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Local Sports Scene

2007 Craftsman Truck Schedule
2007 Nextel Cup Schedule
2007 Busch Series Schedule

Elk Lake ReachesWrestling Semifinals
By Tom Robinson

Lehman – The Berwick Bulldogs were a bit too much for the rest of the District 2 Class AA Dual Meet Wrestling Tournament field.

Susquehanna chose not to even bother trying, declining a berth to the district tournament rather than driving to Lake-Lehman High School to face the Wyoming Valley Conference Division I co-champions in the quarterfinals.

At Blue Ridge, there were discussions about passing on the opportunity when the Raiders were offered the berth that the Sabers declined.

Elk Lake coach Wes Warner set his lineup to be sure he got past quarterfinal opponent Wilkes-Barre Meyers in Friday's first match rather than trying to come up with a magic formula to beat the Bulldogs in the semifinals later that night.

Their respect for the Bulldogs proved accurate when the Bulldogs rolled through three rounds of the tournament by a combined margin of 174-31 and took the district championship with a 46-17 victory over Lake-Lehman Saturday night at Pittston Area High School.

Warner's decision also had the desired effect.

Elk Lake turned back Meyers, 40-21, in the quarterfinal before falling to Berwick, 61-12, in the semifinals.

"We kind of moved some people around that maybe we shouldn't have in the first round," Warner said, "but I didn't think we could beat Berwick."

With John Brooks already out of the lineup because of a broken hand, the Warriors already had a limited number of bouts they could expect to win. Then, they lost Rich Harvey to a possible high ankle sprain during the match with Meyers.

Anthony Juser won by a pin and major decision for Elk Lake. Jake Eastman, who picked up a forfeit and added a pin, was the only other Warrior to go 2-0.

Corey Bensoker and Trey Davis had back-to-back, first-period pins at 130 and 135 to break open the match with Meyers, stretching a 21-15 lead to 33-15.

Berwick defeated Blue Ridge, 67-2, in the first match.

Nick Decker had the only win for the Raiders.


Western Wayne captured the Lackawanna League Division 2 wrestling title when it defeated Susquehanna, 44-21, January 30.

The Sabers entered the match needing a win to force a three-way tie for first place with Western Wayne and Elk Lake.

Craig Price (119), Stephan Andujar (135) and Brant Thomas (140) had pins in the loss.

The Sabers were within, 25-21, before the Wildcats won the last four bouts.

The final Division II standings were: Western Wayne, 7-0; Elk Lake, 6-1; Susquehanna, 5-2; Blue Ridge, 4-3; Montrose, 3-4; Valley View, 2-5; Bishop O'Hara, 1-6; and Mountain View, 0-7.

Western Wayne earned the Lackawanna League's top seed for the district tournament but wound up forfeiting out of the tournament because of weather concerns. The Western Wayne School District called off all extracurricular activities Friday night, but the other 15 qualifiers for the district tournament arrived at the two sites and the tournaments went on.

In boys' basketball, Mountain View ripped Elk Lake, 80-42, Saturday night in a meeting between teams that were unbeaten in second-half Lackawanna League Division III play.

Jessie Walsh scored 41 points as Forest City defeated Lackawanna Trail, 57-45.

Kirk Fallon hit four 3-pointers while scoring 24 points to lead Susquehanna past Montrose, 47-35. Dean Moore scored 17 for Montrose in the loss.

Jeff Madrak kept Elk Lake unbeaten earlier in the week with a 24-point effort in a 57-51 win over Montrose. The Warriors rallied from a five-point halftime deficit and a four-point deficit after three quarters.

Moore had 18 points as Montrose edged Carbondale, 57-55. The Meteors jumped to a 32-14 halftime lead then held on.

In girls' basketball, Carbondale knocked Montrose out of a tie for the second-half Division III lead with a 54-49 victory behind 19 points by Rosanne Clister.

Caitlin Ely scored 11 points while Brittany Ely had 10 points and five assists.

Montrose won its other two games.

Caitlin Ely scored a career-high 21 points while Monica Turner added 18 in a 75-49 romp over Elk Lake.

Jaclyn Vaow and Celia Tyler scored 12 each for Elk Lake.

Caitlin Ely, who scored 15 points, and Brittany Ely, who scored 14 points, each had five steals in a 50-42 win over Susquehanna.

