Meet Miss Buck: Kayleigh Carey

Miss Buck (1)

Photo Credit: Rich Banick Photography

By Maureen Hart

Kayleigh Carey, a 17-year-old senior at Dunmore High School, says there is nothing like standing at the 50-yard line of the season-opening football game to perform for the first time as Miss Buck.

“You’re standing there alone, adrenaline flowing, and it’s nerve-wracking,” she recalls.

“But it’s also such a fantastic moment. It’s a big honor to be Miss Buck at Dunmore High School. All little girls look up to her.”

Kayleigh, who was chosen for the honor during tryouts last March 16, started twirling lessons with Sherry Nicolais at the age of two, and has always dreamed of being Miss Buck.

“When I was a little girl, I always looked up to the current Miss Buck as a role model,” she confesses. “And now I am honored to be that role model for other little girls.”

The daughter of Lori and Tom Carey of Butler Street, Dunmore, Kayleigh also had another role model growing up when her older sister, Alicia, served as Miss Buck during the 2010-2011 season.

Alicia, now 25, went on to graduate from Temple University, and is employed as an event planner at Constantino’s Catering.

“I always looked up to Alicia, and I wanted to be as good a twirler as she was,” Kayleigh says.

Miss Buck on field

Photo Credit: Rich Banick Photography

Kayleigh and Alicia have another sister, Kelliann, 20, a student at Penn State Worthington. Both of them also work for Constantino’s, which has become something of a family tradition.

Although it takes a lot of training and practice to become an outstanding twirler, Kayleigh has many other things on her plate.

She serves as co-captain of the varsity basketball cheerleaders and as an officer of the TACT Club (Teens Against Corporate Tobacco) and of the Health Careers Club. A member of the National Honor Society, she is also active with the SADD Club, Spanish Club, and Earth Club.

“I love Dunmore High School,” she notes. “It is a great place to grow up and make friends. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.”

She is also an altar server as SS. Anthony and Rocco Church and over the summer she served as a camp counselor at St. Anthony’s Park.

Kayleigh received her twirling routine in January and worked hard to perfect it for the March tryouts,–which are held in front of the entire student body, who then get to vote on their choice. The school principal then counts the votes and announces the winner.

“When my name was called out, I was just overwhelmed and so excited,” she remembers. “It was good to know that working on something for such a long time paid off in the end, and I’m really proud it became a reality.”

Kayleigh’s favorite school subject is math, and she has taken a CAB class during which she drew up floor plans. This class spurred her interest in architecture as a  potential career, so over the summer she shadowed architect Laura Gillette Mills, who is with Hemmler Camayd Architecture in Scranton.

“I found I really like architecture and I hope to major in it at Temple,” she explains. She says she fell in love with Temple when her sister Alicia was a student there.

Kayleigh says her parents are very proud of her achievements. And she admits that she would want any future daughter of hers to pursue the same dream of working hard in order to be chosen Miss Buck.

Road to Recovery: Bucks’ Coach Jack Henzes Looks to Return


Photo Credit: Rich Banick Photography

By Steve Svetovich

He has molded over a thousand high school football players into men in a little over a half century of coaching football.

Recovering from heart valve surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City last month, Dunmore legendary football coach Jack Henzes, entering his 52nd season as a head coach, has no timetable for a return.

But the plan is to most definitely come back.

He is not retiring by any means.

Henzes, 82, has a 435-160-8, career coaching record at Wyoming Area (1966-1969) and Dunmore (1971-present).

He is second in the state in career wins to the late George Curry’s 455 total accumulated at Lake Lehman and Berwick.

Prior to Dunmore’s opening night 31-0 loss to Scranton Prep this season, Henzes led the Bucks to 29 regular season wins in a row. Dunmore is the defending District 2 Class 2A champion. Henzes has led Dunmore to four straight district titles.

Dunmore tied a school record with 14 wins last season advancing to the PIAA Class 2A semifinals.

Henzes graduated from Blakely High School in 1954. He was a star football and baseball player at his alma mater.

He graduated from George Washington University in 1958 with a B.S. in Education.

The coaching icon has taught driver’s education for the past 55 years and plans on continuing when his health permits.

He is married to the former Roseann Anastasio.

The couple has five adult children: Kim, Jack, Brandy, Melissa and Wendy.

Jack HenzesHenzes has led Dunmore to 10 district titles, the first coming in 1995 with a win over his former team, Wyoming Area.

He led Dunmore to its first Eastern Conference Class A title in 1985. Dunmore finished 13-0, becoming the first Big 11 team with 13 wins.

His biggest coaching thrill?

“Seeing all my players move on and be a success in life. Watching my players go out and doing the things necessary in life to become good men. Winning is secondary to watching them become great human beings in life.”

Coach Henzes said he is feeling better each day and the recuperation process is slow.

“The plan is to get back to coaching and the classroom. I will be back. That is the plan.

“I want to do this as long as God allows.”

His future goals are simple. “Just to make sure to teach our players to become good young men and to educate these young students. Again, the winning will come but it is secondary.”

