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Krasnisky, Sproule, Hedash are Coaldale inductees

The Carbon County Hall of Sports Hall of Fame committee will hold its 2024 induction dinner and program on Sunday, May 26, at the Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company hall.

The ceremony will honor 21 inductees from six Carbon County communities and Coaldale who were selected for the honor by committees representing each of the towns.

The doors will open at 12:30 p.m. and the banquet will commence at 1:45.

The honorees include:

Coaldale – Bernie Krasnisky, Joseph J. Hedash and Charles Sproule.

Jim Thorpe – Phil Redline, Craig Zurn, Joe Eichorn and Jim Strubinger.

Lansford – Dan Wynn, Lacy Gonzalez Horan and Caz Kosciolek Sr.

Lehighton – Mike Tkach, Duane Heydt and Jennifer (Snyder) Lobasso.

Nesquehoning – Joe Tout, Esther (Hoffer) Dycziewycz and Dr. Scott Marek.

Palmerton - Lori Ann Weaver and Steve Endres.

Summit Hill – Trevor Lawrence III, Jill Zwiesdak and Trish O’Gurek.

Tickets to the event ($40 for adults and $25 for children) are available from the following: Dan McGinley, 570-325-3550, Vince Spisak, 570-645-4542, Jake Boyer, 610-751-6634, Trevor Lawrence, 570-645-4722, Bill Gardiner, 570-669-6564, Bob Gelatko, 570-645-7565, and Evan Evans, 570-645-7716.

The Times News will begin running the biographies of the inductees by town) on Saturdays. The inductees representing Coaldale are as follows:

Bernie Krasnisky

Bernie Krasnisky started for varsity teams in football and basketball all four years at Panther Valley High School.

He was a blocking back and linebacker on the football team, and a forward on the basketball team.

Legendary HOF coach John Harkins said of him, “If I had a son playing basketball, I’d want to play the game Bernie did.”

Krasnisky has the highest foul shooting percentage in Panther Valley basketball history.

He led the team far into the 1969 Pennsylvania State Basketball Tournament. The Panthers won the District 11 championship, and then defeated the District 10 and District 3 teams before bowing to the District 1 champions, Oxford, at the Harrisburg Farm Show Arena.

During timeouts, and other game breaks, Bernie would have to take smelling salts to continue. He later found out he only had one functioning lung.

Before high school, Bernie received the M.V.P. award in Little League Baseball and twice in the Catholic Youth Organization League.

His CYO team won the league championships all three years he played.

After college, he got involved in coaching his daughter’s softball team. His daughter went on to play Division 1 softball in college.

Bernie has been married to his wife Joan for 47 years, and has two children, Joanna and BJ.

He graduated from Bloomsburg University with a bachelor of science degree and from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, with an MBA. Before he retired, he held key management positions with large beverage companies, including Coke and Pepsi.

Charles F. Sproule

Charles F. “Charley” Sproule was an accomplished high school football player at Marian Catholic High School from the Fall of 1955 until he graduated in 1959 as the senior class president and co-captain of the football team under legendary HOF coach Hugh “Wink” Gallagher.

He won a varsity letter in football at Marian in each of his four years playing. He represented Marian in two all star games in his senior year.

Charley was a resident of Lansford and Coaldale and was an active CYO participant. He also worked as a lifeguard at the Panther Valley Recreation center for four years.

In 1959, Charley was “Panther Valley’s Outsanding Player” in the first UNICO Football Classic. After the game, he received a scholarship to Temple University, where he played football for four years. He lettered for the Owls’ varsity squads and was honored as an “Unsung Hero” of the team by the Maxwell Club.

Charley married his high school sweetheart, Mary Lou (Willing) Sproule. Their sons have been extraordinarily successful in life. His oldest son, Dr. Charles R. Sproule, is married to Margaret White, owner of the Stone Row Pub and Eatery in Jim Thorpe. His younger son, Christopher Sproule, lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with his partner, Tess Brooks.

Charley had a 37-year career in the Pennsylvania state government, retiring in 2000 as chief of research and special projects for the PA Civil Service Commission. This was followed by nine years of consulting work as director of Sproule and Associates, a personnel assessment consulting firm. He retired in 2009 and is living an active life in Bethany Village, a retirement community in Mechanicsburg.

Joseph J. Hedash, D.C.

Joseph Hedash grew up in Coaldale and was a three-sport athlete at Panther Valley High School, playing football from grades 8-12, lettering all three years, basketball from grades 7-10 and baseball from grades 9-12, lettering all four year.

He was co-captain of the football and baseball teams in his senior year and in 1973 was named Offensive Player of the Year, as well as an All Anthracite center. In his graduation year, he received the Russell Anstead Memorial Scholar Athlete award.

On the diamond, Joe was an All Anthracite selection as a pitcher, first baseman and outfielder in 1974. He also played Legion baseball for Schuylkill Valley and Lehighton.

After graduating from PVHS, he attended Gettysburg College, where he played freshman football. After graduating there and teaching high school for 1-1/2 years, he attended Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa, where he played rugby for three years.

Joe was an assistant baseball coach at Brunswick High School, Brunswick, Maryland, in 1979. He coached junior varsity basketball an Wasatch Academy, Mt. Pleasant, Utah, 1979-80, and also coached Little League and Babe Ruth baseball in Franklin Township for many years.

His related sports experience includes short stints as a Panther Valley football trainer and serving as the Palmerton Area High School athlete trainer, 1987-88. He is a certified chiropractic sports physician through the American Chiropractic Association, and a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength Coaches Association.

Joe has been a practicing doctor of chiropractic for the last 40 years in Lansford. He also ran the Human Performance Center in the basement of his office, providing an exercise facility for residents of the Panther Valley area.

He is married to Audrey (Tkach) Hedash. They both enjoyed participating in triathlons before having their four children, all boys.

He has also been a beekeeper for the last 26 years.