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Spartans For First Win
By Tom Robinson
Jack Keihl slept much more comfortably after his second game as Montrose's head football coach than he did following the first.
"It was a little easier to get up in the morning," Keihl said after he posted his first career victory when the Meteors shut out host Mid Valley in the second half to hold on for a 16-8 victory Friday night.
Opening night had been tough to take because Montrose had a halftime lead before falling to defending District 2 Class AA champion Hanover Area, 21-14.
"It was such a tough loss for our kids to play so well and not come away with the win," Keihl said.
The Meteors made sure they did not repeat that problem.
Montrose took control of the game in the final two minutes of the half and took advantage of a strong night by Taylor Smith to post the victory.
Smith carried 18 times for 121 yards. He ran 23 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter then added the two-point conversion.
Following Montrose's only punt, Mid Valley forced an 8-8 tie.
"It seemed like they had the momentum there for a while," Keihl said.
The Meteors answered with a drive inside the Spartans 20.
Montrose then pinned Mid Valley there, forcing a punt. When the punt snap sailed into the end zone, Tom Blachek was there to trap the punter for a safety and what proved to be the winning points.
The Meteors then pushed in another score following the free kick.
Nick LaBarbera passed 11 yards to Kyle Bonnice on a fade pattern for the touchdown.
Neither team scored again.
Kyle Chuff, who broke a 41-yard run for Mid Valley's only touchdown, led the Spartans with 73 yards on 15 carries.
The Meteors controlled the ball for much of the second half, but penalties and a fumble prevented them from adding to their lead.
Montrose put three first downs together late in the game to run time off the clock.
"I felt like we controlled the game play-by-play," Keihl said, "but we lost two fumbles and had eight penalties.
"We had some plays that hurt us. We're trying to open up a little, but we don't have the kind of offense that can keep picking up second-and-15s."
Fortunately for the Meteors, they did show the kind of defense that could protect a one-touchdown lead for the entire second half.
With one win, the Meteors have already matched their season total from a year ago.
WEEK IN REVIEW
The Susquehanna Sabers remained perfect under the lights at home.
In just the second home night game in school history, the Sabers roared out to a 37-0 lead in the first 20 minutes of a 43-6 non-league football win over Western Wayne.
Anthony Dorunda ran for three touchdowns and passed to Chad Norris for two to key the strong start.
It turned into a short night as the strong start by the Sabers meant that the entire second half was played under the Mercy Rule.
In professional football, Montrose graduate Chris Snee was in the starting lineup at right guard as he opened his third season with the New York Giants against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday night.
Snee left the game with an apparent left ankle injury and did not play in the second. He has been a starter for all three seasons since being selected as a second-round draft pick out of Boston College.
In professional baseball, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons saw their final season as a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate end in disappointment.
Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins combined on a one-hitter Saturday to lead the Rochester Red Wings to a 2-0 victory over the Red Barons and a three games-to-one victory in the International League semifinal series.
The Red Barons had the league's best record in the regular season at 84-58.
In girls' soccer, Brittany Ely's hat trick led Montrose to a 3-0 victory over Western Wayne in the season opener.
Caitlin Ely made seven saves for the shutout.
In girls' tennis, Angie West won a second set tiebreaker at number-two singles to help Montrose to a 3-2 victory over Riverside.
Ashleigh Hinds rolled to a 6-1, 6-1 victory at first singles. Amanda Vaccaro-Emma Steed needed a tiebreaker in the first set to win at first doubles.
In field hockey, Montrose opened the season with a 2-0 victory over Hanover Area. Caitlyn Burnett and Christine Brown scored.
Brown scored again in a 2-1 overtime loss to Berwick.
Elk Lake opened its season by playing to a 2-2 tie with Tunkhannock. Emily Mitchell and Julianne Spadine scored in support of goalie Jessica Sekely, who had 17 saves.
In girls' cross country, Tara Chiarella finished second in a field of more than 160 runners at the Kirby Park Cross Country Invitational Saturday in Wilkes-Barre. Chiarella ran the 3.1-mile course in 19:52.
Laura Carden, a sophomore forward from Montrose, is a member of the field hockey team at Division II Mansfield University.
Carden appeared in nine games as a freshman, getting off one shot. She played in one game this season during Mansfield's 1-2 start.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Susquehanna will play its second and final home night football game of the season Friday against Bishop O'Hara.
Montrose is home the same night against North Pocono.
