Donato Entering Northeastern Chapter of Hall of Fame

By Steve Svetovich

Anthony Donato is among a group of 10 individuals being inducted to the Northeastern chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

The elite 10 will be inducted during the 33rd annual Induction Ceremonial Sunday, Oct. 4, at 5 p.m. in the DeNaples Center at the University of Scranton. Donato is being inducted as a football and track coach.

At Dunmore High School, Donato was a UPI All-State wide-receiver in 1971. He was a Scranton Times All-Regional and All-Scholastic wide receiver. He was the Scranton Times athlete of the week for track and was the conference scoring champion in 1972. He earned a PA Conference championship at East Stroudsburg and was inducted into the East Stroudsburg University Hall of Fame in 2014.

He spent five years as an assistant football coach at Dunmore High School and 13 years at North Pocono High School. He led Abington Heights to its first Big 11 football title during his two years there as head coach. In his six years at North Pocono, he won both the Lackawanna League and Eastern Conference football titles.

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The other inductees include Ed Bugno, James Burock, Wayne Lydon, Heather Gallagher Raley, Kathleen Klein Prindle, Cal Urso, Greg Legg and Bob Gilbride. Scranton Times sports writer Marty Myers will receive the Service Award.

Ed Bugno is being inducted for football. The West Scranton graduate received the James “Hookey” Reap award twice. He was an All-Scholastic wide receiver in 1975 and was the first receiver in NEPA to be named first-team All-State receiver by the UPI and AP in 1975. Bungo was first-team All-Scholastic in football, baseball and basketball. He was PSAC All-Conference second-team in 1976 and 1977 and first-team in 1978 and 1979 as a wide receiver at Bloomsburg.

James Burock is going in for baseball. He was undefeated for three years with 21-0 record as a pitcher for Valley View High School. He was first-team All-State and All-Conference and Regional Player of the Year in 2000 and All Regional in 2000 and 2001. Burock was a Heisman finalist and four-year starter at Old Dominion where he was All-Conference 2002-05. He was ESPN Academic All-American, All-State Academic and was drafted by both the Cleveland Indians and Colorado Rockies.

Cal Urso is receiving the honor for his performance as a baseball coach. He played basketball for Throop High School where he was the Northern Division leading scorer in 1969. He was an All-Regional selection. Urso was baseball coach for 32 years at Mid Valley High a School where he recorded 321 wins and won three Lackawanna League titles, 10 Northern Division titles and three District 2 AA baseball titles.

Wayne Lydon is being recognized for his performance as a baseball, track and football star. He is one of the fastest athletes to ever come out of this area. He was All-State and All Regional and a defensive player of the year as a defensive back for Valley View High School in 1998. He was a district track winner in the 100 and 200 meters and state qualifier in the 200 meters. Lydon was drafted by the New York Mets in the ninth round in 1999. He made five all-star teams from A to AAA ball to the Independent League. He batted .263 and stole 595 bases in his 13-year minor league career. He was a part of three league title teams in the minors for the Mets. He was on the Mets 40-man roster two years and was called up once. His time with the Mets lasted one day as he was sent down when Cliff Floyd came off the disabled list. He stole 87 bases in 2002. That was one short of leading the entire minor leagues. Lydon was named Baseball America’s best base runner three times.

Greg Legg is going in for baseball. Legg played six years with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. He is the only player to have his number retired. He played parts of two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies compiling a .409 batting average during his short stays. He has been in the Phillies organization for 33 years, 13 as a player and 20 as a coach or manager. Legg has coached or managed at Lakewood, Reading and Allentown and currently manages the Clearwater Threshers. He holds a fundraising dinner each year in NEPA to raise scholarship funds for local athletes.

Heather Gallagher Raley earned her spot in the Hall of Fame for swimming. She was a record holder in seven of 10 events. She was a two-time district champion in the 100-meter freestyle and in 1999 won the District 2 title in the 100-meter butterfly. She earned a spot the PIAA states in 1998 and 1999. At Gettysburg, she was an All-American in 2001 and 2002. She holds the record in the 100 free and 400-meter medley relay and was captain as a senior. Raley was twice Academic All-American, six times Conference Centennial Academic Honor Roll and eight times Conference Centennial All-American selection.

Kathleen Klein Prindle will enter the hall as a coach and swimmer. She was a four-year letterman at Scranton Prep and was inspired by her grandmother Julie Holleran Igoe, a 1983 Hall inductee. She trained elite swimmers in 17 countries for the Olympic Games, USA Senior/Junior Nationals, Commonwealth Games and multiple International championships. She was three times a US Olympics Trials coach preparing eight athletes in 2008 Beijing games resulting in two Olympic winners. Prindle founded Learn-to-Swim programs in NEPA, Florida and New Jersey and made 11 straight state championship appearances as a South Florida high school swimming coach.

The late Bob Gilbride is being honored as a coach. He won 168 games, including five division titles and one Diocesan title, as basketball coach at Holy Rosary High School. He was five Lackawanna League Southern Division titles and 14 Lackawanna League divisional titles as basketball coach at Scranton Central High School where he compiled 481 wins. Gilbride won five Lackawanna League titles, nine Southern Division titles, 11 Class AA titles and two district titles as the baseball coach at Scranton Central. He won titles in parts of four decades from the 60’s through the 90’s.

