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Issue Home July 26, 2006 Site Home

Local Sports Scene

Triplets Ask For Help

Sabers Coming Back To More Night Football

The debut of night football at Susquehanna went so well last year that the Sabers will get two shots at playing home games under the lights this season.

Susquehanna's first two home games – September 8 against Western Wayne and September 15 against Bishop O'Hara – will be played on Friday nights under the lights.

The football booster club pursued bringing in temporary lights again after attendance soared to well over 1,000 fans to watch last season's 27-24 win over Bishop O'Hara. Anthony Dorunda ran for three touchdowns, passed for another and intercepted two passes to lead the victory in the first night game in the program's 36-year history.

"They decided it was such a nice crowd and people seemed to like it, so they're pursuing it again," Susquehanna coach Dick Bagnall said. "It turned out to be such a good thing last year."

The Sabers will play their final three home games on Saturday afternoons, making them one of the few teams to still do so. Bagnall said there are benefits to either situation.

"I like Saturday afternoon games because it gives you another day of practice to prepare," he said. "But Friday nights are fine because it gives kids a couple of days to heal up after a game."

The Sabers open the football season on the road with a new addition to the schedule. Susquehanna is at Wilkes-Barre GAR, playing on the artificial turf at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium in a Saturday afternoon game September 2.


Susquehanna's Hannah Price and Elk Lake's Benjamin Phillips made it through tryouts and will be part of the Pocono Region team in their respective sports during the Keystone Games, which will be held Tuesday through Sunday in the York area.

Both Price, a basketball player, and Phillips, a baseball player, will be competing in the Junior Division which is for athletes entering their freshman or sophomore years in high school.

Price also played on the Pocono Region team last year when she led the team in scoring in two games on the way to an appearance in the bronze medal game. She started at center for the Lady Sabers as a freshman.

Christy Glidden, Price's teammate at Susquehanna, made the Pocono team last season. She was unable to return to the games after suffering an ankle injury between stages of the tryout process.

Phillips made it through two stages of tryouts to become a member of the 20-player Pocono baseball team. The catcher and right fielder was a full-time junior varsity player and also appeared in three varsity games at Elk Lake as a freshman.

Atwood Lunger of Montrose made it through one stage of the baseball tryouts before complications from the flooding in Susquehanna County made him unavailable for the final tryout.

Four other Susquehanna County athletes are among the entries listed by Keystone Games officials.

Nick LaBarbera and Nick Staats of Montrose are both entered in track and field.

Charles and Marsha Kime of New Milford, frequent winners of multiple medals in masters swimming, are entered again this year.

The Keystone State Games are modeled after the Olympic Games. The multi-sport competitions feature individual competition in many sports, such as track and field and swimming, and team competition by region in sports such as baseball and basketball.

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

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By Gerald Hodges

The Racing Reporter

HAMLIN Sweeps Pocono Again, Long Pond, PA – Denny Hamlin is undefeated at Pocono Raceway. After two races, the rookie driver of the No. 11 Fed-Ex/Kinko Chevrolet has two victories.

Denny Hamlin after Sunday's win at Pocono Raceway.

His latest win came Sunday in the Nextel Cup Pennsylvania 500, where he led 154 of the 200 laps. His other win was June 11.

“It was pretty uneventful,” said Hamlin. “Man, the car was just so strong. We could run any place we wanted to. It didn’t matter if we were on old tires, had two or four tires, we could run where we wanted.

“It was a great race car, but it’s more about the team. Crew chief Mike Ford prepared the car perfectly and it was up to me to get the job done.”

Hamlin started on the pole and was the dominant car throughout the race. The win moved him up four spots to eighth in points.

Kurt Busch finished a distant second.

“We were in the same zip code as Denny, but he was fast,” said Busch. “This was a good finish for us, and it will help us get into the Chase.”

Busch moved to 13th in the points standings.

Jeff Gordon had a fast car, but third was the best he could do.

“We were all pretty much on equal tires there at the end, but we didn’t need that last caution,” said Gordon. “We were looking real good, but Kurt was a little bit better. I got up to second and tried to hold Kurt off, but his car was just a little bit better than mine.”

Gordon remains ninth in Chase points.

The two most exciting moments of the race involved Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards.

The first incident occurred on lap 31 when Stewart swerved left into Clint Bowyer, thinking Bowyer had tried to push him up into the outside wall.

The move knocked Bowyer into Edwards’ No. 99, who had to pit for repairs.

Stewart was black-flagged by NASCAR and assessed a one-lap penalty.

Later, on lap 68 as the cars pitted under yellow, Edwards got into the rear of Stewart’s car as they entered pit road, spinning him around. For his actions, Edwards was also black-flagged and given a one-lap penalty.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had his second consecutive DNF. Last week at New Hampshire, Junior lost an engine. This week, he was bumped from behind by Dave Blaney and spun into the outside wall.

