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.