In today’s column, we are looking at a 1946 football program for a game between the Allentown Buccaneers and the Northampton Concrete Busters.
Ms. Chris Damore, a 1965 graduate of Northampton High School, is sharing this program for our readers.
Her father, Phil, was a co-captain of the team. He was the quarterback when Northampton High School won the Lehigh Valley League football championship in 1942.
After World War II, the Eastern Pennsylvania pro league was formed. The Concrete Busters team was formed by a number of local businessmen. One was Dave Phillips, who was an official with our Tru Blu Brewery. Al Erdosy, successful Northampton High School coach, was asked to coach the Busters. Many of the players played for Al on his high school team. A few members of Northampton’s famous “1937 Wonder Team” joined the squad.
The opening game was scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 15, 1946, 2:30 p.m., on Wolf Field. When the Busters called for players, 30 sturdy young men joined the new team. Twenty men were World War II veterans. Phil Damore, who left school and enlisted in the U.S. Navy, was one of the first men to join.
Coach Erdosy held some practices at 7 p.m., after his high school practices. He really loved football!
In looking at the lineup, many men came from our neighborhoods. Some names our older readers may remember: John Chermansky, Louis Skok, former Wonder Team teammates, Gene Miletics, Al Eberhard, Richard Reimer, Andy Krill, John Jurasits, John Hewko, Charles Wolfe and Steve Pritko.
In those days, Wolf Field was very busy. The high school played on Saturday afternoons, the Busters on Sunday. There were no lights or Astro Turf, just good, hard-nosed football.
The Allentown Buccaneers’ owner was Dick Stewart. His lineup included many players with college experience. Some of the schools mentioned were Florida A&M, Clemson, Temple, St. Joseph’s, Moravian and Seton Hall. Only the players’ family names were listed on the roster.
As a youth, I saw some of the games. We saw these strong men as our neighborhood heroes. Their compensation was usually based on gate receipts. There were no player agents.
They loved the game and their community.
We hope to see you again in two weeks.