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Ivan Toncic

Football ∙ Midland

 

 

 

 

Midland High School may no longer exist, but the proud community has a ton of wonderful memories of its great student-athletes. One of its favorite sons is Ivan Toncic, who was a triple threat with the Leopard football team running, passing, and kicking his way to All County, All WPIAL, and All State honorable mention awards his senior season of 1956. He concluded his scholastic career by being named MVP in the Beaver County All Star Game and also was picked to play in the Pittsburgh Area All Star game. At the University of Pittsburgh, Ivan was a three year starter as a multidimensional threat, quarterbacking, playing defensive back, punting, and kicking for the Panthers. His spirited play earned him third team All American honors as a senior and an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine All Star Game. In 1960 he was named Most Outstanding Athlete in Pittsburgh by the Dapper Dan Banquet. Although drafted by both the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills in the newly formed American Football League, Ivan signed with Hamilton of the Canadian Football League, where he played defensive back and backup quarterback. Ivan suffered a broken arm his first year in Canada and the following season signed with the Boston Patriots of the AFL as a safety but ended his year with a major knee injury, which caused him to lose much of his speed. Ivan then went to Wheeling of the United Football League, where he played for three years, earning MVP honors his second season. In the third year, player-coach Ivan again suffered a knee injury, this one ending his playing days. Ivan stayed with Wheeling for several years, helping to start flag football and hockey leagues.