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Issue Home December 27, 2005 Site Home

Local Sports Scene

ALA Golf Program Is Perfect Gift

Lady Sabers Moving Up To Class AA

Susquehanna faces the possibility of improved girls' basketball teams in the upcoming seasons, but any postseason success the Lady Sabers are going to pursue will come at a higher level of competition.

The Lady Sabers are moving up from Class A to Class AA for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, according to the complete enrollment classification reports released by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association last week.

The PIAA reclassifies its sports every two years, using projected enrollments for the top three grades. The enrollment figures are split into boys' and girls' figures.

Susquehanna has a total of 148 girls, making it larger than Forest City and almost as big as Blue Ridge for girls' sports. The school has a total of 104 boys, making it by far the smallest school in the county for boys' sports.

Montrose is the county's largest school, more than doubling Susquehanna in boys' enrollment and Forest City in girls' enrollment. For boys' sports, Mountain View is the county's second-largest school. Elk Lake has the second-largest enrollment for girls' sports.

The totals used by the PIAA are: Montrose 241 boys, 258 girls; Mountain View 198 boys, 181 girls; Elk Lake 186 boys, 193 girls; Blue Ridge 174 boys, 157 girls; Susquehanna 104 boys, 148 girls; and Forest City 128 boys, 108 girls.

The PIAA splits its schools evenly into the number of classifications involved. For example, the 695 girls' basketball teams are split as equally as possible into their four classifications. That leaves schools with 146 or fewer girls in Class A and those with 147-264 in Class AA.

Forest City will be the only Class A girls' basketball team for the next two-year cycle. The other five schools will be in Class AA.

Susquehanna joins Forest City in Class A for boys' basketball, but the other four schools will be in Class AA.

Susquehanna, Forest City and Blue Ridge each remain in Class A for softball where the cutoff is 160 students because a different number of teams (640) is involved. The county's other four schools fall into Class AA.

Forest City and Susquehanna are Class A in baseball while the other four schools are in Class AA.

All six county schools are grouped together for both boys' and girls' cross country, which is split into just two classifications. The county schools are in Class AA, which is for schools with enrollments of 340 and under.

Montrose has dropped down to Class A in boys' soccer, falling one student below the cutoff of 242. The Meteors join Mountain View, Elk Lake, Blue Ridge and Forest City in the smallest classification in the three-class system.

Montrose, Mountain View, Blue Ridge and Forest City are Class AA in girls' fall soccer.

Elk Lake is up to Class AA in the three-class girls' volleyball format. Mountain View, Blue Ridge, Susquehanna and Forest City remain in Class A.

Boys' volleyball features Mountain View, Elk Lake, Blue Ridge, Forest City and Susquehanna in Class AA, the smaller class in the two-class system. Abington Heights, which is Class AAAA in many sports, including football, with a boys' enrollment of 557, is among the teams in Class AA. That combination is an oddity created by the fact that primarily large schools are the only ones with boys' volleyball in much of the state, leaving the cutoff to split the schools in half at an enrollment figure of 560.

Montrose, Mountain View, Elk Lake, Blue Ridge and Susquehanna are all in Class AA, the smaller of two classes, for wrestling as well as both boys' and girls' track and field.

Susquehanna is the smallest of 30 schools in District 2 with wrestling and is the 12th smallest of the 484 schools with the sport in the state.

The Susquehanna/Blue Ridge cooperative sponsorship creates a Class AA team in football. The combined enrollment of 288 is well within the Class AA range of 198-337 where Montrose also falls.

Montrose and Elk Lake are in Class AA in the two-classification sports of field hockey, boys' tennis and girls' tennis.

Elk Lake is the same in boys' and girls' swimming.


Susquehanna put together a 16-2 run at one point in the second half, but still needed to produce one more rally on the final possession Friday night.

Craig Soden's jumper from near the top of the key lifted the Sabers to a 47-46 boys' basketball victory over Montrose in a game between the two teams that met in a playoff for last season's Lackawanna League Division III title.

Montrose, the defending champion, has been struggling offensively early this season.

The Meteors, however, broke out to a 34-25 lead late in the third quarter.

The Sabers surged back in front, 41-36, in the fourth quarter.

Montrose had the lead and the ball before a turnover with eight seconds left gave Susquehanna a chance to set up one last shot.

Soden hit the last of seven 3-pointers by the Sabers to produce the win.

Kirk Fallon, who assisted on the winning basket, and Brent Keyes scored 13 points each to lead Susquehanna.

Dean Moore had 12 points and Jared Olah added 10 for Montrose.

The game featured 14 lead changes, including nine in the first half.

