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Look For Our HARFORD FAIR SPECIAL In The August 18th Issue Of The County Transcript

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Issue Home August 3, 2004 Site Home

Local Sports Scene
2004 Champions!
NRA Offers Disabled Sportsmen's Packet
SCHS Season Passes Now Available
Local Whitetail Deer Habitat Expo Set

Lee, Price, LaBarbera Playing Basketball In Keystone Games

Two Susquehanna basketball players will be in action on Pocono Region teams during the Keystone State Games, which are running through Sunday at various locations around the Wilkes-Barre area.

Kevin Lee landed a spot on the Scholastic Male basketball team and Hannah Price earned a position on the Youth Female team during tryouts.

Montrose’s Kate LaBarbera also made it through tryouts to claim a spot on the Scholastic Female team.

Seven local athletes advanced to play in the 16-and-under and 18-and-under volleyball tournaments.

Kyle Parsons of Uniondale is in the 18-and-Under Male Division.

Desiree Gardner of New Milford and Melinda Stanton of Susquehanna are in the 18-and-Under Female Division.

Uniondale’s Steven Beautz and Jonathan Chesnick and Browndale’s Michael McGraw are in the 16-and-Under Male Division.

New Milford’s Julie Page is in the 16-and-Under Female Division.

With a week remaining before the opening of the games, which was scheduled to take place Tuesday, the Keystone Games had 34 Susquehanna County athletes registered.

Rachel Hall, a 19-year-old from Jackson, is the only county athlete entered in two sports. The former Blue Ridge and current Mansfield University runner will compete in both the track and field and cross country. She will be in the Open Female Division in track and 16-19 age group in cross country.

Hall is one of 11 county athletes registered in track and field.

Thompson’s Amber Gaffey, a District 2 record setter and state runner-up in the pole vault as a freshman at Susquehanna, will compete in the Intermediate Female Division.

Montrose’s Joe LaBarbera, who also finished second in the state in the pole vault to complete his high school career, will compete in the Scholastic 17-18 Male Division.

Other track and field entrees are: Kyle Adriance, Montrose, Scholastic Male; Anthony Gray, Susquehanna, Open Male; Robert O’Malley, Montrose, Intermediate Male; Allen Russell, Susquehanna, Intermediate Male; Jeff Sammon, Hallstead, Masters Male; Roger Scott, Great Bend, Sub-Masters Male; Nicholas Staats, Montrose, Intermediate Male; and Paul Truskolaski, Susquehanna, Open Male.

Hall is joined in cross country by Montrose’s Krista DeRiancho and Ashley Johnson and Friendsville’s Khayla Shearer, who will all be among her competition in the 16-19 Female Division.

Charles Kime and Marsha Kime of New Milford are entered in Masters Swimming in the 70-and-over Male and 65-69 Female Divisions.

Springville’s Adam and Ben Phillips are also competing in swimming. Adam is in the 9-10 Male Division while Ben is in the 13-14 Male Division.

Susquehanna’s Benjamin Frye and Sean Wolf will compete in the Scholastic Male Division in golf.

Anna Cross from Hop Bottom will compete in the Junior Female Division in soccer.

Laceyville’s Melanie Montalbano was in the Novice Optional Division in gymnastics, which were held in June.

There will be events in more than 30 team and individual sports this week at the Keystone Games.

The Keystone Games are modeled after the Olympic Games, giving amateur athletes from around the state the opportunity to compete.

Larger team sports, such as basketball, baseball and volleyball, feature regional all-star teams selected through tryouts.

Entries are open for individual sports and some of the team events.


Montrose’s Rich Thompson continues to lead the Pacific Coast League in triples with 13. No other PCL player has more than eight triples.

Thompson is the leadoff hitting center fielder for the Nashville Sounds, the top farm team of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is also second in the league with 28 stolen bases and tied for fifth with eight sacrifices.

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

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JOHNSON Dominates At Pocono

Long Pond, PA – It was all Jimmie Johnson Sunday at Pocono Raceway, as he led 124 of the 200 laps en route to his fourth win of 2004.

His win in the Nextel Cup Pennsylvania 500 gave him a sweep of this year’s races at Pocono. His other win at Pocono came in June, plus he had wins at Darlington and Charlotte.

"It wasn’t exactly a cake walk," said Johnson "But it was an incredible win. The team gave me a great car and whatever I asked them to do, it worked out fine.

"It didn’t matter if the weather was sunny or cloudy, the car just performed perfect. It was one of those rare days that you can really enjoy."

Johnson increased his point lead over both Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Tony Stewart.

Numbness and a poor handling race car forced Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to turn his No. 8 Chevrolet over to John Andretti after just 53 laps. His team finished seven laps down in 16th spot.

Stewart spun and hit the outside wall during lap 109 and wound up 35th with a DNF.

