Holy Cross Shortstop Reflects on High School Career

Lindsey Leppo

By Steve Svetovich

Lindsey Leppo had a decision to make four years ago. Coming from a public school she wasn’t sure if the transition to a private school would be an easy one.

But four years later the recent Holy Cross High School graduate said she made the best decision of her life.

Daughter of Jim and Denise Leppo, Lindsey, 18, hit .335 as the starting shortstop for the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders Lackawanna League District 2 title team.

A four year member of the Lady Crusaders softball team, Lindsey is now a major part of two consecutive district titles.

Holy Cross defeated Old Forge, 5-3, Thursday, May 31, at the University of Scranton’s Magis Field to earn this year’s district title.

Status-FastPitch-Game-Leather-SoftballAs one of the senior captains, Lindsey’s impact on the team came both on and off the field.

“I came from a public school (West Scranton Intermediate) to a Catholic school four years ago,” she said. “At the time, I was a little nervous and not sure if I made the right decision.

“Four years later, I would never change my decision. I played four years of softball here and made many friends. It has been such a great experience.

“It was the best decision I ever made in my life.”

Now a Dunmore resident, Lindsey looks forward to the PIAA Class 2A playoffs and will take her star to Kings College in the fall. She will major in business and economics and play on the Kings softball team.

“Our plan the whole year at Holy Cross was to come out on top,” she said. “We were waiting for this to happen. I am so happy about winning this district championship. We were underestimated in the beginning of the year.

“Our goal now is to keep winning in the state playoffs. We just can’t overdo it. We have to go with the flow and do our thing on the field.”

Lindsey, always positive and upbeat, said she learned so much from Holy Cross softball coach Joe Ross.

“He is my favorite coach ever,” she said. “He taught me how to deal with adversity. He told me to worry about the process and not the results. And then everything will fall into place.”

The scholar-athlete said her parents teach her “to always keep going and never give up.”

Lindsey talked about what it takes to be a successful shortstop in high school softball. “It takes a lot of communication on the field. And you need to develop a lot of confidence. If you have that, you have half your game down.”

The scrappy shortstop finished her senior year with a 3.2 grade point average. She was a member of the Language Club, the Service Club and a 2-year member of Student Council.

Her sister Lauren graduated from Holy Cross in 2015 and was also a standout member of the softball team. She currently plays softball for Wilkes.

KingsCollegeWilkesBarrePennsylvaniaLogoAnother sister Leah will enter Holy Cross as a freshman in the fall and will play softball.

Lindsey said she enjoys listening to music in her spare time and is a huge fan of reggae and the late Bob Marley.

She looks forward to the state playoffs and attending Kings in the fall.

“For now we want to keep winning as we go into the state playoffs. Then I am looking forward to playing four more years of softball at Kings and then doing something in the finance field.”

Dunmore Senior Shortstop is Savoring the Moments

Athlete of the Month - Richie GrippiBy Steve Svetovich

The Dunmore senior shortstop, a 4-year starter, knows he only has one month of high school baseball left. So he is taking it all in.

Son of Rich and Shannon Grippi, Dunmore, Richie Grippi is hitting .392 and has a 97 academic average.

A lead off hitter for Dunmore, the 18-year-old scholar-athlete will attend Pennsylvania State University and major in engineering in the fall.

“Going to Dunmore is the best,” he said. “Dunmore is a very unique community. It is close knit. There is no place like it. It’s been awesome.

“I know my baseball career is coming to an end. It really flew by. Everybody told me it would go by fast. And it did. I really can’t believe it. It just hasn’t set in with me yet.”

The senior standout has been playing baseball in Dunmore leagues since age five.

His late grandfather Doug Miele, former editor-reporter for the old Scrantonian Tribune, died six years ago this coming September. He attended everyone of his grandson’s games right to the end of his life. His wish was that his grandson have a successful and enjoyable high school baseball career at Dunmore.

That wish apparently was fulfilled to the fullest. “Have a good cheer,”  his grandfather would say when finishing a conversation or saying goodbye to a friend.

baseballRichie was also a 4-year member of the Dunmore basketball team. He averaged 10 points per game in his senior season as the shooting guard on the team.

