Local Sports Scene
Macho Nachos Have Undefeated Season
Forest City Regional Rotary Tournament
Panasevich Wins Title In 40-Team Tournament
Mountain View's Matt Panasevich won the 189-pound title in the Times Leader Invitational, the largest regular-season wrestling tournament in Pennsylvania, Saturday night.
A field of 40 teams participated in the event at College Misericordia in Dallas. Eight other teams were scheduled to compete but had to pull out of the event Friday when snow forced cancellations at several schools.
Panasevich posted a 7-2 decision over Darin Longenecker of Manheim Central, the team champion, in the final. Longenecker was a Class AAA state tournament qualifier a year ago when Panasevich finished eighth in Class AA.
In his only bout on Friday, Panasevich needed just 1:11 to pin Jason LaNunziata of Pittston Area, which finished second in the team race.
Panasevich then defeated Ziad Haddad of Bethlehem Catholic, 7-1, in the quarterfinals and Joe Klemunes of Lake-Lehman, 6-0, in the semifinals Saturday.
"I wrestled smart and didn't do anything that would put me in jeopardy," Panasevich said.
The tournament title, Panasevich's second of the season, improved his record to 12-0. The unbeaten record, however, is not the primary concern.
"Right now, you've got to train for districts, regionals and states," Panasevich said. "If you did hit a loss along the way, you have to learn and build from it."
Three other county wrestlers finished in the top eight in their weight classes.
Dylan Griffiths of Elk Lake was fifth at 145 pounds, Travis McArthur of Blue Ridge was sixth at 130 pounds and Derek Noldy of Elk Lake was eighth at 152 pounds.
Griffiths scored a major decision over T.J. Laky of Allentown Central Catholic, 11-3, in the fifth-place match.
He lost in the quarterfinals, came back to win two decisions, then lost in the consolation semifinals.
McArthur and Noldy each lost their final bouts by a point.
Geoff Howe of Souderton edged McArthur, 3-2, for fifth place.
Ethan Johnson of Lackawanna Trail shut out Noldy, 1-0, for seventh place.
McArthur, Noldy, Panasevich and Mountain View 171-pounder Joe Johnson each made it through Friday unbeaten to reach the quarterfinals in their weight classes.
Elk Lake had the top finish by a county team, placing 25th with 55 points.
Mountain View was 35th with 35 points, Susquehanna was 37th with 26 points and Blue Ridge was 39th with 19 points.
Brant Thomas was Susquehanna's top wrestler. He finished one bout short of placing by advancing to the fifth round of consolations before being eliminated at 140 pounds.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Kirk Lunger scored 18 points and Troy Hinkley added 10 Saturday night as Elk Lake knocked off defending champion Montrose, 49-36, in a Lackawanna League Division III boys' basketball opener.
The Warriors opened a 38-21 lead after three quarters.
Forest City edged Blue Ridge, 59-58, in overtime, and unbeaten Mountain View ripped Susquehanna, 72-42, in other division openers.
Mountain View handled potential Lackawanna League Division I contender Abington Heights, 65-54.
In girls' basketball, Montrose opened defense of its Division III title with a 59-18 rout of Elk Lake.
Chelsey Parvin, who grabbed 13 rebounds, and Brittany Ely, who dished out five assists, each scored 13 points for Montrose.
Ashley Jones added 11 points, Amanda Lass had nine points and three blocked shots, Christine Brown made six steals and Caitlin Ely had five assists.
Mountain View defeated Susquehanna, 61-50, and Forest City edged Blue Ridge, 47-43, in other division openers.
In professional football, Montrose graduate Chris Snee was the only healthy starter playing in his usual position in the offensive line Saturday when Tiki Barber set a New York Giants record by rushing for 220 yards in a 27-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Giants used the win to open a two-game lead in the National Football Conference East Division.
In professional hockey, the record-setting start by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins led to the Pittsburgh Penguins hiring Michel Therrien as their new head coach.
Pittsburgh fired Eddie Olczyk and his staff.
After Therrien left, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won two out of three games under interim co-coaches Joe Mullen and Rick Kehoe to preserve the American Hockey League's best record.
