About three years ago when the historical society was discussing ways to digitize the Record American from 1930-1969, I met Bill Pilconis at a track meet in Pottsville. I told him of our plans to scan the papers and put them in digital files. Bill asked me to keep an eye out for the sports pages from the 1958 football season. He told me the story of the Maroons 10-1 season and how he was a nine year old waterboy on the squad which was coached by his dad and had his brother Johnny as one of its star players.
I vaguely remembered some of the 1958 season. I was also a nine year old and had attended Mahanoy Township games at the West End and Mahanoy High games at the East End; however, I know I missed the last two games of the season because on the day of the Mahanoy City High - Shenandoah game I was in the Locust Mountain Hospital having my tonsils removed by Dr. Burke. My recuperation took more than a week and I so also missed the historic last game at the East End Park on November 22.
We are saddened by the sudden loss of Bill Pilconis, an outstanding athlete and gentleman.
I'd like to dedicate my small efforts in researching this article to his memory.
The Last Mahanoy City High School Football Squad- 1958
The Last Mahanoy Township High School Football Squad-1958
The Last Two Games at the East End Park
After defeating the Blue Devils the stage was set for the showdown of the Town and Township rivals the following week at the East End Memorial Stadium, the home field of the Maroons. Mahanoy City High now sported an impressive 9-1 record after the Shenandoah game. Mahanoy Township was 5-3 but had a three game winning streak and had defeated the Maroons the previous year. So the showdown was considered a tossup by many.
The Larks Had Won Handily in the Last Meeting of the Rivals in 1957
The Last Game
Click the link below to read the full account of the game.
The joy of Novemebr 22 would be short lived. The following week Shenandoah school officials announced their plan to protest the Maroons' Southern Conference victory in a complicated argument involving playing percentages, correction factors, a defunct football program, and a tie game between Mt. Carmel and Shamokin on Thanksgiving Day. And so the only Southern Conference championship in the history of Mahanoy City High School would be taken away by events that transpired behind the scenes by secret vote.
Note: Some of the photos below may have been taken prior to the 1959 football season, the first year of Golden Bears football.