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Montrose Golf Team Takes District Title
Dylan Maxey, Aaron Olah and Mike Stranburg led the way as Montrose claimed a pair of golf championships.
The biggest prize came Thursday with the District 2 team championship, but the sweetest victory may have been earlier in the week.
Montrose reached the district championship by beating Valley View, 5-4, to avenge the only setback in an otherwise perfect season.
The Meteors won the Jackman Memorial Tournament title, had the best performance during qualifying for the District 2 individual championships and won all but one Lackawanna League match. The only loss came to Valley View in the league opener.
Montrose followed up the Lackawanna League championship victory Tuesday at Scranton Municipal by beating previously unbeaten Wilkes-Barre Coughlin, 395-405, in a medal-play match for the district title at Glenmaura National Golf Club.
Colin Huntley and Kyle Adriance also contributed to the victories.
In the 18-hole league championship, Stranburg and Olah ended their matches at the 14th hole. At that point, they had each won their singles matches and had combined to win the better-ball point, giving the Meteors an early 3-0 advantage. Stranburg went on to share medalist honors with a 75.
Maxey, playing in the last group, locked up the win. He won his singles point and combined with Adriance to win the clinching better-ball point.
Maxey then led the scoring at Glenmaura. Maxey and Olah each beat District 2 individual champion Tony Tosh's score as Montrose put four players in the 70s, compared to just two by Coughlin.
The Meteors were led by Maxey's 2-over-par, 74, Olah's 75, Stranburg's 77 and Huntley's 79. Adriance added an 89 in the format, which counted five of the team's six scores.
WEEK IN REVIEW
The Montrose golf team was not the only County team to win a title.
The undefeated Blue Ridge volleyball team won its second straight Lackawanna League title.
Forest City pinned down the Lackawanna League Division D championship in boys' soccer.
Elk Lake's Blaire Lord and Montrose's Jen Oliver each advanced through the first round before losing in the second round of the District 2 Class AA tennis singles tournament.
Lord defeated Liz Samanas of Dallas, 6-3, 7-5, then turned in a strong performance in her loss. She was eliminated by eventual semifinalist Angela Pugliese of Scranton Prep, 6-3, 7-5.
Oliver handled Laura Goodfield of Dunmore, 6-0, 6-1, before losing by the same score against sixth-seeded Melissa Walsh of Western Wayne.
Elk Lake's Robyn McMicken and Montrose's Lori Cooper each lost to seeded players in their first-round matches.
Montrose's Joe Cosmello already had more than 1,000 yards rushing when the eighth weekend of the season started.
Cosmello kept adding to those numbers when he piled up 279 yards and four touchdowns on just 13 carries during a 41-0 romp over Bishop O'Hara in a Lackawanna Football Conference crossover game.
The win was the fifth straight for the Meteors (6-2). It was also their third by shutout during the streak.
The winning streak puts Montrose in position where it is playing the two other strongest teams in Division II of the LFC in the final two weekends with a playoff berth - and potentially a division title - at stake.
Montrose is tied for second place with Scranton Prep (5-3) going into Friday night's game against the Cavaliers. The Meteors finish with Lakeland, which is 7-1 overall and has the only unbeaten record in division play.
Susquehanna, the last winless team in District 2, fell to 0-8 with a 45-15 loss to Scranton Prep.
The Sabers, however, are showing some mild improvement offensively. Playing a pair of winning teams in the last two weeks, Susquehanna has averaged 11 points per game, doubling its average for the first six weeks.
Phillip Yannone moved to fullback and scored a touchdown against Lackawanna Trail in his first game as a running back. Erik Hines, the team's leading rusher, went over 100 yards in that game.
Ryan Dubas and Tristan Tarbox connected on touchdown passes of 63 and 27 yards in the fourth quarter against Scranton Prep.
"We still have to improve our line recognition, but the kids are getting there," first-year coach Joe Zabielski said.
THE WEEK AHEAD
District 2's cross country championships are scheduled for Wednesday at Scranton Municipal Golf Course.
The District 2 soccer tournaments will begin Friday and Saturday. Pairings will be set Wednesday.
The American Hockey League rivalry between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Binghamton Senators will make its regular-season debut Friday night at the Broome County Arena in Binghamton. Both teams are off to good starts. The Penguins (3-2-0-0) are second in the South Division while the Senators (3-1-0-0) are leading the East Division.
Susquehanna is home Saturday for its football game against Mid Valley, which is tied for second in Division III of the LFC at 2-1, but has just a 3-5 record overall.
Last week's high school football predictions were 8-2, leaving my season record at 65-23 (73.9 percent).