Jeff Gordon, Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate moved into second place in the standings, 232 points behind Johnson.

Mark Martin finished second, but he was not able to challenge Johnson for the lead in the closing laps.

"My team had this car working great today, but we just couldn’t run with that 48," said Martin. "But we had a time with the rest of them. We had a great power plant and an awesome car."

Kasey Kahne was the third place finisher.

"We had a great race car all day," said Kahne. "We came from way back in the field to finish where we did."

Greg Biffle and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top-five.

Casey Mears, the pole-sitter finished 18th.

Top ten finishing order: 1. Jimmie Johnson, 2. Mark Martin, 3. Kasey Kahne, 4. Greg Biffle, 5. Jeff Gordon, 6. Terry Labonte, 7. Robby Gordon, 8. Matt Kenseth, 9. Jeremy Mayfield, 10. Elliott Sadler.

Chase For The NEXTEL Cup Contenders – The top-10 points leaders: 1. Johnson-3040, 2. J. Gordon-2808, 3. Earnhardt Jr.-2773, 4. Kenseth-2623, 5. Stewart-2606, 7. Busch-2481, 8. Newman-2472, 9. B. Labonte-2466, 10. Harvick-2420.

Q & A WITH TONY STEWART – Last week Tony Stewart was the guest on NASCAR’s regular weekly teleconference. One of the first questions asked Stewart was if he had talked with Kasey Kahne about the Chicago bumping incident.

"Actually that was the reason I was late, I was talking to Kasey on the phone," said Stewart. "I think a lot of my questions got answered, but there are no problems between Kasey and I. We probably had a good half-hour talk and I had to cut it short obviously, but we got through the meat of the conversation and we were laughing about a lot of things.

"We’re two race car drivers and the grudges in this day in age aren’t as bad as what they used to be in the past. I just asked Kasey what happened, he told me what happened, I told him my perspective on it and we both have an understanding on the other person’s perspective now of what happened. There are only two people who know what happened, and that’s Kasey and myself. At least now we have the full picture of what happened.

"I don’t think it’s me on track that has given me the two strikes, I think it’s the way I’ve handled things off the track that has given me those strikes. Just like the deal at Chicago, if NASCAR thought I did something wrong, they would have done something. I stuck to my guns saying I didn’t do anything wrong.

"The reason I did that was because I didn’t do anything wrong. At the same time if I do something off the track, I know I’ve got those two strikes on me already. It’s not just about driving race cars any more, that’s the way up to this point it’s always been. Now, we’re representing multi billion dollar companies. We have a TV package and NASCAR is very image conscious now, which they haven’t always been. Driving the race car which is what I got hired to do in the first place, and what I have been doing the past 25 years of my life is only a fractional part of my overall job as a Nextel Cup driver.

"There’s a lot more changes that go on in your life than the media could understand in one conversation. It’s something you really have to be behind the scenes, you need to live it and breathe for more than a day or two or a week to fully understand what all is involved in it.

"As far as being labeled a bad boy, it’s just a title, it really doesn’t affect me. I think you guys are the ones that created that, so how do you feel about it?

"I think some things have been blown out of proportion somewhat, but I think it’s what adds character to our sport. You look at wrestling and you had all the popular guys quote, un quote, the good guys in the sport and you had them wrestling each other each week. So I think that adds flavor to the sport.

"I don’t really take it personal, I don’t think it’s a personal deal; it’s just a title that’s given to many of us. I guess I lead the pack of the bad boy group. I think there are fans out there that are looking for that guy. Dale Earnhardt didn’t get his reputation or popularity by being a good guy. He got it by being aggressive and he was probably the bad boy in his era. So I don’t think it’s such a bad thing after all."


TRUEX Continues As Busch Leader – Top-10 Busch Series points leaders: 1. Truex-3158, 2. Busch-3016, 3. Leffler-2779, 4. Hornaday-2775, 5. Biffle-2745, 6. D. Green-2737, 7. Keller-2713, 8. Hamilton Jr.-2665, 9. Bliss-2449, 10. Fedewa-2339.

SETZER Is Truck Leader – Top-10 Craftsman Truck Series points leaders: 1. Setzer-1971, 2. Hamilton-1938, 3. Edwards-1826, 4. Musgrave-1785, 5. Crafton-1783, 6. Chaffin-1780, 7. Kvapil-1749, 8. Crawford-1670, 9. Skinner-1628, 10. Sprague-1626.


The Nextel Cup teams are at the Brickyard in Indianapolis, IN, while the Busch Series and Craftsman Trucks race at Indianapolis Raceway Park in nearby Clermont, IN.

Friday, August 6, Craftsman Truck Power Stroke Diesel 200, race 14 of 25, 200 laps/137 miles, 8 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.

Saturday, August 7, Busch Series Kroger 200, race 22 of 34, 200 laps/137 miles, 8 p.m. TV: TNT.

