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Local Sports Scene

Saber Golf Enjoys Senior Recognition
New Rule For High School Wrestlers
Doug Phillips Inducted Into Sports Hall of Fame

Eagles, Foresters Stay On Top In Soccer
By Tom Robinson

Mountain View and Forest City continued winning streaks to maintain leads in their Lackawanna League boys' soccer divisions.

While Forest City was remaining undefeated to clinch a repeat of its Division III title, Mountain View was running its winning streak to five games and its unbeaten streak to six to stay on top of the Division I race.

Mountain View shut out Wallenpaupack, 3-0, and edged Honesdale, 3-2, to improve to 9-1-1 in the league and 11-2-1 overall.

The Eagles have outscored their opponents, 43-13. They have five shutouts and have not allowed any team to score more than two goals.

Forest City got past Blue Ridge, 2-1, before beating West Scranton, 4-0, to extend its league winning streak to 22 games.


Montrose's defense held to avoid a potential game-breaking situation and the offense immediately responded with the game-winning play Friday night at Carbondale.

Jared Fowler's 82-yard touchdown reception from Nick LaBarbera lifted the Meteors to a 12-8 Lackawanna Football Conference Division III victory over the Chargers and back above the .500 mark on the season.

Carbondale moved in front, 8-6, early in the fourth quarter then threatened again after recovering a Montrose fumble.

When the Meteors held at the 20, they needed just two plays to go back in front.

Taylor Smith, who ran for more than 100 yards, had put Montrose in front with a one-yard run to cap the Meteors' second possession of the game.

The 6-0 lead held up for more than 30 minutes into the fourth quarter.

Susquehanna dropped its Division III game to Old Forge, 35-7, when it continued to be plagued by turnovers.

The Sabers out-gained the Blue Devils, but Old Forge scored two touchdowns on fumble recoveries.

In girls' volleyball, Susquehanna remained unbeaten to clinch at least a tie for the Lackawanna League title.

In junior high cross country, Blue Ridge's Allison Hall won the Lackawanna League girls' championship.

In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins had a strong weekend to maintain a share of the American Hockey League East Division lead. The Penguins won in Syracuse, 6-1, Friday then returned home to beat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 4-1, Saturday.

Jeff Deslauriers got the win in goal in both games.

"He seems like he's in control," Penguins coach Todd Richards said. "He's catching pucks and trapping pucks, not giving guys a second opportunity.

"He makes it easier on the team in front of him."

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the defending division champ, is 3-1-0-0.

The Binghamton Senators fell in Philadelphia, 4-3, in a shootout Sunday to slip to 1-2-0-2.


Blue Ridge graduate Brooke Hinkley was admitted to a suburban Philadelphia hospital last week after being injured in a four-vehicle, chain-reaction crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Two vans carrying the University of Scranton women's volleyball team, which Hinkley has helped lead to more than 20 wins this season, were heading to the airport to travel to a tournament in the Virgin Islands.

The team withdrew from the tournament after 10 players, a student assistant and a parent were taken to Lansdale-area hospitals, according to an Associated Press report. Three were admitted after the Wednesday accident. The other two were discharged by Friday, but Hinkley remained hospitalized, reportedly in fair condition.


Both county football teams have games Friday night.

Montrose (1-1 in the division and 4-3 overall) is at home against defending champion and current co-leader Lackawanna Trail (2-0, 4-3) in an LFC Division III game.

Susquehanna (0-2, 1-6) has a rematch of an early-season, non-league loss when it plays at Bishop O'Hara (1-1, 4-2). A 20-12 loss to the Bruins started the Sabers on their current five-game losing streak.

Our predictions on last week's games went 8-2, bringing our season record to 59-18 (76.6 percent).

