The 1964 edition of the Golden Bears

  • The 1964 edition of the Golden Bears rode a blend of solid seniors and talented underclassmen to yet another championship. Although all the stars that dominated the previous two championship years for Blakely had graduated, this team capitalized on a strong work ethic and a burgeoning confidence to record another undefeated season. Only a gut-wrenching, scoreless tie with archrival Old Forge kept the 64 Golden Bears from an otherwise perfect season.

    In the wake of an 11-0 Eastern Conference Championship season in 1963, the 64 Golden Bears needed to replace their entire backfield and most of their line. Fortunately, there remained enough experience and leadership to get the job done. And, of course, there was the superior coaching that characterized all Blakely teams. The Old Coach , Jack Henzes, Jr., and Frank Pazzalia formed the brain trust that prepared this team for their best effort week in and week out. There were other unpaid contributors like Phil Angeli, Jerry Preschutti, and T.K. Krempasky. To be sure, this coaching staff was like a Who s Who of Pennsylvania high school coaching.

    Without question, defense was the hallmark of the 64 Golden Bears. In fact, the season began with four shutouts against Lakeland, 29-0, Abington Heights, 25-0, Old Forge, 0-0, and Tunkhannock, 13-0. Taylor-Moosic broke the streak and led for much of the game, but a time-consuming 3rd quarter drive proved to be the difference in a hard-fought 8-7 win for the 64 Golden Bears. In all, there were six shutouts the defense only gave up four touchdowns no opponent scored more than one. The regular season ended with a classic 6-0 win over West Scranton that clinched the Eastern Conference Northern Division Championship for the third year in a row. Even a highly rated Coal Township team proved to be no match for 64 Golden Bears in the Eastern Conference Championship game. Playing at home on sawdust covered field in front of a standing-room only crowd, the Golden Bears scored in every quarter to defeat the Purple Demons convincingly, 27-7.

    Here s to the seniors of the 64 Golden Bears who led the way . Ed Bieryla (G), Jim Burns (QB), Tommy Capezio (HB), Chuck Fenwick (HB), Joe Kissel (E), Joe Mazzoni (T), Jack Mizerak (C), Bob Newton (QB), Tom Shopay (G), Jim Snodgrass (G), Bill Tinsley (FB), Pat (C) and Tom Walsh (E), and captains Nick Homick (E), Bill Susnosky (FB), and yours truly.

    Ted Sebastianelli, Class of 1965

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