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Issue Home October 8, 2002 Site Home

Local Sports Scene
Junior Sabers Results
Athlete of the Month
Jeff Rood Running Well At M.U.
Susky High Hosts Wrestling Camp

Local Sports Scene
By Tom J. Robinson

Maxey, Vandenhengel Qualify For State Tournament

Montrose's Dylan Maxey and Elk Lake's Carla VandenHengel qualified for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association golf championships with their play in last week's District 2 championships at Wilkes-Barre Golf Club.

Maxey placed third in the boys' event where the top six qualified after the field was trimmed to the top 21 players for the final nine holes of the 27-hole event.

VandenHengel took the district's third and final state berth with her play in the 18-hole girls' tournament.

Maxey and teammate Aaron Olah were tied for the lead after shooting even-par, 72s in the first 18, but both struggled over the final nine holes.

Tony Tosh of Wilkes-Barre Coughlin finished as medalist with a 74-38--112, followed by Justin Alunni of Valley View with 75-38--113 and Maxey with 72-42--114.

Olah shot 72-43--115, wound up in a five-way tie for the final three berths and lost out in a playoff.

Dave Osborne of Carbondale Sacred Heart birdied the first hole after shooting 75-40 for his 115.

Nick Paone of Valley View followed his 77-38 by qualifying with a par of the first hole.

Mike Heller of Berwick, who shot 76-39, took the last spot with a par on the second hole.

Olah and Scranton Prep's Jake Dougherty, who shot 75-40, were eliminated. No other local players were among the 21 who shot 79 or better.

Forest City's Mike Sterchak was in a six-way tie for 22nd with an 80. Montrose's Mike Stranburg and Colin Huntley joined Forest City's Sean Pedley at 82.

Other county scores were: Rhett Butler, Mountain View, 86; Tom Blaisure, Elk Lake, 87; Dan Sokoloski, Montrose, 88, and Joe LaBarbera, Montrose, 93.

In the girls' tournament, VandenHengel finished behind Wilkes-Barre GAR's Holly Shubilla (77) and Hazleton Area's Catie Lauver (84).

While Maxey is returning to the state tournament after placing 22nd a year ago, VandenHengel will be making her first appearance. Last season, as a sophomore, she failed to even make it through the league qualifier which sends half of the players to the district tournament.

"That's a pretty big advancement in one year," Elk Lake coach Bob Hotchkiss said.

VandenHengel, whose brother Hank is a club pro, is a regular in the Elk Lake lineup competing against boys in league matches. She has helped the improving Warriors to a 5-7 record.

"She hits it awful far, almost as far as a lot of the boys," Hotchkiss said. "I think those matches have given her some confidence."

Montrose's Kaitlyn Kuroski was the ninth in the 24-player field with a 104. Forest City's Stephanie Sterchak shot 143.


Joe Cosmello was the workhorse as Montrose won its third straight football game, 26-13, over Mid Valley.

Cosmello carried 36 times for 288 yards and two touchdowns to lead a 360-yard rushing attack for the Meteors.

Cosmello scored 14 straight points on the two touchdowns and a two-point conversion run during the second and third quarters to put Montrose in front, 20-6.

Matt Remington's 13-yard run and Justin Marbaker's 35-yard interception return accounted for Montrose's other scoring.

Marbaker's interception return for a touchdown was his second of the season. The sophomore also ran back an interception to start the second-week rout of Susquehanna.

Susquehanna remained the only winless team in the Lackawanna Football Conference when the Sabers lost at Lakeland, 40-0, Friday night.

In boys' soccer, Forest City rallied behind second-half goals by Matt Pisarcik and Tom Kernoschak to defeat St. Gregory's Academy, 2-1, Wednesday in a game between two of the top contenders in Division D of the Lackawanna League.

In field hockey, Montrose remains winless in Wyoming Valley Conference Class AA action, but the Lady Meteors picked up their third win overall Friday with a 3-1 win in a crossover against Class AAA Pittston Area. Halley Rounds scored two goals and got the assist when Katie Bush scored the other.


District 2 of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association has made plans for many of its remaining fall sports championships.

Girls' team tennis semifinals are Oct. 14 at Kirby Park, followed by the finals the next day. Singles play is set for Oct. 17 at Kirby Park, with the finals the next day at a site to be announced. Doubles play also opens at Kirby Park Oct. 21 with the finals set for Oct. 23.

The cross country championship will be held Oct. 23 at Scranton Municipal.

Soccer is scheduled to open with quarterfinal play Oct. 25-26 at the home of the higher-seeded teams. Semifinals will be played Oct. 28, also on the home field of the higher seed, before the finals are played on a neutral site later that week.

Semifinals are scheduled for Oct. 25-26 in field hockey. The finals will be in an Oct. 30 doubleheader at Lackawanna County Stadium.


