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Vicario, Curtis, Palik Inducted Into Saucon Valley Athletic Hall of Fame

Three men whose contributions to athletics in Saucon Valley School District are monumental were inducted into the district’s Athletic Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the high school Monday.

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From left, 2017 Saucon Valley Athletic Hall of Fame inductees Tom Vicario, Neil Curtis and Brandon Palik at an induction ceremony at Saucon Valley High School Monday.

Three men whose contributions to athletics in Saucon Valley School District are monumental were inducted into the district’s Athletic Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the high school Monday.

Thomas “Tom” Vicario coached tennis, football and basketball at Saucon Valley during a 35-year teaching career there, from 1973 to 2008.

“During his 35 years of coaching, Tom was involved in over 500 total victories as a Head or Assistant Coach for Saucon Valley athletic programs and has the most combined wins as a Head Coach for Boys and Girls Tennis in Saucon Valley history, with 488 career victories,” athletic director Bob Frey said in a news release.

Vicario is an East Stroudsburg University graduate and played football there as a student.

Some of his coaching career highlights include:

  • Assistant Basketball Coach (1973-1980)
  • Assistant Football Coach (1973-1976)
  • Head Girls Tennis Coach (1979-2008)
  • Head Boys Tennis Coach (1986-2008)
  • 2-time Colonial League Girls Team Tennis Champions (1980, 2007)
  • District XI Girls Team Tennis Champions (2007)
  • Colonial League Boys Tennis Coach of the Year (1995)
  • Colonial League Girls Tennis Coach of the Year (2007)
  • Express-Times Girls Tennis Coach of the Year (2007)
  • Most Head Coaching Wins in Saucon Valley Girls and Boys Tennis History: Career Girls Tennis Record of 290-152; Career Boys Tennis Record of 198-165; Overall Career Tennis Record of 488-317

Neil Curtis, a member of the Hellertown High School Class of 1965, was a highly talented three-sport athlete (tennis, baseball, basketball)–not only at the high school level, but also in college and later as a professional.

“A two-time District XI tennis champion, Neil was also a 1,000 point scorer during his Hellertown High School basketball career,” Frey said. “Neil continued to dedicate himself to interscholastic athletes as the Chairman of the District XI Tennis Tournament for 26 years, and the Chairman of the District XI Scholar Athlete Committee.”

Some of his athletic career highlights include:

  • 2-time District XI Boys Tennis Champion (1963, 1964)
  • 2-time PIAA Boys Tennis State Individual Qualifier (1963, 1964)
  • 2-time Lehigh-Northampton League Boys Basketball All-Star (1964, 1965)
  • Lehigh-Northampton League Boys Basketball MVP (1965)
  • Scored 1,162 career points in Boys Basketball
  • Only undefeated tennis player in school history, Randolph Macon Academy (1966)
  • #1 Singles Player, Team Captain (2 years), PSAC State Singles and Doubles Champion, NCAA Eastern Regional Singles Champion, Singles & Doubles Qualifier at National Tournament in San Francisco, East Stroudsburg University (1968-1970)
  • Professional Career: MSTA Junior Davis Cup Team Member (1971), Tennis Professional for 40 years (1970-2010), Head Tennis Professional at West End Racquet & Fitness Club (1980-2010), District XI Tennis Tournament Chairman (1981-2007), Tournament Director of Cystic Fibrosis Pro Am (1985-2010), District XI Tennis Scholar Athlete Committee Chairman (1999-present), 2-time USTA Middle States Eastern PA Pro of the Year (1985 & 1991), 4-time Bethlehem Singles Champion

Brandon Palik, a member of Saucon Valley’s Class of 2009, distinguished himself as a standout wrestler both during and after high school.

In addition to being Saucon Valley’s 2009 Male Athlete of the Year, Brandon “swept the wrestling post-season championships, winning District XI, Southeast AA Regional and PIAA AA Gold,” Frey said. “Earning High School All-American status, Brandon competed nationally in several tournaments throughout his high school career before continuing his wrestling career at Drexel University.”

After a successful collegiate career at Drexel, Brandon returned to Saucon Valley, where he coaches and mentors wrestlers in both school and community programs.

Some of his career highlights include:

  • Southeast AA Regional Champion 189 lbs. (2007)
  • Virginia Beach High School Nationals Champion 189 lbs. (2007)
  • District XI Champion 189 lbs. (2008)
  • District XI Champion 215 lbs. (2009)
  • Southeast AA Regional Champion 215 lbs. (2009)
  • District XI Wrestling Scholar Athlete (2009)
  • Express-Times Wrestler of the Year (2009)
  • Dapper Dan Classic Participant, Team Pennsylvania (2009)
  • High school career record of 138-17 with 50 falls
  • 3-time NCAA National Qualifer, Drexel University
  • CAA Conference Champion, Drexel University (2013)
  • NWCA Academic All-American, Drexel University (2014)
  • Drexel University Wrestling MVP (2014)


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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