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Local Sports Scene

Stanton, Noldy Take Fourth; Keyes Scores 1,000th Point
By Tom Robinson

Blue Ridge 140-pounder Alex Stanton and Elk Lake 171-pounder Derek Noldy each finished fourth in the Keystone States Games Invitational Wrestling Tournament at Penn State University.

Stanton and Noldy were the only wrestlers from their teams to place in the top eight in the 38-team event, which was held Saturday and Sunday.

Stanton posted three straight pins to reach the semifinals before losing. He bounced back to pin Colby Sprenkel of Shamokin in 1:48 before losing, 5-2, to Devon Leiby of Troy in the consolation final.

Noldy's two losses were by a total of three points. He won his first two matches by pin.

Brent Salsman went 4-2 in the tournament at 160 pounds for Elk Lake. Noldy, Salsman and Anthony Juser (152) each won their first two matches. Juser started out with a first-period pin and a technical fall.

Elk Lake finished 19th with 82 1/2 points. Blue Ridge was 32nd with 33 points.

Great Valley beat out Benton, 157 1/2-152 1/2, for the team title. Johnson City, N.Y. was third with 142.

Pittston Area was the top team from District 2, taking fifth with 135 points. Lackawanna Trail was the top team from the Lackawanna League, finishing 16th with 93 points.


Brent Keyes reached the 1,000-point mark in career scoring Wednesday when Susquehanna defeated Western Wayne, 47-41, in boys' basketball.

Kirk Fallon scored 19 points and Keyes added 16 in the win.

In girls' basketball, Ashley Bush scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Montrose to its first victory of the season, 59-36, over Western Wayne Saturday.

The Lady Meteors had opened with losses to Valley View, Scranton Prep and Abington Heights, three of the Lackawanna League's top teams from higher divisions.

Chelsea Lunger added 13 points and five assists against Western Wayne. Autumn Ely had six assists, Raina Upright had five assists and Julia Koloski had five steals.

Lauren Findley scored 18 points to lead host Blue Ridge to a 47-44 victory over Susquehanna in the Tony Aliano Memorial Game.

Hannah Price led Susquehanna with 19 points.

In high school football, Dunmore gave District 2 its first state finalist in 10 years, but the Bucks were unable to contain one of the nation's top prospects.

Terrelle Pryor combined with Jordan Hall to lead Jeannette, the highest-scoring team in Pennsylvania high school football history, to a 49-21 romp in Saturday's PIAA Class AA championship game at Hersheypark Stadium.

Jeannette reached last year's state final before losing, 29-28, to Wilson Area. The Jayhawks came back strong and scored 860 points (53.8 per game) behind Pryor, a 6-foot-6, 227-pound quarterback.

Pryor and Hall led a 22-point outburst in the final 4:15 of the half for a 35-7 lead. Hall returned a punt 65 yards and they threw touchdown passes to each other in the decisive stretch.

Pryor finished with 12 carries for 209 yards and three touchdowns. He completed three of four passes for 83 yards and caught a pass for 28 yards.

Hall carried nine times for 128 yards. He had three touchdowns, including a 58-yard run on the first play to give Jeannette the lead after just 12 seconds.

Miller Holmes, Michael Perry and Matt Hilson ran for Dunmore's touchdowns. Perry carried 26 times for 133 yards.

Dunmore finished 14-2, including a win over Montrose.

By correctly predicting Jeannette's win, we finished the playoffs 18-2 (90 percent) and the season 104-22 (82.5 percent) in predicting games involving Lackawanna Football Conference teams.

In professional hockey, the American Hockey League announced that Denis Hamel of the Binghamton Senators and Keith Aucoin of the Albany River Rats will serve as captains for the AHL All-Star Classic scheduled for the Broome County Arena in Binghamton, January 28.

League president David Andrews selects captains based on outstanding service and leadership.

