“Successful” Offseason Brings Excitement for Bucks, Coach McHale

Bucks Coach Kevin McHale is shown with his sons, Colin, 8, and Jack, 11, at the stadium in Dunmore.

Courtesy: Rich Banick Photography

By Zach Albert
Dunmorean Intern

In a borough that has strong pride in its football history, Dunmore has an energy around the beginning of each season that Dunmoreans never forget. As a winning culture has existed since the days of Coach Jack Henzes, Coach Kevin McHale uses Henzes’ “invaluable” knowledge and experiences to continue leading his team to success.

Despite 2020 having about two months without any COVID-19 guidelines, preparation for the season remained the cornerstone throughout. “From January on, attendance turnout has been great and has been maintained, even since the beginning of shutdowns and implementing online meetings and face shields,” McHale says.

Coach McHale emphasized a “day-by-day” mentality with his players and staff, while maximizing the reps available. “Usually we would have as many reps as possible, but with the health guidelines limiting the amount of them, we are doing the best we can with face shields and other protective measures.”

While physical preparation and conditioning are important to success in game situations, mental preparation is just as important. The intangibles of team chemistry and the unwillingness to give up are two that Coach McHale has noticed in his players this offseason. 

“Our senior class leadership has been exceptional. We have a great mix of talent and knowledge from over ten returning players and new players with skills in other sports, and we as coaches expect all to contribute,” he notes.

Challenges certainly existed for Coach McHale and his staff, aa there were times the football season was in jeopardy. As meetings were typically in closed spaces with the team, staggered schedule starts and online meetings were implemented to prevent losing these meetings altogether. 

“The student players have kept their heads up throughout the offseason despite the challenges and changes put upon them. A real threat of canceling the season a few months ago did not stop them.”

With the season now starting at home with Wallenpaupack, the Bucks will experience a shortened season, and Coach McHale is confident his team is as ready as they can be going in. 

UPDATE: The Dunmore Bucks opened their season on Friday, Oct. 2, with a 17-6 win over Wallenpaupack Area.

Henzes Recognized for Longtime Coaching Career

Henzes Honored Pix

The Lackawanna County Commissioners recently recognized the stellar career of Dunmore High School football coach Jack Henzes with a proclamation.

Coach Henzes began his career in 1966, working for his dad, John “Papa Bear” Henzes, and then moved to Wyoming Area in 1966. In 1971, he took over the reins at Dunmore, winning a State Championship in 1989 and amassing 444 wins.  Henzes retired on April 30 of this year.

Shown from left: Commissioner Jerry Notarianni, Coach Jack Henzes, Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley, and Commissioner Laureen A. Cummings.  


Coming Soon: New Statue to Honor Coach Jack Henzes

Among 25 projects focusing on social service, youth, public safety, veterans, and outdoor improvements which were approved for funding by the Lackawanna County Commissioners through their Community Re-Invest Program is one by the Friends of the Bucks.

henzesThe money will help erect a tribute statue to retired football coach Jack Henzes at Dunmore High School. The CRP Program will contribute $5,000 to the total project cost of $40,000.

The Community Re-Invest Program  public-private partnership investment for 2019 is $2,475,789.                    

The program was established in July of 2013.  It represents the “last mile” funding to help bring the initiatives to fruition.  The overall public-private investment since its inception is $8,169,139.                  

Other projects that were approved during this round of funding include: Ronald McDonald House, Bhutanese Cultural Foundation, E.B. Jermyn Lodge #2, Scranton; Tripp Park Miss-E League; Weston Park Teener League, Mayfield Borough municipal building renovations and emergency services center roof repair; Shopa-Davey VFW Post 6082, Peckville; Veterans Home Association, Jefferson Township; Friendship House, Women’s Resource Center; Archbald Borough for replacement of playground play structure.

Also, Scott Baseball Association; Blakely Borough for radio equipment, planters and security cameras; Waverly Community Center; United Community Outreach Food Pantry, Peckville; One Hot Meal, Scranton; Whitmore Hose Company, Mayfield; Marine Corps League, Lackawanna Historical Society, Lackawanna River Conservation Association; Throop Hose Company #1, and St. Ubaldo Society.