Our predictions last week were 8-3 (72.7 percent), putting our season record at 20-5 (80.0 percent).
This week's predictions with home team in CAPS: SUSQUEHANNA 34, Bishop O'Hara 27; North Pocono 27, MONTROSE 16; VALLEY VIEW 41, Mid Valley 7; HONESDALE 21, East Stroudsburg North 20; DELAWARE VALLEY 46, Pocono Mountain East 10; Carbondale 42, WESTERN WAYNE 6; LACKAWANNA TRAIL 27, Riverside 14; Scranton Prep 21, OLD FORGE 12; Scranton 20, EAST STROUDSBURG SOUTH 13; Lehighton 27, Wallenpaupack 7; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 14, Lakeland 3.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
By Gerald Hodges
The Racing Reporter
HARVICK Sweeps Richmond, STEWART Out, Richmond, VA – Kevin Harvick won both the Busch and Nextel Cup Series races over the weekend at Richmond, but it was Tony Stewart who came up the big loser, as he failed to make the cut for this year’s Chase.
2 1/2" pic.
The 2006 Nextel Cup Chase for the Championship drivers (l-r) are: front row – Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin; back row – Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick.
Stewart, who had to race a backup car after wrecking during practice, battled all night to get in a position to make the 10-driver Chase field but finished 16 points behind Kasey Kahne.
Stewart, the 2005 Nextel Cup champion, had said earlier in the year that he should be fired if he failed to make this year’s Chase, but he was quiet and somber after Saturday night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400.
“We just missed it tonight," said Stewart. “We couldn't get the car to turn in the center (of the corner) and all we did was make it loose in and on the exit.
“It's been an up-and-down year, and the day we needed to be on, we just couldn't get on. It’s a big letdown obviously, but at the same time there’s 10 guys here that earned their way in, too, so we’ve just got to wish those guys good luck now.”
Harvick passed Kyle Busch on the last lap for his second win in two nights.
Kasey Kahne, who needed an outstanding run to make the Chase field, finished third, which allowed him to move into tenth.
Trailing the top three finishers in the race were Dave Blaney, Greg Biffle, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Ken Schrader, Matt Kenseth and Scott Riggs.
Dale Jr. made three pit stops during the yellow-flag period beginning on lap 321, but his team was unable to fix a brake problem entirely. He eventually dropped one lap down, and finished the night in 17th position.
“I made some mistakes and they made some mistakes and we let it slip away,” he said. “But, we're much better than we were at the beginning of the season. Every person on this team is a critical part and we couldn't have made the Chase without all of them.
“We have some really good tracks in the Chase (Dale Jr. has Cup victories at six of the ten remaining tracks), and I don't see any reason we can't go out and win this thing. Homestead will be tough as the last race. We've struggled there for a few years, but we'll be good in the Chase.”
Kenseth still leads the points standings and the list of drivers in the Chase. Jimmie Johnson is second, just five points behind. Harvick is third, Busch fourth, Denny Hamlin fifth, the only rookie to make the Chase. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who missed the Chase last year, is sixth in the points but was not a factor at Richmond as he finished 16th. Veteran Mark Martin finished sixth in the race and is seventh in the points. Jeff Burton holds the eighth spot after a seventh-place finish.
Four-time champion Jeff Gordon, who also missed the Chase a year ago, squeezed into this year's Chase in ninth position but he was never in the chase for the checkered flag during this 400-lap event. He finished in 31st position. Kahne fills the 10th spot after finishing third.
NASCAR runs the first 26 races of the season to determine the top-10 drivers who fill the re-formatted Chase showdown, which consists of the last 10 races on the schedule. Those drivers in the top-10 will now race for the championship beginning next weekend at New Hampshire.
The ten Chase drivers will have their points reset in ten point increments beginning with next weekend’s race at New Hampshire.
HARVICK Wins Another Busch Race, Richmond, VA –Kevin Harvick won his third straight Busch Series event as he led 154 laps of the 250-lap Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond International Speedway, Friday night.
Harvick increased his point lead to 619 points, and he may finish the season with the biggest lead in Busch Series history.
Top-10 Busch Series leaders: 1. Harvick-4460, 2. Edwards-3841, 3. Hamlin-3801, 4. Bowyer-3615, 5. Yeley-3558, 6. Menard-3357, 7. Kyle Busch-3227, 8. Biffle-3190, 9. Jo. Sauter-3003, 10. Sorenson-2936.