Finally, Marty Myers spent 10 years as a sports reporter and editor for the Wayne Independent in Honesdale. He has been a sports reporter for the Scranton Times for over 20 years. He was inducted into the Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. He received the PIAA District 2 McGladric Award for contributions to high school sports through journalism.

Tickets for the event are $40. Contact Bob Walsh  at (570) 346-2228, Jerry Valonis at (570) 498-9461, or Alice Foley  at (570) 346-5796. For advertisements, contact Tom Dougherty (570) 346-9991.

Dunmore Native Develops Super Baby App

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Dunmore native Karen Hennigan Holmes, co-creator of the Super Baby app, poses with her son Nathan and felllow co-creator Dr. Patrick Kelly.

Super Baby is a revolutionary exercise app that has been formulated by a team of pediatric experts to help your baby soar through the crucial first years of life. The app comprises 43 developmental activity videos, which cover many of the clinically proven therapeutic techniques to help your baby be well on the road to impressive lifelong development. Perform these interactive exercises with your little one a few times a day to help them achieve the key milestones in their physical development.

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Super Baby is the brainchild of pediatric physical therapist Dr. Patrick Kelly, PT, DPT and pediatric occupational therapist Karen Hennigan Holmes, OTR/L. Both of these experts have a combined experience of over 18 years in pediatric therapy and have used their clinical expertise to craft this developmental tracking app.

Karen Hennigan Holmes is originally from Dunmore and received a Bachelor of Science degree  in occupational therapy from The University of Scranton. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband Douglas Holmes, also from Scranton.  They have two boys, Noah, 3, and Nathan, 1, and are expecting a baby girl in September.  Holmes currently works with children of all ages in sensory gyms, homes, and schools in New York.

“After working with new parents for many years, we realized the need for a developmental activity resource that parents could follow to give their baby a head start in development,” said Holmes.

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The Super Baby app has 43 clinically proven developmental activity videos, which have been expertly designed to help your baby reach their developmental milestones effectively and effortlessly. This interactive app allows you the freedom of choosing to watch videos by age group or by the milestone you wish to work on.

From rolling over to crawling to walking, the Super Baby app will allow you to successfully track all your baby’s key milestones as well as their progress. The interactive format only requires that you enter your baby’s birthday, weight, and height to track their development and progress. The app provides your baby’s growth percentile ranking, and tells you which milestones you and your precious baby should be focusing on.

The app also provides useful tips for fine motor and sensory system development and notifies of any particular developmental concerns you should be aware of. There is a unique timeline feature that helps you track which videos you have watched and which milestones you have achieved.

Download the Super Baby app for free from the App Store.

Dunmore’s Kyle Lasher Beats Barriers

By Steve Svetovich

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Dunmore High School student Kyle Lasher doesn’t let his lack of hearing impair his performance on and off the field. (Photo credit: Rich Banick Photography)

Kyle Lasher was born profoundly deaf, but he doesn’t look at himself as having any type of disability. He just has to work longer and harder to succeed, and that he does.

Son of Tony and Rose Lasher, Kyle is entering his third season as a member of  the Dunmore High School football team. He is a tailback on offense and nose guard on defense. He also plays basketball and runs track for the Bucks. He is an honor student who loves science.

In his earlier childhood years, he played for the Dunmore Little League, Dunmore Biddy Basketball League and the Dunmore Oilers Midget Football team. He never worried about being deaf. He just wanted to play and succeed.

And he has done both.

The 17-year-old  is a member of the Health Careers Club at Dunmore High School and  plans on attending college upon his graduation. He wants to go to Gallaudet University, a college for deaf students in Washington, D.C., where he would like to play football there and study education. His goal is to become a teacher and coach.

Kyle is part of a Dunmore backfield that include stalwarts Colin Holmes, Garrett Murray and Pat Reese. Kyle rushed for 500 yards last season while averaging over seven yards per carry. He expects to see more action this season at both the tailback and nose guard positions.

Modest but with a quiet confidence, Kyle’s answers to questions are well thought out. He said his parents taught him to never give up. Kyle said Dunmore’s head football coach Jack Henzes has also been a very positive influence in his life.

“Coach Henzes teaches us so much more than just football. You have to be a good student, well behaved, a good person,” Kyle said. “Coach Henzes tells us how important it is to work hard in the off season to prepare for the season.”

Hard working in nature, Kyle said he never thinks of his handicap when it comes to sports. He never looked at it as an issue and never thought it would stop him. The Dunmore junior is looking forward to the upcoming football season.

“We need to do our best and improve every day. We need to forget about our loss in the state championship game and move on,” said Kyle. “It was a tough loss, but we have to move on from it.”

Kyle has no problem communicating with the Dunmore coaching staff. He has a certified sign language interpreter with him at all times while playing and practicing with the football team and other sports. Nora Foley is his sign language interpreter for sports. David Posner is his educational interpreter for academic subjects.

“He has to work very hard for both sports and academics. He has to work a lot harder than most kids. He has to put in extra time and effort,” said his mom, Rose. “He is very much in tune with what he wants to accomplish in sports and in school. His football coaches go above and beyond every day for Kyle. He would not be able to do it without their help. The coaching staff is great to him. We are so very proud of Kyle and all his accomplishments.”