Philadelphia High School Basketball/Baseball
A Look at Ralph "Bones" Schneider's 79 Total Seasons
Coaching Basketball (45, 1958-2002) and Baseball
(34, 1960-2002) at Jules Mastbaum Tech
The basketball portion of this page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown, recap of win
in a championship game and the names of all varsity players during Coach Schneider's 45 seasons. . . .
To provide additions/corrections:firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
**Basketball breakdown on top portion of page. Baseball on bottom portion.**
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Coach Schneider's All-Stars and 1,000-Point Scorers
Ralph "Bones" Schneider coached basketball at Jules Mastbaum Tech for 45 seasons (1958-2002), winning 440 games and one Public League championship while advancing to one other final and two other semifinals. The 1982 team won the crown by beating the defending champ, Benjamin Franklin. Here is that story . . .
SEASON BY SEASON
"This might sound funny, but I expected a lot from our subs all season,"
Keith said. "They had to be hungry, getting so
little time. Lyn was really shaky when he came in. That was to be expected. We yelled at him a little and he seemed to get
UNFORTUNATELY FOR FRANKLIN, which lost its third final in four years, the word loose could never be used
yesterday in describing Reggie Faison. The 5-11 guard was guilty of 11 turnovers and Hamilton benched him with 0:08 left in
the third quarter. He returned for the final 5:30.
That was a first, having to pull Reggie because of bad play," Hamilton said. "He has great ability. Sometimes it's hard for
him to hold back and play within the team concept. I took Reggie out to settle him, so he would be ready for the stretch run.
And there was no doubt in my mind. Reggie helped bring us back."
Faison also earned an "assist," if you will, on Dana Garner's huge three-point play.
All events combined, meanwhile, helped keep Hamilton's theory on Public League basketball - that coaching is over-rated
"Mastbaum had more talent than us," Ken said. "Every season I've been coaching (since '72 ) , the team with the most talent
As even fans of The 'Baum would admit, though, Hamilton's statement could have easily been altered yesterday, making
room for the words "almost always."
Daily News photographer Norman Lono lost a $250 lens in a post-game incident.
"I was getting a drink," Lono said. "As I turned around, five youths pushed me against the wall. They kept pecking at my
equipment bags. When they backed off, the lens was gone."
TITLE TIDBITS: Mastbaum's 5-9 Timmy Brown , our choice as Player of the Year in the Public League, totaled 17
points, eight assists and three steals . . . 'Baum called a late first-quarter timeout because one of Ellison Huggins' Nike sneaks
came apart along a seam . . . Mastbaum finished 27-1, Franklin 18-10.
This story was written in 1978 after
"Bones" guided 'Baum into a Pub final for the
first time in school history . . .
By Ted Silary
For almost the first three decades of its basketball existence in a Public League that has long been distinctive for its
heavenly inner circle of quality teams and the much larger circle that becomes a special kind of purgatory for the bad ones,
Jules Mastbaum Tech always found itself in the latter.
From the time it joined for the 1946-47 season until a winning league record was finally posted in 1973-74, Mastbaum
often took its role as a bombee to heart, getting thrashed so many times by so many different teams that a 20- point loss
went down in the books as a moral victory.
Games against The 'Baum - as the school has come to be called - were looked upon as a chance to fatten the average, dust
off a fancy behind-the- back move that the coach would never permit in a "real" game and break out a few guffaws when
one of the Panther players dribbled the ball off his foot with even a hint of pressure still a block away.
"Ha, ha," everyone said, "ain't they a funny team."
MAYBE ONCE, but not any more. As a semifinal crowd of 4,644 at the Palestra got down and slapped some hand on
almost every basket, especially during a highly-pulsating stretch run, The 'Baum (23-2) - which had threatened to do so
twice earlier in the season - finally dropped a bomb of its own on one of league's traditional powerhouses, topping
Overbrook (21-6), 64-60.
And, as it turned out, the ending was a perfect detonator. After one-man gang Carlton Willis (12-for-19, 27 points) drew
The 'Brook within 62-60 at 0:12 by canning a baseline jumper, crowd-pleaser Raymond Thompson burned up most of
a sizzling fuse with a loping sashay upcourt (going behind-the-back to evade one pursuer) then . . . drum roll, please . . .
slam-dunked a hair before the buzzer.
"We KNEW we could beat them," said Thompson, who scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half after an 0-for-8 first
and converted a one-and- one with 0:20 to go for a 62-58 advantage. "Since we'd only lost by four at their place, we knew
we'd have a better chance at a place where neither team had played.