Montrose scored first for a 3-0 lead, but Susquehanna moved in front, 17-12, at the end of the first quarter. The Meteors took a one-point lead at halftime.

Mountain View, the favorite to succeed Montrose as division champion, made it to the holiday break undefeated with a 73-57 victory over Carbondale.

In girls' basketball, defending champion Montrose remained undefeated in Division III play before suffering its second loss of a tough non-league schedule.

With Mountain View scoring leader Whitney Williams out of the lineup, Montrose did not allow a field goal for three quarters in a 59-17 romp to start the week.

The Lady Meteors opened a 48-2 lead after three quarters.

Chelsey Parvin led Montrose with 20 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and three blocked shots.

Ashley Jones added nine points and five assists.

Whitney Twining led Mountain View with 11 points.

Parvin led the way again with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots during a 61-46 victory over Susquehanna.

Caitlin Ely added 13 points while Brittany Ely had eight points, five assists and five steals.

Freshman Hannah Price went 7-for-9 from the line while leading Susquehanna with 15 points. Christy Glidden added 11 points and Sarah Biegert had 10.

Montrose (6-2) took a lead into the fourth quarter of Friday's non-league game, but defending District 2 Class A champion Bishop O'Reilly rallied for a 31-27 victory.

Erin Chesnavich scored 15 points for the Queenswomen, who outscored the Lady Meteors, 12-2, in the fourth quarter.

Parvin went 9-for-12 from the line and scored 13 points in the loss. Amanda Lass had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

In high school wrestling, Elk Lake defeated Susquehanna, 45-30, in a Lackawanna League Group B opener. The two schools finished in a three-way tie for first place before losing to Scranton Prep in a wrestleoff last season.


Kristy Shadduck, a 6-foot-1 senior center from Elk Lake, has moved into the starting lineup at Lock Haven University.

Shadduck missed four games, but has now played five games, including a pair of starts. She is second on the team with 7.2 rebounds per game while also averaging 6.4 points.

Lock Haven, a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II team, is off to a 7-2 start.

Shadduck has four blocked shots to move within 21 of the school's all-time career record. She is third in school history with 54 blocked shots.

Last season, Shadduck played in 26 games, including six starts. She averaged 5.5 points and led the team in field goal percentage at 47.7.

Shadduck is hitting 40.5 percent this season (15-for-37).


Montrose, Mountain View and Elk Lake are in the 28th annual Tunkhannock Kiwanis Wrestling Tournament. The two-day event will conclude Wednesday.

Blue Ridge is in the two-day Selinsgrove Tournament, which also wraps up Wednesday.

In boys' basketball, Mountain View is part of the field in the Forest City Rotary Tournament, which is scheduled to conclude Wednesday.

Montrose is at the Honesdale Jaycees Tournament and Blue Ridge is at the Riverside Tournament, which were each scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday.

Susquehanna is at the Crestwood Christmas Tournament Thursday and Friday.

In girls' basketball, Forest City is at the Honesdale Jaycees Tournament and Blue Ridge is at the Wilkes-Barre Meyers Tournament, which were each scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Montrose is in the Taylor Lions Tournament at Riverside. The event was set to open Monday with the finals scheduled for Wednesday.

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

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Rex White Does The Impossible

When NASCAR celebrated its 50th Anniversary it took time to honor what they considered the top-50 NASCAR drivers of all time. One of those men was Rex White.

Rex is hardly a household name to racing fans today but many older fans remember and respect his accomplishments, because he was Chevrolet’s best driver from the late fifties through 1963.

He began his career to the top in 1956, grabbing fourteen top-ten finishes. After a part-time run in 1957, White won twice the next year. His big year came in 1960, when he won six races and the NASCAR Grand National championship.

When he retired in 1964, he had 28 career victories. Afterwards, he was inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame.

But what makes his story interesting is that he won all his races on a shoe-string budget.

In 1950, White was still pumping gas in his hometown of Taylorsville, North Carolina. Red Byron was the first NASCAR champion, Lee Petty was second, and Bob Flock was third.

Rex White had stood it as long as he could, he was about to go racing.

“In Taylorsville, everybody drove Fords,” said White. “When I bought a car, it was a ’37 gray Ford coach with a tweed interior. I pulled the heads, changed the carburetor and timing and had a new engine. Equipped with a new motor, that hot rod would go.

“I ran everywhere wide open, posting speeding tickets over my dash, and terrifying riders with hair-raising turns. What I was doing illegally on the streets was legal on the tracks, and NASCAR continued to grow.”

His first job in racing began one night in 1952, when he began to work on Frankie Schnieder’s team.

