John Conlon was a role model as well as an icon.
He gave over 40 years of his life teaching boys between the ages of 9 to 13 how to play football. John had five girls and no sons. He had over 500 stepsons. He was very proud of his girls and all his adopted sons.
I was 17 the first time I met John at a Golden Gloves boxing tournament. This was in 1958. I was in the lightweight class and had a bye; that meant I had to fight twice on Sunday to win the championship.
John watched all the fights Saturday so he came to tell me what to do to win. They were great tips because I scored a technical knockout in the first fight in 15 seconds. I had 20 seconds to get ready for the championship fight.
I won that fight by a decision and was the lightweight champion. After I came home from the Marines in 1965, Conlon saw me at a Bishop Guilfoyle football game and came up to shake my hand and thank me for serving my country.
I was a football coach at McNelis Catholic, and John always had a trick play in his game plan and knew when to use it. John was the Godfather of the Altoona Parochial League. He ran a tight ship.
John's daughters are just like their dad. They had respect for everyone. They would call me Mr. Cheslock every time they saw me.
A lot of John's players went to play high school or college football. Blair County lost a great man when John died. John is now in God's stadium waiting for the new football season to start.
He will teach the angels how to play football. He's probably sitting behind his desk thinking up trick plays.
May God bless his wife, Shirley, and his girls. There will never be another John Conlon. He will always be a great coach.
Coaches coach because they love the game. I coached until my boys started to play, and I wanted to watch them. I will never forget John Conlon, and he will never be forgotten by anyone else.
PSU recruiting lacking
Congrats to Penn State for having one - one! - player taken in the first five rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Stefen Wisniewski was taken No. 48, one player before the first Villanova player, and 18 after Temple's first player and six before Temple's second player.
What a disgrace. Nice job recruiting.