Longtime Dallas High School football coach Ted Jackson Sr. found himself out of a job after receiving an unsatisfactory performance review.
Dallas High School graduate Paige Selenski made the Back Mountain proud when she became a member of the United States Olympic Field Hockey Team, prompting employees at the Lands at Hillside Farms to offer the Paige Sundae.
Misericordia University celebrated several firsts when both its men's and women's basketball teams turned in championship seasons and its newly-formed football team took to the field for the first time.
All in all, it was a busy year for sports in the Back Mountain. Here's a review of some of the area's athletic accomplishments in 2012.
Wyoming Seminary Upper School named Back Mountain athletes who received Most Valuable Player, Coaches Awards and Gold Awards for the fall season. Frank Henry, of Dallas, a golfer, received the Most Valuable Golfer Award; Jane Henry, of Shavertown, a tennis player, received the Blue Knight Award; Alannah Trombetta, of Dallas, a cross country runner, received the Most Valuable Runner Award; and Emma Spath, of Shavertown, a tennis player, received the Gold Award.
Rock Solid AAU Boys 17U/11th grade basketball team completed its fifth season with a record of 28-4. Members of the team were Eugene Lewis, Shane Dunn, Bobby Saba, Ryan Hoinski, James McCann, Travis Buckner, Frank Vito, Paul Brace and Jon Gimble. Doug Miller was head coach of the team and Jesse Francis was assistant coach.
The Dallas Youth Basketball Fourth-Grade Travel Team captured the championship in the Back Court Hoops Holiday Basketball Tournament. Members of the team were Sam Nocito, Jack Lukasavage, Matt Dolan, Jack Farrell, Dylan Schuster, Lenny Kelley, Brett Ostroski and Tom Phillips.
The Dallas Mountaineer Aquatics Club remained undefeated in the Northeast PA Age Group Swim League season with an impressive win at Abington.
Dallas diver Sarah Zerfoss recorded scores of 6 and 6 ½ as the Mountaineers earned a 96-90 victory over Pittston Area at home. Joining Zerfoss in the winning category were Kendra Vanesko and Patrick Maday.
Owen Kiluk of Dallas won the 100 back in a 118-39 Mountaineer win over Lake-Lehman. Jake Chielli took first in the 50 free and 500 free. Matthew Edkins took first in diving for the Black Knights' lone with. Connor Daly broke a school record in the 200 IM with a time of 2:25.89.
Eric Berley and Dean Shaver combined for 18 points to lead the Hornets to victory while Brett Ostroski scored 19 points for the Cavs in a losing effort in Dallas Youth Basketball action.
Winners of the 2012 Father O'Leary Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship were Donnie Faux, Nicole Cavanaugh, Nick Kocher, Lee Eckert and Jonathan Wilson.
Lake-Lehman's Josh Sayre pinned Eric Young of Dallas in the finale of an intense dual in front of a near-capacity crowd at Lake-Lehman, pushing the Black Knights to a 32-31 victory over their arch-rivals in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division II meet.
Shane Dunn of Dallas signed a letter of intent to pay football at East Stroudsburg Univerity.
Todd Phillips scored 22 points to lead the Suns while Nathaniel Spare added 10 for the winners as the Suns defeated the Lakers, 40-29, in Dallas Youth Basketball action.
The Dallas Middle School seventh-grade girls basketball team captured the championship in the Wyoming Valley Seventh-Grade Basketball League with a perfect 11-0 record. Members of the team were Lauren Dotter, Breezy Coolbaugh, Maria Bednar, Talia Kosierowski, Carley perloff, Jackie Dotter, Samantha Delamater, Maddie Kelly, Courtney Devens, Sara Lojewski, Danielle Walsh, Miranda Roche, Paige Evans, Catherine Dillon and Kaitlyn Pelcher.
Nanticoke broke open a one-point game midway through the third quarter to defeat Lake-Lehman, 60-42, in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division III girls basketball championship at Holy Redeemer High School.
