Ebberts, Mullen, Capasso are Lehighton inductees
The 26th Annual Carbon County Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and banquet will be held Sunday, May 26, at the Franklin Township Fire Company social hall.
The doors will open at 1 p.m., with the dinner to start at 2 o’clock, followed by individual inductions of 22 who attained athletic accomplishments.
This year’s inductees are:
Coaldale – Cindy Hassler, John “Ronnie” Drosdak and Jake Flyzik.
Jim Thorpe - Geoff Kelowitz, Chuck McGowan and David Mueller.
Palmerton – Jason Balliet, Frank Zelinsky and Manny Guedes.
Lehighton – Gregory Ebbert, George Ebbert, Tom Mullen and Bob Capasso.
Nesquehoning – William Sluck, Joseph Blazosky and Daniel Blazosky.
Lansford – Ron Swider, Cory Sheridan and Edmund Gargula.
Summit Hill – Nadia Gauronsky, Bruce Frassinelli and Eugene DeGiosio.
Carbon County - Blue Ridge TV-13 sports reporter Bob Capasso.
Banquet tickets can be purchased from the following Hall of Fame committee members: McGinley, 570-325-3550, Vince Spisak, 570-645-4542, Art George, 610-826-2830, Jake Boyer, 610-751-6634, Trevor Lawrence, 570-645-4722, Bill Gardiner, 570-669-6564, Bob Gelatko, 570-645-8652, and Evan Evans, 570-645-7716. Tickets are $35 for adults. For children under 12, the cost is $15.
The following will be inducted representing Lehighton:
Gregory M. Ebbert
Gregory M. “Segal” Ebbert was one of the many football players from Lehighton’s Knee-Hi Football Program who went on to play four years at Lehighton Area High School.
After being named to the Centennial League All Star Team in 1977, he played in the Pocono All Star Football Classic. While in high school, he played baseball and was also on the track team.
In 1977, Greg started his four-year involvement with Lycoming College Football under College Hall of Fame Coach Frank Girardi. During that period, he played fullback for teams that won the Middle Atlantic Conference championships. Greg graduated from Lycoming in 1981.
He returned to Lehighton’s Knee-Hi Program where he coached football and girls’ basketball. He went on to coach football under Jim Tkach at Palmerton Area High School. In 1987, he coached under Hall of Fame Coach Fred Ross at Stroudsburg High School, and later coached with Bill Brong at Lehighton Area High School.
Greg worked as both a play-by-play and color commentator for Blue Ridge Communications’ televised football games. He was the “Father of TV-13 Wrestling,” being the original play-by-play man on its high school wrestling broadcasts. He also wrote a weekly sports column for the Allentown Morning Call called “Ebbert’s Field.”
Greg was married to the former Melissa Ahner for 13 years until his death on Nov. 17, 2007.
George Ebbert is another product of the Lehighton Knee-Hi Football program who went on to play four years of successful football at Lehighton Area High School, where he and his teammates won the Centennial League championship in 1978.
He was named to the Big 33 Checklist that year and, in 1979, he joined his brother Greg as a member of the Lycoming College Warriors.
While in high school, George also earned varsity letters in wrestling and track and field.
Graduating in 1983 from Lycoming, he began a long football coaching career in 1985 as an assistant under head coach Dave Parsons and continued in that capacity under Bill Brong, then becoming Lehighton High’s head coach in 2008.
He served two stints as an assistant wrestling coach at Lehighton, under Jim Niefert and Hall of Fame Coach Dave Hawk; was the head wrestling coach at Palmerton Area High School; and, from 1986-89, was head wrestling coach at his Alma Mater.
For the last few decades, George has been the “Voice of TV-13 Wrestling.” Since his retirement from coaching, he has been doing color commentary and play-by-play announcing for Blue Ridge Communications’ high school football broadcasts.
In 2018, George was paid homage to by the District 11 Wrestling Coaches Association when he was selected to the District 11 Wrestling Hall of Fame.
He has been a teacher in the Lehighton Area School District for the last 30 years.
Tom Mullen becomes the fifth member of his family to have the honor of being inducted into the Carbon County Area Sports Hall of Fame, as he joins his brothers Dean (2003), a Penn State tennis and teaching tennis pro; Jack (2003), a Duke basketball and baseball standout; their sister, Betty (2003), Olympian swimmer; and his brother-in-law, Paul Brey (2001), a three-sport athlete and father of University of Notre Dame basketball coach, Mike Brey.
