Sports Hall of Fame Induction Has Dunmore Flavor

sports

By Steve Svetovich

The Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame had a Dunmore flavor during its 36th annual Induction Ceremony at the University of Scranton DeNaples Center last month.

The Induction Ceremonial Dinner, held October 27, included 10 new members plus an annual media award selection, Kent Westling.

Half of the 10 new inductees have Dunmore ties. And those five include long time Bishop O’Hara and Holy Cross basketball coach Al Callejas, former Bishop O’Hara softball and basketball standout Sara Harris Walsh, former Dunmore High School baseball and basketball star Kevin Walsh, Dunmore High School Superintendant John Marichak who was a three-sport athlete at Scranton Tech and four-year football starter at Villanova University and former Scranton Prep All-Scholastic football player Thomas O’Donnell who lettered at the Division I college level. O’Donnell had a contingent of Dunmore family members, including his brother Al, present at his induction. 

The other five inductees were Scranton Women’s Bowling Association standout Pamela Kiesel, distinguished long time basketball official James “Red” McAndrew, 42-year PIAA wrestling official Peter Smith, two-time Montrose All-State football lineman Chris Snee who was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants and two-time PIAA All-State cross country champion Carly Graytock Shea from Forest City High School. 

Bob Walsh, former University of Scranton assistant basketball coach, is Northeastern Chapter President.

Former Mid Valley baseball standout Jerry Valonis is Vice President of the Northeastern Chapter. Judy Igoe Carr, who provided the remarks, is secretary. Tom “Doc” Dougherty is treasurer. 

The executive committee of the Northeastern Chapter includes Walsh, Valonis, Igoe Carr, Rich Revta, Jerry Kowalski, Jerry Dempsey, Dougherty and Alice Foley who provided the benediction. 

Jim Coles, of WNEP-TV, served as toastmaster for the annual event.

The U.S. Marine Corps provided presentation of colors.

Callejas, in 25 years of high school basketball coaching and still going strong, has won 488 games, eight Lackawanna League titles and nine District II championships. His teams currently have earned 12 consecutive berths to the PIAA State tournament. Callejas spoke of having the unique opportunity to coach his sons at Holy Cross. 

Graytock Shea won both the District 12 Cross Country title and was the 3200m champ at Forest City. She was a two-time PIAA All-State cross country champion. She was a three-time all-Patriot League cross country performer and two-time Regional Mid Atlantic All-Star at Bucknell University. 

Kiesel was the first woman in the Scranton Women’s Bowling Association to roll a perfect 300 game. In 1981, she was one of only four women in the United States with two 800-series to her credit. She is a member of the Scranton WBA and Chic Feldman Hall of Fame.

Marichak was a baseball, basketball and football standout at Scranton Tech. He was a two-time All-Scholastic linebacker and MVP in the Lackawanna League basketball All-Stsr game. He was Yankee Conference All-Academic during a four-year football career at Villanova. He was head football coach at Honesdale and Scranton High School. He compiled a 57-46 record in nine years at Scranton where his teams were two-time Lackawanna Football Conference Division I champs. The self-made Marichak spoke of the importance and influence of his family during his speech. 

McAndrew was a two-sport athlete at Scranton Tech. As a highly respected basketball official, he worked Division I, II and III. He has been a PIAA high school basketball official for over 35 years and received the John Nucatola award at the College Basketball Officials Association banquet. Popular and well spoken, he received plenty of cheers at the Induction and drew laughs from the crowd during his speech. He spoke of attending a camp for officials and learning the trade before going back later in his career to mentor and teach himself. 

O’Donnell was an All-Scholastic football player at both offensive guard and defensive tackle at Scranton Prep. He is the first ever Scranton Prep player to,letter at the Division I college level. He was a two-year letter winner for the Army football team. He won the Commander and Chiefs Trophy at West Point and was selected to play in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

Smith was team captain for the football, wrestling and baseball teams at Abington Heights High School. As head wrestling coach at Abington, his teams were 56-15 from 1968 through 1973. His teams were Suburban League champions in 1970, 1972, 1973 and co-champs in 1971. As a 42-year PIAA wrestling official, he worked in 12 State championships. He received the prestigious Abington Area Award for 50 years of service to wrestling.

Snee was Regional Defensive Player of the Year in 1999 as a member of Montrose High School football. He was a second-team All American football lineman at Boston College. He was chosen by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft and went on to win two Super Bowls with the team before retiring in 2014. He is currently a scout with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Walsh was MVP for both the baseball and basketball teams at Dunmore High School. He was a 1,000-point scorer and collected over 500 rebounds at Dunmore. He was a two-time Lynett Memorial Tournament selection and also its MVP. In baseball, he was a two-time League and District champion at Dunmore. He was a two-time Freedom League and Middle Atlantic Conference champion at Wilkes College. He was named six times to the All Tournament team averaging 10 points and eight rebounds over his college career at Wilkes. He is currently an NCAA basketball official and PIAA baseball and basketball official. He worked the Sweet-16 tournament on the Division II level for basketball. 

