Alphonsus “Al” Wywiorski

About This Inductee

Alphonsus “Al” Wywiorski, deceased, for-merly of Duryea and Avoca, was an outstanding coach and teacher at Duryea High School and player during his college days at St. Thomas’ College, now the University of Scranton. One of the greatest college and professional players developed in Wyoming Valley, Al was also known and widely acclaimed for his work in scouting material for several of the most outstand-ing college and university football teams in the nation. In sum total, he was responsible for secur-ing college scholarships for 69 young men from the anthracite region. While at the Scranton college, Al was the backbone of its nationally known basketball team for four years. During that entire four-year term, the team was unbeaten, while chalking up fifty-five wins. He played first base on the college nine and for one season was an end on the football squad. A forward with an “eagle eye,” Al’s basket tossing attracted the attention of managers in Joe Walsh’s Penn State Basketball League, a professional aggregation. His teammates included such stars as Stanley R. “Bucky” Harris, Merle Harris, Joe English, and others. In winning a game against Carbondale, Al sank a long one to win the game, and caught the fancy of the Carbondale manager, who signed him up that night, and where he remained the next nine years. He would up his professional career as a member of the Wilkes-Barre team where colleagues included Joe Berger, Bernie Dunn, and “Horse” Haggerty. Most formidable opponents he said, were Johnny Beckman and Nat Holman. Afterwards, he became coach of baseball, basketball, and football in 1924-32 era when Duryea High School had one of the crack basketball teams in the state. One of the reasons was his excellent coaching. Al was recognized on a national scope when he was admitted as one of the first members to the Sports Trail Century Club, a national organization of coaches who have turned in one hundred or more victories in a single high school sport. Al’s record was one hundred twenty-eight victories with only twenty-eight defeats in his career of coaching. His teams were well-disciplined, and he concentrated on defense, e.g., in the 1920’s, Duryea once defeated Plains in basketball 77-0, and also turned in a victory over West Pittston 32-1. West Pittston made only one foul in the contest. During his tenure of basketball, baseball, and football at Duryea High School, another achievement of his squad was the entry into two tournaments running simultaneously. One was at the Pittston Armory on S. Main Street, and the other the Scranton Times Tournament at the Town Hall in Scranton. Al had the varsity play against Exeter for the first half of the game in the Pittston Tournament, building up a comfortable half-time lead. He then got his varsity into sweat pants and jersies and pushed them to the Times Tournament, where they defeated Scranton Tech 28-6 with Tech making only six fouls, no field goals. Meanwhile, the subs held the Exeter team and the Duryea squad won both tournaments. Al Wywiorski passed away on December 2, 1986. He is survived by his wife, Mary Wywiorski and three daughters, Patricia Wywiorski, New Jersey, Marion Walsh, Laflin, Pa., and Joan McAndrew, New Jersey.