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Chris Snee has made a decision that moves the Montrose graduate a step closer to becoming the first Susquehanna County player ever selected in the National Football League draft.
The Boston College redshirt junior returned to campus last week with plans to graduate this semester.
Snee, however, will not be returning to the football field with the Eagles.
The first-team Big East all-star said Thursday that he has filed the necessary paperwork to declare himself eligible for the National Football League draft.
"I decided (Jan. 9) and sent my paperwork in," Snee said in a telephone interview.
Snee made up his mind during a visit home to Montrose earlier this month.
After Boston Colleges 35-21 San Francisco Bowl victory over Colorado State, Snee sought out input from the NFL. He confirmed that projections show him as an early- to mid-round pick. That was all Snee needed to finalize a decision he had been contemplating since last summer.
"I sent information to the NFL to see where I might get selected," said Snee, a 6-foot-3, 325-pounder. "I kind of told them which two games to watch.
"They have a committee of 12 that looks at it for you."
The NFL feedback left Snee thinking that the fourth round was a realistic estimate, with a chance to improve his status before the draft. Following the birth of his son, Dylan, September 2, Snee considers it time to move on.
"Its time to start making some money," he said.
Snee said the first step was being sure of his decision. Next will be scheduling workouts for specific teams and seeking an agent.
"A lot of it now will depend on how I do in the individual workouts," he said. "I starting thinking about this early in the summer, but I didnt really sit down to make a decision until after our bowl game.
Snee plans to visit one NFL Draft Combine in February. Another is scheduled at Boston College in March.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Forest Citys Matt Pisarcik and his cousin, Carbondales Logan Gabriel, took turns leading the surges that put their teams in control of the game and the Lackawanna League Division 2 North first-half title in their January 13 game.
Pisarcik finished with a game-high 32 points, but Gabriels 27 points ultimately led Carbondale to a 59-53 victory and the title.
Both teams came into the final game of the half with 6-0 records.
Forest City appeared to be closing in on the championship when it scored the first four points of the second half for a 29-21 lead.
Gabriel, however, scored all of the points in a 10-1 run that put Carbondale back in control. He had eight points in 38 seconds by sandwiching a drive to the basket between a pair of 3-point baskets.
It was one of many outbursts in the game.
Carbondale led 13-9 after one quarter before Pisarcik scored 14 of the Foresters 16 points in the second quarter to lift Forest City to a 25-21 half-time lead.
Pisarcik went 9-for-10 from the floor in the half while scoring 19 points. He finished 13-for-20.
Zach Lasavage worked his way into the middle of Forest Citys zone defense to score 13 of his 19 points in the first half.
Gabriel then produced 19 of his 27 in the second half.
After Gabriels streak in the middle of the quarter, the lead changed hands four more times before the third quarter ended. Pisarcik scored four straight points to create one of those changes.
Gabriel had 13 points in the quarter and Lasavages basket sent Carbondale into the final eight minutes with a 39-38 lead.
Forest City regained the lead to start the fourth quarter, but a Joe Becker 3-pointer put Carbondale ahead to stay.
Pisarcik scored all seven points in a 7-1 run to bring the Foresters within 52-49 with 2:19 left.
Jonathan Torch, who added 10 points for Forest City, scored to cut the lead to 54-51 with 1:07 left. Jake Beautz then cut it to 55-53, but Carbondales foul shooting down the stretch put the game away.
Justin Cookson and Gabriel each hit a pair of free throws to close the scoring.
Carbondale finished the half unbeaten despite losing Matt Colgan to a knee injury. Colgan was the teams leading scorer at the time with 17.4 points per game, but Gabriel has averaged 28 points per game in his absence to take over the team scoring lead.
Forest City finished the first half as the countys best boys basketball team.
Mountain View also had a winning record for the half.
The final first-half standings in the Division 2 North were: Carbondale 7-0, Forest City 6-1, Mountain View 5-2, Elk Lake 3-4, Lackawanna Trail 3-4, Carbondale Sacred Heart 2-5, Blue Ridge 1-6, Susquehanna 1-6.
