Thursday, June 18, 2020

2020 Wilson Football Tradition Club Membership

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE WFTC FOR THE 2020 SEASON! Memberships start as low as $25 (+ processing)! You may also pay by check by mailing the above form to Coach Dahms at the address listed.

Friday, May 29, 2020

A Wilson Football Alums Unique Link to a College Football Rule Change

Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo's book, The Football Hall of Shame, contains an anecdote about Wilson alum Dale Witwer's role in a college football rule change. CLICK HERE TO BUY.
On October 9, 1965, former Wilson Football player Dale Witwer (Class of 1963) was involved in a play during the Cornell-Princeton game that resulted in a college football rule change.

Wilson football's 1962-63 team captains: Matz, Miller, and Witwer.

Nash and Zullo's segment on the rule-stretching and flag-inducing play is below.

You can purchase a copy of the book here. The unique occurrence was also detailed in the September 8th, 1980 edition of Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Football Alumni in Wilson Athletic Hall of Fame

Listed below are all of the former players, coaches, staff, and administrators that played important roles in the success of the Wilson Football program. All information has been gathered from the official school site.

INDUCTED 1986 (Inaugural Class)
Frederick M. Franks, Jr. – (Class of 1954) – As a four year-starter in football, baseball and basketball, Fred was one of Wilson’s most versatile and productive athletes of the early 1950s. He was the centerfielder and #3 hitter on the ’52 and ’53 conference championship teams. He ranks among the top Wilson career leaders in at-bats, hits RBIs, runs scored, walks, stolen bases, doubles and triples. His 1953 batting average of .556 led the division. On the gridiron, Fred co-captained the 1953 team and scored 60 career points. He was also a starter on the Wilson basketball team. Fred graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1958 and served with distinction with the US Army in Vietnam, Cambodia and in the Gulf War attaining the rank of General. He commanded the armored VII Corps in the famous “left hook” maneuver in the Gulf War, considered by many as one of the most decisive armored victories in military history. He retired from the Army in 1994. He is the recipient of the Purple Heart, Bronze Star (w/ V Device), Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. The Wilson High School Library is named in his honor.

Scott Hagy – (Class of 1966) – While Scott was a member of Wilson’s football and track & field teams from 1963-66, he is most remembered for his javelin throwing skills. On his first throw of his senior year, he broke a 30 year-old Berks mark with a throw of 207’. He would go on to win District and State titles with throws of 219’9 ½” and 219’4” which were county and district records. He finished his senior year ranked 4th in the nation. Scott continued at Penn State University where he was a javelin finalist in two NCAA National Championship Meets. His best throw ever was 262’, which placed him in the nation top ten. He continued competing in Master’s Competitions, throwing 221’ in 1985.

James Lippincott – (Class of 1946) – Jim was an outstanding all-around athlete, earning letters in soccer, football, basketball, track and baseball. In 1945, he was the PIAA State High Jump Champion. He was a fullback on Wilson’s first football team in 1945 and threw the first touchdown pass in Wilson football history. He held the Wilson longest punt record (72 yards) for many years as well. On the hardwood floor, he scored 477 points and led Wilson to a 39-9 record during his junior and senior seasons. Jim went on to play football, basketball and track at Lock Haven State College and tried out with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1955.

Michael Reitz – (Class of 1968) – Mike enrolled at Wilson as a junior in 1966 and then proceeded to rewrite the football record books. He has held any number of records, many of which have stood for years. Those include a single season rushing record of 1274 yards, 254 career points, 2493 career rushing yards, most points in a game (32) and a single game rushing mark of 256 yards. In addition to All-County and All-League honors, Mike was chosen to play in the Big-33 Game. Mike attended Penn State and set several kicking records before transferring to Maryland, where he finished his collegiate career. His Wilson number 32 is retired. At Wilson, Mike was also an outstanding wrestler.

Rick Fehling – (Class of 1970) – Rick was an outstanding student-athlete. In football, he co-captained the undefeated 1969 team and received All-County and All-League honors and was named to the Big-33 Team as a defensive end. In swimming, he was a District Champion in the 50 yard freestyle and 400 yard relay and was a member of the 400 relay team than won Wilson’s first state swimming gold medal. Rick went on to Yale University where he started at defensive end. He completed a law degree at Dickinson College and later served as solicitor to the Wilson School Board.

John Gurski – Head Football Coach 1964-1982 – John Gurski put Wilson Football on the map by turning what had been a losing tradition into a winning one. It was John Gurski who began what Wilson football fans call “The Streak”. In 19 seasons, Coach Gurski compiled 151 wins against 41 losses and 4 ties. When one includes his wins at Minersville, he won 198 games as a high school coach. Coach Gurski developed his system based on senior leadership and had but one question for his players before they took the field – “Are you ready?” He had four undefeated teams – in 1967, 1969, 1978 and 1981 and won seven league championships. He coached in the Big-33 game in both 1970 and 1980. Coach Gurski has also been inducted into the Berks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Wilson High School’s main stadium is named in honor of John Gurski and contains an illuminated black stone monument to the man who is the rock upon which Wilson tradition is built.

William ‘Bill’ Kopp – (Class of 1962) – Bill was a three-year letter winner in football, basketball and baseball at Wilson. He was also co-captain of all three teams. In football, Bill earned All-County Honors twice and has held the record for most career tackles by a Wilson player. He also set record in baseball for career home runs and RBIs. He continued his athletic endeavors at Albright College where he was a three-year starter in football and baseball. He was selected to the Middle Atlantic Conference Football All-Star Team as a linebacker in both 1964 an 1965. He returned to teach Social Studies at Wilson High School where he also coached baseball and golf.

Ralph Leininger, Jr. – (Class of 1961) – Ralph was a three-year starter in basketball and two-year starter in football. On the hardwood, he scored 951 points and set a consecutive free throw record of 20. Ralph was a four-year starter in baseball and was second baseman and clean-up hitter on the 1961 County Championship Team. He set records for RBIs in a season (31), career at-bats (236), hits (91) and doubles (16) and ranks high on the list for career RBIs, runs scored and home runs. He attended Moravian College and set hitting records there before moving on to Kutztown State College where he completed his education.

