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Issue Home July 11, 2007 Site Home

Local Sports Scene

Blue Ridge's Donovan Named Athlete Of Month
Penn Can Results

Fall High School Sports Schedules Determined
By Tom Robinson

Adjustments have been made to accommodate the changes necessary with the closing of some of the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Scranton and league schedules are now set for fall high school sports in District 2.

Students from the former Bishop Hannan in Scranton and Bishop O'Hara in Dunmore will still occupy the two buildings, but technically will be treated as the new Holy Cross High School. Students will be combined into one building in the future.

Bishop Hoban of Wilkes-Barre, Bishop O'Reilly of Kingston, Seton Catholic of Pittston and Bishop Hafey of Hazleton have all been combined to form Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre.

Minor adjustments had to be made to existing schedules in several sports.

Susquehanna no longer will face Bishop O'Hara twice in football. Holy Cross remains a Division III member of the Lackawanna Football Conference along with Susquehanna, Montrose, Carbondale, Old Forge and Lackawanna Trail.

The Sabers now open with Wilkes-Barre GAR at home September 1, followed by games: at Western Wayne, 9/7; at Shamokin Lourdes, 9/15; at Riverside, 9/21; MID VALLEY, 9/29; at Lackawanna Trail, 10/5; OLD FORGE, 10/13; HOLY CROSS, 10/20; at Carbondale, 10/26; MONTROSE, 11/3.

The Montrose football schedule is: at Hanover Area, 8/31; MID VALLEY, 9/7; at North Pocono, 9/14; DUNMORE, 9/21; at Scranton Prep, 9/28; OLD FORGE, 10/5; at Carbondale, 10/12; at Lackawanna Trail, 10/19; HOLY CROSS, 10/26; at Susquehanna, 11/3.

In cross country, the Lackawanna League will continue its cluster schedule format that will allow each league member to face every other member while running in just seven weekly meets from September 5 to October 16.

Blue Ridge, Elk Lake and Montrose will travel together in one cluster. Their runners will be in the same meet each week, but only one of their meets will count as a competition among the three teams.

Susquehanna and Mountain View will be in a cluster with Lakeland and Lackawanna Trail.

Holy Cross has been placed with Scranton Prep.

In girls' volleyball, the changes do not matter because neither of the Catholic schools in the Lackawanna League had a team. Blue Ridge, Elk Lake, Forest City, Mountain View and Susquehanna are in a league with Lackawanna Trail, Dunmore and Western Wayne with play beginning September 4.

In girls' tennis, there will be 15 Lackawanna League members and Elk Lake will play at Holy Cross on opening day, August 27. Montrose is the other Susquehanna County team in the league, which also includes Abington Heights, Delaware Valley, Dunmore, Honesdale, Montrose, North Pocono, Riverside, Scranton, Scranton Prep, Valley View, Wallenpaupack, Western Wayne and West Scranton.

In golf, which opens August 23, Holy Cross has been placed in the Lackawanna League Southern Division, away from the county teams.

Blue Ridge, Elk Lake, Forest City, Montrose, Mountain View and Susquehanna are all in the Northern Division, along with Carbondale, Honesdale, Lackawanna Trail, Lakeland, Valley View, Wallenpaupack and Western Wayne.

In Lackawanna League boys' soccer, Holy Cross will be in Division II along with Elk Lake, Montrose, St. Gregory's, Valley View and Western Wayne.

Mountain View remains in Division I with Abington Heights, Delaware Valley, Honesdale, North Pocono, Scranton, Scranton Prep and Wallenpaupack.

Forest City is in Division III with Carbondale, Dunmore, Lakeland, Mid Valley and West Scranton.

Boys' soccer league play begins September 6.

Girls' soccer starts a day earlier.

Blue Ridge, Elk Lake, Forest City, Montrose and Mountain View remain as Northern Division rivals, along with Lakeland and Western Wayne. Holy Cross is in the Southern Division, which has only six teams.

