By Steve Svetovich
Holy Cross first year head football coach Joe Giorgio is looking to create a winning attitude for the Crusaders.
Giorgio, a 1979 Dunmore graduate where he played basketball and baseball, knows a lot about the Holy Cross football program already. He was the Holy Cross freshman football coach in 2011-12. He served as an assistant football coach for the Crusaders from 2017 until he was named the new head coach this season.
Giorgio received an associate degree from Keystone Junior College and attended the University of Scranton. He is married to the former Lynn Kamora. The couple has two children: Michael, 28, of Virginia, and Nicole, 32, of Maryland.
Giorgio said Holy Cross has a good turnout for football this season and his players are enthusiastic, excited and expecting to win games.
“I really didn’t expect a turnout of 28 kids when we started practice,” he said. “But the kids are really into it. They are buying into the program. They are excited and looking to create a winning culture.
“We had no seniors last year, so everyone who played for us is returning. We started four freshmen last year. They are all returning. Plus we have a few new players.”
Holy Cross was 0-5 last year in the COVID-19 shortened season.
Giorgio is assisted at Holy Cross by Vince Coviello, Chris Coviello, Corey Coviello, Jim Talarico, Dom Possanza and Jake Gatto.
“We expect to get a few wins this year,” said coach Giorgio. “We were on the field for a few games and got some experience last year. And now it’s paying dividends. We are hoping to be at least a .500 team this year. We are going to win some games and be much more competitive.”
Giorgio, 60, said the entire Holy Cross offensive line will be back. The line includes senior right guard Nick Cabets, junior left guard Cody Schnoover, junior center Pio Tanana, sophomore right tackle Chris Petrucci, and senior left tackle Matt Tucker.
Wide receiver Connor Art returns as a sophomore.
Nate Cobley, a senior transfer from Scranton High School, will be the starting quarterback. Sean Herbert, a senior and the quarterback last season, will be a starting wide receiver. Logan Tierney, a junior, will be the starting tailback. Tierney started four games at tailback last season.
Cabets will be the kicker. Cobley will handle the punting duties.
Key defensive players will be Tierney at linebacker and Cabets at defensive end. Senior stalwart Tucker returns at tackle on the defensive line.
“Our guys are putting in the time and effort,” coach Giorgio said. “The best thing is that we played five games last year and we got to practice. So the kids have some time on the playing field. Having those five games during COVID helped us a lot.
“Most of the kids last year never played football before. Now they have the experience. And it is now showing during practice. These kids are excited and hungry. They are all going to play and win some games. We will be highly competitive.”
Coach Giorgio says, “We are all very much looking forward to the start of the season. The kids are excited and working hard in summer practices.”