Dallas had three payers reach double figures to defeat Tunkhannock, 49-45, to capture the Wyoming Valley Conference Division II boys basketball title at Lake-Lehman High School.
It was a 2-fer at Misericordia University when the men's and women's basketball teams both won Freedom Conference championships – the women by defeating King's College, 64-54, and the men by earning a 69-42 win over Wilkes University.
Jake Wilson, Bryan Carter and Nick Shelley all won by decision for the Lake-Lehman wrestling team after Dallas Dominick DeGraba started the day with a win. The Knights came away with the team title in the wrestling tournament.
Alison Piatt, of Pikes Creek, is so dedicated to the sport of curling, she volunteered to officiate at the 2012 USA Curling National Championships at the Ice Works Skating Complex in Aston.
Sikhmail Mathon poured in 20 points to lead the Spurs to a 55-38 win over the Magic in the championship game of the 7th/8th grade boys division of the Dallas Youth Basketball League.
Co-captains Tim Piatt, of Lehman, and Robbie Hoffman, of Shavertown, joined fellow teammate senior Mike Cutts, of Scott Township, to lead Summit Christian Academy Patriots to a second-place finish in the NyPenn Christian League Tournament.
Ray Ostroski and Spencer Bowanko scored 124 points apiece to lead Dallas to a 45-27 victory over Berwick in the championship game of the Wyoming Valley Conference 8th Grade Basketball League.
James Flores, 14, of Shavertown, made his first hole in one on the pare 3, number 17 at Irem Country Club. Flores was playing the back nine with his mother when he teed off at the hole. He has played golf since he was 11 years old and is a member of the Dallas High School golf team and Irem Country Club.
Lee Eckert won first place in the Knights of Columbus Basketball Regional Free Throw Shooting Competition in Cresco.
Mallory Wilson scored seven goals and registered a pair of assists but the Lake-Lehman girls lacrosse team fell one shy, losing to Bethlehem Freedom at Lake-Lehman. Alyssa Adams recorded six goals and Amelia Jenkins totaled four goals and two assists for the Lady Knights while Lydia Forster accounted for 14 saves in the net.
The Dallas High School track and field team entertained Pittston Area at the school district's newly-constructed track. Shane Jacobsen threw the discus, Jason Simonovich competed in the triple jump and Regan Rome and Alex Zubko ran, her in the 1-mile run and him in the 4 x 800-meter relay.
The Back Mountain Bandits hosted Mountain Top for the first game of the season and came out on the short end of a 6-4 score. Scoring goals for the Bandits were Ricky Morgan, Michael Santora, Ryan Cohen and Stone Mannello.The Dallas Youth Basketball fourth-grade travel team won the Wyoming Area Catholic March Madness Tournament by defeating Pittston Area, 39-18, in the title game. Members of the tam were Sam Nocito, Brett Ostroski, Matt Dolan, Jack Lukasavage, Lenny Kelley, Todd Phillips, Dylan Schuster and Jack Farrell.
The Lake-Lehman volleyball team defeated arch-rival Dallas, 25-16, 25-23 and 25-23, to grab a 3-1 on-the-road victory. Kevin Fine led the victors with 21 kills and four digs. Teammate Kevin Masters had 10 kills and six blocks while Zack Doran had six service points and seven digs. Kyle Morgan led the Mountaineers with 40 assists and three aces.
F.J. Costantino, of Dallas High School, signed a letter of intent to play football at Wilkes University.
The Dallas High School girls lacrosse team won the battle of the Back Mountain arch rivals with a 14-67 victory over Lake-Lehman. Dallas goals were scored by Melissa Tucker, 4; Maddie Mulhern, 3; Lynn Viercinski, 3; Emily Capitano, 2; Cara Pricher, 1; and Sarah Stewart, 1. Alyssa Adams scored five of Lehman's goals while the sixth was scored by Amelia Jenkins.