In field hockey, where Montrose and Elk Lake are both members of the Wyoming Valley Conference, there is one less team for the two County schools to face in Division II. Bishop Hoban was a Division II member, but the new Holy Redeemer team will take Bishop O'Reilly's spot as a Division I team.

Nanticoke, Hazleton Area, Honesdale, Wallenpaupack, Pittston Area, Tunkhannock, Berwick, Hanover Area and Wyoming Area are the other teams in the division along with Elk Lake and Montrose.


Scranton native P.J. Carlesimo landed his third National Basketball Association head coaching job Thursday when he was hired by the Seattle SuperSonics.

Carlesimo, who coached earlier with Portland and Golden State, had been an assistant on three championship teams with the San Antonio Spurs.

"The Sonics are getting a true teacher of the game," Seattle general manager Sam Presti said in a press release. "His background and defensive philosophy will further establish the identity of our basketball team."

Carlesimo, an assistant coach for USA Basketball on the 1992 Dream Team, led Seton Hall to the NCAA championship game in 1989.

The SuperSonics recently added Kevin Durant from Texas as the second player selected in the NBA Draft.

"We have a talented young nucleus returning and an outstanding draft class," Carlesimo said.

In professional baseball, Rich Thompson drove in two runs each in games against Las Vegas Wednesday and Thursday for the Tucson Sidewinders of the Pacific Coast League.

Thompson, a Montrose graduate who is hitting .290 for the season, was a combined 3-for-7 with two doubles, a run scored and a stolen base in the two games.


Binghamton Mets pitcher Kevin Mulvey, outfielder Caleb Stewart and infielders Brett Harper and Mark Kiger have been selected to play for the North Division in Wednesday's Eastern League All-Star Game in Norwich, Conn.

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

McMurray Ends 166-Race Winless Streak, Daytona Beach, FL – Jamie McMurray, driver of the Roush Fenway No. 26 Ford charged back from an early race penalty to edge Kyle Busch by an eyelash and win Saturday’s Pepsi 400.

Car owner Jack Roush congratulates Jamie McMurray on his Pepsi 400 win.

McMurray couldn't believe it. It was his first win since subbing for an injured Sterling Marlin at Charlotte in 2002, exactly 166 races ago.

“It took a while, but it was worth it,” said McMurray. “I always said for five years there would never be another emotional victory like Charlotte. You wait so long to win. Every driver out here can tell you how special it is.

“I started crying, and I’m like, ‘Why am I crying?’ Because I was so happy.”

The 0.506-second margin of victory was the second closest finish in NASCAR history since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993.

“You always hope you can be up front when these things get close to the end,” said Larry Carter, crew chief on the No. 26. “But Jamie just did a super job tonight. He never lost his cool, and drove the wheels off the car.”

It was the second victory of McMurray's career. He showed from the beginning after starting 15th he had a car that could win. After going under the yellow line to pass Jeff Gordon early in the race, NASCAR sent him to the end of the field of cars, and he had to work his way back to the front.

McMurray and Busch swapped the lead seven different times on the last lap, according to the speedway scoring loops.

“I think everything was going well, but we just didn’t have a lot of help from our teammates tonight,” said Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Chevrolet. “There wasn’t much I could do on the last lap.”

Following Kyle Busch across the stripe was Brother Kurt. Carl Edwards was fourth, Jeff Gordon fifth and Greg Biffle sixth.

Rounding out the top-10 were Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, who made a nice recovery from an early-race accident, Jimmie Johnson and David Gilliland, who ran in the top-five towards the end before losing the handle and spinning out on the backstretch.

Several of the Cup big dogs, including Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick were involved in wrecks and finished back in the field.

During lap 15 Denny Hamlin, driver of the Gibbs No. 11 was leading the race, while his teammate, Tony Stewart was running a close second.

Stewart bumped Hamlin, causing both cars to wreck. Afterwards Stewart blamed the accident on Hamlin, saying, “All of a sudden he (Hamlin) just stops in turn 4, in front of 42 cars, and he can’t expect all of them to drive around him.”

