Doin’ Dunmore: A Little Princess with a Purpose

Doin Dunmore - Avery Shivock 1By Steve Svetovich

Three-year old Avery Schivock is a little princess with a purpose.

Wearing her “princess dress” for the occasion, the Dunmore preschooler has an unusual hobby for her age.

And she is not afraid of getting her hands dirty.

Daughter of Stephanie and Christopher Schivock, Avery picks up cigarette butts in her Dunmore Sherwood Park neighborhood on a weekly basis.

Her mom explained. “My husband and I were looking for something to do during the pandemic,” she said. “So to get some fresh air and exercise, we started walking around our neighborhood by Sherwood Park with Avery and our one-year-old son, Mason. We started picking up cigarette butts for recycling and to help clean up the area. Well, Avery especially loved doing it and knows it is for a good cause. We’ve been going every week since April and she loves it.

“Avery likes to get out and make a difference. We are a very eco-friendly family. Avery understands the cigarette butts are going to help our environment. We put them in a canister and send them off.

“Initially, our daughter wore a princess dress while we took our walk and she collected the cigarette butts. Now she always has to wear a princess dress while searching for the butts.

Doin Dunmore - Avery Shivock 2“Now she looks for different colors and understands she is helping the Earth while collecting the different cigarette butts.

“She practices good safety habits. Avery wears gloves when she picks up the butts and places them in a can.

“The cigarette butts are filtered during the recycling process and even used for park benches and pallets.

“Our son Mason is still in the learning stages, but Avery is becoming an expert at this now. She loves it because she knows this is making the earth a better place for everybody.”

Avery attends preschool at the Greater Scranton YMCA in Dunmore.

Avery’s mom said the cigarette butts are placed in a container and sent to Terracycle, located in New Jersey.

“They have recycling programs for everything you can imagine,” she said. “Some are free, some are not. 

“Our family recycles k-cups, plates, plastic utensils, fast food cups, straws, chip bags, cellophane wrappers, Gerber baby food cans, and other items in addition to the cigarette butts for Terracycle.

Doin Dunmore - Avery Shivock 3“We also recycle foam, electronics and clothing for local facilities.

“We are very proud that a family of four, with a little one in diapers, make less than a single kitchen bag of garbage a week. 

“Avery has been helping us since she was old enough to carry the bottles to the recycling can on the porch.”

Stephanie and Christopher both graduated from Bishop O’Hara High School in Dunmore. Stephanie graduated from Marywood University and is a proud stay-at-home mom. Her husband was in the United States Coast Guard Academy, served 10 years of active duty and now is a GIS specialist for Rutgers University Marine and Coastal Sciences Department.

Doin’ Dunmore: Remembering the Apollos of the EBA

By Steve Svetovich

There was a time 50 years ago in this region when minor league basketball was king.

And the Catholic Youth Center (CYC) was rocking. 

And if you are 55 or more and loved basketball, you probably were lucky enough to catch a few games at the Catholic Youth Center where the Scranton Apollos called home. 

The former Catholic Youth Center is now owned by Lackawanna College. 

The CYC was also the home of local high school basketball teams and hosted the Lynett Tournament, professional wrestling, boxing events and rock concerts. 

But the Scranton Apollos ruled the CYC in the early 1970’s when the team, coached by Stan Novak, won two EBA championships in a four-year period. Novak was EBA coach of the year three times in a four-year stretch. 

In those days, the CYC was packed. Games were sold out and you could feel the frenzy with the large, loud, enthusiastic crowd. The players were paid very little with hopes of getting noticed and having a shot at the NBA or ABA. 

The competition was fierce and exciting. 

In the 1970-71 season, the team’s first after changing its name from the Miners to the Apollos, the Scranton entry of the EBA lived up to its name by rocketing to the top of the standings and winning the Southern Division crown.

The record shows the Apollos clinched the Southern Division title with a win over the Wilkes Barre Barons, its arch rival, March 14, 1971. 