The Lackawanna Football Conference is returning to divisional play this week with both county teams playing home games.

Montrose (1-1 in the division, 4-2 overall) plays Western Wayne, the last-place team in Division II at 0-2 and 1-5. Susquehanna (0-2, 0-6) plays Lackawanna Trail, the first-place team in Division III at 2-0 and 5-1.

Last week's predictions were 8-2, leaving my season record at 48-20 (70.6 percent).

This week's predictions, with winners in CAPS: MONTROSE 34, Western Wayne 12; LACKAWANNA TRAIL 40, Susquehanna 16; DUNMORE 26, Scranton Prep 9; WEST SCRANTON 24, Honesdale 20; LAKELAND 21, Carbondale 10; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 37, Wallenpaupack 7; SCRANTON 50, North Pocono 16; VALLEY VIEW 17, Delaware Valley 15; OLD FORGE 30, Riverside 8; MID VALLEY 34, Bishop O'Hara 14.


Matthew Reichlen, a Montrose graduate from Friendsville, is a tri-captain of the University of Scranton cross country team in this, his senior season.

Reichlen, a three-time letter winner already, has been a fixture in a balanced lineup. He opened the season with his strongest race of the year and had two other strong finishes since.

In the season opening Marywood Invitational, Reichlen finished second overall to lead the Royals to the championship in the four-team event.

Reichlen was third best on his team, one second behind teammate Matt Hoffman, and 22nd overall while helping the Royals place fourth in the 20-team Lebanon Valley Invitational.

Running in a strong field in the Bronx, NY, Reichlen was Scranton's second-best runner, placing 52nd overall as the Royals took 12th in the 26-team New York University Invitational.

Reichlen, a biology major, is a two-time Middle Atlantic Conference Academic Honor Roll selection for fall sports.

TOM J. ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached on-line at

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It's EARNHARDT, JR. At Talladega, Talladega, AL – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won at Talladega for the third straight time. Tony Stewart finished second and took over the points lead. For only the third time in the history of the Talladega track, the race was caution-free.

But the Winston Cup Series point's race changed even before Sunday's EA Sports 500 went green.

During the final pace lap, Mark Martin was weaving back and forth, warming up his tires when the steering column of his No. 6 Viagra Ford locked in place, sending him into the side of point's leader Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet.

Johnson's Chevrolet suffered extensive damage to the right side, and he was forced to pit under the green flag. He returned to the track on the lead lap, but was quickly caught and passed by the race leaders, and was out of the race after 52 laps.

Earnhardt Jr., who started 13th, led the final 38 laps as his No. 8 Budweiser team was one of just a handful of teams that managed enough fuel mileage to complete the 188-lap event on five stops using the 13-gallon fuel cells NASCAR put into use for this event.

He joined Buddy Baker as the only other driver to win three straight Talladega races, as well as winning a $1 million No Bull 5 bonus from Winston for his team and for a race fan.

Jamie McMurray, driving the No. 40 Dodge for the injured Sterling Marlin, ran out of fuel before he pitted on Lap 104, and lost time trying to refire the engine after coasting in. He finished 26th.

On Lap 126, Jeff Gordon's Chevrolet slowed dramatically down the backstretch. He came to pit road and his crew immediately checked under the hood then pushed the No. 24 behind the wall. He wound up 42nd and is now seventh in points.

Top ten finishing order: 1. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 2. Tony Stewart, 3. Ricky Rudd, 4. Kurt Busch, 5. Jeff Green, 6. Steve Park, 7. Ryan Newman, 8. Michael Waltrip, 9. Dale Jarrett, 10. Ward Burton.

Top-10 points leaders after 30 of 36 races: 1. Stewart-3958, 2. Martin-3886, 3. Johnson-3876, 4. Newman-3821, 5. R. Wallace-3811, 6. Kenseth-3757, 7. J. Gordon-3757, 8. Elliott-3729, 9. Rudd-3712, 10. Marlin-3703.

Name The Top-Five, Win The Cash – Now you can win $100, or an 8X10 photo of the 2002 Winston Cup champion. Here's how: On a sheet of paper, list who you think will be the final top-five finishers in order; first, second, third, fourth and fifth in this year's Winston Cup Series, and mail it to the Racing Reporter, along with your address.

In case of more than one winner, the $100 prize will be split evenly. The second through tenth-place winners will receive an 8X10 photograph of this year's champion.

Only one entry per family. All entries must be postmarked by October 15, and received by October 19. No exceptions. Winners will be announced in the November 17 column after the last race of the season at Homestead, Florida.

STERLING MARLIN Update, Mooresville, NC - Sterling Marlin won't have to undergo surgery on his neck. Marlin is currently wearing an Aspen collar which keeps the cervical vertebrae stable. He is expected to wear it for a minimum of four weeks. The fracture will heal naturally and Sterling is currently not scheduled to undergo surgery.