Harris Walsh was a four-time Lackawanna League Southern Division All-Star and three-time Chic Feldman Tournament selection at Bishop O’Hara High School in Dunmore. She was three-time MVP of the Scranton Jaycees/LJC Holiday Tournament. She was a 1,000 point scorer and All Region selection in basketball three times. She was a two-time All Regional softball player. She was selected to the Patriot League’s All Rookie team for basketball at Lafayette College.

Westling was the well respected Play-by-Play broadcaster for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons from 1989 through 2007. He worked as the football and basketball radio announcer for Wilkes University and a Play-by-Play announcer for University of Scranton basketball. He was TV Sports Director and Anchor for WYOU from 1981 through 1987. He was Play-by-Play announcer for the St, Louis Blues hockey team of the NHL.Westling has interviewed the likes of late heavy weight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, former boxing champs Mike Tyson and Larry Holmes and the late Joe Frazier, actor Paul Newman and race car driver Richard Petty.

Athlete of the Month: Gianna Delfino

Athlete Gianna DelfinoBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore Lady Bucks senior Gianna Delfino was one of the major spark plugs in her team’s run to the state title game, a 49-43 loss.

The senior forward averaged in double figures for coach Ben O’Brien’s Lady Bucks.

Daughter of Joe and Melissa Delfino, Gianna was a member of the Dunmore Lady Bucks basketball team for four years.

She was named defensive player of the year in her sophomore year.

The scholar-athlete has a 96 academic average and will study Occupational Therapy in the fall at Misericordia University.

Gianna was named to the Lynett Tournament first team this season. The Dunmore Lady Bucks, undefeated until the state title game loss, won the tournament.

Her reaction to the state title game loss? “Well, I’m really proud of our team. It’s very easy to be upset about the loss, but we have to put everything in perspective. We really accomplished a lot. It was just a great year for us. We have a lot to be proud of.”

Gianna keeps very busy when she is not playing basketball. She is a member of the Art Club, Earth Club, Service Club, TACT, SADD, Health Careers Club, Spanish Club and French Club. She is also a four year member of the Dunmore cross country team.

And she loves music. Lady Gaga is her favorite.

Athlete Gianna Delfino action shotGianna has been playing basketball since age five. She started in Dunmore Biddy Basketball Leagues and played in travel leagues with the NEPA Flames and J.B. Hoops.

She was a member of two district championships, including this season, and four Lynett Tournament title teams at Dunmore.

“Going to Dunmore has been the best experience ever,” she said. “I love Dunmore, the people, the community, the school programs, the teachers, the students. I learned so much about how to be a good person and living to your potential.

“The basketball practices prepared us so well. We tolerated it well and it pushed us to succeed.”

Well spoken and articulate, Gianna talked about her desire to become an occupational therapist. “I shadowed a therapist recently. I really want to be in a profession where you can make a difference in people’s lives. I want to help them get better and achieve their potential. As an occupational therapist, I think you really get to know your patient.

“You get to help people day to day and help them live their best possible life.”

Gianna is not surprised the Dunmore Lady Bucks reached the state title game this season. “Our coach had us prepared for every game. He worked us so hard. Our team is very passionate about the game.”

Gianna, 18, said she is prepared for her future at Misericordia University. “I learned so much here at Dunmore from the teachers, coaches, everybody. I look forward to the rest of my senior year and then to my college years studying occupational therapy.”

Scranton Prep Boys Take Home Fifth Straight District Title

The Scranton Prep boys’ basketball team won its fifth straight District 2 Class AAAA title, 47-41, over Nanticoke, Saturday, March 2 in Wilkes Barre.

Prep senior Leo O’Boyle, who secured a scholarship to Lafayette College, led the Cavaliers with 18 points, included the 1,000th of his career.

O’Boyle added eight rebounds in the win. Marlo Rotell added 12 points and had a key steal in the win for Prep (22-3) coached by Andrew Kettel.

Prep advances to the PIAA state playoffs Friday, March 8, against Susquehanna Twp. (13-12), the No. 4 seed from District 3.

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In the meantime, the Scranton Prep girls’ Lady Classics defeated Lake Lehman, 46-43, to earn its second straight District 2 Class AAAA championship Thursday, February 28, at a Wilkes Barre.

Scranton Prep (24-1) sophomore guard Rachael Rose led her team with 21 points in the district title win.

The standout sophomore hit two clutch free throws in the final half minute to put the Lady Classics ahead.

Cecelia Collins, who scored nine points, hit on two more free throws for Prep in the final seconds for the 46-43 lead before a last second 3-point shot by Corinna Scoblick hit the back of the iron for Lake Lehman (19-6).

Elisa Penetar led the Lady Classics with seven rebounds, including a key defensive board late in the third quarter of the contest, and also added six points.

Kathleen Rose led Prep with six assists. The Lady Classics are coached by Bob Bevigilia. They now advance to the first round of the PIAA state playoffs.