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Montrose graduate Rich Thompson is in minor-league training camp with the world champion Boston Red Sox.
The 28-year-old outfielder signed a minor-league contract with the Red Sox in January. He is currently on the roster of the Pawtucket Red Sox, one of the rivals of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in the Class AAA International League.
Thompson spent all of the 2007 season with the Tucson Sidewinders, the Class AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Pacific Coast League.
Thompson was second on the team in triples with six and stolen bases with 15. He batted .295 with 60 runs, 18 doubles, three homers and 41 RBIs.
The speedy outfielder opened the 2004 season with his only stint in the Major Leagues. He played six games for the Kansas City Royals, going 0-for-1 with a stolen base and a run scored.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Mountain View’s Patrick Lambert completed a standout senior basketball season by scoring 11 points for the Blue team, which dropped a 131-94 decision to the Red team Wednesday night in the Lackawanna League boys’ all-star game at Valley View.
Lambert was one of five Susquehanna County boys on the Blue team.
Susquehanna’s Brent Keyes had nine points.
Kirk Fallon of Susquehanna, A.J. Lunger of Elk Lake and Ben Hinkley of Blue Ridge also played.
Four county players were selected for the Blue team, which fell, 70-62, to the Red in the Lackawanna League girls’ basketball all-star game at Forest City.
University of South Carolina recruit Becky Burke of Abington Heights led the Red to the win.
Montrose’s Monica Turner and Andie King, Mountain View’s Christie Marcho and Blue Ridge’s Abby Emmert were the county players picked for the game.
Two players who went head-to-head in games in Susquehanna County during their high school days were prominent in the Atlantic 10 softball opener between Division I teams Massachusetts and Fordham.
Whitney Williams, a sophomore from Mountain View, started at shortstop in both games. She was the leadoff hitter in the second game of a 4-2, 1-0 sweep.
Jocelyn Dearborn, a freshman from Blue Ridge, is the leader in the Triple Crown categories of batting average, home runs and RBIs for Fordham.
Williams batted second and went 1-for-4 in the opener. Dearborn, who played third base and batted third, was 0-for-3.
In the second game, Williams was 0-for-3 with a walk for Massachusetts. Dearborn played right field and batted fifth, going 0-for-3 against Bailey Sanders, who threw a two-hitter for Massachusetts.
Williams has played in 22 games, starting 20 for UMass, which is 2-0 in the league and 12-11 overall. She is batting .182 with four doubles, four walks, two sacrifices and a stolen base while leading the team in being hit by pitches with four.
Dearborn has played and started in all but one game for Fordham (0-2, 8-17). She has four homers, 23 RBIs and a .315 average. She is one of only two players on the team to have a triple and also has three doubles and two stolen bases.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Montrose and Elk Lake, the county’s only two boys’ tennis teams, are scheduled to meet at Elk Lake Tuesday.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
The Racing Reporter
Does Stewart Help Or Hurt The Sport? – Love him or hate him, you always know where Tony Stewart stands on racing issues.
Many racing fans believe his outspokenness is good for the sport, but others don’t like his blistering attacks.
Did he go too far in what he said about Goodyear and the tires they supplied for the Kobalt Tools 500 in Atlanta? Should all drivers be more outspoken about specific problems?
“This is the worst tire I’ve ever been on in my life, in any professional form of racing,” said Stewart. “They (Goodyear) don’t have the technology and the people to build a tire. This was pathetic.”
Other drivers including Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Carl Edwards, and Jeff Gordon agreed that the tires caused them to feel like they were driving on ice, but they did not hammer away at Goodyear like Stewart did.
“Drivers have a comfort level,” said Humpy Wheeler, President of Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “At the same time you don’t want to de-fang the tiger. You don’t want to make it milquetoast. You’ve got to have some speed in it. That’s what it is all about.
“There is a line.”
Did Stewart “cross that line,” when he said, “Goodyear can’t build a tire worth a crap”?
