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Section VI Hall of Fame to induct Colella

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 16 August 2019 at 9:57 am

Contributed Photo – Tom Colella

During the mid 1930’s Albion High had a string of outstanding football teams led by a very versatile player, Tom Colella, who earned the nickname “The Albion Antelope”.

Colella’s feats on the gridiron have earned him induction into the Section VI Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019. The induction ceremony will be held in early December.

Previously Colella, who passed away in 1992, was inducted into both the Canisius College and the Greater Buffalo Sports Halls of Fame.

Colella’s efforts as a running back, defensive back, punter and kicker helped Albion compile records of 6-0-2 in 1934, 6-1 in 1935 and 8-0-1 in 1936, a season in which he had 22 touchdowns, 5 extra points and a total of 137 points.

In all over his varsity career, Colella had a total of 33 touchdowns and 203 points.

Colella went on to star at Canisius College where as a two-way player he was a three time Little All America team honoree.

He then went on to star for eight years at the professional level playing with the NFL Detroit Lions from 1942-43, the NFL Cleveland Rams from 1944-45, the Cleveland Browns of the All America Football Conference (AAFC) from 1946-48 and the Buffalo Bills of the AAFC in 1949. He had 21 interceptions during his three years with the Browns including a team leading 10 in 1946.

The Niagara-Orleans League will be well represented in the Section VI Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 which includes long time Barker coach and Athletic Director Bill Stedman, longtime Starpoint coach and Athletic Director Hal Rupert and the late Jan Williams from Akron who was a pioneer in getting the sport of field hockey going in Section VI. She founded the Akron program and guided the Lady Tigers to a number of N-O League and Section VI titles.

The Class of 2019 also includes a trio of Section VI athletes who went on to star in the NFL including Ron Jaworski from Lackawanna High, Joe Ehrmann from Riverside and Bill Bergey from Pine Valley.