William Brumbach – (Teacher, Coach, Administrator) – Bill came to the Wilson School District in 1934 as a teacher and served in that capacity as well as that of coach, athletic administrator and recreation coordinator until his retirement in 1974. He coached golf for 27 years producing many championships and was coach to the Weitzel brothers, also members of the Wilson Athletic HOF. During his tenure, he produced four District 3 Champions and numerous PIAA State qualifiers. He served as Golf Chairman in District 3 for fifteen years and State Chairman for three. Bill also coached football and varsity baseball and served on the BCIAA Executive Committee for many years as well as supervising the Wilson Summer Recreation Program. He is also a member of the Berks County Sports Hall of Fame.

Peter Iaccarino – (Class of 1951) – Peter was both an outstanding football player and track competitor. On the gridiron, he played multiple positions – end, tackle, center, fullback and placekicker. He once scored 28 points in a game against West Reading and kicked a game-winning field goal against Shillington HS. In track, he was leading scorer on the 1951 championship team and won two District gold medals – one in the shot, the other in javelin. He was the PIAA State Champion in the shot put in 1950.

Leroy Schannauer – (Class of 1982) – Leroy was an outstanding football player and wrestler for Wilson. A three-year starter in football, he was named Outstanding Defensive Lineman, All-League and AllCounty his senior year as well as earning a spot on the Big-33 Team. He also set a career record for tackles with 198. As a wrestler, Leroy won the District heavyweight title in 1982 and finished fifth in the State Tournament and went 30-0 during the regular season. He was named Wilson’s Outstanding Male Athlete in 1982.

Andy Straka – (Class of 1961) – Andy starred on the diamond, the gridiron and the hardwood for the Bulldogs. He was a rare four-year starter at shortstop and captained the team to the County championship his senior year. In baseball he set a career record for walks and sits high among career leaders in hits, runs and stolen bases. In football, he was a three-year starter at QB and DB throwing for 1158 yards and intercepting 13 passes on an 8-1-1 team. He started at guard on the basketball team for three years as well and was named Outstanding Male Athlete his senior year. He went on to Moravian College where he was four-year starter in baseball and set several hitting records.

No members were inducted in 1989.

Dr. Aaron Miller – (Teacher, Coach, Administrator) – It was Dr. Miller who brought the WIlson Athletic Program into the modern era, as he oversaw a major expansion of both programs and facilities – among them, Wilson’s natatorium. It was Dr. Miller who instituted what are now our Middle School athletic teams and many of our girls teams as well. It was he who established the full-time positions of Athletic Director and Certified Athletic Trainer. He also recommended that Wilson establish soccer and water polo teams and helped Wilson Football gain entry into the Lancaster-Lebanon League. He also was instrumental in the creation of intramural programs as well. Dr. Miller also coached football, basketball and swimming from 1947 through 1960 as well.

Robert Mitzel – (Class of 1952) – Bob was a three-year starter in football, a two-year starter in basketball and Berks 100 Yard Dash Champion in track. Bob was Wilson’s first 100 point scorer in football and has numerous plays on the list of longest plays made. He also set multiple scoring and yardage records in running and returns. On the track, he was a member of Wilson’s first County Championship team. His 100 Yard Dash Berks record of 10.2 seconds stood for 20 years.

Thomas O’Neill – (Class of 1950) – Tom was a four-year starter in football and a two-year starter in basketball and baseball from 1947 to 1950. He also ran on the track team. In football, he was a leading defensive back and once returned a kickoff 84 yards for a TD. He was a solid basketball player and played both catcher and outfield in baseball. He was also one of the fastest sprinters in the county.

Randy Simcox – (Class of 1979) – Randy was one of the 1970’s finest athletes at Wilson. A three-year starter in football, he was named All-County in 1977, 1978 and 1979 and was selected on the All-State first team. He was also selected for the Big-33 Game, all as a defensive back. He ranks high on the Wilson interception and scoring lists. On the baseball diamond, he was a three-time All-County shortstop and is high on the list in career RBIs. Randy went on to Penn State University where he won four letters in baseball and captained the team in both 1983 and 1984.

Dr. Gerald Slemmer – (Class of 1970) – Gerry was a two-year starter in football and a three-year member of the wrestling team. In football, Gerry was captain of the undefeated 1969 team and was an All-County selection at tackle. He was also selected to play in the Big-33 Game. He would later play at Arizona State University which was ranked in the top 20 his junior and senior years. Upon returning to Wilson High School as a teacher, Gerry served as a longtime assistant to John Gurski before becoming Head Coach upon Coach Gurski’s retirement. During that time, Gerry had been a part of every undefeated Wilson football team. He coached the team to the runner-up spot in the PIAA State Tournament in 1989. In wrestling, Gerry was the Berks heavyweight champion in 1970 and later served as Head Coach. Gerry retired from coaching to become Principal of Wilson High School and retired as Assistant Superintendent.

Carl Beidler – (Class of 1958) – Carl was a three sport athlete at Wilson in the late 1950s, competing in football, basketball and track & field. He set several scoring and rushing marks in football and had Berks’ highest point total in 1957.Carl was a two-year starter in basketball scoring 552 points. He was also an outstanding long jumper in track, sharing a County championship in 1958.

James Fehling – (Class of 1972) – Jim was a three-sport athlete, competing in football, wrestling and track & field. His greatest accomplishments were on the football field where was named and All-County and All-League lineman and Berks Lineman of the Year his senior year. He was also named to the Big-33 Team and played in the Pennsylvania East-West Game. In wrestling, he was a sectional champion and District runner-up. In track, he qualified for states in the discus. Jim was Wilson’s Outstanding Male Athlete in 1972 and went on to Duke University where he lettered in football all four years.