"THAT WAS THE ONLY way to end the game. I knew I could do it just after the behind-the-back move. At the
beginning of the season, our goal was to make the playoffs (last year's team was the first to do so). Now, since we're here,
we want to win it all."
"I think the talent won out," said McCoy, who popped 20 points on 10-for-14. " Each team has one or two great players,
but our third, fourth and fifth guys are better than theirs. Everybody played a super game. We knew if we hung tough and
worked harder than we ever had in our lives, that something good would happen."
More than anything else, The 'Baum survived because it was able to go the distance with just five men. In the December
game with Overbrook, Thompson, McCoy and guard Keith Hutchinson all were forced to curb their usual aggressiveness
near the end because of foul trouble. In a later five-point loss to West Philadelphia (Monday's final foe at 8 p.m.),
Thompson, McCoy, Clinton Brower and seventh man Joe Morrin fouled out.
LAST NIGHT, no Tech player sported three personals by the end of the third quarter and Thompson would become
the only one to flirt with danger at all, incurring his fourth with 4:51 to go. Mostly, it was full speed ahead.
"We had a chance to maintain a tempo and build momentum for the last quarter," said McCoy. " It wasn't in-and-out,
in-and-out. Not having our flow disrupted like it had been some other times was very important."
"When Raymond got his fourth," said Coach Ralph (Bones) Schneider, a 20-year vet, " I told him not to reach and not
to get an offensive foul. If he was gonna go, at least I wanted something worthwhile. He didn't reach, he didn't get an
offensive . . . in fact, he didn't get anything. Perfect.
"The (lack of) foul trouble was nice, but the real key to the game was getting Raymond away from the basket after he was
hidden inside the entire first half. Out there on the wing, once he got the ball it was like picking apples. Which way do I go?
What should I do next? He moved with confidence."
IN THE LAST quarter, as he had been much of the game, 6-2 junior Clinton Brower was a major factor for Mastbaum,
netting 7 of his 17 points and grabbing 4 of his team- high 13 boards. Little known for good foul shooting - even less so in
the clutch - Brower converted a one-and-one with 1:02 remaining to break the final tie (at 57).
"I did things harder in this one then I ever had before," said Brower. "My hustle was better, my rebounding was better
and my shooting was better. I knew I could take a lot of pressure off Reuben and Ray with a good performance. They get
a lot of attention, deservedly so, but they always tell me I do a good job, too. Anyway, seniors always get more ink than
Speaking of ink, it's all run dry for The 'Brook, which two weeks ago broke West's 68-game winning streak and had
met the Speedboys in the last two Public finals.
"I knew it was going to be a close game," said Coach Mark Levin. "If we played them again, it would probably be the
same. Mastbaum shoots well and rebounds well. What they lack in height, they gain with quickness. West Philly-Mastbaum
should be the same kind of game."
AT THE OTHER END of the Palestra, Schneider was pumping hands and accepting congratulations.
"In the early years," he said, "I had several chances to leave Mastbaum for another school. But in my seventh year, they
(school officials) told me they were going to build a new gym. In my 11th year, it was finally finished. They sure had me
hanging for awhile, but the wait was worth it. I'd never leave now."
Especially since The 'Baum has now evolved from bombee into bomber.
This story was written at the start of the 2002-03 school year, after "Bones" retired . . .
By Ted Silary
Make no bones about it. Jules Mastbaum Tech is a very different place this September.
Ralph "Bones'' Schneider, 70, a teacher-coach and later an administrator, not to mention Mr. Mastbaum, is adjusting to
retirement after 45 years, and those left behind are dazed and amazed.
"It's weird to walk into the office and look at that first desk on the left,'' said John Stay, a physical education teacher for
33 years. "No Bones. I keep saying, 'Where is he?' "
"The hardest thing," said Jim Taylor, a phys ed teacher for 12 years, "is that we didn't get to say goodbye. Things were
unclear as last year ended whether Bones would be back. We miss him. He's a good-hearted guy."
Amen to that.
One would need to search long and hard to find a Bones Schneider enemy. A fruitless end result would not surprise.
"He was easy to get along with, and knew how to roll with the punches,'' Stay said. "Almost everybody's a pain in the butt
to somebody at some time or another. Not Bones. I can't imagine he had a detractor.''
Schneider coached Mastbaum's varsity basketball team for a city-record 45 seasons. He also coached varsity baseball for 34
seasons (1969-2002), did a decent stretch as the junior varsity soccer coach and was the varsity coach for part of one season.
For 19 seasons, ending in 1995, he also was the coach of women's basketball at Gwynedd-Mercy College. He always tried
to make sure games were played Tuesday and Thursday nights, so he could coach Mastbaum in the afternoon and G-M
right afterward, with perhaps a quick dinner wolfed down en route.