He is scheduled to get back in the No. 40 Coors Dodge in time for testing at Daytona in January.

SEGARS So Good In Talladega, Talladega AL – Hungry for his career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series victory, Keith Segars, in the Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q Chevrolet, filled up with a huge victory in the 40th running of the Food World 300 Saturday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway while Frank Kimmel clinched his fourth RE/MAX Series national championship in five seasons.

Segars held off the Talladega train for the final 36 laps to earn the hard-fought victory in his 30th RE/MAX Series attempt.

"I don't know what to say," said Segars after the race. "It feels so good. I haven't felt this way before. We went out in the final practice and were just a little off. We made a decision to change the gear and they told me my restarts wouldn't be as good as what we really wanted. But Larry McClure (team owner) promised me if I ever got it into fourth gear, it would really go."

Top ten finishing order: 1. Keith Segars, 2. Chad Blount, 3. Frank Kimmel, 4. Rick Carelli, 5. Jason Jarrett, 6. Richard Mitchell, 7. Mark Gibson, 8. Michael Vergers, 9. Robby Benton, 10. Bobby Venturini.

Top-10 ARCA leaders after Talladega: 1) Frank Kimmel 5680; 2) Chad Blount 5170; 3) Jason Jarrett 4695; 4) Chase Montgomery 4400; 5) Shelby Howard 4350; 6) Billy Venturini 4310; 7) Ron Cox 4130; 7) Mark Gibson 4130; 9) Andy Belmont 4105; 10) Norm Benning 3880.

Weekend Racing

The Busch and Winston Cup cars are at Charlotte, while the Craftsman Trucks go west to Las Vegas.

Saturday, October 12, Busch Series Little Trees 300, 29 of 34 races, 200 laps/300 miles, 1 p.m. TV: TNT.

Sunday, October 13, Winston Cup UAW-GM Quality 500, 31 of 36 races, 334 laps/500 miles, 12 noon TV: NBC.

Craftsman Trucks Orleans 350K, 19 of 22 races, 145 laps/197.5 miles, 5 p.m. TV: ESPN.

Racing Trivia Question: Who was be the driver of the No. 23 Hills Bros. Dodge at Talladega?

Answer To Last Week's Question: Ward is the oldest of the two Burton brothers.

Gerald Hodges/the Racing Reporter is a syndicated NASCAR columnist. If you have a racing question that you would like answered send it to The Racing Reporter, P.O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL, 36616, or e-mail it to:

The Money Race Fueling NASCAR Costs

"Son," the manager of the Comfort Inn in Reidsville, North Carolina said to me, "It's time you brought yourself up to date. This world changes every day, and all we're doing is going along. I'm sorry if you are disappointed with us, but if you check around, you'll find we are very competitive."

This past spring, the rate at the Reidsville Comfort Inn, an hour's drive from Martinsville, Virginia was $69. When I called to make a reservation two days ago, I was told the new rate was $129. It sounds like they might be price-gougers, right?


Martinsville Speedway is one of my favorite tracks. The folks that own it are friendly and it is a small track where I am able to get good photographs of the drivers to use in my columns.

Finding a place to stay close to Martinsville or any track at a reasonable rate is often hard to do.

Room rates, when available near any major track runs from $150 upwards, topping out at $500.

The question is why racing costs are on such a steep spiral? We've all heard the adage, "Speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?" Every race car fan is aware that new technology costs have skyrocketed, but only those who attend NASCAR events are really aware of what is happening outside the track.

Last January I stayed at the Innkeeper South in Winston Salem, North Carolina at a $49 per night rate. Their new rate is $89, and they are almost a two-hour drive from Martinsville.

We blame a lot of things on NASCAR, but I don't think we can lay this dog at their feet. It's simply smart business. Like the man at the Reidsville Comfort Inn, said, "When we know we're going to be booked up, we adjust our rates."

The rising motel/hotel costs doesn't just hit the fans, but teams also. The 45 or more teams that travel on a weekly basis to the racing venues bring between 30-75 people with them.

A fifty per cent increase in lodging costs can add up to a bundle at the end of the year.

But lodging isn't the only major price increase.

This past spring, a ticket on Delta Airlines from Mobile to Winston Salem/Greensboro Airport cost me $206 plus tax. The same ticket on the same flight now lists for $299.

These are examples of the high cost of racing. I'm sure I could come up with additional ones that affect the fan, teams, and tracks, but I think you've gotten the message.

The question is, who pays for these increased prices? It's you and me and the man at the end of the road – the sponsor.

By my own estimation, the costs just to house and feed one team member on the road increased by $2,500 over last season.

This is just a small portion of a Winston Cup team's budget, but it shows how and where some of the increased costs are and how everyone involved in the sport is affected.

