Clipped From Asbury Park Press

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 - Nick Merli Was Star Back, Track Sprinter SPRING...
Nick Merli Was Star Back, Track Sprinter SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS -Nick -Nick Merli, Asbury Park High School's genial track coach, was one of many talented athletes to come out of the Scranton, Pa., section in the pre-World pre-World pre-World War II era. ' Merli was born in Scranton but graduated from little Blakely High School, a suburb of Scranton, in 1940. Merli earned six letters, three each in football and track. Blakely was such a small high school that it did not support a basketball team. Despite the lack of boys, Blakely is annually a football power in northeast Pennsylvania. Blakely lost only one game in the three seasons that Merli placed halfback. halfback. Blakely rolled up a scoring scoring record in 1938 then it won the Northeast Pennsylvania championship. championship. Merli accounted for 62 of the record total of 307 points that campaign. Merli, 5-8, 5-8, 5-8, weighed 137 pounds, but he was exceptionally swift. In addition to being the team's breakaway runner, Merli handled some of the punting. Merli's coach, John Henzes, is still turn- turn- NICK MERLI Then Now 15 Boid Games Get ; . . Vf A A 1 14 4. 1 V- V- M. J. -M. -M. IS m m. fist number 0f sucn post-season post-season post-season De;evenls since the icoUegiate body NEW YORK UP) - Five new bowl f00tball games have been approved by e National Colle-going Colle-going I eiate AthleUc Assn. (NCAA), making a total of 15 at the end of the season. The NCAA said it is the larg- larg- , J nnm.,lv P1! 'n u5 adopted rigid legislation in 1951 regulatings the games. At one time" there were as many as 31 Five new bowl games were ap provedthe Aluminum, Flower, Bluebonnet, Liberty, and Santa. Here are the bowl games approved approved for this season: Nov. 21 Mineral Water, Excelsior Excelsior Springs, Mo. Dec. 12 Flower, New Orleans. Dec. 12 Bluegrass, Louisville. Dec. 19 Bluebonnett, Houston, Tex. ing out great teams for Blakely. Nick did equally as well in the spring as h; was the star sprinter for Blakely. Merli won the 60-yard 60-yard 60-yard indoor sprint championship and the 100-yard 100-yard 100-yard outdoor championship championship of northeastern Pennsylvania. Merli also was a consistent point winner in the pole vault at 10-6. 10-6. 10-6. Merli received an athletic scholarship scholarship to Scranton University based upon his fabulous high school record. He was a member of Scranton's varsity 11 for three years a? a quarterback. Nick, who weighed 148 pounds, was the smallest member of Coach Pete Carlesimo's varsity 11. 3 Years in Army After three years at Scranton, Nick enlisted in the Army in 1943 and was discharged in 1946 after attaining the rank of sergeant. Merli was an interpreter for the Italian prisoners at Ft. Dix. Merli returned to Scranton and graduated in 1947. Nick played .three years of soft-ball soft-ball soft-ball in the Mid-Valley Mid-Valley Mid-Valley Softball League. Merli, a speedy flychaser, was noted for being a good hunter. hunter. Merli received his master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in history but now teaches Italian and English at Asbury Asbury Park High School. During his 10-year 10-year 10-year tenure at Asbury Park High School, Nick coached freshman football for sev en years, assisted Gus Villapiano in track for three years, and has been the head track coach for the past five years. Nick has men-tored men-tored men-tored the indoor track squad for eight years and has been the bowling bowling coach for two years. j Top Bowler J Merli rates as one of the top bowlers at the Shore with an average average of 185 for the last two years in the Monmouth County Teachers' ; League, which he helped organize, and served as president until this . year. In addition to being the high ; average roller of the Teachers : League, Nick's 189 average was-the was-the was-the second highest in the Asbury Park Businessman's League. Some of the track champions whom Merli developed were Frank Budd, Karl Mayer, Steve Scheck, Charlie Smith Dave Ta-born, Ta-born, Ta-born, Jack Duval, and Bob Bunting. Bunting. Nick resides here with his wife, the former Edith Diggory, of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, and four children Chris, 7; Susan, 5; Steve, 3Vi, and Donna, 2. Merli is director of the Junior j Holy Name Bowling League of ! Monmouth County, president of i the Asbury Park Businessmen's ; Bowling League, and was president president of the Asbury Park Teachers' Assn. for four years. Nick's principal principal hobbies are bowling and reading. i

Clipped from
  1. Asbury Park Press,
  2. 18 Oct 1959, Sun,
  3. Page 20

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