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.”