Doin’ Dunmore: Four with Dunmore Ties to be Inducted into PA Sports Hall of Fame

By Steve Svetovich

Al Callejas, John Marichak, Kevin Walsh and Sara Harris Walsh, all with Dunmore ties, are among the nine to be inducted into the Northeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, October 27, at 5 p.m. in the University of Scranton DeNaples Center.

The other inductees include Pam Kiesel, James “Red” McAndrew, Tom O’Donnell, Pete Smith and former New York Giants guard and two-time Super Bowl champion and four-time Pro Bowl selection Chris Snee, a Montrose Area graduate.

Callejas has 488 wins in a 25-year career as Bishop O’Hara and Holy Cross basketball coach. Fiery as a coach, he was twice named state coach of the year in his classification and took two of his teams to the state final. He is known as a tenacious competitor among his peers. 

Marichak, currently the superintendent at Dunmore High School, was a tough linebacker and three-sport athlete at Scranton Technical High School, where he was an excellent student in the classroom and twice an all-star on the gridiron. 

Marichak, intense on the football field, was a four-year starter at Villanova University and later head football coach at Scranton High School. His Scranton Knights twice won Lackawanna Football Conference Division I titles and a District 2 Class 4A crown in his nine years at the helm.

Kevin Walsh, MVP of both the baseball and basketball teams at Dunmore, was a 1,000-point scorer for the Bucks and MVP of the Lynett Memorial Tournament. He was a two-time District 2 champion, and in college played for two Wilkes University league championship teams.

Harris Walsh was a two-sport star in basketball and softball at Bishop O’Hara. She was a four-time Lackawanna League Southern Division all-star and three-time MVP of the Scranton Jaycees/LJC Girls’ Holiday Tournament and three-time All-Region selection.

Carly Graytock Shea will also be officially inducted. She was voted in two years ago.

Longtime sportscaster Kent Westling will receive the Northeast Chapter Sports Hall of Fame’s Media Award. Westling was the play-by-play voice of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons for many years. 

Snee was a three-time All-Region football player and named All-State one year at Montrose. He played four years of standout football at Boston College before moving on to the New York Giants as a second round draft pick in 2004.

Smith was a highly regarded coach, official and previously standout wrestler at Abington Heights. 

Kiesel was the first woman to roll a 300 game in the Scranton Women’s Bowling Association. 

McAndrew was a stalwart basketball player and track star at Scranton Tech before a superb 35-year career as a high school basketball official.

O’Donnell was a standout two-way tackle at Scranton Prep who went on to play at West Point and was a four-year letter winner for the Army.

Graytock Shea was a 3,200 meter state champion at Forest City High School and three-time All-Patriot League cross country standout at Bucknell University. 

Tickets for this year’s event are $50 and can be obtained by calling Bob Walsh at 570-346-2228, or Jerry Valonis at 570-498-9461. 

Holy Name Society Hosts 60th Annual Communion Breakfast

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S.S. Anthony and Rocco Parish Holy Name Society, Dunmore held its 60th annual Communion Breakfast recently at La Buona Vita. The day began with 8:30 a.m. Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Church celebrated by the Reverend David P. Cappelloni, pastor. Music was provided by the parish choir under the direction of Joseph Moffitt.

John Marichak, Superintendent of Dunmore School District was principal speaker . Toastmaster was Attorney Bruce Coyer. Jack Henzes, Dunmore High School Football Coach, was presented with society’s Pio Ferrario Christian Witness Award by Father Cappelloni.

The breakfast is a yearly tradition of the Holy Name Society in the parish, drawing a large attendance. Paris Alunni, Holy Name president, gave opening remarks. Father Cappelloni offered invocation and benediction. The breakfast committee members were Rick Sabato, general chairman;  Dennis Lalley and Jim Colangelo, cochairmen; Michael Colangelo, raffle, and Paris Alunni.


Dunmorean of the Month: John Marichak

marichakJohn Marichak set to begin duties as Dunmore School District Superintendent
By Steve Svetovich

There is a new sheriff in town.

As a student-athlete, football coach, principal and school administrator, John Marichak has always been a leader, so expect nothing different and a smooth transition as he begins his duties next month as Dunmore School District superintendent.

Marichak starts his work in the Dunmore School District this month before officially becoming superintendent of the Dunmore School District in early July.

He served this past school year as the associate superintendent of the Scranton School District. The previous school year he was acting superintendent of the Scranton School District. He replaced Bill King.

Prior to those roles, Marichak served as principal at North Pocono High School for five years.

He graduated from Scranton Technical High School in 1987 where he participated in football, basketball and baseball and was a member of the National Honor Society. He was an all-scholastic football player and an all-star in basketball.

He received an academic scholarship to Villanova University where he graduated in 1990 with a B.S. in Marketing. He went on to receive an MBA from the school in 1992.

Marichak’s career focus then changed as he went on to receive teaching and principal certificates from Wilkes University.

He then began a teaching and coaching career that continued to spiral upward. He taught social studies and was head football coach at Scranton High School for 11 years and Honesdale High School for two years.

Then his career focus changed again as he became principal of North Pocono High School in 2009. With the new demands and responsibilities of a school administrator, he decided to give up coaching football

Marichak is married to the former Kelly Chiaro. The name is no stranger to the Dunmore community. Her parents, Ralph and Charlotte Chiaro are from Dunmore.

The Marichak couple has two children: John, Jr., a senior basketball and football player at Scranton High School who will attend Kings College in Wilkes Barre next year; and Natalie, a junior football cheerleader at Scranton High School.

Marichak said his coaching career and experience as a principal will help him in his new role as Superintendent of Dunmore Schools. “Absolutely, it will help,” he said. “It will help me at all levels. As a coach and as a principal, you are dealing at all levels with multiple people and personalities. You soon find out everyone is different. You put people in the best possible place to succeed. You defer to the greatest good.

“You find out everything is not cookie cutter. What might be the goal for one person just may not be the goal of another person. You learn to deal with all different types of personalities.

“As a principal, you learn how to manage a large school and different student personalities. You manage faculty. You learn how to handle state mandates. It is a lot like coaching, but on a larger basis.

“The same holds true as a school superintendent. You have to multi task and always be prepared for something different going on. And there always is something going on. You need to learn to put problems in their pecking order. It is all a great experience.”

Marichak said he had great preparation for life during his years at Villanova. “Going to Villanova on an academic scholarship was a dream come true for me. The academic and athletic experiences I had there were simply the greatest of my life.”

Marichak talked about his goals in his new role as Superintendent of Dunmore Schools. “Dunmore really exists and thrives as a community based school. It always has. I want to keep the Dunmore traditions going and maybe add something along the way.

“I want to focus on this and the big task. I want to get started on the task at hand.

“I want to continue to capitalize on the success of an always community based school.

“I will only try to make changes to put the Dunmore School District in the best possible position to be successful. I want to help make the Dunmore students career ready or college ready.

“I simply want to help put people in a position to be successful in whatever they do.”

Marichak will be a good role model to follow. He is old school all the way and his track record speaks loudly for itself.

With John Marichak, the Dunmore School District has put itself in its best position to succeed.

“I can’t wait to get started,” Marichak said.