DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Hundreds gather in Dunmore to witness a High School football coaching legend receive a special award. It’s not for his team’s wins or championships.
A standing ovation for the beloved Bucks Football Coach Jack Henzes as he accepts the Pio Ferrario Christian Witness Award. The honor is given to someone who is an extraordinary member of the Catholic Faith. Father David Cappelloni explains the honor hasn’t been given out in many years, but this time, it’s different.
“We thought that it would be nice to recognize someone in the community who lived the values of tehir faith and who witnessed to Christ’s present in the community, and Coach Henzes has done that consistently as a coach and as a teacher,” states Father David Cappelloni.
This accolade comes three months after controversy surrounding one of the staples of the football team. After being contacted by a concerned resident, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation took issue with Coach Henzes leading the pre-game prayer. The ordeal brought the team and much of the Dunmore community together. The players continued the tradition in their next game, kneeling in prayer, albeit without their tactical and emotional leader, but Coach Henzes never lost his faith.
Senior running back Colin Holmes says he’s proud of his coach for persevering. “That’s the kind of man he is, he teaches it to us, these are life lessons that I will carry out for the rest of my life,” says Holmes.
“We teach our players, number one is have your faith in God, number two is love your family, and number three is be on our team and in our community,” says Coach Henzes.
Henzes says he hopes that he can continue to make a positive impact, and has this message for the Freedom from Religion Foundation. “I respect their views, but at the same time I hope that they respect what we do here in Dunmore”.
Coach Henzes has been coaching at Dunmore High SChool since 1971. He is actually related to the man the award is named after, Pio Ferrario.