Philadelphia High School Football

A Look at Al Angelo's 21-Year Coaching
Career (1965-84, 1987) at Frankford High

  This page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown, recaps of wins in championship games
and the names of All-Public and All-Scholastic/City honorees during Coach Angelo's 21 seasons.
 . . .
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Blair Thomas (34 - Penn State/NFL) was Al Angelo's best Frankford player.

Al Angelo

Coach Angelo's Honorees
*All-Scholastic (1965-70)
All-City (1971-84, 1987)
*-Five County Area

Greg Taylor E 1969
Mike Capriotti LB 1969
Tom Carpenter DB 1970
Steve Ebbecke DB 1971
Gary Hegh RB 1972
Willie Debnam RB 1972
Rich Geiger DE 1973
Lee Felice LB 1974
Randy Whiteman DE 1974
Bernie Laster L 1975
George Benson RB 1975
Darrell Miller Rec. 1976
Mike Anhalt 1977
Mike McCann LB 1977
Walt Parrish L 1978
Chris Yurkow DB 1978
Tony Butler DB 1979
Eric Leaks L 1980
Bob Brett DE 1980
Brian Ramsey L 1980
Brian Ramsey DL 1981
George Heineman DB 1981
Dave Somerville L 1983
Blair Thomas RB 1983
Blair Thomas RB 1984
Mark Dooling DL 1987
Sean Parish RB 1987
Rich Glenn RB 1968
Warren Mays QB 1970
Gary Hegh RB 1971
Thurman Robinson DL 1971
Anthony Turiano RB 1973
Mike Hagen RB 1974
Mike DiSipio DB 1975
George Gordienko L 1976
Joe Garofalo QB 1976
Harry Cooke DB 1976
Charles Thomas RB 1982
Jim DeGregorio L 1970
Ray Wolkiewicz Rec. 1977
Ed Noble DL 1978
Scott Croft QB 1980
Jeff Brooks L 1981
Dave DeNofa K 1981
Blair Thomas KR 1982
Cliff Hubbard DB 1983
Tito Davis DB 1984
Dave Samuel LB 1987
Tom Honeyman K 1987
Scott Bonk DL 1987
Harun Reed DB 1987


Al Angelo
Tribute Page

  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 . . .

By Ted Silary

 Shock No. 1 on a day that would wind up including many came a half- hour before the kickoff when Frankford High two-way stars Walter Parrish and Chris Yurkow, standing at midfield with their counterparts from Archbishop Wood for an early toss of the coin, failed to interrupt its descent by whipping out tin cups . . . the better to catch the coin, then pocket it.
  Shock No. 2 came at gametime itself when the remainder of Frankford's players charged onto the field and it became obvious that nary a one would sport holes in his cleats, a busted face mask, tattered pants or a crooked hickory stick with a junk-filled bandana attached to the end.
  Shock No. 3, the 27-7 victory rung up by Frankford in the rain and resulting slop at JFK Stadium on Saturday, took a wee bit longer to zoom into focus, but by the time it did, well, it wasn't much of a shock any more.
  The Pioneers, representing the league that most often comes into this annual season's-end game just looking for handouts and the opportunity to make things close, were that impressive, that dominant.
  And whether or not you care to admit it, the success of Frankford's supposed bunch of ragamuffins was very much necessary to keep a long-lopsided City Title football series from reaching the foregone conclusion stage . . . though to some haughty people in the "best league around" it had already done so.
  "Above and beyond what this victory means to people at Frankford and to me," said Coach Al Angelo, who had been 0-8-1 as a player, assistant and head man in previous visits, " I'm just really happy for the Public League and all of its coaches.
  "o many people, we're just the poor, little, ol' Public League. A couple of weeks ago, someone was quoted as saying, 'Frankford plays the Mastbaums, the Olneys and the Kings while so-and-so plays the Judges, the Doughertys and the somebody elses,' implying, I guess, that we play nobodies.
  "OK, I'LL ADMIT we're not as strong overall as the Catholic League, but that remark kind of hurt me. It made me feel bad for Mastbaum, Olney and King, and for their coaches. Well, the Judges and the Doughertys played Wood and I don't think they did as well as we did today. So I have to feel really proud."
  Proud ain't the word for it. Angelo's players, finally meeting a team close to their own size and playing on a field that helped them stop the Wishbone, were in command throughout.
  On offense, junior fullback Joe Galasso, a transfer from North Catholic who seemingly gains 15 yards for every word he speaks, was almost the whole show, turning 30 carries into 155 yards and two touchdowns.
  On defense, end Parrish, a transfer from Olney by way of Roman Catholic who also plays offensive guard, was just as noticeable, accumulating four tackles behind the line and recovering a botched pitchout to set up the final score. 

  continued right below . . .