The Back Mountain Blackhawks finished the NEPASHL varsity ice hockey season in first place with a 10-2-2 record. Members of the team were Sean Jenkins, Corey McAndrew, Eric Yenchak, Paul Ciacci, Eric Smith, Logan Obes, Patrick Newhart, Don Hockenbury, Jimmy Loefflad, Eric Anderson, Tyler Steve, Johnny Yenchak, Dylan Pilger, Casey McAndrew, Eric Gotoweski, Lewis Hackling, David Payne, Kenny Burkhardt, Hunter Hackling and Alex Hoyt.
Back Mountain Bandits girls 7/8 lacrosse team participated in the 2012 Queen of the Turf Clinic & Tournament at Bloomsburg University. Attending were Sam Delamater, Jordan Kelly, Grace Butler and Katie Strohl.
Anthony Grandinetti hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh sinning as the A's beat the Astros, 6-5, in Back Mountain Baseball action. Mason Gattuso was the winning pitcher as he gave up one hit in 1.1 innings.
Sandy Jackson, wife of former Dallas High School football coch Ted Jackson Sr., and her son, Ted Jackson Jr. were organizing a Mountaineer football player reunion spanning Ted Sr.'s career from 1985-2011 to be held at the Irem Temple Country Club.
Members of the Dallas Lacrosse Booster Club honored senior members of the Dallas High School boys and lacrosse teams prior to the teams' game against Lake-Lehman. Senior members of the Dallas team were Morgan Cohen, Karsten Leu, Aaron Lisses, Jake Piskorick, Brett Wanek, Zack Taylor, Emiy Capitano, Brooke Evans, Aubrey Gryskiewicz, Dana Jolley, Kaylin Russell, Sarah Stewart, Melissa Tucker and Lynn Viercinski.
Brian D. Stanchak, Penn State Wilkes-Barre Director of Athletics, announced this year's inductees into the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Athletics Wall of Fame. They are Charles Boughton, Jill Chocallo, James Miliauskas and Phillips Navola.
Jake Chielli, of the Dallas High School swim team, and Sarah Zerfoss, a member of the diving team, won the PIAA Outstanding Swimmer and Outstanding Diver Awards, respectively, for the 2011-2012 season.
The Lady Mountaineers from Dallas High School hung tight and nipped arch-rival Lake-Lehman, 2-1, in the District 2 spring girls soccer seminal game.
Hundreds of former Dallas High School football players aged 20, 30 and 40 attended a football reunion honoring Ted Jackson's 27-year career at Irem Temple Country Club. Jackson's position as the Dallas High School head football coach was opened to the public due to an unsatisfactory performance review in late 2011 and, after a hearing on the matter, the board opted to hire Shavertown resident Bob Zaruta to fill the position. But the hundreds of former football players at the reunion gave Jackson a different review.
Lake-Lehman's Jacob Bevan signed a letter of intent to attend Keystone College to continue his academic and running career. Bevan was the District 2 AA 800 meter champion, qualifying for states in both the 800 meter run and the high jump.
Dave Schuster picked up his fourth win of the season, holding the Athletics to four hits while striking out nine as the Yanks snuck by the A's, 5-4, in Back Mountain Baseball action.
A recent coaches poll of the Central Susquehanna Lacrosse League selected three Dallas players and one Lake-Lehman player to first team All Conference honors. John Butchko, a senior at Lake-Lehman was selected as first team defense and first team long stick midfielder for the second year in a row. First team attackman Morgan Cohen, a Dallas senior, was second in the league in scoring with 31 goals and 24 assists. Senior defenseman Zack Taylor was the anchor of the Dallas defense and led his team in takeaways and scored three goals this season. George Pfeiffer, a sophomore goalie from Dallas, led the league in goals again by only allowing 54 goals this season.
Lake-Lehman Tiff Oplinger doubled to center to start the bottom of the first inning in the 33rd Annual Robert L. Dolbear All-Stars Softball Game sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Dallas. Oplinger and her West teammates trounced the East, 12-2, in the game at the Back Mountain Little League field.
