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The cooperative spirit that allowed Blue Ridge students to help revive the floundering Susquehanna football program will move to the soccer field this coming fall.
For the first time ever, Susquehanna students will have a place to play soccer.
The two neighboring Susquehanna County school districts have created two more cooperative sponsorships for sports. Boys' and girls' soccer players from Susquehanna will now be given the opportunity to play for Blue Ridge's soccer team.
Several Blue Ridge players have become prominent members of the Susquehanna football program, which appears to be back on the upswing after breaking a 34-game losing streak last season. Just as importantly, the number of athletes coming over from Blue Ridge since the start of the 2003 season has helped add the necessary depth to the program.
Blue Ridge athletic director Jim Corse is hopeful that Susquehanna students can have the same impact on Blue Ridge's soccer programs.
Corse said Blue Ridge had roughly 20 boys and 15 girls involved in soccer last season.
"You need 22 kids to have a good practice," said Corse, who credited parents of Blue Ridge's soccer players with supporting the move that he thought would benefit the programs. "Kids will have the opportunity to play in both our boys' and girls' programs.
"We have 40-some kids playing junior high soccer, but there are so many activities as they get older that there are not always enough players to have full varsity and JV boys' and girls' teams. We hope to have a full varsity and JV schedule for each team."
Both District 2 and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control have approved the cooperative sponsorship for the upcoming sports season.
Montrose graduate Rich Thompson played right field for the International League for the final four innings Wednesday night during a 6-0 victory over the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All-Star Game.
Thompson went 0-for-2 at the plate in the win.
After entering the game as a defensive substitute in the top of the sixth, Thompson grounded out to second base, but advanced a runner in the bottom of the inning. He grounded out to second base again in the eighth inning.
Second baseman Joe Thurston represented the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons in the game. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
Kevin Witt of the Durham Bulls was named Most Valuable Player of the game after going 3-for-3 with a home run.
IL pitchers were perfect for 4 2/3 innings and combined to throw a two-hitter.
During the all-star break, International League president Randy Mobley and Pacific Coast League president Branch Rickey announced that there will once again be a Triple-A championship.
A one-game championship between the winners of the two leagues will be staged September 19 at Oklahoma City.
The two leagues have tried a championship series twice in the past, but called off the latest attempt in 2000. One of the biggest reasons against a series, rather than one championship game, is that it would cost players a chance to be called up to the Major Leagues with the expanded September rosters.
The first Class AAA championship, which was held in 1983, also included the American Association, which has since disbanded.
The Red Barons and Thompson's team, the Indianapolis Indians, are both contenders for the playoffs.
At the all-star break, the Red Barons were 48-42, three games out of first place in the North Division and one game behind Indianapolis in the wild-card race.
Thompson hit the break with the league's fifth-best on-base percentage at .398.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
The Racing Reporter
KYLE BUSCH Wins At New Hampshire, Loudon, NH – Kyle Busch won Sunday’s Lenox Industrial Tools 300 Nextel Cup race in a green/white/checkered finish at New Hampshire Raceway.
“They told me I better not miss this race, because he (Kyle Busch) had a fast car,” said car owner Rick Hendrick. “But I’m way too old for these kinds of finishes.”
Kyle Busch celebrates Sunday's Nextel Cup victory at New Hampshire raceway.
Busch, who led the most laps of any driver, was leading the 300-lap race when a caution came out during lap 298, setting up the green/white/checkered finish.
While speedway safety crews were cleaning up debris from the wreck that involved Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip ran into the back of Robby Gordon’s No. 7 Chevrolet.
This caused an additional delay and the cars had to circle the track three more times while wreckers scrambled to push Waltrip’s car off the track.
This complicated things for most of the leaders, because many had only planned fuel to last through lap 302.
The green flag was finally waved on lap 307. The leaders were: Busch, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Elliott Sadler, and Greg Biffle.
As soon as the race was restarted, Sadler ran out of fuel. Edwards was able to get by Hamlin, when his gasless car sputtered and then slowed.
It was the third win of Busch’s career and it moved him into fourth in the Nextel Cup points.
“The biggest thing for us is to run our own race and do our own thing,” said Busch. “That’s what we were able to do. The team gave me a good enough car. I was able to stay out front, and all we needed was the good pit stops they gave me.”
Edwards was able to make up ground on Busch during the last lap, but had to settle for second after winning Saturday’s Busch race.
