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Issue Home July 15, 2003 Site Home

Local Sports Scene
We Won The State!
Crazy George At Prezelski School
Local Skater Makes Nationals
Susky High Sets Sports Physicals

Local Sports Scene

Thompson Responds Well To First Trade

Rich Thompson did not need long to make an impact with the Nashville Sounds.

The Montrose graduate, who appears to have moved a step closer to reaching the major leagues, is off to a fast start with his new team after being traded last week.

In his first start, Thompson hustled for a double to start the game then came around to score the first of his two runs.

Thompson, 24, was traded by the Toronto Blue Jays, the organization that drafted him, to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Toronto got John Wasdin, who it immediately promoted right to the big leagues. Wasdin, who has already played for five major-league teams, was leading the Pacific Coast League in strikeouts with 116. He had eight wins, including a perfect game in April against Albuquerque.

Thompson's hopes of moving from Class AAA to the majors may be better with Pittsburgh.

In his first three games in Nashville, Thompson continued to display the skills that made the Pirates interested in him. He went 3-for-8 (.375), scored four times and stole two bases.

Thompson set a Southern League (Class AA) record last season when he scored 109 runs for the Tennessee Smokies. He also stole 45 bases while batting .280.

After starting the season in New Haven with Toronto's new Class AA affiliate, Thompson made the move to Syracuse of the Class AAA International League. In 87 games combined with the two Toronto farm teams, Thompson was hitting .306 with 26 stolen bases.


Montrose's Mike Stranburg opened the Anthracite Golf Association Junior Tour season by winning the first two tournaments on back-to-back days.

Stranburg won by shooting 2-under-par, 69 at Valley Country Club in Hazleton and 1-over-par, 73 at Scranton Municipal.

In arena football, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers closed out their home schedule Saturday with the biggest win in the franchise's two-year history.

Cosmo DeMatteo's 25-yard touchdown reception from Chris Boden gave the Pioneers a 55-49 overtime victory over the arenafootball2 Northeast Division-leading Albany Conquest. The Conquest had won the first five meetings between the two teams.

After there was never more than one possession without a score in regulation, the teams failed to score on their first four tries in overtime.

"I was very surprised," Albany coach Pete Costanza said. "It's not my first arena football overtime, but it's definitely the weirdest."

DeMatteo was the game's Most Valuable Player with 13 catches for 143 yards and four touchdowns.

The Pioneers won without head coach Dean Cokinos, who was in Boston for his sister's funeral.

In baseball, Montrose has used a strong regular season to show it is the leading threat to win the District 15 American League title after also capturing the championship last season.


The PGA Tour's regional stop is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday when the B.C. Open is played at En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott, NY

The tournament goes head-to-head with the British Open again this season.

Spike McCroy is the defending champion in the $3-million tournament. The winner will receive $540,000.

McCroy shot 19-under-par, 269 on the 6,994-yard course last season to beat Fred Funk by a shot. McCroy used a closing round of 65 to pull out the victory.

In professional hockey, realignment has brought the region's two franchises together in the same division.

The Binghamton Senators, who reached the Calder Cup semifinals this spring in their first year in the league, will go head-to-head with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, a 2001 Calder Cup finalist.

The Penguins are moving from west to east in the American Hockey League.

The AHL announced a new conference and division format at its annual meetings last week in Hilton Head, SC. The Penguins will move to the Eastern Conference where they will be part of the seven-team East Division with the Senators.

The AHL went from a six-division alignment to four divisions of seven teams each.

Hershey, Norfolk and Philadelphia all moved from the old South Division of the Western Conference to the East Division with the Penguins. The four teams will join Albany, Binghamton and Bridgeport in the new division.

The AHL also determined its new playoff format at the meeting. The top five teams in each division will advance.

Play will start with an elimination round between the fifth- and fourth-place teams and the next two rounds will be conducted within each division to determine the league's four semifinalists.

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

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RYAN NEWMAN Gets Third Win Of Year

Joliet, IL – Ryan Newman of South Bend, Indiana won his third Winston Cup victory of the year and Kevin Harvick fell three laps short of having any shot of completing a Chicagoland Speedway three-peat in Sunday's Tropicana 400.

Ryan Newman

The two drivers were using the same pit strategy, as both had stopped for the last time with 69 laps to go in the 267 lap race.

Newman was leading Harvick by about a second and seemed on his way to ending Harvick's dominance at this 1.5-mile track anyway, but when Harvick's No. 29 Goodwrench Chevrolet slowed on Lap 265 it ended all doubt.

Tony Stewart, who's Home Depot Chevrolet had started first and dominated the early part of the race, rallied late and inherited second when Harvick dropped off the pace. Jimmie Johnson was third, Jeff Gordon fourth and Michael Waltrip fifth.

"Track position was important," said Newman, the driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge. "We were good on fuel. It was a matter of holding Kevin off, but when I saw him slowing, that ended that."

Harvick wound up finishing 17th.

