By Steve Svetovich
Frank Ruggiero, a Dunmore senior this coming year, earned Comeback Athlete of Year honors through the Lehigh Valley Health Network.
Son of Vito and Chrissy Ruggiero, Dunmore, the three-sport athlete suffered injuries in a quad and motor vehicle accident March 30, 2019. A quad the teen was driving was hit by a truck in the mishap.
A sophomore at the time, Frank was and still is a member of the Dunmore baseball, basketball and golf teams.
He underwent many weeks of intensive rehab following the accident in which he suffered multiple injuries and needed a bowel reconstruction.
“But I always moved forward,” he said. “There was never a doubt in my mind I would be playing all three sports again at Dunmore.
“I suffered a brain bleed and concussion, but I was back on the baseball field for two games that very same year. I had a few hits my first game back and it felt good to be back playing second base and shortstop.”
Frank is a guard on the Dunmore basketball team and came back as a junior to average over nine points a game and play a key role as a starter.
He was looking forward to playing baseball as a junior and then the COVID-19 pandemic struck. “It was tough not being able to play baseball this year,” he said. “We were all looking forward to it. I wanted to play with my senior friends one last time. We wanted to win for the seniors.”
The talented, hard working soon to be senior came back strong in golf too. He was a first-team all-star and lost only one match.
He felt honored, but not too surprised receiving the Comeback Athlete of Year award. “It felt great, but I knew I was coming back because I love sports. There was no doubt in my mind. It was an honor, but I knew I would be coming back.
“Coming back is the big thing. Getting the award is just a bonus.”
Frank is an honors student with a 90 academic average at Dunmore. His best academic subject is math.
Due to his great love and pursuit of athletics, Frank said he does not have a lot of time for music but does like Travis Scott.
He gets a lot of his work ethic from his parents.
“They teach me to always move forward and work hard. Hard work earns you success. They also teach me about respect. Be respectful of others.”
He worked extremely hard during his rehab trying to get back on the baseball field.
“I had no choice, but to work hard. I could not wait to come back…I knew I would never stop playing.”
Frank said he can’t wait for his senior year.
“I want to take in every moment. I feel great over a year after the accident. I want to go as far as I can. I will never stop. I am going to savor the moments. Everything will be that much sweeter.”