Dakosty Jr. makes visit to Marian
It was a familiar face, and a familiar name, on the field last week at Men of Marian stadium.
Only the Colts and their legendary head coach were spectators.
While on their way to Georgetown for a Saturday afternoon contest, Colgate head coach Stan Dakosty Jr. brought his team to Marian for a very special Friday walk through on the field that bears his father’s name.
“Having a Division I team work out on our field, and to watch how well the practice was structured and the way they go about their business and so forth, I know our kids were really impressed by it, as was I. I’ve seen them practice before, but it was still really neat,” said Stan Sr. “Stan (Jr.) asked about it, and our principal and our AD (Peter Sanfilippo) made it work. It was a great day for a lot of people. They tried to limit the crowd, and the amount of people coming up, so it wasn’t too much. It was mainly the Marian community, and family and friends and that type of thing. But it was really great.
“And then they turned around and beat Georgetown on Saturday, so that made it even better.”
The elder Dakosty still talks to his son often, and was eager to have him return to his alma mater for a very special visit, which happened to be a week before the school celebrates its homecoming.
“A couple weeks ago, Stan called me and he said because it’s about halfway down (to Georgetown), he would like to stop and do a walk through on the field,” said Stan Sr. “I knew Mr. (Mike) Brennan (head of school), who does a great job for us, would be all in, and he and Pete (Sanfilippo) did a great job of making it work, once we settled on a time. They brought over 100 people ... so it was a large contingent, but it was really good.”
The walk through lasted 55 minutes, more than enough time to leave a lasting impression on those who were able to witness it.
“Our kids were all eyes and ears watching what was going on,” said Dakosty, whose team watched from the bleachers. “The NCAA did not allow Stan to talk to them or any of his players to talk to them, but they had a little cheer going on, and that kind of thing. But the kids really commented to different people, even in school, about how neat it was. Some of our teachers came out and watched it. Stan’s an alum (2001), so it was his way of giving back to the school, and a real positive experience. We’re hoping it becomes an annual thing if they travel this way and are going by bus.
“If they’re going down toward Georgetown again, or somewhere in that range, maybe we can do it again. A lot of people worked hard to make it happen, and they are a first-class operation all the way through. They’re all dedicated to the program, and it was great to show the community what they’re all about and how they handle themselves. I think it’s great for any young athlete to see. I’m so happy our football players had a chance to see them on our football field at Men of Marian Stadium. “
Dakosty wasn’t able to get to the Georgetown game, a 28-21 victory for Colgate.
He was, however, able to attend the team’s first four games, including a 30-3 victory over Lehigh at home in Week 4 - the first win for Dakosty as head coach.
But it was the season opener at Boston College that’s a memory that will always stay with Dakosty.
“It’s hard to put into words,” said Dakosty. “It’s very emotional for me. I think it’s very emotional for both of us. When we went up to Boston College, there were over 30,000 people I guess, and seeing him come out of that tunnel, leading his team, was really one of the great moments of my life, it really was. Last week was a great follow up to that. Him bringing his team down to our stadium, and seeing how they were all business ... they were well organized, and efficient, and they’ve got a nice things going now, winning two in a row. So we’re excited for him.
“He’s worked hard to get to this point. He’s paid his dues, and he’s ready for it. He knows what he wants to do, and he knows how he wants to do it.”
Dakosty was named Fred and Marilyn Dunlap head football coach at Colgate in August. The 30th head coach in school history, he previously earned the associate head coach title in July 2017, after originally being named to the Red Raider coaching staff back in 2007.
Dakosty had previously been named the interim head coach in May.
“Talking as a father, as a football coach, I felt he really had everything he needed to be successful,” said Stan Sr. “And I told him many times, I thought he was going to be a great coach. We hoped it would happen, and it did, and he was ready for it. He represents so many of our former players who have been successful in all parts of their life, and it’s great for our players to see another former successful Marian alum come back and share some time at the school. It shows he hasn’t forgotten where he came from. He represents so many of our alumni who feel that way, and that’s why Marian’s the special place that it is.”
Dakosty has been a part of seven of Colgate’s 10 Patriot League titles, both as a player and a coach. Dakosty’s run of Patriot League titles includes the 2003 run to the national championship game.
No matter his position, or how long he’s been on the sideline, the elder Dakosty still watches his son with the same passion, at home or in the stands.
