Philadelphia High School Football
A Look at
Al Angelo's 21-Year
Career (1965-84, 1987) at Frankford High
page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown, recaps of wins in
and the names of All-Public and All-Scholastic/City honorees during Coach Angelo's 21 seasons.
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Coach Angelo's Honorees
Al Angelo coached Frankford High's football team for 21 seasons (1965-84, 1987), winning 184 games and 10 Public League championships along with one City Title. The CT triumph, earned in outrageous weather, ended a personal drought. Here is that story . . .
"It's just hard to believe,"
said Parrish, a major college prospect despite his 6-0, 215 dimensions. "The
City Title game is
something you watch on TV or listen to on the radio. I never dreamed I'd play in one . . . or win one, for that matter.
"BUT COMING in here, we had what you'd call a quiet confidence. We had watched films of Wood and I must admit, I
thought they'd be tough. You could tell how much we bothered them out there, though, never let them get started. Their TD
(John Kafel's 80-yard scamper to start the second half as Frankford, hoping to bottle up the Vikings, chose to kick off twice)
wasn't scored against the D.
"You know, all week around school, people told us, 'Good luck, this, good luck, that,' and all we could do was accept that
good luck and hope for the best. But out on that field today, I don't think luck had anything to do with it."
To accentuate Frankford's accomplishments, let us point out that the Public League has now won just thrice (also Lincoln
in 1958 and Central in '70) with a trio of ties since 1951 and that only two P.L. teams (Northeast 33 in '46 and Lincoln 28 in
'58) have scored more points.
Surprisingly, the Pioneers showed their superiority early, driving 66 yards in 15 plays for a one-yard run by Yurkow with
3:26 to go in the first quarter and 42 in 9 for a 15-yard pass from Yurkow (his only one of the game) to Joe Wolf.
"We'd made so many changes, I don't think I'd ever had as many doubts coming into a game," Angelo said. "We felt we
were well-prepared, but still we had to wonder if it all would work out.
"I DON'T KNOW what it was, but this team always came up with that little bit extra, that intangible, when it had to. Maybe
they weren't entirely sure they had it until today, but now they've got to be sure. They have it!!
"You know, I've had some teams with more talent that lost in this game and some that never even got here, but those
teams didn't do what this team did. I have to say this is the fightingest team I've ever had. And, boy, do they hit. Wood was
hit as well today as they're hit by anyone in the Catholic League."
Following the heroics by Kafel, Frankford's players, coaches and fans had to be getting an eerie feeling, mindful that the
'69 and '71 teams led Bishop Egan (20-7) and Archbishop Carroll (14-0), respectively, at half only to lose.
"Wood had a little spurt of morale," said Yurkow, "but after a few minutes, we were back in control and in a few more
minutes, we were over the hump.
"WHEN YOU'RE starting off a season, you always have something like this in the back of your mind but as you go along,
you really don't think of it that much. You just take each game as it comes. Then you win a few and get into a position to
win the Northern Division and you do it.
"Then you win the league and then, here today, you're up 13 points after the first half and it starts to become reality. Then,
the clock runs down and it gets closer and closer and closer. Then it's there. You know what's funny, though? Here I am
and everybody's celebrating and it still hasn't hit me."
That was Saturday. Rest assured that today the celebration at Frankford High, City Champs for the first time since 1940,
lingers on and that Yurkow, as much as anyone else, is right in the middle of it.
This story was written after Al won his first PL championship in 1969 . . .
This story was written after Al completed his last season with a perfect record (12-0) . . .
By Ted Silary
As proof that being elusive must be something like riding a bike, in that once you learn you never forget, we offer
Angelo, who excelled in sprinting as well as football at Frankford High, is 57 years old and his right hip is wracked by
constant pain because of degenerative arthritis. But just try to catch this man and pin him down.
The wind is easier to catch. The date of California's next earthquake is easier to pin down.
Saturday afternoon, in a 42-14, thoroughly easy victory over Murrell Dobbins Tech at Northeast High, Angelo's Frankford
football team became the first in Public League history to fashion a 12-0 season. It also rewrote the city-league record for
points in a season (454, breaking 438 by Bishop Egan in 12 games in 1966).
Afterward, reporters hoped Angelo would say that the '87 team, which raised his career record in 21 seasons (1964-84,
'87) to 184-39-5 and gave him his 10th PL championship, ranked as Frankford's best ever, or at least as one of its
"better evers. "
Talk about an exercise in futility.
"It's soooo hard to compare teams or players," Angelo said, in his patented, not-this-subject-again tone of voice.
As veteran Angelo watchers realize, Al reacts to such discussions the way he does because to tab Frankford's best teams
and players would be to destroy the one feeling he cherishes most about the program.
That everyone is part of a huge, equal family, as hokey as that sounds.
"Ex-players visit our practices almost daily," Angelo said. "Every time, I stop what we're doing, I introduce the player to
the kids and then the kids applaud.
"Frankford isn't a coaches' team. It's a players' team. Players can always come back to see us and not feel like an
outsider. We don't ever want someone to feel like, 'They're busy with the '87 team. They don't care about the past teams.'
No, no. We care about every team and every player."
How does Angelo assure that that feeling prevails? Yes, by not comparing players or teams.
"If our players have listened to me through the years, they've heard me talk a lot about Warren Mays (class of '71),"
Angelo said. "I guess they could figure out that he was important to us. But no one has heard me say, 'Warren Mays was
our best QB ever.'
