By Steve Svetovich
Swing and hit.
That’s the approach Dunmore junior center fielder Nico Ruggiero takes on the baseball diamond.
Son of Vito and Christine Ruggiero of Dunmore, Nico, 17, was one of the Lackawanna League Division III leading hitters this season with an impressive .500 batting average.
An aggressive hitter at the plate, Nico added a homer, five doubles and 25 RBIs to his season totals.
A three-year member of the Dunmore baseball team under coach Sid Hallinan, he batted .333 last season.
A left-handed hitter, Nico is also a southpaw pitcher for the Bucks. He picked up two wins this season.
Well versed and multi-talented, Nico is a three-sport athlete and has a 94 academic average at Dunmore. His best academic subject is history.
He is a three-year member of the Dunmore football and basketball teams.
The scholar-athlete is a running back on the football team. He rushed for 525 yards and six touchdowns last season. He received honorable mention for football.
Nico is a talented point guard on the Dunmore basketball team.
Dunmore lost in the first round of the district playoffs to Nanticoke, 6-1.
“It was a bittersweet ending to the baseball season,” he said. “We had a nice season and were in the playoffs, but we lost the game. I am going to really miss the seniors on the team. I’m going to play summer baseball for the Sandlot Academy and will start concentrating on football.”
The talented junior said his parents taught him some good lessons. “The main thing they teach me is to always be humble. And to stay humble.”
Confident and hard working, Nico said Coach Hallinan taught him how to be a good leader.
“He’s a great baseball coach and taught us a lot.”
The heavy hitter said he wants to play baseball in college and possibly major in criminal justice.
“My goal is to play college baseball and get a degree. I want to get a good job after college. I want to continue with sports as long as possible.”
Nico said he likes listening to music in his spare time and would like to see Little Baby, a rap artist, in concert.
With a strong academic average and as a starter in three sports, Nico said he has it all down when it comes to balancing his time. “I go to my practices and then I come home and keep studying until all the material is learned.”
And with all of that consuming his time, Nico is making the best of his experience at Dunmore High School.
His strong work ethic makes it all worthwhile.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s fun being here at Dunmore.”