Sebastien Caron shut out Hershey, 3-0, Sunday. The Bears entered the game as the second-best team in the AHL, but slipped to five points behind the Penguins.
It does not matter whether Lawrence Tompkins is inside or outside the 3-point arc or whether he is just standing at the foul line.
Regardless of the nature of the shot, Tompkins is Marywood University's most accurate shooter.
Tompkins, a 6-foot-3 senior forward from Blue Ridge who serves as team captain, leads the Pacers in field goal, 3-point and free throw percentage. He also leads the team in total field goals and 3-pointers made.
Marywood is off to a 2-4 start in which Tompkins earned an all-tournament selection in the season-opening Laurel Line Tournament.
Tompkins is averaging team-highs of 15.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He is 32-for-63 (50.8 percent) from the floor, 10-for-25 (40.0) on 3-pointers and 16-for-18 (88.9) from the line. He also has 10 assists and six steals.
Last season, Tompkins started in 19 of 26 games. He averaged 9.0 points and 4.6 rebounds as the Pacers set a school record with 11 wins.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Lackawanna Wrestling League season gets off to an earlier start this season with one league match before the New Year.
Elk Lake is at Susquehanna, Mountain View is at Blue Ridge and Montrose is at Valley View Wednesday in Group 2 openers.
Before the holiday break comes in basketball, Montrose will play at Susquehanna in a rematch of last year's playoff to decide the Lackawanna League Division III boys' basketball championship.
Susquehanna plays at Montrose in girls' basketball Thursday.
The other matchups between two county schools in basketball takes place when Elk Lake plays at Forest City in a girls' game Thursday and Forest City goes to Elk Lake for a boys' game Friday.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
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The REX WHITE Christmas Story
Blessed is the way I feel as the Christmas season nears; not only for a wonderful year, but for special friendships.
Rex White, the 1960 NASCAR Grand National champion, is a small man with a giant heart. I have great admiration for him. Defeat doesn’t stay long in his life.
“Christmas wasn’t something my dad bothered with,” said the little man from Taylorsville, North Carolina. “He needed all the daylight he could get just to take care of the farm.
“But I figured Santa Claus out at a very early age. One year I needed a new pair of high top work shoes, and for about a month before Christmas, I had pointed out a pair I wanted in the Sears Roebuck catalogue.
“One day a big package came, but I didn’t see any shoes. On Christmas morning, the shoes were under the tree, and my parents said, “Santa Claus brought them.”
“But I said, ‘oh no,’ and I went and got the Sears catalogue and showed them the picture, which was exactly like the pair I found under the tree.
“They couldn’t fool me on something like that.”
In 2000, White made NASCAR’s list of Top-50 Greatest Drivers, but it took the people in Daytona several months to track him down.
“All I ever wanted to do was race,” said White. “I never did race for the money or fame. Heck, I never made much money racing. All I ever did was work on race cars. It was the sport that I loved.”
When his full-time racing career was over in 1964, he quietly stepped away from NASCAR, and went on with his life, working at a regular job.
As an eight year-old, he was unaware that the skills he was using to work on his family’s Model T Ford, outside Taylorsville, would one day provide him the hope he needed to escape the back breaking work he endured from “can-to can’t” (sunup to sundown).
“I didn’t know how to tear down fences to reveal new worlds, or how to use simple life principles to propel myself on the fast track to winning,” he said in his book, Gold Thunder. “I never imagined I’d become a racing champion.
“Back then my imagination was fueled by what I saw around me, and a burning desire to escape. I viewed life through the eyes of a child, and saw it as demanding and hard.”
Born during the poverty-ridden time of the Great Depression, his night time dreams were often interrupted by his father’s early morning wakeup call, or the screeching of tires as a moonshine-laden car zoomed by on the road next to the family farm.
“My daddy said, ‘Hard work ain’t never killed anybody,’” he continued. “Each child was to earn his keep. I was doing chores by the time I was six, and was self-reliant at an early age. I can’t count the number of times I was slapped upside the head, or my face got punched.
“He taught me that if something bad happened, put that out of your mind. You turned that page over and didn’t talk about what’s behind you; say what you’re going to do.
