Athlete of the Month: Emma Coar

Athlete of the Month - Emma CoarBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore High School Homecoming Queen Emma Coar has many passions, but one stands out.

She is a kicker for the district champion Dunmore football team.

Daughter of Thomas and Jennifer Coar, the multi talented senior is also ranked second in her class with a 98.9 academic average.

Emma excels on the Dunmore soccer team where she is a captain and two-time All-Star. She is a member of the school band, member and treasurer of the honor society, vice president of the Spanish Club, treasurer of the Music Guild and writes for the school newspaper.

And it was Dunmore veteran football coach Jack Henzes, currently recuperating from a heart ailment, who asked Emma to join the football team.

“Coach Henzes asked me in gym class,” said Emma. “He saw me in kickball and liked how I kicked.

“I thought about it and looked at it as an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. I looked at it as a great way to remember my senior year.

“My parents were very supportive. They had my back and were there for me. They always teach me to have a strong work ethic.”

Emma went on to excel as a kicker. She kicked over 40 extra points for the district champions.

“It was not a problem with the boys on the team. They looked at me as another athlete on the team. Just like anyone else. They never looked at me as different.

“The practices were not that hard for me. I pretty much was on my own with workouts during practice.

bucks“Coach Henzes continued to support me. He is always very supportive. Even though he was out, Kevin McHale and the other coaches were always in contact with him. Coach McHale was also very supportive.”

Emma, humble and hard working, said she is undecided about a college major but would like to attend the University of Scranton. Her favorite subject is history.

“I like all my classes though.”

Emma enjoys music and would love to see Khalid, an R and B rap artist, in concert.

She talked about another one of her passions, soccer.

“I love soccer,” she said. “You need to put in a lot of work and time to excel in it. You need to be passionate about it.”

Emma said her experience at Dunmore High School has been awesome.

“I learned a very good foundation for my future. The teachers and coaches have been great. I made a great group of friends who I will always be in contact with no matter where we all go to college or in life. 

We will be friends forever. It is really a great school.”

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Dunmore Swimmers Look to Make Great Strides This Season

By Steve SvetovichDHS swim team

Dunmore High School second year girls’ swimming coach John Andreoli is looking for his team to increase its roster and make an impact this year. Andreoli, Aquatics Director at the Greater Scranton YMCA, Dunmore, said practice begins this coming Friday, November 16.

“We had 11 girls on the team last year and are hoping for 15 to 20 this season,” said coach Andreoli.

“We’ve taken great strides in gaining some respectability in our league. It’s been a tall task getting the program on its feet, but I think we are looking real strong going forward. We plan to make some waves in the near future.

“I just need to get some more swimmers on board. And we are planning to do that.

swim“We have two of the best swimmers in the area, senior Colleen Brown and sophomore Maddie Healey, on our squad.

Both girls already garnered quite a bit of attention last season as they each broke three school records.

“We have some returning young swimmers who are going to surprise a lot of people this year. We also have some freshmen who look very promising.

“I would like to see more public interest in our team. We want to build the program and get off to a good start. Swimming is not always on the radar, but our story could be a compelling one this year. Our program should be getting a little boost with more girls coming out to swim.”

Coach Andreoli, who was a star swimmer at Valley View High School, said both Brown and Healey broke multiple school records and placed high in districts last season.

He said junior Mia Chiaro just started swimming for Dunmore last year and placed in districts. “We expect big things from her this year. And she never swam until last year.”

Dunmore’s first swim meet will be Dec. 13.

“Dunmore has not been a traditional powerhouse in swimming. We are trying to change all that. We are taking steps to gain relevance in the program.

“We have a lot of returning swimmers and a lot more depth. We are returning more than half of last year’s team and adding more to the roster.”

Andreoli is in his second year as Aquatics Director at the YMCA. He has coached the Greater Scranton Stingrays swimming team for the past seven years.

bucksBrown is in her fourth year as a member of Dunmore’s swimming team. Healey, in her second year, has had lots of success as a swimmer. Both performed well in districts last season. Both came up in local swimming programs and swim at Blue Dolphin Aquatics.

“Both girls are very dedicated.”

Coach Andreoli can’t wait to get started. “We are going to get the community excited about our program this year. This is an upstart year. And we are trying to get the program out there to the public’s attention.

“We will definitely improve this year. This has always been a small program at Dunmore, but with 15 to 20 girls coming out this year it is expanding. We will make a name for ourselves.”

Andreoli has been coaching swimming for various local teams over the past decade. He has served as a lifeguard and swimming instructor.

Fundraising events have also started for the Dunmore swimming team. Money needs to be raised for warm up suites and equipment.

Athlete of the Month: Frankie Ruggiero

Athlete of the Month - Frankie Ruggiero golf

A multi-talented athlete at Dunmore High School, sophomore Frankie Ruggiero excels on the golf course.