“We talked before and after,” Dakosty said of the Georgetown game. “We usually talk to each other before and after a game. And we were able to watch it, so I was sitting here with my wife a nervous wreck watching every play. To see them pull it out was nice. His biggest fan is his sister, Kathy. She’s down in Philly, but she got to see it on TV. She’s a great supporter of him, and he of her. We’ve had a bunch of relatives already make it up to home games at Colgate, which is really nice. It’s a beautiful school with great facilities.”
Community and family support have helped Stan Jr. continue to climb the ranks in his coaching career.
“I’m very very proud of both my children,” said Stan Sr. “My wife (Mary) deserves a ton of credit for the way both of them have turned out, because she was there all the time with them, and she’s the head coach of our family. But I am proud of both of them, and Stan’s worked hard for this, and prepared himself. It’s one thing to get an opportunity, but it’s another when the opportunity comes to be ready for it. I think Marian certainly played a part in the role of him being ready. He’s a Colgate alum, so he knows how the school works, he knows the program, he’s all in.”
That connection was strengthened last week.
“Someone grabbed me after his first win, after they beat Lehigh, and said Stan was born to coach at Colgate, he was born for this job,” said Dakosty. “He’s also a very good father and husband, which is most important, and he has a great wife and kids.”
MILESTONE GAME ... On Friday, Jim Thorpe will travel to Northern Lehigh to take on the Bulldogs.
While the game features two teams with identical 3-3 records and hopes of reaching the district playoffs, the matchup is also significant for another reason.
The contest will be Mark Rosenberger’s 250th as head coach of the Olympians.
Rosenberger took over at Thorpe in 1998, and currently has a career record of 154-95. He has had 19 winning seasons, including 10-win seasons in both 2004 and 2017.
MIGHTY MATT ... Palmerton’s Matt Machalik had quite the game last Friday against Schuylkill Haven.
Machalik scored four touchdowns, including runs of 82 and 77 yards. The last time a Bomber player had two scores of 75 yards or more in the same game was Sept. 4, 2015 when Toby Sander returned kickoffs 88 and 80 yards for touchdowns. That same game was also the last time a Palmerton player had a TD run of at least 82 yards, as Mike Stasko had a 96-yarder against Wilson in the 55-34 win.
Machalik finished with 227 yards rushing on just seven carries. Since 1988, there have only been five other times that a Times News area player finished a game with less than 10 carries but more than 200 yards. They include Pleasant Valley’s Austyn Borre (8-246 on 9/7/12) and Mike Mitchell (6-214 on 10/21/16), Jim Thorpe’s Jason Figura (9-220 on 10/22/04) and Jared Schrantz (8-205 on 9/23/95) and Panther Valley’s Lou Clouser (7-203 on 10/2/20).
JT SPREADS THE WEALTH ... Jim Thorpe, behind a solid running game, cruised to a 47-15 victory over Pen Argyl last Friday.
Without the benefit of a 100-yard rusher (Cameron Tinajero led the team with 78 and Derryl Fisher ended with 74), the Olympians still finished with 320 yards on the ground.
The last time Thorpe had that many rushing yards in a game with none of its players reaching 100 was Sept. 20, 1997 against Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech. In that contest, Joe Halenar ran for 80 yards and Mike Wernett collected 78 as the team finished with 334.
TONS OF SCORING ... Northern Lehigh and North Schuylkill played a wild game last Friday, with the Spartans eventually winning by a 56-42 score.
Since the school’s name change from Slatington to Northern Lehigh in 1981, the Bulldogs have played 454 games. The 98 combined points are the most ever in any of those games. The previous high was 95 on Oct. 1, 2010 in a 67-28 win over Salisbury.
Over that same time span, it also marked the first time Nolehi had scored 35 in a game and lost. The Bulldogs had been 98-0 prior to that when posting at least 35 points.
MORE NO. LEHIGH NOTES ... The scoring wasn’t the only thing noteworthy in Northern Lehigh’s contest at North Schuylkill.
In the game, the Bulldogs’ Trevor Amorim broke the school’s record for receiving yards in a game. Amorim caught four passes for 182 yards, which included touchdowns of 74 and 72 yards. The total passes the old mark of 159, which was accomplished by Craig Scheffler on Nov. 21, 1980 in a win against Palmerton. Ironically, Scheffler had four catches in that game, with two going for TDs.
Bulldog quarterback Dylan Smoyer finished the game with 255 yards through the air. That yardage pushed his season total to 1,033.
The last Northern Lehigh quarterback to reach 1,000 yards passing in a season was Bo Tkach in 1999. Tkach ended that year with 1,084.