Western Wayne junior Luke Janiszewski ran for 174 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries, had two sacks and recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a score in the Wildcats’ season-opening 20-2 win over Dunmore.
That effort earns Janiszewski the distinction of being named the first Athlete of the Week for the 2021-22 scholastic sports season. This is the 72nd year for the program.
Here is more from his interview:
Family: Father, Kenny; mother, Kari; grandmother, Sharon; brother, Zane
Other sports I play: Baseball, wrestling
Favorite teams: Seattle Seahawks, Boston Red Sox
Athletes I admire: I like Tim Tebow a lot. I respect how he rides alone, doesn’t care what people think about him and stands for what he believes in. I really admire him.
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite music: I like old rock. It gets me pumped up at practice. AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses.
Superstitions and rituals: Me and coach Kevin Roginski get pumped before a game listening to music together. Coach Kev, he’s my main man.
Three people I’d like to have dinner with: “The Rock” (Dwayne Johnson); Russell Wilson; the Queen of England. She seems pretty cool.
After teammate Caden Brungard went out with an injury, how did the team maintain its focus and not have a letdown? Caden’s a huge player and has a big role on the team. But Dunmore is a very good team and we knew we had a job to do. Our goal for the game was to play smash-mouth football and come out with a win. It wasn’t over, we had a lot left to do. We just played our offense — slow, methodical football, pushing it down the field and it let to the win.
How was the defense able to stymie a good offensive team like Dunmore? All week long, coach was griping on us that we really needed to rally to the ball. They have some quick players. So everyone was running to the ball. Once one person was on the ball, there were five more black hats coming. As soon as we had the runner wrapped up, we were all over him. They couldn’t really run the ball on us.
How do you take the momentum from this win and move forward? We know Caden is a big loss, but still can do things and have good games without him. We have to hope for the best, but if he’s not back we know we can still win games and play hard football.
Goals for the season, both team and individual. As a team, we set high standards. We haven’t beat (Scranton) Prep yet, so that’s one we put on the bulletin board every year. But we can’t just focus on one game. We’re going to take it game by game and the best goal is 10-0, then make the playoffs and run right through it. Individually, I try to be as modest as I can. I just want to do my part, help the team out and get us some victories.
Your older brother Zane was a standout athlete at Western Wayne. How have you handled being in his shadow? I take it as motivation. That’s been the case the past two years. I tried to make my own name last year and had quite a few tackles. Coming into this year, I really worked hard in the weight room so I could put up big numbers. Got faster, got taller. I’m just trying to do my part and help the team out. Zane obviously was a good player and I have big shoes to fill. I’m just going to do my best to do my part and try my hardest every game. Is there pressure to live up to the standard he set? I hear it a lot and it’s in the back of my mind. I try to focus on beating his goals, maybe one-up him. But I just try to be my own player. We’re totally different players.
Post-graduation plans: I’ve been to a few camps, but I’m just going to see where this year takes me. If I get any looks or scholarships, I’ll definitely consider it. But as of right now, I’m open-minded to where this year takes me.
During more than 30 years at The Times-Tribune, Scott has covered everything from high schools to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. His current beats include motor sports, local colleges, high school cross country and high school baseball. He also is a copy editor and page designer. His articles have won awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Eastern Motorsports Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Pro Chapter and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Keystone Press. He also has been honored by the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League and the Minor League Football Alliance. In 2016, he was presented the Media Service Award by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. A Long Island, New York, native, Scott graduated from the University of Scranton in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He lives in Peckville with his wife, Andrea, and daughters, Bridget and Emily. Contact him at email@example.com; 570-348-9100, x5109; or @swalshTT on Twitter