By Steve Svetovich

Dunmore High School sophomore Frankie Ruggiero is multi talented.

Son of Vito and Christine Ruggiero, Dunmore, Frankie is a three-sport athlete and sophomore class president.

He was a starting second baseman as a freshman for the Dunmore baseball team under coach Mike “Sid” Hallinan.

He was the backup point guard as a freshman on the varsity basketball team. And his best sport is golf where he was superb as a freshman and sophomore.

His coach for basketball and golf is Tony Lacertoso.

As a freshman golfer last year, he won the Jackman tournament in the freshman division and was team MVP.

He has 30 individual wins in match play in two years.

He is the seventh golfer in the last nine years to make it to the Regional Tournament.

The scholar-athlete, an honor student with a 90 academic average, qualified in districts (top six scores in District AA) and made the Regional Tournament this year. That took place at Golden Oak golf course in Fleetwood, PA. He missed the cut by one stroke to go to the states.

For this past season, he was named to the first team small school division all stars.

The talented sophomore talked about what it takes to excel in golf. “You need to practice a lot on your own,” he said. “You need the time to practice. It’s an individual sport.

Athlete of the Month - Frankie Ruggiero & Coach Lac

Frankie Ruggiero poses with his golf coach, Tony Lacertoso, during this past season.

“When I was a kid, I watched my dad and uncle playing golf. I thought it would be fun. So I took it up and practiced and practiced.”

Frankie said he has learned a lot from his golf coach at Dunmore, Tony Lacertoso.

“He is real good on the course. He gets me into a zone and calms everyone down. He is a very good coach.”

The three-sport star made sure to mention his baseball coach at Dunmore, Sid Hallinan.

“He makes it fun to be there every single day. We have a good time, but also work hard at it.”

Frankie, whose best academic subject is math, said his parents teach him “to always be respectful.”

He talked about his future goals. “I want to go to college and see where the road takes me. I would like to play golf or baseball in college if possible. But eventually, I want to become a doctor.”

He mentioned an interest in orthopedics.

Humble in nature, Frankie is well versed in school. Besides playing three varsity sports and being sophomore class president, he is a member of the Health Careers Club, the French Club and is a sophomore Class Officer.

Athlete of the Month - Frankie Ruggiero baseball

Frankie Ruggiero is second baseman for the Dunmore High School’s baseball team.

He plays Legion baseball in the summer and played several years of travel baseball with The Sandlot under Chris Davis and Frank Cwalinski.

As a golfer, he made Regionals last year and missed by a stroke to go to States.

“My goal as a golfer is to make it further and go as far as possible in States. I want to continue improving my golf game. And I want to continue having a good time playing.”

Frankie said he loves playing the three sports and his hobbies are fishing and hunting.

“I also like hanging out with my friends.”

He talked about what it is like going to Dunmore High School. “It’s a great school. I like it a lot. We get the job done with our work in the classroom. It’s a great school and the teachers are great to talk to.

“I would not want to go anywhere else.”

Henzes, Curry, Peck, Klein Prindle Inducted into State Hall of Fame

henzesBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore Bucks legendary football coach Jack Henzes, late Berwick football coach George Curry, Abington Heights graduate Abby Peck and Scranton Prep graduate Kathleen Klein Prindle were among 12 inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Woodlands, Wilkes Barre.

Bob Walsh, president of the Northeastern Chapter, performed the Welcome during the ceremonies for the Class of 2018.

Jim Coles served as toastmaster for the 56th induction ceremony and banquet.

The presentation of colors was performed by the Northeastern Detachment Marine Corps League Department of PA.

Sue Lucas sang the national anthem. Joe Bordell introduced Hall of Fame president Ed Ludwig.

Retired Dunmore teacher and former Lady Bucks basketball coach Alice Foley of the Northeast Chapter provided the invocation and benediction.

The event was hosted by the Northeastern Chapter in collaboration with the Carbon County, Lehigh Valley-Pocono, John Popple-Luzerne, Allen Rogowicz, Ed Romance, Bernie Romanoski, Jerry Wolman-Northern Anthracite, and Bernie Romanoski Chapters.

The 12 inductees were Jack Henzes, George Curry, Abby Peck, Kathleen Klein Prindle, Joe Battista, Robert “Tick” Cloherty, Bruce Dal Canton, Abe Everhart, Tom Harbert, Karen Klassner, Manuel Pihakis and Robert Shoudt.

Henzes, who has the second most high school football wins in state history to Curry, was absent due to illness related to a heart ailment. His induction was accepted by his son Randy.

His career started as an assistant football coach at Blakely High School under his dad, the late “Papa Bear” John Henzes, Sr. In 1966 he became head coach at Wyoming Area and in 1971 was named, and currently is, head football coach at Dunmore where he has a record of 435 wins, 160 losses and eight ties. He has the most wins for an active coach in the state.

