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Issue Home September 26, 2007 Site Home

Local Sports Scene

Sabers Homecoming!

Elk Lake Junior High Team Impressive In Invitational
By Tom Robinson

SCRANTON – The Elk Lake girls’ varsity cross country team appears to be positioned to improve on last season’s fifth-place finish in the state. The boys’ varsity team is having its share of success.

Saturday, in the Lackawanna County Commissioners’ Invitational at McDade Park, the Warriors junior high teams showed that there is plenty to look forward to in the program’s future.

Elk Lake took three of the four major awards on the junior high level, sweeping both team titles and taking an individual championship.

The Warriors ran away with both junior high team titles.

Mike Bedell won the boys’ race in 9:12, while teammates Sean Carney and Will Bennett were fourth and sixth in 9:38 and 9:44. They led Elk Lake to a 60-116 win over second-place Tunkhannock in the 29-team event.

The Elk Lake girls also placed three in the top 10 while winning the 30-team event, 68-129, over Honesdale. Kirsten Hollister was first in 10:52.18, Katie Van Etten was ninth in 11:13 and Kellie Grosvenor was 10th in 11:14.

Elk Lake took the meet off on the varsity level rather than try to win large invitational titles on consecutive weekends.

Keaton Bennett and Phil Trowbridge finished fourth and sixth in the JV race.

Sam Cudo of Montrose finished 20th out of 190 runners in the varsity girls’ race. She finished the hilly, 3.1-mile course in 21:40. Teammate Brenda King was 39th in 23:15.

Honesdale put three girls in the top eight, led by runner-up Erin Craig, to take the girls’ championship over 18 other full teams with 48 points. Vestal, N.Y. was second with 80, followed by Tri-Valley with 126, Abington Heights with 158 and Pocono Mountain East with 170.

Montrose was ninth with 325 points. Forest City was 18th with 692 points.

Courtney Roosa of Tri-Valley was the individual champ in 20:23.

Blue Ridge’s Jordan Green was 49th for the best Susquehanna County finish out of a field of 25 full teams and 183 runners.

Bill Cooney finished first in 17:12 and Tyler Subasic took fourth to lead Abington Heights to a comfortable 77-167 edge over West Scranton in the boys’ team race.

Vestal was third with 189 points, followed closely by Scranton with 191 and Tunkhannock with 192.

Montrose was 20th with 496 points. Blue Ridge was 24th with 631 and Forest City was 25th with 692.

Elk Lake is one of only two unbeaten Lackawanna League teams in girls’ cross country. Abington Heights is unbeaten in both boys’ and girls’ while Scranton Prep is unbeaten on the boys’ side. The Elk Lake boys are 8-1.

The Blue Ridge (7-1) and Montrose (6-2) girls also have winning records.


The Montrose golfers took a break from their match play and team success long enough to pursue individual goals Wednesday in the Lackawanna League qualifier for the District 2 tournament.

Once again, the Meteors turned in an impressive performance.

Five of the six team members qualified for the district event with the other losing on a tiebreaker for the last of the 50 spots available to golfers from the league’s 25 teams.

Jonathan Lodge led the way for Montrose, finishing fifth in the 150-player event with a 1-over-par, 73 at Elmhurst Country Club.

“Jonathan played in a lot of tournaments this summer and medal play really seems to bring out the best in him,” Montrose coach Mike Zuba said. “He really comes up with a good game plan.”

Dunmore’s Pat Ross was the medalist with a 3-under-par, 69. Nick Reach of Scranton Prep also broke par with a 71. Connor Coldwater of Abington Heights and Alex Pompey of Scranton Prep finished at even par.

Montrose’s Devlin Conrad, who finished sixth in the district to reach the PIAA East Regional last year, was tied for 13th with a 78. Chris Maxey shot an 80, Cole Wheaton shot 84 and Peter Maxey 86 to join Lodge and Conrad at the District 2 tournament October 2.

“Chris just had two bad holes where he over-clubbed himself or he would have been in the 70s, too,” Zuba said.

Susquehanna had two qualifiers – Dusty Barton, who was tied for 14th with a 79, and Craig Soden, who shot 87.

Forest City’s Wade Malicky shot an 82.

Elk Lake’s Ben Phillips shot an 88 and was one of three players to survive a four-way playoff for the final spots. Montrose’s Corey Simon was eliminated in the playoff.

When his tee shot stayed in the woods, Simon fell a shot short of the other three in the tiebreaker, but the tournament still represented an accomplishment for the senior.

