At Friday night's National Football Foundation Lehigh Valley Chapter Hall of Fame banquet, new inductee Don Clemons talked about how proud of he was to be from Northampton and throughout a 27-season coaching career with the Detroit Lions he let everyone know he was a Konkrete Kid.
"I have a Konkrete Kid sweatshirt that I wore everywhere and when people would ask, I'd tell them that this is my high school. … spelled with K's by the way," Clemons said. "My wife heard the stories. People would laugh when I'd tell them our mascot was a cinder block."
Clemons thinks so much of the Lehigh Valley that he's coming back here to coach this fall. He'll be on Jeff Pukyszyn's staff at Moravian College where his son, Corey, will be a sophomore quarterback.
"It's going to be a lot of fun to be back," Clemons said.
Clemons wasn't coaching last season, marking the first fall without football for him since 1976.
Clemons, who played college football for Frank Marino at Muhlenberg College, began his coaching career at Kutztown University where he was on the same staff as current Moravian College athletic director Scot Dapp. The two became lifelong friends.
"It was OK not to be coaching last year," Clemons said. "I was still around enough football. Unfortunately, Corey got hurt so I didn't see a lot there, but I did watch Moravian play and they do such a fantastic job. It's a first-class school and a first-class program. I obviously think Scot is an outstanding athletic director because he understands coaches and wants to do whatever he can to help them."
Clemons, who worked for the Lions in a variety of capacities and with a variety of head coaches, including current coach Jim Schwartz, said the hardest thing for him coming into the Moravian staff will be "finding a common language."
"Everybody has a different way of doing things," he said. "It's a talented coaching staff. These guys are good and I've learned a lot from just being around them. There's a lot of things that I never thought about with the college game … this read-option stuff, the wide hash marks. Here, they actually run the ball sometimes on third down. It'll be interesting."
Canary's new nest
One of the most impressive student-athletes in the Lehigh Valley is Allen High senior Tiffany White.
She is ranked No. 7 academically in a class of 602, she's the senior class president and the list of her accomplishments and activities could easily take up the rest of this column. It's an impressive list.
White, somehow, found the time to earn 13 varsity letters, including four each in softball and field hockey.
She is headed to the University of Rochester where she will continue her softball and field hockey careers, and you get the sense that she will be looking for things to keep her busy, even at the collegiate level.
She looked at several other schools, including some at the Division I level, but really wanted to keep playing both sports and Rochester gave her that chance.
"Had I gone to a higher division, I probably would have had to choose," White said. "The only higher school that would have allowed me to do that was Bentley, but that's a purely business curriculum, which is what Bentley offers. So, it seemed like Rochester was just what I was looking for. It was the perfect fit and it has a wide-open curriculum, which gives me a lot of options to explore."
White said the school has top-notch facilities and she's very excited to be going there, but she's going to miss Allen.
"I've made the most of my four high school years," she said. "I got involved in a lot of stuff and met some great people. I love being busy. I've been doing a lot of things since sixth grade and it has taught me good time management."
Join fight against cancer
Karen Schiavone used to coach basketball with the late Patti Heffner at Catasauqua.
Today she works at the East Central Division of the American Cancer Society in Bethlehem and is looking for males and females between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer to participate in Cancer Prevention Study-3. She's particularly looking for men.
It couldn't be easier to participate in the program.
Visit http://www.lehighvalleycps3.org or call 1-888-604-5888 and all you need to do is fill out a form, have your waist measured and give blood and you're enrolled. It's not time-consuming at all.
You can enroll at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Wind Gap on Saturday, at Rothrock Motors Sales on May 15 and at the Capital Blue office at the Promenade Shoppes in Center Valley on May 18.
Just about everyone has been affected by cancer, and we've lost more than our share of great people in local sports in recent years, including Patti Heffner.
This historic research study is being done to understand the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer.
The goal is to get 300,000 adults from various racial/ethnic backgrounds from across the U.S.
Whitehall High School held a signing ceremony last week in which 13 student-athletes signed commitments to continue their athletic careers at the next level:
Those signing were: basketball players Anthony Bellucci (Penn State-Berks) and Nicole Umbenhauer (DeSales), baseball players Matt Bonshak (Lehigh), Elliot Mortimer (York) and Tyler Sweeney (DeSales); football players Zach Delp (Kutztown) and, John Johnson (East Stroudsburg), volleyball player Nick Kuti (Rutgers-Newark), track and field athlete Michael Leonhardt (Lehigh), soccer player Jacob Pesarcik (Bloomsburg), softball player Braylynn Reimer (DeSales) and golfers Mark Roth (Alderson-Broaduss College) and Jacob Szakal (Wesley).