Jessica Franklin added 13 points and Christine Brown had five assists.

Hannah Price led Susquehanna with 14 points while Katie DeWitt added 10.

In professional hockey, PlanetUSA defeated Canada, 7-6, in the American Hockey League All-Star Classic.

Todd Richards of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins coached the winning team.

Jonathan Filewich of the Penguins was the Fastest Skater in the Skills Competition the night before.

In professional baseball, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees announced a deal that awarded naming rights of Lackawanna County Stadium, which will now be known as PNC Field, for $365,000 a year for the next three years.


Carrie Wojcik, a 5-foot-8 junior from Forest City, is a forward on the Keystone College women's basketball team.

Wojcik has appeared in 18 of 20 games, making one start. She averages 2.0 points and 1.7 rebounds per game. Wojcik is 16-for-39 (41.0 percent) from the floor and 4-for-8 from the line on the season.

Keystone is 5-15.


The Binghamton Senators are at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Saturday night in an AHL game.

TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript.

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By Gerald Hodges

The Racing Reporter

BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT Coming Up – If you’re like me, it has been a long off-season.

But rejoice fans, NASCAR racing gets back underway this Saturday, February 10, with the 29th annual Budweiser Shootout. The non-points race, which marks the start of the 2007 Nextel Cup season, will be live on Fox Television Sports, beginning at 8 p.m. (EST).

The lineup consists of drivers who earned a Bud Pole in 2006 and past champions of the event who did not earn a Bud Pole in 2006 but finished among the top-50 in the season’s final championship standings.

Denny Hamlin celebrates after winning the 2006 Budwesier Shootout.

The 21 drivers in this year’s lineup are: Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Scott Riggs, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Elliott Sadler, Boris Said, Kevin Harvick, David Gilliland, Brian Vickers, Dale Jarrett, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, Ken Schrader, Bill Elliott.

The total scheduled laps are 70. The race will be run in two segments: 20 laps followed by a 10-minute break, and then a 50-lap dash.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. is the only six-time winner.

Mark Martin has started every Shootout since 1989 in a No. 6 Ford, but this year he will be in Ginn Racing’s No. 01 Army Chevrolet. His first start was in 1982, and his only win came in 1999.

Denny Hamlin was the 2006 Shootout winner.

TOYOTA And COT 2007 Biggest Stories – Toyota’s debut into Nextel Cup racing and the Car of Tomorrow figure to be this year’s biggest news stories.

Jack Roush said last year that “Toyota had as much money as God.” Whether all that money will be poured into the six Toyota race teams remains to be seen. Based on their record in the Craftsman Truck Series, it will probably be more of a team effort than an outpouring of cash.

Toyota has been successful in trucks because of shared information, and all factory-built engines. If one team isn’t running well, expect crew chiefs from other teams to help out with car setups and share race information.

Meanwhile some teams are saying the COT, which will be used in four races in 2007, is going to give Cup racing a boost, while others aren’t so sure.

“I’ve said it to a number of people,” said Roger Penske, owner of the No. 2 and No. 12 Nextel cars. “I think what it’s going to do is take some cost out. Obviously there’s a cost of developing. We were able to test that car for three or four days at a short track, take the car to Daytona and run 191 mph.

“When NASCAR gets the rules just right, we’re going to see a safer car and one that we can take to multiple types of circuits. The good news is we’re supporting it (COT) and I like the conversation about the car. We’re in the game, and we think it will run a lot of people closer together.”

Until just recently, many teams and drivers opposed the new design, and it wasn’t until after Daytona testing early in January that driver comments went from negative to positive.

Jim Pedley, of the Kansas City Star asked driver Scott Riggs whether competitors had unknowingly been subjected to some form of mind control.

“No,” Riggs said, “The program just might turn out to do exactly what NASCAR officials said it would do. And that would be improve racing, make drivers safer and cut costs.”

The first COT race will be the Spring race at Bristol.

Gone are the days when a driver won a Cup race by several laps. Now, if a driver wins by just half a lap, fans and teams cry “cheating or unfair advantage.”

Many fans say the cars are too restricted, but today’s racing is far more competitive than it was a few years ago.

Two Former Racers Gone – The absence of racers Benny Parsons and Bobby Hamilton will also be major changes in 2007.

2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton passed away on Sunday, January 7, after a long battle with cancer.

