Coach Shartle talks strategy with members of the 1978-79 Tunkhannock Tigershark swim team in top photo and poses with the 1976-77 Towanda Black Knights swim team above. Current divers and swimmers of both teams will participate in an invitational tournament on Jan. 19 and 20.
By Rick Hiduk
The legacy of Coach Ernie Shartle will be honored on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 19 and 20, when Tunkhannock High School hosts the first Ernie Shartle Swimming & Diving Invitational. Shartle’s career spanned four decades and three school districts, ending with his retirement from the Tunkhannock Area School District in 1999. He passed away in 2010.
A 1966 graduate of Mansfield Teachers College, Shartle’s first job was in White Plains, NY. In about 1970, he moved to the Towanda area and became the coach for the boys high school swim team there. He moved to Tunkhannock in 1977, teaching math and science in the middle school and coaching the boys swim team through his retirement.
Throughout his career, he was an active member of the Red Cross and coordinated sanctioned Red Cross swimming and lifesaving courses in both Towanda and Tunkhannock. Many people from two generations of area residents can claim, “Mr. Shartle taught me how to swim.”
The pool area will open at 4:30 pm on Jan. 19, and the diving competition will start at 6 pm. The swimming competition will begin at 10:30 am on Jan. 20. Prior to the start of Saturday’s meet, current Coach Tim Mislevy, a 1990 Tunkhannock graduate who followed Shartle at the post will present a plaque representing Shartle’s career stats to his family.
As of Jan. 11, Mislevy related that about a dozen schools would be sending swimmers and divers to Tunkhannock. “That’s a good start for the first year,” he stated.