Editor’s note: It’s no secret that the Sunday Dispatch carries a lot of history dating back to 1947. Now, we’re providing our readers with some of that history. Every week, we’ll hop in our Delorean and go back in time to each decade since the Dispatch has been in print to give you a look into the past.
The Greater Pittston American Legion team won its second straight Region 5 title with a stunning 21-4 win over West Snyder at Danville High School. B.J. Zielinski was the winning pitcher in two straight wins over West Snyder. Zielinski withstood a three-run first from West Snyder and got six runs in the bottom half of the inning to get rolling. Chip Andrewscavage had a two-run single in the first. Brad Tucker and Ron Licata hit three-run home runs in the sixth inning.
Pittston Area standout tennis player Eric Nazarchuk, one of the area’s top athletes, announced his plans to play for King’s College. Nazarchuk, the class valedictorian at Pittston Area, played No. 1 singles for the Patriots and earned a combined 23-4 singles record during his junior and senior seasons. As a senior, he advanced to the quarterfinals of District 2. He was also on the Patriots No. 1 doubles team. King’s was coming off its third straight Mid-Atlantic Conference Northeast championship.
The Greater Pittston American Legion team earned a trip to the state playoffs after a 4-3, 10-inning win over Beech Creek. Chris Barrett drove in the game-winning run in the form of Mark Ambrose. Earlier in the week, Barrett belted two home runs in the league championship win over Plains.
The 22nd Annual Unico Club Football Game was played at Charley Trippi Stadium in front of 9,000 fans. Twelve locals participated one year after the game was cancelled due to the Agnes flood. The East, made up of graduated seniors from Pittston Area, Coughlin, Meyers, GAR, Hanover and Nanticoke Area, was locally represented by halfback Chris Barge, end Ron Ostrwoski, linebacker Dave Breymeier, guard Jim Blockus, tackle Bob Waitkevich and tackle Bob Finnerty. The West, made up of Wyoming Area, Bishop O’Reilly, Wyoming Valley West, West Side Tech, Lake-Lehman and Dallas, was locally represented by halfback Dave Amico, guard Pete Biscontini, center Mike Pelleschi, linebacker Andy Supey, tackle Lou Luccarella, tackle Tom Navarek and tackle Don Hindmarsh. The East won, 7-6. Pittston Area coach Bob Barbieri and Wyoming Area coach Tom Vaxmonsky were coaches.
Area teens were named to the North and South All-Star teams. Selected for the North team (made up of Avoca, Moosic and Junction) were John Drouse, Ernest Cavalari, James Doran, Vince O’Hop, Jimmy Jumper, Pat Clifford, Jimmy Kobl, Billy Tighe, Larry Hoover, Billy O’Brien, Bob Studders, Terry Kozal, Jimmy VanLuvender, Joe Dructor, Jimmy Brown, Jimmy Ozark, Bob Breymeier and Phil Prall. The North managers were Ken Hobbs, Al Amer, Duane Naugle. The South team (made up of Exeter, Pittston and Jenkins) was represented by Dennis Gelli, Paul Masley, Dave Supey, Mike Ryan, Jim Snyder, Joseph Monka, Brian Mulhern, Joe Morgan, Joe Dietrick, Paul Zuffuto, Dom Fino, Joe Ranielli, Joseph Blazosek, John Drouse, Mike Kruchinski, Louis Lussi, Joseph Lombardo and James Gubbiotti. The South managers were Harry Connors and Bob Miller.
Pittston Little League’s hopes of making it to Williamsport were derailed with a 5-2 loss at the hands of local rivals Old Forge at West Side Stadium. Frank Petroziello’s win streak ran into a tough Old Forge team and the combination of walks and errors proved costly in Pittston’s bid for a District 2 title. Pittston scored two runs in the last inning with Donny Watson hitting a lead-off home run. Yogi DiBuono doubled and scored moments later on Sammy Scalzo’s fly ball.