Public League
1965: 4-3-1
1966: 6-1-1
1967:  5-3
1968: 3-4-1
1969: 8-0
1970: 8-0
1971: 8-0
1972: 6-0
1973: 7-1
1974: 9-0
1975: 9-0
1976: 6-0
1977: 6-0
1978: 5-0-1
1979: 5-1
1980: 6-0
1981: *none
1982: 5-1
1983: 6-0
1984: 6-0
1985: inactive
1986: inactive
1987: 6-0
Total: 124-14-4
*-tournament took place
after teachers' strike
1965: 4-5-1
1966: 7-2-1
1967:  5-5
1968: 4-5-1
1969: 10-2
1970: 9-2
1971: 11-1
1972: 8-1-1
1973: 10-3
1974: 11-1
1975: 12-1
1976: 11-1
1977: 10-2
1978: 9-1-1
1979: 8-2
1980: 10-0
1981: 6-1
1982: 9-2
1983: 9-1
1984: 9-1
1985: inactive
1986: inactive
1987: 12-0
Total: 184-39-5

1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975,
1978, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1987


   "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
Al Angelo.
  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
on 146.
  "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
Manor Prewitt B 1965
Jose Salamatin B 1966
Dave Tompkins B 1966
Joe Houghton B 1966
Joe Geiger L 1967
Chuck Morganti B 1967
Rich Glenn B 1968
Jim Roberts DL 1968
Glenn Trethaway C 1969
Greg Taylor E 1969
George Loos B 1969
Robert Lynch DG 1969
Mike Capriotti LB 1969
Warren Mays QB 1970
Vince Guida RB 1970
Jim DeGregorio DL 1970
Tom Carpenter DB 1970
Steve Ebbecke QB 1971
Gary Hegh RB 1971
Thurman Robinson DL 1971
Mike Bicich DL 1971
Gary Hegh RB 1972
Willie Debnam RB 1972
Andy Leszczynski DL 1972
Paul Michalak LB 1972
Rich Geiger T 1973
Anthony Turiano RB 1973
Gary Timm DT 1973
Lee Felice E 1974
Mike Hagen B 1974
Randy Whiteman DE 1974
Bernie Laster L 1975
George Benson B 1975
Dan Oldfield B 1975
Mike DiSipio DB 1975
George Gordienko L 1976
Darrell Miller Rec. 1976
Joe Garofalo QB 1976
Rick Bozzelli RB 1976
Fran Lepouski DL 1976
Harry Cooke DB 1976
Eric Devine L 1977
Nick Cervellero L 1977
Ray Wolkiewicz E 1977
Mike Anhalt DL 1977
Mike McCann LB 1977
Connie Miller DB 1977
Ed Noble L 1978
Ed Gerety Rec. 1978
Ron Morman RB 1978
Bob O'Connell DL 1978
Walt Parrish DL 1978
Chris Yurkow DB 1978
John Felice Rec. 1979
Charles Parrish QB 1979
Roosevelt Jenkins RB 1979
Jim Otto DL 1979
Tony Butler DB 1979
Eric Leaks L 1980
Ike Hardy Rec. 1980
Scott Croft QB 1980
Bob Brett RB 1980
Pat Day DL 1980
Brian Ramsey DL 1980
Jeff Brooks L 1981
George Troemel Rec. 1981
Dave DeNofa QB 1981
Brian Ramsey DL 1981
Bob Oeschlin LB 1981
George Heineman DB 1981
Richard Kershaw L 1982
Gary Patillo RB 1982
Charles Thomas RB 1982
Chris West DL 1982
George Dugan DL 1982
Chris Croft DB 1982
Dave Somerville L 1983
Blair Thomas RB 1983
Shel Stroman LB 1983
Drew Cornog LB 1983
Cliff Hubbard DB 1983
Ken Bozzelli DB 1983
Brian Oechslin L 1984
Chris Porta L 1984
Blair Thomas RB 1984
Derrick Mathis DL 1984
David Stone LB 1984
Clyde Thompson LB 1984
Mark Dooling L 1987
Dave Samuel Rec. 1987
Darren Swift RB 1987
Sean Parish RB 1987
Scott Bonk DL 1987
Harun Reed DB 1987

