Harry Bonk

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Harry Bonk
Fullback
Personal information
Date of birth: April 16, 1926
Place of birth: Coram, New York
Date of death: December 24, 2011
Place of death: Milton, Delaware
Career information
College: Dartmouth (1944)
Bucknell (1944)
Maryland (1945–1948)
NFL Draft: 1948 / Round: 28 / Pick: 279
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
Career highlights and awards

Harry Bonk (born April 16, 1926) is an American former football player. He played college football as a fullback for the University of Maryland from 1945 to 1948, and for Dartmouth College and Bucknell University in 1944. The Boston Yanks selected Bonk in the 28th round of the 1948 NFL Draft.

Biography[edit]

Bonk was born on April 16, 1926 in Coram, New York to parents Paul and Louise (née Kalenewcz) Bonk. He attended Dartmouth College and enlisted in the United States Navy on March 1, 1944.[1] Bonk participated in the V-12 Navy training program at Dartmouth, and in November 1944 transferred to Bucknell University, where he continued his naval training.[2] He played college football as a fullback at both Dartmouth and Bucknell during the 1944 season.[2][3][4] A week before his transfer, he was credited with "sparking" the Dartmouth Indians to a victory over Brown. He scored a fourth quarter go-ahead touchdown in the 14–13 victory.[5][6]

He later trained at North Carolina Pre-Flight. Upon the conclusion of World War II, many of the V-12 cadets were given the opportunity to get out of the Navy.[7] Bonk was discharged on September 18, 1945 at Shelton, Virginia without having served overseas.[1] Bear Bryant convinced a group of 20 former V-12 cadets to enroll at the University of Maryland to play for his football team,[7] where Bonk played from 1945 to 1948.[8] During a practice session in November 1948, he suffered a back injury which "quickly dispelled" the "air of optimism that seemed to emanate from Coach Jim Tatum".[9] The injury proved minor, however, and he was cleared for action in the following game against the Charlie Justice led North Carolina team.[10] In that game, Bonk broke free for a 76-yard run on the first Maryland possession to set up a touchdown, but the Terrapins eventually fell, 49–20.[11] He led the team in scoring that season with five touchdowns.[12]

Bonk also competed on the boxing team in the heavyweight class while at Maryland.[13] He was a member of Theta Chi and Sigma Nu.[14][15] He earned a Bachelor of Science in education in 1946,[16] and a Master of Science in education in 1949.[17]

On December 5, 1948, Bonk played on the College All-Stars against the Charlotte Clippers of the Dixie League.[18] He scored a touchdown in the collegians' 30–21 loss.[19] On December 25, he played on the South squad in the Blue–Gray Football All-Star Game.[20] The Boston Yanks selected Bonk with the fourth pick of the 28th round in the 1948 NFL Draft.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Harry Bonk, Navy, Coram, Longwood War Memorials, retrieved September 13, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Bucknell may be helped by the presence of Harry Bonk, Dartmouth's No. 1 fullback, who was transferred this week to the Navy V-12 unit at Bucknell, The New York Times, November 2, 1944.
  3. ^ Wearers of the "D" (PDF), 2010 Dartmouth Football Media Guide, p. 132, Dartmouth College, 2010.
  4. ^ 2010 Bucknell Football Media Guide (PDF), p. 115, Bucknell University, 2010.
  5. ^ DARTMOUTH DOWNS BROWN TEAM, 14-13; Bonk Paces Attack and Tallies Fourth-Period Touchdown to Beat Bruins DARTMOUTH DOWNS BROWN TEAM, 14-13, The New York Times, October 29, 1944.
  6. ^ Dartmouth Nips Brown, The Sunday Morning Star, October 29, 1944.
  7. ^ a b First Win Came Against Guilford, The Tuscaloosa News, November 29, 1981.
  8. ^ All-Time Lettermen (PDF), 2007 Terrapin Football Record Book, p. 20, University of Maryland, 2007.
  9. ^ Harry Bonk Is Injured In Maryland Workout, The Baltimore Sun, November 11, 1948.
  10. ^ TERPS MUST STOP JUSTICE TO BEAT N.C.; Maryland Faces Triple-Threat Star In Grid Clash Tomorrow, The Baltimore Sun, November 12, 1948.
  11. ^ N. CAROLINA DOWNS MARYLAND, 49 TO 20; Tar Heels Pounce on Fumbles to Rout Rivals -- Justice's Passes Tally Twice, The New York Times, November 14, 1948.
  12. ^ "Annual Scoring Leaders", 2007 Terrapin Football Record Book, p. 39, University of Maryland, 2007.
  13. ^ The Terrapin, p. 184, University of Maryland, 1946.
  14. ^ The Terrapin, p. 28, University of Maryland, 1947.
  15. ^ The Terrapin, p. 136, University of Maryland, 1946.
  16. ^ The Terrapin, p. 230, University of Maryland, 1947.
  17. ^ The Terrapin, p. 242, University of Maryland, 1949.
  18. ^ Clippers Meet Stars Today at Charlotte, Herald-Journal, December 5, 1948.
  19. ^ Pros Top Collegians, St. Petersburg Times, December 6, 1948.
  20. ^ Everything Set For Annual North-South Football Game, Prescott Evening Courier, December 24, 1948.
  21. ^ 1948 NFL Draft, Database Football, retrieved September 13, 2010.