"Track position hurt us," said Stewart. "The track was great. You could race anybody, but the traffic was terrible at times.

"We had a good race car, but if we had set the car up like I first thought we should have, we would have run better. But that's my fault."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost second in the points lead to Jeff Gordon after his car spun in turn three and he hit the outside wall during lap 208.

Bobby Labonte walked away from a fiery crash on lap 215 that collected several other cars, including those of Mike Wallace, Casey Mears, and Johnny Benson.

Jeff Gordon's fourth-place finish moved him into second spot behind Matt Kenseth in the Winston Cup points standings. He now trails Kenseth by only 165 points.

Top ten finishing Order: 1. Ryan Newman, 2. Tony Stewart, 3. Jimmie Johnson, 4. Jeff Gordon, 5. Michael Waltrip, 6. Jeff Burton, 7. Robby Gordon, 8. Jamie McMurray, 9. Elliott Sadler, 10. Jeremy Mayfield.

Top-10 points leaders after 18 of 36 races: 1. Kenseth-2678, 2. J. Gordon-2513, 3. Earnhardt Jr.-2420, 4. B. Labonte-2351, 5. Waltrip-2294, 6. Johnson-2249, 7. Harvick-2166, 8. Stewart-2129, 9. Busch-2113, 10. Marlin-2098.

Is Dodge Falling Behind? After 18 races into the 36-race schedule Dodge only has three wins, and all of those were by Ryan Newman in the No. 12 Alltel Dodge.

Ray Evernham, who helped get Dodge back into NASCAR racing talks about his two racing teams and the Dodge program in general during the 2003 season.

"I think people try and compare us to teams and car manufacturers that have been 20-25 years strong without any changes," said Evernham. "The Dodge program overall has done an excellent job. We've got to be careful inside not to put so much pressure on ourselves trying to get ahead. NASCAR is a tough sport. You're not just going to come in and dominate. If you look at the number of wins and the number of poles and of the number of top-five finishes, I'd say we've done a tremendous job.

"What the overall Dodge program has done in two and a half years is pretty amazing. With that said, they talk about Evernham Motorsports in two and a half years, and I think we've also done a good job.

"Both Dodge and Evernham Motorsports have a long way to go, but from where we've come, we're on the right track. The whole plan when we built this program was for Dodge to be challenging for the championship. Until Sterling got hurt last year, they were doing that. My team and other teams are getting strong, and I think that challenging for the championship will continue.

"I really want to see both Jeremy (Mayfield) and Bill (Elliott) go to victory lane. I really, really want to see that happen. The 19 has never been there, and the 9, I want to see get back to victory lane both for us as a team and for our sponsors. We're going to try and win races and let the points fall where they may. We're basically out of it, so what we've got to do is go every week and try and win."


HAMILTON JR. Dominates Chicago Busch Race – The top ten results of the NASCAR Busch Series Tropicana Twister 300, run Saturday, July 12 at Chicagoland Speedway: 1. Bobby Hamilton Jr., 2. Matt Kenseth, 3. Brian Vickers, 4. Casey Mears, 5. Michael Waltrip, 6. Jason Keller, 7. Scott Riggs, 8. Tony Raines, 9. Jamie McMurray, 10. Mike Bliss.

Top-10 points leaders after 19 of 34 races: 1. Riggs-2591, 2. D. Green-2568, 3. Hornaday-2534, 4. Vickers-2522, 5. Keller-2511, 6. T. Bodine-2467, 7. Hamilton Jr.-2434, 8. J. Sauter-2292, 9. Wimmer-2241, 10. Hmiel-2240.

CARL EDWARDS Gets First Truck Win – The top ten results of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Built Ford Tough 225, run Saturday, July 12 at Sparta, KY: 1. Carl Edwards, 2. Ted Musgrave, 3. Dennis Setzer, 4. Jon Wood, 5. Jason Leffler, 6. Travis Kvapil, 7. Matt Crafton, 8. Robert Pressley, 9. Terry Cook, 10. Hank Parker.

Top-10 points leaders after 11 of 25 races: 1. Kvapil-1684, 2. Musgrave-1643, 3. Setzer-1637, 4. Gaughan-1630, 5. Hamilton-1613, 6. Crawford-1608, 7. Wood-1591, 8. Leffler-1517, 9. Cook-1478, 10. Edwards-1467.


The Busch and Winston Cup teams are at Loudon, New Hampshire, while the Craftsman Trucks race at Gateway International Speedway in Madison, Illinois.

Saturday, July 19, Busch 200, race 20 of 34, 200 laps/211 miles, (EST) TV: TNT.

Craftsman Trucks Ram Tough 200, race 12 of 25, 160 laps/200 miles, 9 p.m. (EST) TV: Speed Channel.

Sunday, July 20, Winston Cup New England 300, race 19 of 36, 300 laps/317 miles, 1:30 p.m. TV: TNT.

Racing Trivia Question: What is the 'Happy Hour' in NASCAR racing?

Answer To Last Week's Question: Darrell Waltrip's three Winston Cup titles came in 1981, '82, and '85.