He is president of the Spanish Club at Dunmore High School. He is a member of the French Club, Earth Club, SADD and TACT.

His favorite subject is math.

Richie likes listening to music in his spare time. His favorite musical artist is Luke Bryan.

The scrappy shortstop is among the league leaders in hits, doubles, runs and batting average this season.

He talked about what it takes to be a solid shortstop. “You need to have very good range. I played second base the previous three years, so I had to practice a longer throw. You need a strong arm and have to practice those long throws in the off season.”

Richie, humble but confident in nature, said his parents taught him a lot.

“My parents always taught me to work hard. They taught me to never let anyone out work you. And they tell me to do the right thing even when no one is looking.”

Richie has learned plenty from Dunmore baseball coach Sid Hallinan who is in his first year at the helm after several years at Riverside.

“Coach Hallinan teaches us to always compete. He tells us it is most important to go out there and work hard, but also have fun doing it. He has been great for us.”

A member of the National Honor Society, Richie has learned how to balance his time well. “It’s a challenge. But at Dunmore, academics always come first. It is easy to translate that out onto the field if you put academics first. It’s a nice balance. It all ties in together.”

He talked about his goals. “Well, this will be it for me in baseball. It just hasn’t sunk in yet. I probably won’t play anymore. I will concentrate on college and earning a degree. Law School in the future is also a possibility. I am thinking about that.”

In the meantime, Richie is enjoying his senior baseball season to the fullest.

Former Scrantonian Tribune staffer Doug Miele, with cancer, two weeks before he passed away, was in a rush to get out of his house and to the baseball field. He had to get to one of his grandson’s final summer baseball games.

“I live for that,” he said. “That boy is going to be some ball player.”

He was right.

Athlete of the Month: Alex Terrery

Athlete of the Month - Alex TerreryBy Steve Svetovich

McGinty’s has been in the Dunmore Freedom League championship for two consecutive years and one of the big reasons why is Dunmore and Penn State graduate Alex Terrery.

Terrery, who received a B.S. in Information Technology and Sciences in 2016 from Penn State, is a shortstop-pitcher for McGinty’s.

Son of Charlie and Faith Terrery, Dunmore, he played four years of baseball at Dunmore High School where he was a pitcher-first baseman and all-star in his senior year. He played three years of baseball at Penn State Worthington as a pitcher-shortstop. He was named to the all-star team as a shortstop in his junior year there.

His dad at 58 is in his second year playing in the Dunmore Freedom League. The oldest player in the league, he is Alex’s teammate.

“Playing with my dad is a lot of fun,” Alex said. “He is living his dream. I never thought he would be playing at 58, but he is hitting the ball.”

Alex has been working for the past year at TMG Health, Jessup, where he is a production coordinator. “I love it. I work on computers. I do computer information technology work.”

His baseball coach at Dunmore was Mark Finan. “He is a great guy. He’s a tremendous baseball coach. I learned a lot from him. He teaches you to be a team player. That is what it’s all about.”

His coaches at Penn State were Steve Plevyak and James McAndrew. “I played under coach McAndrew with the Diamond Dogs fall team for a couple years in junior high and high school. He taught me a lot about baseball. I love him as a coach. I learned the most from him over the years.”

Alex said his mom and dad have been huge influences.

“They made me what I am today. They taught me respect. They taught me to respect everyone, especially your elders. I can go to them for anything.”

The baseball lifer said he loved Dunmore High School. “It’s a great school with great people. We had a great principal in Mr. Forgione. The school teaches kids to respect everyone. It’s not all about winning, but having fun and treating your coaches, teammates and opponents with respect.

“People who live in Dunmore never want to leave.”

Alex has a bright future ahead. “Playing in the Dunmore Freedom League the past four years has been a blast. It is the only competitive baseball league I can still play in, so I will go as long as I can. I love playing baseball.

“As for work, I love what I do. I love Dunmore, but will go where the job takes me. I want to,live a normal life and raise a family someday.”