Athlete of the Month: Frankie Ruggiero

Athlete of the Month - Frankie Ruggiero golf

A multi-talented athlete at Dunmore High School, sophomore Frankie Ruggiero excels on the golf course.

By Steve Svetovich

Dunmore High School sophomore Frankie Ruggiero is multi talented.

Son of Vito and Christine Ruggiero, Dunmore, Frankie is a three-sport athlete and sophomore class president.

He was a starting second baseman as a freshman for the Dunmore baseball team under coach Mike “Sid” Hallinan.

He was the backup point guard as a freshman on the varsity basketball team. And his best sport is golf where he was superb as a freshman and sophomore.

His coach for basketball and golf is Tony Lacertoso.

As a freshman golfer last year, he won the Jackman tournament in the freshman division and was team MVP.

He has 30 individual wins in match play in two years.

He is the seventh golfer in the last nine years to make it to the Regional Tournament.

The scholar-athlete, an honor student with a 90 academic average, qualified in districts (top six scores in District AA) and made the Regional Tournament this year. That took place at Golden Oak golf course in Fleetwood, PA. He missed the cut by one stroke to go to the states.

For this past season, he was named to the first team small school division all stars.

The talented sophomore talked about what it takes to excel in golf. “You need to practice a lot on your own,” he said. “You need the time to practice. It’s an individual sport.

Athlete of the Month - Frankie Ruggiero & Coach Lac

Frankie Ruggiero poses with his golf coach, Tony Lacertoso, during this past season.

“When I was a kid, I watched my dad and uncle playing golf. I thought it would be fun. So I took it up and practiced and practiced.”

Frankie said he has learned a lot from his golf coach at Dunmore, Tony Lacertoso.

“He is real good on the course. He gets me into a zone and calms everyone down. He is a very good coach.”

The three-sport star made sure to mention his baseball coach at Dunmore, Sid Hallinan.

“He makes it fun to be there every single day. We have a good time, but also work hard at it.”

Frankie, whose best academic subject is math, said his parents teach him “to always be respectful.”

He talked about his future goals. “I want to go to college and see where the road takes me. I would like to play golf or baseball in college if possible. But eventually, I want to become a doctor.”

He mentioned an interest in orthopedics.

Humble in nature, Frankie is well versed in school. Besides playing three varsity sports and being sophomore class president, he is a member of the Health Careers Club, the French Club and is a sophomore Class Officer.

Athlete of the Month - Frankie Ruggiero baseball

Frankie Ruggiero is second baseman for the Dunmore High School’s baseball team.

He plays Legion baseball in the summer and played several years of travel baseball with The Sandlot under Chris Davis and Frank Cwalinski.

As a golfer, he made Regionals last year and missed by a stroke to go to States.

“My goal as a golfer is to make it further and go as far as possible in States. I want to continue improving my golf game. And I want to continue having a good time playing.”

Frankie said he loves playing the three sports and his hobbies are fishing and hunting.

“I also like hanging out with my friends.”

He talked about what it is like going to Dunmore High School. “It’s a great school. I like it a lot. We get the job done with our work in the classroom. It’s a great school and the teachers are great to talk to.

“I would not want to go anywhere else.”

Athlete of the Month: Keelin Schimelfenig

Keelin SchimelfenigBy Steve Svetovich

Keelin Schimelfenig loves the game of softball.

And the Holy Cross junior will tell you about her passion for the game.

Daughter of Joi Siebecker and Kerry Schimelfenig, Keelin, 16, was in her first year on the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders varsity softball team as a sophomore last season.

As a third baseman-DH, she did her best to become a strong contributor for the team. She had a clutch hit that tied the district championship game against Old Forge. The big hit sparked Holy Cross to the win over Old Forge and a district title.

Keelin, who is very genuine and sincere, reiterated how much she loves the game of softball. “I try to openly show my love for the game and improve. My love for the game rubs off on my teammates.”

holy crossKeelin, whose best subject is English, has a 3.2 grade point average at Holy Cross. She is a member of the Pro Life Club. She played one year of junior varsity baseball before making varsity last season.

Keelin tunes up her game in the summer by playing in two leagues, including a travel softball league.

“I just love to play,” she said.

Keelin, who has a very caring and humble personality, said she would like to become a registered nurse like her mom someday. She hopes to study nursing in college. Her top two college choices are Quinippiac College and Penn State.