Recaps of Wins in Public League Championship Games

At Northeast
Frankford 30, Dobbins 8
    Craig Henry was the hero in the first regularly-scheduled championship game. Henry, who'd spent much of the season serving only as a blocking wingback, caught TD passes of 5, 39 and 23 yards from Warren Mays as Frankford rolled. Henry scored two of his TDs in the final 24 seconds of the first half. The Pioneers picked off four passes.
At Northeast
Frankford 15, Central 0
    Rather than its patented wing-T, Frankford used an I formation and Gary Hegh responded with 24 carries for 144 yards and a score. Steve Ebbecke passed to Mark Townsell for a TD and Mark Brenfleck kicked a 33-yard field goal. On defense, the Pioneers used a six-man line for the first time all year and Central was limited to 107 yards total offense.
At Northeast
Frankford 14, Mastbaum 6
    Gary Hegh rushed 24 times for 207 yards and two TDs and, in his first start at safety, twice caused fumbles that Frankford recovered. Willie Debnam added 101 yards on 23 carries. The Pioneers' winning drive, which broke a 6-6 tie, covered 63 yards and began with 4:07 left. For Mastbaum, Nick Zampitella ran for a short score.
At Northeast
Frankford 14, Southern 13
    In a wild affair, three touchdowns were scored in the final 3:52. Southern took a 7-6 lead as QB Mike DiFeliciantonio gained 2 yards on fourth-and-3 then had the ball wrested out of his hands by teammate Frank Otis, who ran 42 yards for the score. With 1:10 left, Frankford's Anthony Turiano scored his second TD and Cliff Hutchens hit Jim Wetzel on the conversion. Southern roared back as Mike McKenna raced 80 yards for a kickoff-return TD, but on the conversion, George Hall was stopped inches short of the goal line by Wetzel and Bernie Mullen.
At Northeast
Frankford 18, Mastbaum 6
    George Benson rumbled to 170 yards and two TDs, including a 65-yarder, despite losing four fumbles. Receiver Darrell Miller scored the other TD when he fell on a fumble by back Rick Bozzelli. The Pioneers' dominant lineman was Bernie Laster, who played throughout the season with a hernia. Mastbaum scored on a 32-yard return of a blocked punt by John Adams.
At Northeast
Frankford 7, Lincoln 6
    Chris Yurkow scored Frankford's TD on a 56-yard, first-quarter
interception return and made another interception on Frankford's 5 on the final play of the game. He also recovered a fumble, forced by Mike
Seonia, to end Lincoln's next-to-last series. Tony Verrillo kicked the
decisive PAT. For Lincoln, Zachary Armwood rushed 29 times for 106 yards and a TD and Wendell Birch passed 8-for-15 for 102 yards, with Corey McElveen making two catches for 70 yards.
At Northeast
Frankford 22, Central 18
    Scott Croft threw an 18-yard TD pass to Mike Gourdine to give Frankford a 15-12 lead, then ran 2 yards for a score with 1:40 remaining after Central had stormed ahead on a 58-yard bomb from Joel Murphy (6-for-16, 127 yards) to Vic Bellamy. At 10-0-0, the Pioneers posted the best record in school history and its first-team defense allowed just three TDs all season.
At Northeast
Frankford 34, Washington 8
    George Heineman scored four TDs as the Pioneers collected their
eighth title in 13 years. Heineman returned a fumble 48 yards for a score to wreck Washington's first play from scrimmage. He also rushed 27 times for 158 yards and two scores and caught a 9-yard scoring pass from Dave DeNofa. For the season, Heineman scored 17 of Frankford's 29 TDs. DeNofa, who in the regular season had set an area record by kicking nine PAT in one game, hammered field goals of 25 and 29 yards and added four PAT.
At Northeast
Frankford 16, Central 0
    Blair Thomas carried 42 times for 167 yards and a TD to give retiring coach Al Angelo a 172-39-5 record in 20 seasons along with nine PL titles. Thomas finished his career with career city-leagues records for rushing attempts (626), rushing yards (3,941), rushing TDs (55) and total TDs (59). For Central, Rich Drayton made three receptions for 50 yards.
At Northeast
Frankford 42, Dobbins 14
    With Al Angelo back as coach for one final season, Frankford set a city-leagues record for points in a season with 454 (Bishop Egan had scored 438 in 1966) and became the first PL team to finish a season 12-0. Darren Swift (19-137) and Sean Parish (11-106) rushed for two TDs apiece. Angelo finished 184-39-5 and broke the city-leagues record for career wins (170) set by Neumann's Paul Bartolomeo from 1946-78. For Dobbins, Marcel White passed 11-for-29 for 195 yards and two TDs while Marc Keller made six receptions for 121 yards and a score.

Recap of Win in City Title

At Kennedy Stadium
Frankford 27, Wood 7
    In a driving rainstorm, which turned the natural surface at Kennedy Stadium into a mud-covered mess, Frankford relied almost exclusively on the straight-ahead running of fullback Joe Galasso, who responded with 155 yards and two TDs on 30 carries. The Pioneers were just the PL's third winner since 1951. Coach Al Angelo had been 0-8-1 in city title appearances as a player, assistant and head coach. Chris Yurkow ran for one TD and completed his only pass for another. Walt Parrish made four tackles for losses and recovered an errant pitchout. For Wood, John Kafel returned the second half kickoff 80 yards for a TD.