While attending Lehighton High School, Tom was a letter winner in basketball and captain of the two-time champion intramural volleyball team. After graduation, he played one year on the Lehighton Junior Legion Baseball Team, under the coaching of former Hall of Fame inductee Leon “Moose” Kunkle.
Tom continued his career at Kutztown University, where he played both varsity basketball and baseball. He was co-captain of the basketball team during his senior year and was a member of the first winningest team in KU history (14-3), along with former Hall of Fame inductee Dennis Bonser. Tom was also a top receiver on the KU intramural flag football championship team.
Tom and his doubles partner, brother Jack, won the Lehighton Open Tennis Tournament championship in 1959.
In the first annual Central State Basketball Tournament in Lehighton in 1959, Tom played on the championship team, Rex’s Bar, where he was selected to the all-tourney team and was named “outstanding player in the tourney.”
In the Lehighton Summer Recreation Basketball League, Tom set a one-game record of 23 rebounds.
Mullen’s final basketball tournaments were with a Hazleton team in the “Edwards Freeland YMCA Tournament.” In 1961 and 1963, he was a member of championship teams. In 1961, he was named to the all-tournament team.
Tom ended his sports career playing semi-pro baseball for 15 years for Bowmanstown and Lehighton Legion teams in the Pocono Mountain Baseball League. His team won the PMBL championship in 1974.
After graduation from Kutztown University, he became an English teacher in Lehighton Jr/Sr High School. During this time, he coached JV basketball. He also managed the Lehighton Memorial Pool during the summers, where he taught children and adult swim lessons and was a Red Cross Water Safety instructor.
After receiving his Master’s Degree from Bloomsburg University, Tom became a Speech and Hearing Therapist serving Carbon and Monroe County students. He was a member of the executive council, program chairman, past treasurer and past president of the Northeastern Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Pennsylvania (NESHAP).
He received the “Honors of the Association” award for his dedication and service to students and this association. After completing administrative coursework at Lehigh University, Tom became a Special Education administrator with the Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit, where he received the prestigious “Annie Sullivan Award” for outstanding educator.
Bob Capasso is an Emmy Award winning sports broadcaster and director who has been covering the regional athletic scene for more than the past quarter century.
Employed by Blue Ridge Communications-TV 13 since May, 1991, he is the current sports director of coverage for the Valley and Pocono reports, as well as for special athletic events such as playoffs and sports talk shows.
Capasso won the Emmy Award in 2008 that goes to a professional who exhibits “Excellence in Sports Play-By-Play,” given by the Philadelphia Chapter of the NATAS.
The producer and host of “Monday Evening Quarterback” and “Sportscene 13,” Capasso has a lengthy list of accomplishments to go with the Emmy, including having won eight “Communicator Awards” for “Game Coverage” and “Sports Specials.” In 2000-2001, he was named the Colonial League Media Person of the Year, and, in 2012, he was named the recipient of the Al Keglovits Spirit of Basketball Award.
Bob is the play-by-play announcer for high school and East Stroudsburg University football, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, field hockey and wrestling, and covers auto racing as well.
The sports anchor and reporter for BRC News 13, Capasso was the telecast play-by-play announcer for the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees, Scranton, for the 2008 through 2011 seasons.
A 1984 graduate of Seton Hall University started his broadcasting career at the university, having been a four-year sportscaster for college radio station WSOU that covered Seton Hall and Big East basketball and baseball. For two years, he was a sportswriter for “The Setonian,” the campus newspaper, and in 1985, he was the public address announcer for the Seton Hall men’s basketball home games.
From October, 1983, to May, 1985, Capasso was a sportscaster for Hamilton Cablevision-TV 2, Hamilton Township (Trenton), N.J., doing the play-by-play announcing for baseball, football and basketball and hosting weekly studio interview shows.
For two years (May, 1985, to August, 1987), he then served as news director/sportscaster for WANT-AM/WQNZ-FM, in Natchez, MS, where he was a news anchor and reporter, and the play-by-play announcer for baseball, football and basketball. There, he won “Excellence in Sports Coverage,” “Excellence in News Coverage” and “Public Service” awards from the Mississippi Broadcasters Association.
Capasso then served as the sports director for 1160 WYNS, Lehighton, where he did play-by-play announcing in football, basketball, baseball and auto racing, before his employment with Blue Ridge Communications.