Hamel, a left wing who will be making his third all-star game appearance, is the Senators all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played. He is leading the AHL with 16 goals scored and has 422 points in 533 career AHL games. He will captain the Canadian team.

Aucoin, who has 412 points in 416 career AHL games, will captain the PlanetUSA team for players born outside of Canada. One of the league's top 10 scorers in three of the past five seasons, Aucoin is Albany's leading scorer this season.

This will be Aucoin's third straight appearance in the game.

The AHL All-Star Skills Competition is scheduled for January 27 at 7 p.m. The game is the next night, also at 7 p.m.


Justin Herbert is off to an excellent start in his second season as captain of the Franklin & Marshall wrestling team.

The junior from Blue Ridge is climbing in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association rankings and is a threat to place in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I tournament, according to his coach, Pete Schuyler.

"Justin is a superb leader, on and off the mat," Schuyler said. "He has a tremendous work ethic and continually works to improve his skills as a wrestler.

"Our guys look up to Justin and having him succeed this season will hopefully shine a path for our younger wrestlers to follow."

Herbert is off to a 9-1 start and has moved up from a preseason ranking of sixth to third in EIWA rankings at 174 pounds. Herbert's ranking is the best by any wrestler at Franklin & Marshall (2-2).

Navy's Mark Stolpinski and Cornell's Steve Anceravage are ranked 1-2. Stolpinski defeated Herbert, 6-3, in the 12-team Navy Classic where Herbert recovered to finish third.

Herbert was 16-10 as a freshman and 16-12 as a sophomore. He went 125-38 in his career at Blue Ridge where he placed sixth and seventh in the state Class AA tournament.

There are 14 teams in the EIWA.


Susquehanna is at Forest City Wednesday in a meeting between two of the top Lackawanna League Division 3 boys' basketball teams.

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

Marlin Inducted Into Tennessee HOF – Sterling Marlin, one of the most colorful NASCAR drivers during the Winston Cup era will be inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Sterling Marlin in May, 2007.

The Columbia, TN native has 10 Cup wins, but he has never been able to claim the NASCAR title in his 31-year career.

He came closest to winning the NASCAR championship in 2002, after scoring victories at Las Vegas and Darlington and leading the Cup points for 25 weeks. However, a late-season crash at Kansas ended his season.

Still, he scored 14 top-10 finishes and six top-10 qualifying efforts in 29 starts. He started from the Bud Pole twice – at Pocono in June, and Darlington in early September.

Long before Marlin won back-to-back Daytona 500s, Brud Spickard, his football coach at Spring Hill High in Columbia, recognized Marlin as an unusual athlete. “Sterling was coachable,” he said. “He would listen and do what you'd tell him. He could have gone on and played a little football, but with his family background, we pretty much knew he wanted to go into racing.”

“I was always in the shop working with the guys on my dad's (Coo Coo's) cars,” Sterling said during a interview. "I started doing that when I was 12 or 13 years old. By the time I was 15, I was changing tires for him, and then when I turned 16, I was serving as my dad's crew chief and I also started driving.

“Being a race car driver is something I always wanted to do, and fortunately, since the mid-1980s I have been able to land some good rides and keep racing.”

Marlin won three consecutive track championships at Nashville Raceway from 1980-82.

He actually made his Cup debut four years prior with H. B. Cunningham, after his father suffered a broken shoulder.

He is perhaps best known as the third driver in Cup history to win back-to-back Daytona 500s, joining Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough as the only drivers to earn that distinction after winning in 1994 and 1995.

“There is no doubt that my fondest memory is winning that first Daytona 500,” he said.

Not only did he win the Daytona 500, but it was also his first Cup victory in 279 starts.

Coo Coo still recalls Sterling's first trip to Daytona's prestigious winner's circle.

“I remember being there watching the race and everybody started coming up to me with about three laps to go saying Sterling was going to win,” Coo Coo said. “And I told them to just wait until he takes the checkered flag before we start celebrating. Then, when he did win, it was a great moment.”