“From then on, I headed for the track on Friday evenings to help him,” continued White.

It was while working with Schnieder that he learned about bite and stagger, gear ratios, tires, chassis, engine, and making repairs after wrecks.

But it was hard surviving in racing with no money. During one stay in Daytona, he worked as a truck driver, gas station attendant, and on a shrimp boat. Things became so tough that he had to sell his personal car.

“Once on the way to Allentown, Pennsylvania, I had enough money to get us there, but we were flat broke and it was twenty-four hours away,” he said. “We had money for two ‘Dust Sandwiches’ and two Pepsi’s. That was two packs of Lance cheese crackers and drinks eaten on the road.

“Louise Smith, one of NASCAR’s earliest women drivers, once split a ‘tube steak’ (hot dog), three ways, sharing hers with two other drivers.

“Short track driver Woody Moore was almost as poor as me. In 1953, we went to the ‘Old Horsetrack’ in Hawkinsville, Georgia. He bought a car for $35, paid two more for gas, one for oil, and one more dollar for two hamburgers and two cokes. Then, he found a piece of rope, tied himself into the seat and raced.

“In looking back at those early days, the racing was amazing. I was my car’s builder, driver and sometimes pit crew. Junior Johnson once told me there is no better education than trial and error. He and I learned a lot through that teaching method.”

For White, money was always a problem. At times, they used parts over and over. If something failed, they had to go back and start all over again.

“Despite what some people believe, racing is a sport and drivers are athletes, but it’s not just because of physical strength,” continued White. “A person has to have talent, concentration, good reflexes, and quick decision-making skills. The mental part is a lot bigger than most people realize.

“Superstition played a big part in racing. Peanuts, upside down numbers, anything green or the number thirteen were taboo.

“Fireball Roberts became superstitious of the ‘Kiss of Death,’ having wrecked three times after kisses from beauty queens.”

Rex won one race in 1956, was ranked 11th in Grand National points, and came in second in the Short Track division. A year later, he was being backed by Chevrolet.

“I jumped from hot dogs to hamburgers in a hurry,” said White. “My new salary was $650 per month, more money than I’d ever made in my life, and I had an expense account.

“I was able to double-dip; working as a driver and mechanic, plus collect my winnings.”

But that didn’t last long. By the end of 1957, Chevrolet ended their sponsorship of all NASCAR teams.

Rex teamed up in 1959 with Louis Clements, and they became a formidable race team.

“In 1959, I started 23 races, had five wins, 11 top-fives, and 13 top-10s,” he said. “In spite of this, racing rarely paid for building and maintaining the car. I didn’t have full-time sponsors, only a dealer here and there, and sometimes an ad.”

The ads went from $100 to $150. He took in about $12,000, but still struggled. The money was barely enough to survive.

On his way to the 1960 championship, he battled it out with, “Fireball” Roberts, Junior Johnson, Richard and Lee Petty, Ned Jarrett, David Pearson, Fred Lorenzen, Jack Smith, Tiny Lund, Joe Weatherly, and many other hard chargers, with big sponsors.

“During a race, the only thoughts I had were of winning and preserving the car,” he said. “We couldn’t afford to risk everything to place, because the car was our livelihood. When we finished well, we ate well, and if we didn’t, we put that page behind us.”

It’s great to win more races than your contemporaries but this is where Rex stood out. He was not only Chevrolets best driver and NASCAR’s Grand National divisions win-ingest driver, he was NASCAR’s most consistent.

He entered 233 NASCAR Grand National races in his career and finished in the top ten 163 times. That’s about 70 per cent! Tim Flock is the only driver that is close to Rex in the Grand National event category.

He left the sport for good at the end of the 1965 season, and never looked back. He went to work in Atlanta, and still lives in an Atlanta suburb.

You may read more about Rex White on his website,

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ALA Golf Program Is Perfect Gift

As the holiday season quickly approaches, the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic’s golf discount program is the perfect gift for the golfer in your life. The Golf Privilege Club is a great way to try out different courses and save money – at the same time.

Golf Privilege Club cardholders are entitled to golfing opportunities at over 150 different golf courses and driving ranges throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. Each course offers free, reduced green fees or unlimited play at a flat rate. The Golf Privilege Club program is a steal for only $20.

The holidays are here and the American Lung Association golf discount program is the perfect stocking-stuffer gifts for any golf enthusiast on your gift-giving list!

For more information on the program, call the American Lung Association at 1-800-LUNG-USA. Cards can be ordered over the phone with quick turnaround time. Call today and put a smile on the face of your favorite golfer all season.

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