Doin’ Dunmore: A Special Thank You to All Who Helped Along the Way

By Steve Svetovich


Those are the best two words to describe being inducted into the Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame as a recipient of the media award at Fiorellli’s last month. 

Celebrating together at the induction ceremony last month at Fiorelli’s for Steve Svetovich, Dunmorean sports editor, who won the media award for the Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame were, from left: Atty. James Gregorowicz, Steve’s father Stan, his son Dylan, honoree Steve Svetovich, his son Ryan, Mike Booth, and Brian Bosley.

Since the induction ceremony was postponed from 2020, this scribe had well more than a year to prepare a speech.

And as the 10th and final speaker, the nerves were apparent. 

But the speech went well as this scribe touched on 40 years of writing and interviews while thanking the major supporters and influences. 

This column is not about me or the speech, but a thank you to those who were helpful influences throughout the years. 

What I want to do in this column is simply thank all of those who helped along the way. Many were mentioned in the speech.

First there are my dad and late mom. 

As a youngster, after reading books about Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays in the Robert Morris Elementary School library, I wanted to play baseball.

I knew nothing about the game.

My mom took me to the Green Ridge Little League for a tryout. When I was about to turn back, she told me to “take a chance” and then drove away. Soon after, I fell in love with baseball. From that point on, I knew writing about it could be a reasonable goal. 

In later years, she worked the stands with my sister at the Green Ridge Teener League. She encouraged me in my writing career and was one of my biggest supporters. 

My dad is probably the only one who has read all of my stories. And I know there are about 7,000 of them. He is my biggest fan. He always made sure there was a nice supper on the table for me. Even if it meant there was less for him. He continues to read my stories with great interest. 

Then there was my first baseball coach, the late Bill Kandle, and my Little League coach, the late Frank Coupland, who taught me how to play the game and to love sports.

Then there was the late Tony Miele, my Green Ridge Teener League coach, who brought this bench warmer back for one more game just for a chance to shine. He played me the whole game, which ended with this scribe getting the winning hit. Then he brought me back as a coach. No wonder he is also in this Hall of Fame.

Then there was Sandra Buzas, my eighth grade English teacher at North Scranton Junior High School, who gave me a journal and told me to write. I haven’t stopped since.

Then there is the late John McCormick, the former Scranton Times sports editor and past president of this Hall of Fame, who knew my love of sports and brought me to the Scranton Red Soxx of the ACBL where I worked as team statistician and official scorer under the great Gary Ruby, Jerry Valonis and late Bill Howerton. What a group to learn from! 

McCormick didn’t stop there. He got me involved keeping the score books during games for the Scranton Tavern League and used me as a stringer covering football games for the Scranton Times.

Then there was my late junior high school English teacher Father Joseph Quinn, S.J., who took a sincere interest in me as a person and not just as a student.

Then there was former Scranton Times columnist Joseph X. Flannery, who taught me the basics of good journalism at the University of Scranton and followed my career thereafter. And there was the late novelist Gilbert Sorrentino who taught me so much about writing when he lectured one semester at the University of Scranton on a grant.

Then there was Nat Zinicola who provided me the opportunity to write 15 years for his Pennsylvania Athlete publication. We covered all high school sports throughout Northeastern and Central PA. 

Then there was Danny Ziobro who gave me a job in the Central Supply Unit of Mercy Hospital when I was 22 and desperately needed full time work while freelance writing and pursuing a writing career. He doesn’t realize what he did for me. I was so grateful. Work is a privilege. 

Then there was the late Bill Hoppel, 34 years my senior, but a Mercy Hospital co-worker who served as a mentor, teaching me so much about life and the working world. He persuaded me to interview Notre Dame Four Horseman Jim Crowley who was a patient at the hospital. The recorded interview was published in several newspapers and put my name on the map.

Then there was the late Pete Gray, the only one-armed position player in MLB history, who allowed me to interview him on the back porch of his Nanticoke home. The recorded interview led to a UPI award and can now be heard forever at the National Baseball Hall of Fame or on the World Wide Web. Thank you, Pete Gray. 

