Kalkowski enters Mars HOF
Planets’ football, baseball standout part of 2017 induction class Friday
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Eagle Staff Writer
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September 6, 2017
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This is the final in a series of seven articles profiling the Mars Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017.

ADAMS TWP — Bob Kalkowski wasn’t able to celebrate much as a member of Mars’ varsity football team.

“We won five games in three years,” said the 1991 graduate. “We had just 20-some players. It was tough.”

He made another thing clear, however, regarding his time and effort on the gridiron.

“I’d do it all over again, absolutely,” he said. “I was very close to the other players and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Kalkowski starred for the Planets as a linebacker and tailback and played outfield for the school’s varsity baseball team for three seasons.

“We had more success in baseball and back then, I liked it more than football,” said Kalkowski, who will be inducted into the Mars Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday.

While the Planet gridders strived for success, the struggles the football team had under then-coach George Latta helped Kalkowski and his teammates form a very strong bond.

“When you have as few people as we did, you learn to trust each other,” he said. “There’s a camaraderie that comes with that. We had few feelings of success, but when we did win, it was a very big deal for us.

“My family was not wealthy and we had to work for everything.”

That strong work ethic helped Kalkowski land a roster spot with Allegheny College’s football program, which provided him with a heavy dose of culture shock.

The year before he arrived, the Gators had won the NCAA Division III national championship with a 13-0-1 record.

“It was a welcomed change, but it was also scary. It was intimidating,” said Kalkowski.

During his four years at Allegheny, Kalkowski earned four letters and was named First Team All-Conference as a junior and senior at linebacker in the Gators’ 4-4 defense and was an Honorable Mention All-American in 1993. During that same span, the Gators went a combined 38-6 and won three North Coast Athletic Conference titles under head coach Ken O’Keefe.

“We tried so hard to win one game a season in high school and then I get to college. It was a big change,” said Kalkowski, who is humbled by his selection to the Mars Hall of Fame.

“I was surprised to be named,” he said. “I am thankful they even thought of me.”

Bob and Amy Kalkowski have four children: Nathan (15), Sarah (14), Mary (11) and Andrew (7).