Dunmoreans of the Year: 2017-2018 Dunmore Bucks Football Team

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Photo Credit: Rich Banick Photography

By Steve Svetovich

Congratulations to the 2017 Dunmore Bucks football team, our Dunmoreans of the Year.

Dunmore, led by veteran head football coach Jack Henzes, won the Lackawanna Football Conference Division III title and fourth consecutive District 2 Class 2A crown.

Dunmore finished the season 14-1 after losing to eventual state champion Southern Columbia in the semifinals.

The 14 wins tied for the most in team history.

The 14-win season was the fourth in Dunmore’s history.

And the 14-win unbeaten streak was the longest in team’s history, beating the 1985 Eastern Conference 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.

Jerry Longo and Michael Muracco are both members of four straight District 2 championship winning teams — a run that began in 2014 for the Bucks.

The icing on the cake came late last month when Shoemaker, a two-way starting lineman, was presented the prestigious Fiore Cesare Award and Scholarship. The Scranton Chapter of Football Officials and Peoples Bank Security presented the standout senior with the award at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel.

Shoemaker is the fourth Dunmore player to win the award, joining Brett Trichilo, Miller Holmes and Michael Perry.

Shoemaker also earned All Region honors and his second berth on the Class 2A all-state team. He will continue his playing career at Monmouth University.

Dunmore’s Jerry Longo, Shoemaker, Stevs Borgia, Darcy and Nate Fangio were all named to the Lackawanna Football Conference Division III Coaches’ All-Star first team offense.

Dunmore’s George Mesko, Luke Yanisko, Shoemaker, Fangio and Borgia made first team defense.

Cristian Buckley rushed for 140 yards on 17 carries in Dunmore’s 35-6 win over Newport in the first round of the PIAA Class 2A playoffs. Darcy fired a 59-yard touchdown pass to Fangio in the win.

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

Darcy completed 5-of-10 passes in the win. He tossed 22-yard touchdown pass to tight end Noah O’Malley.

Dunmore’s Kyle Harrity made the key play in the game when he blocked a punt for a safety giving the Bucks a 16-14 lead five minutes into the third quarter.

The Bucks then scored off the free kick, with Buckley cutting up the middle after a cut to the right for a 24-yard touchdown jaunt.

It was a football season the town of Dunmore will never forget.

The full team roster is as follows: Sean Pietruszkiewica, Mark Rinaldi, Luke Yanisko, Noah O’Malley, Thomas Lewis, Greg McDade, George Mesko, Caleb Kilmer, Steve Borgia, Gavin Darcy, Nate Fangio, Nick Stanco, Cristian Buckley, Joe Talutto, Charles Valvano, Billy Donvito, Kyle Harrity, Alex Reese, Frank Damiano, Jake Kalinowski, Tyler Summa, Anthony Santarsiero, Anthony Golden, Pat Donvito, Alec Yanisko, Louis LaCapra, Patrick Burke, Jake Sawka, Nick Shoemaker, Rocco LaCapro, Anthony Kashmer, Jerry Longo, Bobby McMynne, Seamus Cadden, Michael Muracco, Kris Patel, Mike Gianetta, Tyler Overholtz and Colby DeSando.

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Dunmoreans of the Month: William Torbeck and Kendra Lapsansky

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William Torbeck, center, is shown with his wife, Kendra Lapsansky with Colonel, a Black Labrador.  Mo, a Yellow Labrador, is shown with his forever person Donna Hill on the right.

By Steve Svetovich

William Torbeck and Kendra Lapsansky like to help others in need.

The Dunmore couple found their niche by fostering dogs.

Torbeck and Lapsansky were looking for a way to help others a few years back, while dealing with a problem of their own. Torbeck’s brother, Mark, was diagnosed with retina pigmentosa. He was gradually losing his eyesight and eventually went blind. Currently he resides in Florida accompanied by his guide dog.

Two Dogs - Mo“We wanted to do something to help others who were in a similar situation,” said Torbeck, a  contractor at Tobyhanna Army Depot.

“So we decided to do something to help people like my brother.”

The Dunmore couple took in Mo, a yellow Labrador, from January 2016 to December 2016. The Labrador was raised and socialized by Torbeck and his wife for the entire year before ending up with Donna Hill, of Susquehanna County. Hill has the exact same diagnosis as Torbeck’s brother.

Currently, the Dunmore couple is keeping busy raising Colonel, a 15-month-old black Labrador. Torbeck and his wife, who works at the Veterinary Emergency Center, Chinchilla, have the dog from Friday night through Sunday night. The dog is with an inmate at the Dallas Correctional Institute during the week.

Two Dogs Colonel the Black LabColonel also has a trainer who is from Smithtown in Long Island.  “He is with the trainer once a week in a classroom setting,” said Torbeck.

“We pick him up and have him Friday through Sunday. He gets structure in the prison and socialization skills on the weekend with us.”

The Dunmore couple helps Colonel learn how to open handicapped doors and buttons.

“It’s called a touch practice,” said Torbeck. “The dog will learn how to help the handicapped and wheelchair bound in these situations.

“He is seen outside with the public a lot. The most important thing he has to do is remain at my side at all times while outside with the public.