Hamlin originally said Stewart was to blame, but later backed down and said it was his own fault.

Dale Jr. wound up 36th.

“I don't know what happened in the first wreck. You tell me... we got run over,” he said. “I had slowed down and was clear, and then somebody hit me hard from behind, and I was looking backwards up the track. That's frustrating when you come out here with a great car that had what it takes to win the race, and then get taken out by someone not paying attention. The rest of us got it slowed down all right, so I don't know what he was doing. Even after we wrecked, the guys fixed the car and we were pretty decent until the second time we go run into the wall.”

Top-10 Nextel Cup Chase Contenders: 1. J. Gordon-2773, 2. Hamlin-2496, 3. Kenseth-2390, 4. Johnson-2366, 5. J. Burton-2345, 6. Edwards-2308, 7. Stewart-2234, 8. Kyle Busch-2190, 9. Harvick-2172, 10. Truex-2157.

Kyle Busch Takes Daytona Busch Race – Top-10 Busch Series leaders: 1. Edwards-2966, 2. Harvick-2168, 3. Reutimann-2095, 4. Blaney-2056, 5. Leffler-2033, 6. Ragan-2010, 7. Hamilton Jr.-1983, 8. Ambrose-1887, 9. Leicht-1866, 10. Biffle-1845.

NASCAR Hopes To Avoid Death Penalty – During a press conference last week, NASCAR’s head man, Brian France talked about the sanctioning body’s stance on penalties.

From the mail I receive, more than a few fans believe the only way cheating is going to stop is if they send a car home, but NASCAR has been unwilling to do that in the past because it doesn't want to upset the fans and the sponsors of that particular car.

However, France said he did actually envision the penalties getting to the point where they kept a car from being in a race, or suspending the regular driver.

“We'd like not to get to that,” said France. “We'd like to make the deterrent, a portion of the penalty, significant enough that that isn't necessary for us to do. But are we willing to go there? Of course we would. We have in the past and we will in the future. We're not hoping to do that. That's sort of a death penalty.

“We prefer to get there other ways. But that's something we're going to leave open. Ultimately we'll prevail, as we have through the years. There's always cycles where for one reason or another penalties seem to be up. Now we have a brand-new car. In fairness to the teams, there always is some ambiguity, for one reason or another, somebody didn't get clear. We have to take some of that into consideration.

“But we will prevail down the road because it's the integrity of our product. The first thing you have to do if you're us is make sure that there's a high degree of confidence with the other race teams, fans and others that whoever won the race last weekend did it fair and square. That's our first important point we have to make. And we think we're there. There's not a lot of debating that.

“Now you can debate we're not getting there fast enough, penalties aren't high enough. We've had more penalties than normal. That's all fine to discuss. But the premise of keeping a fair playing field, the confidence of garage area is intact and will remain intact.”

Nextel Name To Change To Sprint

NASCAR announced their premier series will be known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning January 1, 2008. The logo was unveiled in a press conference at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday.

“NASCAR has an incredibly loyal fan base, and we listened closely to fan feedback to help make this decision,” said Tim Kelly, chief marketing officer of Sprint. “It was a long and thorough process to determine how to integrate our NASCAR sponsorship into our overall brand strategy, while still keeping the NASCAR fan at the heart of the decision.

“The process extended well beyond the NASCAR sponsorship. This is an evolutionary time for Sprint Nextel’s brand. Our new brand campaign focuses on the importance of speed in people’s daily lives and illustrates their ability to get information where they want it, when they want it. NASCAR was built on a tradition of speed, so it was a natural tie for us.”

Sprint replaced R.J. Reynolds’ Winston brand as title sponsor of NASCAR’s flagship property in 2004.


The Nextel Cup and Busch teams are at the 1.5-mile Chicago, IL track, while the Craftsman Trucks race at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway, in Sparta, KY.

Saturday, July 14, Busch Series USG Durock 300, race 20 of 35, 200 laps, 2:30 p.m. TV: ABC.