Rick Wardrop – (Class of 1972) – Rick competed in football basketball and baseball. He was named AllBerks in two positions (DB/RB) and was the Berks Touchdown Club’s Back of the Year in 1971. He set a Wilson record with an interception return of 101 yards. He was also captain of the basketball team his senior year and was baseball MVP as well. Rick continued playing football at Bucknell University where her was a three-tear starter at fullback and was named the team’s 1975 MVP.

Farrell Franks – (Class of 1962) – Farrell made his biggest mark as a three-year starter in center field, where he was known for his stellar defense and hot bat (.508). He also set records for season and career runs scored. Farrell also played two years of football and two of basketball.

Norman Hopp – (Class of 1933) – Norm earned letters in basketball, baseball and track and won Berks championships on a relay team and in the high jump. After graduation from East Stroudsburg State, he joined the staff at Sinking Spring High School, where he taught health and physical education. He joined the Wilson High School staff when the schools merged. At Wilson, Norm coached football, basketball, tennis and bowling and produced Berks champions in both bowling and tennis. He also served as president of the Berks County Athletic Association and began the first county bowling tournament in Pennsylvania. Norm also served as Wilson’s athletic trainer for many years.

Donald Sweimler – (Class of 1958) – Don was one of the fine all-around athletes of the 1950’s – starting at quarterback, running the point on the basketball floor, playing third base and leading his class as president. Don had a career batting average over .300 and had more than 1000 yards in total offense in football his senior year. He received the Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Award and the Outstanding Senior baseball award. He went on to a fine college career at King’s College and has been inducted into their Hall of Fame as well.

Frank ‘Pete’ Leach – (Class of 1954) – An outstanding three-sport athlete in the early ‘50s, ‘Pete’ started all four years in baseball, three years in football and two in basketball. He played at first base for the Berks championship squads in 1952 and 1954 and set records for season career and at-bats, hits, triples and runs scored. In football, he played center and linebacker.

Steve Schannauer – (Class of 1986) – Steve was a three-year letter winner in football and was selected as a Lancaster-Lebanon League All-Star, L-L Lineman of the Year and Berks Defensive Lineman of the Year his senior year. Steve played for John Gurski at tackle, tight end and fullback and kicked as well. He was also a four-year letter winner in wrestling, finishing with a 71-9 record and was a District 3 Champ and a State Runner-Up. He was selected to participate in the Pittsburgh Press Wrestling Classic. He went on to Wilkes University, wrestling at the NCAA Division I level. He lettered all four years at Wilkes.

Scott Weaver – (Class of 1957) – Scott earned nine varsity letters – three each in football, basketball and baseball. As a quarterback, he threw for over 1200 yards and, in basketball scored 656 points. Both figures have him high on the list of accomplishments in each sport.

Mike Wenrich – (Class of 1978) – Mike was a three-year starter in basketball and ranks high among alltime Wilson scorers and rebounders, holding records for many years. He was an excellent high jumper as well, setting a then-school record at 6’8”. Additionally, he played football for one year where he turned out to be an excellent punter.

Bill Dry – (Class of 1962) – Bill lettered in four sports – football, basketball, baseball and track & field. On the football field, he played at both linebacker and tailback. He was a guard on the basketball tea, a middle distance runner and pole vaulter for track & field and an outfielder on the baseball team. Following graduation, he earned a degree in Mathematics from Moravian College. There, he played tailback for the Greyhounds and led the Middle Atlantic Conference in rushing and was elected cocaptain. Bill then pursued a career in computer science.

Dr. Alfred T. Johnson – (Physician) – A Tamaqua HS, Penn State and Temple Med grad, Dr. Johnson established a family practice in West Lawn and was appointed as Medical Director of Wilson High School in 1948. He stayed in that position until 1969. In his position, Dr. Johnson conducted thousands of physical exams, attended hundreds of contests and worked with four Wilson Head Football Coaches. Dr. Johnson not only provided excellent medical care for Wilson students, he was a true fan as well and played a very important behind-the-scenes role for Wilson Athletics.

Steve Kreider – (Class of 1969) – Steve was a three-year letter winner in football and is considered to be one of the Bulldogs’ outstanding two-way players. He played on the defensive line on the undefeated 1967 team and finished with 130 tackles. On offense, he was a running back. Steve also wrestled for two years.

Brad Ramsey – (Class of 1984) – Brad won two letters in football and three in wrestling, receiving numerous accolades in both. He was twice an All-Lancaster-Lebanon League selection in football and was named Offensive Player of the Year in 1983. He gained 1719 yards rushing, 1921 total yards and scored 158 points in his career. In wrestling, he was a Berks All-Star for three years and named a District All-Star as well as he qualified for States his senior year. His wrestling record was 69-19-1. Brad was a four-year letter winner at Franklin & Marshall College at running back when the Diplomats won 43 straight games. He was Offensive Player of the Year his freshman season and All-Conference his senior year. He became F&M’s all-time rusher with 2025 yards.

Robert Shoup – (Class of 1951) – A seven-time letter winner in three sports, Bob played shortstop and point guard and was a two-way starter in football at quarterback and defensive back. He made key contributions in an upset Wilson win over the then-larger and more powerful Central Penn champion Lebanon High School in the PIAA basketball playoffs. His 1950 football team tied for the league title as well. After a five year break, Bob enrolled at Albright College where hi earned five letters in basketball and baseball, captaining his baseball team his junior and senior years. He would later earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh.