Schneider steered Mastbaum to a PL basketball title in '82, despite having no starter taller than 6-3, and finished with a
440-509 overall record. His '79 squad captured the baseball championship and he won close to 350 games overall.
For about the past 15 years, Schneider was Mastbaum's disciplinarian. He was also chairman of the phys ed department at
the time of his retirement. A generation ago, he spent a 14-year hitch as president of the PL coaches' association and often
was quoted in newspapers any time the scrapping of sports was threatened by the district.
The fourth of eight children, the lifelong bachelor still lives in the house, in Gwynedd Valley, where he grew up. He
graduated in '50 from Ambler High (now Wissahickon) and in '54 from Temple, where in '53 he was the goalie on the Owls'
national-championship soccer team.
After serving 2 years in the Army, he joined the school district in October '56 as a substitute teacher and was hired on a
permanent basis, with assignment to Mastbaum, in September '57.
Then came year after year after year . . .
"I don't know how it happened,'' he said, laughing. "And I don't know what I'm going to do. I do know one thing: I'm
making more money now than I did the past few years.''
Indeed. Schneider accumulated more than 400 sick days and 100 personal days and is owed about a year's salary.
"He went through many, many years with 100 percent attendance,'' Stay said. "His work ethic was incredible. He would
go, say, to a 2 o'clock dentist appointment and then rush back to finish out the last half of a class!
"Bones was big in the union. He was still fighting for things that would benefit the future of teachers. It wasn't about self.
He wasn't going to be around. He liked looking out for the younger teachers.
"He wielded a lot of power. Any time a teacher had a grievance and wanted to see the principal, it was, 'Get Bones to go
with you.' Parents would come to him, too.''
Ann Donaldson, Schneider's sister, said his run at Mastbaum "was absolutely amazing, and he loved every minute.''
She added, "He couldn't wait to get to work. He actually used to get there a half-hour to hour early, so just regular kids
could play basketball before school even started.''
Schneider said he knew nothing about Mastbaum before he arrived, but quickly began enjoying himself "because the kids
were just like those at Ambler High. You could depend on them. I didn't picture staying for 45 years, but . . . ''
Taylor, who likely will be the new basketball coach, said he knew Schneider was different from the very start.
"When I came here,'' he said, "he actually explained how my job worked and what was expected of me. Most people just
throw you in there."
Schneider loved to pass time telling back-in-the-day stories, and his co-workers never tired of hearing them.
One of his favorites concerned Bob Emery, who was Mastbaum's football coach when Schneider arrived in '57.
"One day the principal came down to see Bob about something, and he was in that little bathroom in the back of the
office,'' Schneider said. "The principal asks Bob, 'What are you doing in there? ' Bob says, 'I'm shaving! Can't you see?'
"The principal starts yelling, 'You can't shave your beard on school time!'
"Bob says, 'It grew on school time, didn't it?' ''
Recap of victory
Public League final . . .
At Temple's McGonigle Hall
Mastbaum 78, Franklin 71
Dana "Dano" Garner (18 points) made the decisive play with 47 seconds remaining when he dribbled the length of the court, flipped in an opposite-hand layup, then added a free throw for a 74-70 lead. Mastbaum's first title came in its 37th PL season. Timmy Brown added 17 points and eight assists. Leon Washington scored 20 points for Franklin. Percy Warfield had 17 points and 16 rebounds.
Below are the players who helped Ralph "Bones" Schneider claim 440 wins and one Public League championship
in 45 seasons as the coach at Mastbaum. The year indicates the player's final season. Most were seniors. Some
transferred and some were underclassmen who did not play in the following season.
Baseball Breakdown . . .
Ralph "Bones" Schneider was the baseball coach at
Mastbaum for 34 seasons (1969-2002), winning close to 350 games
and one Public League championship (in 1979). Three other teams advanced to finals (1970, 1973, 1981), five others
advanced to semifinals (1985, 1986, 1988, 1997) and eight others advanced to quarterfinals (1976, 1977, 1978, 1980,
1982, 1984, 1987, 1993).
This story was written after
"Bones" guided Mastbaum to the 1979 Public
baseball crown . . .
By Ted Silary
Ed Coffin milked a 3-1 walk, moved to second on a hopper by Bob Tausendfreundt, and scored as Bill Onslager ripped
a single to center that kicked up dirt as it glanced off the mound.
In case you are interested, that little sequence comprised the top half of the first inning yesterday as Jules Mastbaum
Tech tested John Bartram for the Public League baseball title at Temple's Erny Field.