In addition to his truck series success, he also won four Nextel Cup races at Phoenix, Rockingham, Martinsville and Talladega.

Benny Parsons died January 16, 2007 in Charlotte after being hospitalized because of complications from cancer treatment.

“Benny Parsons was a true champion, both on and off the track,” said NASCAR CEO Brian France. “He will be remembered as being a great ambassador for the sport.”

He was the 1973 Winston Cup champion. He won 21 races before retiring in 1988. Parsons spent the past six years as a television commentator for NBC and TNT.

NASCAR Updates Past Champion’s Provisional – NASCAR announced an update to the past champion’s provisional rule in the Nextel Cup Series for 2007.

Beginning this season, a past champion’s provisional may be used by an eligible driver a maximum of six times over the course of the season. In addition, a team with a past champion eligible driver may only use this provisional a maximum of six times during a season.

Previously, there was no limit on usage of the past champion’s provisional over the course of the 36-race season. The provisional gives the eligible driver the 43rd and final starting position in the race field.

“As NASCAR seeks to place more emphasis on competition, we have decided the time is right to limit the number of provisionals allowed,” said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. “We believe this revision brings the provisional policy in line with the continued growth of the sport.”

Racing Trivia Question: Who is the only driver in this year’s Budweiser Shootout with no previous starts?

Last Week’s Question: Who won the 2006 Daytona 500? Answer: Jimmie Johnson.

You may read additional stories by the Racing Reporter at

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2007 Craftsman Truck Schedule