Kerry Collins – (Class of 1990) – Kerry is the first Wilson athlete to lead teams into two PIAA State Championship games in two different sports. Kerry earned All-State & Big-33 honors in football in 1989, throwing for 2043 and 17 TDs. Kerry was also a three-year starter in basketball and baseball and set a record for most hits in a season. Moving on to Penn State University, he was named All-American in 1994 while leading the Nittany Lions to an undefeated season, a Rose Bowl victory and an NCAA Championship. He was the first QB selected in the 1995 NFL draft (by the Carolina Panthers) and went on to a long career in the NFL that included Kerry leading the NY Giants to Super Bowl XXXV in 2000 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Jim Lewis – (Class of 1986) – Jim earned six letters at Wilson – three each in football and wrestling. In his football career, he rushed for 1733 yards and was named Offensive Back of the Year in the LancasterLebanon League. He was also captain of the team his senior year. Jim was also a District 3 138 Pound Wrestling Champion, finishing his career at 67-19. He went on to graduate from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and served the USA in his capacity as a career naval officer.

Brian McCarty – (Class of 1990) – Brian was an important part of the Wilson state runner-up football team during the 1989 season. He was selected as a First Team All-State player at running back after completing one of the best all-around combined performances by a running back/defensive back. He set records for points scored, total yards, TD passes caught and pass receiving yards and sits high on the lists in other areas. Brian also lettered in baseball three times. He continued his education and football career at Towson State University and set several records there as well.

John Gurski, Jr. – (Class of 1980) – John was co-captain of the 1979 Championship squad and graduated in the top 5% of his class. He was an outstanding tackle and led the blocking for an offense that amassed 2576 rushing yards and 274 points. He was selected at the Lancaster-Lebanon League’s Section I Lineman of the Year and for the L-L’s Offensive First Team. He was also a member of the Coaches’ State All-Star Team, The Reading Eagle-Times First Team – Offense and Big-33 Team member. He earned a full scholarship to Penn State and was the center on PSU’s first National Championship Team in 1982. His fondest memory is playing for his father, friend and coach – the greatest mentor, John, Jr. says – a son could have.

Dr. Carl Hassler – (Class of 1954) – Dr. Hassler was a three-sport athlete for the then-Presidents, throwing a total of ten TD passes. He went on to play QB at Ursinus College and graduate from Jefferson Medical College. Upon receiving his M.D., Dr. Hassler served in the US Army Medical Corps for two years and then set up a family practice in Lincoln Park. He was team physician to the Bulldogs for 11 years (1969-79).

Doug Hess – (Class of 1975) – In football, Doug was a two-year starter and co-captain as a defensive back, setting season and career interception records. He was selected All-County his senior year. Doug was also an outstanding diver – District 3 Champion in 1974 – and eighth in the PIAA State Championships. He was the top diver in the Central Penn League his junior and senior years. Doug also played two years of baseball. He moved on to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1980 and played two years of baseball. He would later open his own pharmacy in Morgantown, PA.

Dr. Lee Schaebler – (Class of 1950) – Lee was a four-sport athlete at Wilson, participating in football, basketball, swimming and track. He would later graduate from Ursinus College and Jefferson Medical College. He began family practice in 1959 in Lincoln Park and served as Wilson team and sports physician alongside Dr. Carl Hassler. He served in that capacity from 1969 until 1980.

Jake Slemmer – (Class of 1991) – Jake wrestled for three years at Wilson but earned the most fame as a three-year starter in football. Switching to linebacker from the line his junior year helped propel him to the Pennsylvania AllState First Team in 1990 as the Bulldogs won back-to-back District 3 Championships. Jake led the Bulldogs in tackles for two years and remains among the all-time leaders in Wilson history. Jake earned a football scholarship to Boston University.

Tim Ebbert – (Class of 1975) – Tim lettered two years in football and three each in basketball and track and was named All-County on two occasions. He set a record in the high jump and placed in the District 3 Meet all three years and qualified for states twice. Tim was the inaugural winner of the John Spadafora Student-Athlete Award, the Fegely Award and a member of the National Honor Society. He would later earn his degree from Bucknell University.

J. Kitridge Fegely – (Class of 1960) – Kit was a member of the football, wrestling and baseball teams. He was a center and linebacker in football for four seasons and held the Wilson record for career tackles. He was name AllCounty in 1958 an 1959. Kit was also President of his senior class. He went on to Lehigh University and Dickinson School of Law. He practiced law in Berks County for many years.

James Kirkpatrick – (Class of 1980) – Jim earned eight varsity letters at Wilson – two in football, four in basketball and two in baseball. He was the QB in 1978 and 1979 with those teams finishing 21-1 and Jim establishing records for career yardage, career completion percentage and season completion percentage. He set a record for most games played at the varsity level in basketball. As a senior, he was recipient of the Spadafora Award and the Fegely Award and was voted Outstanding Male Senior Athlete. Jim continued his education at Albright College where he was the MVP in the 1982 Pretzel Bowl. He also earned three varsity letters in baseball.

Mark Cornfield – (Class of 1979) – Mark was an outstanding football player and discus thrower. He was an All-County selection in football his junior and senior seasons and was Honorable Mention All-State his senior year. He was captain of the 1978 football team that went 11-0. Mark was also a three-time All-County selection in track and was the 1979 DISTRICT 3 Discus Champion and third in the State Meet. He continued his track career at Taylor University where he was a four-time All-American. He later coached at the University of Georgia where he worked with college and Olympic athletes. He would later work for Merrill Lynch.

Gary Leach – (Class of 1958) – Gary lettered in football for three years at Wilson and was named All-County in both his junior and senior seasons, the first Wilson player to be selected All-County twice. He also lettered four years in track. He would later start in football for four years at Ursinus College. He became a physician and practiced in Houston, Texas.

Forrest Ulrich – (Class of 1948) – Forrest played football for three years, basketball, baseball and track for four years. He was the basketball team captain his senior year when Wilson won the Berks County title. He was also cocaptain of the Divisional Champion baseball team. He received the Owls Club Award as well. Graduating in the top fifth of his class, Forrest served in the Air Force, graduated from Millersville University and then taught and coached at Governor Mifflin High School before retiring in 1985.