"I like it that the comparison stuff is left open. We've probably got a few guards walking around who think they were
the best to ever play for Frankford. Or a few teams who probably think, 'We bet Mr. Angelo thinks we were his hardest
workers. 'Or, 'We bet the championship we gave Mr. Angelo pleased him the most.'
"If I started making comparisons, it would kill all of that."
Saturday, fullback Darren Swift (19 carries, 137 yards, two TDs) and halfback Sean Parish (11-106, two TDs)
helped Frankford cruise to a 35-6 lead by halftime, so they combined for only three carries thereafter. In all, Angelo
employed 12 ballcarriers. Their output was 425 yards on 69 tries.
Defensively, Frankford allowed Dobbins only 36 rushing yards, but quarterback Marcel White did pass 11-for-29 for a
title game-record 195 yards and both scores.
In terms of making allowances, Angelo did say that the middle of this year's line - center Mark Dooling, guards Tom
Farrell, Joe Susinskas and sometimes Jim Noel - "was as good as any we've ever had" and that the entire line - the
others being tackles Scott Bonk and Duane Gould and tight ends Danny Greenewald and Dave Samuel - "had seven
good blockers on it. No weak links."
If Angelo, who was assisted this year by John Litzke and a heap of part- timers, belonged to the run-it-up school,
there is no telling how many points Frankford could have scored en route to its 21st PL championship. Another
hundred, at least.
In five games, Parish and Swift combined for less than 25 carries and were spectators after the first series or two of
the third quarter. Nevertheless, Parish finished with 1,508 yards and 20 TDs on 184 carries; Swift had 945 and 14
"In the last six or seven minutes," Angelo said, "the starters kept saying they wanted to go in for one more play, just
so they could come off the field together one last time. They were begging, like little kids.
"I was tempted, because they've worked so hard. But I was worried how it would look. I didn't want to have (Dobbins
coach) Bob Smith think we were making a circus of things, or getting involved in showmanship. So we didn't do it."
Below are the players who earned first team Coaches' All-Public honors
during Al Angelo's 21 seasons as the coach at Frankford.
|Randy Tobin||E||1965||Ed Noble||L||1978|
|Manor Prewitt||B||1965||Ed Gerety||Rec.||1978|
|Jose Salamatin||B||1966||Ron Morman||RB||1978|
|Dave Tompkins||B||1966||Bob O'Connell||DL||1978|
|Joe Houghton||B||1966||Walt Parrish||DL||1978|
|Joe Geiger||L||1967||Chris Yurkow||DB||1978|
|Chuck Morganti||B||1967||John Felice||Rec.||1979|
|Rich Glenn||B||1968||Charles Parrish||QB||1979|
|Jim Roberts||DL||1968||Roosevelt Jenkins||RB||1979|
|Glenn Trethaway||C||1969||Jim Otto||DL||1979|
|Greg Taylor||E||1969||Tony Butler||DB||1979|
|George Loos||B||1969||Eric Leaks||L||1980|
|Robert Lynch||DG||1969||Ike Hardy||Rec.||1980|
|Mike Capriotti||LB||1969||Scott Croft||QB||1980|
|Warren Mays||QB||1970||Bob Brett||RB||1980|
|Vince Guida||RB||1970||Pat Day||DL||1980|
|Jim DeGregorio||DL||1970||Brian Ramsey||DL||1980|
|Tom Carpenter||DB||1970||Jeff Brooks||L||1981|
|Steve Ebbecke||QB||1971||George Troemel||Rec.||1981|
|Gary Hegh||RB||1971||Dave DeNofa||QB||1981|
|Thurman Robinson||DL||1971||Brian Ramsey||DL||1981|
|Mike Bicich||DL||1971||Bob Oeschlin||LB||1981|
|Gary Hegh||RB||1972||George Heineman||DB||1981|
|Willie Debnam||RB||1972||Richard Kershaw||L||1982|
|Andy Leszczynski||DL||1972||Gary Patillo||RB||1982|
|Paul Michalak||LB||1972||Charles Thomas||RB||1982|
|Rich Geiger||T||1973||Chris West||DL||1982|
|Anthony Turiano||RB||1973||George Dugan||DL||1982|
|Gary Timm||DT||1973||Chris Croft||DB||1982|
|Lee Felice||E||1974||Dave Somerville||L||1983|
|Mike Hagen||B||1974||Blair Thomas||RB||1983|
|Randy Whiteman||DE||1974||Shel Stroman||LB||1983|
|Bernie Laster||L||1975||Drew Cornog||LB||1983|
|George Benson||B||1975||Cliff Hubbard||DB||1983|
|Dan Oldfield||B||1975||Ken Bozzelli||DB||1983|
|Mike DiSipio||DB||1975||Brian Oechslin||L||1984|
|George Gordienko||L||1976||Chris Porta||L||1984|
|Darrell Miller||Rec.||1976||Blair Thomas||RB||1984|
|Joe Garofalo||QB||1976||Derrick Mathis||DL||1984|
|Rick Bozzelli||RB||1976||David Stone||LB||1984|
|Fran Lepouski||DL||1976||Clyde Thompson||LB||1984|
|Harry Cooke||DB||1976||Mark Dooling||L||1987|
|Eric Devine||L||1977||Dave Samuel||Rec.||1987|
|Nick Cervellero||L||1977||Darren Swift||RB||1987|
|Ray Wolkiewicz||E||1977||Sean Parish||RB||1987|
|Mike Anhalt||DL||1977||Scott Bonk||DL||1987|
|Mike McCann||LB||1977||Harun Reed||DB||1987|
Recaps of Wins in Public
Recap of Win
in City Title