By Steve Svetovich
Dave Gatto is in his second season as football coach at Holy Cross High School and is already making an impact.
The Crusaders won their first game of this season, 14-12, over Holy Redeemer, Saturday, August 25.
It was the Crusaders first win since Oct. 10, 2015, and snapped a 25-game losing streak.
“It was a big win,” said coach Gatto. “We are drastically better this season. It is time for our program to start winning. We believe in ourselves.”
Gatto took over as football coach at Holy Cross in 2017. He was previously an assistant football coach at Holy Cross for four years under Josh Watters and Jeff Stevens.
The hard-working Gatto graduated from Dunmore High School in 1980. He played four years of football under the legendary Jack Henzes. He was a fullback and strong safety in his senior year.
Gatto also played four years of baseball and two years of basketball at Dunmore. He was a catcher in baseball and a guard in basketball.
He went on to earn a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Scranton in 1984 and worked as a supervisor in the transportation industry for 25 years.
Not only did Gatto learn plenty about football and life as a player under Jack Henzes for four years, but he continued to learn as an assistant coach under the Dunmore icon from 1983 through 1989.
“I learned a lot under Coach Henzes both during my time under him as a player and as an assistant coach. He is a great man and I wish him a speedy recovery from his present heart ailment. I am sure he wants to get back coaching and on the sidelines.
“But one of the things about Coach Henzes is that he teaches you even more about life than about football.”
Gatto is married to the former Lisa Monahan. The couple has three children: Alayna, 24, Eric, 22, and Jacob, 17. Jacob, a senior, plays football for his dad at Holy Cross.
Gatto said his team worked hard training and weight lifting in the off season.
“Our goal is to keep getting better and better as a team and to keep winning football games.”
Gatto, who currently works in the maintenance department at Holy Cross, said he is looking forward to the challenges his team faces this season.
“The kids on this team have been working extremely hard and it is starting to pay off.”
Gatto was a star football player in his four years playing under Henzes.
“That’s where I learned a lot about hard work, life and winning.
“I’m proud to be from Dunmore and looking forward to helping build a solid football program at Holy Cross. We have a great coaching staff, many from Dunmore, and I am enjoying my time here at Holy Cross. We want to keep winning now.
“And we will keep working hard.”