By Steve Svetovich
When Andrew Durkin went from Dunmore Middle School to Scranton Prep, he was not sure what to expect.
But he is going to end up as a four-year member of Scranton Prep’s football and baseball teams and, in his words, a changed individual.
“Going to Scranton Prep has been a great experience for me,” he said. “Through sports and school, it has changed who I am as a person for the better.”
Son of Atty. Larry and Kristine Decker, Dunmore, Andrew, 17, is looking forward to his senior season as a member of the Scranton Prep football team.
He is a starting tight end and linebacker on the Scranton Prep football team. Andrew plays outfield on the baseball team and hit .394 as a junior.
He is a member of the National Honor Society and has an impressive 95 academic average at Scranton Prep. His best subject is math.
His football coach at Scranton Prep is Terry Gallagher.
“I have learned a lot from Coach Gallagher,” he said. “He taught me how to be physical, mean, and tough on the football field. He taught me to be disciplined and take responsibility.”
Andrew talked about what it takes to be a good tight end.
“You need to be physical and be a good blocker and receiver.”
The scholar-athlete also excels at linebacker. “To be a good linebacker,” he said, “you also need to be physical and tough. You need to stay low. You need the low leverage.”
Scranton Prep was 4-1 in the COVID-19 shortened football season in 2020. “Our goals are a district and state title this year,” said the senior standout.
Well-spoken, confident and mature, Andrew said he has learned a lot from his parents. “My parents taught me to always respect others and have respect for all the players and coaches on the team.”
His dad has a law office in Dunmore.
Andrew enjoys listening to music in his spare time and would like to see Drake in concert.
He plans on studying business or finance in college but is unsure where he will attend school.
“I would like to have a job in the business world,” he said.
Andrew said he is looking forward to his senior year. “I love playing sports at Prep,” he said. “Along with school work, it takes up most of my time. I want to have a winning senior football season. The goal is championships.
“My personal goal is to succeed and work hard at what I do.”
By Steve Svetovich
Scranton Prep head football coach Terry Gallagher does not believe in looking too far ahead.
“We take one game at a time here at Scranton Prep,” he said. “The coaching staff here wants to make sure we play the best we can week by week.”
And that means not looking too far past each opponent.
“We only look at the opponent we are playing that particular week,” he said. “We prepare the best we can for that team. We don’t set goals for down the road. Our only goal is to beat the next team… That is how we do things here.”
Scranton Prep was 4-1 in the COVID-19 shortened season in 2020. Despite the 4-1 record, the team did not make the post season.
Coach Gallagher, in his sixth season as head coach, is a 2002 graduate of Scranton Prep. He played football at LaSalle before eventually graduating from the University of Scranton with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. He teaches at North Pocono.
Coach Gallagher said his players are looking good in summer practice sessions.
“The boys are looking pretty good,” he said. “The older players have been working in this program and have the experience to lead us. Our veteran players will lead by example.
“We are trying to push all the right buttons and be more physical and improve our techniques. Hopefully, we will have a full year of games.”
Sean Monahan, a junior, is expected to be the team’s quarterback this season.
Other key returning players include senior wide receiver-defensive back Rob Maguire, senior offensive and defensive lineman Kellen Doughton, senior tight end-linebacker Andrew Durkin of Dunmore, junior running back-defensive back London Montgomery, senior wide receiver-defensive back Robert Rossi, senior linebacker-fullback Mike Golay, senior lineman Adam Kenny, senior lineman Drew O’Malley, senior lineman Christian Kohut, junior lineman Anthony Nicotera, senior Jimmy Burke and seniors Rich Pasco and Ned Leonard.
Assistant coaches under coach Gallagher are Brian Croom, Dan McShaffery, Jason Tallo, Ryan James, Brett Stage, Anthony Rossi, Billy Pasqualichio, Keith Toolan, Ben Koshanski and A.J. McKenna,
Burke, a 5-10, 285-pound defensive lineman, is one of the top returning football players in District 2. Coach Gallagher called him one of the leading guys in the weight room and one of the strongest players on the team.
Burke started as a sophomore and played a key role in Scranton Prep reaching the District 2 title game. He had 55 tackles, including five for a loss. He also recorded two sacks.
Last season, Burke had 26 tackles and two and one-half sacks in only five games. He earned a spot on the Lackawanna Football Conference Division I-II Coaches’ all-star second team.
Burke takes a lot of pride in his strength and agility training.
“We have the experience to lead this team,” coach Gallagher said. “We take things week by week, one game at a time. We are looking at being prepared and winning game one right now.”