Mia Chiaro Named Scholar-Athlete of the Year by LIAA

Mia Chiaro2By Steve Svetovich

Dunmore High School graduating senior Mia Chiaro is the recipient of the Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association (LIAA) female scholar-athlete of the year award.

“I was really excited when I heard about this,” Mia said. “It was a big moment for me and everyone else because of all the disappointments we had in sports this year due to COVID-19. It was nice to be recognized for something after going through all of that.”

Daughter of Alyssa and Nick Chiaro, Dunmore, the scholar-athlete was a key participant at Dunmore for soccer, swimming and track and field. She was also a football cheerleader. She had a 3.8 grade point average, including a 99 average in her final two quarters.

Mia was first-team all-star for track and field in her sophomore and junior years. She was a first-team all-star for soccer once and second-team twice. 

She ran the 100 meter and 300 meter hurdles and participated in the 4 by 1 and 4 by 4 for the Dunmore track and field team.

She credits her swimming coach John Andreoli for being a strong mentor. “He really cares about us,” Mia said. “He inspired us to be better. He had a talk with us that really gave us confidence and got us motivated. We became highly competitive and we kept improving to become an excellent swimming team. We had a great team bond. I will never forget the lessons learned and the spirit of our team.”

Mia, well spoken and articulate, said she will attend the University of Pittsburgh and study political science in the fall. She wants to attend law school in the future.

“I want to become a lawyer and possibly become a politician in the future,” she said. “I hope to play some club soccer at Pitt.” 

Mia enjoys listening to music and is a big fan of Kanye West. 

Mia Chiaro1As a three-sport athlete and cheerleader, she proved to be highly versatile. “I like to be involved and active,” she said. “So that is a no brainer for me. I like being a part of something special. And as most know, being a part of any sport at Dunmore usually results in something special. The coaches here teach you so much about sports and life. And the teammates you have result in lifetime friendships. You develop a great bond with your teammates.”

Mia said she gets her competitive spirit from her parents.

“My parents always tell me nothing gets handed to you. You need to work hard to develop a competitive work ethic.”

The aspiring law student and politician lit up when speaking of her experience at Dunmore High School. “You get a lot of opportunities to express yourself and get involved at Dunmore,” she said. “You develop lifelong friendships and you are a part of something special. All of the sports you participate in at Dunmore are special. 

“Our coaches and teachers at Dunmore teach us to be competitive on and off the field and in life. And this all translates to life as you transition beyond high school. It is such a great experience at Dunmore.”

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.