My three-day costs to attend The Old Dominion 500, October 20 at Martinsville have risen by a whopping $452. That's a 39 per cent increase. But like most NASCAR fans, I will somehow manage to find the extra dollars, and be happy that I can still afford it.

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Junior Sabers Results

Following are Susquehanna Junior Sabers football results from October 6.

D Game – Final Score: Sabers 7, Wildcats 6

Stats: Rushing – #1 Jared Lawson 3 car. 5 yds., #8 Caleb Scepaniak 6 car. 55 yds. 1 td, #11 Cole Mallery 3 car. 2 yds., #71 Austin Cowperthwait 4 car. 11 yds., #84 Brooke Andersen 1 car. 2 yds. 1 xp. Tackles – #11 Cole Mallery 4, #71 Austin Cowperthwait 3, #8 Caleb Scepaniak 2, #1 Jared Lawson, #32 Alex Peksa, #62 Timothy Flanagan, #83 Adam Stout each had one. Assist – #83 Adam Stout 2, #8 Caleb Scepaniak 1, #71 Austin Cowperthwait 1. Fumble Recovery by #8 Caleb Scepaniak, #62 Timothy Flanagan, #71 Austin Cowperthwait.

C Game – Final Score: Sabers 0, Wildcats 14

Stats: Rushing – #12 Kevin Cavanaugh 12 car. 14 yds., #23 Greg Price 2 car. 14 yds., #85 James Norton 5 car. 6 yds. Tackles – #12 Kevin Cavanaugh, 4, #75 Jarret Coleman 3, #71 Austin Cowperthwait 2, #74 Justin Johnson 2, #55 Steven Lee 2, #23 Greg Price 2, #85 James Norton 2, #11 Cole Mallery 1. Assist – #12 Kevin Cavanaugh 2, #11 Cole Mallery, #23 Greg Price, #38 Taylor Cundey, #55 Steven Lee, #74 Justin Johnson, #85 James Norton each had one. Fumble Recovery by #71 Austin Cowperthwait.

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Jessica Squier Is September's Athlete of the Month

Some would be thrilled with what Jessica Squier accomplished as a freshman cross country runner.

Squier, a sophomore at Elk Lake, is not at all happy with her performance while placing 47th in the state Class AA championships and seventh the state's freshmen. She is pleased, however, with what she learned.

"I hadn't raced in big races very much," Squier said. "I kind of had the mentality that I was nervous, so I wouldn't do well. Just the experience of having gone through that is an asset running in big races now."

Squier was much more prepared when she made it back to the state championships - in track - in the spring. She finished 13th in the 1600 meters where the top 12 advance to the finals for a shot at a state medal.

"I ran a 5:19 at states, I was real happy with that. It was seven seconds better than my previous best," she said. "It was very good having gone to cross country states. I was able to make my own opinion of how I had to run the race."

Squier's sophomore season has turned into one steady preparation for an improved state performance.

The latest County Transcript Athlete of the Month has been near perfect in that process.

Squier is undefeated in dual meet competition, has a championship in the Lackawanna County Commissioners Invitational and has been beaten just once when she placed third in an invitational of more than 50 teams at Bloomsburg University.

It has been a record-setting season as well. Squier set, then broke her own record on the McDade Park course used for league meets in Scranton. In her only two home meets, including one that was the first competition of October, Squier has broken the Elk Lake course records.

"I'd like to medal at states," said Squier, who finished in 21:05.4 in last year's state meet. "I'd like to run in the low 19s, around 19:20 or so."

As a home-schooled student who lives in the district, Squier competes with Elk Lake teams. She also attends some classes at the Susquehanna County Vo Tech.

Jessica is the daughter of Will and Laura Squier. Her father is also her cross country coach.

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Jeff Rood Running Well At M. U.

Millersville, PA – Jeff Rood, a junior on the Millersville University men’s cross country team, had a fine performance at the Elizabethtown College "Battle for the Buggy." Rood finished in tenth place, with a time of 19:50 on the 6-km course.

In the overall team standings, Millersville finished second behind Elizabethtown College. The Marauders’ next meet is Saturday, October 12 at the Penn State National Invitational.

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Susky High Hosts Wrestling Camp

The Susquehanna Community High School wrestling team hosted a Penn State University wrestling camp June 17-19. Forty-two wrestlers from area schools participated in this three-day camp. The camp featured Sammie Henson, an Olympic silver medalist and world champion, and four-time PIAA state champion and NCAA champion John Hughes.

Pictured (l-r) are: PSU assistant wrestling coach, Dave Hart; SCHS wrestlers Tim Redington and Shane Beamer; SCHS head wrestling coach, Robert Presley.

Thanks are extended to all the wrestlers that attended the camp and to all the people who helped make it a success.

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