This week's predictions, with home teams in CAPS: Lackawanna Trail 20, MONTROSE 16; BISHOP O'HARA 14, Susquehanna 12; Abington Heights 41, WALLENPAUPACK 10; Delaware Valley 23, SCRANTON 7; VALLEY VIEW 42, North Pocono 20; West Scranton 27, HONESDALE 14; Riverside 38, MID VALLEY 13; DUNMORE 41, Scranton Prep 14; LAKELAND 54, Western Wayne 0; Old Forge 19, CARBONDALE 13.

In boys' soccer, Mountain View tries to move a step closer to the Lackawanna Division I title when it hosts defending champion Abington Heights Wednesday. The teams tied in their first meeting and the Eagles had won every game since going into Monday's scheduled game against Scranton.

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

KAHNE Wins; Burton Stays On Top, Concord, NC – Jeff Burton still leads the Chase, but the rest of the Chase standings got shuffled again after Kasey Kahne’s win Saturday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who until Saturday night had won five of the last seven races at this one-and-a-half-mile track.

Kasey Kahne celebrates his win at Charlotte.

Kahne streaked past Johnson with 28 laps to go in the 334-lap Bank of America 500 and stretched his lead as the race wound down.

“We’re making ground,” said Kahne. “We had trouble at the start (of the Chase), but we’re down to 160 points. We’re doing everything we can, and I definitely think we have the team to do it with.”

The current Cup Series Chase leader Jeff Burton finished third after being a lap down and holds a 45 point lead in the points race with five races remaining.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was fourth and Bobby Labonte fifth. Another chase contender, Kyle Busch was sixth.

Tony Raines was next for his best finish yet in a Cup race. Carl Edwards was eighth, with Joe Nemechek and last week's winner Brian Vickers rounding out the top-10.

It was not a good night for other Chase contenders, including four-time champion Jeff Gordon, who posted his fourth DNF (did not finish) in a row. Gordon wound up 24th and is now last (10th) in the Chase.

Matt Kenseth, who is second in points, nursed a sick car home 14th. Mark Martin was the victim of an accident and wound up in 30th position.

Denny Hamlin, involved in an opening-lap accident, returned to the track after a lengthy repair job in the garage and picked up almost a dozen spots in the rundown with his 28th-place finish. Hamlin was listed in the 40th spot after the first-lap incident and came back on the track more than 48 laps down.

There were numerous spins and crashes in the event that brought out the caution flag, and the garage was as crowded as it has been in a race with either cars out of the race or being repaired.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. remained optimistic, despite being 106 points behind Burton.

“We’re fine,” said Earnhardt. “Jeff Burton is not new to this, and he obviously does everything he needs to do on the race track. It’ll be tough to win the championship just because of the competition, but we’re definitely within striking range of all these guys.”

Top-10 Chase contenders after 5 of 10 races: 1. Burton-5763, 2. Kenseth-5718, 3. Harvick-5674, 4. Martin-5661, 5. Earnhardt-5657, 6. Hamlin-5626, 7. Johnson-5617, 8. Kahne-5603, 9. Kyle Busch-5568, 10. J. Gordon-5547.

Why The Drop In NASCAR TV Ratings? – Many fans that faithfully watched Sunday NASCAR racing on television are no longer tuned in.

In 28 of the 30 races so far in 2006, 26 of them have been watched by fewer people than in 2005. The only two races to show an increase in viewers was the Daytona 500 and DIRECTV 500 at Martinsville.

The October 8, Talladega race was down 6.5 per cent from last year.

NASCAR continues to say that the Nextel Cup Series is on an upswing and has not peaked. NASCAR’s head man, Brian France said that Nextel Cup viewership is still rising.

Statistically, that’s not true.

I don’t believe there is any one factor that is leading to the decrease.

Let me say in advance, that I don’t think the Cup Series is on its way out. There is still plenty of life left in it, but many fans that I talk with say the quality of racing has dropped.

Racing is now a money sport, where all teams are supported by major corporations that use them for marketing purposes, not to see their driver win a race.

With the introduction of the “Car of Tomorrow,” which will debut in 2007, there will be less excitement. These cars are machine-like clones, which will further take the creativeness and originality out of the sport.

