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History Of the Stingers

It was November 1970, Bill Farrell, a football coach from the West Scranton area searched for a group of boys to play a football game against his team. His quest lead him to Honesdale where a group of young athletes agreed to play.

It turned out to be a cold snowy day that Thanksgiving. Equipment and uniforms had to be borrowed just so the young Honesdale team could play...There aren't many that remember the score ... but they do remember that this game was the birth of Stinger Youth Football in Honesdale.

The following autumn season saw many local football enthusiasts and parents undertaking the task of organizing these youths and teaching them the fundamentals of football. The Honesdale Booster Club took on responsibility of financially supporting the young Stinger players.

Members of the Booster Club raised funds by selling Honesdale Booster Club cards for $5.00. Parents donated baked goods to be sold at home games. Mrs. Phil Cordaro and her daughter Rosie made candied apples that became a special treat for the many Stinger fans.

Phil Cordaro could be found inside a makeshift shack preparing food and hot drinks. Phil recalls one particular rainy game when he had to stand in several inches of mud and water. After that game, Dan O'Neill orchestrated the construction of a concession stand where Phil could work and still have dry shoes! As support increased for football, so did the high school and youth programs. A larger concession stand was built to include storage and restrooms. The original concession booth is now the "press box" that resides on top of the hill above the home bleachers. There it can look down on all the youth that have been a part of the youth and high school programs.

Many dads and former players have been available to help the young football players get a good start in the game. One only needs to step inside Cordaro's Restaurant, then look left around all of the booths to gather information on Stinger history. A pictorial time line (dating back to the 1970 Thanksgiving Pick - Up Game) starts in the far corner and continues around to the door. Many familiar faces such as Jim Clift, Dick Osborne, Gary Brown, Paul Carachillo, Elmer Becker, Clive Guston, Dave Yadlosky, Leon Kovach, Tony Simahusky, Reed Sandercock, Bill Mander, Ron Rowe and many I didn't know, can be seen smiling with their team.

There were many others that were actively involved with the Stinger program in different capacities. Those like Phil Cordaro, John Firmstone, Bill Rodgers, Joe Hessling, Dr. Hippensteel, Bob Kinsman, and Les Soden along with many others donated time and materials to build the football field and keep the programs growing.

Although this is a history page, we can't forget the many coaches and community supporters throughout the years, who have giving unselfishly of their time and money. Through your generosity, area youth continue to have a place to learn and experience the game of football, engage in cheerleading, and learn to be a part of a team.

Over 30 years have come and gone. Thousands of young boys and girls have been a part of Stinger football and cheerleading programs. Many have gone on to play football in high school and college. Some of past Stinger coaches even played in the original 1970 pick up game.

The organization has grown to include youth in Wayne and Pike counties. Over the years , this organization has had children from Wayne Highlands, Wallenpaupack Area, Western Wayne, and Forest City School Districts, including a number of players traveling as far as New York State. At that point the name of the group was changed to the Wayne Pike Youth Football Organization so it could reflect on the entire area. With the arrival of the Newfoundland Black Bears in 1997, which were originally founded by WPYFO and the Western Wayne Youth Football Organization in the year 2000, which we feel is a welcomed addition, we decided it was time to go back to our roots.

So, we are now the Wayne Highlands Youth Football Organization (WHYFO).
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