NASCAR Won’t Publish Pit Road Speeds – Two weeks ago at California Speedway, Kasey Kahne was cited for speeding on pit road during the race. NASCAR penalized him by sending him to the tail end of the longest line of cars on the restart.
The only thing strange about the penalty is that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was right on his rear bumper coming down pit road, and it appeared that if Kahne was guilty of a speeding infraction, Earnhardt Jr. would have been too.
“Not so,” said a NASCAR official.
When asked to elaborate on the differences in speed between the two cars after the race, NASCAR officials refused.
While viewers can see how fast cars are going on the track during races, NASCAR does not allow TV networks to display speeds and other data on pit road.
“We are not allowed to use any telemetry on pit road, as per NASCAR,” said Alana Russo of NBC. “We've discussed it with NASCAR and it is a competition decision, which obviously takes precedence over television enhancements.”
So why would NASCAR hide car speeds on pit road?
Before the 2005 season, NASCAR officials using stopwatches made random checks of cars on pit road, calculating average speeds between two points.
Under increasing scrutiny, the stock car sanctioning body changed to an electronic monitoring system that checks every car.
However, one thing did not change: Speeds are still checked by calculating an average speed between two points, through a series of "loops" on pit road. It is not a snapshot of a car's speed, like a radar gun used by police would provide.
So a car's speed on pit road – as might be displayed by the networks were it allowed – isn't determined by the same measurement NASCAR uses to flag violators.
“Pit road speed is a safety rule and was created to promote a safer environment along pit road,” said NASCAR’s Kerry Tharp. “From a safety standpoint, if teams were able to monitor the pit road speeds via the television broadcast, you could find teams thinking they could try to exceed pit road speed in certain areas of pit road.
“That could create an unsafe situation, and certainly no one wants that. However, teams are already working that system.”
Because of the way speed is determined, Cup teams often choose pit stalls based on the location of the timing loops. For example, choosing a pit stall that ends just short of a loop could allow a driver to accelerate entering the stall. A violation would be unlikely since the car is stopped for several seconds and the average speed between loops is well below the maximum.
And that, is the way NASCAR explains away their decision.
The Craftsman Trucks and Nextel Cup teams will be at the 1-mile New Hampshire Speedway in Loudon, NH. The Busch teams have the weekend off.
Saturday, September 16, Craftsman Trucks Sylvania 200, race 18 of 25, 200 laps, 2 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Sunday, September 17, Nextel Cup Sylvania 300, race 27 of 36, 300 laps, 12:30 p.m. TV: TNT.
Racing Trivia Question: How many Craftsman Truck teams does Bill Davis Racing operate?
Last Week’s Question: What was Ray Evernham’s job before he became a team owner? Answer. He was crew chief for Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 team.
If you have any NASCAR questions, e-mail them to: email@example.com.
Montrose Golfer Conrad
Is Athlete Of The Month
By Tom Robinson
Technically, Montrose's Devlin Conrad won the low junior trophy at the Jackman Memorial Tournament when he parred the second playoff hole while Scranton Prep's Ricky Gross was taking a bogey.
Conrad, however, made the win possible with two birdies in the final three regulation holes and an impressive par save on the first playoff hole.
For his effort in the prestigious season-opening high school golf tournament, Conrad has been selected as the latest Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Month.
Although they were not long putts, both birdies were pleasant surprises for Conrad.
"On 4, I played the hole straight down the middle with a driver and a 5-iron to about 80 yards in," Conrad said. "I put my third shot to about 6-to-8 feet, but I didn't expect to make it. It had a lot of break and it fell."
Conrad, who had 12 pars and three bogeys on his first 15 holes, conquered another of Scranton Municipal's tougher greens with his birdie on the par-4 sixth hole, his last hole in the event.
"I hit my drive in the rough, but I was only 50-to-60 yards away," he said. "I had 10 feet, but again I didn't think I could make it."
When the last putt of the day fell, Conrad had moved into a tie for second place overall and first among juniors at 1-over-par, 73.
The playoff started on Scranton Muni's treacherous closing stretch of holes, beginning with the long, uphill, par-4, 16th.
Gross immediately grabbed what seemed to be an advantage when he put his drive down the middle while Conrad hit the ball behind a tree line on the right.
"I hit a 7-iron over the trees and was able to get close to the green, then I chipped close," Conrad said.