Another factor is the fan base. It has changed. Until a few years ago, the majority of the fans were older or middle-age folks living in the southeastern part of the country.

When NASCAR decided to close Rockingham and do away with Darlington’s Labor Day race and move it west to California, they lost fans.

The move to reach younger, Hispanics, and African-Americans has not succeeded.

It’s the older fans that have the money to spend and they are more likely to sit around the living room TV on Sunday, than the younger kids.

Here are some of the reasons fans have given me on why they find something else to do on Sunday:

There are 43 cars in every race; however, they hardly ever talk about the 33 cars or drivers that aren’t in the top-10. This is particularly true since the Chase started.

Longtime fans see the new, young and inexperienced drivers as a corporate marketing tool, and not someone that has earned their respect.

Too many commercials!

NASCAR inconsistently applies gray-area rules.

The TV coverage is bad and, for the most part, races are only worth watching the last 25 laps.

Fans have written me saying that NASCAR has ignored their complaints. Personally, I think they have written off their core fan base, and are relying on new markets for growth.

The old fan base is crumbling. The future of the sport is in the hands and minds of the new generation of fans, who are being required by tracks to buy tickets a year in advance.


The Craftsman Trucks and Cup teams will be at .526-mile Martinsville, while the Busch Series has the weekend off.

Saturday, October 21: Craftsman Trucks Kroger 200, race 21 of 25, 200 laps, 2 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.

Sunday, October 22: Nextel Cup Martinsville 500, race 32 of 36, 500 laps, 12:30 p.m. TV: NBC.

Racing Trivia Question: How much money will Nextel Cup’s eleventh-place finisher receive at this year’s banquet?

Last Week’s Question: Which Cup team does David Stremme drive for? Answer. He drives the No. 40 Chip Ganassi Dodge.

If you have any NASCAR questions, e-mail them to:

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Saber Golf Enjoys Senior Recognition

An annual end-of-season party was enjoyed by the Susquehanna Saber Golf Team in honor of its graduating seniors, Jeremy Boerner, Drew Crawford and Bill McHale.

Seniors (pictured above with their well-earned team jackets), team members and parents “chowed down” on pizza and wings at P. J. O’hare’s to celebrate the season and wish those graduating all the best in their endeavors.

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New Rule For High School Wrestlers

A new rule will affect Susquehanna Community High School Wrestlers. All wrestlers must have their wrestling weights certified as in past years. However, this year hydration tests will be used to determine wrestling weights. This is a new safety directive ordered by the National Wrestling Coaches Association and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. This means that most doctors or health care providers who did certify wrestling weights in previous years will no longer be able to perform this task. Only those doctors or health care providers who have completed NWCA/PIAA training in weight certification can give physicals for athletes who wrestle.

Please call the school at 853-4921 ext. 2347 if more information is needed.

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Doug Phillips Inducted Into Sports Hall of Fame

Doug Phillips, Jr. is the oldest of the three Phillips brothers who are being inducted into the Wayne Area Sports Hall of Fame this year. He graduated from Hancock High School in 1973, having earned nine varsity letters in football, basketball, and baseball. He was a Susquenango Association First Team All-State in all three sports in his junior and senior years, and helped lead the Hancock “Wildcats” to back-to-back league championships in 1972 and 1973.

He pitched a two-hit complete game in the 1973 Section 4 championship, striking out the first nine batters he faced, and was selected as “Athlete of the Week” by the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin in 1973. His high school baseball career included an 18-4 pitching record. In basketball he averaged over 16 points per game and in football he averaged over 5.1 yards per carry in his senior season.

Doug played baseball at Oneonta State his first year out of high school, and was named to the Eastern Conference all-star team as a first baseman. He then transferred to East Stroudsburg University and had a .350 batting average during his senior year while earning a degree in health and physical education.

Doug and his wife, Sharon and their three children reside in Lanesboro, where he has coached various sports for several years.

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