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Sunday, June 8 2003

Click for profile.Nanty Glo's 1949 championship football team

Another page on the Nanty Glo website features the 1939 Nanty Glo High School (NGHS) football team as the Cambria County Championship Team. I would be remiss not to mention the 1949 football team that also captured the Cambria County Championship (I attended NGHS from 1946 to 1950). The 1949 team had a record of 6 wins, 3 ties, and 1 loss for the season to win the county championship. In the previous seasons of '47 and '48, the team had dismal seasons of 1-7-1 and 2-6-1, respectively. The team and local fans knew the "agony of defeat" during those seasons, and school spirit suffered.

Suddenly, several outstanding players, led by Coach Joe Gates, emerged during the 1949 season. The team was led by a fleet-footed, slashing type runner named Roy Swartz. Roy appeared rugged externally, but he was a modest athlete without any signs of braggadocio during his reign as a football hero. With 122 total points scored by the team, Roy collected 70 of those points. Interestingly each of three ties were by scores of 6-6 and the one loss was 6-7 in the final game of the season.

Where was the extra point kicker so sorely needed in those days? He could have been an everlasting Nanty Glo football legend. Also, the margin of victory in the 6 games won was typically by a single touchdown. Joe Evanicsko, weighing 300 pounds, and Roger Guella anchored the line on offense and defense. With the tight game scores, the team philosophy was to keep the ball on the ground and drive toward the opponent's goal with first downs. Attempting a pass was a rare occurrence. The low scores of the games could possibly be attributed to several key players playing both offense and defense for the entire game until they were exhausted. At the end of the 1949 season, several of the players received first or second selection, or honorable mention, as members of the Cambria County All Star Football Team by the Johnstown newspapers.

First row - Tom Mearnic; Robert Strenko; Joe Cavanaugh; Joe Evanicsko; Roy Swartz; Roger Guella; Francis Benton; Lex Prindle; Nick Kalenak; Don Oldham. Second row: Ron Russell; Jack Yoder; Melvin Carnahan; Rome Rudolph; Joe Gongloff; Clyde Lingar; Andy Hurtack. For an enlarged view of this photo, click the photo or here.

Joe Evanicsko, Nick Kalenak, Rome Rudolph, and Jack Yoder are all deceased. Each died at a relatively young age.

Thanks go to Hobart Rose for the loan of his invaluable 1947, 1948, and 1949 NGHS Yearbooks, The Echo. These publications provided the information and the picture for the details of this football story, together with my recollection of events over 50 years ago.

— Frank Charney

Things I've learned from my children

1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house two inches deep.
2. If you spray hairspray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
3. A three-year-old's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42-pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20 x 20 ft. room.
5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

— Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Thought for today

Eternal life does not begin with death; it begins with faith.

— Anthony M. Coniaris
Daily Vitamins for Spiritual Growth

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