The Back Mountain Yankees completed the season with a 15-1 winning streak and an overall record of 6-5 to capture the Back Mountain Major League Championship with an 11-3 win over the Phillies. Members of the Yankees team were Bobby Bogumil, Joseph Fioti, Beaudyn Lewis, Derek Answini, Darren Kerdesky, Dylan Schuster, Mark Roginski, Joseph Brennan, Carl Markowski, David Schuster, Collin Pertl and Michael Doggett.
Sarah Zerfoss, a 2012 graduate of Dallas High School, announced she would continue her academic and diving career at Clarion University majoring in communications. Caitlin Barry, a Dallas High School swim team captain, decided to continue her academic and athletic career at Westminster College in New Wilmington while Dallas High School senior Erica Luzetski would continue her diving and academic careers at Ithaca College.
Friends and family of 22-year-old Paige Selenski weren't exactly surprised when the 2008 Dallas High School graduate was recently named to the U.S. Olympic Field Hockey Team. For Selenski, a University of Virginia senior majoring in English, making the team was a long time coming. Brian Selenski said his daughter was first introduced to the sport as a seventh-grader at Dallas Middle School by her late mother Judy's suggestion to join a field hockey camp,
Back Mountain American held off an improbable rally by Green Ridge to hang on for a 10-9 victory to win the Section 5 Little League major baseball tournament and a spot in the state playoffs.
It was a great ride for the Bob Horlacher 9-10 year-old softball team but a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat to Canal of Delaware in the Eastern Regional Tournament was a bit hard to take.
Two quadragenarians raced to first-place finishes in the 31st annual Wilkes-Barre Triathlon, known for its tricky Back Mountain hills and unpredictable weather. Sean Robbins, 43, of Shavertown, and Amy Rummel, 41, of Kalamazzo, Mich., crossed the finish line first in the men's and women's divisions, respectively.
The Dallas High School football team, under new head coach Bob Zaruta, was preparing for its regular season opener against Wyoming Valley West while Lake-Lehman, under the direction of head coach Jerry Gilsky, was ready for its home opener against Old Forge High School.
Jack Snyder was recognized by his fellow Back Mountain Little League Board members and was presented with a senatorial document issued by Senator Lisa Baker, congratulating him on over 35 years of service to the organization.
Logan Paczewski, 8, of Dallas, finished in the top 10 for the second consecutive year at the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship, placing ninth of 115 golfers from 18 countries can across the U.S. in his age group. He placed fourth in 2011.
The Dallas Jr. Mounts continued their winning ways with a 32-8 win over the Plymouth Indians in Wyoming Valley Youth Football Conference action. Jacob Esposito opened the scoring for the Jr. Mounts with a 15-yard run around the right side. Steven Newell added another with a run around the left behind key blocks by Sean Cuba and Blaine Rex.
Wyoming Valley West junior quarterback Mike Baur ran for three touchdowns and accounted for 25 yards of offense as Wyoming Valley West knocked off Dallas, 28-14, spoiling the debut of Mountaineer coach Bob Zaruta.
Although Lake-Lehman and Old Forge were tied in the closing minutes of the first half, things fell apart so quickly for the Black Knights that it seemed Old Forge drove the ball into the end zone just as fast as the Black Knights gave it away. The Blue Devils scored four touchdowns, all off turnovers, to turn a three-point lead at halftime into a 50-14 victory at Lake-Lehman High School.
The 2012 Wyoming Valley Flames 1-U girls fast pitch team finished a successful 2012 season by winning The Vipers Back to School Bash in Dallas. Members of the team were Alessia Mangan, Aleigha Parnell, Gabby Rakowski, Erin Dunn, Elizabeth Mendrzycki, Madison Stashak, Sarah Tuzinski, Lauren Mullery, Samantha Kern, Emilee Bobos, Jenna Simmons, Kaehler Kivler and Tiffany Eustice.
The newly-formed Misericordia University football team made history – just by setting foot on Mangelsdorf Field in front of about 2,200 fans. Not even a 67-0 thrashing by Widener could dampen the spirits of the Misericordia faithful. The Cougars were held to just 170 yards of offense while Widener amassed almost 700 yards. The loss dropped Misericordia to 0-3 on the season.
