Athlete of the Month: Peyton Badyrka

By Steve Svetovich

There are those who stand apart and set the standard for others to reach.

Take Dunmore senior kicker Peyton Badyrka.

The senior stalwart is so good that he has sites on a potential college scholarship as a kicker at any division level, possibly division I. 

He made 44-of-45 extra point kicks and five field goals, including a game winner against Old Forge in the final seconds, last season.

Already this season, he nailed a 42-yard field goal and was two-for-two on extra point kicks in Dunmore’s opening night win, 17-6, over Wallenpaupack

Son of Johanna and Daniel Badyrka, Dunmore, Peyton was a star soccer player the past three years at Dunmore. He was All Regional as a center mid last season as a junior. 

However, Peyton said he is not playing soccer this year because he wants to concentrate on football in hopes of earning a scholarship on the division I or II level. 

Don’t count him out.

He has a total of eight career field goals and has missed only three extra point attempts in his Dunmore football career. 

The senior stalwart said he has learned a lot from Dunmore head football coach Kevin McHale. “He teaches us to work hard and get stronger and more athletic. He teaches us to be a good person overall and to treat everyone with respect. Treat people right on and off the field.”

All Regional and All League as a junior kicker last season, Peyton said his personal goal as a senior is to be All State. “That would be the ultimate goal. And after that to kick in college.” 

When he is not working hard on his kicking skills, Peyton likes to relax and listen to rap, hip hop and other music. His favorite musical artist is Lil’ Uzi-Zeck, a rap and hip hop artist.

Peyton said his parents have always supported him in every possible way. “My parents always teach me to work very hard. They will support me either way. They also teach me to treat everyone the same way, with respect.”

Peyton is an honor student with a 90 academic average. His best subject is computer coding. He would like to study computer science or business in college. 

He talked about what it takes to excel as a kicker in high school football. 

“You need to keep the same intensity on every kick. You need a short memory and to look at every kick you attempt as a game winner.”

Peyton said he really is aiming to focus on football right now. “My goal is a division I or II college football scholarship. I want to kick in college  And I want to do well with my college studies, graduate and get a good job.”

The standout senior kicker said he has enjoyed his experiences at Dunmore High School. “I have made a lot of friends and learned a lot of life lessons at Dunmore. You get a lot of support from the teachers and coaches. The sports here are fun and a great experience. The whole time here is just a great experience.” 

Dunmore Dancer Studies with School of the Pennsylvania Ballet

Celia EagenCelia Eagen, a principal dancer in the Ballet Theatre of Scranton senior company, recently completed a five week intensive virtual ballet program with Philadelphia’s School of the Pennsylvania Ballet.  

A rising senior at Dunmore High School, Celia has been dancing for 13 years at Ballet Theatre under the direction of Joanne Arduino . She has received training in ballet, jazz, modern, musical theater, dance history, and contemporary. 

Over the years, Celia has attended various summer programs to further her dance training. She has attended programs at The Rock School for Dance Education, Philadelphia  in 2016 and 2017, The School of the Pennsylvania Ballet in 2018 and 2020, and the Boston Ballet School in 2019. 

At Ballet Theatre of Scranton, Celia has been featured as Dewdrop Fairy and Clara  (The Nutcracker), Moyna (Giselle), Spring Fairy (Cinderella), and most recently as Squirrel Nutkin (The Tales of Beatrix Potter.) 

At Dunmore High School, Celia is among the top five ranked students in her 2021 graduating class and has served as Class Treasurer for the past two years. This past year, Celia was named an AP Scholar by the College Board and was awarded the Challenge Program Academic Excellence Award. She is a Varsity Cheerleader for the Dunmore Bucks and will serve as an Editor in Chief for the Class of 2021 yearbook. She is a four-year member of the Spanish Club, Health Careers Club, T.A.C.T. (Teens Against Commercial Tobacco) Club, S.A.D.D. Club, Health Careers Club, and Earth Club at DHS. 

Celia is the daughter of Attorney Todd and Mary Gene Eagen.

Dunmoreans of the Month: Amanda & Rebecca Lucas

By Steve Svetovich

Raising two daughters as a single mom has its challenges, but Dunmore’s Janet Lucas has absolutely no regrets. And she sure did good.

