Shea slated to be honored later this month

To listen to Joe Wozneak and Tim Juliano talk about Toby Shea, you feel like you were right there with them in every practice and game.

They respect him just as much, if not more so now then when he guided them to an 11-0 season in 1976.

It’s just one of the many reasons they decided to do something to commemorate a man that not only meant so much to them, but to so many men who came through is program.

On Saturday, Aug. 26, there will be a banquet to honor coach Shea at the St. Joseph Educational Center. There have been just over 200 tickets sold so far, with a maximum of 400. Former Warren and Youngsville players of coach Shea are encouraged to purchase tickets.

Doors open at 5 p.m., with a happy hour from 5:30-6:30, followed by dinner and several keynote speakers, including Ed O’Neil, who played for Shea before starring at Penn State.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact Juliano at 814-723-5875.

Everyone is also encouraged to attend Warren’s season-opening game the night before at War Memorial Field against Brookville, where Mark Morelli will make his head coaching debut for the Dragons.

“A lot of people have been thinking about this,” Wozneak said. “We were going to to the Notre Dame-Virginia Tech game last fall – my older brother Greg, his son, Tim and I. We all just got talking and were like ‘let’s do something.’

“Sometime after Christmas we committed to it, decided to get it rolling.”

Wozneak and Juliano are the committee, with Jack and Kim Swedler also providing plenty of help.

Shea compiled a record of 25-9-1 at Youngsville before making the move to Warren, where he went 117-55-3.

That included a run of 51-7-1 from 1972-1977.

Shea retired in 1985 with a Hall of Fame career and countless men he impacted.

“Playing for Toby Shea was hard, but kids wanted to do it,” Juliano said. “They wanted to be a part of it. It was successful, he was a winner. Kids were like ‘I want to be part of that.’ He didn’t have to work that hard to get kids to come out.”

Added Wozneak, one of the most recognizable names in WAHS football history who went on to play at Notre Dame: “Teams came into Warren even if they had better talent, you knew you were going to get four quarters and you were going to get beat up. We were always prepared. He was the ultimate conditioner.”

Wozneak went on to recall a story that coach Shea told him yesterday, one that can be traced back to Shea’s triple practices during the preseason.

“We all deal with adversity,” Wozneak said. “The thought was that If I can get through triple sessions, I can get through anything.

“Mr. Shea talked about a Vietnam vet that played for him. The Viet Cong were coming down the path, he got under some water with a straw, and that was his breathing apparatus until they got by. And he told Mr. Shea that he was thinking about triple sessions. He thought ‘If I could get through triple sessions, I can get through this.'”

Those triple sessions were the stuff of legends.

“You wore it like a badge of honor,” Juliano said. “Anytime we get together, if you played for Toby Shea, you know what those people had to get through to make the team. There was mutual respect.”

It’s respect that permeates through anyone who was lucky enough to play for him.

(Editors note: The Times Observer will feature more stories in the lead up to the banquet for coach Toby Shea.)