky, Principle Broad -- middle row: O'Donnell, Henshock, Captain Gabuzda, Davis, Biasi -- front row: Greshko, Spire, Bartol, Fox, Procoppio. Photos courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
FHS basketball team, 1937-1938. L-R front row: Anthony Karpowich, Eddie Putro, Steve Rudy, Anthony Ricotta, Jackie Johnson, Johnny Mischissen -- back row: J. Citro, John Kleitz, Emil Dovan, George (Gudy) Mischissin, Andy Lakitsky. Photo courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
YMCA JayVees basketball team, 1939-1940. Photo courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
Here's an MMI team photo from longtime site contributor Ed Merrick, showing the MMI 1939-1940 team. Ed wrote: "This photo shows my uncle, Ed Remak, holding the basketball for an MMI team photo. The presence of the trophy and the 'MMI 39-40' on the basketball would seem to indicate a championship." The enlarged image was repaired digitally by Jay Cawley; here's what the actual photo looks like. Amazing what someone skilled in digital graphics can do.
FHS Anthracite League champs, 1940-1941. Won 21, lost 2. L-R front row: T. Orr, J. Zedalis, R. Zahn, P. Shovelin, L. Corazza, A. Preat, J. Rudy -- back row: Petro (manager), B. Contress, E. Hughes, T. Mohan, H. Rathey (coach), R. Rees, E. Martesevich, J. Rock, P. Cerula (manager). Photos courtesy of the Freeland Historical Society.
FHS basketball team, 1943-1944. L-R: Frank Kuklis, Art Nagle, Mike Zedalis, Tom Mischissen, Ed Lakovich, Bob Lawrence. See also the interesting notes on the reverse side. Photos courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
FHS varsity basketball team, 1943-1944. L-R back row: Tom MacFadden (manager), Walter McClellan, George Hutyn, Tom Poltrock, Butch Durso, John Herring -- front row: Ed Deitch (coach), Frank Kuklis, Bob Lawrence, Mike Zedalis (captain), Nommie Lakovich, John Watahovich. Photos courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
Foster Township High School basketball team, 1944-1945. Left photo from John Zubach. Foster Township High School basketball team, 1944-1945. L-R front row: Jakie Shearon, Johnny Repetz, Frank Kardisco, Statz, Laganosky, Danny Surgent, Mike Nemchick -- back row: Joe Johnson (coach), Johnny Malchitsky, Johnny Latosky, Schott, Babe Falatko, Pete Kundra (assistant coach). The center team photo with names and the ticket are courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
Freeland YMCA basketball team, 1945-1946. L-R back row: Gene Della Croce (coach), Tom Mohan, Patsy Corrigan, Jack Gillespie, Tom Palko, John Zedalis (assistant coach) -- front row: Andy O'Donnell, John Moscovitch, Mike Zedalis, John Mischissen, Butch Karpowich. Photos courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
Freeland basketball team, 1946 or thereabouts. Photos courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
Zedalis - basketball shot, 1947. Photo courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
FHS basketball team, 1947-1948. Photo courtesy of the Freeland Historical Society.
From Larry Maso, here is a photograph of the 1947-1948 FHS Whippets. Also shown are Larry's varsity letter and an article about a then upcoming Whippets-Foster game. In the photo: front row, Victor Dietos (Deitos?), Larry Maso, Richard Yesilonis, John Barna, William Rachilla. Back row, Edwin Spock - Manager, John Lawrence, Howard Hontz - Coach, Herman Vitagliano, Joseph Barna. Missing when the photo was taken: Irving Horn and John Bobby. Photos courtesy of Larry Maso.
Here at left are boys from Freeland, Foster and MMI who were part of the annual Lions' Dream Game in which the Anthracites played against the Mountaineers. Front row: Ray Kostick, MMI. Second row: Len Sabel, Murray Feingold, Steve Mischissen, all MMI; John Keyock, Foster. Back row: Billy Rachilla, Larry Maso, FHS; George Timko and Art Kimmel, Foster. Also shown is an article about the Plain Speaker's 1948 All-Anthracite Teams, listing the participants and those receiving honorable mention. Photos courtesy of Larry Maso.
The article here says that Larry Maso has made the "all-star quintet" selected to compete at the annual Bloomsburg STC tournament. Larry also saved his program from the opening round of the 21st High School Invitation Basketball Tourney, opening round, March 4, 1948. Here's a pic of the front page, and the whole program is provided in PDF below. Photos and program courtesy of Larry Maso.
Clicking the link below will open the Adobe PDF file. If you don't have Adobe Reader on your computer you can download it for free at www.adobe.com.
21st High School Invitation Basketball Tourney, 1948 - (PDF file size = 1.9 MB)
FHS basketball team, 1952-1953. L-R front row: Joe Rodzewich, Adolph "Buzz" Peters, Mark Bredbenner, Jack Amentler, Ralph Ferrari -- 2nd row: Jack Gallagher (coach), Andy Soltis, Francis Soroko, Jim Lutz, Larry "Bunky" Solarek, Michael Karboski (faculty manager) -- 3rd row: Joe Zapach (student manager), Eddie Probert, Goerge Stefanick, Harry Clark, Harry Shalhamer (student manager). There was confusion about this photo, because the news reporter mistakenly said 1953-1954, and also misidentified two players. Soon afterward, a correction was published, shown in the Merrick copy at right. This photo courtesy of the Freeland Historical Society.
