Chuckbits
In the 2019 Calendar Year

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As provided by Chuck Langerman, noted South Jersey sports historian
and a graduate of Cheltenham High (Montgomery County, Pa.)

Chuck's email . . . chucklang@hotmail.com

2018 Calendar Year

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JAN. 22
CHUCKBIT
 
Pictured here is 6-5, 321-pound Los Angeles Rams reserve offensive lineman Jamil Demby.  Jamil stands alone as the only Philadelphia area (southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey) product in this season's Super Bowl match-up of the Rams vs. the New England Patriots. Demby, a 2014 graduate of Vineland High School in Cumberland County, New Jersey, started playing football at the age of seven in the Vineland Midget football League. Jamil starred at the University of Maine and was selected in Round 6, Pick 18 (no. 192 overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft.

JAN. 21
CHUCKBIT
  Today there are a lot of high school boys' basketball games scheduled in the Philadelphia area and on the cable channel ESPNU, but more importantly January 21, 2019 is the 33rd anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day which was observed for the first time on Monday, January 20, 1986. Fifty-five years ago on April 15, 1964, civil rights leader Dr. King (pictured here), who had just appeared that January on the cover of "Time" magazine visited Cheltenham High School. As part of the Cheltenham Township Adult School's "Five Star Forum," Dr. King spoke about race relations to a sold out standing-room-only crowd in the Cheltenham High auditorium. The speech was very moving, inspirational, and similar to his "I Have A Dream" epic speech. Dr. King was paid $1,000 plus transportation costs for the speech according to the contract (pictured here)  between him and the Cheltenham Township Adult School.

JAN. 17
CHUCKBIT
"IN REMEMBRANCE"

  Pictured here is former Cheltenham High School teacher, United States Army World War II veteran, and Frankford High and Temple University football legend Mr. Joseph "Indian Joe" Nejman. Joe attended Frankford High School where he was a high school football star, leading Frankford to a 13-0 victory over West Catholic in the 1940 City football Championship before close to 40,000 fans at Franklin Field. Joe matriculated at Temple University, becoming the starting quarterback on the 1942 football team. After his sophomore year, he decided to take a break form school and football, enlisting in the US Army to serve his country during World War II. After serving honorably in Africa and Europe for close to three years, he returned to Temple to quarterback the 1946 and 1947 Temple football teams. "Indian Joe" was team captain, Most Valuable Player, and a College All-American. Mr. Nejman would go on to work in the Social Studies and Physical Education Departments at Cheltenham High School for 34 years as a teacher, coach, and mentor to many students before retiring in 1985. Joe coached football at Olney High School, Germantown Academy, Roxborough High School, Cheltenham High, and ultimately as the backfield coach at Temple University and scout for the San Francisco 49ers. He also coached Olney High School to their first baseball city championship in 1951. He  was the founder of Camp Anglewood, a day camp in Elkins Park which celebrated its 66th year this past summer. Mr. Nejman passed away on July 13, 2012 at the age of 91. Joe and his wife "Nicky" were married for 63 years.

JAN. 16
CHUCKBIT

  Former Rancocas Valley football coach Bill Gordon started coaching at R.V. in Mount Holly in 1953 and became one of the most successful football coaches in South Jersey history, guiding the Red Devils to seven championships and two unbeaten seasons. Gordon compiled a 151-105-16 record over a 30-year career as coach of the Red Devils when he retired in 1982. Coach Gordon had many star players including Irving Fryar, Ron Gassert, Al Harris, and Franco Harris, all of whom played in the NFL. Franco Harris, in my opinion, is the most accomplished former New Jersey high school football player in state history with four Super Bowl rings.  Before coaching at Rancocas Valley, Bill Gordon was the head coach at Manasquan High School, located in Monmouth County at the Central Jersey shore. At Manasquan, Gordon recruited a former freshmen football player named Jack Nicholson (Manasquan High "Class of 1954") to be his student manager. Nicholson, a self-described "class clown," was also the student manager for the basketball team until he got himself in trouble.  Nicholson avenged the beating of a basketball teammate by sneaking into the opponent's locker room and attacking it with a Louisville slugger. He was banned from Manasquan sports after that incident, and began to get involved with the school's plays and musicals. Had Nicholson (pictured here at a Lakers' game) been less adroit at breaking and entering that day, we may never had known one of the most remarkable acting talents this country has ever produced.

