By Zach Albert
As we continue through the 2020-2021 academic and athletic seasons, we are highlighting the time and effort put in by Dunmore Athletic Director Mark Finan and his teams.
The completion and success of the 2020 football and 2020 volleyball seasons are examples of accepting the responsibilities involved in keeping everyone as safe as possible while setting a foundation for the winter and spring sports seasons.
With a similar diligence to remaining safe in preparation, the basketball teams are continuing their seasons and are approaching the playoffs.
When asked about preparation for these athletic and academic seasons, Finan explains: “Summertime is the start; scheduling the junior high and seven varsity sports for the upcoming fall seasons with the unknowns still present was a challenge. We actively communicate with the PIAA and LIAA and take this as seriously as anything you can plan for.
“Scheduling challenges include ensuring officials, workers, security are all available for the scrimmages, exhibitions before the regular seasons begin. We are thankful the fall seasons went through as smoothly as they did.”
Following up on that response, we asked about how he responded to the positive COVID-19 result of a member of the boys’ basketball program, and we thank his candidness in his response:
“First action was to reach out to the member of the program who tested positive, checking on his status. The next was communicating with the COVID-19 Coordinator, and then all staff within the program. Continuing to follow all protocols and advice from the health and sporting organizations as we play the postponed games is key to ensuring we qualify for a league title as safely as we can.”
We then asked Finan if there were differences in preparation per sport, and his response prompted his questions of how mask mandates will be applied in baseball and softball.
“For a sport like basketball, where glasses are less likely to fog up with the indoor-controlled conditions, the mask mandate was easier to adjust to. In a sport like baseball or softball, with the ball as dangerous to the human body as it is, it is not as simple to mandate the mask, as it can cause glasses to fog up and compromise the safety of our student athletes, he explains.
“ I am looking forward to having discussions with all entities involved in getting a solution, potentially the Gaiter mask, which is becoming more popular, in place for all to safely enjoy these sports.”
We then asked about any learning points through the pandemic able to be used moving forward, and before explaining further, he emphatically says “Absolutely.”
“The Return to Safe Play Plan continues to be reviewed as we continue towards normalcy. We’ve created great services to the community through a multitude of platforms. First, with the help of Rich Banick, we have launched DHSTV.net, which uses YouTube to host the videos, where we are broadcasting each home game live.
“We thank Nick Mack of NPF for basketball play-by-play, and statistician Robert (RG4) Grady for streaming our swim team coverage. Social media outlets like Twitter are also used for those not yet familiar with our video streaming service.”
We asked if there are any other announcements, comments, and Finan did have one:
“We are bringing back the Golden Age Pass for all Dunmore citizens 62 years or older, as we want our long-term Bucks at the events and knowing they are appreciated for attending!”