“We never stayed in because of the weather. Snow and ice just meant more hurry in checking and feeding the animals.”
Being an unexpected last child, Rex was the smallest of the family, but this made no difference to his father. He had to carry the same load as the rest of the family.
“I was forced to focus on work because he (father) didn’t believe in play, and kids weren’t thought of as children, but as laborers” continued Rex. “I hated farm work, felt like I was being driven just like the mules.
“Vowing as a youth to get away from that farm, I wanted to be outside its fences. I guess in my mind, if I was going to be driven, I’d do the driving.”
White says he grew up small, partly because he rarely ate. When he entered school, he was still a runt, but when a larger boy, who was a bully, jumped on him, Rex won the fight.
“I learned that size and power weren’t important if you had good strategy,” he said.
He was kicked out of first grade because there were too many kids in the one-room schoolhouse, and thrown out of second for goofing off. Learning came easy, but he had no use for books.
“Some people say a race car driver has to have nerve,” continued Rex. “I say he can’t have fear. He has to have knowledge and confidence. At 200 miles per hour, you have to know what you’re doing and feel good about it. If you’re afraid of speed, or hitting the wall, you don’t need to do it.
“I’m not afraid of anything. I’ll do anything. If there’s something unknown, I’ll find out what it is and won’t be afraid.”
By the time he was eleven, he fell often while plowing a mule. His right leg would simply buckle beneath him. His father, thinking he was avoiding chores, had no empathy for him, and gave him several bad whippings. But after falling down the stairs, the family realized something was wrong.
The doctor diagnosed him with infantile paralysis, better known as polio. He visited a treatment center in Gastonia, NC, where he was fitted with a special brace and shoe for his withered right leg.
“My dad didn’t cut me any slack, and I was soon back working in the fields,” he said.
“If something broke, I’d fix it, not waiting for someone else. I liked to figure things out and know how they worked; what made them stop and what made them go.
“Fascinated by speed, I was always trying to make something go faster, the horse, the buggy, or the washing machine. I’d run our horses, chasing “Indians,” but mine wasn’t the only chasing going on.
“The first time I really drove was on our farm, a 1928 Chevrolet truck. I’ll never forget the feeling of power, a tiny kid moving an object weighing thousands of pounds. Until the time came, I was constantly daydreaming about how driving would be.”
Next Week, Part II: Rex White Does The Impossible
To read more about Rex White, the 1960 NASCAR champion, you may go to his website: www.rexwhiteracing.com.
Racing Trivia Question: How many NASCAR Winston Cup championships did Cale Yarbrough win?
Last Week’s Question: Which former NASCAR Winston Cup champion drove for Richard Childress? Answer. Dale Earnhardt.
You may read additional stories by the Racing Reporter at www.race500.com. His e-mail address is: email@example.com.
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Macho Nachos Have Undefeated Season
Pictured (l-r) are the 2005 U12 Girls NEPSAY Commissioners Cup Soccer Tournament Champions, with an undefeated season, “The Mountain View Macho Nachos”: front row – Tabby Flowers, Dallas Ely, Elizabeth Correll, Megan Kress and Shannon Kavetski; back row – John Suhadolnik, Coach, Alexis Lewis, Melissa Walker, Sarah Pulice, Alix Taylor, Marissa Christina, Devon Suhadolnik, Elissa Muller and Scott Muller, Assistant Coach.
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Forest City Regional Rotary Tournament
The Forest City Rotary Basketball Tournament will commence on Monday, December 26, with a triple header. There will be a JV game at 4:00 p.m. with Mountain View and Forest City Regional JV’s. The varsity game between the two schools will take place at 5:30. The nightcap will feature Forest City and Western Wayne, with the game scheduled to begin about 6:45.
On Saturday, December 28, the club will hold another basketball triple header. There will be a JV game at 4:00 p.m. between Forest City and Western Wayne. The consolation game will start at 5:30 with the championship finals to start about 6:45. There will be a trophy presentation after the game honoring the championship team, the all stars, the cheerleading trophy, and the MVP of the tournament.
Tickets will be available at the door with student tickets costing $2.00 and adult tickets costing $3.00.
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