John Yocum – (Class of 1970) – John quarterbacked the 1969 undefeated Bulldog football team, playing the previous two years as well. John set several passing records – a single game best completion percentage and most two-point conversions in a season and in a career. A Wilson Century Club Member, John also played baseball for Wilson. He would go on to a successful college QB career at Gettysburg College. He joined the Muhlenberg School District as a teacher, served as an assistant coach at both Wilson and Muhlenberg before becoming a highly successful Head Coach for the Muhls.

Drew Keiser – (Class of 1977) – Drew earned letters in football, wrestling and track, and had his greatest success as a heavyweight wrestler. He went to States in his final three seasons, winning Regionals as a junior and a senior and eventually earning a Bronze Medal at States his senior year. He was named All-County all three years as well and was the winner of the Owls Club Award. Drew continued his wrestling at Lehigh University, winning the Eastern Championship in 1980 and wrestling in the NCAA Tournament.

Rich Romich – (Statistician/Teacher) – Rich taught in the Business Education Department at Wilson for more than 30 years retiring in 1998. He was legend for his detailed statistical reports and knowledge of Wilson athletic history. He also kept track of all Wilson championships over all of those years. Wilson teams benefitted from his detailed reports that were what one would expect from a major university or professional team. Rich was the main statistician for football and basketball teams for decades and served on the Reading EagleTimes committee that selected the top high school football team for the previous 50 years. Rich passed away just days after making his final appearance at the Wilson Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2012.

Norman Sensenig – (Class of 1947) – Norman was a five-sport athlete at Wilson, participating in football, baseball, soccer, basketball and track. He starred on Wilson’s first two football teams and is listed in the record books as having kicked the then-President’s first PAT in 1945. He was also an excellent baseball player at shortstop and left field and Vice-President and President of the Athletic Association. After graduation, Norman played on many area baseball teams and eventually signed a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies organization.

Steve Smith – (Class of 1987) – Steve earned nine varsity letters at Wilson, three each in football, basketball and baseball. Steve won many honors in football. He was An Adidas All-American defensive back, third team All-State, L-L Defensive Back of the Year in 1986 and was All-Berks. He was also name to the Reading Eagle-Times Decade Team of the 1980s. Steve set school records for receptions, tackles and interceptions. In 1987, he was named the DeLuca Berks Athlete of the Year and received the John J. Gurski Award. He helped lead the 29-2 1986-87 Bulldogs to the Berks League Basketball Championship and batted .400 and led the county RBIs as an All-Division first baseman. He continued his education at Penn State, playing on the 1987 team.

Todd Bradburn – (Class of 1990) – Todd was a four-year started in football and one of the leaders of the 1989 team that played in the PIAA State Championship Game. He was All-Berks, All Lancaster-Lebanon League, Berks Receiver of the Year and was named to the All-State 2nd Team. He was also named to the Reading Eagle-Times All 1980s Team. Todd set numerous records in both receiving and kickoff returns. He was also a two-year starter in basketball. He continued his education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduating with a degree in physical education and sport.

William Morgan – (Coach) – Bill graduated from Kutztown State in 1964 and coached at John F. Kennedy HS in Willingboro, NJ before coming to Wilson in 1965. He would coach football for the Bulldogs until 1999, earning a reputation as one of the best defensive coaches in Pennsylvania. He coached 17 championship seasons with the Bulldogs with his 1979 defensive unit holding opponents to an average if 129 yards and just 3.2 points per game. Over his 35 year tenure, the Bulldogs went 294-85. He was a staunch supporter of the John Gurski/Gerry Slemmer senior-oriented football concept.

Peter Schreck – (Class of 1982) – Pete was a two-year starter in football, basketball and baseball. In football, he was a standout two-way back on a team that lost only once in his junior and senior years. He was named to both the All-Berks and All- Lancaster-Lebanon League teams on both offense and defense and was the Berks Back of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year in 1981. He was name to the Reading Eagle-Times All 1980s team as well. In basketball, Pete was first-team All-County and was a top defensive player. He continued his education at Lehigh University, starring at running back and kick returning. He led his team in rushing for two seasons.

Michael Sensenig – (Class of 1973) – Mike started in the backfield for three years on John Gurski’s early 1970s teams setting records for most carries in a game and most yards in a single game. He was named All-County at both running back and defensive back. In track, he was a top intermediate hurdler and was a member of the County Championship 800 relay. He went on to star in football at Gettysburg College at fullback and kick returner.

Anthony Cianci – (Class of 1982) – Anthony was a two-year starter in football and baseball and a twoyear wrestler as well. In football, Anthony was named first team All-Berks and All-Lancaster-Lebanon League in both his junior and senior years and was named the L-L Lineman of the Year in 1981. He was also named to the Reading Eagle-Times 1980s Team. In baseball, Tony played outfield and was named All-Berks his junior and senior years, batting .400 with a .866 slugging percentage. He continued his education and athletics at Swarthmore College.

Steve Copeland – (Class of 1989) – An all-around athlete in the late 1980s, Steve lettered twice in football, wrestling and baseball. He was quarterback on the football team and a wrestler with a 22-3 record his senior year when he won a sectional championship at 145 pounds. He was named to the All-Division and All-County wrestling teams. Steve earned a degree in pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1993. He was known for his leadership skills. He endured a long and courageous battle with cancer and passed away in 1999. His family and friends established the Steven Copeland Memorial Scholarship in his honor.

Marvin ‘Whitey’ Moyer – (Class of 1954) – Whitey was a four-year starter in football, basketball and baseball for the then-Presidents and played in the Berks Champion baseball teams in 1952 and 1954, playing left field and setting a record for most doubles in a season. In football, he was primarily a blocking back but still managed to score a number of crucial TDs for Wilson. Whitey would later run a successful construction business in Spring Township.