Then there were the reporters and editors at The Scranton Tribune who taught me how to be a good reporter and honed my writing skills. Those reporters and editors in particular were the late Doug Miele, the late Ray Flanagan, Joe Pesavento, Dunmore’s Guy Valvano, Lew Marcus and Maureen Garcia-Pons. What a great experience that was. There were others, but those six took the most interest. 

Then there was John Hart who took me on with The Dunmorean almost 32 years ago. He and his wife Maureen have allowed me free rein to continue with my craft. I am extremely grateful to John and Maureen for allowing me to do what I love for so many years and counting. Without them, there would be no platform. Special thanks to John and Maureen Hart. 

Then there are my lifelong friends who have always stood by my side. Namely: Tom Reese, John Reap, Jim Decker, Bob and Kathy White, Jim Gregorowicz, Andy Gregorowicz, John Gregorowicz, the late Bill Hoppel, Jeannie Hoppel, Mike Booth, Steve Gall, Ted “T.C.” Christy, Brian Bosley, Paul “Saki” Wysocki, Tom “Duggie” Duggan, Andy Debawalski, Patti Lennox Vanston, Ned “Doc” Sweeney and the late Pat O’Malley. 

Then there is my brother George and sister Denise who have my back and are always there for me. 

Then there are my two sons, Dylan and Ryan, my biggest supporters. They are my true legacy in life. They served as my presenters at the Induction ceremony. And without their mom, Beth, I would not have them. Thank you, Beth. 

Finally, there are Bob Walsh, president; Jerry Valonis, vice president; Judy Igoe Carr, secretary; Tom “Doc” Dougherty, treasurer, and Rich Revta, committee member, who provided me with this honor. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It was a great night. 

NE Chapter of Sports Hall of Fame Has Inductees with Ties to Dunmore

By Steve Svetovich

Anthony Cantafio, Barry Fitzgerald and Jack Lyons, all with Dunmore ties, head this year’s group of 10 being inducted this month into the Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Barry Fitzgerald

The induction dinner will be held Sunday, October 24, at 5 p.m, at Fiorelli’s, Peckville.

Tickets for the event, including dinner, are $50 for adults and $25 for children 10 and under. For tickets, call Bob Walsh (570-346-2228) or Jerry Valonis (570-498-9461). Walsh is president of the Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Program ads run $100 for a full page, $50 for a half page. For program ads, call Tom “Doc” Doherty at 570-313-8141.

Also being inducted are Rich Beviglia, Terry Greene, Paulette Costa Karwoski, Mike Mancuso, the late George Roskos and the late Bill Terlecky who will receive the service award. 

Cantafio was an all-scholastic fullback at Dunmore, where he was honored with the Leo Hungerbuler Student Athlete Award. He was awarded a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania where he played for four years. 

He began a 49-year football coaching career in 1968 as assistant coach for the University of Pennsylvania freshman football team. 

He was assistant coach at Mid Valley and Scranton Prep before becoming head football coach at Prep in 1993. As head coach for 14 seasons, he compiled a 77-64 record with 10 winning seasons. His teams were Big 11 champions, 2-year Eastern Conference Class AA champs, 3-year Eastern Conference semi-final runners-up, and Lackawanna Football Conference Division II champions. 

In 1982, Cantafio coached wrestling. His team won the Lackawanna League title and he was named Coach of the Year.

Barry Fitzgerald is one of the few local high school coaches to win over 600 games. In a 36-year career beginning at Mid Valley, he won two league titles and one District II championship at Bishop Hannan. His current Holy Cross teams were District II runners-up several times.

His team’s won three league and two District II championships while an assistant at Mid Valley. He coached two league championships as head softball coach at Bishop Hannan. 

The Scranton Times honored Fitzgerald by naming him All-Regional Softball Coach of the Year during his tenure at Bishop Hannan.

