Joe Marhefka

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Joe Marhefka
Date of birth: (1902-02-16)February 16, 1902
Place of birth: Phillipsburg, New Jersey, United States
Date of death: June 30, 2003(2003-06-30) (aged 101)
Place of death: Easton, Pennsylvania, United States
Career information
Position(s): HB
College: Lafayette College
Organizations
As player:
1924-1925
1926
Career stats
Playing stats at DatabaseFootball.com

Joseph Cyril "Joe" Marhefka (February 16, 1902 – June 30, 2003) was a professional American football player who played halfback for the Pottsville Maroons and the Philadelphia Quakers. A native of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, he was recruited to Lafayette College, where he played on their football team for four years. He then had a three-year professional football career in the Anthracite, National Football, and first American Football leagues. Afterwards he worked as an English and Latin teacher, remaining involved in football by officiating high school and college games. He died in June 2003 at the age of 101.

Early life[edit]

Marhefka, the son of Czech immigrants, was born in 1902 in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. He was an orphan by the age of 13 and attended the Benedictine Academy, where he was athletically involved in several sports. He entered Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania in 1920.[1]

Football career[edit]

A halfback, Marhefka spent four seasons, 1920 through 1924, on Lafayette's football team under coach Jock Sutherland. In 1921 the squad went undefeated, but the college's president refused to allow them to compete in the Rose Bowl. After graduation he was picked up by the Pottsville Maroons[1] and played with them during their sole season in the Anthracite League, in which they were the champions.[2] He remained with the team when they joined the National Football League the following year and was with them when, despite having the best record in the league, they were denied the 1925 NFL championship after being controversially suspended. He had a final season in professional football with the 1926 Philadelphia Quakers of the first American Football League, in which they were the champions.[1] Marhekfa appeared in two games for the team during the season.[3]

Later life[edit]

After his playing career ended, Marhefka settled in Easton and worked as an English and Latin teacher at the local high school until 1968. He also served for many years as a swimming coach[1] and a high school and college football official.[4] He had one child, Joe Jr., with his first wife, prior to her death, and married his second wife, Gladys Walker, in 1947. Joe Jr. also played football for Layfayette.[5] He died on June 30, 2003 of congestive heart failure, at the age of 101, several months after falling at his home. He was the last surviving member of the 1925 Pottsville Maroons[1] and Lafayette's oldest alumnus.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Devlin, Ron (2003-07-05). "The last of the Maroons". The Morning Call (Tribune Company). Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  2. ^ "POTTSVILLE WINS ANTHRACITE TITLE". Philadelphia Bulletin. 1924-11-24. 
  3. ^ "Joe Marhefka, Past Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards". databaseFootball.com. 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  4. ^ a b "Lafayette Football Great Joe Marhefka Passes Away" (Press release). Lafayette Leopards. 2003-07-02. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  5. ^ Meixell, Ted (1996-11-22). "Joe Marhefka Played 4 Times In The Game". The Morning Call (Tribune Company). Retrieved 2013-05-25.