Conrad prepared for his third season as a starter on the defending Lackawanna League North Division champs by playing in Triple Cities Golf Association tournaments this summer. He was the TCGA Player of the Year on the 16-18-year-old level, a year after earning the same honor on the 13-15-year-old level. Conrad has helped the Meteors get off to another strong start, with just one loss in league play.
Devlin is the son of James Conrad and Terry Clift of Montrose.
Susky Homecoming Set
Susquehanna High School’s Homecoming events are planned for the week of October 2, culminating in an exciting weekend. Be sure to look for shop windows all over downtown to be painted with various depictions of this year’s theme (to be announced soon). Friday, October 6 will feature the annual Homecoming Parade through town and Bonfire/Pep Rally at the High School (events begin at 6:30). Saturday promises an exciting football game at 1 p.m. when the Sabers take the Lions of Lackawanna Trail out of their lions’ den and into Saber territory. The week’s events cap with the Homecoming Dance at the High School gym.
If your community or civic group would like to take part in the annual parade, you are heartily invited. Entered floats are judged in several categories, with the winners being announced at Saturday’s football game. Pick up a Parade Entry Form at the High School anytime between now and Tuesday, October 3. All forms must be returned to the High School office no later than 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 4. If more information is needed, you may contact Mrs. Teresa Marino at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 853-4921.
Tim Flock, A Legend
By Gerald Hodges
The Racing Reporter
Tim Flock was a true NASCAR racing legend and two-time Grand National Champion.
Tim “Julius” Flock was one of four racing members of the Flock Family. Fonty, Bob, and Ethel were the other three.
He won his first of two NASCAR Grand National Titles in 1952. The other came in 1955. On the way to the 1952 championship, he won eight races, but no win was bigger than the June 29, 1952, Motor City 250 at Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit, Mich.
2 1/2" pic.
Tim Flock stands next to Carl Glass, Michigan State Fairgrounds Pres. and two unidentified Hudson Motor Co. executives, after his 1952 Michigan win.
Flock started the race from the 16th position in a 47-car field, which included many other early NASCAR giants, including Herb Thomas, Buck Baker, and Curtis Turner.
Dick Rathmann started on the pole with a qualifying time of 70.230 mph, and led for the first 44 laps.
On lap 45, Lee Petty was able to get around Rathmann and held the lead through lap 87.
On the next lap, Flock got by and held the top spot until Buddy Shuman passed him on lap 111.
Shuman was only able to lead for one lap, because Flock pushed the pedal to the floor on his Hudson Hornet, and at the end of lap 112, Flock had regained the lead.
No one was able to challenge Flock and his No. 91 Hudson for the remaining 138 laps of the 250-lap race.
His Michigan victory was the fourth win of the month, and helped propel him towards that year’s championship.
During the 1952 season, he had 34 starts, won eight races and four poles. By the end of the season Tim Flock had 106 more points than Herb Thomas, enough to earn him his first Grand National Championship title.
Tim was the youngest of three Flock Brothers. He got his start in racing thanks to his older sister Ethel and her husband in 1948. Tim’s brothers, Bob and Fonty, both NASCAR drivers, tried to talk him out of entering the sport.
He started racing Modifieds in 1948 and by 1949 he was ready for the big time.
In 1949 Tim raced in NASCAR’s inaugural Grand National race at Charlotte (prior to that the class was called Strictly Stock) and placed fifth.
The first official season ended with Tim Flock in eighth, Fonty Flock in fifth and brother Bob in third in the overall points standing.
Tim had to sit out the 1950 season recovering from a bad wreck at Charlotte.
Even though 1952 was a good year, the best was yet to come.
Tim had a Rhesus monkey co-driver named “Jocko Flocko” with him in his May 16, 1953 Grand National win at Hickory Motor Speedway. “Jocko Flocko” became the only winning monkey ever.
The monkey was retired two weeks later at Raleigh, where the monkey became scared after looking into the wheel wells. Tim had to do a pit stop to remove the monkey, and he finished third instead of second.
Tim Flock’s 1955 season was a record breaking one. He had 18 wins in 45 races; a record that stood until broken by “The King”, Richard Petty, in 1967. Flock had 19 poles and turned 11 of those into checkered flags. He led 40 per cent of the laps raced that season.
He won the pole in the first race of the 1956 season and went on to take the checkered flag. He had three more wins and four more poles, including a pole start and win at the Daytona Beach/Road Course.
He retired from racing in 1962 with 40 wins in 189 starts and a win percentage of 21.02 per cent. He is remembered for his love of beach races and most considered him to be the best beach course driver ever.