Amanda Lucas, Dunmore High School Class of 2018 Valedictorian, and Rebecca Lucas, Dunmore High School Class of 2020 Salutatorian, daughters of Janet Lucas, Dunmore, and Curt Lucas, South Carolina, are now college students.

Both were officers and members of many clubs at Dunmore. Both participated in various varsity sports and cheerleading. They were asked to represent Dunmore High School in leadership roles, including the Rotary Youth Leadership Association (RYLA) and Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership (HOBY). Both are active leaders in the Dunmore community.

Their proud mom feels their accomplishments are extraordinary coming from sisters two years apart. 

Dunmoreans of the Month - JANET & family

Janet Lucas, at left, is shown at her daughter Amanda’s graduation in 2018 when she was valedictorian of her class. At right is daughter Rebecca, who was salutatorian of the DHS class of 2020.

“As a single mom,” she said, “I have strived to make my daughters feel like they matter, and that they are loved unconditionally. 

“I always wanted Amanda and Rebecca to be respectful, grateful, thoughtful and conscientious. I worked hard to instill those qualities and give them a strong foundation. From there, it was all them.

“Their work ethic and self motivation is unbelievable, even when it was difficult. I am so proud of the young women they have become, and so excited to see what they will accomplish. I am in awe of my daughters.”

Amanda is a junior at St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, majoring in chemistry. She has an impressive 3.97 academic average. She serves as honor’s mentor for the Honor’s Program at St. Joseph’s. She is a resident assistant (RA) for a freshmen dormitory.

While at Dunmore, Amanda participated in golf, swimming, track and field, football cheerleading, yearbook editor, events coordinator for the engineering club, treasurer of the French Club and vice president of TACT. As a senior, she was Dunmore’s first female All Regional selection for golf. And she was class valedictorian and member of the National Honor Society. 

Articulate, courteous and polite, Amanda said she learned a lot from her mom. “My mom taught me about perseverance and hard work. In order to accomplish anything in life, you need to work hard at it. And she did a lot for me to help me along.” 

Amanda said she would like to eventually go to graduate school for Forensic Science and get into the field as a career. 

She said it is nice to see her sister do well in school. “It is a friendly competition and it’s good for us. She sees what I do and then strives to do better. It’s a good thing.”

Amanda, well spoken, has high praise for Dunmore. “It was so close knit and personal. We know all the teachers and they know us. It is also kind of cool to have your coaches as teachers.

“St. Joseph’s is also a small school. I have a small major and the same kids are in most of my classes. Right now we are wearing masks and social distancing. We social distance in the residence hall.”

Rebecca, 18, is a freshman at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia where she majors in Pharmacy. It is a six-year program and she has intentions of becoming a pharmacist. 

While at Dunmore, she was class salutatorian finishing with a 3.84 academic average. She was a member of track and field, golf, basketball cheerleading captain, Science Club, French Club, TACT, Art Club, SADD and National Honor Society. 

Also polite and insightful, Rebecca praised her mom. “My mom always taught me to work hard. She always tells me no matter what, it works out in the end. She is always there for me.”

Rebecca said she is grateful how Dunmore High School handled the pandemic. “Our teachers were very helpful getting us the information we needed online. They posted information on the AP test.

“Besides school work, I did a lot of running and spent time with family during the pandemic. It caused us to miss the track season.”

Finally, her class graduated this past July 17 in a small ceremony outdoors at the football stadium. 

Rebecca said her goal is to become a pharmacist and help with surgeries and new medicines. “Helping with new medicines is very important to me because of this pandemic.”

As Class of 2020 Salutatorian, she feels a sense of accomplishment. “I feel very honored. I put hard work into it and it paid off.”

She is also proud of her older sister’s accomplishments. “I have a strong sense of fulfillment for what she has done, but I don’t compare myself.”

Rebecca spoke glowingly of her experiences at Dunmore. “It was very fulfilling and heart warming. I received a great education and met a lot of amazing people.”

The sisters have one more thing in common. When asked separately who they would want to see in concert, if they could pick just one, both responded Harry Styles.