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Local Sports Scene

Cuevas Attends Wildlife Courses
Blue Ridge's Nick Smith is July's Althete Of The Month

Dorunda Finds Way To Shine During Dream Game Loss
By Tom Robinson

Scranton – Caught on the wrong end of the worst beating in the 73-year history of the Scranton Lions Club Dream Game, Susquehanna quarterback Anthony Dorunda still found a way to stand out.

Dorunda provided the City’s only offensive threat during a 49-7 loss to the County before a crowd of 6,728 Wednesday night at Scranton Memorial Stadium.

The quarterback was at his best during a race up the field in the final 42 seconds of the first half to produce the only City points. Dorunda found West Scranton’s C.J. Passeri for a 6-yard touchdown on the final play of the half to cut the City’s lead to 28-7.

“We tried,” Dorunda said. “It just didn’t work out too well.”

Dorunda remembered his roots with a “Triplets” sticker on the front of his helmet, for the Blue Ridge Triplets junior football team that he learned the game playing with. There was a time when a continuation of Dorunda’s football playing days appeared to require a transfer to another school until Susquehanna added Blue Ridge students in a cooperative sponsorship of football prior to his freshman year.

Even at Susquehanna, times were tough with Dorunda leading the way to the team breaking a school-record losing streak.

“I think it made you respect the game more,” Dorunda said. “We never expected to win, but we expected to play hard.

“You just couldn’t put your head down. Anyone can play for a winning team, but the people who stayed out when we were losing were the ones who showed heart.”

Dorunda is heading off to Wilkes to continue his career as a tight end on the Division III level. He showed his durability in what likely will be his final performance as a quarterback. He also showed that he would play hard, even in difficult circumstances.

Dorunda shook off – and gave out -- many hits on the way to a team-high 50 yards on nine carries. The results often left his City teammates shaking their heads at his ability to get out of trouble.

Through the air, Dorunda was 2-for-4 in each half, finishing with 53 yards.

When Dorunda was in the game, the City offense had a chance. When he wasn’t the game was a complete mismatch.

The 26 offensive plays with Dorunda behind center produced 152 yards, seven first downs, two turnovers and the team’s only touchdown. The other 24 offensive plays with Scranton’s Dan Scherle produced 45 yards, three first downs and three turnovers.

Dorunda was at his best on the final drive of the half. He started it by hitting Scranton Prep’s Chris Pesota deep down the middle for 32 yards to the County 41. Dorunda followed with scrambles of nine and 14 yards sandwiched around a 12-yard run on a quarterback draw.

The broken tackles on the last of the three straight runs put the City at the 6 with 6.9 seconds left after the last timeout. Dorunda bought time in the pocket long enough for Passeri to wind up wide open in the right side of the end zone for the only score.

Dorunda started in the defensive backfield and made two tackles. Although he did not start at quarterback, he alternated into the lineup in each series throughout the first half, then started the second half.

The County blew the game open in the second half, breaking two records in the process. The County’s 48-15 win in 1974 had accounted for the most points and the largest margin of victory.

The running of Valley View’s Kyle Passeri and the efforts of a large Abington Heights contingent led the County blowout.

Kyle Passeri carried 11 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns.

Joe Repshis of Abington Heights coached a County lineup that had 11 of his own players. Russell Reeves ran for two touchdowns, Shaun Pasternak caught an 11-yard touchdown pass and Jake Roberts had an interception.

Dorunda was one of four county players in the game. Teammate Brian Brady played at linebacker.

Montrose was represented by running back Taylor Smith and two-way tackle Sean Daly.

Smith carried once for two yards.


Monday marks the first day of official practices for fall high school sports teams around Pennsylvania.

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

Kurt Busch Wins Beer Battle, Pocono, PA – Kurt Busch rode a rocket ship to victory over Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Sunday at Pocono Raceway.


Kurt Busch, winner of Sunday's Pennsylvania 500.

Busch led seven times for 175 laps to win the Nextel Cup Pennsylvania 500 by nearly four seconds.

“What a car we had today,” said Busch. “I’m going to name this car the “Pat Tryson Special,” after my crew chief. I never had any problem getting through traffic or around other cars. It was just that good.”

