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SPORTS NEWS
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
September 16, 2020

Sylvia Stahler Wilson

            Sylvia Stahler Wilson spent the entirety of her time at Upper Perkiomen High

Sylvia Stahler Wilson

School as an athlete. She played field hockey, basketball and softball all four years.

           Wilson says she was pretty good at field hockey and softball. Basketball, however, was a different story.

            "I wasn't very good," she said. "I'm pretty short."

            The 1963 graduate made her greatest impact on the field hockey and softball fields. In field hockey, Wilson started two years for Indians at fullback. She served as a captain during her senior year, calling it her best sport.

            Wilson said the rules would not allow her to cross midfield as a defensive player, which means she spent significant chunks of the game idle.  "The game was so different than it is now," Wilson said.

            She continued to play the sport for two or three seasons after graduation. Wilson took the field at right fullback for a Bux-Mont field hockey team based in Lansdale connected to the Women's Field Hockey Association in Philadelphia. The team, which practiced at Swarthmore College and whose opposition included units from Abington and Elkins Park, was very competitive.

            The East Greenville native also excelled on the softball field. She played left field and swung a dangerous bat for the Tribe.  "I could really hit," Wilson said.

            According to Wilson, the teams she played on relied on competitiveness and close friendships. She also credited their coaches for carrying the players through.

            "Back then, we were all friends," said Wilson, who explained that she received the all-around female athlete award because she was only one to play all three sports in all four years at the high school.

            "It was just fun. We played together. We all wanted to win. There was no spite. Everyone played hard, and we respected our coaches."

            According to Wilson, a few talented girls in the class behind her - especially on the softball team - helped the Indians succeed. She said those juniors helped the team contend.

            "We had some pretty good teams," Wilson said. "Everybody pulled each other through."

            After high school, she took a job as a secretary at Perkiomen National Bank in East Greenville. She rose to the role of assistant manager at the bank.

            "Banking was very different then," said Wilson, who lives in Emmaus. "The customers came first. I knew everyone who came in. They weren't viewed as just a number."

            After a few years, she moved to Merchants National Bank in Emmaus, then worked at the First PA Bank on Cedar Crest Boulevard until 1975. Wilson then served as the bookkeeper at a rental business in Wescosville before retiring in 2010.

 

Mike Duka

            Mike Duka's playing impact on the East Greenville High School football team

Mike Duka

may only be exceeded by his later contributions as a teacher and coach. For 33 years, Duka served as an assistant and head football coach at Upper Perkiomen High School.  He also started the tennis and wrestling programs at the school.

            "What I miss most is dealing with the kids," said Duka, who lives in Marlborough Township.

            Duka's offensive exploits at East Greenville generated multiple Division I college offers and he was named to the National High School All-America Football Team. As a senior, in 1950, the running back registered 144 points in just eight games.

            The Green Lane native led the Yellow Jackets to an undefeated record and consecutive Perkiomen-Schuylkill Valley League championships.

            He accepted a scholarship offer to the University of Arkansas, where he spent two seasons. His teammates included Pat Summerall, a 10-year NFL veteran and longtime broadcaster. Duka also played baseball for the Razorbacks, who competed against a B team from the St. Louis Browns.

            "The coaches liked my speed," said Duka, who played in the outfield. "They knew I could catch the ball."

            A football coaching change facilitated Duka's decision to transfer to ...



Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
September 16, 2020

            With three returning seniors, the upcoming season for the Upper Perkiomen tennis team should provide a valuable learning experience, according to Coach John Williamson. He said several of the inexperienced players should learn what good competition looks like.

            "There will be some growing pains," Williamson said. "This is a good year to improve. We're going to have a lot of girls playing competitively for the first time."

            According to the coach, tennis practice in the COVID-19 era has been "a little weird." Williamson said the coaching staff, who are required to wear a facemask, are constantly reminding the players to remain distanced. The players are only permitted to use their own three balls.

            "It's not normal," he said. "We keep reinforcing those rules. Safety is the most important factor."

            After practicing for nearly two months the Indians, who lost several seniors to graduation, are scheduled to open their eight-match Pioneer Athletic Conference schedule against ...



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