“I had a lot of fun up here this weekend,” said Edwards. “We won the Busch race and today came in second. It was a blast. We had a good race car and a great team. The only thing better would have been to win this race, too.”
Polesitter Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart tangled on lap 92. Stewart had to pit for repairs, and when he returned to the track, he was 23 laps down. His 37th place finish dropped him to 11th in points.
During the restart on lap 96, Michael Waltrip got into the back of Newman’s No. 12 Dodge and pushed him into another car. Newman’s pit crew had to replace the radiator. He returned to the track, but 24 laps down.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. lost an engine in his No. 8 Chevrolet during lap 145 and finished 43rd. “You never like something like this, but our engine department has done a good job and we’ve just got to stay focused,” he said.
Top-10 finishers; 1. Kyle Busch, 2. Carl Edwards, 3. Greg Biffle, 4. Mark Martin, 5. Kevin Harvick, 6. Denny Hamlin, 7. Jeff Burton, 8. Kasey Kahne, 9. Jimmie Johnson, 10. Scott Riggs.
Top-10 Chase Contenders: 1. Jimmie Johnson-2789, 2. Matt Kenseth-2721, 3. Jeff Burton-2478, 4. Kyle Busch-2455, 5. Mark Martin-2451, 6. Kasey Kahne-2445, 7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.-2428, 8. Kevin Harvick-2408, 9. Jeff Gordon-2342, 10. Greg Biffle-2342.
Top-10 Busch Series leaders: 1. Harvick-3092, 2. Edwards-2784, 3. Bowyer-2705, 4. Hamlin-2667, 5. Yeley-2636, 6. Biffle-2398, 7. Menard-2373, 8. Kyle Busch-2311, 9. Sauter-2220, 10. K. Wallace-2140.
Top-10 Craftsman Truck Series leaders: 1. Bodine-2161, 2. Reuitmann-2044, 3. Benson-1998, 4. Crawford-1930, 5. Musgrave-1913, 6. Hornaday-1905, 7. Sprague-1898, 8. Starr-1872, 9. Cook-1864, 10. Setzer-1835.
Can DARRELL WALTRIP Hold Off Father Time? Darrell Waltrip has enough grandfather clocks signifying Martinsville Speedway victories to stock a clock store, but Saturday’s Goody’s 250 isn’t about first-place hardware for the veteran/retired driver.
He just hopes to hold off Father Time long enough to pull out a respectable finish in what he says is absolutely his final race.
“My intentions are to come there, and I’m not going to be so naïve as to say I’m going to come there and win, but if I could come there and finish in the top-10, I would be very, very happy,” Waltrip said via phone as he tried to corral one of his daughter’s horses on his Tennessee farm.
His experience and knowledge has not been eroded by time and the 59-year-old Waltrip has been toiling to get his body back to prime racing shape.
Waltrip’s entry into the Goody’s 250 has been called a marketing ploy by some. He’s been out of a race car and in the announcer’s seat for FOX for six years now, making only an occasional Craftsman Truck Series start since he officially retired after the 2000 season.
During those race-free years, he has made several Aaron’s commercials with his brother Michael, pleading for a chance to driver his younger brother’s Busch Series car, the Dream Machine, in each commercial. And each time he has been rebuffed.
But Waltrip is adamant – this isn’t about renting furniture and televisions, it’s about showing he can still drive a race car.
“I’m coming up there because I want to race one more time and I wouldn’t be doing it if it was just about marketing. I’m doing it because I believe we can be competitive,” said Waltrip.
Waltrip said he’s relieved that he doesn’t have to worry about qualifying for the Goody’s 250. Michael’s Dream Machine has had someone behind the wheel for much of the Busch Series season and is high enough in owner points where it is guaranteed a spot in the field.
“The good news is I don’t have to worry about qualifying,” said Waltrip. “That’s one of the hardest things you have to worry about when you haven’t been in a car in a while and you have to go out there and put down that good lap. That’s probably harder than the race itself. But I don’t have to worry about that. We’re in the race. I can go out there and practice and work on the race setup and not worry about anything else.”
What position do you think Waltrip will finish? Send your answer to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or The Racing Reporter, P.O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL 36616. E-mails must be received by 12 noon, Saturday, July 22 and letters must be postmarked no later than Friday, July 21. Be sure to include your address.
We will send an original 8X10 photo of Darrell Waltrip to the fan that gives us his correct finish.
