Pittston Area great Jimmy Cefalo honored prior to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders game


Cefalo honored prior to RailRiders game

By Nick Wagner - [email protected]



Jimmy Cefalo reacts after throwing out a pitch at the RailRiders game on Saturday, Aug. 27.


Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch

Jimmy Cafalo says a few words at PNC Field on Saturday, Aug. 27.


Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch

Jimmy Cafalo sits on home plate at PNC Field as he is honored by local dignitaries.


Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch

Jimmy Cefalo arrives at home plate prior to a RailRiders game on Saturday, Aug. 27.


Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch

Jimmy Cefalo talks with the RailRiders player following his first pitch on Saturday, Aug. 27.


Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch

Jimmy Cefalo holds the ball from his first pitch, and certificates of recognition from Pittston Area.


Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch

Jimmy Cefalo poses for photos with members of the Pittston Area football team, where he played from 1970 to 1973.


Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch


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    MOOSIC — Pittston Area football coach Jim Norris remembers the stories his father told him about the most decorated football player in school history.

    He remembers hearing about Jimmy Cefalo’s talent and that he could have rushed for 5,000 yards if he played varsity his freshman season. Norris, along with the majority of his Pittston Area football team, were on hand Saturday, Aug. 27 for Jimmy Cefalo Night at the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders game at PNC Field.

    “It’s important to any football program to be in touch with the past and the tradition,” Norris said. “(The football team) works every day in a building named after Jimmy Cefalo.”

    Cefalo was honored prior to the game and threw out the first pitch.

    “It’s always an honor to come back to the Pittston area,” Cefalo said via text message prior to boarding a flight to Seattle on Friday. “I’m always surprised that people have such vivid memories of events that occurred more than 40 years ago. The best part of the weekend was spending time with my family and friends.”

    During the RailRiders game, fans had the opportunity to meet Cefalo and get autographs. They were also treated to highlights of Cefalo’s career on the big screen. Joining the football team on the field were the Pittston Area cheerleaders.

    “Getting a chance to go there and honor him is pretty important,” Norris said.

    Cefalo, who played for Pittston Area from 1970-73, compiled 4,388 yards on 507 carries. He played junior varsity his freshman season and had 23 touchdowns in just seven games. In his senior season with the Patriots, he rushed for 1,940 yards and 24 touchdowns, and was named to the Associated Press and United Press International all-state teams.

    One of the best games of his career came in the third week of his senior season against Dallas. He rushed for 310 yards on 29 carries and scored six touchdowns.

    Cefalo played his last game for Pittston Area on Thanksgiving Day in 1973 against Wyoming Area. He carried the ball 23 times for 278 yards and four touchdowns.

    Norris’ father, the late Jimmy Norris, coached Cefalo for a few years at Pittston Area.

    “There’s always talk about him being a great athlete,” the younger Norris said. “He is a good person. He came from a good family and was a great student in the classroom.”

    Cefalo went on to continue his football career at Penn State, where he was named the Most Valuable Player in the 1976 Gator Bowl. He was drafted in the third round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins, where he would play six seasons and appear in two Super Bowls.

    In 1984, Cefalo caught Dan Marino’s pass that broke the record for most touchdown passes in a season.

    Jimmy Cefalo reacts after throwing out a pitch at the RailRiders game on Saturday, Aug. 27.
    http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_cefalo1_faa-1.jpgJimmy Cefalo reacts after throwing out a pitch at the RailRiders game on Saturday, Aug. 27. Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch

    Jimmy Cafalo says a few words at PNC Field on Saturday, Aug. 27.
    http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_cefalo3_faa-1.jpgJimmy Cafalo says a few words at PNC Field on Saturday, Aug. 27. Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch

    Jimmy Cafalo sits on home plate at PNC Field as he is honored by local dignitaries.
    http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_cefalo4_faa-1.jpgJimmy Cafalo sits on home plate at PNC Field as he is honored by local dignitaries. Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch

    Jimmy Cefalo arrives at home plate prior to a RailRiders game on Saturday, Aug. 27.
    http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_cefalo5_faa-1.jpgJimmy Cefalo arrives at home plate prior to a RailRiders game on Saturday, Aug. 27. Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch

    Jimmy Cefalo talks with the RailRiders player following his first pitch on Saturday, Aug. 27.
    http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_cefalo8_faa-1.jpgJimmy Cefalo talks with the RailRiders player following his first pitch on Saturday, Aug. 27. Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch

    Jimmy Cefalo holds the ball from his first pitch, and certificates of recognition from Pittston Area.
    http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_cefalo9_faa-1.jpgJimmy Cefalo holds the ball from his first pitch, and certificates of recognition from Pittston Area. Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch

    Jimmy Cefalo poses for photos with members of the Pittston Area football team, where he played from 1970 to 1973.
    http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_cefalo10_faa-1.jpgJimmy Cefalo poses for photos with members of the Pittston Area football team, where he played from 1970 to 1973. Fred Adams | For Sunday Dispatch
    Cefalo honored prior to RailRiders game

    By Nick Wagner

    [email protected]

    Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

    Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

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