JAN. 12
CHUCKBIT

  Pictured here is former high school basketball star Keith Kirkwood, a 2013 graduate of Neptune High School in the central shore area of New Jersey. During his junior season, Kirkwood , a future nominee for the 2013 McDonald's All-America Boys High School Basketball Team, led Neptune's basketball team to the Group III state finals, averaging 17 points and 15 rebounds during the team's state title run. Keith Kirkwood dreamed of being the next Stephen Curry. He had multiple scholarship offers and intended to go to Davidson where he planned to become the next 6-foot-3 guard to lead the school to the big stage. College hoops stardom and the NBA were a reasonable dream for Keith. He starred on an AAU team alongside Karl Anthony-Towns, DeAndre' Bembry, and Malachi Richardson, all of whom now play in the NBA. After his junior year, scholarships started pouring in. Ivy League schools were interested in the National Honor Society member. So, instead of letting his dreams into focus, Kirkwood decided to try something new and become a multi-sport athlete. For fun and something new, he went out for the football team his senior season. It was the first time Keith ever played organized football. Kirkwood responded by catching 33 passes for 737 yards and was named to the All-Shore Conference Football team. The rest is history! He earned a football scholarship to the University of Hawaii before transferring to Temple University where he had a stellar career playing wide receiver. Tomorrow, Keith Kirkwood, the young man from the Jersey Shore who went out for football for fun his senior year in high school for the first time, will line up as wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints when they play the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday's Divisional Playoff game.

JAN. 11
CHUCKBIT
Where Is He Now . . . ?
  Tito Nanni (pictured here) was one of the top athletes in the Inter-Ac League during the decade of the seventies. The 1978 Chestnut Hill Academy graduate played football, basketball, and baseball and was the captain and MVP in each sport. Tito was an All-City selection in football, All-Inter-Ac in basketball, and All-American in baseball. He once hit four home runs in a game against Penn Charter. In 1978, Tito was the first round sixth pick of the Seattle Mariners. After his professional baseball career was over, he earned a B.S. in Business/Managerial Economics from the University of Utah. He is now an Operations Manager for UPS Freight in Salt Lake City, Utah.

JAN. 3
CHUCKBIT

  One from Philadelphia. One from the Philly suburbs, and one from South Jersey.  Three former high school basketball guards will be linked forever as the only prep players in Philadelphia-area history to score 100 or more  points in a 32-minute high school basketball game. They are Bristol High School's Pete Cimino, (pictured here) Dobbins Tech's Linda "Hawkeye" Page, and Dajuan "The Messiah" Wagner from Camden High School.

  On January 22, 1960, 6-foot-2 shooting guard Pete Cimino, who would later be signed as a baseball pitcher out of high school by the Washington Senators, poured in 114 points as Bristol beat visiting Palisades High, 134-86. Cimino shot 44-of-78 from the field and 26-of-29 from the foul line. Pete had 20 in the first quarter followed by quarters of 24, 32, and 38 points. Cimino pitched in the Major Leagues from 1965 to 1968 with the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels
  Linda "Hawkeye" Page, a 5-foot-11 scoring machine from Dobbins Tech, burned the nets for 100 points on February 15, 1981. She made 41 field goals and 18 free throws in her team's 131-38 victory over Mastbaum. Entering the game, Page needed 37 points to reach the 2,000-point plateau for her career and earned that milestone midway through the second period. For the game, she was 41-of-58 from the field and 18-of-21 from the foul line. On that February day, the late Linda Page broke the Public League individual game scoring record of 90 points established by Overbrook's  Wilt Chamberlain in 1955. . . . Ted covered that game in person and I've asked him to post the story. It's below.
  Dajuan "The Messiah" Wagner scored his 100 points in a 157-67 blowout of visiting Camden County Tech on January 16, 2001. Wagner made 32 two-point field goals, ten three-pointers, and six foul shots to hit the century mark. His quarter scores were 25 in the first, 21 in the second, 26 in the third, and 28 in the final stanza. On that January afternoon he broke both the state and Camden High record of 94 points set in 1992 Greg Barr.
--

Feb 14, 1981

BY TED SILARY

Dr. Tony Coma, the coach, decided to change his mind, then a star named

Linda proceeded to rewrite the most noteworthy page in this city's book of

schoolperson basketball records.

Remember the days when Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 90 points against

Roxborough in February of 1955, held the record for most points scored in a

game?

Well, they ended yesterday with 4:04 remaining in the fourth quarter of a

Public League game between Jules Mastbaum Tech and host Murrell Dobbins Tech.

They ended in a flash, too, as Linda Page , a 5-11 guard, leaped from the

right side to follow a missed foul shot by Lisa Gilliam for her 91st and 92nd

points.

Better still, with 48 seconds remaining, Page was hacked on a baseline drive

and walked to the foul line. Swish. Swish. One hundred points.