The Nextel Cup teams race at Pocono, PA, while the Busch Series will be at Martinsville, VA. The Craftsman Trucks have the next two weekends off.
Saturday, July 22, Busch Series Goody’s 250, race 21 of 35, 250 laps, 2:30 p.m. TV: NBC.
Sunday, July 23, Nextel Cup Pennsylvania 500, race 20 of 36, 200 laps, 1:30 p.m. TV: TNT.
Racing Trivia Question: Which former Charlotte, NC bus driver went on to win 48 Grand National races and one NASCAR Grand National driving championship?
Last Week’s Question: Who is Ryan Newman’s teammate in the Nextel Cup Series? Answer. It is Kurt Busch.
You may read additional racing stories at www.race500.com.
Chris Snee, NY Giants star offensive lineman, returned to his high school alma mater football field on July 3 to help the United Way of Susquehanna County, and to make a lot of boys and girls very happy. Seventy-five youngsters, ages 7 to 14 years old arrived at sunny Raymond Bennett Memorial Field at Montrose High and took their best shot at punting, passing and kicking a football. To participate, they had each pledged to the United Way or gathered sponsors who had made pledges. Contest participants received prizes and tee shirts, winners were awarded trophies and got to ride with Chris in the July 4th parade on the United Way float.
NYGiants starting lineman, Chris Snee with Punt Pass & Kick winners at MASD Dr. Raymond Bennett Memorial Field.
High school football players volunteered to judge and measure the events. Snee played with the contestants, signed hundreds of tee shirts and posed with kids and families for memento photos. It was definitely a family day, with little ones bouncing in an inflated castle, face painting, burgers and chicken barbecue, a raffle, and silent auction of VIP seat Giants game tickets, a team autographed football and Giant’s shirt and other valuable prizes.
The event raised $10,000 to kick-off the 2006 United Way campaign. In addition, announcers helped spread the word about the need for clothing, especially men’s pants, work shoes/boots and socks, women’s sneakers, kids pants and clean bedding and blankets. Food was provided to American Red Cross volunteers and to flood victims. Cash donations were also raised for the Red Cross and Interfaith, two local agencies which are busy serving families affected by the flood.
Untied Way Executive Director Ruth Donnelly says, “This year the Punt Pass and Kick contest was more than just having fun; it was about coming together as a community and raising funds for those that are having such a difficult time.”
This year’s contest winners were Jake Pomeroy, Dylan Thompson, Jackson McKee, Dominic Lippolis, Danny Kempa, Mindy Carlton, Katherine Kempa, Brooke Malloy, Brittany Bartok, Abigail Roe, Byrnne Clark, Laura Brink, Troy Ely, Anthony Bartok and Dustin Wolf.
For information, or to volunteer to help in the United Way of Susquehanna County Campaign call (570) 278-3868.
Hannah Price, a sophomore forward from Susquehanna Community School District recently won the Most Improved Player award at the prestigious Keystone State Invitational Basketball Camp held at Albright College.
Hannah was chosen as an All-Star at the camp, and was also nominated for the Best Inside Player award and the Most Outstanding Player award.
Following are lists of award winners at the Julius Prezelski Basketball School, held at Montrose High School June 21, 22, 23, 2006, listed by grade.
FOUL SHOOTING: 4 & 5 girls – Kara Empet; 4 & 5 boys – Craig Stanley; 6 & 7 girls – Dallas Ely; 6 boys – Will Ely; 7 boys – Jacob Myers; 8 & 9 girls – Katelyn Spellman; 8 & 9 boys – Steven Rezykowski.
Pictured are the entire squad of award winners at this year’s school.
ONE-ON-ONE: 4 & 5 girls – Nikki Lewis; 4 & 5 boys – Cameron Dean; 6 & 7 girls – Melissa Monahan; 6 boys – Luke Brown; 7 boys – Colby Major; 8 & 9 girls – Shayna Hettiger; 8 & 9 boys – Steven Rezykowski.
3-POINT SHOOTING: 4 & 5 girls – Taylor Prezelski; 4 & 5 boys – Brad Palmatier; 6 & 7 girls – Kailey Ragard; 6 boys – Sawyer Dearborn; 7 boys – Mike Hackitt; 8 & 9 girls – Mariah Lute; 8 & 9 boys – Julian Williams.
COACH’S AWARD: Jenna Rupakus and Dan Cordner.
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