No.         Date         Race/Location         Laps

1.         Feb. 16         Chevy Silverado 250, Daytona, FL         100

2.         Feb. 23         San Bernadino County 200, Fontana, CA         100

3.         Mar. 16         Atlanta 200, Hampton, GA         135

4.         Mar. 31         Kroger 250, Martinsville, VA         250

5.         Apr. 28         O’Reilly Auto Parts 250, Kansas City, KS         167

6.         May 18         Quaker Steak & Lube 200, Concord, NC         134

7.         May 26         Ohio 250, Mansfield, OH         250

8.         June 1         AAA Insurance 200, Dover, DE         200

9.         June 8         Sam’s Town 400k, Ft. Worth, TX         167

10.         June 16         Michigan 200, Brooklyn, MI         100

11.         June 22         Toyota Tundra 200, West Allis, WI         200

12.         June 30         O’Reilly 200, Memphis, TN         200

13.         July 14         Ford 225, Sparta, KY         150

14.         July 27         Power Stroke Diesel 200, Clermont, IN         200

15.         Aug. 11         Toyota Tundra 200, Nashville, TN         150

16.         Aug. 22         O’Reilly 200, Bristol, TN         200

17.         Sept. 1         Dodge Dealers 200, Madison, IL         160

18.         Sept. 15         New Hampshire 200, Loudon, NH         200

19.         Sept. 22         Las Vegas 350k, Las Vegas, NV         146

20.         Oct. 6         Craftsman Trucks 250, Talladega, AL         94

21.         Oct. 20         Kroger 200, Martinsville, VA         200

22.         Oct. 27         EasyCare 200, Hampton, GA         130

23.         Nov. 2         Silverado 350k, Ft. Worth, TX         147

24.         Nov. 9         Casino Arizona 150, Phoenix, AZ         150

25.         Nov. 16         Ford 200, Homestead, FL         134

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2007 Nextel Cup Schedule

No.         Date         Race/Location         Laps

         Feb. 10         Non-Points Budweiser Shootout, Daytona

1.         Feb. 18         Daytona 500, Daytona Beach, FL         200

2.         Feb. 25         Auto Club 500, Fontana, CA         250

3.         Mar. 11         UAW-DaimlerChrysler400, Las Vegas         267

4.         Mar. 18         Golden Corral 500, Hampton, GA         325

5.         Mar. 25         Food City 500, Bristol, TN         500

6.         Apr. 1         Goody’s Cool Orange 500, Martinsville         500

7.         Apr. 15         Radioshack 500, Ft. Worth, TX         334

8.         Apr. 21         Subway 500, Phoenix, AZ         312

9.         Apr. 29         Aaron’s 499, Talladega, AL         188

10.         May 5         Crown Royal 400, Richmond, VA         400

11.         May 12         Dodge Charger 500, Darlington, SC         367

         May 19         Non-Points Race, Charlotte, NC

12.         May 27         Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte, NC         400

13.         June 3         Neighborhood Excellence 400 Dover, DE         400

14.         June 10         Pocono 500, Long Pond, PA         200

15.         June 17         3M Performance 400, Brooklyn, MI         200

16.         June 24         Toyota /SaveMart 350, Sonoma, CA         110

17.         July 1         Lenox Industrial Tools 300, Loudon, NH         300

18.         July 7         Pepsi 400, Daytona Beach, FL         160

19.         July 15         USG Sheetrock 400, Joliet, IL         267

20.         July 29         Allstate 400, Indianapolis, IN         160

21.         Aug. 5         Pennsylvania 500, Long Pond, PA         200

22.         Aug. 12         AMD At The Glen, Watkins Glen, NY         90

23.         Aug. 19         GFS Marketplace 400, Brooklyn, MI         200

24.         Aug. 25         Sharpie 500, Bristol, TN         500

25.         Sept. 2         Sony HD 500, Fontana, CA         250

26.         Sept. 8         Chevy 400, Richmond, VA         400

27.         Sept. 16         Sylvania 300, Loudon, NH         300

28.         Sept. 23         Dover 400, Dover, DE         400

29.         Sept. 30         Banquet 400, Kansas City, KS         267

30.         Oct. 7         UAW-Ford 500, Talladega, AL         188

31.         Oct. 13         Bank of America 500, Charlotte, NC         334

32.         Oct. 21         Subway 500, Martinsville, VA         500

33.         Oct. 28         Bass Pro Shops 500, Hampton, GA         325

34.         Nov. 4         Dickies 500, Ft. Worth, TX         334

35.         Nov. 11         Checker Auto Parts 500, Phoenix, AZ         312

36.         Nov. 18         Ford 400, Homestead, FL         267

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2007 Busch Series Schedule

No.         Date         Race/Location         Laps

1.         Feb. 17         Hershey’s 300, Daytona, FL         120

2.         Feb. 24         Stater Bros. 300, Fontana, CA         150

3.         Mar. 4         Telcel-Motorola 200, Mexico City         80

4.         Mar. 10         Sam’s Town 300, Las Vegas, NV         200

5.         Mar. 17         Nicorette 300, Hampton, GA         195

6.         Mar. 24         Sharpie Mini 300, Bristol, TN         300

7.         Apr. 7         Pepsi 300, Lebanon, TN         225

8.         Apr. 14         O’Reilly 300, Ft. Worth, TX         200

9.         Apr. 20         Bashas’ Supermarkets 200, Phoenix, AZ         200

10.         Apr. 28         Aaron’s 312, Talladega, AL         117

11.         May 4         Circuit City 250, Richmond, VA         250

12.         May 11         Diamond Hill Plywood 200, Darlington         147

13.         May 26         Carquest 300, Concord, NC         200

14.         June 2         Dover 200, Dover, DE         200

15.         June 9         Federated Auto Parts 300, Nashville, TN         225

16.         June 16         Meijer 300, Sparta, KY         200

17.         June 23         AT&T 250, West Allis, WI         250

18.         June 30         New England 200, Loudon, NH         200

19.         July 6         Winn-Dixie 250, Daytona Beach, FL         100

20.         July 14         USG Durock 300, Chicago, IL         200

21.         July 21         Busch Series 250, Madison, IL         200

22.         July 28         Kroger 200, Clermont, IN         200

23.         Aug. 4         TBA, Montreal, Canada         TBA

24.         Aug. 11         Zippo 200, Watkins Glen, NY         82

25.         Aug. 18         Michigan 200, Brooklyn, MI         100

26.         Aug. 24         Food City 250, Bristol, TN         250

27.         Sept. 1         California 300, Fontana, CA         150

28.         Sept. 7         Richmond 250, Richmond, VA         250

29.         Sept. 22         Dover 200, Dover, DE         200

30.         Sept. 29         Yellow Transportation 300, Kansas City         200

31.         Oct. 12         Dollar General 300, Concord, NC         200

32.         Oct. 27         Sam’s Town 250, Memphis, TN         250

33.         Nov. 3         O’Reilly Challenge, Ft. Worth, TX         200

34.         Nov. 10         Phoenix 200, Phoenix, AZ         200

35.         Nov. 17         Ford 300, Homestead, FL         200

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