Dunmorean of the Month: Marina Pegula

Marina Pegula photo

By Steve Svetovich

Dunmore graduate Marina Pegula is playing as much softball as she can while setting sights on a career in pharmacy.

Daughter of Mark and Diane Pegula, Dunmore, Marina is now in her sophomore year as a pre-Allied Health major at Lackawanna College.

She is a starting shortstop on the Lackawanna College softball team.

Marina, 19, played four years of softball at Dunmore a High School. She is a former all-star and started at shortstop for three years at Dunmore. She also played some third base under Dunmore softball coach Ryan Ferguson.

bucksThe scholar-athlete played basketball and volleyball and also was a football cheerleader at Dunmore.

Jeff Pittsman is her softball coach at Lackawanna. “Our team started to click last season,” Marina said. “I’m really looking forward to playing this season.”

She talked about what it takes to be a good shortstop.

“You need to be aware about what is going on during the game on the field at all times,” she said. “You can’t be overwhelmed. You have to stay calm and make the plays come to you. You can’t be psyched out by anything.”

Marina played travel softball from age nine through her sophomore year in high school. “It was a great experience,” she said. “It was great traveling state to state and even to Florida for the championships. I was away playing every weekend in the summer. It is a lot of fun and you learn a lot from the different teams and players.”

Marina said she learned a lot from her travel team coaches and Dunmore coach Ryan Ferguson. “Coach Ferguson taught us to be focused and put forth your best effort out there. The travel team coaches also taught me a lot about the game.”

The 2016 Dunmore graduate said she became interested in pharmacy after shadowing Tom DePietro at DePietro Family Pharmacy in Dunmore.

“He is a friend of my cousin, Jim Dartt. I really enjoyed the experience shadowing him and I was very good in chemistry in high school. So I decided on a pre-pharmacy major with a goal of going to pharmacy school.”

lccMarina had successful first year at Lackawanna doing well academically and hitting .334 while starting every game at shortstop on the softball team.

She hopes to continue her softball career after the coming season. “It will depend on where I go to school in my junior year. If the opportunity presents itself, I definitely want to continue playing.”

Marina talked about her future goals. “Well, my number one goal is to become a pharmacist. I would like to someday open my own pharmacy. I would like to play softball as long as I can in college. I like being a part of the team.”

Marina enjoys listening to music in her spare time. If she could see anyone in concert, she said, it would be the late Michael Jackson.

Her biggest supporters are her parents.

“My parents always tell me to do my best. They tell me to perform up to my capabilities both in academics and softball. They are very supportive, go to all of my softball games and that gives me a very comfortable feeling.”


McGinty’s Wins Second Straight Dunmore Freedom League Title

Athletes of Month

By Steve Svetovich

Finishing the season on a strong note, McGinty’s won its second straight Dunmore Freedom Baseball League title at Sherwood Park last month.

Managed by Tyler Chulvick, McGinty’s won four of its final five games, including three consecutive playoff wins, en route to an 8-5 record and second straight title.

A confident and aggressive group, McGinty’s beat Dunmore, 13-1, before taking two games from Varsity Pitt Stop, 4-2 and 7-4, at West Scranton’s Battaglia Field and then at Dunmore’s Sherwood Park, to earn the title.

Charlie Ehnot is president of the Dunmore Freedom League at Dunmore’s Sherwood Park.

Team members for McGinty’s include player-manager Chulvick, Dan Capwell, Alex Terrery, Bill Keating, James Cole, Robert Seprish, Zach Foley-McGinty, Tony Ricci, Justin Haddix, David Chromey, Corey Sullivan, Charlie Terrery and Riley Sullivan.

Charlie and Alex Terrery are father and son. Charlie Terrery is the oldest player in the league at 58. His son, a Penn State graduate, is 25.

David Chromey, who played baseball at the University of Scranton, won the first playoff game with a complete game and eight strikeouts.

A four run first inning and a pair of two run doubles by Capwell and Justin Magisero started a four run outburst in the first inning for McGinty’s. Chromey dominated with his pitching throughout the contest, surrendering only one run on a solo homer to Dunmore center fielder Dylan Svetovich in the final inning.

Haddix, who pitches for Marywood University, fired a complete game with seven strikeouts in the 4-2 playoff win over Varsity Pitt Stop at West Scranton’s Battaglia Field. Alex Terrery and Capwell both homered in the win.

Chromey pitched a complete game and struck out six to win, 7-4, in the championship clincher. McGinty’s was down 3-0 in the game, but came back to win. Bill Keating had the go ahead hit in the fifth inning.

“We struggled in the early part of the season,” said Chulvick. “We were 4-4, but won four of our last five games to win the title for a second straight year. We came on at the end and finished strong. It was exactly the same way we did it last year.

“We have a great group of guys here. They are fun to be around. They love to play the game and have fun doing it. And that’s what it is all about.

“I thought it was monumental the way we won the championship last year. But winning two in a row is awesome. It is just an awesome group of guys on the team.

“I have to say that Charlie Terrery keeps us all focused, motivated and especially in line. He help us play together as a team. He means as much to us from that stand

point as he does for his offensive contributions.

“And Charlie can still hit at 58. He is still out there competing with the younger guys. I would love to be out there someday playing at 58 like him.”

Alex Terrery led the team in homers with four and also batted over .400.

“It was quite a team effort,” said Chulvick. “Our team already can’t wait for next year to get started. We just love to play.”