Jeff Niedrowski – (Class of 1992) – Jeff starred in both football and track & field for the Bulldogs. At running back, Jeff piled up first-team All-Berks and All Lancaster-Lebanon League honors his senior season. He set a single game rushing record of 319 yards, a record 6 TDs in a single game and piling up 2824 career rushing yards along with 41 TDs and 261 points and played on the state runner-up 1989 team. In track, Jeff was the District 3 Javelin Champion in 1992 and 1994 and PIAA State Javelin Champion in 1992 with a school and county record throw of 227’11”. Following his Wilson graduation, ‘Rocky’ went on to a successful track and academic career at Syracuse University.

Robert S. Shaak – (Coach/Teacher) – Bob spent the years from 1951 through 1961 as Head Coach for Wilson football, compiling a 44-43-5 record. He came to Wilson after an outstanding career at Lebanon High and Lebanon Valley College. His best season came in 1959 when his team went 8-1-1. In those early days, the Bulldogs used second-hand equipment and uniforms and built their own blocking sleds. (The total gate receipts for the 1959 season were around $800!) One notable accomplishment during Coach Shaak’s tenure was Wilson’s first-ever football game played under the lights, albeit temporary, portable lights. Coach Shaak was indeed a pioneer and set the stage for the John Gurski era.

Chris Adams – (Class of 1991) – Chris quarterbacked Wilson to the PIAA District 3 Championship in 1990 in the famous “fog game” at Hershey Park Stadium. Chris led the Bulldogs an on 85 yard TD drive in the final two minutes to win the game. During his Wilson career, Chris threw for 1735 yards, 13 TDs and had a completion rate of 55%. He also started for three years in basketball and scored 593 points. Chris continued his football career at Gettysburg where he became an NCAA Division III AllAmerican.

Greg Allushuski – (Class of 1960) – Greg was a varsity performer in football, wrestling and baseball. On the gridiron, he was a fullback and was an All-Berks selection his junior and senior years. He held the Wilson record for the longest run from scrimmage (96 yards) for 36 years. On the wrestling mat, Greg was undefeated in the unlimited weight class during his senior year. In baseball, Greg played first base and led the team in hitting both his junior and senior seasons. After graduation, Greg attended both the Bordentown Military Institute and Wake Forest University, receiving full football scholarships from both.

Jack Ledbetter – (Class of 1991) – Jack was a three-year starter at linebacker for the Bulldogs and was known for his outstanding tackling skills. He helped the Bulldogs win the PIAA District 3 Championship his junior and senior seasons and his 217 career tackles seta Wilson record. In addition to football, Jack wrestled for three seasons and lettered in track and field for three seasons.

Dale Witwer – (Class of 1963) – Dale was a three sport athlete earning a total of 7 varsity letters and was Wilson’s Outstanding Male Athlete his senior year. In football he played at QB and DB and held records at both positions. He was the first Wilson player to earn the Ron Kichline Award as the outstanding back in Berks County. In baseball, he was both a pitcher and outfielder and was the winning pitcher in the 1961 Berks Championship Game. In basketball, he represented Wilson in the 1962 Berks All-Star Game. He would continue playing football at Cornell University where he once stood on the shoulders of a 6’5” tackle in an attempt to block a field goal, a play known as the “Cornell Twin Towers”. That play would eventually cause the NCAA to change the rules of college football.

Robert Gerth – (Class of 1965) – Bob scored 11 touchdowns/66 points for the Bulldogs in the fall of 1964 on the first Bulldog team to be coached by John Gurski. He set a record for most points scored in a game that year when he scored four TDs in a game against Cornwall HS played at Reading Municipal Stadium. Bob was a three-year letter winner in football for the Bulldogs.

Harold Miller – (Coach/Teacher) – One of the keys to a successful athletic program is its “feeder” programs and Harold Miller was an integral part of Wilson’s football success, coaching in the varsity and junior high ranks for 30 seasons. After two seasons as a varsity assistant, Harold moved to the junior high program where he was the winner of 129 games and 11 championships. His 1973 team scored 250 points in just 6 games, while his 1987 team allowed no points in 7 games. Harold was known for teaching the fundamentals of football very well to his young players. Harold was inducted into the Wilson Century Club and served many years as a HS football official. He retired from the Wilson Social Studies Department after 34 years of teaching.

Brandon Naples – (Class of 1991) – Brandon was a two-time All-Berks selection at first base and set a Wilson record for career batting average (.484) In addition to his achievements on the diamond, Brandon was a starting defensive back for the Bulldogs in his sophomore and junior seasons, intercepting six passes during Wilson’s PIAA runner-up season his junior year. A season-ending injury in the first game of his senior year ended his Wilson football career as a player. Years later, he would return to the sidelines as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs. After graduation, Brandon signed with the New York Mets organization, playing in their minor league system.

Shane Stafford – (Class of 1994) – Shane quarterbacked the Bulldogs to two L-L Section 1 Titles in 1992 and 1993 and led the Bulldogs to two BCIAA basketball titles those same years. During his basketball career, Shane scored over 1000 points and led the Bulldogs in scoring during his two championship seasons. Shane continued his football career at the University of Connecticut where he was a four-year starter at quarterback, leading the Huskies to the Atlantic 10 Conference playoffs. After college, Shane enjoyed QB success in the Arena Football League and with NFL Europe.

Glenn Hare – (Class of 1968) – Glenn was the quarterback for Wilson’s first undefeated football team in 1967. In his career, he threw 25 TD passes and piled up 1526 yards and was the first Wilson QB to throw three TD passes in a single game. Glenn held most of Wilson’s QB records for a number of years as well. In addition to his football accomplishments, Glenn was a two-year varsity letter winner in basketball.

John Piscitelli – (Class of 1995) – Wilson’s Outstanding Male Athlete of 1995, John was a three-year starter at linebacker for the football team. He was selected as Linebacker of the Year in Berks County his senior season and ranks in Wilson’s list of most career tackles. John also starred in baseball, starting at 3rd base for three years. He earned All-Berks honors his junior and senior seasons and won the first-ever Baseball Hitting Derby in 1995. John continued playing baseball at DeSales University. He started at 3rd base all four years at DeSales.