“If there is an opportunity to play softball, then I will. I do want to incorporate softball into something when I get older.”

Keelin said she eventually wants to become a traveling R.N. “I would like to travel the country while working as a nurse.”

She talked about her immediate goals at Holy Cross. “I want to continue playing softball and help our team. I want to become more school oriented. I want to succeed in my studies and make my grades higher.

“I want to get into the medical field and become an R.N. like my mom. I want to take after my mom.”

Status-FastPitch-Game-Leather-Softball“I want to become better at my sport of softball. I dedicate all of my time to it. I want to help make my teammates as happy as I am playing. It is the only sport I play, so I need to be dedicated. I really enjoy it.”

Dan McGee, her junior varsity coach, is the softball coach for her summer recreational team and travel team.

“I play a lot of games in the summer. There have been a lot of rainouts lately though. Other than that, things are going very well.

“Coach McGee teaches me a lot. I learned how to improve my batting through him. He changed my batting stance completely. And he worked on my footing and throws to help me become a better fielder.”

Keelin’s mom was a standout track and field runner at Scranton Technical High School. Keelin said her parents taught her a lot. “My parents teach me about dedication. They teach me that being dedicated will only improve myself as a player. They tell me if I show dedication, it will also push everyone else to become better.”

Keelin, soft spoken yet enthusiastic, said she loves listening to all kinds of music and goes to a lot of concerts.

The student-athlete also has a love for animals and helping others.

She loves playing for Holy Cross veteran softball coach Joe Ross. “I have learned so much about the game of softball from him. But the main thing he teaches us is that we can be serious, but have fun at the same time.”

Keelin not only loves softball, but she loves her school.

“I absolutely love it here at Holy Cross. Everyone is so welcoming here. The teachers, staff and students make you feel so welcome. They help you no matter what. I remember the seniors all helping us out when we were freshmen. This is really a great place to go to school.”

Jenna Bradley Pitches Holy Cross to District Title Win

jenna bradleyBy Steve Svetovich

Holy Cross sophomore pitcher Jenna Bradley was almost untouchable all season.

With a minuscule 0.54 ERA, she earned her league leading 13th win of the season to lead the Lady Crusaders to a 5-3 win over Old Forge in the Lackawanna League District 2 final Thursday, May 31, at the University of Scranton’s Magis Field.

Jenna pitched a 7-inning complete game allowing 5 hits and only one earned run in the district title win. The sophomore stalwart struck out 11 to increase her league leading total to an astounding 148. She has a 13-1 pitching record for the season.

Daughter of Josh and Jennifer Bradley, Jenna has already committed to Hofstra University in Long Island, New York. She will attend Hofstra in two years on a softball scholarship.

Jenna will major in business administration at Hofstra.

Jenna has an impressive 3.8 grade point average at Holy Cross. Her favorite subject is English.

The scholar-athlete talked about the team’s second consecutive district title. “Coach Joe Ross is a very positive influence for us. He is positive everyday at practice. We all want to win. He teaches us to play our game and control what we can control.

“Coach Ross tells us not to think too much. Don’t let things get into your head. Play for all 21 outs. Never give up. He really taught us a lot.”

Jenna is sophomore class president and a member of student council. She is a member of the foreign languages club and will be in the history club next year. She was elected junior class president for next school year.

“Our goal now is to compete in the state playoffs. We want to win as many games as possible.”

And her future goals? “I want to keep helping my team here at Holy Cross in the next couple years. Then I want to compete at the highest level at Hofstra and help them win a championship. Hopefully, someday I will coach and help teach other kids to fall in love with the game. I would like to open up an in door facility someday. It is something this area needs.”

hofstraJenna said she will major in business administration at Hofstra. Her goal is to get into sports administration someday.

She is elated to have another district title under her belt. “It feels great to be back where we were last year. This was our goal all along. The possibilities for us in the state playoffs are endless. We expect to excel in the state playoffs and in the future down the road.”

Humble but confident in nature, Jenna said she learned from her parents. “My parents teach me to keep pushing if you want something. You have to work for it. There is always someone working harder. Be humble and be thankful.”

Jenna said she enjoys listening to country music in her spare time. Her favorite country artist is George Strait.

Jenna leads the league in most pitching categories this season. She was picked as honorable mention as a pitcher last season. Expects some bigger accolades this season for the Holy Cross ace.