Bucks’ 14 Wins Tied for Most in Football Team’s History

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Photo Credit: Rich Banick Photography

By Steve Svetovich

It was a season to remember in Bucktown.

Veteran football coach Jack Henzes led his Dunmore Bucks to 14 wins, tied for most in team history, before his team suffered its first lost of the season in the Class 2A semifinal against Southern Columbia, 56-19, Friday, December 1.

The Bucks had a couple leads in the first seven minutes of the contest before Southern Columbia reeled off 49 straight points. Southern Columbia is now headed to its 16th state championship game.

Senior running back Frank Damiano led Dunmore with 77 rushing yards, including a 65- yard touchdown run on a burst up the middle in the closing minutes. It was the final carry of his high school career.

The 14-win season was the fourth in Dunmore’s history. The 14-win unbeaten streak was the longest in team’s history, beating the 1985 Eastern Conference title team that finished 13-0.

Only the Valley View Cougars, which won 15 games in its state title run in 1992, won more games in a single season.

Dunmore quarterback Gavin Darcy and linemen Nick Shoemaker, Jerry Longo and Michael Muracco are all members of four straight District 2 championship teams, a run that began in 2014 for the Bucks.

Darcy hit Steve Borgia for a 15-yard touchdown pass on Dunmore’s first play against Southern Columbia giving the Bucks a 6-0 lead. The extra point kick attempt was blocked.

After Southern Columbia took a 7-6 lead, the Bucks came right back when Billy Donvito broke three tackles en route to a 16-yard touchdown run. The extra point kick gave Dunmore a 13-7 lead with 4:47 left in the first quarter.

bucksThat was the final highlight for the Bucks until Damiano’s 65-yard touchdown burst with 6:20 left in the contest. The undefeated Southern Columbia team scored 49 unanswered points in the meantime. The Bucks finished the season 14-1.

Dunmore had moved its record to 14-0, with a 23-20 win over Ligonier Valley in the PIAA Class 2A quarterfinal at Hershey, Saturday, November 25. The win tied the school record for consecutive wins in a season.

Ligonier Valley had a 14-0 lead after the first quarter, but the Bucks came storming back.

Darcy completed 5-of-10 passes in the win, including a 22-yard touchdown toss to tight end Noah O’Malley in the second quarter. The touchdown and extra point kick tied the game, 14-14, with 7:50 left in the first half.

Damiano, who rushed for 53 yards on 10 carries, scored the Bucks first touchdown on a two-yard burst with 9:19 left in the second quarter.

Dunmore’s Kyle Harrity blocked a punt for a safety giving Dunmore a 16-14 lead five minutes into the third quarter. The play proved to be huge.

The Bucks then scored off the free kick, with Cristian Buckley cutting up the middle after a step to the right for a 24-yard touchdown scamper and a 23-14 lead after the extra point kick by Rinaldi, with 2:54 left in the third quarter. Buckley rushed for 54 yards on 12 carries in the win.

Ligonier Valley drove to the Dunmore five in the closing seconds, but choose to go for a touchdown rather than attempt to tie the game with a field goal on fourth down. A pass dropped incomplete and the Bucks had a 14th straight win.

Shoemaker had a key sack and Nate Fangio made a game saving tackle on Ligonier Valley’s final drive.

Dunmore defeated Newport, 35-6, in the first round of the District 2 Class 2A playoffs Friday, November 19. Damiano ran for two touchdowns and Darcy threw for another, a 59-yard touchdown pass to Fangio, in the win.

Buckley romped for 140 yards on 17 carries. Donvito added 74 rushing yards on 15 jaunts in the win.

The Bucks may have ended the season with a loss, but this group of players and coaches are only winners in the town of Dunmore.

Congratulations on a historic season, Dunmore Bucks.

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Bucks Remain Unbeaten and Capture Second Straight Division III Title

bucksBy Steve Svetovich

Gavin Darcy threw for 198 yards, fired three touchdown passes and ran for another leading the Dunmore Bucks to a 41-12 romp over Old Forge as the team earned its second straight Lackawanna Football Conference Division III title Friday, October 27.

Dunmore is now 10-0, including 9-0 in Division III.

Dunmore veteran coach Jack Henzes, who three years ago became the 16th high school coach in the country to achieve 400 career wins, will lead his team as the No. 1 seed in the District 3 Class 2A playoffs, where the Bucks will host Mid Valley.

The win was Dunmore’s 29th consecutive in the regular season and 43rd straight in the division. Darcy now has 21 touchdown passes for the season.

The loss was Old Forge’s first of the season. The Blue Devils will host defending champion Lackawanna Trail in the District 2 Class 1A final.