Bernie Stoppi – (Coach/Teacher) – Bernie arrived at Wilson in 1964 to teach English and Social Studies and to become an assistant to Coach John Gurski. Bernie was instrumental in establishing the weight training program that has proven so successful at Wilson. He continued coaching under Gerry Slemmer and Jim Cantafio and was part of a Wilson program that recorded 319 wins over 38 seasons. He retired from teaching after 31 years. In addition to his athletic duties, Bernie served as advisor to both the Model UN and Ski Clubs at Wilson.

Dan Witman – (Class of 1961/Coach/Teacher) – Dan was a golf player in his student days at Wilson and added tennis to the list when he went off to Millersville University. He returned to Wilson in 1966 after a year at Tulpehocken and took on the job of tennis coach in 1969. From that point, Wilson boys won numerous BCIAA Division and County Championships and quite a few District 3 Championships as well, in team, singles and doubles play. Dan was Berks County’s first Boys Tennis Coach of the Year in 1997. In addition to coaching tennis, Dan was the varsity football videographer for 26 years and scoreboard operator for Wilson Central basketball for 20 years.

No individuals associated with the football program were inducted this year.

Carl Dragonette
John Gilmore
Doug Dahms

Joe Lewis
Tim Starnes

John 'Doc' Moyer
Rick Stehman
Fritz Wenrich

Jeremy Palm
Pete Gilmore

Alex Auston
Brett Harbach
Andy Roland

Tony Cipolla
Bill Haas
Bruce Vaughan
Jami Sands

Bruce Harbach
Andy Lehatto

DR. GARY CANNER – Since 1979, Dr. Canner has been the Wilson football team physician. Dr. Canner has attended both home and away games as well as playoff games during that time span and has done so at no expense to the Wilson School District. Due to Dr. Canner’s reputation as an orthopedic doctor, his advice has been sought by Wilson athletes and coaches as well as athletes and coaches around Berks County. He is an integral part of the Wilson sports community. Dr. Canner is a member of the Wilson Football Century Club and has become a member of the BCIAA Gold Leaf Club recognizing his volunteerism at Wilson.

SYLVESTER COMPARINI – Syl graduated from Reading High School in 1941 where he was an outstanding football and baseball player. After graduation he joined the U.S. Marines and served our country proudly at the Battle of Guadalcanal and was a highly decorated veteran including the Purple Heart. After returning from the war he played baseball for many Reading and Berks County teams and had a try-out with the St. Louis Cardinals. After settling into Spring Township, Syl started a 50 year plus association with Wilson and Spring Township sports. In the 1960’s he was among the organizers of the Lincoln Park youth baseball and football organizations and was on the committee that brought Coach John Gurski to Wilson in 1964. He was also one of the founders of the Wilson Boosters Club. For the next 30 years, Syl was highly involved in our football program as a volunteer assistant coach under Coach Gurski and Coach Slemmer. In 1986, he was named Wilson’s Equipment Manager and held that position for another 12 years. Syl was a great motivator for all of our student athletes and a close confidant and friend of Coach Gurski.

CHAD HENNE – (Class of 2004) – Chad was a 4 year varsity starter in football and won All-American Honors his senior year. He set Wilson and PA records for most yards passing in a career and accepted a full scholarship to the University of Michigan to play football. Chad also played varsity basketball for 3 years and ran track where he was state runner-up in the javelin, 4th in the 4x100 meter relay and county champ in shot put. He was a 4 year starter at QB at Michigan where he was named MVP of the Capital One Bowl and MVP of the Senior Bowl. Chad was a second round draft pick and played QB for the Miami Dolphins where he was named Captain in 2011. In 2014, he was named the starting QB and team captain for the Jacksonville Jaguars. From 2008 through 2014, Chad passed for over 12,000 yards as a pro football player.

GEORGE MACK – After graduating from Mount Penn High School, George enlisted in the Army and spent two years on active duty. He entered the Army Reserves and rose through the ranks to command the 6th-68 Tank Battalion. He retired as a full colonel. George graduated from Albright College, where he was president of his fraternity. He excelled at cross-country and track and field and later coached cross country at Albright. He worked in accounting, computer information and purchasing at AT&T and Lucent Technologies. He was a member of the National Ski Patrol, and served as a board member and president of the Flying Dutchmen Ski Club. He also served as a board member of Crime Alert Berks receiving the organization’s President’s Award in 2012. He was a member of the Leadership Committee of the West Lawn United Methodist Church. George spent his retirement years in service, volunteerism and commitment to the community. He served as a member of the Wilson School Board for 14 years, serving as president for four years. He was board treasurer, the chairperson of the extracurricular committee, a member of the facilities committee and a member of the Wilson Education Foundation. George was also an honorary member of the Wilson Century Club. In 2013, the members of the Wilson School Board voted to name the district’s new multipurpose stadium, the George Mack Stadium, in honor of George’s commitment and dedication to the Wilson School District.

HAROLD SLEMMER – (Class of 1970) – Dr. Slemmer lettered in 3 sports including football (1968, 1969), wrestling (1968, 1969) & track (1968, 1969 and 1970). As a member of the undefeated varsity football team in 1969, he was selected 1st team All-Conference & All-County Center. As a wrestler at the 180lb weight class in 1969-70, he finished with 17 wins & just 2 losses. In track, he was the Berks County Discuss Champion in 1970. Awarded a full scholarship to Arizona State University, Dr. Slemmer was a member of two nationally ranked DI teams in 1972 and 1973. He was the starting right tackle for ASU in 1974, named player of the game vs. Colorado State and selected 1st Team Academic All-Conference. He earned multiple degrees at ASU, including his BA (1975), MS (1977) and Ed.D. (1986). He has served as the Director of the Arizona Interscholastic Association for the past 15 years. Since 2001 he has delivered speeches and workshops 54 times in 19 states, served on the NFHS Football Rules Committee (2000-07), served on the on the NFHS Board of Directors (2011-2014), and was President of the NFHS Board of Directors (2013-2014).