Simon won a seven-way team playoff for the last two spots in the district qualifying lineup.

“I’m so proud of him,” Zuba said. “He hasn’t been in our top six that often, but he played fantastic.”

Montrose knocked off a fellow Lackawanna League North Division unbeaten each of the last three weeks to claim the division’s only perfect record.

After earlier wins over Susquehanna and Honesdale, Montrose downed Wallenpaupack, 6 1⁄2- 2 1/2, at Cricket Hill in Hawley to improve to 8-0.

“That was a big match for us,” Zuba said. “Cricket Hill has been very tough on us over the years.”

Forest City (6-3) is fourth and Susquehanna (5-3) is tied for fifth in the 13-team North Division.

In football, Susquehanna and Montrose combined to give up more than 100 points in crossover games against two of the top teams in Division II of the Lackawanna Football Conference.

Riverside scored three times in its first 10 plays and another time before the first quarter was over on the way to a 60-0 rout of Susquehanna.

The Vikings (3-1) outgained the Sabers, 203-40, in the first quarter then cruised the rest of the way to a win.

Joe Klebon scored on runs of 9 and 56 yards in the first quarter, but had an apparent 94-yard interception return for a touchdown called back in the second quarter because of an illegal block well behind the play.

The Sabers (1-3) drove into Riverside territory on their second and fourth possessions, but were stopped on fourth-down plays both times.

Susquehanna went with a revamped backfield with quarterback Cody Scepaniak watching from the sideline with his arm in a sling. C.J. Felter moved from running back to quarterback and Josh Jenkins moved from the line to fullback.

Jenkins had a pair of first-down runs in the team’s best drive of the game, but the Sabers failed to produce any consistency on offense.

Montrose (0-4) got another 100-yard effort from Jared Fowler, but was unable to stop unbeaten Dunmore in a 41-6 loss.

Dunmore scored 21 points in the second quarter to open a 28-0 lead.

Fowler carried 17 times for 107 yards.

Levi Tiffany ran 3 yards for a score in the third quarter after Dunmore had opened a 35-0 lead to put the game into the Mercy Rule.

In field hockey, Elk Lake posted its first win of the season when Karyn Hunsinger scored off a penalty corner 6:56 into the game for the only score during a 1-0 victory over Montrose.

Kellsey Posey made three saves for Elk Lake in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division II game between the county’s only two schools with field hockey.

Madison Legg made eight saves for Montrose in the loss.

Elk Lake had a 9-6 lead in shots and a 7-6 advantage in penalty corners.

In girls’ soccer, Julia Koloski scored two goals when Montrose recovered from a second-half deficit to defeat Forest City, 4-1.

Alex Lewis and Chelsea Lunger each added a goal and two assists in the win.

Mary Sullivan scored on an Alysa Borik assist to give Forest City the lead 3:34 into the second half.

Mountain View finished the week with a 4-1 record, tied with Lakeland and Carbondale for the Lackawanna League North Division lead.

In boys’ soccer, West Scranton (4-0-1) and Forest City (3-0-1) are the only unbeatens in Division III of the Lackawanna League.

In girls’ volleyball, Blue Ridge is 6-0 in the Lackawanna League where Dunmore (5-1) is the only other team with a winning record.

In girls’ tennis, Elk Lake is 6-4 and sixth out of 14 teams in the Lackawanna League.


Megan Bullock, a junior midfielder/back from Elk Lake, has started every game this season for Lock Haven University which plays on the NCAA Division I level in field hockey.

Bullock has two assists and is third on the team with 13 shots.

Lock Haven has won four straight to improve to 5-3 overall. A year ago, Bullock appeared in 12 games and started in three for the Lock Haven team that captured the Northeast Conference tournament title.


Two of the LFC’s three winless teams meet Saturday when Montrose plays at Scranton Prep.

Mid Valley (2-2) is at Susquehanna in another Saturday game.

Last week’s football predictions were 8-2 (80 percent) to improve our season record to 36-10 (78.3 percent). This week’s predictions, with winners in CAPS: Montrose 22, SCRANTON PREP 21; Mid Valley 30, SUSQUEHANNA 14; Riverside 26, OLD FORGE 7; Lakeland 34, CARBONDALE 7; DELAWARE VALLEY 30, Honesdale 12; SCRANTON 21, North Pocono 13; DUNMORE 20, Lackawanna Trail 7; HOLY CROSS 32, Western Wayne 15; West Scranton 20, WALLENPAUPACK 7; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 27, Valley View 14.