This week's predictions, with the winners in CAPS: SCRANTON PREP 25, Montrose 13; MID VALLEY 41, Susquehanna 13; DUNMORE 28, Carbondale 17; SCRANTON 46, Honesdale 19; WEST SCRANTON 20, Wallenpaupack 9; LAKELAND 40, Western Wayne 0; LACKAWANNA TRAIL 19, Old Forge 18; VALLEY VIEW 23, North Pocono 0; RIVERSIDE 35, Bishop O'Hara 21; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 33, Delaware Valley 15.
Mike Bowman is the process of setting a series of passing records at Susquehanna University.
Bowman recently added another record for completions in a game when he connected 33 times for 403 yards and five touchdowns in a 52-35 loss to Widener.
The player who still ranks second behind Bowman in career passing is former Susquehanna Sabers quarterback David Battisti.
Battisti threw for 4,087 yards while playing at Susquehanna University from 1987 to 1990. He had the school record until Bowman passed him last season.
Battisti's game-high was 338 yards against Dickinson in 1989, a total that ranked third-highest in school history when he graduated. Bowman has surpassed that mark during a pair of 400-yard games.
TOM J. ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Kurt Busch Spins But Still Wins
Martinsville, VA The much talked about and anticipated tire wear never materialized during Sunday's Old Dominion 500 as Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Roush Racing Ford survived an early spinout and just went fast to win his second race of the season and his career.
Busch gained the lead on lap 401 and led the remaining 99 laps.
"The team is what put me out front," said Busch. "We came in ninth and went out third. It took me about 20-laps to get the tires wore in, and then I could do a lot of damage and go fast."
Busch came from the farthest back (36) in the history of the Martinsville track to win.
Johnny Benson, Ricky Rudd, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Ward Burton rounded out the top-five.
The sixth place finisher Jimmie Johnson was the highest finishing rookie. Rounding out the remaining top-ten were, Ricky Craven, Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, and Mark Martin.
Points leader Tony Stewart came in 11th and is now 82 points ahead of Johnson.
Fords dominated the early stages of the race. After two caution periods during the first 100 laps, the top-three leaders were Rusty Wallace, Ryan Newman, and Jeff Burton-all Ford drivers.
During a pit stop under caution on lap 103, Jeff Gordon's No. 24 team did not get all the lug nuts tightened on one of his tires and he had to come back into the pits a second time. When green flag racing resumed, he was in 36th position.
By lap 125 Tony Stewart, who had qualified 33rd had worked his way up through the field and was fifth.
Kurt Busch brought out the fifth caution when he spun coming out of turn four of lap 179. The leaders when the race continued were Ward Burton, Tony Stewart, and Robby Gordon.
Jeff Gordon brushed the wall on lap 248 and pitted during lap 252 with damage to both front fenders on his No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet. He came back into the pits several times for repairs and wound up 36th; effectively ending any chance he has to win this year's championship with just four races left.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Kurt Busch, 2. Johnny Benson, 3. Ricky Rudd, 4. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 5. Ward Burton, 6. Jimmie Johnson, 7. Ricky Craven, 8. Dale Jarrett, 9. Rusty Wallace, 10. Mark Martin. Top-10 points leaders: 1. Stewart-4263, 2. Johnson-4181, 3. Martin-4140, 4. R. Wallace-4089, 5. Newman-4086, 6. J. Gordon-3972, 7. Busch-3946, 8. Kenseth-3929, 9. Rudd-3923, 10. Jarrett-3862.
WIMMER Wins Memphis Busch Race Here are the top ten results of the NASCAR Busch Series Sam's Town 250 run at Memphis Motorsports Park, Sunday, October 20: 1. Scott Wimmer, 2. Stacy Compton, 3. Jamie McMurray, 4. Hank Parker Jr., 5. Kerry Earnhardt, 6. Tim Sauter, 7. Ron Hornaday, 8. Jay Sauter, 9. David Green, 10. Jason Keller.
Top-10 points leaders after 30 of 34 races: 1. Biffle-4244, 2. Keller-4139, 3. Wimmer-3887, 4. Sprague-3808, 5. McLaughlin-3755, 6. K. Wallace-3667, 7. McMurray-3617, 8. Riggs-3594, 9. Hamilton Jr.-3589, 10. LaJoie-3473.
Is It The Team Or The Driver? Sterling Marlin, the regular driver of the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge was in the pits at Martinsville this past weekend with a brace on his neck after suffering a broken neck vertebrae at Kansas, three races ago.
Two weeks ago at Charlotte, Jamie McMurray filled-in for Marlin and won the UAW-GM 500. Team manager, Tony Glover talked about the importance of both the team and driver in winning a race.
