Mickey at his best

With the merger of the three Wilkes-Barre high schools into one now imminent, there’s been a lot of talk lately not only about the upcoming final football games of Coughlin, Meyers and GAR, but also about the storied history of these proud football programs.
Since I spent the first 15 years of my 51-year journalism career covering local high school sports, I have many memories of roaming the sidelines at Plains, where the Coughlin Crusaders and GAR Grenadiers played their home games, and at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium, home to the Meyers Mohawks. As I think back on those years, my most prominent memory is of lovable Meyers coach Mickey Gorham, who coached from 1966 through 1990. But it’s not of Coach Gorham on the sidelines. It’s of him at the podium.
Mickey Gorham was asked to speak at a testimonial dinner for Jimmy Cefalo, the one-time Pittston Area High School All American and Penn State standout who went on to play in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins. Cefalo had some of his best high school performances against Mickey’s Meyers teams, including a couple of 300-yard rushing games.
When it was his turn to speak at the banquet, Mickey said, “You know, when we played Pittston Area when Cefalo was a sophomore, nobody ever heard of him. And he faked us out of our jock straps all night. The next year, we were ready for him. We didn’t wear any jock straps.”
That was Mickey Gorham. Charming, self-effacing, and the epitome of sportsmanship.
With 163 career wins and four conference championships, he was a darned good coach as well.

Ed Ackerman