Dietz, Macenka, Yatsko among inductees
The Carbon County Area Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame will induct its 2011 class at a banquet on Sunday, May 29 at Memorial Hall in Jim Thorpe.
This will be the 18th class to be inducted by the Carbob County Chapter.
Doors open at 1 p.m.. Tickets are $35 for adults and $15 for children between the ages of 6-12.
Tickets can be purchased from any of the following people: Art George 610-826-2830; Jake Boyer 610-751-6634; Danny McGinley 570-325-3550; Tom Wehr 570-366-2694; Trevor Lawrence 570-645-4722; Ted Bortnick 570-645-9575; Emmett McCall 570-645-2093; Bob Gelatko 570-645-8652; John Harkins 570-645-2627; Tom McGrath 570-668-2237; Gary Clemson 570-668-1066; Tom Pilla 570-669-6666; Bill Gardiner 570-669-6564.
The TIMES NEWS will run brief biographies of all the inductees during the next several Saturdays. Today's featured class is from Nesquehoning.
JOSEPH C. DIETZ
Dietz graduated from Panther Valley High School in 1969.
During his junior year, Panther Valley won the District 11 Class B Championship. Dietz set many school records as a junior. His accomplishments included scoring the most field goals in a game and scoring the most field goals in a season. He also scored a school record 481 points in his junior season.
During his senior year, Panther Valley captured the District 11 Class B Championship for the third consecutive year. The Panthers defeated St. Clair and Mahanoy Area in the playoffs to capture the North Schuylkill Leage Championship for the second time in the last three years and captured the Carbon County title for the third straight year.
Dietz was referred to Coach John Harkins as "the best shooter I have ever coached." He scored a school record of 983 points in just two varsity seasons. His other accomplishments included Honorable Mention United Press All-State, selected First Team All-North Schuylkill League, voted among top-200 players in Pennsylvania and was selected to play in the Lehigh Valley postseason tournament.
Dietz is the son of the late Leonard and Rosemary Dietz of Nesquehoning. He is married to the former Sally Ann Flyzik for 38 years. They have two children JC and Lori Ann, a daughter in law Louann and a three-year old grandson Cole Joseph.
Donald "Tonto" Macenka was a 1954 graduated of Nesquehoning High School, where he excelled as a versatile football player for four years under Coach Tony Mezza.
Macenka's versatility was most evident during his four varsity years. His athletic prowess plus team needs lked to his performing at a guard position, center, end and halfback, as well as full back.
In his senior year, Macenka had outstanding performances against Coaldale, West Hazleton and Nazareth. Following the Nazareth contest, an area newspaper reported, "Don was by far the most outstanding man on the field. When yardage was needed, he usually made it and on several occassions his brute strength carried him for two or three yeards after it appeared he had been tackled. From his linebacker position, he made twice as many tackles as any other player on either team."
To culminate his high school career, "the Ram" participated in the annual Anthracite All-Star game and he was named to "Honorable Mention" Associated Press All-State list. Back then there was only one All-State team, unlike the present day when each of the classifications has to own All-State selections.
A successful barber in Nesquehoning for many years, Macenka was married to the former Doroth Mikovich of Nesquehoning. He met a most untimely death in 1992.
Yatsko is a 1946 graduate of Nesquehoning High School where he played offensive guard and linebacker for the varsity football team. He was a member of Coach Mezza's 1945 team that beat Lansford 26-0 for the Panther Valley Championship the first time the Maroons had beat Lansford in 15 years. While in high school, he played shortstop for the Nesquehoning town team and catcher for the American Legion team. On the Legion team, he was known for his game-winning hits when the chips were down and he led the league in homeruns and had a perfect field average.
Yatsko joined the Army after graduating from high school, where he served a year in South Korea. During that time, Yatsko also spent three months on the Army baseball team. Upon his honorable discharge, he again played baseball for the town team and continued to have success at the plate, including one game with two triples and another with a grand slam.
Yatsko played one year for the Nesquehoning Hurricanes semi-pro football team, starting at offensive guard and middle linebacker. Against the Allentown Buccaneers, he recovered a fumble for a touchdown, racing down the sidelines ahead of his teammates.
In 1949, Yatsko joined eight other Nesquers at Rider College, where he played three years of varsity football, as center and linebacker, inlcuding a memorable 44-4 win against Geneva College where he intercepted three passes. Yatsko was a starting catcher on the varsity baseball team for four years. After the football program ended, Yatsko was the commissioner for the intramural football program and he also ran the intramural basketball program. After competing his playing career, he remained at Rider as an assistant baseball coach for one year.
In 1954, Yatsko started his teaching career at Middletown Township High School in New Jersey, first in the business departmeny and eventually transitioning into the guidance department, where he retired as the Director of Guidance in 1993. During his tenure at Middletown, he coached freshman, jayvee and varsity football and baseball. He also coached Little League and Babe Ruth League baseball teams. After ending his coaching career, Yatsko was the "voice of the Lions," serving as the public address announcer for football and basketball for 20 years.
In 1959, Yatsko married the former Martha Marcyzk and is father of Karen and Joe, and the grandfather of Becca, Thomas and Joseph.