Jack Lyons is a graduate of Cathedral High School where he was a part of two PCIAA State basketball championships and two Lynett Tournament titles. While coaching at Bishop O’Hara, Scranton High and West Scranton, his teams made 17 state playoff appearances. His team’s won 23 preseason and Holiday championships, two Lackawanna League titles and were District II PIAA runner-up four times.

For the 2008-09 season, he was named Lackawanna League’s Coach of the Year. While at Lackawanna Junior College, coach Lyons was named Region XIX’s all-star coach and WARM radio Coach of the Year. He earned his 500th win coaching West Scranton Feb. 14, 2020. 

Paulette Costa Karwoski started her bowling career in 1972 with Gal Galdacci as her coach. She finished her competitive bowling career about 25 years later. She gathered notoriety by rolling the highest average in the Scranton Women’s Bowling Association (SWBA). She had the highest bowling average in the state for five years straight from 1978 through 1982. 

She had the highest women’s average (228) in the country from among four-million women bowlers. She was a member of the Sheraton Inn team which recorded the High Team Single game and High Team total scores. These scores are recorded in the Guinness World Book of Records.

She is a member of three Halls of Fame: the Chic Feldman, Women’s All-Star Association (WASA) and the Scranton Women’s Bowling Association.

Scranton Prep graduate Rich Beviglia was a two-time All-Lackawanna League catcher with a career batting average of .429. While playing for the Old Forge American Legion, his two-year batting average was over .400. At the same time, he was selected for both regional and state showcases for Collegiate and Major League scouts.

Beviglia was awarded a full scholarship to Duke where he was a four-year starter as a catcher. He was a two-year captain and three-season All ACC honorable mention, finishing his career with a .314 batting average.

Playing basketball at Scranton Prep, he was the second leading scorer in the Lackawanna League’s Southern Division, MVP of the Lynett Tournament, second team Lackawanna Southern Division all star in 1983 and first team all star in 1984.

He coached baseball at Scranton Prep in 2008 leading his team to the Lackawanna Division I and PIAA District 2 Class AA championships. He led Old Forge to two PIAA District 2 Class A titles. 

Terry Greene was an All-Scholastic basketball player at Scranton Tech in 1974. He averaged 22 points and six rebounds per game. He was selected to the Scranton Tribune’s Olyphant Rotary Club’s Dream Games’s South team in 1974 and 1975. 

He was an All-Scholastic basketball player at Scranton Central in 1975. He was presented the Aldwin Jones Memorial Award as the South’s team’s most outstanding player. In 1974-75, he was awarded the Theodore J. Wint Post 25 VFW Outstanding Team Player Award. 

Green was a basketball official for 36 years. The highlight of his career was officiating the 2006 PIAA State AA championship game.

Michael Mancuso earned Small School second team All-State honors playing football for Carbondale Area. As a specialist, he scored 19 touchdowns. He is one of the few athletes at Carbondale whose number is retired. 

As a track star, he was the District 2 AA 100 meter champion while finishing fourth in the 100 meter dash at the PIAA track and field championships. That earned him All-State honors. He was the District 2 champion in both the 100 and 200 meter run in 1992 and 1993. 

He was awarded a football scholarship to William and Mary, but transferred to East Stroudsburg. At ESU, he was a four-year letterman and the school’s first 1,000-yard receiver. He was a Division II first team All American and two-time Don Hansen Football Gazette All-American. He was a two-time first team All-PSAC All-Conference Eastern Division All -Star.

The late George Roskos was a graduate of the University of Scranton and member of its first wrestling team. He was head wrestling coach at West Scranton from 1973 through 1986. He posted a career record of 147-50-2. His teams were Lackawanna League champions in 1976, 1977 and 1986. He was selected Coach of the Year twice. 

He served as president of the Lackawanna Scholastic Wrestling League of which he was a co-founder. A total of 12 of his former athletes went on to coach varsity wrestling at various schools in the Lackawanna League.

The late Terlecky began his baseball front office career in 1978. He joined the staff of the Rochester Red Wings starting a 40-plus year career in baseball. He worked on the AA and AAA levels as well as Independent Leagues. He operated a Collegiate Summer Baseball League in New England. He received the International League Executive of the Year in 1991. He was the recipient of the Frank Cashen Award in 2003. The award is given to the top executive in the New York Mets organization. 