Commissioners to Host Cross Country Invitational

Cross Country Race

The annual Lackawanna County Commissioners Cross Country Invitational Race will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m. to noon at McDade Park, Scranton, featuring high school athletes from a tri-state area.  The top 25 finishers in the boys and girls junior high categories along with the girls and boys varsity divisions will also be recognized.

Winning teams in each of the race categories will also be honored. Information on the meet is available from the County’s Parks & Recreation Department at 570-963-6764.

Shown from left are: William Davis, the County’s Deputy Director of Parks & Recreation; Commissioner Jerry Notarianni, Commissioner Laureen A. Cummings, Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley, and Mark Dougher, the County’s Parks & Recreation’s Buildings & Grounds Manager.  


Doin’ Dunmore: Remembering the Last of the Four Horsemen

Doin Dunmore - Four HorsemenBy Steve Svetovich

Thoughts of a September football bring back memories of the late Jim Crowley who was the last surviving member of “The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.”

Crowley died at 83 Jan. 15, 1986 at Holy Family Residence in Scranton where he lived in the latter part of his life. He spent a good part of his final years living in the Green Ridge section of Scranton. His funeral was held at Saint Clare’s Church in Green Ridge.

It was famed sportswriter Grantland Rice who penned “The Four Horsemen” name on the four members of the Notre Dame backfield in the early 1920s. The picture of the four players, including Crowley, sitting on horses is legendary and was on the wall of Terry’s Diner in Moosic for decades.

Crowley was born in Chicago 115 years ago this September 10.

He played at Notre Dame from 1922 through 1924, suited up for three games of professional football and then coached at Michigan State from 1929 to 1933 and Fordham University from 1933 to 1941. At Fordham, he coached “The Seven Blocks of Granite,” a group that included Vince Lombardi who later became a legend himself as coach of the Green Bay Packers.

This scribe had the privilege of meeting the Notre Dame legend in the early 1980s. Crowley was a patient at Mercy Hospital, Scranton, and this scribe was working in the Central Supply Unit. A co-worker, Bill Hoppel, met him first and introduced me to him.

A friendship ensued and there were other frequent visits. Eventually, Crowley agreed to do a taped interview.


Jim Crowley was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1966.

Here are some excerpts from the taped interview with the witty Crowley:

“We got the name, ‘The Four Horsemen,’ in the fall of 1924 when we defeated Army, 13-7. Grantland Rice, the Dean of sports writers at the time, gave us the name in his write up of the game. When we got back to South Bend, a very enterprising reporter, George Strickler, had four horses brought out to the campus and had us stride them. They took our picture and that picture went all over the country. Between the combination of the two, we became known as ‘The Four Horsemen.’ That was it.”

The late Grantland Rice, who lived next door to Crowley in New York when the Notre Dame legend coached at Fordham, wrote: “Outlined against the blue-gray October sky, The Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction, and death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Stuhldraher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone which another Fighting Irish team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds this afternoon.”

Knute Rockne’s undefeated 1924 Notre Dame team went on to win the national championship and defeated Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Rockne died in a plane crash in March of 1931.

“Rockne was a great man,” Crowley said. “He would have been a success at anything. He was a brilliant individual, great coach and dynamic character. He was a strict disciplinarian, but at the same time had a great sense of humor.”

fordhamCrowley had great memories of coaching Lombardi at Fordham.

“Lombardi was a good, steady player, not a great star. He played with the ‘Seven Blocks of Granite.’ He had to be good to play in that group. I didn’t think he would get into coaching at the time, but he did and became a great one.”

Crowley, known as Sleepy Jim, said he went from playing a few pro games into coaching to make more money. “It wasn’t lucrative to be a pro player then. You could make more money in coaching.”

Crowley compiled a 58-13-7 coaching record at Fordham. His .783 winning percentage is fourth on the all-time list. He led Fordham to a 2-0 win over Missouri in the 1942 Sugar Bowl. The game was played during a fierce electrical storm. The win made Fordham national champions.

Crowley coached Fordham in the first televised football game in 1939.

Crowley recalled being at a New York Giants football game with Milton Berle when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. “I was there with Ted Collins, who was Kate Smith’s manager. Milton came over between halves to sit with us. Milton was with his mother. He often had his mother with him. He had a transistor radio which blared out that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. We continued watching the game. There was nothing we could do at that point.”

In March 1942, Crowley was commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve. He served on the staff of Admiral William H. Halsey and was in charge of welfare and recreation in the South Pacific.

After his Naval duty concluded, he became commissioner of the All-American Football Conference.

rocketsHe then became head coach, general manager and executive Vice President of the Chicago Rockets.

In 1951, he entered the insurance business in Wilkes-Barre, but moved to Scranton in 1953 and remained in insurance. He also became station manager of television station WTVU.

In 1954, he did color commentary for NBC covering Canadian football.

He was chairman of the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission from 1955 through 1963.

Crowley knew plenty of celebrities in his day.

“Babe Ruth was on the same speaking circuit as me in the 1920s and early 1930s. It is true that he liked to eat a lot of hot dogs. He had a huge, gregarious personality. He was bigger than life.

“Bob Hope used to come to my New York apartment. He used to sit on a steamer trunk and drink scotch. He wanted to be seen with us, so he could become known. He wasn’t known yet and was trying to make it big.”

Tom Fox, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, at a gathering after Crowley’s funeral said, “He was a  man who shared himself, a great speaker. Jim Crowley was so down to earth, he was dead level to the ground.”