The Wolfpacker

September 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 85 of 95

■ PACK PAST Wolfpack's first ACC championship will be on hand for all of the festivities when the team celebrates its 55th anniversary on Sept. 21-22. That's not surprising for a group of play- N ers who range in age from 76 to 80 years old. More than a dozen have passed away, and some are unable to attend because of their own or a loved one's health issues. But give credit to two of Earle Edwards' former players who will be otherwise occu- pied that Friday night before the Wolfpack hosts The Citadel on Military Appreciation Day. They will be coaching high school football games that evening, just as they have both done for the better part of six decades. Jim Oddo and Bob Paroli are both still going strong on the sidelines, Oddo at Charlotte Catholic High School and Paroli at Fayetteville's 71st High School. Both have high school football stadiums named in their honor, Oddo at Catholic and Paroli at Douglas Byrd High. Oddo enters the 2012 season with 301 career victories, all at Catholic. Paroli's 403 career coach- ing wins ranks second in the history of the North Carolina High School Coach- ing Association, behind retired coach Jack Holley's 410. Paroli, 81, recently announced that he was stepping down at 71st following this season, after 55 years as a head coach and six 4-A state championships. But he declined to say that he was retiring from coaching. Oddo is still a youngster, barely 76, who has been a head coach for only 39 years — all at the same school. They both plan to be in Raleigh for the Wolfpack's football game against the Bull- dogs, in a 55th anniversary reunion or- ganized by teammates Fran Tokar of St. Simon's Island, Ga., and Bob Kennel of Holly Springs. More than two dozen surviving mem- bers of the team will have an informal dinner Friday night at — where else? — Amedeo's Italian Restaurant, which was founded by teammate Dick "Amedeo" DeAngelis. They will also have lunch to- gether prior to the kickoff. Those who plan to attend include team captain Dick Hunter, DeAngelis, Kennel, Oddo, Paroli, Tokar, Bill Adams, John Col- lar, Julius Compton, Dick Goudie, Don 86 ■ THE WOLFPACKER Jim Oddo, who has been head coach at Charlotte Catholic High School for 39 years, racking up 301 victories, said the Wolfpack's smaller roster size in 1957 made for good team spirit. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS Hafer, Randy Harrell, Bill Hill, Bernie La- tusick, Jerry Mancini, Frank Marocco, Bill McClain, Ken Nye, Jimmy Oaks, Fran Pa- landrani, Bob Pepe, Joe Rodri, Steve Vitek, Jack Stanton and Ron Savage. And they better all behave, too, because one of their former assistant coaches, 90-year-old Pat Peppler, will be there to keep everyone in line, along with former trainer Herman Bunch and equipment manager Dorsey Poole. Pepper had a long career as a scouting director and player personnel director in the NFL and was a part of four Super Bowl champion teams. Sadly, the other coaches and 13 players from that team have passed away, most notably All-American Dick Christy, the hero of the season's final game, who died in a car accident in 1966. Others who have died include quarterbacks Tom Katich and Ernie Driscoll, Tom Avent, Paul Balonick, Jay Beacon, Alex Gilleskie, Tony Guer- reri, Bill Harden, Jack Harringer, Kelly Minyard, Wally Prince and Mike Miller. Head coach Earle Edwards and assistants Carey Brewbaker, Bill Smaltz and Johnny Clements, and trainer Chester Grant, are also deceased. It's hardly surprising that the survivors of the group, who some argue saved foot- ball as a varsity sport at NC State by win- ning the school's first conference champi- onship since 1927, are still going strong. They were a remarkable bunch. The seniors on the team, guided by Hunter, were part of Edwards' first recruit- ing class, a motley crew of mostly Penn- sylvanians that filled out Edwards' quota of 15 full scholarships and seven partial grants. Edwards had long ties to the Key- stone State as a graduate of Penn State and a former football assistant for the Nittany Lions. Edwards' program was hardly elegant. The 1957 ACC Champions Created A Lasting Legacy BY TIM PEELER ot every member of the 1957 NC State football team that brought home the

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