Coaldale's long-standing pigskin prestige is on the spot this coming fall after a below par showing in 1958 that produced only three victories in ten games.
Losing football seasons at Coaldale are a distinct rarity. Proof of that is indicated in the Tiger’s record of 99 victories against 62 losses and 14 ties during the past 18 years in the Southern Division of the Eastern Conference.
The new coach, George Greiner, is already faced with a player shortage. The turnout of candidates for the 1959 squad is the lowest in over a decade. Several prospects expected back are employed in other areas and will not report until school opens. Coaldale had only 198 pupils last year.
The Tiger tutor is concerned over the small squad since Coaldale will be facing three tough foes on successive weekends early in the season. The schedule has been revised with McAdoo replacing Blythe Township as the opening opponent.
Following the lid lifter, the Tigers will collide with Shenandoah, one of the two new teams on the 1959 menu, West Hazleton and Tamaqua on successive weekends. All three rank among the best in the conference.
Coaldale lost five starters by graduation including Greg Posta, a triple-threat back, Tom Surotchak and Steve Vahovich, two more dependable backs, and Ron Mateyak, captain and end.
Coach Greiner's biggest task is assembling a fast-striking backfield. The most likely looking prospects to date are Joe Winsko, Joe Terry, Larry Trubilla and Jack Evans. The last two are only sophomores.
The Orange and Black forward wall is much more solid. Paul Dirnberger, an end; George McDonald, Billy Evans and Jerry Donovan, tackles; John Tonkins and George Stoffey, guards; and Joe Burns, center, loom strong as possible starters.
The only other change on the schedule is the addition of Hazle Township on October 31 instead of Mahanoy City. Coaldale officials decided to discontinue relations with Mahanoy City (now Mahanoy Area Joint) because of the vast difference in enrollments. Other standby opponents are Summit Hill, Schuylkill Haven, Nesquehoning, Minersville and Lansford, all of whom have been appearing on Coaldale’s card for years.