It was Novak’s first season coaching the team after coming over from Wilkes Barre. He quickly began the task of rebuilding a team that finished a dismal seventh place the previous season. He prepared a list of rookies to draft and veterans he wanted to add.

Eventually, rookies Dan Kelly, Chuck Lloyd and Johnny Jones along with veterans Mike Morrow and Dave Scholtz were added to the roster. All played key roles.

 Lloyd’s contributions were so noticed that he was eventually picked up by the Carolina Cougars of the now defunct ABA, a professional league that used a red, white and blue basketball and utilized the three-point shot years before the NBA adopted it. Four of the ABA teams – Indiana, San Antonio, Denver and New York (now the Brooklyn Nets) eventually merged into the NBA after the ABA’s 10-year run.

The Apollos caught the attention of local fans as Novak’s concept of team play and hustle became the talk of the town. The CYC was the place to be when the Apollos were in town.

On the road, opposing owners looked forward to the visit from the Apollos. Opposing owners knew the biggest crowds of the season could be expected.

Local fans flocked to arenas in Wilkes Barre, Allentown and even Trenton, New Jersey to see the Apollos perform on the road.

Midway through the campaign, the team lost the league’s leading rebounder and its No. three scorer, Lloyd, to the ABA. 

Other teams thought the Apollos would collapse, but management signed Bill Green, who played before under Novak, to fill the void. 

The local fans followed the team in droves, filling buses and private cars, on the way to a championship season. It was considered Scranton’s most successful season of professional basketball as fans chanted loudly, “We’re Number One.”

Art Pachter was team president and visible at the games and throughout the town. Del Shaw was vice president. Charles Mesko was team secretary. Charlie Lee was team trainer. Bob Payton was the public address announcer at the CYC. 

There were eight teams in the EBA back then. Teams played a 28-game season followed by playoffs. Scranton finished 21-7 during the regular season in 1970-71. The other teams included Allentown, Sunbury, Wilkes Barre, Trenton, Hamden, Hartford, Camden and Delaware. There was plenty of strong competition. 

The diminutive guard Willie Somerset, the MVP of the EBA  and its All-Star game, was the team’s leading scorer averaging 26.2 points per game in 1970-71. He also led the EBA in scoring average while finishing third in the league in total points with 683, ninth in assists with 90 and was a first-team league all-star. Charles Wallace of Trenton, the league’s Rookie of the Year, and veteran guard Stan Pawlak of Wilkes Barre, the league leader in assists, finished ahead of him in total points. 

The veteran forward  “Jumping Jimmy” Jackson, who earned the EBA’s Sportsmanship Award, scored 464 points and averaged 16.6 points per game and totaling 267 rebounds for the Apollos. 

Bill Green came onto the team midway to score 478 points and average 20.3 points per game. Lloyd had scored 386 points in 19 games averaging 20.0 per contest. Lloyd also totaled 240 rebounds at the time of his departure to the ABA.

Kelly, a guard, averaged 13.7 points per game and finished eighth in the league in assists with 93. The rugged Scholtz averaged 12.2 points and totaled 255 rebounds. The athletic Jones added 11.8 points per contest. 

The bespectacled veteran Jimmy Boheim, who has gone on to a legendary coaching career at Syracuse University, averaged 14.0 points per game and had 63 assists in 15 games with the team. Boheim, one of the smartest players in the league, was in his fifth year in the EBA and absent for almost half the games due to his coaching assignments at Syracuse. He is one of the EBA’s most heralded players making his mark at the CYC. 

Other team members included the tough Morrow who averaged 9.0 points, Willie Teague, Willie Murrell, Cal Graham, Carey Bailey and Carlton Poole.

Somerset at 5-9, quick as lightning, fun to watch and always hustling, was team captain. Known as the “Little Dynamo,” he was one of three members who played on the Scranton Miners’ 1967 division champion team. Always a fan favorite, he was not only EBA MVP but voted as “Most Popular Apollo.”

Like the ABA, the EBA eventually folded, but in the early to mid 1970’s, the Scranton Apollos ruled the CYC like no other event in town. 

