Thursday, September 9, 2010

Shamokin's 1975 Eastern Conference Champs To Be Honored

The late Philadelphia  Flyers head coach Fred Shero once said, "win today and we walk together forever,"  prior to Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals.

This coming Friday night at the half of the Jersey Shore-Shamokin Area football game, Shamokin's 1975 Eastern Conference championship will be honored.  The Indian went 11-1 in 1975 and capped their season with a 33-20 victory over Dunmore on December 6th, 1975 at Kemp Memorial Stadium under the direction head coach Tim Montgomery. Assistant coached that season were Joe Gubernot, Harry Reed, Dave Kopitsky, and George "Norge" Dorko.

The team was a collection of great talent including the last Indians to make the Big 33, Tim Fanella and Phil Manney.  Other notables included Dave Anderson, Craig Schiccatano, Randy Rumberger, Dave Troxell, John Devereaux, Frank Marcinek, Jim Dressler, Dave Zielinskie, Ed Zack, Dan Klebon and Mike Bonshock.

Here is the season slate:

Shamokin 20 York 8
Shamokin 27 Danville 6 
Shamokin 32 Hazleton 14 
Shamokin 16 Blue Mountain 6
Shamokin 21 Pottsville: 20
Shamokin 28 Shenandoah: 8
Shamokin 26 Lourdes 3
Shamokin 42 West Hazelton 24
Shamokin 26 Shikellamy 16
Shamokin 27 Berwick 7
Shamokin 0  Mount Carmel 34
The only blemish on the season was Mount Carmel.  It would be another 9 seasons until the Indians beat the Red Tornadoes.

I had chance to talk to Mount Carmel head coach "Jazz" Diminick about that 1975 game earlier this week.  "We had an injury to one of linebackers, Greg Sacavage, who had a hard time going lateral on game day.  I had to switch defenses the day of the game.  We got a little lucky with switch, but we were able to totally shut them down."  "There was always great pride in that game like today."  "I remember one of our players, the late Dan Chucoski, keeping the mud on his shoes and the shoes from that game and never cleaning them or getting rid of them."

Back in 1975, there was only a Northern and Southern Division.  There was a Class A and Class B.  You had to rely on rating points to win the division.  Often 10-1 season got a team a pat on the back and nothing else.

Some memorable moments of the season include Dan Klebon throwing for a 2-point conversion to beat Pottsville.  What was also memorable about the game against Pottsville at Kemp Memorial was the floor of the men's room caving in at the half at the west of the stadium.  The bathroom "incident" has been part of Woodstock folklore in Pottsville with many claiming to have been in the bathroom.  Actually, the official count was less than 15.

The Indians also clinched the Southern Division in Week 10 with the win at Crispin Field in Berwick.  The victory touched off a victory celebration parade through Independence Street in Shamokin attended by some 4000 fans on that Friday night. George Curry was in his fifth season at the helm in Berwick in 1975. The PA leader in coaching wins with over 400 talks about the '75 team this past week.

This Friday night, the 1975 Indians will once again walk together as champions.

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