Defense is Name of Game for Dunmore Senior Joey Marzzacco

By Steve Svetovich

Dunmore senior defensive end Joey Marzzacco takes pride in his game, but being a good teammate is his biggest asset.

“He’s just a great kid and a very good teammate,” said Dunmore head football coach Kevin McHale after the Bucks 17-8 win over Carbondale Area in a Lackawanna Football Conference Division III game at Dunmore’s Veterans Memorial Stadium on Friday, Oct. 1.

The Bucks ran the ball 51 times using a ball control offense and tight defense to seal the win.

Son of Jennifer and Joe Marzzacco, Joey had eight tackles from his defensive end position. 

Dunmore’s scores came on a 20-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Thomas Bowen to Brayden Reuther, a one-yard touchdown sneak by Bowen and a 37-yard Max Hunt field goal. Hunt also kicked two extra points.

Nico Ruggerio, who also had an interception, led Dunmore with 67 yards on nine carries. Ruggerio rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in Dunmore’s 34-0 win over Riverside Friday, September 24. 

Dunmore is now 3-2 (2-0 in Division III).

“We are really happy with these last few wins,” said Marzzacco. “We started the year rough, but things are coming together now. We are coming together as a team. We are starting to play teams our own size. We are feeling pretty good about ourselves right now.”

The senior defensive stalwart is a three-year member of Dunmore’s football team. He also has been a member of Dunmore’s track and field team for three years. He runs the 400 and throws the javelin.

The senior scholar-athlete has a 3.1 grade point average and is a member of TACT, the Art Club and the French Club.

His best subject is history and he is an aspiring teacher. “I would like to study Education in college and eventually become a high school history teacher and football coach,” he said.

An honor student at Dunmore, he is leaning towards studying Education at East Stroudsburg, Wilkes, or Bloomsburg Universities. 

Joey enjoys listening to music in his spare time and would like to see Kanye West in concert.

The hard-working senior talked about what it takes to excel at the defensive end position. 

“It takes a lot of hard work,” he said. “You need to have a big year in the weight room. You need to stay home. You need to know your assignments.”

He has learned a lot from coach McHale. “He teaches us to be a class act. Pick your teammates up. Don’t argue with officials.”

Joey said his parents teach him similar values.

“They tell me to always be respectful. They tell me to always give 100 percent no matter what you choose to do.”

Joey said he and his teammates are excited about the strides the team is making. “It feels like we are really playing together now. The defense is clicking and the offensive line is coming along very well.”

Joey said the team goal is to win its eighth consecutive district title and then go as far as possible towards a state championship.

He talked about his future goals. “I want to get a college degree and become a high school history teacher and coach football. I might play football in college. We will see.”

Team-oriented and humble, Joey said his dad has always been his biggest mentor. “My dad taught me all about football. He got me into it. He was a running back for Carbondale Area.”

Joey is enjoying his Dunmore experience. “I love it here at Dunmore High School,” he said. “Because of COVID, my last full year in school was my freshman year. I am glad to be back with my friends as a senior this year. I want to enjoy every minute of it.” 

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