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had a poor handling car for the early part of the race, even spinning out on lap 132 of the 200-lap race. But his team made changes and after another caution on lap 138, he came out fifth.

Seven laps later he was the leader.

But he lost the lead back to Busch on lap 158.

“It was a long day,” said Dale Jr. “We had a real bad handling car there at first. We changed the left front shock under caution and made it handle better.”

Even though Dale Jr. wound up second, Busch has replaced him in the 12th and final cut-off spot for the Chase.

“Kurt did what he had to do today,” continued Dale Jr. “We’re a good team and we’re going to continue to show it.”

Denny Hamlin was able to move into third as the laps wound down.

“It was an up-and-down day for us,” said Hamlin. “We stayed somewhere near the top-five all day, which was good for us. We couldn’t find what we needed and we had brake issues all day.”

Points leader Jeff Gordon was fourth.

“We actually had a stronger car than when we were here last time,” said Gordon. “If the 2-car didn’t exist today, then maybe some of us had a chance at winning. He was wild.”

Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin, and Casey Mears rounded out the top-10 finishers.

Top-12 Chase Contenders: 1. J. Gordon-3236, 2. Hamlin-2870, 3. Kenseth-2825, 4. J. Burton-2763, 5. Stewart-2749, 6. Edwards-2682, 7. Johnson-2624, 8. Kyle Busch-2611, 9. Harvick-2600, 10. Bowyer-2552, 11. Truex Jr.-2434, 12. Kurt Busch-2399.

In Defense Of Tony Stewart – I need to explain exactly how I feel about Tony Stewart.

Whenever someone bumps Stewart on the track, he whines. When his teammate, Denny Hamlin slowed down in front of him, Stewart caused both of them to wreck. In 2004, after a tumultuous week of fussing with NASCAR officials, he said, “It’s NASCAR’s way or the highway, and I might be on my way.”

The following year (2005) he won the Nextel Cup championship.

That’s Tony Stewart.

He has foot-and-mouth disease.

One week he sounds like he doesn’t care, and the next week, he is apologizing, and back on top.

The latest incident occurred after he won his second race of the season at Indianapolis. He dominated the latter half of the 160-lap race and finished three seconds ahead of the second-place car.

It was a powerful win.

But in victory lane, he shot himself in the foot, when he uttered the word Bulls—t on national television. For using the “B” word, he was fined $25,000, plus 25 driver and owner points.

Stewart had just won a race, his emotions were on edge, and even though NASCAR has policies in place, it would be hard for me, if I were on a jury, to find the man guilty of a criminal offense.

According to Stewart, he used the word not because he was on an emotional high, but he was fed up with ESPN, the sports network that televised the Indy race.

Earlier, he had told news people that he would pick and choose which media representative he would talk to.

In referring to ESPN, he said, “Every time we’ve got to deal with someone from ESPN, it’s a sharp knife trying to dig for dirt. I’m not saying they’re not fair questions. Do we all have to leave with a dagger in our back from ESPN? That’s all I’m curious about.”

Stewart went on to say that he didn’t understand why ESPN couldn’t come up with more positive questions like most of the media.

It’s because dirt sells better than clean, positive stories.

In the past I’ve criticized Stewart. Once after a pre-arranged interview, I waited nearly an hour in the rain for a “no-show” Stewart.

But I got over it.

Stewart has matured. He still raves and sometimes acts like he knows everything that happened before, during and after an incident.

But the man has made great strides. And he is one heck of a racer. You don’t win a NASCAR championship being a mediocre driver.

If the television announcers could wait a little longer before sticking a microphone in his face so soon after a race, they might get a different reaction.

Sometimes it appears Stewart really doesn’t care one way or the other. But he gives you a straight answer, and not some sterile, stereotyped public relations statement.

He does have a past and a reputation as a bad boy, but I believe there is so much more good about him than the petty stuff we see and hear on television.

“I wouldn’t say he is the best driver around, but he (Stewart) is one of the best,” said Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 31 Richard Childress Chevrolet.

Let’s leave it at that, and hope that Stewart learns to engage his brain before mouthing off.