A baseball pioneer, he was named the first general manager of the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Red Barons, ushering professional baseball’s return to the area in 1989. He continued for eight successful seasons with attendance topping a half million in four of those years.

He brought the AAA All-Star game to Moosic in 1995. 

He oversaw the completion of Lackawanna County Stadium and was a fixture there during his tenure with the Red Barons. 

(Editors’s Note: Dunmorean sports editor Steve Svetovich is the 10th member of this class as the recipient of this year’s Media Award. He has been writing for The Dunmorean for close to 32 years and previously was a reporter for The Scrantonian Tribune, The Sunday Sun, Mid Valley News, The Scranton Weekly, The Pennsylvania Athlete, The Potter Enterprise in Coudersport, The Hawley News Eagle, The Scranton Times and The Baseball Bulletin. 

He received an award from United Press International (UPI) for his interview with Pete Gray, baseball’s only one armed position player ever. The story was named best sports story in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania market in 1986 and can be heard world wide on the web today through the Society for American Baseball Research. The live taped interview is in the library archives of the National Baseball Hall of Fame). 

Svetovich to be Inducted in NE Chapter of PA Sports Hall of Fame 

Dunmorean sports editor Steve Svetovich is being inducted this fall into the Northeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. 

The longtime Dunmorean writer received his induction letter last month. One member of the media is selected each year.

Bob Walsh, Dunmore, is president of the Northeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. There are 32 chapters throughout the state.

The induction ceremony will be held Sunday, Oct. 24, at Fiorelli’s, Peckville. Cocktail hour for family and friends will be from 5 to 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 6 p.m. 

“I am thankful to the committee members for this honor,” Svetovich said. “Writing and sports have always been my passions in life. I thank my publisher John Hart at The Dunmorean for allowing me to cover Dunmore for the past 31 years. I always loved Dunmore. I thank my late mom and dad for always being supportive of my passion. My mom gave me my initial push and my dad continues to read all my stories.”  

Svetovich, a resident of Dunmore, will go in with eight other members. The late Bill Terlecky will receive the service award, with his son representing him.

Born and raised in the Green Ridge section of Scranton, Svetovich is a graduate of the Green Ridge Little and Teener Leagues. He received the Butch Miele Memorial Award upon his graduation from the Teener League. He is a graduate of Saint Paul’s Green Ridge Basketball League. 

Son of Stan and the late Ellen Svetovich, he is a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and the University of Scranton where he received a bachelor of science degree cum laude in social sciences with a minor in communications. He later went on to receive a bachelor of science degree in occupational therapy from Misericordia University.

During his teen years, Svetovich worked as an official scorer and team statistician for the Scranton Red Soxx of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League (ACBL). He worked under coaches Gary Ruby, Jerry Valonis and the late Bill Howerton. 

He served as a coach in the Green Ridge Teener League for one year and was an official scorer for the Scranton Tavern League during his teen years. He also delivered the Scrantonian Tribune for 10 years.

Svetovich started covering sports at age 20 as a stringer for The Scranton Times, working under the direction of late sports editor John McCormick, past president of the Northeast Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame. It was McCormick who hooked Svetovich up with the Scranton Red Soxx.

The longtime scribe also covered all high school sports for The Pennsylvania Athlete newspaper from 1982 through 1996.

Svetovich did free lance sports work for The Dallas Post, Abington Journal, The Wayne Independent and The Times Leader. 

In 1986, Svetovich interviewed Pete Gray, the only one-armed position player in Major League Baseball history. The recorded and published interview earned Svetovich an award from the United Press for best sports story in a small market in Pennsylvania or New Jersey in 1986. The recorded interview and published story are both in the library of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. where Svetovich received a lifetime pass. The story was published in the Hazleton Standard Speaker and The Baseball Bulletin, a national monthly publication. The recorded interview was featured on WARM Radio. 

