Photo from the 1980 Flyers Cup against Malvern Prep Friars. Full photo slider at the end of the story

August 13, 1984

Scott Chamness is the greatest high school hockey player of all time in the Delaware Valley. No other player in the history of any varsity ice hockey team in southeastern Pennsylvania has broken his scoring records.

In his distinguished four-year hockey career at Archbishop Carroll High, Scott Chamness scored a Gretzky-like 271 regular-season goals in 67 games That, if you were curious, computes to more than four goals per game. Which explains why Chamness” Jersey No. 10 was retired after he graduated from Carroll in 1980, the year in which he led the Patriots to the prestigious Flyers Cup title. It also helps explain why he was named The Inquirer’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Athlete of the Year that season. At the time, Chamness, who was a member of the National Honor Society and an important contributor on Carroll’s football and baseball teams, was 18 years old, and his future looked bright-especially in hockey. But a not-so-funny thing happened to Chamness on his way to reaching collegiate hockey stardom: He suffered three injuries, fell into disfavor with his coach and, ultimately, dropped out of St. Lawrence University. “Things just didn’t

work out for me,” Chamness, now 22 and a part-time student at Drexel, said with a shrug last week. After graduating from Carroll, Chamness spent a year at Canterbury Prep School in New Milford, Conn. where he set a school hockey record with 99 points, accumulated with 53 goals and 46 assists. He also played football, rushing for 950 yards and helping lead the team to its first unbeaten season in 36 years, and baseball. The next year, Chamness, a right wing, took his talents to St. Lawrence University, in Canton, NY, about 100 miles north of Syracuse. As a freshman at St. Lawrence, Chamness said he “didn’t have a very good year” while playing for the school’s junior-varsity hockey team. “I just didn’t adjust too well” Didn’t adjust too well? That seems like a strange statement when one realizes that Chamness was the team’s leading scorer with 27 goals and 20 assists in 18 games. “It wasn’t a good year for me,” repeated Chamness It wasn’t good for one reason, he explained: “I didn’t play varsity and I expected to.”

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“The coach,” he added, referring to Mike McShane, “didn’t really know me too well. He had seen most of the other kids because they were from his area and he recruited them and had followed most of them since they were youngsters, and he stuck with them that year. “I guess it was just a numbers game that year and I got caught in the middle of it. But to this day I still think I was good enough to play” varsity that year. Still, Chamness collegiate career appeared to be moving in the right direction. “I said, “What the heck, as long as I keep playing, that’s what’s important; it was better than getting only one shift la game) on the varsity,” he said. Chamness was promoted to the varsity as a sophomore- he was on the team’s No. 1 line, which was centered by Rejean Shere, the son of former Flyers coach Fred Shero and was averaging a point per game as be helped St. Lawrence win 13 of its first 14 games. But in the Saints’ 15th game of the season, Chamness collided with a University of New Hamp shire player and banged up his left knee, forcing him to miss the next two weeks. Two weeks after that injury. Chamness fractured a vertebra during practice and, as a result, missed the remainder of St. Lawrence’s eventful the Saints reached the NCAA Division I semifinals before losing to eventual national champion Wisconsin. season Chamness said the injury came at time when “things were starting to fall into place. I was having a good year and I was finally starting to get some respect…. But I wasn’t too disappointed because I still had two years left.”
Or so he thought, anyway. “But things never really picked up,” he continued. “I couldn’t work out that much that summer because my back was acting up. And in camp that September I really wasn’t in the best of shape. My legs weren’t there, I was two weeks behind in conditioning.” And during St. Lawrence’s first exhibition game last year, Chamness, who was then a junior, was hit with a hip check and a sprain in the left knee-the same one he had injured the previous season. After spending about 10 days on crutches, Chamness was sent to the JV to try to get the knee back into shape.

The Delaware Valley high school ice hockey all time goal scoring king

(271) regular season goals in 67 games, 1977 to 1980

(82) goals in 16 regular season games, 1978 – 1979

(123) pts in 16 regular season games, 1978 – 1979

(23) hattricks in 16 regular season games, 1978 – 1979

(13) goals in one game vs Downingtown Whippets, February 1979

(14) points in one game, 1978 – 1979

“I tried to come back, but it the kneel just never had the strength: my knee didn’t respond, and I started feeling really cautious. I was falling further and further behind. I’d practice one day and then take two days off because the knee was so swollen.” In November, Chamness said McShane informed him that he would spend the year on the JV level. “His (varsity team was set,” Cham ness said. “He said he didn’t want to break up his team.” For Chamness, the one-time high school hotshot who was once featured in Sports Illustrated for his sensational scoring totals, the news was crushing even if he was still hobbling around a bit. He told McShane he was quitting. A month later, after he completed the semester, he dropped out of St. Lawrence. In June, he enrolled at Drexel, where he is a business administration major. “I just didn’t feel like getting back into the conditioning and playing on JV,” said Chamness. “I still thought that if he gave me a few more weeks, I would have been ready to help the varsity. “But he told me I wouldn’t have a shot until the next year….I just didn’t want to do that.” McShane was vacationing in Cape Cod last week and could not be reached for comment. Assistant coach Joe Marsh, however, maintained that Chamness “had a tough time staying in shape when he wasn’t playing, and the other kids were just a little ahead of him. He played on a team with a lot of quick players.” “But Scott’s a legitimate Division I, he said.”

Archbishop Carroll Patriots, Scott Chamness

Said Chamness: “I was frustrated. Things had been up and down in college. Division I pats a lot of pressure on you that I found unnecessary – there’s already enough pressure on you academically – and I just wasn’t having that much fun. I had always played for fan, but it had become a burden. I had lost my inter-
est. “I re-evaluated the situation and decided I wanted to get my education. The situation there wasn’t right for me. I couldn’t mix the two [hockey and academics),” added Cham ness, whose grade-point average slipped from 28 to 24 during his final semester at St. Lawrence. “And I was at a college that only offered liberal arts, so I decided to finish the semester and transfer to Drexel for their business courses.” Besides going to Drexel two nights a week, Chamness occupies his time by working in the shipping and receiving department for Keystone Printing Ink, a Philadelphia-based business owned by his father. As for sports, he plays an occasional pick-up hockey game at an area rink and also plays softball for Casey’s Ale House in the Radnor Slo-Pitch League. He also plans to help Frank Burdo coach the Archbishop Carroll High ice hockey team in the Inter-County League this year. The coaching, he said, will help fill his hockey void. His days as a serious hockey player, he added, “are behind me. I’m a little slower than I used to be and a little banged up…. They put a lot of pressure on you to win in college. At our school, hockey was the sport. Skiing and ice hockey were the only Division I sports at the school. And there was a lot of pressure to go out and score goals. “If you don’t score, you don’t play next week…. I didn’t want to get back into that pressure. You’re on the road half the time and it’s hard to keep up with your studies. It just wasn’t much fun anymore. “I always felt that if I stayed healthy, I could have done better,” be said. “I know I had a bright future, but things just didn’t work out for me like they do for some people. But I’m happy at what I’m doing now. I’ve got a good job, I’m going to school and I’m close to home. Just because I’m not playing doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.”

CREDIT: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Original story:
by Sam Carchidi – Special to the Inquirer
Monday August 13, 1984
“Hard Knocks befell high school hockey whiz”

Scott was a three sport varsity player

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