The Bucks only totaled three yards rushing in the first half, but held a commanding 27-6 lead mostly due to Darcy’s arm. He passed for 159 yards and threw all three of his touchdown passes in the first half. Darcy also scored on a one-yard plunge in the first half.

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DHS Senior Nick Shoemaker is a tackle for the Dunmore Bucks.

Darcy’s first touchdown pass came on a 22-yard strike to Steve Borgia with 11:04 left in the first quarter.

The extra point kick by a Rinaldi made it 7-0.

 

Dunmore defensive stalwart Nick Shoemaker stopped the Blue Devils first scoring opportunity with a stop at the Dunmore seven-yard line with 8:31 left in the first quarter.

Still, Old Forge came right back when Tommy Souriyavong snared a seven-yard touchdown pass from freshman Dante Lucarelli with 3:39 left in the first quarter. The extra point try failed on a bad snap and Dunmore held a 7-6 lead.

The Bucks stopped an Old Forge drive on fourth down from the Dunmore 10 when Borgia swatted down a pass attempt.

Two plays later, Darcy connected with Nate Fangio on a 75-yard touchdown pass. Dunmore held a 13-6 lead with 9:41 left in the second quarter after the extra point kick failed.

The Blue Devils then moved the pigskin to the Bucks 38, but Greg McHale intercepted a pass and scampered 75 yards to the Old Forge one. Darcy then bolted in from the one for another tally. The Rinaldi extra point gave Dunmore a 20-6 lead with 3:33 left in the second quarter.

The hard-nosed Shoemaker and tough interior line stopped a fourth down quarterback sneak by Lucarelli at the Dunmore 45. Darcy then hit Borgia on a screen pass resulting in a 50-yard gain. He followed with another screen pass to Frank Damiano for a five-yard score with 15 seconds left in the second quarter. The Rinaldi extra point kick gave Dunmore a 27-6 lead.

Dunmore scored again on a 16-yard run by Damiano with 2:29 left in the third quarter. Rinaldi booted the extra point.

Dunmore’s Kyle Harrity romped up the middle for a 47-yard touchdown run with 10:46 left in the fourth quarter. Rinaldi kicked the extra point and Dunmore led 41-6.

Borgia, excelling on offense and defense, led Dunmore with three receptions for 102 yards, including his touchdown.

Harrity led the running game with 55 yards on just three carries, including his touchdown run.

Lacertoso Keeping Dunmore Golf Program in High Gear

DHS Varsity golf team

Members of the Dunmore High School varsity golf team include, from left: Coach Tony Lacertoso, Sean Dempsey, Frankie Ruggiero, Christopher Murray, Owen Haggerty, Dominic DePietro and Brian McKitish. The team finished with an overall record of 15-2, the most wins in the school’s history.

By Steve Svetovich

Tony Lacertoso is entering his 14th season as the Dunmore High School basketball coach, but he took on a new venture this year.

He just completed his first season as the Dunmore varsity golf coach.

And it was a highly successful season as a group of six starters, including four seniors, led the golf team to a 15-2 record. The team finished second in the league before battling Scranton Prep in the championship during playoff action.  Dunmore had to win two rounds before getting to Scranton Prep in the championship.

Dunmore and Prep were tied after 18 holes in the championship. Then the Bucks lost to the Cavaliers in a one hole playoff.

The Dunmore golf team had 23 members this season. The four senior starters were Dominick DiPietro, Chris Murray, Sean Dempsey and Brian McKitish. The other two starters were sophomore Owen Haggerty and freshman Frank Rugierio.

“All six of our starters qualified for districts at Elmhurst Country Club,” said Lacertoso. “It was a tremendous feat for these six boys.”

Lacertoso gave a lot of credit to the four seniors for the team’s great success. “Our four seniors showed great leadership. They took the younger guys under their wing right from the start. All four of them played four years on the golf team.

“I am so proud of these boys. They work so hard and excel both on the golf team and in the classroom. There are so many times I heard them talking about their tests and homework assignments on the bus going to and from a match. They are so respectful of everyone.”

Lacertoso talked about what it takes to succeed as a high school golfer. “You need to play the game. You can’t just come to tryouts without playing in the summer. You have to play the game as much as possible to be successful at it. Playing the game is the most important thing. Keep practicing.”

Lacertoso said DiPietro had a special accomplishment during the season when he qualified for Regionals at the Golden Oak Country Club in Reading.  

He talked about making the transition as a golf coach. “Well, I did assist Mark Finan for three years previously. So I had some experience at it. It is totally different from basketball. It’s a totally different ball game. Coaching basketball is so intense. Golf is more laid back. Still, golf can be nerve wracking. It does require a lot of attention.

“I enjoyed it tremendously. And I am really looking forward to next season. We are losing the four seniors, but Haggerty and Rugierio and the rest of the team learned from them and have some experience now. We want to keep the team at a highly competitive level.