He is the only driver to win at Daytona in all three NASCAR divisions (Grand National, Modified and Convertible). In 1952 he was selected Driver of the Year by Speed Age Magazine. He was inducted into the Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame in ‘77 and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame ‘78. He held five world records for the Daytona Measured Mile.
He passed away in March of 1998, but not before being named to the NMPA Hall of Fame as well as the State of Georgia Hall of Fame, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Court of Legends.
NASCAR also named him as one of their 50 Greatest Drivers.
He died in Charlotte in 1998.
Note: The Michigan State Fairgrounds one-mile dirt track hosted only two NASCAR races. An amazing 59 cars started the 1951 Motor City 250, with Curtis Turner and Fonty Flock leading the majority of the race before Flock crashed and Turner suffered from overheating. Tommy Thompson came on to win, beating Joe Eubanks by 37 seconds.
The series returned in 1952, for the last time and Hudson’s took the top three spots.
For additional information on Tim Flock, visit his website: www.timflock.com
Salt Springs Triathlon Held
Submitted By Walt Kostyk
Anyone driving by Lake Montrose the afternoon of Saturday, September 2 may have wondered why someone had placed three huge orange buoys in the lake. If they had driven past the lake again early Sunday morning, they would have had their answer – the floats marked the swim route of the first-ever Salt Springs Triathlon. Conceived and organized by Race Director Walt Kostyk of Dimock, this triathlon was originally meant to raise funds for the purchase of the Fogler farmstead by the Friends of Salt Springs Park. The money for the purchase of the Fogler property was eventually found elsewhere, but the Friends found themselves needing to raise money again when severe flooding in June, 2006 caused extensive damage to the park.
“Everyone thought that the loss of the Franklin Forks bridge meant the end of the triathlon, and they were almost right,” Kostyk said. “Police and fire personnel had to focus on much more important business than safety planning for a triathlon, and then, the installation of the one-lane bridge with its traffic lights added another layer of safety complexity, because triathlon rules require the bicyclists to have unimpeded passage along the full route.” In the end, the expertise and diligence of local fire, emergency, and police officials resulted in safety plans that were each approved in an unheard-of one day by USA Triathlon (the national triathlon sanctioning organization), PennDOT District 4-0 (the Traffic Unit in Dunmore), and PennDOT’s Office of Chief Counsel in Harrisburg. Written approval was also provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Lackawanna State Park Complex.
Race day dawned cold, rainy and miserable, but this did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the thirteen individual participants and one team entry. Two courses were available for the participants to choose from. The Sprint course was the shorter of the two, and was designed to be doable by anyone willing to train moderately hard for a few months. The Olympic course was much longer and more rigorous, and demanded extensive endurance and anaerobic training of anyone who chose to take it on (see www.friendsofsaltspringspark.org, Events Calendar, for detailed route maps). In a Hollywood storybook ending, Jerome Washo of Montrose took the first Salt Springs Olympic-Course triathlon with a time of 2:26:08. Jerry was followed closely by Midshipman Erik Bates of Annapolis, MD with a time of 2:30 even. The Overall and Women’s Sprint-Route Champion was Karla Eisch of Vestal, NY, who posted an extremely fast time of 1:10:47. The Men’s Sprint-Route Champion was Robert Peiffer of Doylestown, PA with a time of 1:20:47. Many of the other participants reside locally, including Eugene Learn of Laceyville and William Steele of Nicholson, who each completed the grueling Olympic course. Gretchen Backer of Montrose, Hilary Caws-Elwit of Friendsville, and Kristy Kozlansky of Factoryville all completed the Sprint course, while Bill and Rosemary Franssen of Montrose teamed to complete the Sprint course.
“The extensive presence of local police, fire, and emergency professionals all but guaranteed a safe event,” Kostyk said. “All had their teams positioned exactly as we discussed, managing traffic precisely according to plan. The specter of a water or road injury during the triathlon was what kept us up at night. I wish I had seen these guys in action before the race – I would have slept a lot better! The event never would have happened without the help of our dedicated volunteers.”
After the triathlon, everyone gathered at the Salt Springs State Park finish line for lunch and the medal ceremony. While a few logistical glitches occurred during the race, Salt Springs Triathlon 2006 proved beyond any doubt that an event of this nature and magnitude could be carried out safely and enjoyably in the Susquehanna County locale. The Friends of Salt Springs are currently considering whether to make the Salt Springs Triathlon an annual event.
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