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Susquehanna County has its share of New York Giants fans, but from Chris Snee's perspective, it remains Philadelphia Eagles territory.
Snee, the guard who is preparing for his second professional football season with the Giants, was back home in Montrose for two days on the holiday weekend. While at home, he was the center of attention at the Punt, Pass & Kick competition in Montrose.
"I've made appearances at camps before, but never anything where I was the main guy," said Snee, who appeared at the event to help support the United Way. "I thought it went well. We plan on doing it again next year."
Snee saw some people he knew, including Tom Lucenti, his former high school coach. He also got to meet some of the area youngsters, who have heard about him, but have not necessarily had a chance to see him before.
"The kids seemed eager to meet me," Snee said, "but it was funny, a lot of them were Eagles fans and they all let me know it."
Snee made a successful debut in the National Football League as a starter for the first 12 games. A gland infection landed Snee in the hospital for eight days and cost him the last quarter of his rookie season.
"I feel great," said Snee, who completed a mini camp with the Giants in early June. "I've been working out the past six months and feel better than ever."
Snee said he lost "about 15 pounds" while hospitalized.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Binghamton will be getting a professional arena football team, according to an announcement made at a press conference at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
Binghamton was announced as the latest new franchise for the Atlantic Indoor Football League, which is competing with six teams this season and has five new franchises already announced for this year.
"We kind of just looked at our goals and started looking at the areas that are interested and did market research," Andrew Haines, the president of the Canton, Ohio-based league, said in a press release on the league Web site. "It fits in perfect with the structure of our league."
Canton, Erie, Johnstown, Richmond, Raleigh and the AIFL Ghostriders, a league-operated team that plays all of its games on the road, recently completed the regular season. Reading, Columbus (GA), Steubenville (Ohio) and Daytona Beach were announced earlier as expansion franchises for next season.
Wilkes-Barre currently has the closest arena football team to the area. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers compete in the arenafootball2 league, which is the minor league to the top league in the sport - the Arena Football League.
Unlike the AFL and af2, which allow one player to be going in motion toward the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball, the AIFL allows two players to be in forward motion.
The Eastern League All-Star Game is scheduled for Wednesday in Portland, Maine.
The Binghamton Mets had four players selected to play for the Northern Division team. Pitchers Brian Bannister and Yusmeiro Petit were picked for the team along with catcher Mike Jacobs and infielder Chase Lambin.
Bannister and Lambin were selected for the team in fan balloting.
Bannister is 9-4 with a 2.56 ERA in 18 starts. Petit is 3-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 14 starts.
Jacobs is leading the players on the team's current roster with 18 homers, 60 RBIs and a .310 batting average.
Lambin is likely to miss the game because he has settled in at Class AAA Norfolk where he is batting .354 after 14 games. He was hitting .331 with the B-Mets.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons third baseman Chris Coste will play for the International League against the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All-Star Game on the same night.
First baseman Ryan Howard, the league batting leader, had been picked to start the game before the Philadelphia Phillies called him up from the Red Barons.
Coste is hitting .272 with 14 homers and 54 RBIs.
In professional golf, the PGA Tour makes its nearest stop to the area with the B.C. Open, which is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday at En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott, N.Y.
Jonathan Byrd is back to defend his title in a field that also includes Olin Browne, Robert Gamez, Gabriel Hiertstedt, Mike Hulbert, Per-Ulrik Johansson, Jonathan Kaye, Hank Kuehne, Blaine McAllister, Larry Mize, Steve Pate, Brett Quigley, Joey Sindelar and Esteban Toledo.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
HARVICK Holds On For Chicago Busch Win
Joliet, IL – Kevin Harvick didn’t appear to have the fastest car, but he held off Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman to win the Busch Series USG Durock 300 on Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway.
Kevin Harvick. Photo courtesy of NASCAR
A late-race caution with 10 laps remaining bunched up front-runners, but after the single-file restart with six laps to go Newman passed Carl Edwards for third place behind Harvick and Biffle.
"I knew that Biffle was good on the restarts," Harvick said. "I just had to feel my car out and do what I thought was right. It was a good restart.
"We kept adjusting on the car, here and there and it was real good at the end."