Sunday, August 8, Brickyard 400, race 21 of 36, 160 laps/400 miles, 2 p.m. TV: NBC.

Racing Trivia Question: Which track has the largest grandstand capacity?

Last Week’s Question: Terry Labonte made his 800th career start this past Sunday. Who is the all-time leader for NASCAR starts? Richard Petty’s 1,177 starts top all drivers.

If you would like to read additional racing stories by Gerald Hodges/the Racing Reporter, go to

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2004 Champions!

Pictured (l-r) are the 2004 Minor League Softball Harford/Lenox Crusaders, Susquehanna County East Division Champions with an undefeated record of 12-0: bottom row – Kari Lynn Zupanovich, Karleen Mazzone, Devon Suhadolnik, Kamara Brink, Morgan Taylor; middle row – Caitlyn Tague, Katie Cure, Alix Taylor, Sara Miller, Jordan Noldy, Elissa Muller; top row – Rob Taylor (coach/manager), Bobby Zupanovich (coach), W. Scott Muller (coach), John Suhadolnik (coach). Absent from photo Erin McHale.

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NRA Offers Disabled Sportsmen's Packet

When a person suffers a disabling injury or illness, their world is effectively turned upside down. The majority of these people were not associated with the disabled community before the impairment occurred, so they possess very little knowledge of where to obtain important, adaptive equipment and services. This fact is especially true for disabled sportsmen, as most of their specialized equipment is manufactured by individuals or small companies, which can be very difficult to locate. It is for this important reason in 2002, the NRA Disabled Shooting Services first put together a packet of informational brochures, that has proven invaluable in assisting disabled sportsmen to enjoy a safe and meaningful outdoor experience.

The packet contains a unique collection of information on a variety of rifle support devices, manual and power sport wheelchairs, an easy-access cold weather suit, a crossbow with a power cocking mechanism, and brochures from professional outfitters who wish to serve disabled clients. Also included in the packet are standard hunting and shooting sports products that are user-friendly for a sportsman with a physical disability.

The rod and reel sportsmen have not been forgotten in this packet, as there is information on adaptive fishing gear that can be used by someone who has lost the use of one arm.

The third annual NRA Disabled Sportsmen’s Packet is free of charge, and may be obtained by calling Dave Baskin, manager of NRA Disabled Shooting Services at (703) 267–1495.

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SCHS Season Passes Now Available

Season passes for Susquehanna Community High School are now being sold in the high school office, at the cost of $10.00 per student, and $20.00 per adult. Senior Citizen passes are also available at no cost.

Passes are for all regular season home sporting events.

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Local Whitetail Deer Habitat Expo Set

Montrose, PA – Whitetail Deer enthusiasts, sportsmen, hunting clubs, landowners, and the general public will have the opportunity to meet, listen and talk with nationally known deer biologists, researchers, and deer managers. They will be sharing their knowledge on the newest, cutting-edge deer management, native habitat development, and food plot techniques. Tour a wildlife food plot showcase with current, new, and experimental never seen before food plot products. Venders, suppliers, consultants, and equipment dealers will also do live demos. Visit a wood-lot development project area creating and developing whitetail cover, habitat, and sanctuary areas.

Sportsmen and deer managers from all over PA and surrounding states will gather and attend short seminars on how to manage herds for bigger, healthier deer, and better hunting.

Special guest speaker Ed Spinazzola from Michigan, a QDMA national director, is considered one of the most knowledgeable experts on deer food plots in the country. He is the author of "Wildlife Food Plots as easy as 1, 2, 3," a book on developing food plots using hand-held equipment and ATV’s. Also, Dr. Craig Dougherty from Steuben County, New York, a QDMA national director and co-author of "Grow ‘Em Right," a publication detailing how to set up and develop properties to produce and hunt mature whitetails. Dougherty also represents Bio-Logic Wildlife Products. His New York property is Bio-Logic’s northern research facility which has been featured on Drury Brothers Wildlife Obsessions–Bio-Logic Challenge on the Outdoor Channel. Rodney Dyer from Alabama, The Whitetail Institute of North America’s chief wildlife biologist and director of forage research development, will talk about wildlife food plot development and maintenance. Kip Adams from PA, Northeast Regional Director for QDMA, a certified wildlife biologist having extensive experience on deer research and management projects, will present a program on buck dispersal and buck to doe ratios. Barrett Wiggans, a forester from Deer Park Lumber Co., will explain wood-lot and natural habitat development, and constructing the ultimate whitetail hunting area. This free, all day event will be held rain or shine Saturday, August 14, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Fairdale Farms in Susquehanna County, six miles west of Montrose, off Route 706 (watch for signs). Lunch and beverages will be available.

For more information call Ed Grasavage at (570) 655–8181, Deer Park Lumber Co. at (570) 836–1133, or Jim Dovin at (570) 785–2552.

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