He led Dunmore to the Eastern Conference title in 1985, Class A state title in 1989, Class A state Eastern title in 2012, Class AA in 2007, 2014 state Eastern title, District 2 “A” 2012 title, and District 2 “AA” titles in 1995, 1999, 2007-09 and 2014-2017.

He was inducted into the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame, joining his late dad,  in 2009. He is a member of the Chic Feldman Foundation Hall of Fame of Northeast PA.

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George Curry was the winningest high school coach in Pennsylvania. He died back in 2016 from complications with ALS.

The late Curry, whose 455 high school football wins are the most in state history, accumulated six state championships and three national champions. Curry’s son Cosmo accepted the induction.

Curry coached 38 years at Berwick, four years at Lake Lehman and three years at Wyoming Valley West. He coached 12 regular season undefeated teams and had a 47-game winning streak from 1981 to 1985. He was named Coach of the Year 28 times and helped get millions of dollars in scholarships for his players.

Abington Heights graduate Peck represented the United States at the World Championships as a member of the 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1987 National Teams and the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Teams. She was elected Captain of the 1988 Olympic Rowing Team. She is a 12 time National Champion, World Championship and Goodwill Games silver medalist and six times winner at the Head of Charles in Boston. She coached at Smith and Wellesley Colleges and at Masters and pre-Elite levels, where her teams won numerous medals.

As a coach, she worked with the “One-In-Nine” rowing program for cancer patients/survivors, helped create the ‘WeCanRow” program to teach cancer patients/survivors to row and regain physical capability and developed an exercise protocol for a Dana Farber cancer study. The free exercise program she created locally for cancer survivors is in its 11th year.

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Kathleen Klein Prindle was a four-year swimming letterman at Scranton Prep. She assisted in preparing eight athletes in the 2008 Beijing Games resulting in two Olympic medals (Photo Credit: Abington Journal)

Scranton Prep graduate Klein Prindle has been involved in aquatics since 1978, first as a swimmer and later as a coach. Her elite athletes include National Champions and qualifiers from over 18 countries. She founded Performance Aquatics where Olympic hopefuls from all over the world are trained alongside local swimmers, achieving success locally at Junior Olympic/Sectional/State, to nationally at NCAA/USA Nationals, and internationally at World Champs/Olympic Games levels. She created nine Learn-to-Swim programs, 2 USA Swimming competitive teams, two US Masters teams, a Girls/Boys Varsity team and instituted middle school swimming locally.

Battista, known as the “Godfather of Penn State Hockey,” began his career at Penn Hills high school where he was a three-time hockey team captain. He helped secure the largest gift in Penn State history from Terry and Kim Pegula, Carbondale, in 2010 to field varsity men’s and women’s hockey teams and construct the Pegula Ice Arena. He was named Associate Athletic Director to oversee the project. In 2013, he became Vice-President of the Buffalo Sabres.

Cloherty was a four-time first-team PSAC offense and defense player at Clarion State College and was football captain in 1961. He was WPIAL football official for 35 years and basketball official for 25 years.

The late Dal Canton pitched the Cal Vulcans to the District 30 title and first NAIA National tournament. His 1.30 ERA remains a school and PSAC record. He pitched in the major leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves. He had a career big league record of 51-49 with a 3.67 ERA and later served as pitching coach for the Braves. He once set a team record retiring 23 consecutive batters for the Royals.

Everhart was coach of the Uniontown High school Red Raiders basketball team for 29 years. His career record was 549-149, including four WPIAL titles and two PIAA titles.

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Former NFL star Billy “White Shoes” Johnson who escorted PA Sports Hall of Fame inductee Robert Stoudtposes with Steve Svetovich at recent Hall of Fame induction dinner. Johnson is one of 75 players named to NFL’s all-time 75th anniversary team.

Harbert was the youngest head wrestling coach at Saint Vincent College and went on to Latrobe compiling a 202-87-5 record. He earned seven WPIAL titles. He started the varsity men and women’s cross country and men and women’s lacrosse programs at Saint Vincent.

Klassner took over the Wyoming Seminary Blue Knights field hockey team in 1973 and currently holds a 660-171-6 record, including 17 undefeated seasons and six state titles.

Pihakis was Western PA’s Interscholastic Athletic League wrestling champion in 1949, 1950, 1951 and 1952. At Canonsburg High School, he had a 99-1 wrestling record. He had a 58-8 wrestling record at Indiana University where he was All-American.

Shoudt was escorted by former NFL great Billy “White Shoes” Johnson who was named one of the 75 greatest players in pro football history. Shoudt coached track and field at numerous state high schools. His teams won 10 Penn Relays titles. He coached Billy White Shoes on one of his high school track and field teams. He is a six-time Big East Coach of the Year.