Craftsman Trucks Built Ford Tough 225, race 13 of 25, 150 laps, 7:30 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.

Sun, July 15, Nextel Cup USG Sheetrock 400, race 19 of 36, 267 laps, 4 p.m. TV: TNT.

Racing Trivia Question: How many races are in this year’s, “Chase for the Championship,” which begins September 16?

Last Week’s Question: Who is Ryan Newman’s teammate at Penske Racing? Answer: It is Kurt Busch.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at


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Blue Ridge's Donovan Named Athlete Of Month
By Tom Robinson

The rest of the high school sports schedule for Susquehanna County teams and athletes in 2006-07 had been completed when Blue Ridge again extended its softball season into June.

Although the Lady Raiders had their season come to an end in a 1-0 upset loss to East Juniata in the first round of the state Class A softball tournament, the latest state appearance capped a remarkable run by this year's senior class.

"We should have won that state game," senior outfielder/catcher Kate Donovan said, "but we can't be too disappointed with an unbeaten regular season and a district championship."

For her role in the school's 45-game winning streak that included a 19-0 start this season, Donovan has been selected as the Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Month for June. She follows another senior teammate, Jocelyn Dearborn, who received the honor earlier this season.

During Donovan's four years, the team won a pair of state titles and lost just seven games.

Donovan scored the game's only run in the 2006 state championship game as one of the many clutch performances of her career. As a freshman, Donovan delivered the game-winning hit in the 10th inning of the state semifinal to knock out defending champion South Williamsport and send the team to the state championship game where she had two more hits. In the 2006 state semifinal, Donovan had three extra-base hits in the first three innings.

Donovan spent her freshman season in right field, her junior season as catcher and her other two seasons playing both positions, as needed.

"I always pretty much go wherever I was needed," Donovan said.

Donovan, the third hitter in a lineup that averaged more than 10 runs per game, plans to attend Lock Haven University.

In addition to her softball success, Donovan was a four-year member of the basketball team where she was a three-year starter. She played golf as a junior, then moved to volleyball where she started as a senior on the team that reached the district final.

Kate is the daughter of Thomas and Lisa Donovan of Hallstead.

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Jacquelin Rose (Jackie) Viteritto, of New Milford, PA, has entered heaven at the age of 16. She was born in Susquehanna, PA to Helen Elizabeth Viteritto and Larry Viteritto. She was also survived by her maternal grandfather, George Bornheim, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Jackie was a going into her Junior year at Montrose Area High School where she concentrated on studying Art. She loved and was loved by so many. She loved to ski, and was active in the Key Club Service group at school.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, July 11, 2007 at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Montrose, PA with Rev. Charles Cessaretti officiating. Calling hours were held at the Daniel K. Regan Funeral Home on Tuesday evening.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Jackie Viteritto Scholarship Fund, Penn Star Bank, New Milford, PA 18834.

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Penn Can Results
By Terry and Kyle Collins

Friday night, June 30 was a real race night at Penn Can speedway – it was the “Jam The Can “!

The racing was fast and furious, but the best race of the night was when they turned the women loose; some were a little nervous but some were there to race. There was a hard race between Michele Nagle and Donna Carpenter with Carpenter the victor. Michele Nagel is the daughter of Mike and Sherry Nagle, one of the top Modified drivers at the track.

Race results were as follows.

Sportsman Feature :1 Mike Lartz, 2 Dwane Robbins, 3 Jeff Grambo.

Late model feature: 1 Tracey Gregory, 2 Bud Phillips, 3 Dave Zona.

Super Stock feature: 1 Jim Howard, 2 Denny Decker, 3 Jason Rhodes.

Pure Stocks : 1 Butch Green, 2 Kevin Beach, 3 Shane Wolf.

Four Cylinder feature: 1 John Hoover, 2 Nick Grist, 3 Nick Stark.

Powder Puff: 1 Donna Carpenter, 2 Michele Nagle, 3 Toni Gradus.

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