CPR in Schools Training Kit Donated to Holy Cross

A CPR in Schools Training Kit was recently presented to Holy Cross High School through a partnership between Allied Services Integrated Health System and the American Heart Association. Shown at the presentation are, from left: Amy Skiba, Senior Director of Development American Heart Association; Jim Brogna, Vice President Allied Services Integrated Health System; Benjamin Tolerico, principal, Holy Cross High School, and Alex Higley, Health and Physical Education Faculty at Holy Cross

Thanks to a partnership between Allied Services Integrated Health System and the American Heart Association, a potential life-saving donation was recently made to Holy Cross High School.

Representatives from both organizations were in Dunmore to present the school with a CPR in Schools Training Kit™. The kit is specifically designed to help schools meet the required cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) curriculum that was signed into law in June of 2019.   

In Pennsylvania, the law requires schools to teach “hands-only” CPR, a no-breath, compression-only method that the American Heart Association recommends in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. The law also states that the lessons must include the use of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs).   

The CPR in Schools Training Kit™ includes 10 “mini-Annie” inflatable manikins, watch-while-training DVDs, and a facilitator guide, as well as 10 AED trainers, and much more.     

“The kit contains everything that staff needs to teach the hands-only method of CPR in one class period, as well as AED use and choking relief” noted Amy Skiba, Senior Director of Development American Heart Association.      

About 90 percent of people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest do not have a good outcome. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.   

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and the annual partnership between Allied Services and the American Heart Association aims to raise awareness about heart-related emergencies and the signs and symptoms of a stroke. As one of the nation’s leading stroke rehabilitation providers, Allied Services is enthusiastic to educate the community and students on both the warning signs of a stroke and cardiac-related issues – and how their rapid response could save a life.  

“Because of our partnership with the American Heart Association, we are able to make an investment in saving lives, through educating the community and providing the tools needed for direct teaching and practice of this life-saving technique. We want all students and educators to have the opportunity to learn CPR and recognize the signs of a stroke, thereby putting more qualified lifesavers in our communities” remarked Jim Brogna, Vice President Allied Services.

In addition to Skiba and Brogan, Holy Cross principal BenTolerico and Alex Highley of the school’s health and physical education faculty were on hand for the presentation.

McGee Hurls Two-Hit Shutout to Lead Lady Crusaders to Title Game 

By Steve Svetovich

It takes a special athlete to rise to the occasion. 

Take Erin McGee, for instance. 

The Holy Cross senior softball pitcher hurled a two-hit shutout leading the Lady Crusaders to a 6-0 win over Lakeland in the District 2 Class 2A semifinal at St. Anthony’s Playground, Wednesday, May 26.

Holy Cross junior center fielder Kaci Kranson led off the game with a homer and the Lady Crusaders later added five insurance runs as Erin hurled the two-hit shutout through seven innings. She struck out seven and drove in two runs to help her cause.

Kranson scored three runs and Carly Wywoda, Tia Polizzi, Emma Clause and Autumn Niemic all doubled for Holy Cross. 

Daughter of Dan and Maria McGee, Erin is a four-year member of the Holy Cross softball team. She is also a three-year member of the basketball team and two-year member of the tennis team. 

She has a highly impressive 4.37 grade point average which is fourth in her class. 

Erin, articulate and well spoken, is a member of the Foreign Languages Club, the History Club, Drama Club, Student Council, Service Club, the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science and the National Honor Society. She was second-team All -State in tennis. 

Well versed, Erin received the Bishop Youth Award and the Presidential Services Award. She received the Mary Glennon Full Tuition Scholarship at Misericordia University in Dallas. She was also an Immaculate Heart of Mary Marywood University Scholar and Distinguished Honor Roll Student. 

Erin’s pitching record this season is 13-5 going into the title game. She has 140 strikeouts and a 2.83 ERA. She has three shutouts. 

She played first base during her previous three years on the team before being made the ace pitcher by Holy Cross manager Joe Ross this season. 

She talked about what it takes to be a good pitcher in high school softball. 

