'Headless Hawk' recalls days as mascot

Charlie Wieners was the Hawk when St. Joseph's was a hoops power. One day, his mask was stolen.

Posted: April 12, 2007

The Hawk, St. Joseph's University's nationally known mascot, has been flapping its wings since 1955.

Charlie Wieners, head softball coach at Archbishop Prendergast, is proud to say he was the fourth person to serve as the Hawk at basketball games. He wore the uniform for two seasons, in 1964-65 and 1965-66.

"It was a big deal even back then," Wieners said. "Fans at games would ask for the Hawk's autograph as much as they would ask the players for autographs."

That's saying something, since St. Joseph's was a men's basketball powerhouse in the mid-1960s. The 1965-66 squad, coached by Jack Ramsay, featured Tom Duff; Matt Guokas, a St. Joseph's Prep graduate; Marty Ford of West Catholic; and Billy Oakes of St. John Neumann.

"One year, in a game at Georgetown, the Hawk mask was stolen," Wieners said. "I had to go two weeks without a mask. I remember being called the 'Headless Hawk' in the newspaper."

Wieners is in his second stint as Archbishop Prendergast's softball coach. He coached the Pandas from 1985 to 1990, then took over St. Joseph's program. In 11 years on Hawk Hill, he compiled a 338-189-5 record.

After taking off for five seasons, Wieners, a social studies teacher at Archbishop Prendergast, replaced Dolores Martino this spring. His two former St. Joseph's assistants, Bob Wallauer and Joe Coppens, are with him.

"It's good to have them," said Wieners, who also coaches the school's tennis team. "Three minds are better than one."

Familiar face. Archbishop Carroll's Kate Refsnyder is another new softball coach in the Catholic League's Southern Division.

Refsnyder starred as a pitcher at Interboro, from which she graduated in 2001. At Wagner College, in Staten Island, N.Y., she was a utility infielder and pitcher.

Last year, Refsnyder was an assistant coach at East Stroudsburg.

Soccer. North Penn's Lisa Philbin, a junior forward, has committed to Marquette. Teammate Meridith Crowell, a senior captain, is headed for Temple. In the Maidens' first five games, sophomore goalie Gabrielle Pakhtigian notched four shutouts and 21 saves. . . . Plumstead Christian senior Lauren Taylor will continue her career at Taylor University, in Upland, Ind. . . . Entering yesterday's games, Central Bucks South was 5-0. The Titans knocked off Central Bucks West, the defending PIAA state champion, by 1-0 last week. . . . Hatboro-Horsham goalie Breanna Stemler has been impressive in the early going. The junior made several highlight-film-quality saves in last week's 1-0 loss to Central Bucks South. . . . In Central Bucks East's first five games, senior Cara Bolinski had five goals and three assists. . . . Led by sophomore Kristen Worth (seven goals) and goalie Lindsey Farthing, an American University recruit, New Hope-Solebury is 4-0.

Lacrosse. Ridley seniors Mara Schnellenbach, Shannon Bernard and Erin McBride will join forces at La Salle next season. . . . Through three games, Springside junior Nora Langan has 11 goals and two assists. Teammate Jess Griffin, a senior cocaptain headed for Lehigh, caused six turnovers in Tuesday's 11-10 overtime loss to Lower Merion.

Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien

at 610-313-8019 or robrien@phillynews.com.

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