Newman led a race-high 118 laps, but fell short of his second Busch victory, due to a penalty for too many crewmen over the wall during a late pit stop cost.
"It was a pretty good race, but we made a mistake and that's just what we deserved," Newman said.
But Greg Biffle spiced up the post-race interviews with a verbal assault on Harvick, claiming he used unsportsmanlike tactics during the race.
"I think Kevin Harvick is a chicken,” said Biffle. “I think he's a punk and I wish he was sitting right here beside me. If you want to know how I really feel, I'd get points taken away."
Biffle said that Harvick blocked him on the track to keep him a lap down, and purposely remained behind another car to prevent Biffle from gaining the free pass to the first car a lap down when a caution came out.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Kevin Harvick, 2. Greg Biffle, 3. Ryan Newman, 4. Carl Edwards, 5. Mark Martin, 6. Clint Bowyer, 7. Martin Truex, 8. Matt Kenseth, 9. Paul Menard, 10. Reed Sorenson.
Top-10 points leaders: 1. Truex-2661, 2. Bowyer-2589, 3. Sorenson-2555, 4. Edwards-2456, 5. K. Wallace-2369, 6. Hamlin-2276, 7. Lewis-2198, 8. Stremme-2176, 9. Biffle-2104, 10. Keller-2086.
JUNIOR Is On The Come Back Trail, Joliet, IL – Dale Earnhardt Jr. is hot on the come back trail.
After a third-place last week in the Pepsi 400, Earnhardt got his first victory of the season Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in the USG Sheetrock 400, as he withstood a charge from Matt Kenseth to win by 0.291-seconds.
The late race shootout started on lap 255 of the 267-lap race after a caution. Scott Wimmer was leading the field, followed by Earnhardt, Brian Vickers, Jimmie Johnson, and Jeremy Mayfield.
Earnhardt got the lead on lap 256, but Matt Kenseth, who led the most laps, appeared to have a little faster car, pulled to within 0.5-seconds of Earnhardt with three laps to go, but was never able to make a pass for the lead, and had to settle for runner-up.
The win was especially sweet for Earnhardt’s team, because they have struggled this season after changing crew chiefs twice since the off-season, and had fallen as low as 18th in points just three races ago.
With its extremely high track temperatures and long green-flag runs, the Chicago track is especially tough on tires. Several drivers either wrecked or had tire problems.
Carl Edwards blamed Goodyear's Chicagoland tire package for a hard hit he took on Lap 81.
Edwards had spent most of the race running in the top-10, but he appeared to cut a right-front tire heading into Turn 3. The wreck sent Edwards to the infield care center complaining of head pain, but he was checked and released.
"To be honest with you, and I hate to say this, but the reality is that I don't think that tire is the proper tire to be on," Edwards said. "They are just not holding up. At least two right rears came apart yesterday a little bit."
Polesitter Jimmie Johnson finished third and maintained the points lead. His teammate, Jeff Gordon’s day ended on lap 250. Mike Bliss and Gordon got into it and both of them ended up against the wall.
Two of the “older” drivers, Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace had good runs and are still in the top-10.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2. Matt Kenseth, 3. Jimmie Johnson, 4. Brian Vickers, 5. Tony Stewart, 6. Jeremy Mayfield, 7. Ricky Rudd, 8. Kurt Busch, 9. Casey Mears, 10. Mark Martin.
Current Chase for the Championship Contenders: 1. Johnson-2548, 2. Biffle-2440, 3. Stewart-2397, 4. R. Wallace-2300, 5. Sadler-2230, 6. Martin-2202, 7. Newman-2196, 8. McMurray-2190, 9. Mayfield-2179, 10. Busch-2172.
Craftsman Trucks Series Is Aging – The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has evolved into a far different series than when it was created 10 years ago.
What started out as a training series to provide experience for future Nextel Cup drivers in 1995, has now become a place for over-the-hill drivers that have been kicked out of Cup rides, and others whose major league racing careers are over, but just want to joy ride.
I’m not talking about those drivers who make one or two races a year, but drivers like Mike Skinner, Ricky Craven, John Andretti, and 12 other Truck regulars, who have ran in the Winston and Nextel Cup series.