Team-wise, the stats of note were Dobbins 131, Mastbaum 37. Page-wise, the

stats of note included 41-for-58 shooting from the field, 18-for-21 from the

line, 19 rebounds, 5 assists, 7 steals and 6 three-point plays.

" I wanted to break Wilt's record and I'm glad I broke Wilt's record,

" said Page, who is expected to announce her college decision in early March,

choosing from among North Carolina State, St. Joseph's, Louisiana Tech,

Tennessee and Old Dominion. " I'm also glad it's over with. Like always, I

couldn't have done it without help from my teammates and coach. "

ESPECIALLY THE COACH. It was totally Coma's idea to take another crack at

Chamberlain's record.

One month back, after Page had scored 87 points against hapless Roxborough,

Doctor Tone promised that " this is the last assault" and " nothing will be

done on purpose from now on in. "

Even before yesterday's game, he indicated that a film crew from Channel 10

had been invited merely to " capture the hoopla surrounding Linda's 2,000th

career point. "

However, Coma let his emotions take control because several people had

opened their enraged mouths a little too wide.

" I received all kinds of adverse criticism when Linda scored 87 points,

" Coma said, with disgust. " It came from unnamed people, mostly those in

skirts. When that happened, I couldn't wait to turn her loose again.

" The people who criticized me didn't realize that Linda made our league

known throughout the country , not to mention her and our school. They

failed to see the forest for the trees.

" Linda Page is a one-in-a-million player. She's a Wilt Chamberlain to the

girls game. I don't care what people think about me. I was fried by the likes

of Sports Illustrated and Frank Dolson (while coaching the men's team at

Cornell). But I do care about Linda Page . I want people to know: she's a

great, great player. "

PAGE REACHED 37 points and the 2,000 mark on a breakaway layup (pass from

Freda Harris) with 4:51 remaining in the second quarter. Her quarter-by-

quarter scoring breakdown was 27-26-27-20.

Before anyone gets bent out of shape again, this was one of the cleanest

massacres in basketball history. Dobbins never pressed full- court and the

starters, except for Page, played no more than half the game. There was no

taunting, basket hanging or matador imitations on defense, either.

Coma partially informed Mastbaum Coach Jay Kuvik what was planned beforehand

- the assault on 2,000, not 100 - and Kuvik (" I had an idea she'd go crazy

against us" ) graciously made no waves when the game was stopped so Linda

could pose for pictures with her coach, principal Ed Magliocco and a

specially-painted ball to commemorate the occasion.

Oddly enough, the officials (Ralph Mappone, Barbara Ransom) also helped by

giving Page an even shake. In her 87-point game, bumps and little chops were

often ignored as the refs seemed to figure, " Ah, she'll get her points

anyway. She doesn't need our elp. "

Page tied Chamberlain's record with 5:01 remaining as she dribbled behind

her back and nailed a 10-foot jumper. After breaking the record on the follow

and sticking three more jumpers, raising her total to 98, Page passed to

Danita Gilliam for a would- be three-point play.

HOWEVER, THE foul shot kicked off to the right side and Linda missed a

follow and a subsequent jumper - only the second time all game she'd flubbed

back-to-back shots.

The successful free throws helped her ease into the three-digit club five

seconds later.

" I enjoyed this game more than the other one (Roxborough)," Linda said.

" Why? I was making more of my shots.

" Really, this wasn't planned. It just started as the day to hit 2,000. But

I got 37 pretty quick and I knew by the half that I had to be close to 50. We

could see that the record was within reach. "

" When Linda had scored 53 at the half, all systems were go," Coma said. " I

told the girls that Linda needed only 38 more to break Wilt's record and that

I was sure they'd all like to someday say there were proud to play in a

really special game. "

With that, as the players broke their huddle, they bellowed the following

cheer: " Break Wilt's Record!! "

Through 12 league games, Page owns a scoring average of 53.4 and her overall

average (17 games) is 49.2. Wilt's senior-season average in Public League play

was 47.2.

DON'T LOOK NOW, but Linda (2,063) also has a chance to top Chamberlain's

career scoring mark of 2,252. The Mustangs could play as many as seven more

games if they win the league championship.

On Wednesday, however, they were topped by perennial powerhouse University

City as Page suffered a rare bad game.

" As soon as that game was over, I was so upset, I wanted to play another

one right away," Linda said. " Today, I took it out on Mastbaum. No, I don't

have anything against Mastbaum. I don't have anything against any of the

teams we play. "

Some teams, however, are treated worse than others by the scoring machine

with numbers on her belt like 46 (twice), 51, 53, 55, 61 (twice), 87 and 100.

Yes. One hundred.

Wilt would never believe it.