DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS At Tuesday's school board workshop, Mike Hromyak, Tamaqua Area School District athletic director, discussed plans for special celebrations for the next three weeks at the Tamaqua Area Sports Stadium as the undefeated Blue Raiders football team closes out the regular season with three home games in a row.
Football fever is running high in the Tamaqua Area School District where an undefeated varsity football team is heading into a stretch of three home games to close out the regular season.
The district announced Tuesday that plans are underway to showcase something special at each game.
Special activities are being formulated as the Tamaqua area community rallies in support of the Blue Raiders, the team standing alone atop the Anthracite Football League.
"This Friday night at the game with Schuylkill Haven, we'll be honoring the 50th anniversary of the 1962 championship team," said Mike Hromyak, athletic director.
The 1962 Tamaqua team coached by Dick Jones finished 10-0-1 and grabbed the Eastern Conference championship with a 14-0 win over Blakely. Assistant coaches were Harry Fetterman, Walt Ligenza and Sam Pagano.
Team members included: Paul Ansbach, Joe Baddick, Dave Barron, George Barron, Tom Brockel, Pat Davison, Bob Derr, Bob Fagan, Dennis Ryan, Bob Flail, Paul Gimbel, Don Guy, Ron Griffiths, Bill Henry, Bill Hinkel and Tom Jones.
Also, Dennis Kalish, Bruce Keich, Bill Klotz, Dr. Norm Lindenmuth, Dr. Ed Lyba, Don Mikruk, Mike Mikruk, Pat Morgans, Bill Petticrew, Bill Rodgers, Marc Rovner, Bill Semko, Mike Sotak, Gene Titus, Bob Werley, Dave Whetstone, Bill Wishousky, Bob Breiner, Jim Hosler and Carl Kupres.
The momentum will continue in Tamaqua on October 19 with the Homecoming game against Panther Valley High School.
"There will be a parade coming into the stadium," said Hromyak, explaining that details are being coordinated by Stephen Ulicny and Mark Beltz of the district.
The parade lineup will include the Raider Band, but also will feature the once-a-year appearance of the Tamaqua Area Blue Raider Alumni Band, according to Kerri Schegan, alumni band coordinator.
Schegan sent out invitations to alumni band members via the alumni band's Facebook page. All previous members of the Tamaqua Area Raider Marching Band, including band front and other units, are encouraged to take part in the alumni band.
Members are expected to meet in the band room at 5 p.m. to distribute and rehearse music. Schegan wrote in the invitation: "We'll march down to the field at 6 p.m. with the current band members, and we'll join them in the stands throughout the game to play stand music. During third quarter, we will once again be the featured musicians, playing stand music and cheering along with the alumni cheerleaders for our Big Blue." Anyone wanting to be added to the e-mail list, can reach Schegan at kerrilichtenwalner@!yahoo.com.
Hromyak said the third home game in a row will take place on October 26 against Minersville Area High School. That date will be celebrated as Senior Recognition Night to honor senior football players, band members and cheerleaders.
In addition, the district is working with the Minersville Area School District on a 'Black Out Bullying' campaign to take place at the Tamaqua Area Sports Stadium during the game. Details are still be worked out, but it is expected that attendees will be encouraged to wear black socks and black wrist bands as a show of solidarity against bullying.
In the meantime, blue and white streamers, posters, and painted windows are visible downtown and new signage can be found along the entire length of Stadium Hill to the high school as the community rallies in support of the team.