Children from ages 3-13 and several parents ran The Ring at Newberry Estate, including the hill by the No. 1 hole, around the scenic pond with quacking ducks and returning to cheers from all at the pavilion. Hunter Landon was the first runner to complete the one mile ring through Newberry. He was followed closely by Liz Shoemaker.
Molly VanScoy was crowned the 2012 Lake-Lehman Homecoming Queen prior to the Black Knights football game with Meyers. The Black Knights scored 30 third-quarter points, erasing a halftime deficit and any hopes of a Meyers' upset in their 50-29 victory. Lehman improved to 4-1 overall, maintaining its top spot atop the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2A-A and District 2 Class 2A standings.
Plans were underway for the Sixth Annual Cheer for a Cause with proceeds to be split between Candy's Place and Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation. The event was started in 2007 by two Lake-Lehman students when one of the Junior Knights coaches was diagnosed with breast cancer. This year, Ashlee Barker and Sommer Sereka, seniors at Lake-Lehman, took on Cheer for a Cause as part of their senior graduation project.
Dallas High School football captains Logan Bullock, Kris Roccograndi, Zach Macosky and Buddy Shutlock presented a wreath to the captains of the Pittston Area team in memory of two recent Pittston Area suicide victims. The Mountaineers reached out to their Pittston Area counterparts prior to the Dallas High School Homecoming game.
Dallas dominated every aspect of its Homecoming game against Pittston Area, handling the Patriots a 35-0 loss in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3A contest. Jenna Morgan was crowned 2012 Homecoming Queen and Buddy Shutlock was named 2012 Homecoming King.
Dallas native Laura Canfield, now of Langhorne, was inducted into the 2012 United States Tennis Association Middle State Tennis Hall of Fame at the Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem. Canfield is the only female player to capture back-to-back Wyoming Valley championships (triple crowns), winning singles, doubles and mixed doubles in the same year.
Kieran Sutton, a senior at Lake-Lehman, crossed the finish line first in the boys AA District 2 cross country meet at Elk Lake High School, beating Dominic DeLuca of Dallas by just nine seconds. Regan Rome of Dallas finished first in the AA girls division, running the 3.1 mile course in 20:17.
The Dallas Jr. Mounts concluded their fifth straight perfect season with their fifth consecutive Super Bowl championship by defeating the WWWE Panthers, 14-6.
Ashley Dunbar hit a milestone, scoring four times to reach 100 goals for her soccer career at Dallas High School in a 12-0 route of the Preppers of MMI Prep.
Dallas defensive tackle Logan Bullock and Buddy Shutlock led a defense that held Lake-Lehman to minus 17 yards on 31 carriers as Dallas posted a 51-6 victory to clinch the final District 2 Class 3A spot and earn the right to take the coveted Old Shoe trophy back to Mountaineer territory.
The Dallas Junior High Cheer Team captured first place at the College Misericordia Cougars Challenge Cheer competition. Members of the squad were Angela Bendick, Ashlie Alves, Brianna Rinehimer, Kiley Brittain, Maddie Hurst, Lauren Alves, Ariyonna Martin, Sara Schwartz, Aneilia Cummings, Erica VanEtten, Marissa Roberts, Tori Landon, Jayden Dinardi, Frankie Treslar, Savannah Goechel, Mia Greenwood, Katelyn DeAnthony and Olivia Rinaldi.
Dallas High School alumni soccer players met at Lt. Michael Cleary Field for the annual alumni soccer game held in memory of former Mountaineer soccer coach John McCafferty.
Dallas junior Regan Rome proved she could keep up with the best high school distance runners in the country. Concluding her season in the Foot Locker Cross Country National Finals in San Diego, Rome finished 19th out of the 40 girls who had qualified through regional competition after finishing high in their various state meets.
The Dallas High School baseball program was getting new dugouts and the students of West side Career and Technology Center in Pringle were getting valuable experience.