Dunmorean of the Month: Kayleigh Semion

 

kayleighBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore High School graduate Kayleigh Semion could have played Division II or III college basketball just about wherever she wanted, but her dream was to go to Penn State.

When she enrolled at Penn State she thought her basketball career could be over, but it wasn’t. Now the 2015 Times-Tribune Player of Year is really living her dream.

She is a key member of the Penn State University women’s club basketball team.

And while it is not Division I varsity level, this team plays a brand of highly competitive basketball with six to eight tournaments throughout the year. The team practices at least two hours three nights per week.

Daughter of Sherry Nicolais and step-daughter of Mark Nicolais, Kayleigh, 20, is a sophomore Kinesiology major with aspirations to eventually become a physical therapist.

An All Regional and second team All State point guard at Dunmore in her senior season, she had opportunities to play division II or III college basketball, but her dream was to attend Penn State.

Then the opportunity came to tryout for the club basketball team. The tryout was competitive and intense, but Kayleigh, a sophomore at Penn State, made the roster. Now she gets to attend Penn State and play basketball.

With over 1,200 career points at Dunmore, she quickly became a key member of the club basketball team. She averaged 14.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game in her senior season at Dunmore and is playing that same type of game for the Penn State club team. She averaged 8.0 points and 4.5 assists mostly coming off the bench for the club team this season.

She helped her Penn State club team place in third place in the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association Championship tournament last month at Ohio State University. Her team beat Virginia Tech, Ohio University and the University of Connecticut, but lost to Air Force. She came off the bench to score 13 points against Virginia Tech.

Kayleigh was named to the All-Tournament team following the Regional Championship Tournament at Boston University earlier this year. Her Penn State club team won that tournament.

“It is very competitive basketball,” she said. ” It is on the level of division II or III college basketball. We practice hard and get to go away to games. We get to practice all the time. The games are highly competitive. The players love to compete. It is a terrific experience. And it is great representing Penn State.”

Breana Toro, former Lackawanna League all-star from Abington Heights, is a member of her club team.

Two of the girls on the club team were promoted to the Penn State varsity roster after injuries to players last season. Most of the girls on the club team attend the varsity games.

And Kayleigh is even a manager for the Penn a State varsity team.

“I will do anything I can to stay in the game,” she said. “I love basketball.”

The scholar-athlete has an impressive 3.8 grade point average at Penn State. She takes a lot of what Dunmore coach Ben O’Brien instilled in her. “He taught me about work ethic . He is really into what he does as a coach. He really helped me as a basketball player.”

Kayleigh also ran track at Dunmore and was a twirler.

She and her two sisters Brittany and Meredith learned twirling from her mom, a prominent twirling instructor in Dunmore.

“My mom always teaches me to go after whatever I want in life 110 percent at a time. She tells me to go after it full speed.”

Personable and full of life, Kayleigh knows she is living her dream at Penn State. “I love it here,” she said. “I always dreamed of going here. I look around and here I am. I love the atmosphere here. And I still get to play basketball.”

Kayleigh said she likes listening to music in her spare time. She would like to see Ed Sheeran in concert.

And while she continues to do what she loves at her dream college, Kayleigh thinks of her future. “I want to get into a physical therapy school after graduation. It is highly competitive, but I want to become a physical therapist.”

And competition seems to be something Kayleigh Semion thrives on.

 

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McGloin Signs Deal with Eagles; Recognized by Commissioners

Matt McGloin proclamation photo

The Lackawanna County Commissioners and community leaders presented a proclamation to Matt McGloin in recognition of his success on the gridiron.

The former Penn State quarterback and Scranton native recently signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.  His four-year NFL career spans several milestones with the Oakland Raiders.

Shown from left: Lackawanna County Judge Thomas Munley, Atty. Terry Gallagher, Commissioner Laureen A. Cummings, Mr. McGloin, Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley and Jack Lyons, West Scranton head basketball coach.

 

Dunmorean of the Month: Alison Boga

 

dunmorean-of-the-month-alison-bogaBy Steve Svetovich

Alison Boga has always had an affection for senior citizens.

So it is not surprising when she accepted the position of executive director at the Dunmore Senior Center, 1414 Monroe Ave., Dunmore, this past December.

And the transition has been an easy one.

Daughter of Alice and the late William Boga, Alison succeeded long time Dunmore Senior Center executive director Jeanne Hugenbruch.

Boga worked under the highly respected Hugenbruch as activities coordinator at the Dunmore Senior Center from 2002 to 2007. She was an active volunteer at the Dunmore Senior Center until her recent appointment as executive director.

Boga, who graduated from West Scranton High School and attended Penn State University, has always found it rewarding working with senior citizens.

She worked as administrator of Amos Towers, Scranton, from 1995 to 2002.

“I have always gravitated towards senior citizens,” she said. “They are a lot of fun. I love to hear their stories and about what they did when they were young.”

Boga, who was a member of the marching band and orchestra in high school, worked as a financial assistant administrator for the Girl Scouts of America from 2007 through 2016 until her recent appointment.

She sees both old and new faces at the Dunmore Senior Center, also known as the Dunmore Activity Hub. “It is fun to be back here. A lot of people, sadly, are no longer with us. However, I do see a lot of familiar faces. I do love the new people and already feel like I formed a bond with them. It’s nice.”

The new executive director said she has many hobbies, including reading, gardening, the environment and running. She completed three straight Steamtown Marathons from 1999-2001. She also participated in numerous 5K runs.

She was co-chairperson of Scranton’s First Night in 2007. She ran the Senior Bingo in the second annual First Night and was an active volunteer from that point until the final First Night in 2016.

Boga was selected as Northeast Woman in November 2008.

She is looking forward to upcoming events at the Dunmore Senior Center, including the second annual Weekend of Arts Festival to be held October 13-14. The big event will be preceded by Purse Bingo October 1.

Another big event, said Boga, is the annual Pasta Dinner, May 11.

“The Weekend of Arts Festival was very successful last year and we are looking forward to it again.”

She is also looking forward to Summer Demo Days at the Dunmore Senior Center. “Members can try a number of different classes for free. They can try classes like Tai Chi or Oil Painting. There will be many options.”

She talked about the future of the Dunmore Senior Center. “The Baby Boomers are coming and they have a lot to offer. We want this to be the go to place for seniors. It is for seniors who want to learn and be innovative and progressive.”

There are currently 350 paid members of the Dunmore Senior Center.

Alison, who enjoys all kinds of music except country, said she always has been around seniors.

“I was always with my parents and around older people. It is just natural for me to be with older people. And I always found them interesting. I feel a certain bond with them. I honestly love being around them.”

Sherry’s Royalettes Peform at Penn State

 

sherry

Sherry’s Royalettes recently traveled to State College to perform for a Lady Lions Basketball game. The group is under the direction of Sherry Nicolais assisted by Nicole Pizzola.

Shown in the first row, from left: Ella Derenzis and Avery Derenzis. Second row, same order: Emily Pavlowski, Derek Lederer, Haylie Keating, and Marley Derenzis.