Almost three hours later, however, one was tempted to say that the teams had flunked in their attempt to top off a
well-played playoff series with a title game as smooth as satin. But, as much as this would-be fiasco resembled burlap,
it provided so many thrills that no one seemed to mind.
SCORING FIVE IN THE sixth and two in the seventh, raising its total of unearned runs in the game to nine, Mastbaum
scraped for a 10-9 win and tossed egg on the faces of Braves' faithful and certain players who had begun to celebrate in
the fifth with the score at 8-3.
Though Mastbaum had made the football final in '72 and '75, the baseball final in '70 and '73 and the basketball final
just last year as West Philly completed its string of five in a row, it had never won a so-called "major championship."
Three in soccer ('61, '62, '69) and one in bowling ('78) had been it.
"We've been known to choke, especially in football," said Onslager, who had an off-day pitching, but drove in the
winning run with a bloop single in the seventh. " All the teams have been close at one time or another but Mastbaum
really hasn't been known for its major sports. It makes us feel good that we've helped the school get a better rep.
"Like the coach (Ralph " Bones" Schneider) said, we were a team of destiny. The win over George Washington in
the semifinals really moraled us up. Damn, what a helluva season."
AFTER BARTRAM HAD ROUTED Onslager in the fifth on Tom Wilhelm's triple, Harold Cottman's single, Richard
Fletcher's double and Joe Paulukas' single - all hits drove in runs - Coach George Tomosky took out Fletcher and
Paulukas, a move that seemed to light the Panthers' fire.
Bartram committed three errors thereafter, all by starters, but a line shot to left that became an RBI double for Ernell
Harley in the sixth - tying the score at 8-8 - could have been caught if Mario Voli had broken straight back, and
Onslager's winning single should have been caught. It dropped just a couple of feet in front of an extra-cautious Michael
Mastbaum wasn't exactly scintillating down the homestretch either, doing more than its share to add the Keystone
Kops atmosphere. In the bottom of the sixth, first baseman Tausendfreundt twice dropped throws, the second one
enabling Bartram to take a 9-8 lead.
"I really didn't feel bad about it," said Bobby T., speaking of the second flub. "It was a low throw and though it was
my error, it wasn't a really stupid one. The reason I didn't think about it too much was because I came back with a nice
play right away (on Cottman's one- hop smash) and then I was running in and concentrating on getting the run back.
"I KNEW WE'D come back. When they made those changes, I thought, 'If they want to risk blowing the game, let
'em go ahead and do it. ' I took the changes as if that meant they were overconfident. It didn't get me mad, just optimistic."
"When we played Southern (in the quarterfinals), we were ahead by pretty much (7-1) after the fourth inning," noted
Schneider, "but I don't like to take guys out like that when I get a lead. That's nothing against George because it's his
team to run. All I'm saying is that I wouldn't have done it."
After that, Schneider recounted the details, however sketchy, of a semi opponent that decided to cheat its infield up in
hopes of preserving the shutout.
"We got a few bleeders and they started to tighten up," he smiled. "Then there was a mixture of about four good hits,
some walks, some errors and we won, 8-5.
"This game was up for grabs a lot of times. When it was 8-3, we wanted to have some runners on base and go from
there. The game had that tone, that everything was possible, and it just worked out for us. Hey, didn't we give the
fans their money's worth?"
MASTBAUM'S FIVE-RUN sixth started as pinch-hitter Lance Abele rapped a bouncer to short that was muffed by
Dan Gallagher, who had been spectacular in Friday's semifinal victory over Germantown. Fran Gould, another
pinch-hitter, waited out one of Keith Gentry's eight walks, then the pair advanced on a wild pitch.
On a grounder to short by Coffin, Gallagher was screened beautifully by Gould, did not make the play and Abele scored.
After a walk and a force at home, Scott powered a two-run single, Palmer Reap's grounder to third scored another run
and Harley lashed his RBI double over Voli's head.
In the seventh, Coffin singled, stole second and scored as third baseman Jonathan Adams pegged high past first on a
grounder by (ironically) Tausendfreundt. After Onslager singled, Jake Ellis relieved and escaped further damage.
Scott, who had rescued Onslager after Fletcher's double in the fifth, had no fun in the seventh.
He walked Voli on a 3-1 pitch and watched him sacrificed to second by pinch- hitter Dalton Scotland. Then second
baseman Manuel (Pepsi) Soto provided a big play. Soto was screened by ump Cliff Robinson on Jeff Morton's hot
grounder, but still was able to make the play.
