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Whiz Kid, All-American, and Priest Dan Nolan Remembered

Father Dan Nolan was a "Whiz Kid" at MHS before becoming an All-American college football player, Pittsburgh Steeler, and priest.

Father Dan Nolan was a “Whiz Kid” at MHS before becoming an All-American college football player, Pittsburgh Steeler, and priest.

Mechanicville native Damian Fantauzzi recently published an article in memory of Father Dan Nolan, a life-long friend who passed away last month. His piece offers a glimpse at life on Park Avenue in Mechanicville during the 1940s and 1950s as well as some touching memories of Nolan. His article appeared in the Saratoga Today Newspaper this week and can be found on the link below. Nolan’s obituary is also listed below.

http://saratogatodaynewspaper.com/index.php/today-in-saratoga/sports/item/2889-father-dan-nolan-a-history-nostalgia

http://burkefuneralhome.com/sitemaker/sites/BURKES1/obit.cgi?user=1196751Nolan

Inspired by Fantauzzi’s account, I looked into other “Whiz Kid” memoirs. I found a 2001 Times Union article written by Alan Hart that recounts the success and legacy of Mechanicville High’s 38-1 back-to-back Section II champions in the 1951-’52 and ’52-’53 seasons. Despite there being no state tournament at the time, many consider the team to be one of the best in the area’s history.

The Whiz Kids drew a crowd too large for MHS' gym (later known as Gym C). They played at the gym in St. Paul's School, the precursor to today's CYO gym (pictured above).

The Whiz Kids drew a crowd too large for MHS’ gym (later known as Gym C). They played at the gym in St. Paul’s School, the precursor to today’s CYO gym (pictured above).

Hart’s article has quotes from Father Nolan’s brother, Tom, in addition to fellow Whiz Kids Bob Tassi and Augie Almela. The article can be accessed on the link below.

http://alb.merlinone.net/mweb/wmsql.wm.request?oneimage&imageid=6104435

Lastly, the Mechanicville basketball family also lost the coach of those legendary teams, Bill Kalbaugh, this year. After coaching at MHS, Kalbaugh went on to coach RPI basketball and golf for many years and later at Catholic High. He passed away in September in Elmira, NY.

Traveling to New York’s Southern Tier was too far for many locals to attend, so o allow the local Mechanicville and Troy communities to pay their respects, the All-Saints-on-the-Hudson Church will hold a service dedicated to Kalbaugh next Saturday, January 18th at 4pm.

Kalbaugh was remembered in a Times Union article in September, shown in the link below.

http://www.timesunion.com/sports/article/Longtime-area-coach-dies-4822725.php

 

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