T. M. of Marshes Siding, Kentucky had this to say: “I disliked his (Stewart’s) comments at the end of the race about the tires. It sounded to me like he thinks the tires made him lose.
“Wake up Tony, your tires are not the problem. It is your attitude. You are the rudest driver I’ve heard. I don’t think Anger Management classes helped you at all.”
While this was the latest in his arsenal of attacks, it was not the first. In 2002, Stewart was having a problem with NASCAR. Prior to the start of the fall, 2002 Martinsville race, Stewart said, “Its NASCAR’s way or the highway.”
I have noticed that when Stewart speaks out, he is clearly frustrated. In 2002, he was frustrated with NASCAR. During the Kobalt Tools 500, he was frustrated with the tires.
It’s one thing to come out with anger if it is justified, but no one wants to continually listen to angry remarks.
Now I’d like to look at Stewart’s comments based on another angle.
NASCAR is a very dictatorial organization. You abide by their rules or you don’t race. Many of the old-time drivers, including former NASCAR champions don’t have a lot of good things to say about NASCAR.
Back in the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, drivers had no voice in the sanctioning body’s rules or how they raced. Very gradually it has changed. Now, drivers are being listened to, just a little.
NASCAR still ignores most driver complaints, sometimes taking years to implement recommended changes, when it could be done in days.
Thankfully, drivers are more conscious and less-tolerant of unsafe or changeable situations they face on the track than they were just a few years ago. There is no doubt Stewart has an outspoken personality, but I see the frustration level also in other drivers whenever I talk with them at the track, both before and after a race.
Many of the present Cup drivers have given up on trying to challenge NASCAR’s system and accept whatever happens as part of the racing game. They have become passive followers, content to put in a good word about their sponsor, whenever possible.
To take away a driver’s right to express himself, which NASCAR has so often done in the past, is wrong. If there is something that needs to be changed, and if only through anger can it be addressed, then anger is an appropriate vehicle.
Believe me, I’m not condoning Stewart’s recent verbal attacks, but sometimes in order to bring about meaningful change, drastic measures are necessary.
NASCAR needs driver feedback. If Stewart were to be muzzled, which driver do you think would step up?
Without drivers like Stewart, who aren’t afraid to speak up, racing would be less exciting. At times he might be an embarrassment to the sport and sponsor, but I bet you that when this fall’s Atlanta race starts, Goodyear will have a different and probably better tire. And the drivers will have Stewart to thank.
Top-10 Cup Chase contenders after 5 of 36: 1. Kyle Busch-776, 2. Biffle-752, 3. Harvick-749, 4. Burton-745, 5. Earnhardt-686, 6. Kahne-674, 7. Stewart-656, 8. Newman-635, 9. Bowyer-606, 10. Kurt Busch-605.
The Cup teams did not race this past weekend
Wimmer Wins Nashville Nationwide Race, Lebanon, TN – Scott Wimmer passed Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer with 21 laps to go and held on to win the Nationwide Series’ Pepsi 300 on Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway.
Carl Edwards was third, followed by Brad Keselowski and Kelly Bires.
Top-10 Nationwide Series leaders after 6 of 35: 1. Bowyer-877, 2. Edwards-866, 3. Reutimann-786, 4. Ragan-783, 5. Bliss-761, 6. Keselowski-756, 7. Harvick-751, 8. M. Wallace-718, 9. Bires-798, 10. Leffler-706.
Who Is Hot Heading To Martinsville – With the first Sprint Cup short-track stop of the season in the books, who has the hot hand headed into the second, the Goody’s Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville this Sunday?
The natural pick would be the Bristol winner, Jeff Burton, and it would certainly be a good pick. Burton, born and reared in nearby South Boston, has a NASCAR Sprint Cup win on the difficult .526-mile oval, along with nine top five and 13 top-10 finishes.