Joining them next year will be 46 year-old Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace, who is 49.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Martin. “It’s going to be fun. I think we will be competitive, and whether we will go for the championship or not, I don’t know. But I know we will be trying to win some races.”
While Martin and Wallace were not kicked out of their Cup rides; their age and the demands of the series were the determining factor.
Instead of being gone 40 Sundays out of the year, Martin will be able to be home almost every Sunday during the Trucks 25-race schedule.
Other drivers like Jimmy Spencer, Mike Skinner and Ricky Craven weren’t so lucky. After not being able to make it with a major Cup team, they had no choice but go to the lesser series.
Skinner, who was the 1995 Truck champion, raced several years in Cup cars for Richard Childress, and then moved to Morgan-McClure before being booted out. He found a home last season with one of the newly formed Toyota teams.
Skinner’s only two Cup wins were exhibition races in 1997 and ’98 in Japan.
“It’s good, hard racing that is sometimes better than in Nextel Cup,” said Skinner. “It also allows you to have fun and spend more time at home with your wife. And there’s also not as much pressure.”
Like Skinner, most of the former Cup drivers have praise for the Truck series.
“You can be more aggressive in trucks,” said Spencer. “It’s more like Saturday night racing. Fans don’t care about how fast you go, they care about a great race. And that’s what they are always going to get in the Truck Series. You don’t see one truck finishing way ahead of the others.
“That’s what I’m talking about. It’s just great fun racing.”
Top-10 Craftsman Truck leaders: 1. Setzer-1929, 2. Musgrave-1846, 3. Hamilton-1776, 4. Hornaday-1731, 5. Craven-1721, 6. Spencer-1717, 7. Cook-1660, 8. Skinner-1644, 9. Reuitimann-1624, 10. Crafton-1612.
Top-10 Busch Series points leaders: 1. Truex-2661, 2. Bowyer-2589, 3. Sorenson-2555, 4. Edwards-2456, 5. K. Wallace-2369, 6. Hamlin-2276, 7. Lewis-2198, 8. Stremme-2176, 9. Biffle-2104, 10. Keller-2086.
The Nextel Cup and Busch Series race at Loudon, NH, while the Craftsman Trucks have an off weekend.
Saturday, July 16, Busch Series New England 200, race 20 of 35, 200 laps/211 miles, 3 p.m. TV: TNT.
Sunday, July 17, Nextel Cup New England 300, race 19 of 36, 300 laps/317 miles, 1:30 p.m. TV: TNT.
Racing Trivia Question: Which is the oldest track on the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit?
Last Week’s Question: Bobby Allison has three Daytona 500 wins. When was his last Daytona 500 victory? Answer. His last Daytona win was in 1988.
You may read additional stories by the Racing Reporter at www.race500.com. You may write him at P. O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL 36616.
Brittany Pavelski spent the final month of her high school softball career proving that she was more than just the most successful pitcher ever for a Susquehanna County school.
The two-time Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Year displayed her pitching, hitting, fielding and base running prowess to earn her latest honors as the Transcript's Athlete of the Month.
Pavelski and her Blue Ridge teammates opened June with their second straight upset, knocking off Bishop O'Hara to successfully defend their District 2 Class A title.
The run of success continued for Pavelski through another state tournament win, the eighth of her high school career, and with a standout performance in the Lackawanna League Senior Softball Classic. Blue Ridge was eliminated in the state quarterfinals, concluding Pavelski's four-year career with the Lady Raiders in which the team won one state championship game and lost in another.
"We went a lot further than most people thought we would," Pavelski said of the latest tournament run, which she led along with fellow four-year starter Heather Franks.
Pavelski also started her summer tournament softball schedule during June. She plays for her father, Bob Pavelski, both at Blue Ridge and on the Firestyx summer team.
In her last two high school wins, Pavelski held Bishop O'Hara and Upper Dauphin to one run each, stringing together 11 straight scoreless innings over the district final and first-round state game. Pavelski struck out eight in the 4-1 win over Bishop O'Hara and 10 in the 3-1 win over Upper Dauphin.
Pavelski, who was once seriously injured by a line drive back through the middle in a summer game, twice used quick reactions to catch scorching line drives while holding the lead against Bishop O'Hara.