Montrose finished last in the Division 1 North at 0-4, placing behind Abington Heights (4-0), Scranton Prep (3-1), Scranton (2-2) and West Scranton (1-3).
In girls basketball, Carbondale also went unbeaten in the half to win the Division 2 North. County teams occupied the next three spots in the standings with winning records.
The Division 2 North standings: Carbondale 8-0, Forest City 6-2, Montrose 6-2, Mountain View 5-3, Lackawanna Trail 4-4, Blue Ridge 3-5, Elk Lake 3-5, Susquehanna 1-7, Sacred Heart 0-8.
In wrestling, bad breaks may have cost Blue Ridge a Lackawanna League Division 2 title.
The Raiders went into a meeting of unbeatens plagued by injuries then Scranton Prep won the coin flip, allowing it to determine the key matchups in what turned out to be a 46-30 victory over the Cavaliers Saturday.
Susquehanna posted its first league win, 34-27, over Mountain View.
Chris Lewis, a freshman from Blue Ridge, is 2-2 at 149 pounds while wrestling for Shippensburg University.
Shippensburg, an NCAA Division II school, is 3-2 overall.
Lewis, Blue Ridges all-time leader in career victories, finished seventh in the state Class AA tournament last season.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Mountain View has been close but has been unable to beat Forest City in boys basketball this season. The Eagles will get their fourth shot Friday night at Forest City.
First, however, Mountain View opens the second-half of Lackawanna League Division 2 North play at first-half champion Carbondale.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached on-line at RobbyTR@aol.com.
NASCAR Takes A Page From NFL Playbook
The new rules for determining future Nextel Cup champions is a page out of the National Football Leagues playbook, and designed by the NASCAR marketing and research department.
According to Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president of corporate communication, the rules are being changed so the sport can go head-to-head with the NFL.
"Late in the year, NASCAR Cup races generally face increased competition for television viewers from college football and the National Football League," said Hunter, "We have the longest schedule in sports. We go from February to November. Once we get past Labor Day, the interest level starts to drop.
"The bottom line is we want to create a chase for the championship that adds some drama and excitement, particularly after Labor Day when the interest seems to flatten out."
Like all companies, NASCAR would like to maintain their fan and viewer base throughout the entire 36-race schedule.
Forget about what the drivers and sponsors might want.
The way I see it, maintaining high television ratings is the real reason behind the rules changes.
Officials with new series sponsor Nextel Communications have expressed concern, fearing fans would link the company to unpopular changes, but the new NASCAR chairman Brian France is the person responsible for the playoff change.
"Everybody questions change, but we've put a lot of thought in this," said Hunter. "I am firmly convinced this will add some drama and some excitement to our season.
"We think we need to provide a new model for our points championship. Consistency is a big part of it, but winning is also an overwhelming part of it."
Sounds great, doesnt it?
Well just have to wait and see. Although the total package won't be unveiled for 2-3 weeks, here are several of the new rules changes:
Race winners in each of the three national series - Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck - will receive a points bonus for a race win.
The Cup series will adopt a version of a "playoff format" that will encompass the final 10 races of the season. That system will be used to determine the series champion.
The biggest question marks remaining involve how drivers would become eligible for the playoff in Cup. Regardless, the final 10 races will be used determine the champion.
This season's final 10 races are at Loudon, NH; Dover, DE; Talladega, AL; Kansas City, KS; Concord, NC; Martinsville, VA; Hampton, GA; Avondale, AZ; Darlington, SC; and Homestead, FL.
The most common scenario offered so far locks in the top-10 drivers in points following the 26th race. Only those drivers would be eligible to compete for the championship.
However, Hunter said, any driver within a certain number of points of the leader might still be eligible for the playoffs.
Once the number of drivers involved in the playoff is set, they will start the final 10-race stretch with a certain number of points based on their standings in the first 26 events.
