Wyoming Area to induct five into alumni association’s Ring of Pride during game Friday, Nov. 6

By Nick Wagner - nwagner@timesleader.com

Wyoming Area’s Ring of Pride will induct five new members during Friday’s game against Pittston Area.

Don Hindmarsh, Phil Russo, Tony Bonomo, Michael Laffey and Joe Marianacci, will all be inducted by the Wyoming Area Football Alumni Association during a special presentation at halftime.

Along with honoring the five new members to the Ring of Pride, the alumni association will also honor the 1995 Wyoming Valley Conference championship team. In 1995, the Warriors, led by Hindmarsh, outscored their opponents by more than 100 points. The team ultimately lost to Dunmore in the district final.

The former players have been voted into the Ring of Pride based on their excellence and leadership in athletics, academics and community service. The alumni association started its Ring of Pride in 1998. Since then, the association has inducted nearly 80 members.

This year’s inductees include:

Don ‘Beaver’ Hindmarsh

Don “Beaver” Hindmarsh is a 1996 graduate of Wyoming Area. The current Exeter resident was a two-time letter winner on the football team and also earned a letter in track and field.

On the team, Hindmarsh was the fullback, punter, place kicker and tight end. In his senior year, the Warriors win the Class AA Division 2 championship. He was named first-team All-Conference in senior year.

At Wilkes University, Hindmarsh studied psychology and sociology. He was a two-year starter for the Colonels at fullback and punter.

Hindmarsh is currently employed at the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. He and his wife, Jaime, have a 10-year-old daughter named Madeline. He’s currently a member and parish lector at St. Monica’s Parish in West Wyoming. He’s also a coach for Greater Wyoming Area softball.

Phil Russo

Phil Russo is a 1987 graduate of Wyoming Area. He was a star on both the football and basketball teams. Russo was a varsity starter at quarterback and safety. In his junior year, he was second-team All-Scholastic quarterback. In his senior year, Russo was first-team safety and second team quarterback.

Russo was named co-captain in his senior year of football. He was also a three-time letter winner on the basketball team.

Russo received his BS in mechanical engineering from Lafayette College in 1991. He was a four-year football participant and a letter winner in 1989 and 1990.

Currently living in Havertown, Russo is a little league coach, flag football coach and a basketball coach. He and his wife, Kellie, have three children: Devyn, 16, Lindsey, 14, and David, 9.

Tony Bonomo

Tony Bonomo graduated from Wyoming Area in 1989. He spent three years on the football team as a varsity starter at defensive back and wide receiver.

Bonomo was named to the Times Leader All-Scholastic team in his junior and senior year. He participated in the 1989 UNICO game. Bonomo also returned kicks and punts for Wyoming Area. Tony would later graduate from Dickinson College in 1993.

Currently employed at his family’s third generation business, Barber Ford in Exeter, Bonomo and his wife Jessica, a 1994 Wyoming Area graduate, reside in Shavertown. They have two children: Sara, 5, and Joseph, 3.

Michael Laffey

Michael Laffey is a 1977 graduate of Riverside. For the past 26 years, Laffey has been a staple to the success of many Wyoming Area athletes as a lifting and football coach.

Laffey was named the first Strength and Conditioning coach in the Wyoming Valley in 1989 at Wyoming Area. Since then, he’s coached Wyoming Area athletes into the powerlifting record books with three different bench press record holders and champions.

Laffey resides in West Pittston with his wife of 28 years, Grace (Williams) Laffey. They have two daughters, Brittany of Chicago, and Ellie in West Pittston. Both daughters are athletes and graduates of Wyoming Area.

Joe Marianacci

Joe Marianacci graduated from Wyoming Area in 2004 and is still considered one of the best players to come out of the school.

Marianacci was selected as a third-team All-State defensive back his junior year and was a first-team All-State choice his senior year. In 2002, he picked off 11 passes and followed that with 10 his senior year. But Mariancci will always be remembered in Wyoming Area football for one particular pass.

That came in the District 2 Class AAA championship game against rival Pittston Area. The Warriors drove to the Patriots’ 24-yard line with 7.6 seconds left in the game.

Wyoming Area coach Paul Marranca called for a fake field goal. Marianacci, the holder, took the snap, rose to his feet and completed a 24-yard TD pass to Mark Mattei to give the Warriors the title.


By Nick Wagner


Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

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