“Colonel is seen everywhere in Dunmore. I go everywhere with him. We go to games, coffee shops, restaurants, just about every place in Dunmore. That’s the protocol. It’s all about repetition. He is a future working dog.”

A fund raiser has been set for January 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Zummo’s Coffee Shop on Marion Street in Green Ridge. Torbeck said all proceeds will go to the America’s Veteran Dog Program.

“Colonel has been with us since February. We will have him until this January. He will then go through formal training for three or four months in Smithtown, Long Island. He will be reinforced on special things. After that, he will be matched with someone. Colonel will be working with a disabled person about three or four months after this January. He will be a guard for a specific handicapped person.

“Sure we will miss him, but my wife and I want to help make this world a better place. It’s not about us. It’s about helping others.”

 

Dunmorean of the Month: Marlena Pegula

marlenaBy Steve Svetovich

Marlena Pegula is busy with academics, sports and clubs, but her biggest honor came in the beginning of her senior year when she was named Miss Buck at Dunmore High School.

Daughter of Diane and Mark Pegula, Marlena is a four-year member of the volleyball and softball teams at Dunmore. She is a four-year manager of the girls’ basketball team.

She is a member of the Spanish Club, French Club, SADD (students against destructive decisions), TACT, National Honor Society, Health Careers Club, Earth Club, Drama Club, Art Club, Band, Chorus and Show Choir. She also helps with the costumes for school plays and has been a varsity basketball cheerleaders for two years And with all that extracurricular activity, Marlena still puts academics first. She has an impressive 93 academic average. Her favorite subject is Calculus.

A four-year starter on the softball team, she pitched, played outfield and third base for the Lady Bucks last season. She will concentrate more on pitching this year.

Humble in nature, Marlena takes her role as Miss Buck seriously.

“I am very honored and proud to represent my school in a very positive way,” she said. “My goal is to represent myself in a way that the younger students can look up to me. I want to help show the younger students to always do their best to succeed at what they want in school and in life.”

Marlena said she has learned how to balance her time with a busy schedule.

“I always find time for studies before anything else. Then I put the time in for sports and clubs.”

The scholar-athlete said her experience at Dunmore has been like no other. “It is an experience I will never forget. I have been very honored to go to Dunmore High School.”

The new Miss Buck said her parents have been huge mentors in her life.

“They always tell me to do my best at anything I attempt and to never give up on anything.”

Marlena said she enjoys listening to music in her spare time and the late Whitney Houston was always an inspiration. She would like to see Misterwives and The Lumineers in concert.

Her sister Marina, a sophomore softball player at Lackawanna College, played volleyball and softball for two years with Marlena at Dunmore. Marlena was also the basketball manager for two of the years her sister played on that team. “It was a lot of fun being with my sister,” she said.

Marlena would like to study pharmaceutical science at either the University of Sciences or Louisiana State University in college. She would also like to play softball in college.

“I want to become a pharmacist someday, work for a pharmacy and someday open my own pharmacy.”

In the meantime, Marlena will do her very best to represent all Dunmore students as Miss Buck. “I am just so very honored,” she said.

Dunmorean of the Month: Nick Shoemaker

domBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore senior tackle Nick Shoemaker stands out.

And that’s because he goes the extra mile.

He’s not afraid to outwork any opponent.

He trains at New Breed Athletics when he’s not working out in the Dunmore weight room or on the football field with his teammates.

“I work out every single day, ” he said.  “I don’t miss a day, not even in the off season.”

And it pays off.

Son of Jim and Grace Shoemaker, Dunmore, Nick was a co-selection as a junior for the prestigious Hookey Reap Award. He received the award with Scranton Prep’s Kyle Polishan who was a senior.

“I was shocked when I heard about it,” said Nick.  “I didn’t know juniors could get that award.”

The senior stalwart, who has a 90 academic average, was also named All State as a defensive tackle last year. He was an All Regional selection and received the WNEP Dream Team Award at defensive tackle. He was an All League tackle.

For his strong efforts, Nick has been recruited by Division I colleges.

He will be playing football on a scholarship next year for Monmouth University in New Jersey.

“I’m really excited and looking forward to that,” he said.  “I will continue working hard in preparation for it. “

Nick talked about what it takes to be a success as a lineman.  “It takes hard work and dedication. You have to work out every day in the off season. Take no days off. “

With his hard work, he helped a Dunmore get off to a 4-0 start this season. “Our goal is to win the district playoffs for the fourth year in a row. Then we want to go as far as we can in the state playoffs. The goal is always to win it all.”

He talked about his future goals.

“I am looking forward to playing football in college. I want to major in criminal justice and become a state policeman.”

Nick said he enjoys music and would like to see ACDC in concert someday.

The tough lineman said he learned a lot from Dunmore veteran football coach Jack Henzes. “He taught me not to take anything for granted. And don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

Nick said his parents are huge supports. “They tell me to never give up. Keep trying hard. If you fail, then keep getting up.”

Nick said he is enjoying his senior year and loves the Dunmore experience.

“Going to Dunmore High School has been a tremendous experience. There is no school like this where you can get a great education and have this much fun at the same time.”