In girls’ tennis, the District 2 doubles championships are scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The singles play was set for earlier this week.

In golf, the District 2 tournament will be played Tuesday, October 2 at Elmhurst Country Club. The top 15 boys after 18 holes will play an additional nine holes to determine 10 qualifiers for the East Regional. The top five girls advance into state play.

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

Edwards Survives Dover Crashfest, Dover, DE – Dover’s “Monster Mile” lived up to its reputation.

Fans who love racing excitement got their money’s worth Sunday as the “Monster” devoured or crippled 27 race cars in a record 13 cautions.

Carl Edwards celebrates his Sunday Dover win.

Photo courtesy of NASCAR

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford avoided all the wrecks on the way to his third win of the season.

“It was awesome today,” said Edwards. “The team gave me a great car. We’ve come a long way on this new car (Car of Tomorrow), and we proved it today.”

Edwards moved from eighth to third in the points. With eight races remaining, he is only three points out of first.

“We’ve got to just keep running like we did today,” continued Edwards. “Something was wrong with the carburetor pedal, and the guys took care of it. Dover is not a good a place to have your throttle stick, but crew chief, Bob Osborne took care of it. I’m just glad to have him with our team.”

The biggest wreck of the 400-lap race occurred during lap 386 after Kurt Busch’s No. 2 hit the outside wall. The cars driven by Bobby Labonte, Jeff Green, Kasey Kahne, Reed Sorenson, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr., Scott Riggs, J. J. Yeley, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, and Jimmie Johnson were caught up in it.

NASCAR officials red-flagged the race, but after they had run just three more laps under green, another caution came out because debris was flying off Kyle Busch’s No. 5 and Martin Truex’s No. 1.

The race went back to the final green with Carl Edwards leading, Mark Martin, and Greg Biffle. Edwards checked out on Martin, but Biffle’s four fresh tires allowed him to pass Martin’s No. 01 on the restart. However, Biffle had to settle for runner-up, as Edwards took the checkered flag for his first Dover win.

Edwards’ other teammate, Matt Kenseth led the most laps (191), but lost an engine late in the race. He finished 35th and dropped three Chase positions to tenth.

“You can’t do anything about some things,” he said. “We had a great handling racecar, so I can’t say anything bad about my team.”

Nine of the 12 Chase contenders had problems at Dover.

Jeff Gordon, the 11th-place finisher is the new Chase leader, but his team never got the No. 24 car to handle or turn the way Gordon thought it should.

In addition to being caught up in the big wreck, Jimmie Johnson cut a tire early in the race, losing two laps. He finished 14th.

Kevin Harvick struggled. He had a flat tire and finished four laps down in the 20th spot.

Denny Hamlin was also a big loser. After winning Saturday’s Busch Series race, he rammed into the rear of Kyle Petty’s car during Sunday’s race. Petty caught up with Hamlin in the garage area while both cars were being repaired, and shook his finger in his face. Hamlin dropped to last in the 12 driver Chase field.

Top ten order of finish: 1. Carl Edwards, 2. Greg Biffle, 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 4. Mark Martin, 5. Kyle Busch, 6. Casey Mears, 7. Jeff Burton, 8. Jamie McMurray, 9. Tony Stewart, 10. Juan Montoya.

Chase Contenders after round two of ten: 1. J. Gordon-5340, 2. Stewart-5338, 3. Edwards-5337, 4. Johnson-5336, 5. Kyle Busch-5330, 6. Bowyer-5322, 7. Truex-5294, 8. J. Burton-5265, 9. Harvick-5225, 10. Kenseth-5224, 11. Kurt Busch-5192, 12. Hamlin-5182.

Edwards Continues To Lead Busch Series – Top-10 Busch Series leaders: 1. Edwards-4153, 2. Reutimann-3399, 3. Harvick-3265, 4. Leffler-3245, 5. Ragan-3088, 6. Hamilton Jr.-3046, 7. Biffle-2919, 8. Ambrose-2898, 9. Leicht-2831, 10. M. Wallace-2801.

Skinner Regains Truck Lead – Top-10 Craftsman Truck Series leaders: 1. Skinner-3064, 2. Hornaday-3061, 3. Kvapil-2883, 4. T. Bodine-2750, 5. Benson-2666, 6. Crawford-2619, 7. Musgrave-2386, 8. Darnell-2351, 9. Crafton-2302, 10. Sprague-2252.