"I think it's a combination of a lot of things, " said Glover. "I don't think a car can be competitive in a race without a good driver. And I don't think a good driver can win a race without having a good car, so it's a combination of everything involved."
Mike Bliss drove the No. 40 Dodge Sunday in the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville because McMurray had previously committed to running the Busch race at Memphis. After qualifying 27th, Bliss finished 14th.
Jimmy Spencer, the other half of the Felix Sabates/Chip Ganassi team and driver of the No. 41 Target Dodge says the days of driving by the seat of your pants are gone.
"Dale Earnhardt was one of the greatest drivers that ever lived, but today, he wouldn't win as many races as he did during his career," said Spencer. "You guys don't realize how critical the decisions that are being made at the shops on Monday morning are and the engineering that goes into these cars and the crews making the right decisions.
"I think the Dale Earnhardt period is over. Dale Earnhardt is the best there ever was at taking a fifth-place race car and winning a race with it. Today, I don't think you can take a fifth-place race car and win a race with it.
"When Chip (Ganassi) picked Jamie, he picked the right guy, but also that team is very, very strong. That's what you're seeing with Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart-they all have strong race teams.
"The drivers are confident in these teams. They'll tell you to jump off a bridge and you'll survive it and sometimes you believe them. That's the confidence you need in your team. It's showing every week in Winston Cup."
Is it the driver, team, or both? You decide. But don't jump off a bridge yet.
The Busch and Winston Cup series are in Atlanta. The Craftsman Trucks do not race again until Nov. 2.
Saturday, October 26: NASCAR Busch Series Aaron's 312, 203 laps/312 miles, 1 p.m. TV: TNT.
Sunday, October 27: Winston Cup NAPA 500, 325 laps/500 miles, Noon TV: NBC.
Racing Trivia Question: Which is the oldest track on the Winston Cup circuit?
Answer To Last Week's Question: Jeff Gordon has the most Winston Cup wins (61) of any active driver. Rusty Wallace is second with 54, and Bill Elliott is third with 43.
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: email@example.com.
Must Be Brave At Martinsville
Martinsville, VA - Hideo Fukuyama, the first Japanese driver to compete on the NASCAR Winston circuit was in Martinsville this past week doing some testing. He made a quick discovery Tuesday morning, one that didn't need English to convey.
When asked through an interpreter the most difficult thing he had experienced during his first couple of hours of testing at Martinsville Speedway, the Japanese driver furiously pumped his right leg to show the need for brakes on the half-mile track.
"It is very slippery," Fukuyama said through his interpreter Yumiko Maeta. "I have never hit the brakes so hard. A driver need to be really brave here. A driver has to do a lot of work here."
Fukuyama hopes to make the Old Dominion 500 field. If he does, it would be his second Winston Cup start in the Haas-Carter Motorsports Ford. In his brief foray into Winston Cup racing, the 47-year-old Fukuyama has discovered a vast difference from the open-wheel racing he does in Japan.
"In Japan, technology is more important. In NASCAR, it depends on the driver," said Fukuyama. "The Winston Cup car is so much heavier ... sometimes I can't handle it like I like."
Fukuyama struggled early with the tight Martinsville turns Tuesday, but had improved dramatically by late in the day. His best lap times were around 21.35 seconds. Bliss and Hamilton ran quick laps of 20.90 while Green's best lap under the clock was a 20.97.
The obvious lack of communication has slowed Fukuyama's progress in adapting to the heavier Winston Cup cars.
"I was really surprised. Everybody has welcomed me," said Fukuyama, a full-time driver in Japan. "It has been surprise how I have been welcomed. That would be impossible in Formula One racing. The drivers here have taught me a lot."
Fukuyama said perhaps his biggest surprise since arriving on the American racing scene has been the fans.
"The fans in Japan ... they are not much excited, not like NASCAR fans. Many, many NASCAR fans stand for most of race. In Japan they sit and are not so excited," said Fukuyama.
Grant Harter, a former Blue Ridge School athlete who was one of their starting soccer players is now doing well at Unity College playing soccer. The Unity College mens soccer team will have a longer season than expected. The Rams current record is 9-4. The record assures them of their tenth winning season. The team competes regionally in the Yankee Small College Conference. This conference consists of 12 colleges throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. The team has also received a bid to compete in the USCAA National Soccer Tournament held in Dallas, TX from October 31 to November 2. This tournament will feature six teams, including colleges from Michigan, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Grant Harter has contributed to the teams success. He has played both fullback and midfield during the season. "Grant gives us quality minutes off of the bench. He has a great attitude and is a true team player," said Unity College coach Gary Zane.
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