This chronicle is a biographical construct from various archived personal newspaper interviews and personal accounts from Roy Scott’s career as head coach, and GM of the Abington Ghosts Ice Hockey Team.

By Ross Porubski
Youth Hockey Info

*Writers note – This chronicle is an extract from the Philadelphia Inquirer, written Thursday, November 25, 1982, by Edward G. Moran

As a child in Atlantic City, Roy Scott played hockey on steel roller skates, with old magazines wrapped around his legs for shin pads, and fancied himself a defenseman in the mold of an idol, Ty Anderson, who played for the Atlantic City Sea Gulls in the very old Eastern Hockey League. “Never forget the Sea Gulls,” Scott recalled, smiling so widely that the ends of his silver handlebar mustache reached nearly up to his eyes. “They were a team of young guys on the way up and old guys on the way down. They had a gray-haired defenseman and a kid who didn’t shave yet.” But that was before the days of the Flyers before hockey caught on in the Philadelphia area and kids began playing hockey on frozen ponds and stenciled the names Clarke, Schultz, or Parent on the backs of their football jerseys. So when Roy Scott moved to Abington in 1967 and began raising a family, he more or less forgot about hockey. He forgot about it only until his two sons began showing an interest in skating.

The End of an Era and recollection of the past

Now, Roy Scott is stepping down after more than 12 years as a sometime coach and full-time general manager of the Abington Hockey Club. For Scott, 57, the last 12 years are a time he fondly recalls as a struggle to introduce hockey as a high school sport and a time in which he saw Abington High School build a hockey program, which has won two high school state championships.

Abington Ghosts hockey begins

It all began for Scott after Walter and Iris Jewell, a couple Scott said had moved from Canada to Abington, started the Abington Hockey Club. Scott helped by driving a few young players, including his son, to the local rink where the club played. As Scott remembers it, the Flyers had just been organized in Philadelphia, and people were becoming interested in the game. “The Jewells had just started the club, and they needed help collecting money. Some of the kids would hop the fence to get out of paying.” Scott said, laughing. It wasn’t long, though, before Scott put his deep, fatherly voice and good humor, along with his towering frame, to better use for the club. “I started working with the [high school] team about the time we were breaking into the Suburban High School and the Inter-County High School Leagues,” Scott said. “It was the first [all Abington] team.”

His team did well the first year, 1973-74, by winning the Suburban League, but lost the Inter-County League title during overtime in the final game of the league playoffs. The next year was a repeat, but the season didn’t end in the playoffs, as everyone in Abington expected. “It was a funny turn of events,” Scott said. “The leagues ruled that the Suburban League was a lesser-grade league than the Inter-County. We were invited to represent the AA division in the state finals.” After winning the first three games of the semi-finals, Abington finally won the championship by going into overtime in the finals. Roy Scott stepped down from coaching after that season, remaining general manager.

The first Class AA State Championship

The Ghosts, led by coach Roy Scott, with a regular season record of 35-3-1 advanced to the Pennsylvania High School Hockey Championships in Pittsburgh along with Pennsbury of Eastern Pennsylvania, Erie Fairview, Fox Chapel, Gateway, Peters Township, South Park and State College in a round robin tournament.

Abington swept through the round-robin tournament bracket with victories over Peters Township 5- 1, Pennsbury 4-2, and Fox Chapel 6-3. In the State Championship game at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena, Abington scored first on a goal by Mark Leegard. Gateway rallied on goals by Tom Miller and Rick Fitchwell, both goals set up by Liprando. The Ghosts rallied to take the lead 3-2 in the 3rd period, setting up a heroic goal by Liprando with 16 seconds remaining in regulation time. Abington would win this one in overtime as Captain Terry Garvin scored on a power play with 51 seconds remaining to give the Ghosts the first-ever Pennsylvania State AA Championship.

1975-76 Class AA Pennsylvania State Cup champions

Scott Sr. steps down from coaching

All-star, Jim Sutow, wins 78 Class AAA state title

The Scott tradition continued behind the Abington bench when Scott appointed his son, also named Roy, to be head coach. He was the right choice, Scott said. He had been coached by the senior Scott and knew just what the general manager wanted from a team.

First annual Eastern Regional High School Hockey Championship

1978, Scott said, “was really a screwball year. We lost the regionals to Chestnut Hill Academy, but we were picked to go to the playoffs in State College. There were supposed to be three teams from each division the AA and the AAA. But one team. from each division couldn’t come, (Archbishop Carroll backed out).” “So a meeting was held before the first game, and it was decided that we would play for the Triple-A division title and Chestnut Hill, a Triple-A team, would play for the Double-A.” Abington was scheduled to play McDowell, a team that Scott had heard about as one that Abington couldn’t even skate with. They were to play two games, with the team with the most goals winning. Abington won the first and McDowell the second, but Abington had one goal more than McDowell. To this day, Scott can’t figure out why Abington went from AA to AAA and Chestnut Hill the opposite. “Just a funny turn of events,” he says. Friday night, members from both championship and other Abington teams, along with other Abington sports buffs, toasted Scott’s accomplishments at his retirement dinner. It has been a good 12 years, Scott says, “and a lot of fun.” But he is quick to point out that high school hockey in the Philadelphia area has a long way to go before being recognized as a legitimate varsity sport. “There doesn’t seem to be enough interest but someday,” he said, pointing to an Abington sports department letter he received at the banquet, “varsity hockey will be on that [letterhead].”

And he was right!