In the season-ending, 6-5 loss to Minersville, Pavelski had a single and a double.
Along with pitching four scoreless innings in the all-star game, she stole two bases and scored a run to lead Division IV to a 5-0 win over Division III.
Pavelski finished her senior high school season with 132 strikeouts and a 1.27 ERA in 99 innings.
At the plate, she batted .478, had a remarkable .681 on-base percentage and scored 27 runs while driving in 12. She had six doubles and two triples among her 33 hits.
Pavelski plans to continue her softball career at Marywood University where she will study athletic training.
"I just really liked the campus and everyone at Marywood," Pavelski said. "I liked the small classes."
Pavelski has pitched at Marywood in several high school playoff games, including this season's district championship against Bishop O'Hara.
Brittany is the daughter of Bob and Susan Pavelski of Jackson.
Seventy-five area youngsters participated in NY Giants lineman Chris Snee’s Punt Pass and Kick contest on July 3 at Snee’s alma mater, Montrose High School. Over 300 family and friends cheered on the kids as Chris led them through warm-ups and Giants cheers and tossed footballs. He signed autographs and tee shirts, footballs and programs, posed for hundreds of photos, and got some time to reminisce with some of his high school buddies who showed up to help and visit. The fun continued the next day when event winners and participants in all age groups and categories got to bounce along with Chris on a padded July 4th United Way parade float tossing footballs and candy to thousands of spectators lining the streets of Montrose.
Chris Snee takes time out to sign a contestant’s tee shirt.
Members of the current Montrose and Susquehanna Community High School football teams joined Chris in judging and measuring the contestants’ best shots. Activities clipped along in the four corners of the football field under brilliant sunshine and flag-stiffening breezes. Girls and boys in three age groups dressed in red white and blue and Number ‘76’ shirts had three chances to make their longest punt, pass and kick. Winners received trophies presented by Snee and a photo taken with him. There were lots of hot dogs served, an inflated bouncing booth, extreme scrimmages, and an auction, which included football game tickets, a football shirt signed by many of the New York Giant players and an airplane ride.
Chris Snee warming up Punt Pass and Kick contestants on Montrose High football field.
Over $10,000 was raised by the event, including a $1,000 check to United Way from Chris himself. There was also a moving balloon release lead by Kevin Kempa. His event raised $120 for the American Cancer Society in honor of cancer survivors and victims. Speakers expressed the ongoing courage, commitment and support among cancer sufferers and their families in this area, as well as hopes for improved treatments and a cure.
“I am so pleased with the outcome of this event,” says United Way of Susquehanna County Director Ruth Donnelly. “The children all had a great time, we were able to let people know that the United Way is here in Susquehanna County and what we do, and most importantly we were able to raise money for county residents who utilize the 18 nonprofit agencies we support.”
Chris Snee has agreed to come back next year for another Punt Pass and Kick event in support of the United Way of Susquehanna County. This event was the kick-off of the United Way’s annual campaign, which has a theme of “Bring it Back Home” and a record goal of raising $200,000.
Residents of Susquehanna County can take advantage of discounted ticket prices to a Binghamton Mets game and show their community pride on Sunday, August 7, at NYSEG Stadium during a special event in recognition of the community’s support to the Binghamton Mets organization.
The Sunday afternoon game beginning at 1:30 p.m. has been designated as Susquehanna County Community Day and will feature a variety of attractions recognizing Susquehanna County and the support it has shown for local baseball.
Among the attractions will be an opportunity for a Susquehanna County little league team to take the field with the B-Mets, the singing of our national anthem by a county resident, reduced ticket prices, and more.
For tickets, call Robert Dibble at the stadium, (570) 723–6387.
Be sure to get your tickets and be a part of what promises to be a great day of baseball, and a wonderful opportunity to show your Susquehanna County community pride.
Susquehanna County Treasurer, Cathy Benedict, announces that 2005/2006 Hunting Licenses are now available in the treasurer's office. Antlerless applications are included with your license and the first date for resident applications is August 1 to the Game Commission.
Susquehanna Community High School will hold sports physicals for the 2005-2006 fall sports season on Wednesday, July 27. 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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