March 29, 2011

Division Avenue High School's very first football team, the 1956 freshman squad coached by Al Tarney

Click on photo to enlarge

Back row: assistant coach Jimmy Amen, Tom Dubose, Richie Glaski, Arnie Mark, Phil Adrian, Eddie Fink, x, Art Dorrmann, George Fox, Mike Prusack

Middle row: Bruce Garabrant, Ben Stark, Jim Beebe, Lefty Carlo, Ray Wenz, x, Tom Young, x, John Koehler

Front row: Stephen Lilienthal, Mal Karman, Jack Ellerkamp, Don Davidson, Howie Burtt, Terry Tobey, Tom Marchlevski, Kenny Ganim, Perry Bernstein, and Bob Castro.

By Frank Barning

This historic photo is of Division Avenue High School's very first football team. Art Dorrmann, class of 1960, was on the team and provided the photo. The year was 1956 and the high school had just opened, so this was a group of freshmen. The first varsity season was a year later.

According to Dorrmann, who lives in Glens Falls, N.Y. "The head coach was a man I admired immensely, Al Tarney, who had been a Marine colonel in the Pacific." When the team became a varsity in 1957, Tarney was still the coach, but in 1958 was replaced by Jerry Jewell who was the chief for more than a decade.

Concerning this vintage photo, Bob Castro wrote: "As a freshman, I was 5'2" and 116 lbs. Not impressive stats for a potential lineman. But, it was big enough to be a manager and haul around footballs and equipment." Bob had a growth spurt following the football season and was big enough to play on Division Avenue's first varsity football team.

A year behind the young men in the photo was John Kinstrey, who became a varsity football player a couple of years later and graduated in 1961. "We were still wearing those leather helmets in 1960. Can you believe it?" And check out the primitive face masks, too.

I was the sports editor of the student newspaper, "The Flame". The nickname for our teams was the Blue Dragons and a flame supposedly came out of a dragon's mouth. So much for a history lesson.

My most vivid memory of this team was the quarterback, Terry Tobey, who wore uniform No 1. From looking at the photo you can see that he is the smallest player. Terry was so small that he had trouble passing because he couldn't see over the offensive linemen. Along with a handful of others on the team, he transferred to Levittown Memorial High School before the next season where he continued to play football. Some people thought his name was Tobey Terry.

Probably the best players on the squad were running back John Koehler and linebacker Kenny "Tiger" Ganim. Both became all-league players when the team became a varsity. The other starting running back was Tom Young who transferred to Roslyn High School two years later. Koehler and Young went on to play college football, Koehler at Kings Point and Young at the University of Toledo.

There are three players in the photo that we cannot identify. Maybe a reader can help.

Photo courtesy of Art Dorrmann


Anonymous said...

From Don Davidson, class of 1960

Kenny Ganim and I were the last two players to be selected for that first team. Tarney had a group of 6 of us get into the three point stance and play “make believe”. Kenny at the end of the season told me we were the last two to get picked and we ended up starting all the games.

Anonymous said...

From Pete Carston
Missing name in back row(crooked helmet)is myself. Of/Def guard/tackle/end. Mid row #8 is Roy Maricondo(deceased-2012). Ben Starke was also a QB with Terry. Next to Ray I believe is Frank Rebuth(#10).I remember most of these guys. Jerry Jewel also assisted Jim Amen. Jerry handled the line mostly. Hitting him was like a brick wall. Still have this photo also. Thanks Pete Carston