“I’ve never had an issue with Dave,” he said. “I don’t know why he wrecked me. What do you do? We lost a motor last week, and now this. I’m disappointed with my team that today’s car wasn’t any better, but crying isn’t going to take care of it.”

Junior’s last place finish dropped him to 11th in the standings.

Brian Vickers, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton, and Martin Truex rounded out the top-10 finishers.

Top-15 Chase Contenders: 1. Johnson-2939, 2. Kenseth-2842, 3. Burton-2621, 4. Kyle Busch-2582, 5. Harvick-2563, 6. Martin-2557, 7. Kahne-2515, 8. Hamlin-2514, 9. J. Gordon-2512, 10. Stewart-2477, 11. Earnhardt Jr.-2462, 12. Biffle-2433, 13. Kurt Busch-2311, 14. Edwards-2422, 15. Mears-2185.

It Might Not Be All Bad For ROBERT YATES – Robert Yates Racing has a good racecar shop, plenty of dedicated, experienced employees, but two lame duck drivers. Despite both his drivers walking, Yates hasn’t pushed the panic button.

Former Nextel Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 announced earlier this summer he was leaving the team and joining Michael Waltrip Racing.

This past Thursday, Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 38 asked for and received a release from his contract with the team following the 2006 season. He is expected to replace Jeremy Mayfield at Evernham Motorsports, who is joining Jarrett at Waltrip Racing.

In the span of a few months, one of the Cup series’ most successful organizations has gone from a full to empty glass.

But that might not be all bad.

Change can be good.

Robert Yates had said earlier in the year that the organization needed some new faces. While he didn’t specifically mention that he thought a driver change was in order, maybe that’s what is needed.

“The times have changed so much that it’s hard to relate back to the way it was back in 1995 and ’96 (when the team went from one to two teams), but in today’s world the most encouraging thing is you look out here in this sport and you look at the young drivers that are here and the talent that’s coming up and it’s really impressive,” continued Yates. “There’s a lot of good talent out there and we just have to latch onto some of that and build our team back to where it needs to be.”

Sadler earned two wins and qualified for the 2004 Chase and finished ninth in points. He was 13th in points last season and 20th so far this season.

While both Jarrett and Sadler deserve a lot of respect, they no longer display that sharp racing edge that is needed to win races.

With his two major players gone, Yates can really start fresh.

Yates said he would begin a search for a replacement immediately. Busch Series driver, Stephen Leicht, who ran his first Cup race this past Sunday at Pocono and finished 33rd will take over the No. 88 ride.

David Gilliland, who thrilled fans with his June 17 Busch victory over many seasoned Cup drivers is also being considered.

Personally, I believe Yates has a savvy organization with plenty of hard-nosed racing experience. They might stumble, but don’t expect them to fall into the pits.

Michael Waltrip on the other hand has been recruited by big brother Darrell (who owns a Craftsman Truck team) to help Toyota break into the Nextel Cup. With the Waltrips’ gab, expect those teams to do more talking than winning.

What looks greener on the other side of the fence rarely is, so I guess we will just have to wait and see.

KEVIN HARVICK Gets Fourth Busch Win – Top-10 Busch Series leaders: 1. Harvick-3282, 2. Edwards-2934, 3. Bowyer-2880, 4. Hamlin-2832, 5. Yeley-2774, 6. Biffle-2510, 7. Menard-2505, 8. Kyle Busch-2415, 9. Sauter-2375, 10. Kenny Wallace-2264.

Top-10 ARCA RE/MAX leaders: 1. Frank Kimmel-2805, 2. Bobby Gerhart-2745, 3. Damon Lusk-2405, 4. Ryan Foster-2350, 5. Ken Weaver-2305, 6. Brett Rowe-2250, 7. Chuck Weber-2225, 8. Ryan Howard-2225, 9. Billy Venturini-2215, 10. Todd Bowsher-2140.


The only major racing this weekend will be put on by the Busch Series, which will be at the 1.25-mile Gateway, IL track, just across the river from St. Louis, MO. The Nextel Cup and Craftsman Trucks have an off weekend.

Saturday, July 29, Busch Series Gateway 250, race 22 of 35, 200 laps, 8 p.m. TV: TNT.

Racing Trivia Question: What is the home state of Craftsman Series Truck driver Johnny Benson?

Last Week’s Question: Which former Charlotte, NC bus driver went on to win 48 Grand National races and one NASCAR Grand National driving championship? Answer: Herb Thomas.

You may read additional racing stories at

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Triplets Ask For Help

Joe Collins, Great Bend Borough Councilman, and leader of the New Milford Triplets Junior (pee-wee) Football organization is appealing to residents of the New Milford area for help. The football club's facility at the park in New Milford, including the press box, concession stand, and equipment shed were effectively destroyed in the recent flood. Much of the team's equipment was washed away or otherwise lost. Mr. Collins is asking for the return of any football equipment that may have strayed from the park, and for any other assistance that may be available to help the team recover in time for the season.

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