Doin’ Dunmore: Jill Korgeski Makes Memories with Honors 

Jill Korgeski

Jill Korgeski of Dunmore has been named as the 2019-20 Outdoor Track and Field Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC).. The award concludes an outstanding career by the program’s first All-American.

By Steve Svetovich

Often, good hard working people have a knack of making memories with their accomplishments. 

Take Dunmore graduate Jill Korgeski for instance. 

Daughter of Brian and Janet Korgeski, Jill, 23, capped an outstanding scholar-athletic career with her selection as 2019-20 Middle Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The Senior Scholar-Athlete Award recognizes student-athletes for their strong academic and athletic accomplishments and excellence. 

It is the most prestigious honor given to a student-athlete by the conference for combined academic excellence and athletic achievement. 

Jill earned the award despite not being able to complete in her senior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic which cancelled the season.

Jill was a two-time NCAA qualifier in the shot put, earning All-America status at the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships by placing fifth with a school record toss of 47 feet, 1 inch. 

As a freshman, she finished 13th in the shot put in the national championships. 

Three times, she was named to the USTFCCCA All-Region team. After finishing second in 2016 and 2017, she won the shot put title at the MAC Championships in 2018. Jill was a three-time selection as the conference’s Field Athlete of the Week.

Academically, Jill is scheduled to earn a graduate degree as a physician assistant major. She has an impressive 3.7 academic average.  

Jill was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team in 2017 and three times was selected to the USTFCCCA All-Academic team and twice to the MAC All-Academic team. She was three times on the MAC Academic Honor Roll.

“I was really excited when I heard about receiving this award,” Jill said from her Dunmore home. “It is a tribute to the coaches who always put school above athletics. All of the coaches at King’s preach that.”

Jill said she is looking forward to obtaining her graduate degree this August and then obtaining employment as a physician assistant preferably in orthopedics or as a hospitalist.

Also a three-year member of the women’s volleyball team at King’s, Jill was also a member of the women’s indoor track and field team at the college. She played three years of outdoor track at King’s, missing a fourth due to COVID-19. 

She talked about what it takes to excel as a shot putter. “It takes a lot of repetition and focus on technique. You need to get in the weight room and build strength. 

Jill was a three-sport standout student-athlete at Dunmore. She played four years each of volleyball, basketball and track and field while excelling in the classroom. 

An outside hitter in volleyball, Jill was Regional Player of the Year twice and an All-State volleyball player as a senior at Dunmore.

She graduated from Dunmore in 2015 and received a B.S. in biology at King’s in 2019. She will receive her graduate degree in the physician assistant program this August completing all of her studies and course work in five years.

Jill praised Kevin McHale, her track and field coach at Dunmore. “Coach McHale taught me the importance about being passionate about a sport or anything in life. He was great with our workouts. We had a lot of them. He showed us how to put passion into our weight lifting program.”

IMG_5370

Jill Korgeski of Dunmore, is shown with Michael Kolinovsky, her coach at King’s College, taken at Nationals in Boston, MA during her indoor track senior year.

The scholar-athlete said she also learned a lot from Michael Kolinovsky, her track and field coach at King’s. “He taught me the importance of dedication to the sport. He taught me to take the good days with the bad days and don’t harp on the bad days. Keep pushing towards your goals.”

The hard driving graduate student said she found her King’s College experience very much like her four years at Dunmore High School.

“It is very similar to Dunmore. Everyone knows each other. There is a lot of support and plenty of athletic programs. It is a tight knit college and a lot like Dunmore High. People help each other out.”

Jill said she enjoys music and would like to see country artist Kenny Chesney in concert. She has been keeping busy at home during the COVID-19 pandemic studying and working towards finishing her graduate studies. “The school and professors are doing a great job getting us ready for graduation,” she said.

Jill credited her parents for much of her success as she looks to the future. “They taught me about hard work and that there are no shortcuts in life. If you put your mind to something or towards a goal, then do it with passion.”