Here are the names of the players as recorded by Bob Zimmerman. Photo courtesy of the Freeland Historical Society.
Here at the bottom of Ed Merrick's copy of the article and photo is the correction that appeared in the paper Photo courtesy of Ed Merrick.
FHS basketball team, 1955. L-R front row: Dick Beam, Charley McHugh, Pete Rodzewich, Nick Mistiszyn, George Cibula, Tom Barna, Steve Clark -- back row: Bob Hodgson, George Stefanick, Johnn Palko, Tom Zarosky, Mike Yencho, Larry Solarek, Hal Clark, Jack Gallagher (coach). Absent: Joe Zapach (student manager). Photo courtesy of the Freeland Historical Society.
Unnamed, undated photocopy of a basketball team photo. Scanned at the YMCA in 2008. Photo courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, and the Freeland Historical Society.
Freeland Slovaks CYO basketball team, ca.1966. I contacted Joe Falatko, Jr. to ask about this photo. He wrote: "The Team photo is hanging in my rec room. It is 1966 (I remember the shirt from a Class Officer picture my soph. year at Foster). I was too old to play. Top Row: My Dad, Paul Falatko, Larry Falatko, Mark Ferdinan, Me, Joe Tichi, Bob Miller, Bill Ondash, Babe Falatko -- Bottom Row:Tom Machella, Joey Brazina, Dave Kardisko, Cy Falatko, Rich Banas, Paul Ferdinand, Jerry Matisak." In a further email exchange the same day, Joe confirmed that these photos were taken at Foster's gym, which he thought was the home court for Freeland's CYO games. He said that all of the Catholic churches in Freeland had CYO teams (including St. Mary's? I'll have to check). I'm assuming that the Freeland Slovaks was the team of St. John's Nepomucene Church. Photo courtesy of Tony Sutherland.
Freeland Slovaks CYO basketball team, 1960s. Joe commented: "A year or two later... Standing: ?, Paul Ferdinand, ?, Tommy Falatko, Dan Martin, Dad -- Seated: George Evancho, Joey Brazina, Jerry Matisak, Cy Falatko, Gerry Feissner, ? -- Floor: Carl Matisak, Mike Plaska, Ronnie Matisak." Photo courtesy of Tony Sutherland.
Joe Falatko told me that he only recognizes Cy Falatko and Mike Carr in this photo. I think that's Father Gorski from St. Casimir's as the priest in the photo (is it?), and Tony Sutherland told me that one of the other men was John Grula (but I don't know which). Photo courtesy of Tony Sutherland.
St. Ann's CYO basketball team, 1969. Bottom row: Dan Gocek, Alex Reckowski, Robert Gresh, James DellaCroce (Manager), Mark Brennan, Paul Yori, Charlie Gallagher. Second row: Andrew Breznitsky, Hugh Maloney, John Bereznak, Jack DellaCroce, Jack Kluck, Marty Kimmel, Coach Thomas Landers. Photo courtesy of John Bereznak.
YMCA Men's League, 2nd half champs, 1975. Front row, L-R: J. Bereznak, D. Lutz, C. Ferry, J. Feno. Back row, L-R: J. Titus, B. Buchman, J. Uhrin, B. Brogan, B. Balas. Photo and information courtesy of John Bereznak.
Edwards Memorial Basketball Tournament, 1976. Front row, L-R: Frank "Fritz" Herring, Fran "Bear" Brogan, Ted Bollard, Rick Coslett, Jim Hay, John Skwierz. Back row, L-R: Joe Kutchi, Jeff Fike, Bob Carber, John Timko, John Lundy, John Bereznak. Photo and information courtesy of John Bereznak.
FHS Whippet, Anthracite League Champions, 1981-1982. Wins 26, losses 0. From John Bereznak: "This is a photo of the 1981-82 Freeland Whippets basketball team. They won the Anthracite League Title in the last year that the league was in existence. The team was 28-0 before losing the District 11 championship on a buzzer beater to St. Clair High School at Martz Hall in Pottsville. The team then lost in inter district play to Dunmore ending their season at 28-2. The amount of support that this team received from their fans was unbelievable, selling out gymnasiums both home and away for every game they played." Front row, L-R: David Breznitzky, David Lynn, George Barron, Timothy Edwards, Stanley Bruzgulis, Chris Flanagan. Back row, L-R: Coach Lasecki, Joe Murmello, Joe Sabol, Adam Hauze, Jim Laputka, Tom LaPorte, Assistant Coach Bereznak. Photo and information courtesy of John Bereznak.
This is the mascot for 1931-1932 Freeland Y.M.C.A. basketball team. His name is Jack Beltz. Photo courtesy of Ethel Maso Paoletti from her brother Silvio's scrapbook.