The absolute king of active drivers at Martinsville is Jeff Gordon, and even though he’s presently mired back in 14th in the points, he has to be a favorite headed into the Goody’s Cool Orange 500. His Martinsville stats are staggering. He has seven wins, 18 top five and 24 top 10 finishes along with six pole wins. He’s led 22 of the 30 races he’s run at Martinsville for a total of 2,466 laps led.
His teammate, Jimmie Johnson, also off to a sluggish 2008 start, has ruled Martinsville the past couple of years. He has won the last three Martinsville races, has a total of four Martinsville wins and has led half of the 12 races he’s run on the half-mile track.
Johnson’s average finish of 6.2 leads all active drivers, just head of Gordon at 7.2.
Tony Stewart, who led the most laps at Bristol Sunday, has been equally impressive at Martinsville. He has two Martinsville wins to his credit along with six top five and 10 top-10 finishes and three poles. He has led a total of 1,193 laps at Martinsville.
NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead Kyle Busch has fared well at Martinsville in his short career. In six races here, he has three top five and four top-10 finishes.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., fifth in NASCAR Sprint Cup points headed into the Goody’s Cool Orange 500, has been solid at Martinsville with seven top fives in 16 starts. He has led in six of those starts for 612 laps.
Next Week: Should Craftsman Trucks Race More Often?
The Sprint Cup cars and Craftsman Trucks will be at Martinsville Speedway, the smallest track on the NASCAR circuit, while the Nationwide Series has the weekend off.
Saturday, March 29: Kroger 250 for Craftsman Trucks; Starting time: 3 p.m. TV: Fox.
Sunday, March 30: Sprint Cup Goody’s Cool Orange 500, 500 laps, 1:30 p.m. TV: Fox.
Racing Trivia Question: Cup driver Paul Menard hasn’t exactly been racing with the leaders. Which team does he drive for?
Last Week’s Question: Robby Gordon switched car manufacturers at the beginning of the 2008 season. What make car did he switch to? Gordon switched from Ford to Dodge.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carlos Cuevas Aids In Deer Research
Carlos Cuevas, a junior at Susquehanna Community Jr./Sr. High School, participated with Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Technician Matt Trick in wildlife research. The research, conducted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission is to measure survival and response to hunting activity of female white-tailed deer.
Mr. Cuevas had a once-in-a-lifetime experience, learning how PGC uses methods to capture deer in the field using clover traps, drop nets, and rocket nets in the winter and early spring. These studies are used to monitor survival rates and harvest vulnerability of female white-tailed deer. These research study locations occurred in wildlife management units 2G and 4B in central Pennsylvania.
Pictured is Carlos, holding down a rocket net trapped deer (a mask has been placed over the eyes of the deer to calm it down).
Photo by Al Cuevas
On Saturday March 8, Carlos was able to capture two female deer on a rocket net over a baited field. He then wrestled with the live deer and restrained it so Wildlife Technician Matt Trick could take skin and health data samples of the deer. They also tagged the ear for future captures and harvest data. This will help to monitor the movements and survival of individual females. “This was the light of my life, I can see this as my future” Cuevas said.
This was all part of Carlos’ continuing education in wildlife research that he started last summer after attending Wildlife Leadership Adventures camp at the Raystown Field station of Juniata College. This field station is part of Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education. The mission of this camp is to empower high school youth with the necessary skills and knowledge to become ambassadors for conservation in order to ensure a sustained wildlife legacy for future generations.
The Susquehanna Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association is once again helping youth to attend this camp by sponsoring scholarships to attend the camp. According to Branch Secretary Bob Wagner, "The Susquehanna Branch of QDMA has notified the PICE Wildlife Leadership Adventure Camp that we will sponsor a youth from NE Pennsylvania that meets its camp requirements. Our sponsorship last year for Carlos to attend the camp was one of the best uses of our funds that we have ever done. This camp has helped Carlos become a more complete outdoorsman and conservationist." If you know of any youth who are interested in the outdoors and may be interested in this camp, go to the web address for PICE (Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation www.piceweb.org and fill out an application before April 15.
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