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 Foggan, Snell apparently reached 1,000 points in same game!!!
Bob Foggan
Chuck Snell

Cranberry's Bob Foggan (left) and Franklin's Chuck Snell might not have been the first in Venango County history to score 1,000 points, but they did score that many -- and in the same game!

It appears they became the second and third players to reach the milestone in an 81-77 Berry victory in a Jan., 15, 1957, game at Franklin.

But nothing was said about in either The Derrick or The News-Herald. That's just the way it was back then -- no balloons or posters, either. 

Foggan, who likely made it first, scored 36 points, bringing his season total to 341 and his career numbers to 1,013. The 5-7 Snell countered with 31, giving him 1,001 for his career, which would end 10 days later. 

Scoring 1,000 points was a rarity in their day. Snell finished his career with 1,053 points in only 56 games. (He missed almost an entire season earlier due to a serious skin condition.) Foggan ended his career with 1,200 points.

It was recently discovered that Jack Eckert of Oil City St. Joseph, whose career spanned from 1950-52, scored 1,000 -- but back when he played his points in the Erie Diocesan playoffs weren't counted in his career total. I'm counting them now.

Another thing...

Rumor around Franklin is that Chuck Snell once scored 50-some points in a game. He did not -- at least not in a varsity game. But he did bucket 57 in a junior high game, according to this clip from the Feb. 14, 1953, edition of the Oil City Blizzard.

First team all-staters

Ted Marchibroda (top) of Franklin and Dutch Burch of Oil City are believed to be the only first team all-staters in basketball in Venango Country history. And they did it in back-to-back years: 1949 for the 5-10 Marchibroda and 1950 for Burch. Marchibroda scored 774 points in his career, including 301 as a junior. That ranked No. 2 all-time behind Ralph Musser's 306 in 1944. Marchibroda played, but sparingly, as a freshman in 1945-46. He was known as a defensive dynamo, intercepting pass after pass. Three-year career numbers for the 6-1 Burch, who later starred at Pitt and was an NBA draft pick: a then school record 757 points in 57 games while shooting close to 50 percent. He also accounted for about 65 percent of his team's assists. His 361 points in 21 games on 52.6% shooting in 1950 was a school record. As a junior he broke Dick Erickson's single-season scoring mark of 216 points set in 1948 and made second team all-state.

IN CASE YOU'RE WONDERING -- Marchibroda was not first team all-state in football, but received an honorable mention on the squad released on Dec. 9, 1948, his senior year. First-team "backs" -- quarterbacks, halfbacks, fullbacks were not designated --  were Anthony Constantino of Blairsville, Ralph Paolone of New Castle, Willie Thrower of New Kensington and Pete Shopa of Blakely. Second and third teams were also picked. Interestingly, this Constantino scored a WPIAL record 218 points on 34 TDs and 14 XPs. He had a touchdown run of at least 50 yards in every game but one. Marchibroda was first team all-Northwestern Pa. That squad was announced Dec. 23.


Notice anything strange about these all-state teams of 1949 and 1950? Hardly any Philadelphia players are on them. Practically all of the best basketball players in the state are from the hinterlands. Yeah, right...


This article appeared in the Feb. 26, 1956, edition of The Derrick. Katie Koontz is believed to be the first girl from Venango County to make an All-America team. This was during a period when high schools didn't field teams. She starred on the Tartans with Sis Mooney, Margie Danzer, Mary Walentosky and Mary Burchanowski among others. Bob Tidwell was coach but the team was founded in 1953 by Beverly Lauffer (later Suhr). Koontz was also an outstanding tennis player and swimmer and was a cheerleader for OCHS.

Girls have done better at the next level of hoops than boys once they leave Venango County. Jodi Gault, one of the first stars of the "modern era" went on got become a big winner at Pitt-Johnstown.

Jodi Gault

Girls basketball has a checkered past in Venango County. Pictured here are the 1939 Cranberry Berries.

Old Oil City basketball
Grove City College 1923 Basketball Team.preview.jpg

The Oil City star later played for Grove City College and is one of the players here on the 1923 squad.

Section 2 scoring leaders 1931-50
Hud Wells picks
his all-time team

Hud Wells, who coached the Oilers for 28 years in the 1930s through 1950s, picked his all-time team for The Derrick's bi-centennial edition in 1971.


F -- Leo Chacona

F -- Bob Ungren

C -- Dutch Burch

G -- Ted Ossoff

G -- John Wydro


F -- Lou Kraft

F -- Harry Siegall

C -- Bob "Wimpy" Ward

G -- Bob Hartz

G -- Gail Depew


F -- Eddie Osborne

F -- Howdy Rose

C -- Rich Ahrens

G -- Ken Pleger

G -- Eddie Weaver

Dale Lash scored 28 points in the 1918 game that Al Foster bucketed a then OCHS school record 51. He also played on the Oilers' unbeaten team in 1916. Then he went on to make a name for himself in New England.


Probably the Greatest Of All Time for Oil City in hoops -- and the only Venango County player ever to be drafted by the NBA.

Rich Ahrens

Oiler stood 7-0 (or maybe 6-10) under the basket, depending on who was holding the measuring tape.

Franklin's Division Is

Once upon a time, just before the middle of the last century, Ted Shuffstall was the basketball sage around Franklin. He graduated from Rocky Grove, where he played hoops, and then he was well-known around town, accumulating local knowledge as a coach, player and fan. "Shuffstall knows the town's basketball as well as anyone," said The News-Herald, which asked Shuffstall to pick the top 10 players to come out of Franklin High School. This would be since the 1920s.

TNH published his list on the March 17, 1945, and then Shuffstall elaborated in the March 19 edition of the paper. That article can be seen here.

Larry Gent and Jack Biery, who both played for Penn State, were 1 and 3 on his list. Guard Bob Muse was No. 2. 

Who knows how Shuffstall would have rated Ted Marchibroda, Chuck Snell, Kevin Blackhurst, Dillon King and Easton Fulmer and a host of other stars who have played since. But here's what he had to say about the pre-World War II stars.

Jack Biery
Larry Gent

Jack Biery (left)  and Larry Gent once starred for Penn State. 

Kevin Blackhurst

Kevin Blackhurst starred in hoops and baseball at Delaware.

Larry Kozella
3-year starter
at Bucknell

Larry Kozella, who graduated from Franklin in 1962, went on to become a three-year starter at Division I Bucknell.

The 6-4 Kozella, finished his career with 626 points, averaging 11.4 as a senior in 1966, when he served as team captain. Bucknell was 15-10 that year. He was also the Bison's third-leading rebounder with 138.

Kozella, then 6-2, was first-team All-Section 2 in high school.

Kozella, Biery, Gent and Blackhurst are believed to be Franklin's only Division I male players.

Bob Lynch
Bill Hager2.png
Screenshot 2023-02-01 at 1.11.53 PM.jpeg

Read about Bill Hager (right), who guided Franklin to its first state title and amassed more than 600 career coaching victories  (not just at FHS). Many are here -- from Byron Johnston to Bob Lynch (shown here) to Bill Mook to Father Weibel (below).

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