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:

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We Won The State!

That was the shout from the bowling team, "Friends" on Saturday, June 21, 2003. They had made it to the state finals for the Y.A.B.A. (Young American Bowlers Alliance), held in Mechanicsburg, PA. When all the scores had been counted, the girls had captured first place!

The four girls are: Megan Howell, Tunkhannock; Saleta Oakley, Mountain View; Amanda Stewart and Kayla Traver, Friendsville. They all bowl Saturday mornings in the Y.A.B.A. league at the Maplewood Lanes in South Montrose, PA. Their team name fits them very well, because they definitely are friends. They had advanced from the local tournaments to districts, to the state finals.

Pictured (l-r) are: back row – Leroy Spadine - owner of Maplewood Lanes and coach, Wally Stewart - coach, Kayla Traver - 14 years old; front row – Amanda Stewart - 16 years old, Megan Howell - 19 years old, Saleta Oakley - 13 years old.

Their coach, Wally Stewart, was right there with them, giving as much encouragement and guidance as he was allowed.

Their other coach, Leroy Spadine, owner and operator of Maplewood Lanes was away on a business trip but they remembered his instructions... "Bowl like I taught you; and most important – have fun; but remember what I have taught you!"

Each girl got two very nice plaques from the State Y.A.B.A. and a $250 scholarship to be awarded when they are ready for college, future education or for educational school trips.

They, their coach and the families that went to the tournament with them were on a natural high! The girls were so excited when they heard they had won the "championship," they were laughing and crying at the same time!

Congratulations, all around.

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Crazy George At Prezelski School

Crazy George Schauer, an international basketball entertainer and motivator from Cleveland, Ohio, performed at the Julius Prezelski Basketball School in Montrose on June 26. Crazy George performed his 75-minute basketball wizardry, anti-drug show to the delight of all the campers and staff.

Julius Prezelski Basketball School campers watch Coach Prezelski and "Crazy George" display ball-handling techniques.

Since starting his basketball wizardry show, in 1975, Crazy George has performed over 6,000 shows in front of live audiences of over nine million people, in 49 states and 16 countries. His résumé includes performances at NBA All-Star Games, Madison Square Garden, Boston Garden, LA Forum, The Spectrum, The Silverdome, Reunion Arena, Richfield Coliseum, Disney World, UCLA, UNLV, Maryland and many other college arenas throughout America.

This former college and professional player has dedicated his life to motivating young people with his basketball tricks to never give up, respect parents and teachers, live drug free, keep smiling, and never forget you are an American.

Also speaking at the camp were J. P. Andrejko, Head Men’s Coach King’s College and Ron Rohn, Head Women’s Coach at Muhlenberg College. The Julius Prezelski Basketball School coaching staff included John Cherundolo (Montrose), Tom Parry (Lackawanna Trail), Matt Button (Lackawanna Trail), Natasha Pashchuk (Marywood University), Lawrence Tompkins (Marywood University), Courtney Parvin (Springfield College, MA), Tony Rezykowski (Misericordia College), T. J. Parry (Susquehanna University), Amanda Vitzakovitch (Forest City), Coleen Walsh (Montrose), Piper Davis (Pocono Mountain), and Lori Weller (Montrose).

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Local Skater Makes Nationals

"Gina" Evans of Lathrop Township is among three of the regional contestants to participate at Nationals in Lincoln, NB. She and two other fellow skaters at Skate World Skating Center in West Windsor, Broome County, New York are heading towards the 41st National USA Roller Sports National Indoor Speed and Figure Skating Championships to be held in Lincoln. This is the 21st hosting in Lincoln for the Championship.

Gina Evans with her coach, Mike Vickey, who is the owner of Skate World in Binghamton, NY.

The Championships will be held Tuesday, July 22 through Tuesday, August 5, 2003. Opening ceremonies for standard figure skating will be held on Monday, July 21 at 8:30 p.m. and will include a parade of regions and a performance of local singing artists.

In order to participate in Nationals, the skater must make a first to fourth placement at Regionals which were held at Wilbraham, MA, July 1 through July 5. Roller Skating Regionals consist of nine regions in the United States. All regions then meet at Nationals and compete against 27 to 36 other contestants in their divisions.

Roller skaters do the same events as the ice skating events you see on TV; the only difference being an additional event of compulsory or artistic figure skating. Compulsory skating is the ability to trace a set of circles on the skating floor, by balancing on one skate in front of three judges. At Nationals, there is the scrutiny of the watchful eyes of up to five judges watching every move a skater makes, whether it is in figures, solo and team dance, free style, creative dance or precision dancing.

Mrs. Evans has a long history in the sport of roller skating and has been in many competitions. She is particularly excited about this year's National competition.

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Susky High Sets Sports Physicals

Susquehanna Community High School will hold sports physicals for the 2003-2004 fall sports season on Wednesday, July 30. Physicals will be held in the high school health office beginning at 9:00 a.m. for boys and 10:00 a.m. for girls.

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