Kaci Kranson of Holy Cross Named Female Athlete of Year

Kaci Kranson, Times-Tribune female Athlete of the Year, poses with Brandon Reed who was named Male Athlete of the Year.

By Steve Svetovich

Kaci Kranson, a junior basketball and softball player at Holy Cross, was named female Athlete of the Year last month by the Times-Tribune.

Brandon Reed of Riverside was named male Athlete of the Year. 

Both were honored last month at a dinner and ceremony at the Theater at North. A total of 35 student-athletes, who were chosen as Athlete of the Week and 23 athletes who were Times-Tribune Performers of the Year, were also honored.

It marked the 71st Times-Tribune and ESPN Radio Annual Athlete of the Week ceremony.

Kaci averaged 21.5 points per game for the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders basketball team. She has 1,225 career points at Holy Cross. She is closing in on the school record heading into her senior season.

She batted .485 with 12 homers, four doubles, three triples and 28 RBIs for the Holy Cross softball team.

“When I heard my name being recognized as female Athlete of the Year, well I was in complete shock,” Kaci said to The Dunmorean. “When they announced my name it was definitely one of the best moments in my life. It was very special having my two high school coaches support me. I am honored.”

Kaci’s softball coach at Holy Cross is Joe Ross. Her basketball coach is the veteran Barry Fitzgerald.

The hard working junior, who aspires to become a physical therapist, was a first-team, all-state selection for basketball this past season.

She was second in the Lackawanna League in homers to Maranda Runco of Mid Valley who had 19 this past year.

A point guard on the Holy Cross basketball team, Kaci had multiple 30-point plus games as she led her team to a District 2 basketball title and a close run at the state championship. 

She helped lead the Holy Cross softball team to the District 2 Class 2A championship, a 2-1 loss to Elk Lake. 

Not just a hard hitter on the softball diamond, Kaci also shows great athleticism, speed and range in the outfield catching every ball in sight.

She is considered a strong Division 1 college candidate for both basketball and softball. 

Known for her character and team play, she has a strong knowledge of both sports.

Driven to success, Kaci also excels in the classroom and is currently spending her time working out with a cast due to a broken wrist she suffered  making a dive in the outfield in the district title softball loss to Elk Lake. 

She is driven to be the best despite a quiet demeanor and often deflecting credit to her teammates.

“This really is a great honor,” she said. “I had great support.” 

Kranson Hits 12th Homer to Lead Holy Cross into Final

By Steve Svetovich

Talk about getting off to the right start.

Thanks to lead-off hitter Kaci Kranson, that’s exactly what the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders did against third-seeded Lakeland in the District 2 Class 2A semifinal at St. Anthony’s Playground, Dunmore, Wednesday, May 26. 

Kaci led off the first inning with a solo homer to give the second-seeded Lady Crusaders a quick 1-0 lead. It was her 12th homer of the season in just 18 games. 

Later  in the game, she walked twice and used her speed and aggressive base running to score two other runs. 

The Lady Crusaders went on to win the game, 6-0, with senior Erin McGee hurling a two-hit shutout.

At press time, Holy Cross was now a win away from its fourth straight District 2 title, with plans to play Elk Lake for the championship on Tuesday, June 1. 

Daughter of Jill and Ryan Kranson, Kaci fouled off a couple pitches before hitting the deep drive to left field for the game opening homer.

Holy Cross has a 13-5 record under manager Joe Ross going into the championship game against Elk Lake.

Kaci gave her teammate McGee insurance in the third inning when Lakeland pitched around her and she walked. Kaci then stole second, advanced to third on Carly Wywoda’s infield single and scored on McGee’s RBI grounder.

In the fifth inning, Kaci walked, moved to third on Wywoda’s double and scored the third run of the game when a throw trickled a few feet into foul territory. 

Kaci is hitting .500 with close to 30 stolen bases in addition to her 12 homers. Fleet as a center fielder, she has been a member of the Holy Cross softball and basketball teams since her freshman year. She was All State, All Regional and first team Lackawanna League Coaches All-Star for basketball this past season. She also played one year of tennis.