“The first thing you need is a good attitude. You need to throw fast, but be able to keep your composure. You need to battle and don’t ever get down on yourself.”

Erin, always positive and enthusiastic, is a team captain and a leader on the team. She will attend Misericordia University on a scholarship in the fall. The scholar-athlete will study history. “I hope to get into field research as a history major,” she said. “I would also like to play softball there.”

Erin said she felt elated after pitching the shutout in the semifinal win over Lakeland. “It felt really good. I was excited at the end, but felt nervous going through it. We came together as a team and set the tone for the future.”

Erin said she has enjoyed her years at Holy Cross. “It has been truly amazing. There is definitely a different kind of kid at Holy Cross. Everyone is so welcoming at Holy Cross, from the students to the faculty and administration and to the coaches. It is just a great feeling to be there.”

Erin, who has a pleasant demeanor, praised her manager, Joe Ross. “He tells us to just play hard and see what happens. He has influenced me in regards to my attitude and composure. He has been coaching me since the seventh grade.”

Erin said her parents are a big influence on her life. “Well, my dad has coached me in various leagues throughout the years. He is always encouraging. My parents teach me to go for things that interest me. They tell me you don’t need to be materialistic, but happy. Do what makes me happy.”

Hard working and intelligent, Erin said she has some different tastes in music. She enjoys listening to “My Chemical Romance” and would like to see them in concert. 

Erin is currently looking forward to the title game and will miss Holy Cross tremendously, but looks forward to her years at Misericordia University. 

“There is a lot to look forward to. My years here were the best.” 

(NOTE: At press time, the Lady Crusaders were scheduled to play Elk Lake for the District 2 title on Tuesday, June 1. It would be the 4th straight title for the team.)

Athlete of the Month: Carly Wywoda

By Steve Svetovich

Carly goes Yardy.

That was the case when Holy Cross junior shortstop Carly Wywoda came to bat in the bottom of the eighth of a 7-7 game against the Dunmore Lady Bucks. 

The junior stalwart fouled off the first two pitches and then slugged a deep walk off homer to left center to beat the rival Lady Bucks, 8-7, on Thursday, April 22, in a Lackawanna League Division III contest at a cold, windy Saint Anthony’s Playground, Dunmore. 

It was her second homer of the season. 

With two strikes on her, Carly said she was not looking to hit a homer but made good contact and the ball traveled. 

“I felt really happy to help my team out,” she said. “But I have to admit, it felt really good inside.”

Daughter of Georgann and Pete Wywoda, Carly at press time has three homers and is hitting a robust .520.

She has been a key member of the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders softball team since her freshman year when she hit .368 with five homers.

Carly, 17, has an impressive 3.89 academic average at Holy Cross. Her favorite subject is Spanish.

Carly said she would like to have a dual major in Education and Spanish in college and “definitely” wants to continue her softball career. Carly is unsure where she will attend college.

Joe Ross is her softball coach at Holy Cross. “He teaches me to always keep my head up and keep fighting. Never give up. Even when you make an error or an out, keep your head up.”

The slick fielding, hard hitting shortstop said her parents are a big influence. “My parents teach me to respect everything I have, including the game, people, coaches, teammates. They tell me to never give up on anything.”

Carly is a member of the Foreign Languages Club and Service Club at Holy Cross. She is a member of the National Honor Society. She is a huge fan of Kenny Chesney who she saw in concert and would like to see again.

At press time her team only had two losses. “We do not let up,” she said. “We just keep fighting.”

She talked about what it takes to be a good shortstop in high school softball. 

“You need to have a good attitude and show leadership. You can’t get down or hang your head after a missed play.”

She talked about her future goals. “I want to keep and maintain my academic strengths. I want to do well all around, both on and off the field and outside of school too. I want to learn about different cultures and never stop learning. I want to learn about all different people. I want to become a teacher and continue playing softball in college.” 

Soft spoken and articulate, Carly beamed when asked about her Holy Cross experience. “It has been absolutely amazing,” she said. “The faculty, staff and coaches always put the student first. They really care about the students and it shows. I love it here.”