“The team played very well this year. Every kid had double digit wins this year. The two younger starters really have a lot of experience now. Everyone on the team helped each other out. It was a great season and situation for all of us.”

In the meantime, Lacertoso is gearing up for his 14th season as Dunmore basketball coach. “We are in conditioning already.”

 

Dunmore’s Sam Incavido Earns Spot in Hall of Fame

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By Steve Svetovich

Dunmore graduate Sam Incavido was one of 10 inductees into the Northeast Chapter Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame class of 2017.

The 35th annual Induction Ceremonial took place last month (October 8) at the University of Scranton DeNaples Center.

Incavido was inducted for golf.Golf-Ball-on-Tee

The other inductees included Justin Collins for track and field, B.J. Gallis for football, Walt Matechak for baseball and as an official, Jack Munley for baseball. Gail Parry as a field hockey coach, Heidi Peoples for cross country/marathon, Dave Rebar for football. Jim Coles for the media award and Father Cyril Edwards for the service award.

John Davies served as toastmaster. Bob Walsh is chapter president. Jerry Valonis is vice president. Judy Igoe Carr is secretary. Tom “Doc” Dougherty is treasurer. Walsh provided the welcome. Alice Foley provided the benediction.

And this is the class of 2017:

Incavido, as halfback at Dunmore High School, was named to the Lions Dream team. He was honored on the Scrantonian All Scholastic team. He was awarded a full scholarship to Eastern Kentucky University where he was a four-year special team’s punter.

As a teacher and coach at Dunmore, Incavido established the school’s golf team, coaching from 1965 to 1997. In 1965, he was responsible for the formation of the Lackawanna Golf League’s Southern Division. He served as president fod several years.

During his years as the golf coach, his teams won over 200 matches and were PIAA District II champions in 1975-76.

baseballMatechak was a two-sport athlete at Scott High School. He lettered in baseball and basketball. He threw a no hitter against Clarks Summit-Abington. He was a four-year starting pitcher for the University of Scranton. He held Mountain League records for most shutouts in a season with five and most strikeouts in a nine inning game with 22. He had a 36-year PIAA officiating career.

Munley was a two sport athlete in basketball and baseball. He was an All Star pitcher for the Scranton Red Sox of the ACBL. He was a two-time Regional All Star at Lackawanna Junior College and pitched a no hitter for James Madison where he was inducted into its Hall of Fame. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers before his career ended due to injury.

Parry won a District 12 title as coach of field hockey for Lackawanna Trail in 1975. She was Trail’s first softball coach. As Abington field hockey coach, her teams won four District 2 AAA titles. She was a Regional Director and coach for Keystone State Field Hockey games from its inception in 1981 through 2001.

Collins was a three time District II champion in the long jump, two time champion in the triple jump and three time all star at Western Wayne High School. He was a three time PIAA state medalist. He was a 1,000 point scored in basketball. He was a four time NCAA Division II Track and Field All American in the long jump at Kutztown University.

B.J. Gallis was a three sport athlete at North Pocono. As starting quarterback of the football team, he led the team to a 12-0 record. He was a three year starter at strong safety for Lafayette. He was named Patriot League defensive player of year. He played three years in the Canadian Football League and was selected to the league’s 25th anniversary team.

Peoples was a three time state qualifier in track at a Riverside High School. At Moravian, she was a three time cross country All American. She is a four time winner of the Steamtown Marathon. She has been a running coach since 2002 at both Marywood and the University of Scranton.

Rebar was a 1991 BIG 33 First Team defensive tackle, Associated Press first team all state defensive lineman, defensive player of the year and all state defensive tackle. He received the 1991 Hookey Reap Award as the top lineman in the region. He received a full scholarship to Syracuse University where he played on three Bowl championship

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WNEP-TV Sports anchor Jim Coles won this year’s media award.

teams. He was Riverside head football coach from 2002 to 2005 and is now head football coach of his alma mater, Mid Valley High School.

 

Jim Coles worked in radio at WBQW and WILK during the 1980s. He joined WNEP-TV in 1989 and was named sports director in 1999. He covered Mike Munchak’s pro football induction ceremony in 1997, his favorite moment as a reporter.

Father Edwards serves as a catechist and chaplain at Holy Cross High School in Dunmore. He played modified softball and coached softball at Bishop O’Hara and Holy Cross. He helped coach numerous league and district title teams, including a 2001 state title, under XE McAndrew. He currently is head junior high coach at Holy Cross. This year his team won the division III title. He is currently pastor at Mary, Mother of God parish in North Scranton. He has been an integral part of the Holy Rosary Biddy Basketball program in North Scranton for many years.