Carbon High class of 1952 celebrates sports legend Lou Mele
|Lou Mele along with coach Pres Summerhayes and Martin Bezyack celebrate winning the state football championship in 1952. Mele lead several different sporting teams and was always considered a class act on and off the field.|
After graduating 50 years ago, the Carbon High School class of 1952 will reunite this weekend to share many memories and catch up on each others lives. As part of the celebration, several members of the Carbon High championship football team will reminisce about their memorable season.
Class member Clark "Curly" Powell wrote this excert about his classmates and friends, particularly about Lou Mele.
The story begins in 1934-1935 when a band of ethnic groups found themselves in Carbon County trying to stay alive and raise a family in this new country called Carbon County of America. They consisted of many different ethnic groups, a majority of which spoke very little English and had very little education. Yet, this amazing group of human beings lived and worked together in peace and harmony pulling together as an all American team of brothers and sisters.
The hardships at the time where difficult to bear but this amazing group became stronger as a family group with one thought in mind, get these kids a new life of higher education and send them around the world to help mankind understand the real values of life.
Despite most of the world partaking in hateful deeds, Carbon County residents worked together to become a strong community, one which taught their children work habits, ethics, morals, love and how to help and believe in each other.
For Powell, this all started in 1942 when he started elementary school and his first friend was Louie Mele and Gerald Robison. From that moment, Mele was named captain of the kick ball team and many other teams for eight years.
At Carbon High, Mele was the focal point as the captain and a winner. He set the standard and each year he raised the bar for what happened in 1952.
Mele's friendship, coolness and competitiveness made the group into an amazing team of winners.
Although there was no television or radios and very few cars, what the members of these athletic teams did have was each other. They would practice hard and never lost.
The little league teams never lost and each year Mele continued to be the captain. In junior high, the teams never lost in basketball, football, baseball, or track. Yes, Mele was the captain and the standard.
When 1951 came about, six local junior high schools sent students to Carbon High. This is where the story starts to unfold and even though the highlights of the class of '52 is sports, it does not take a second seat to any ot the other clubs or events but this amazing group raised the bar. It had never been done before and or done since the class of '52.
In football, the team played the big eight schools of Utah. The toughest league ever in the state of Utah. The entire league opponents scored 48 points against Carbon all season. The team won the championship of the big eight schools against Box Elder by the final score of 27-0. Carbon's opponents scored an average of five points per game to their 32 points per game.
That season Mele was named captain for the all-state first team. He was also named to the second and third all-state teams that same season.
The basketball team won 19 games and only lost four that same season. For the first time in history, the Carbon High team won the consolation championship in basketball. Three players from this team were then placed on the all-star team with Mele being named the team general.
The baseball team again never lost a game and won the state championship. Then the group went to the state BYU Invitational tournament in Provo. When the Carbon team returned home, they brought with them more trophies and medals than anyone expected.
While at the tourney, the team won the 50 yard dash, 100 yard dash, 220 yard dash and the 440 yard dash. They also won four relays, the pentathlon, and the high jump events.
Now if one was to examine the game by game statistics and examine the work that went into these achievements, blended in all the other individual accomplishments, one will find a story beyond the wildest dreams, and captain Mele is right in the middle of it all. Now it took an entire team to make things work out the way they did, but the story goes way beyond the year of 1952.
The leadership of this class has the responsibility to leave the story for mankind to follow. If this class doesn't do anything at this 50 year reunion, they should at least honor the captain and thank him for setting the standard of winning with integrity and hard work.
The class of 1952 is filled with professors, teachers, doctors, dentist, church leaders, pilots, mothers, fathers, grandpas and grandmas. When one evaluates the facts of such accomplishments, they will find some great stories. Amist these stories lies the memories of Lou Mele and for this he should be awarded.