Badyrka Comes Back From Injury to Excel in Two Sports 

Coathlete BadrykaBy Steve Svetovich

The poised kicker lined up for a field goal attempt to win a game, just minutes after missing an attempt to tie it, and he drilled it through the uprights. 

Junior kicker Peyton Badyrka hit on a 21-yard field goal with 4.9 seconds left to win the game for the Dunmore Bucks, 13-12, handing No. 4 ranked Old Forge its first loss of the season Friday, September 27, at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

It was Badyrka’s second 21-yard field goal in the contest and came after Dunmore quarterback Steve Borgia led the Bucks on a 61-yard drive on 11 plays to set up the game winner.

“The winning kick felt pretty good,” he said. “My teammates were jumping up and down. It was just a great feeling.”

His missed attempt came with 9:31 left in the game when Old Forge’s Tyler Carey blocked the kick to preserve a 6-3 lead for the Blue Devils.

“You can’t worry about the previous kick or the next kick won’t be good,” Badyrka said. “You have to put it in the past and focus on the kick you are attempting in the moment.”

Badyrka has made four field goals in five tries this season for Dunmore. He has not missed an extra point kick in 25 tries. His longest field goal is 38 yards against Mid Valley. He made his only field goal attempt, for 32 yards in the state playoffs against West Catholic, last season.

Son of Daniel and Johanna Badyrka, Peyton is an honor student at Dunmore. His best subject is computers. He is a member of the French Club, Earth Club and Engineering Club. 

soccerPeyton also excels as a three-year member of the soccer team at Dunmore. He plays at the center midfield position. He was All League as a freshman member of the soccer team.

“I love soccer too. It is a great sport.”

Peyton suffered a torn ligament to his right knee and missed most of his sophomore soccer season. He worked hard to recuperate. “I had knee surgery and then it took three months of physical therapy and then another two months in the spring,” he said. “It was a lot of hard work and physical therapy. I wanted to get back on the field and I did for the state playoff football game against West Catholic where I was able to kick a field goal.”

Peyton said he wanted to be a kicker ever since he started watching Justin Yoon of Notre Dame. “My dad and I are huge Notre Dame fans. I started watching the kicker, Justin Yoon, and I wanted to be just like him.”

The scholar-athlete said he has learned a lot from his parents. “They tell me if you want to be good then keep working. Hard work will always pay off.”

Dunmore head football coach Kevin McHale has also been a big influence on the confident kicker. “He tells us to work hard every single day and be more willing than the other team to win.”

Peyton talked about what it takes to be a good kicker in high school. “You need to focus on the kick. You need to tune everything out. You need to forget about a previous miss and completely block it out. Just focus on making the kick.”

Peyton said he enjoys listening to rap music and would like to see Lil-Uzi-Vert in concert. 

The hard working kicker/soccer standout said he wants to study computer design/programming in college and play either soccer or football as a kicker.

Peyton said he and his teammates still get to see former Dunmore football coach Jack Henzes in the locker room after every game. “It is awesome seeing him, especially after a win. He looks great. He is doing much better.”

Peyton talked about his future goals. “I want to continue working hard here at Dunmore and go to a college in California to study computers and play a sport, either soccer or football, and keep getting better at it.” 

Bucks Look to Bounce Back From Two Tough Losses

By Steve Svetovich

The Dunmore Bucks football team, coached by Kevin McHale, is looking to bounce back against Carbondale Area after two tough losses.

Dunmore lost its opener, 28-17, to Scranton Prep, Saturday, August 24, at Scranton’s Memorial Stadium. 

With the third ranked Cavaliers down to the Bucks in the final quarter, Prep senior Carter O’Dell scampered 92 yards for a touchdown on a kickoff return to put his team ahead.

Odell, a standout medal winner in the 100-yard dash in track, started the scoring when he raced 52 yards down the right sideline on a punt return. Following the extra point kick, Prep had a 7-0 lead with 5:37 left in the opening quarter.

Prep held Dunmore to no first downs in the first 21 minutes. 

In the mean time, Prep quarterback Paddy Grady has completions to Robert Rossi and Odell and added a 10-yard run before plunging into the end zone from one yard out and a 14-0 lead after the PAT with 4:18 left in the half.

Dunmore earned its first first down at 3:25 in the second quarter. 

On the third play of the second half, quarterback Dunmore Steve Borgia hit Cristian Buckley with a 43-yard completion. Three plays later, Borgia dove into the end zone for a touchdown from one yard out. Peyton Badyrka kicked the extra point for the Bucks.

A strong Dunmore defense, led by junior linebacker Karl Kincel, the team’s leading tackler, made a tough defensive stand inside its own 20-yard line.

A few plays later, Badyrka hit on a 25-yard field goal with 48 seconds left in the third quarter as Dunmore closed the deficit to 14-10. 

Defensive back Michael Burke had a key interception for Dunmore early in the fourth quarter. On the next play, Borgia broke free from a collision and raced 29 yards for a touchdown to put the Bucks ahead 17-14 after the Badyrka PAT with 11:48 left in the game.

However, O’Dell came back right away with his 92-yard kickoff return with 11:35 left in the game. The extra point gave Prep a 21-17 lead.

