Palmerton's Brown a longtime mat fan
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Longtime sports fan Harry Brown of Palmerton has attended Palmerton Area School District athletic events for 45 years.
Over the past half century, Palmerton has produced its share of star athletes, championship-caliber teams, and record-breaking performances.
Through it all, a familiar face has witnessed those triumphs and tribulations from his perch high up in the stands as the district's quintessential "sixth man".
Indeed, few have become as synonymous with Palmerton athletic events and displayed as much sheer "Bomber Pride" as borough resident Harry Brown.
It's been that way since Brown's days as a student in the district, despite the fact he didn't play any organized sports.
Upon graduation from PHS in 1962, Brown spent two years in the U.S. Army, where he served 13 months in Korea as a Radio Teletype Operator.
Once he returned to his roots, Brown picked up right where he left off.
"I always followed sports all through high school," Brown said. "As soon as I came home, I started to go to all the high school sporting events."
In fact, Brown has regularly attended Palmerton wrestling matches since the district held its very first one back in 1967.
"I just fell in love with wrestling," he said. "One time, I even traveled to watch the team in a wrestling tournament in Richmond, Va."
In his spare time, Brown - a retiree of Bethlehem Steel who worked 30 years in its Production Scheduling Office - helps rake the long-jump pit area for track and field.
"I follow all sports, and I try to go to everything I can," he said. "I support the team, the high school, and usually into it, I'm always yelling."
Asked to recount one of his favorite moments, it should come as no surprise Brown recalled when former PHS alumni Billy Graver became the school's first-ever district wrestling champion.
Aside from wrestling, Brown attends football, baseball, softball, boys/girls basketball, boys/girls soccer, boys/girls track and field, and field hockey events.
Along the way, Brown has found the time to visit every Major League ballpark in modern times, save for Citi Field in New York, as well as the new Miami Marlins stadium set to open this spring.
Of the stadiums he's seen, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, along with AT&T Park in San Francisco, rank among Brown's favorites.
Even at 67, Brown shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
"I just go, and make sure I'm there early," he said. "I just like to go to sporting events."
PERFECT AT INDIAN DUALS ... Due to an unreadable fax, the results of Lehighton's Indian Duals didn't run in the TIMES NEWS on Monday.
The Indians only posted a 2-3 record but three of their wrestlers went a perfect 5-0.
Anthony Farole (152 pounds), Zach Coleman (160) and Mike Balliet (170) all had undefeated weekends. In fact, the three combined for 12 pins, a decision win and two forfeits. Farole and Balliet both had five falls in their five victories.
In addition to the trio, Colton Davidson (220) and Joseph Smith (182) each posted 4-1 marks.
SCHUYLKILL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP ... This upcoming weekend at Blue Mountain, the annual Schuylkill League championships will be held. The tournament begins Friday evening with the championship round slated for Saturday.
There are no returning champions from the TIMES NEWS area, but a number of current wrestlers placed at last year's event.
Tamaqua's Colin Mashack took second at 103 pounds, losing in the finals to Panther Valley's Nick O'Donnell. Brian Ohl of Jim Thorpe also was a runner-up, dropping a decision to Pottsville's Bailey Ross in the 112-pound finals.
The Blue Raiders' Brandon Silkowski also medaled last season, earning third place at 135.
MORE TOURNAMENTS ... While Jim Thorpe, Panther Valley and Tamaqua will be involved in the Schuylkill League meet, three area teams will compete in Duals.
Lehighton will travel to the Bellefonte Duals, Northern Lehigh is at the Buckley Duals, and Pleasant Valley will compete in the Clearfield Duals.