“Shindig” Planned to Support Ross Cordaro Documentary Project

Ross Cordaro DocumentaryBy Emily Fedor

It was Valentine’s Day 1974.

Ross Cordaro was at football practice, hard at work with the rest of the Bucks. To improve their strength, players would lift weights, and to improve agility, they would occasionally do some wrestling.

“I was wrestling with one of my best friends,” Ross said. “I was just flipped the wrong way and hit the mat with my neck first.

“Everybody was around the mat, all my teammates. I remember everything just slowly going numb from the neck down… I’m looking around trying to be strong, but I was holding back tears because I couldn’t move.”

Ross had fractured his C5-C6 spinal segment. Just 14 years old at the time, he spent months at the old Mercy Hospital before becoming the youngest patient at Allied Services.

Not willing to call it quits, Ross set a goal: to be up and walking again by the annual Thanksgiving Day game against West Side.

image1Lo and behold when November came around, Ross was indeed taking steps on his own. And with the help of two quad canes, he walked into a pep rally at the high school the day before that big game.

“The place went crazy. There’s pictures of everybody crying. It was surreal.”

44 years and nine spinal surgeries later, quite a bit has changed. Ross has lost movement in both of his legs and as a result, now rolls through life in a wheelchair.

But with the support of his loved ones, he says he’s managed to stay positive.

“There’s always someone worse [off]. I feel very fortunate.”

Wanting to share his story with others, Ross and his cousin Liz Naro have teamed up to create a documentary called “Don’t Quit: The Ross Cordaro Story.”

“She said she was always interested in writing,” said Ross. “And I said, jeez. Everyone always told me I should write a book.”

Filming is now nearly complete. The hope is to have an edited, ready-to-watch product by this coming November.

Ross Cordaro Shindig PosterTo help support the project, a “Shindig” — yes, just like the ones held back in the day — will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday October 13 at La Buona Vita on Reilly Street in Dunmore.

All proceeds will help cover production costs and ultimately, help share Ross’s inspiring story.

“All I want is that hopefully I can be an inspiration to someone who may be going through any type of injury, or even personal problems. No matter what the situation, the obstacle or tragedy, that you choose the right way to carry on,” said Ross.

“The title is ‘Don’t Quit,’ and that’s what I try to do every day.”

For more information on “Don’t Quit: The Ross Cordaro Story” or to make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/don039t-quitross-cordaro-documentar.

Dunmorean of the Month: Noah Barton

Noah Barton

On the soccer field, Noah Barton has been a fierce competitor for three years. He is sitting out his senior year to an ACL injury. (Photo Credit: Rich Banick Photography)

By Maureen Hart

Noah Barton, a 17-year-old senior at Dunmore High School, has experienced amazing highs and devastating lows during his four year career on the school’s varsity soccer team.

Noah, who started every game since his freshman year playing on the varsity team, suffered a torn right ACL playing indoor soccer last February 18.

As a result, despite all those starts and his phenomenal play, Noah has had to sit out his entire senior season.

While he admits this development has been difficult, the young man is making the best of a bad situation by attending every varsity game and assisting Coach Chris Phillips.

And Barton does have the excitement of watching his 14-year-old brother, Aden (also a starter as a freshman on varsity), although he is disappointed not to have the experience of actually playing with his brother at DHS.

“After the injury, it was very difficult for me” Noah admits. “I gained weight and felt so frustrated.”  

His reconstructive surgery was completed on April 12, but he will not be cleared to play again until February, 2019.

For his senior year, despite the injury, Noah was selected as a team captain, and he says he enjoys the new experience of coaching.

“I have always wanted to be helping the team, seeing it grow,” he points out. “I’m just forced to do that in a different way this year.”

Noah Barton and brother

Noah Barton, right, is shown with his younger brother, Aden, who is also a member of the varsity soccer team.

Noah, who is the son of Heather Evans, a director of Scranton Counseling center (“She’s a huge fan,” he confides), also gives credit to the big role his stepfather, Dan Evans, has played in his life. “He would do anything for us,” Noah says. “He is a great human being.”

“My mother has been such a huge influence in my life,” Noah explains. “We are very close, and she has taught me  to respect other people, to have good values, and how to act in various situations.”

The family resides on West Grove Street, and their lawn is dotted with signs supporting both boys and their team.

Another influence has been Coach Phillips. “Among other things, he has taught me to be more of a team player, and how to control my anger. I used to get so upset over fouls!”

One of his favorite memories of his high school career was the first time he scored in a home game during his freshman year. “I can remember exactly how it happened,” he confides. “It was a long goal, from about 30 yards out, and I scored in the top right corner of the goal.”

Noah Evans3

DHS soccer player Noah Barton is shown doing physical therapy at Allied Services to heal the ACL injury that has kept him off the field this season.

He went on to score 17 goals, the most on the team, during his sophomore year, and as a junior, he scored 18 goals and made the All Stars first team. One of his favorite memories was scoring two goals against the long-time undefeated Blue Ridge soccer team.

Noah’s interest in soccer began when he was five or six years old. He began playing competitively at age 12 or 13 on a travel team, and says he liked the game from the very beginning. At Dunmore High, he started as a defensive midfielder, but then became a forward.

“I just love soccer,” he says. “It consumes my whole life–whether I’m watching games, playing or learning the game. Even my job revolves around soccer.” Noah works at Soccer Plus in Clarks Summit.

After a lifetime passion for soccer, Noah envisioned playing his senior season with his brother, and having colleges take a look at him on the field. Instead, he has been doing physical therapy and working out every morning at 5:30. He completed the Race for the Cure last month, demonstrating his great progress since the injury.

Some colleges are showing interest, so Noah is sending out videos from past seasons. He is looking forward to next year, and says it will be a decision based on where he wants to go to school and who wants him to play.

Noah’s mother has seen him go through all of the ups and downs, and she says, “He was very down about the injury, but he is getting better as he is able to be more active.

“Naturally, it’s devastating when something like this happens, especially during the senior season. But Noah is trying to put it into perspective and go forward with a positive attitude.”

Noah Barton at AlliedAs Heather notes, “This has been heartbreaking for the whole family, because Noah had worked so hard. But we know it could be much worse. He could have a serious illness or something. This is something he can come back from.”

Naturally, Noah passes some of his time watching professional soccer, and his favorite team is Real Madrid. He became interested in the team when Cristiano Rinaldo was playing in Madrid.

“My family descent is Portuguese, so I liked that he was from Portugal,” Noah says. “But more than that, I think he is such a good team player and has a great winning attitude.”

As he finishes his senior year at Dunmore High School and looks ahead to college, Noah says he will really miss the school, and especially his teachers.

“I love Dunmore,” he concludes. “It’s the best place to be.”

Nick Klein and Heather Bailey Named HCHS Homecoming King & Queen


Holy Cross High School recently named Heather Bailey and Nick Klein as the 2018-2019 Homecoming Queen and King.

Members of the school’s 2018 Homecoming Court are shown, from left: Freshman representatives Logan Aldrich and Kaci Kranson; Sophomore representatives Kevin Jumper and Emily Ferguson; Senior representatives Justin Walker and Olivia Osborne; Queen Heather Bailey, King Nick Klein; Senior representatives Haley Bestrycki and Jake Wiercinski; and Junior representatives Ashley Capone and Kieran Burrier.