Marlin won two more times in 1995 and finished the season third in the final points standings.

He continued with Morgan McClure until the end of the 1998 season, but had only two wins in his last three seasons.

He moved to Chip Ganassi Racing, but his next victory did not come until 2001, when he managed two wins, and finished third in points.

In 2002, after suffering a neck injury, he only competed in 29 races and wound up 18th in points.

Marlin did not finish in the top-five in 2003, but had 11 top-tens and matched his previous year's finish of eighteenth in points.

Despite three top-fives in 2004 he fell to 21st in points.

During the 2005 season, Ganassi announced Marlin would be replaced for the 2006 season.

Marlin joined MB2 Motorsports in 2006 and drove the No. 14. His only Top-10 finish in 2006 was ninth at Richmond. The season was shadowed by bad luck and he finished 36th in owner points.

The No. 4 team came back strong in 2007, and was in the top-35, but on July 17, 2007, he was replaced by Regan Smith.

Since then he has attempted four races. He failed to qualify at Bristol and Talladega. However, in November he managed to qualify the No. 09 and drove at Phoenix for a 25th place finish, and a week later at Homestead, finishing 33rd.

His future plans are uncertain at this time. He has said he might like to run a limited Cup schedule in 2008 if the opportunities come available.

Truck Series Going Great – While the Nextel Cup Series has experienced two “bumps in the road” seasons, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series was seen by more total viewers in 2007 than in any other season since moving to SPEED in 2003, according to Nielsen Media Research. With an average Total Viewer count of 686,000, the Truck Series also saw growth in younger demos, posting its best numbers in men ages 18-34, men ages 18-49, and men ages 25-54.

“The Craftsman Truck Series continues to be one of the true cornerstones of the SPEED motor sports lineup,” said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. “The series always delivers great racing, cool storylines and great championship battles. To have champions like (Mike) Skinner and (Ron) Hornaday taking it down to the last race of the season in such dramatic fashion was what we’ve come to expect from this series.”

Hints For Racing Addicts – A lot of my friends, including Rufus Johnson are racing addicts.

“How long have you been addicted?” I asked him.

“As a professional, since I first watched Darrell Waltrip back in the early 1980s,” he said.

“What’s the difference between a professional and an amateur?”

“A professional never misses a race,” continued Rufus, “he watches it every night except Christmas Eve, which is too amateurish. A professional never lets the cost or distance from a racetrack keep him from attending.

“And he’s the kind of fellow that probably wouldn’t miss his wife until after the racing season ended. But of course, if she didn’t keep the fridge stocked with the right kind of beverages, then it would be a plus for her to go.”

For those who might be considering breaking the racing habit, I asked Rufus for some telltale signs a fan should look for in determining whether or not one has crossed the line.

“Start with the morning after,” said Rufus. “Start with your eyes. If you see checkered flags in front of you when you first look into the mirror, then that’s a good sign you are on your way.

“Next, there are your ears. Do you still hear the crowds yelling?”

“What else?” I asked?

“Take a look around the house,” he continued. “If you’ve had to move most of the furniture out of the living room and dining room to make room for all the NASCAR stuff you have bought at the track and on e-bay, then you’re in serious trouble.

“But if you’ve had to quit your job, because it was interfering with your racing style, then you’re in serious trouble.

“If you have two or three of those symptoms, then I suggest you sell your house and move back in with mom and dad. That way you can devote yourself to a full-time racing career.”

I thanked Rufus for his hints and I hope they have been a public service to some of you racing fans.

Racing Trivia Question: How many Cup teams will Hendrick Motorsports field in 2008?

Last Week’s Question: Sam Hornish is an open-wheel driver that will be running a full Cup schedule next year. Which team will he drive for? Answer: Hornish will be in the No. 77 Penske Dodge. His teammates will be Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at:

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