History Of Car Number 88 – Robert Yates is retiring the No. 88 from Robert Yates Racing (RYR) following the last race of the 2007 Nextel Cup season. He requested NASCAR transfer the number to Hendrick Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for use in competition for the 2008 Sprint Cup Series.

“Ralph Earnhardt drove the No. 88 Olds in 1957 and because of this number's history with the Earnhardt family, I felt car 88 should continue with Dale Earnhardt, Jr.,” Yates said.

“Younger fans don't realize I built cars and raced against Ralph. I also had a very close relationship with Dale Earnhardt, Sr. I'm proud to transfer this number to Dale Jr. and let him know how much I appreciate the friendship and competitive racing I've always enjoyed with his family.”

Ralph Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s grandfather, drove a No. 88 Petty Enterprises "Oldsmobile 88" in the 1957 Virginia 500 at Martinsville (VA) Speedway. The elder Earnhardt started ninth and finished 13th in the May 19 Grand National division race won by Buck Baker.

The “88” made its debut Sept. 11, 1949 at Langhorne (PA) Speedway. Driver Pepper Cunningham started 15th and drove his 1949 Lincoln to a 33rd-place finish in the Strictly Stock event.

The list of drivers who have driven the No. 88 car in NASCAR Cup-level competition reads like an all-star race roster; Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Buck Baker, Buddy Baker, Geoffrey Bodine, Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, Benny Parsons, Jim Paschal, Fireball Roberts, Ricky Rudd, Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip and Joe Weatherly have all taken turns wheeling it.

Dale Jarrett began driving the No. 88 Ford in 1996 and promptly won the Daytona 500 in the team's first race. UPS assumed the role of primary sponsorship in 2001 with Ford Credit staying on as an associate sponsor. Jarrett had 29 victories and won, what was then, the Winston Cup championship in 1999. He also finished in the top-10 in points seven consecutive seasons from 1996 through 2002.

Ricky Rudd assumed driving duties in 2007.

The No. 88 has been to Victory Lane 65 times since its first race in 1949, ranking it ninth among car numbers on the all-time win list. It is also 10th in all-time starts (1,264) and 12th in all-time pole positions (52).

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports operation also uses the No. 88 on its Chevrolets in Busch Series competition. The current driver of the No. 88 Busch car, Brad Keselowski, also has family ties to the number. His uncle, Ron Keselowski, ran an 88 car on 43 occasions in 1971, 1972 and 1973.

Chase TV Ratings Down – Television viewers aren’t watching this year’s Chase.

According to official statistics, the TV ratings for the New Hampshire race were the lowest since the Chase format was introduced.

The rating was down 11 per cent from last year’s race, which was on TNT, a cable station. The race did not rank among the top-five sports programs of the weekend.


The NASCAR Busch and Nextel Cup teams are at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway, while the Craftsman Trucks have an off weekend.

Saturday, September 29, Busch Series Yellow Transportation 300, race 30 of 35, 200 laps, 3 p.m. TV: ESPN2.

Sunday, September 30, Nextel Cup Kansas 400, race 29 of 36, 267 laps, 1 p.m. TV: ABC.

Racing Trivia Question: Which Cup team does David Ragan drive for?

Last Week’s Question: Which State does Jeff and Ward Burton call home? Answer: They are from South Boston, Virginia.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at

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Sabers Homecoming!

Susquehanna Community High School will hold homecoming festivities during the weekend of September 28 through September 30. The annual homecoming parade will occur on Friday evening. Parade line-up will be at 6:00 at the Susquehanna Fire Dept. grounds, and the parade will begin at 6:30. The band Night Shayde will offer downtown entertainment from the “Monument at the Shops” from 4:30 until 7:00 p.m.

The parade will finish at the school campus. A bonfire will be lighted and the members of various teams and organizations will be introduced. Following the bonfire, the band Kurbstomp will provide outdoor entertainment until 10:00 p.m. Food and refreshment sales will occur throughout the evening.

The homecoming court will be introduced Saturday before the football game at 12:15 p.m. The football game vs. Mid Valley will begin at 1:00 p.m. The homecoming dance will occur on Saturday evening from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. The announcement of the Homecoming King and Queen will occur at 9:30 p.m.

Homecoming weekend will conclude on Sunday with the annual Susquehanna Community Education Association Car Show that will be held on the school campus from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The entire public is invited and encouraged to attend the events.

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