Top-10 Busch Series leaders: 1. Edwards-3467, 2. Reutimann-2680, 3. Harvick-2548, 4. Leffler-2532, 5. Ragan-2486, 6. Hamilton Jr.-2398, 7. Leicht-2340, 8. Ambrose-2271, 9. Blaney-2252, 10. M. Wallace-2240.


The Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams will be at the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen Road course, while the Craftsman Trucks race at the 1.33-mile Nashville Speedway.

Saturday, August 11, Busch Series Zippo 200, race 24 of 35, 82 laps, 3 p.m. TV: ESPN2.

Craftsman Trucks Toyota Tundra 200, race 15 of 25, 150 laps, 5:30 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.

Sunday, August 12, Nextel Cup Centurion Boats at the Glen (Car of Tomorrow race), race 22 of 36, 90 laps, 1 p.m. TV: ESPN.

Racing Trivia Question: Which is the oldest track still on the NASCAR circuit?

Last Week’s Question: Who drives the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet in the Cup Series? Answer: Kenny Wallace.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at

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SCFSC Update
By Lew Davy, Secy.

The June meeting of the Susquehanna County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs was hosted by the Harford Rod and Gun Club. The committee chairs reported that the annual gun raffle is well underway, with the drawing scheduled for October 25 and that the Youth Field Day, held at the Harford Fairgrounds is scheduled for September 22. For more information call Bob at 278-1638 or Joe at 465-3442.

Bill Burchell and Fred Ehmann gave an informative presentation to the Federation. They were representing a group of over 100 families and residents that are concerned about an application for a surface mining permit for a proposed 400+ acre gravel mine, that would be removing as much as 350,000 tons of stone per year, south of New Milford. Fred Ehmann reported, “56 quarries now impact the Salt Lick Creek HQ, CWF (High Quality, Cold Water Fish), but the law is they are not supposed to have any discharges. At least three of these small non-coal permits are on the site that the applicant wishes to expand 15-fold. Of particular concern is the sediment and stone dust that leaves the quarries and flows into the stream. The Fish and Boat Commission, the DEP and the applicant are scheduled to discuss the Fish and Boat Commission’s objections to this permit application.”

The Susquehanna County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs is a member of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, which has been fighting legislative and legal battles that have protected our gun clubs, preserving pubic access to our waterways, protecting our land, air, water and our Second Amendment rights; working with the PA Game Commission, the PA Fish & Boat Commission, DCNR, DEP and the PA State Legislature to make sure the voices of sportsmen and women are heard; consistently keeping a keen eye on hunting, trapping, fishing and gun issues as well as the resources and the environment in which we pursue our favorite pastime. Because of the overwhelming impact potential on fish, water quality and environment in general, the SCFSC voted to strongly support the Fish and Boat Commission position on objecting to this permit application.

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Blue Ridge's Nick Smith is July's Althete Of The Month
By Tom Robinson

Blue Ridge's Nick Smith represented the Lackawanna League, joining a group of Wyoming Valley Conference players to form the Pocono Region team in the 16-and-under boys' volleyball tournament at the Keystone State Games.

Smith, who earned his spot on the team through a tryout, helped Pocono to within one win of a gold medal. The Pocono team finished second in round-robin play to determine seeding, then took second again in the elimination round, earning silver medals.

For his effort at the Olympic-style games that draw many of Pennsylvania's top high school athletes, Smith has been selected as the Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Month.

Smith and his teammates succeeded in the challenge of all-star competition, learning to play with each other while getting the best of their opponents. Keystone Games rules allow no more than two practices for each region team.

"It was the first time the whole team really all got a chance to play together," Smith said of the actual competition. "We still played well and we never lost our competitive drive.

"We went full force the whole way. A medal was our goal."

That medal almost turned to gold. The Pocono team reached the final before losing to the Allegheny Region team from the Pittsburgh area.

Each team won one game before Allegheny took the third and deciding game in the championship match.

Like most of the athletes at the Keystone Games, Smith is already well established on the high school level. The middle hitter started at Blue Ridge in his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Nick, the son of Scott and Diane Smith of New Milford, also participates in chorus where he has advanced through districts to the regional chorus.

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