The highly respected Dunmore coach was an assistant under his dad, the late great Papa Bear Henzes, from 1960 through 1965 at Blakely High School.

Henzes, the 16th coach to 400 wins, earned his first head coaching win for Wyoming Area over GAR, 21-6, in 1966. Ironically, he lost his first game as a head coach to Dunmore, 27-13. He led Wyoming Area to a 7-4 record in 1966.

Henzes had a 30-12 coaching record at Wyoming Area before taking the reign at Dunmore in 1971.

henzesHis first Dunmore win came over Tunkhannock, 19-7, in 1971. He led the Bucks to a 7-3 record that year.

Henzes led Dunmore to the first of three straight conference titles in 1973 before losing in the Eastern Conference final, 15-6, to Mount Carmel.

He led Dunmore to its third straight Big 11 title in 1975. Dunmore was 10-1 in the conference.

Dunmore won its fourth Big 11 title in 1978, losing to GAR, 27-21, in the Eastern Conference title game.

Henzes earned his 100th career win in 1980 with Dunmore’s win over Lackawanna Trail, 19-8.

Henzes led Dunmore to its first Eastern Conference Class A title in 1985 with a perfect 13-0 record.

In 1989, Dunmore finished 13-1. The team’s only loss came at the hands of Curry and his Berwick team, 6-0, in the Eastern Conference final.

Henzes earned his 200th career win in 1993 with Dunmore’s 35-7 win over Abington.

Dunmore finished 7-1, to tie with Scranton Prep for the Big 11 title.

In 1995, Dunmore won its first District 2 Class AA title, defeating Wyoming Area. Henzes fell ill towards the end of the season and was unable to coach from the sidelines for a few games.

In 1999, Dunmore finished 12-1 and earned the District 2 Class AA title before losing to Mount Carmel in the state playoffs.

Henzes earned a milestone 252nd win, 42-6 over Scranton Prep, passing his dad on the all-time list, in 2000.

In 2006, Henzes led Dunmore to the first of three consecutive District 2 Class AA titles. Dunmore set a record with 14 wins, but lost in the state final.

bucksIn 2012, coach Henzes led Dunmore to 14 wins and a District 2 title before losing to Clairton in the state final.

Henzes led the Bucks to 14 straight wins and a District 2 Class AA title in 2014 before losing the PIAA final.

Henzes achieved a major milestone Oct. 2, 2015, with his 400th career win, 46-0, over Carbondale Area. He celebrated with his players and grandchildren on the field.

He has led Dunmore to district titles in each of the past four years.

“The plan is for him to return to coaching at Dunmore,” his son Jack, Jr. said. “Right now he is focusing on his recuperation. There are good days and bad days, but the main thing is that he is getting better with each passing day.”

His former players have one standard comment about Henzes:

“He taught me not just football, but about life. He made me into a man.”

Gatto Rebuilding Football Program in Second Year at Holy Cross

Dave GattoBy Steve Svetovich

Dave Gatto is in his second season as football coach at Holy Cross High School and is already making an impact.

The Crusaders won their first game of this season, 14-12, over Holy Redeemer, Saturday, August 25.

It was the Crusaders first win since Oct. 10, 2015, and snapped a 25-game losing streak.

“It was a big win,” said coach Gatto. “We are drastically better this season. It is time for our program to start winning. We believe in ourselves.”

Gatto took over as football coach at Holy Cross in 2017. He was previously an assistant football coach at Holy Cross for four years under Josh Watters and Jeff Stevens.

The hard-working Gatto graduated from Dunmore High School in 1980. He played four years of football under the legendary Jack Henzes. He was a fullback and strong safety in his senior year.

Gatto also played four years of baseball and two years of basketball at Dunmore. He was a catcher in baseball and a guard in basketball.

holy crossHe went on to earn a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Scranton in 1984 and worked as a supervisor in the transportation industry for 25 years.

Not only did Gatto learn plenty about football and life as a player under Jack Henzes for four years, but he continued to learn as an assistant coach under the Dunmore icon from 1983 through 1989.

“I learned a lot under Coach Henzes both during my time under him as a player and as an assistant coach. He is a great man and I wish him a speedy recovery from his present heart ailment. I am sure he wants to get back coaching and on the sidelines.

“But one of the things about Coach Henzes is that he teaches you even more about life than about football.”

Gatto is married to the former Lisa Monahan. The couple has three children: Alayna, 24, Eric, 22, and Jacob, 17. Jacob, a senior, plays football for his dad at Holy Cross.

Gatto said his team worked hard training and weight lifting in the off season.

“Our goal is to keep getting better and better as a team and to keep winning football games.”

JVfootballGatto, who currently works in the maintenance department at Holy Cross, said he is looking forward to the challenges his team faces this season.

“The kids on this team have been working extremely hard and it is starting to pay off.”

Gatto was a star football player in his four years playing under Henzes.

“That’s where I learned a lot about hard work, life and winning.

“I’m proud to be from Dunmore and looking forward to helping build a solid football program at Holy Cross. We have a great coaching staff, many from Dunmore, and I am enjoying my time here at Holy Cross. We want to keep winning now.

“And we will keep working hard.”