August 21 2012
At the Freeland Whippet’s home opening game on August 19, The Freeland Whippets Football Organization honored one of its longest tenure coaches, Henry “Chops” Kopczynskie, for his 41 years of service in the Whippet program. During a dedication ceremony, the Whippets permanently honored the legendary coach by naming the newly renovated field house in his honor and giving Henry a certificate of recognition. At the closing of the dedication ceremony, Whippet Board President Donovan Solomon gave Henry an honorary coach’s shirt and Henry remained on the sideline as an honorary coach.
Henry, who retired in 2011, started with the Whippet organization in 1971 as a volunteer football coach and the major fundraiser for the program. Through Henry’s 41 years of service, he served the Whippet Organization both on and off the field. Henry served as one of the lead organizers for the Whippet program holding several key positions including President of the Board. Over Henry’s 41 years as coach, he helped the Whippets win several titles and championships in both the SMFL and Berwick Leagues. Above all, Henry is a role model, who not only taught kids the game of football, he also taught every child in the Whippet Program about family values and hard work. Henry has been included in the 2012 Hazleton Area Sports Hall of Fame.
Shown in the picture from left to right are Director and Cheerleading Coordinator Jeanine Laputka, Board President Donovan Solomon, Coach Henry “Chops” Kopczynskie, and Coach Matt Kopczynskie.