WARM SALUTES NUMBER ONE TEAM
It has been 47 years since the West Scranton Invaders won a Basketball Trophy. WARM Radio was on the case doing live reports from the games and even dedicated a survey sheet to the winning team. Here is a story that Scranton Times Reporter Joby Fawcett wrote about that great team and their reunion.
It was a night that defines what high school athletics are truly all about.
Swapping stories and recalling great memories, members of the 1970 West Scranton boys basketball team reunited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of winning the Lackawanna League Southern Division, District 2 and Lynett Tournament championships.
It is the only year a boys basketball team won both the district and Lynett crowns.
Bob Bugno organized the gathering that brought many of the former players from as far as Texas back to West Scranton High School where those memories were made during a 24-3 season that ended in the state semifinals with a tough loss to Haverford, 68-57, in Harrisburg.
"I couldn't be happier," former coach Dan Donovan with a proud smile. "It was one of the greatest teams I ever coached. This was not only a wonderful team, they were wonderful kids. These kids came to work every day and worked hard every day.
"Tonight is one of the most special moments I have had."
The Invaders huddled around, enjoying the trophies that were displayed.
"I didn't know who would show up," said 1970 player of the year Jerry Karwoski, who spent more than two decades in Germany and now resides in Texas and was the Player of the Year in 1970. "I couldn't miss this for the world. We haven't changed a lot. It's great to see everyone."
Those who returned were coach Donovan, assistant coach Joe Barbuti, Bugno, Karwoski, Joe Orzel, Jeff Lewis, Jim Warner and Craig Mailen. Former school principal A. William Panaci and former athletic director Armand Martinelli were also back.
Other players on the title team were Walt Snopkowski, Paul Mailen, Bob Sparacino, Mike Julio, Frank Maccino, John Jurbala, Tom Sack, Emil Palarino and Paul Provini.
"We all practically lived together back then," said Bugno, who surprised the players with a highlight DVD of that 1970 season. "It was more important to coach Donovan for us to be good people. I look at all these people and how class people they are. I love them. I never forgot them and many of us haven't seen each other in 40 years, but we immediately reconnected."
WEST SCRANTON INVADERS THEN
WEST SCRANTON INVADERS IN 2010JOBY FAWCETT / STAFF PHOTO Members of the 1970 Lackawanna League and District 2 championship team gathered for a 40th reunion last week. First row, from left: former school principal A. William Panaci, 1970 coach of the year Dan Donovan, former athletic director Armand Martinelli and Jeff Lewis. Second row: Joe Orzel, Bob Bugno, former assistant coach Joe Barbuti, Jim Warner, Jerry Karwoski and Craig Mailen.
And on that WARM survey sheet, the number one song dated March 1st, 1970 was "Venus" by The Shocking Blue".