VITO NINFO – Vito was an outstanding running back for Coach John Gurski’s football teams. By the end of the 1980 season, he was ranked first or second in every rushing category on the all-time Wilson list. He was the Berks County Back of the Year in 1979 and was named first team All-Berks and All-LancasterLebanon League. Vito was the Berks County scoring leader in 1979 and runner-up in 1980, and was the Lancaster-Lebanon scoring leader both years. His 1979 and 1980 teams were also LancasterLebanon League champions. Vito was an honorable mention All-State running back who finished his Wilson career with 206 points, 429 rushes, 2305 total yards, and 33 touchdowns.

GREG STORR – Greg Storr was one of John Gurski’s outstanding defensive players in the late 1970s. He earned All-County honors in 1977 and earned a scholarship to Boston College. At Boston College, he played defensive end, earning All-East and All-ECAC honors. In 1982, Greg was drafted as the 147th player overall by the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, coached then by Bud Grant. In the pros, he played outside linebacker for the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers. He was named captain for the then Portland Breakers in 1985, where he started every game and led the team in special teams tackles. In 1987, Greg played for Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins.

TOM O’BRIEN – (Class of 1977) – Tom graduated from Wilson in 1977 and competed in football and wrestling. He was co-captain of the football team, earning All-County and All-League honors. He was inducted into the Wilson Century Club on the criteria of having more than 100 tackles. As part of the wrestling team, he contributed to three Berks County Team Championships and a District 3 Team Championship. He was a Berks County All-Star at 145 pounds. Before beginning his coaching at Wilson, Tom wrestled for Shippensburg State College at 167 pounds, serving as team captain in both his junior and senior seasons. Tom coached Wilson Wrestling at all levels for more than 20 years, including high school, junior high, and youth wrestling. He was part of several championship teams during that time and was voted Berks County Coach of the year in 1994. As a community volunteer, Tom organized wrestling clinics, summer open gyms, freestyle wrestling, and also coached Van Reed Youth Football for several years. He was fortunate to have worked with so many accomplished athletes, outstanding young men, and committed coaches.

SHAWN SMITH – (Class of 2005) – Shawn graduated from Wilson in 2005. He earned three varsity letters in both football and track. In 2004, he was an Associated Press All-State first team wide receiver, a Lancaster-Lebanon first team wide receiver, cornerback and kick returner of the year. He was also selected as the Berks County Football Player of the Year. In track, Shawn was a 3-time BCIAA Champion in the Long Jump and 2-time BCIAA Champion in the 200 Meter Dash. Shawn set a Wilson school record in both the 200 Meter Dash (21.85) and the Long Jump (23’ 0.75”). As part of the 2003 4 X100 Team, he won a District 3 championship, and placed 4th at the PIAA State Championships. In 2004, he placed 2nd in the 200 Meter Dash and 3rd in the Long Jump at the PIAA State Championships, where he lead his team to a 2nd place finish. Shawn was named the 2004 Berks County Male Track Athlete of the Year. In 2005, he placed 2nd in the Long Jump at the PIAA State Championships. Shawn received a full athletic scholarship to play wide receiver at Villanova University. Shawn continues to share his love of sports as a teacher and coach at Cocalico High School. Shawn is a Health and Physical Education teacher and an assistant coach for both the Varsity Football and Track & Field teams.

RICK ZISKA – (Class of 2003) – Rick was a four sport athlete, earning a combined nine varsity letters (2 in football, 3 in soccer, 2 in baseball, and 2 in wrestling). He is a member of the Century Club and earned All-County and All-Lancaster Lebanon League honors his senior year, leading to his participation in the Pennsylvania East West Shrine Game. Upon graduation, he held several Wilson kicking records, including longest field goal (47 yards) and most career points by a kicker (93). Rick was also a tri-captain of the soccer team his senior year, earning All-County and All-Division 1st Team honors. He was a shortstop and pitcher for the baseball team, earning All-County Honorable Mention and All-Division 1st Team honors, and participated in the Carpenter Cup Classic. Rick was also a sectional runner-up and district qualifier as a member of the wrestling team. Rick went on to become a four time letter winner at Lafayette College, where he set a record for the longest field goal (51 yards), and was 4th all-time in points by a kicker (178).

JOSH SMITH – (Class of 2007) – Josh was a three sport athlete at Wilson and played a major role in helping accumulate six Berks County championships, including 3 his senior year, across baseball, basketball, and football. He was named Berks County Baseball Player of the Year in 2006, along with posting a career record of 19-2 as a pitcher. In football, he broke the career receiving touchdown record and was selected to participate in the prestigious Big 33 Classic. As a basketball player, he finished his career with 1,280 points and helped lead his team to a Berks County championship his senior year. At the conclusion of his high school career, Josh was named the Wilson High School Male Athlete of the Year. Josh spent 3 years at the University of Pittsburgh on a baseball scholarship and then transferred to play football at Kutztown University. At Kutztown, he played wide receiver and helped lead the Golden Bears to their first PSAC championship in school history.

No individuals associated with the football program were inducted this year.

Larry Miles – (Class of 1965) – Larry was an outstanding student-athlete who graduated in 1965. He was a three sport athlete and earned 8 varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball, and cross-country. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and the recipient of the Leroy Fegley award as Outstanding Male Athlete during his senior year. Larry was the starting quarterback for two years, throwing for 1,087 yards and 12 touchdowns, and was the first starting QB under the legendary John Gurski. He was the starting catcher on the Wilson baseball team for 3 years and a 4 year starter for the West Lawn Owls, as well as a member of the 1962 West Lawn Owls legion state championship team. He also played guard on the basketball team for two years. Larry continued his baseball career at Muhlenberg College. He returned to Berks County and had a successful career as a Certified Public Accountant.

No members were inducted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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