She is a member of Pro Life, the Service Club, Student Council and is Vice President of the National Honor Society. 

Kaci credits a lot of her softball success to Phil Rossi, a former minor league shortstop who played baseball at Scranton Central and Millersville University. 

“He has been a private instructor for me for a while. I owe a lot to him for what he taught me about the game, especially with hitting. He helped me develop my power. I give him a lot of credit for that,” Kaci says.

The multi-talented junior said her coach Joe Ross and her time spent playing softball for the Impact Panthers in a travel league also helped her development.

 “I’ve learned a lot from coach Ross and all of the travel ball coaches I had too.”

Kaci was thrilled with her team’s win over Lakeland in the semifinal. She praised McGee’s gutty pitching performance. “Erin definitely stepped up,” she said. “She was fantastic. She is a great team leader and captain. She supports all of her teammates, including myself.” 

She talked about the team’s success. “We were ready for this season. We worked so hard as a team to get ready. We have a great group of girls. I wouldn’t trade my teammates for anything in the world.”

She talked about what it takes to be a good hitter in high school softball. “You need to be confident at the plate, take a few pitches and get a good pitch to hit. You need to wait for the right pitch and go after it.”

The speedy center fielder also excels defensively. “To be a good center fielder,” she said, “you need to be able to read the ball off the bat, go after it, and also have good communication with the other outfielders.”

Kaci said she is enjoying her time at Holy Cross to the max. “I love it here,” she said. “The last few years have been truly amazing. My teammates are the best. The school, teachers and coaches offer so much support.”

Kaci Kranson Scores 1,000th Point for Holy Cross

By Steve Svetovich

Only a junior, Kaci Kranson celebrated with Holy Cross teammates as she scored her 1,000th career point Friday, January 29, in the Lady Crusaders 76-44 win over Lakeland.

Kaci scored 26 points as her team won for the fourth time in five games this season. Senior center Abbey Lentowski led Holy Cross with 30 points in the win for the No. 6 ranked Lady Crusaders.

Daughter of Jill and Ryan Kranson, Kaci’s late grandfather Jerry Foley was a local legend as a standout professional boxer in the 1960s and 1970s. 

“I was very surprised and happy to achieve 1,000 points in my junior year,” Kaci, 17, said. “Every year I ser personal and team goals. This was one of my personal goals, so I was happy to achieve it so quickly. It was just such a crazy, outstanding feeling. I was so happy my teammate were a part of it. They played a big part in making it happen.”

Kaci averaged 23 points per game as a sophomore last season when she was a Lackawanna League All-Star. She is averaging 23 points per game with 115 points in her first five games this season. 

“My parents always teach me to work hard and give it my very best shot. That is what they tell me should always be my focus, trying my very best.”

The standout junior point guard said Holy Cross veteran basketball coach Barry Fitzgerald teaches her similar values.

“He teaches me to always work hard. And he tells me to be more patient on the court while looking for the open pass or shot”

Kaci is a three-year starter on the Lady Crusaders basketball team. She will be a three-year member of the Holy Cross softball team, although no games were played las year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She plays centerfield and was a Lackawanna League All-Star as a freshman outfielder. 

The scholar-athlete has an impressive 3.9 academic average. She is a member of the Service Club, Pro Life Club, Student Council and is class president of the junior class. She is a member of the National Honor Society.

She talked about what it takes to be a good point guard in high school basketball. 

“You need to look up and down the court and be very selective with your shot or passing the ball.”

Kaci said she wants to play basketball in college. She would like to see Sean Mendez in concert. Last year she saw Ariana Grande as a birthday present from her mom.

Kaci’s best academic subject is English. The sharp shooter said she is thinking about studying physical therapy in college. 

She talked about future goals. “Well, first I want to help our team go as far as we can in the district and state playoffs in the next two years. Then I want to get accepted to a good college, play college basketball and get a great education and finally have a good career.”

Kaci is completely enjoying her experience at Holy Cross.

“I absolutely love it here at Holy Cross,” she said. “Everyone knows each other here. It is like one big family. 

“All of the teachers and coaches are great. It is the best place to be for me. I have met so many nice people and made great friends. We are all so close. This is a family here.”