NASCAR is examining models from the 28 years the current points system has been in place to help determine the number used, but it could range from 300 to 600 points.
The final plan is to be announced Tuesday by NASCAR officials at a press conference.
WALTRIP Is Fastest Driver At Daytona Testing
Michael Waltrip led all other drivers in testing at Daytona this year. Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, completed the first three-day Nextel Cup pre-season test at Daytona International Speedway by posting the fastest one-lap qualifying speed each day.
He saved his best lap - 187.731 mph - for Thursday, which was also the best one-lap speed of the entire session.
Three of Waltrip's four career Cup wins have come at Daytona, including his first series win in the 2001 Daytona 500.
"We have had a terrific test even though it got off to a rocky start when we crashed one of our cars on Tuesday, but it just shows you how prepared this team is," Waltrip said.
"They had two cars here that were going to be strong, but we'll go home and fix the other one and go to Talladega (for more testing) with it."
Dale Jarrett, winner of the 1994, 96 and 2000 Daytona 500 also finished strong with the second-fastest lap of the test (187.426 mph).
GRISSOM Tops Truck Testing The best one-lap qualifying speeds from NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pre-season testing Test at Daytona International Speedway (with truck number, driver, truck make and speed): 1. (59) Steve Grissom, Dodge, 182.994, 2. (10) Terry Cook, Ford, 182.760, 3. (99) Carl Edwards, Ford, 182.382, 4. (4) Chad Chaffin, Dodge, 181.594, 5. (67) Steadman Marlin, Ford, 181.583, 6. (1) Andy Houston, Dodge, 181.528, 7. (8) Chase Montgomery, Dodge, 181.426, 8. (50) Jon Wood, Ford, 181.057, 9. (08) Ken Weaver, Chevrolet, 180.883, 10. (6) Matt Crafton, Chevrolet, 180.785.
Racing Trivia Question: Which driver won the most Winston Cup races in 2003?
Last Weeks Question: He won 26 races and was called "Fast Freddy." Who was this Elmhurst, Illinois driver that retired after the 1972 season? Answer. Fred Lorenzen.
If you would like to read additional racing stories by the Gerald Hodges/ the Racing Reporter, go to: www.race500.com.
Chris Snee left Montrose in 1999 as one of the top high school football offensive linemen in Pennsylvania.
By the time he finished his college football career in 2003, Snee had emerged as one of the top college linemen in the entire nation.
Snee had already established himself as a key part of the Boston College offense prior to 2003. His third season as a starter saw Snee reach new heights as a first-team Big East all-star.
Those efforts, which have led to Snee being projected as one of the most sought-after offensive linemen in the April National Football League draft, made the Montrose graduate the Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Year for 2003.
"Im pretty pleased," Snee said of his college career. "Im happy that I was starting as a freshman. Of course, we would all rather a little better team accomplishments."
The team may have fallen short of Big East titles, but Snee played on three straight bowl winners. His final college game was New Years Eve in a 35-21 victory over Colorado State in the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl.
Snee left Montrose as a two-time, all-state selection in football and a two-time, all-star in basketball. He had 47 sacks for the Meteors and wound up his high school career with a strong performance in the Big 33 Football Classic playing for the Pennsylvania all-star team against Ohio.
After sitting out the 2000 season as a redshirt, Snee started seeing playing time for the Eagles in the 2001 season. He made his first start at tackle then moved to guard for five more starts and was named third-team Freshman All-American.
Snee started every game of the 2002 season and saw his name start appearing on the list of draft projections. That set the stage for 2003.
Along with Augie Hoffman, the 6-foot-3, 325-pounder helped Boston College sweep the guard spots on the Big East all-star team. By the time it was over, Snee was ready to become the latest Boston College lineman to try his skills on the professional level.
"The tradition of the offensive linemen here and the work ethic that the coaching staff demands of us is important," Snee said. "Thats what you need at the next level."
Chris is the son of Ed and Diane Snee.
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