Prep freshman Logan Montgomery had a 36 yard carry and Grady hit O’Dell for a 14 yard touchdown strike with 8:26 left in the game. The extra point kick gave Prep a 28-17 lead which stood. 

Grady closed the game with an interception to secure the win.

Borgia ran for 75 yards on 14 carries in the loss. 

Dunmore lost its second game of the season, 30-17, to Mid Valley, Friday, August 30, at Spartan Stadium. It was Mid Valley’s first win against Dunmore since 2005. 

The Bucks entered the game with a 50-game winning streak against the Spartans.

Rayshaun Dawkins rushed for 80 yards on 11 carries and Kincel added 56 yards and a touchdown on nine carries in the loss to Mid Valley.

Just 20 seconds into the game, Mid Valley signal caller Patrick Ferke fired a 78-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Wolo. 

Ferke added a five-yard run and Sebastian Brudnicki tacked on a two point conversion and the Spartans had a 14-0 lead with 2:19 left in the first quarter.

Dunmore kicker Badyrka booted a 38-yard field goal with 8:53 left in the first half.

Dunmore cut the lead to 14-10 when Dawkins scored on a four-yard run followed by Badyrka’s extra point early in the third quarter.

However, the Spartans went up 22-10 with 4:45 left in the third quarter after a 60-yard Brudnicki touchdown run and two-point conversion.

Dunmore back Buckley scored on a nine-yard run and Badyrka hit the PAT to close the deficit to 22-17 late in the third quarter. Kincel ran for 41 of his 56 yards on that possession. 

However, a Brudnicki 39-yard TD run and two-point conversion gave the Spartans a 30-17 lead with 9:39 left in the contest.

Dunmore was unable to come back.

Brudnicki rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries for Mid Valley. 

Dunmore will now look for its first win of the season against Carbondale Area who is 0-2 and did not score in its first two games. 

Holy Cross Cancels Football Season

Holy Cross football team 2018 cropped

By Steve Svetovich

A drop in participation as summer practice emerged forced Holy Cross High School officials to suspend its varsity football program for the 2019 season.

Dave Gatto was scheduled to coach the team for his third season. 

Ben Tolerico, school principal, announced the decision Tuesday, July 30. 

He informed District 2 chairman Frank Majikes and Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association president Ron Collins.

“Hopefully,” said coach Gatto, “we are teaching our kids more than just football. Problems will come up in your lifetime and you need to be prepared to deal with them. 

“We are not pouting and getting upset. We are addressing our problem and our kids are working hard to get more players out for the team. We will overcome this and hopefully be back on the field next year.”

There were 12 to 14 players, mostly underclassmen, who came out for the Crusaders team this season. Practice was to officially begin August 5 and a scrimmage was scheduled August 17 against Nanticoke. The season opener was scheduled Saturday, August 24, at home against Holy Redeemer.

At this time, Tolerico said, the school is eliminating the program. Tolerico coached the team from 2008 to 2010.

“In an effort to educate the whole child (mind, body and spirit), Holy Cross prides itself on having a rigorous academic program and robust extra curricular program for its students, ” Tolerico said in a statement.

“Each year we evaluate all the programs at Holy Cross to determine the best programs that will meet the needs and interests of our students. While we have one of the largest freshmen classes registered at Holy Cross, we currently have only 12 players signed up to play football, which is not enough to safely and competitively field a team.”

Tolerico added the football program will be re-evaluated for the 2020 season and beyond.

Teams scheduled to play Holy Cross this season will have their district playoff power rating calculated based on a nine-game schedule. There will be no forfeits.

Tolerico guided Holy Cross to its best season in 2010, which included an appearance in the  Eastern Conference Class 1A final. The Crusaders were 6-6 in 2010.

JVfootballLast season, Gatto, after a winless 2017 season, led the Crusaders to wins in its first two games over Holy Redeemer and Montrose. The team finished 2-8.

The Holy Cross football program began in 2007 when the team finished with a respectable 4-7 record. Holy Cross emerged in the 2007-2008 school year after the closings of Bishop Hannan and Bishop O’Hara. 

A total of 12 of the 22 players from last year’s team graduated.

Players who were slated to return this season were junior linebacker/fullback Brandon Ludovici, senior lineman Logan Bocker, junior lineman Robert Kane and senior wide receiver/defensive back/quarterback Andrew Weiner. 

Other key players were expected to be sophomore tailback Gavin Crems, a transfer from Dunmore, and 6-1, 190-pound defensive end Logan Tierney. 

Weiner was expected to be the quarterback. “He is very athletic, smart, with a strong arm,” said coach Gatto. “He would have been a strong leader.”

Ludovici and Crems were scheduled to be the running backs.

“Ludovici already had two good years with us. He is a tough player who works hard and loves football.

“Crems is a hard worker with great potential. He was probably the fastest kid on the team.”

Gatto and his staff also had great promise for freshman defensive end Tierney. “He is a big kid and was expected to make a huge impact.”

Coach Gatto’s assistant coaches were slated to be Vince Coviello, Chris Coviello, Joe Giorgio and T.J. McDonnell.

“We were looking forward to the challenges,” said coach Gatto, a University of Scranton business management graduate. “We will see what happens with the program next year.”

Gatto served seven years as an assistant coach at Dunmore under the legendary Jack Henzes who recently retired. He served five years as an assistant at Holy Cross before taking over the reign in 2017.