Gray was interviewed by Svetovich on the back steps of his Nanticoke home. Svetovich kept a close friendship with Gray until his passing over a decade later. He also assisted “This Week in Baseball” in doing a segment on Gray. 

Svetovich also did a recorded interview with the late Jim Crowley, one of the famed Four Horsemen of Notre Dame. 

Svetovich worked in 1986 as a sports editor for The Potter Enterprise in Coudersport. He worked as a reporter for The News Eagle in Hawley and contributed a sports feature story every month to The Baseball Bulletin, a national monthly baseball publication, until that newspaper folded. 

He then went on to write for The Scrantonian Tribune where he toiled from late 1986 until the newspaper’s eventual demise in 1989. He served as a general assignment reporter and occasionally assisted sports editors Jack Seitzinger and Guy Valvano. He later became the Dunmore and Clarks Summit correspondents.

He then went on to work for The Sunday Sun where he served as sports editor and Dunmore correspondent.

Svetovich quickly hooked up with The Dunmorean in 1990 working under owner/publisher John Hart for the past 31 years. 

Svetovich, currently sports editor for The Dunmorean, writes a human interest column and a sports column, Dishin’ Dirt, for The Dunmorean. 

He has also written for other newspapers owned and operated by John Hart over the years. Those publications include The Mid Valley News, The Scranton Weekly, and The Paper as well as several other newspapers. 

Svetovich credits his editors at the defunct Scrantonian Tribune for helping to develop his journalistic style. He particularly credits the late Doug Miele, the late Ray Flanagan, Joe Pesavento, Lew Marcus and Valvano. 

He also credits the late McCormick and late columnist Joe Flannery of The Scranton Times for helping to develop his news writing skills. 

He credits Sandra Buzas, his eighth grade teacher at North Scranton Junior High School, and late novelist Gilbert Sorrentino, a professor he had at the University of Scranton, for helping him to develop his writing style.

He is thankful to John and Maureen Hart, the owners and publishers of The Dunmorean, for allowing him free reign with his stories and for their friendship and support during the past 31 years. 

Svetovich coached baseball in both Green Ridge and West Scranton for 15 years at every single level from t-ball to the college level. He also coached biddy basketball. 

Svetovich has also been a home health occupational therapist for the past 27 years and currently works for Comprehensive Home Health Care Services, Dupont. 

Svetovich has written over 5,000 stories throughout the years. He has met and interviewed the likes of Mike Schmidt, Mike Hargrove, Claude Osteen, Bill White, Gaylord Perry, Luis Tiant, Bill Giles, John Felske, Tom Foley, Pete Gray, Jim Crowley, Moose Krause, Davey Jones of The Monkees, George Burns, Barbara Eden, The Drifters, Bob Friend, Dick Groat, Ed Ott, Elroy Face, Phil Rizzuto, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Gary Sanchez, Johnny Van Zandt of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Don Larson, Tommy John, Derek Jeter, Luke Sewell, Mike Kreevich, Howard Johnson, Joe Grzenda, Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, Chris Snee, and Dick Tracewski, among others.

His favorite interviews are those he conducts with the students of Dunmore and Holy Cross High Schools. He helps choose an Athlete of the Month as well as a Dunmorean of the Month for each issue for The Dunmorean. He also conducts the interviews and writes those stories. 

He remembers the words of legendary Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons who he met at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. He introduced himself to Gammons as a small town writer. 

Gammons responded, “There is a little small town in all of us big time writers, but there is also a lot of big time in the small town writers.”

Svetovich has a brother George and sister Denise who are always there for him. 

He is most proud of his two sons, Dylan, 25, a former high school basketball player and college baseball player who has an master of science degree in health care administration from Marywood University and is a pharmaceutical sales representative, and Ryan, 22, a guitarist with The Sperazza Band and an accomplished songwriter/musician who produced his own CD under the name of Ryan Sal. 

“My sons will always be my legacy in life,” Svetovich said. “They mean the world to me.” His sons will be his escorts at the induction ceremony.