However, Scott walked Gallagher and Adams to jam the bases. On a 1-2 pitch, he got Gentry to wave at a high fastball
to end the game.
"I was really, really nervous," Scott admitted. "More nervous than I have ever been. In a way, those back-to-back
walks made me more determined. I really went after Gentry and when I got a pitch over, I knew I'd get him.
"The way Billy's been pitching lately, I never expected to pitch in this game. I'm just glad that I was able to pick him up
on a day when he didn't have it."
As we hinted earlier, Bill Onslager was not the only guy who didn't quite have it yesterday. But at least his team had the
win and a date tomorrow (2:30) with Catholic League- champ West Catholic, again at Erny Field.
"If it's in the City Title game and we win it," said a bubbling Onslager, "I'd be glad to go through another game like that."
Going through games like the one that yesterday tickled funny bones and at the same time sent stomachs into a churning
motion are one thing, surviving them is another. Especially reruns.
EXTRA BASES: Mastbaum's Eddie Coffin stole three bases, scored three runs . . . Ralph Schneider: " I never got the
feeling that we wouldn't win a title in a 'major sport. ' After all, there are 21 schools and a lot of them don't win too often."
. . . George Tomosky: "I didn't feel like the game was in our hands. Our kids were thinking about playing West Catholic
and got away from playing this one, that's all. I thought this was going to be hard. With the 8-3 lead, they took their
concentration off the game. The team lost. Everybody lost this game." . . . Schneider had no idea on tomorrow's starter:
"It could be Bill Onslager, it could be David Scott , it could be Ernell Harley. We'll worry about Thursday on Thursday."
Recap of victory
Public League final . . .
The players listed below earned first or second team Coaches' All-Public honors
during Coach Schneider's 34 seasons (1969-2002).
**Please note: Following teams currently unavailable -- 1971, 1976, 1978, 1980.
In 1978, INF Bill Onslager (first) and OF Ed Coffin (third) earned honors on the
Daily News All-Public Teams. In 1980, OF Ernell Harley (first) and 1B Mike
Valentino (third) earned honors on the Daily News All-Public Team.**
|Pos.||FIRST TEAM||Year||Pos.||SECOND TEAM||Year|
|SS||Steve Bucholski||1970||C||Tom Streshka||1970|
|OF||Randy Bowes||1972||OF||Ricky Brown||1977|
|3B||Mike Przybyszewski||1973||C||Palmer Reap||1979|
|OF||Randy Bowes||1973||P||Dave Scott||1979|
|3B||Mike Przybyszewski||1974||1B||Bobby Browne||1984|
|OF||Randy Bowes||1974||SS||Harry Fernandez||1984|
|OF||Michael Malave||1975||P||Jim McKinstry||1984|
|2B||Andrew Sicinski||1977||3B||Tom Wilmer||1985|
|SS||Bill Onslager||1979||OF||Jose Dones||1985|
|OF||Ed Coffin||1979||SS||Dave May||1986|
|1B||Mike Valentino||1981||2B||Matt Wermuth||1987|
|P||Ernell Harley||1981||OF||Joe Malak||1988|
|2B||Julio Fernandez||1982||DH||Frank Markocki||1989|
|1B||Bobby Browne||1983||SS||Keith Sadowski||1991|
|SS||Harry Fernandez||1985||SS||Matt Schaffer||1993|
|P||Jim McKinstry||1985||INF||Ed Bowman||1994|
|C||Bill McCollum||1986||1B||Jose Mercado||1995|
|OF||Jose Dones||1986||C||Jose Allende||1995|
|OF||Tom Brown||1986||C||Jose Allende||1996|
|P||Bill Freitag||1987||INF||Anthony Centifonti||1997|
|1B||Bob Freitag||1988||OF||Joe Lock||1997|
|OF||John Conway||1992||OF||Alejandro Valentin||1998|
|DH||Keith Sadowski||1992||INF||David Carrero||1998|
|3B||Mike Milloy||1993||OF||Luis Alvarez||1999|
|OF||Renato Lajara||1993||DH||David Carrero||1999|
|1B||Josiah Middleton||1994||INF||Jason Gonzalez||2000|
|OF||Renato Lajara||1994||OF||Mike Street||2000|
|DH||Fred Hansberry||1994||P-INF||Jason Gonzalez||2001|
|INF||Fred Hansberry||1995||P-INF||Jose Colon||2001|
|INF||Ed Bowman||1995||INF-C||Luis Alicea||2002|
|OF||Jorge "Reds" Diaz||1997|
The players listed below earned first, second
or third team Daily News All-City honors
from 1978 through 2002.