Athlete of the Month: Lilly Reilly

By Steve Svetovich

Lilly Reilly is a classic example of a student-athlete who uses perseverance to excel in the classroom and on the field.

Daughter of Brian and Alyson Reilly, Dunmore, Lilly has a perfect 4.0 academic grade point average at Scranton Prep.

She is the captain of the Scranton Prep soccer team and has been the team’s leading scorer for the past two seasons. 

A four-year member of the soccer team, Lilly,18, is also a four-year member of the Prep Lacrosse team. Lilly is also a member of the Spanish Club, the Climate Change Awareness Club, and the Model U.N. Club at Prep.

A striker on the soccer team, she has seven goals and six assists this season. As a junior, she had 10 goals and eight assists in leading Prep to a 9-3 record before losing to Dallas in the district quarterfinals. Prep is 7-6 this season entering soccer playoff action. 

Articulate and well-spoken, Lilly talked about what it takes to be a good striker in high school soccer. “You need to be a very good overall player,” she said. “You can’t just be focused on scoring. You need to make passes and defend.”

The Dunmore resident was a soccer all-star as a sophomore and was nominated to play in a soccer all-star game for seniors this season. 

Her soccer coach at Scranton Prep is Douglas Kneiser. 

The talented senior, whose best academic subject is science, said she has learned a lot from her soccer coach.

“He taught us that hard work beats talent,” she said. “The other team might be more skilled, but the hardest working team will come out on top. And we have seen this actually happen a number of times this year.”

Lilly’s dad is a Dunmore graduate. Her mom graduated from Scranton Central. She has learned plenty from her parents. “My dad and mom are both hard workers,” she said. “They both grew up with single parents. They both started from the bottom and worked their way up.”

Humble and polite, Lilly said she is not sure where she will attend college. She has applied to about 15 colleges so far. “I’m not sure where I want to go yet,” she said, “but I want to go to college in the South. I want to study pre-dentistry and eventually become an orthodontist. 

“I am thinking about playing club sports in college.”

The scholar-athlete said she enjoys listening to music. She and her mom saw Taylor Swift in concert. “She was great and I would love to see her in concert again,” she said.

Lilly talked about what it takes to excel in both academics and sports at Scranton Prep. “You need to put in the work and study very hard,” she said. “And don’t slack. Never slack. Someone told me that. And it is the truth. That is the key to being successful.”

Lilly is a hard worker, but is also enjoying the ride. She has thrived at Scranton Prep. “It’s been a great experience,” she said. “COVID took our sophomore and junior years in the classroom away, but we are glad to be back in person. Prep handled the pandemic very well.

“There is a lot of school spirit now that we are back. We all appreciate being back in the classroom.”

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.” 

Athlete of the Month: David Day

By Steve Svetovich

David Day finished off his Dunmore High School career as class valedictorian.

So what does he do for an encore?

He gets picked as a Lackawanna League Tennis Coaches first-team all-star for Class 2A as a No. 1 singles player.

Well versed and well spoken, David played four sports at Dunmore. 

Besides being the No. 1 singles player on the tennis team, he was a wide receiver for the football team one year, participated in swimming for two years and goal keeper for the soccer team three years. He was a Lackawanna League Soccer Coaches first-team all-star as a goalkeeper in his junior year.

Son of Bobby and Karen Day, he credits his parents for the work ethic he learned. “My parents taught me the value of hard work. It is what drives you to do well in life and succeed.”

David is a driven young man who likes to keep busy. He was a member of the Spanish Club, Engineering Club, Earth Club and Service Club at Dunmore. He was Dunmore student body president and yearbook staff editor. He was president of the National Honor Society. The scholar-athlete finished with a 3.8 academic grade point average as class valedictorian.

David will study astrophysics at the University of Florida in the fall. 

He talked about what it takes to excel as a high school tennis performer. “You need determination,” he said. “You can’t get down on yourself. You need to be consistent. A lot of it is mental.”

He praised Dunmore tennis coach Chris Phillips, the Lackawanna League coach of the year. “Coach Phillips told us that with the right mind set, anyone can play tennis. With hard work and the right mind set, anyone can do what they want.”

David said he likes listening to rap music in his spare time. He would like to see rapper Notorious B.I.G. in concert.

He talked about his future goals. “I would eventually like to earn a Ph.D in astrophysics,” he said. “I want to get into independent research. Hopefully, I will have a family and live a very normal life.”

David said he may play recreational tennis or bowling at the University of Florida. 

A four-year member of the Dunmore Bucks tennis team, the intellectual athlete said he thoroughly enjoyed his experience at Dunmore High School. “Everyone at Dunmore is very caring and welcoming. Everyone at Dunmore wants to see you do your best and succeed. The teachers, coaches, students and administrators all want to see that. It’s a very caring atmosphere.”