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District 2, along with the rest of the state, will have some changes to its high school football playoff format for the 2008 season.
The changes, announced earlier this month by district football chairman Tom Jenkins, are primarily because of the routine enrollment reclassifications and other adjustments made by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association every two years.
Class AA has been reduced from an eight-team bracket to six teams. The Class AA tournament is the one that includes both Susquehanna County teams – Montrose and Susquehanna (along with its players from Blue Ridge in a cooperative sponsorship).
In the new format, the top two teams in the PIAA Modified Points System will earn byes while the third through sixth teams play in the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be on the home field of the higher seeds with the championship game on a neutral field.
The Class AA field includes Valley View, Nanticoke, Holy Redeemer, Lake-Lehman, Wilkes-Barre GAR, Hanover Area, Lakeland, Carbondale, Mid Valley and defending champion Dunmore in addition to Montrose and Susquehanna.
The other tournaments are unchanged. Class AAA and Class A will again have four-team tournaments. Class AAAA teams from District 2 will again combine with Districts 4 and 11 in an eight-team Subregional bracket.
Wilkes-Barre Meyers, Riverside, Holy Cross, Northwest, Old Forge and defending champion Lackawanna Trail are District 2’s Class A teams.
The Class AAA teams are: Pittston Area, Tunkhannock, Wilkes-Barre Coughlin, Abington Heights, North Pocono, Crestwood, Honesdale, Berwick, Dallas, Scranton Prep, Wyoming Area, Western Wayne and defending champion West Scranton.
The Class AAAA teams are: Hazleton Area, Delaware Valley, Scranton, Wallenpaupack and Wyoming Valley West.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Daniel Murphy of the Binghamton Mets started at third base and went 1-for-2 July 17 to help the North All-Stars to a 5-3 victory over the South All-Stars in the Eastern League All-Star Game.
Teammate Daniel Carp started at first base and was 0-for-3.
Two Binghamton pitchers each worked an inning.
Salvador Aguilar pitched the third and Bobby Parnell worked the fourth, producing identical pitching lines. Each gave up a run on a hit and a walk while striking out one.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees manager Dave Miley guided the International League team during the Triple-A All-Star Game in which it lost to the Pacific Coast League, 6-5, on six runs in the ninth inning.
The IL led, 2-0, going into the ninth then scored three runs in the bottom of the inning before falling short.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Athletes from around Pennsylvania will head to the York area this week for the Keystone State Games.
As of last week, Keystone Games officials had seven athletes listed from Susquehanna County.
All of the athletes listed were school-age competitors, including five in track and field and two in baseball.
Kayla Valentine, 17, and Zoe Gauthier, 13, of Susquehanna are among the track and field athletes, along with Blue Ridge’s Kaitchen Dearborn, 15, and Elk Lake’s Caitie Good, 16, and Cindy Good, 15.
The baseball players are 15-year-old Holden Lunger and 14-year-old Adam Phillips of Elk Lake.
In professional football, the New York Giants open training camp Friday in Albany, N.Y. Montrose graduate Chris Snee again projects as a starting guard for the defending Super Bowl champions.
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
Edwards Gets Strong Win At St. Louis, Joliet, IL – Carl Edwards took his No. 60 Ford to the front with 55 laps to go in Saturday night’s Nationwide Series race, and streaked away from the No. 20 Toyota of Joey Logano, to win by nearly seven seconds ahead of Logano.
Carl Edwards celebrates his Saturday night Nationwide Series win at Gateway.
Photo courtesy of NASCAR
The victory was Edwards’ second in the last three years at Gateway and his second in the last five races since Roush Fenway Racing moved crew chief Drew Blickensderfer to Edwards’ No. 60 team.
“That was unbelievable,” said Edwards, who picked up his second win of the season and the 15th of his career. “It’s unreal. There won’t be a guy tomorrow who has a better day than me. Thanks a lot.”
Jason Keller, who finished third, posted his best finish since running second at Chicagoland in 2004. Jason Leffler was fourth, followed by Brad Keselowski, who recovered from a late-race accident to finish fifth. Rookie Landon Cassill ran sixth, a career best in the series. Braun rookie James Buescher, Richard Childress Racing’s Clint Bowyer , Rusty Wallace Racing’s David Stremme and Roush Fenway’s David Ragan, rounded out the top-10.
Top 10 Nationwide Series leaders after 20 of 35: 1. Bowyer-3107, 2. Keselowski-2937, 3. Edwards-2906, 4. Reutimann-2841, 5. Ragan-2747, 6. Bliss-2673, 7. Kyle Busch-2633, 8. M. Wallace-2506, 9. Stremme-2463, 10. Keller-2443.
Benson Wins Kentucky Truck Race – Top 10 Craftsman Truck Series leaders after 13 of 25: 1. Benson-1881, 2. Crafton-1880, 3. Hornaday-1876, 4. Crawford-1789, 5. Skinner-1780, 6. Bodine-1770, 7. Cook-1695, 8. Darnell-1681, 9. Sprague-1675, 10. Setzer-1654.
Top 10 Chase contenders after 19 of 36: 1. Kyle Busch-2881, 2. Earnhardt-2619, 3. Burton-2590, 4. Edwards-2509, 5. Johnson-2494, 6. J. Gordon-2384, 7. Biffle-2318, 8. Kenseth-2317, 9. Harvick-2308, 10. Stewart-2305.
Speed Wins Kentucky ARCA Race – Scott Speed gambled on fuel mileage, dodged a dozen bullets, and in the end, out-dueled Sean Caisse during two late-race restarts to win the event-filled Kentucky ARCA RE/MAX Series 150 Friday night at Kentucky Speedway.
Top 10 ARCA RE/MAX Series Points After The Kentucky ARCA RE/MAX 150: 1) Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 2660; 2) Scott Speed 2595; 3) Matt Carter 2535; 4) Frank Kimmel 2530; 5) Justin Allgaier 2375; 6) Tom Hessert III 2290; 7) John Wes Townley 2260; 8) Tayler Malsam 2220; 9) Dexter Bean 2160; 10) Patrick Sheltra 2145.
Fireball Roberts: The Most Respected Driver – Glen “Fireball” Roberts was perhaps the greatest driver that never won a NASCAR Winston Cup title.
Roberts finished second to Bill Rexford in his rookie season in 1950. He split his time between the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and the NASCAR Modifieds for five years before returning full-time to NASCAR Winston Cup racing.
Roberts grew into stock car racing’s first superstar, despite never having won a NASCAR championship. His superstar status was reinforced when in 1962 he won the Daytona 500 from the pole position while driving for the legendary Smokey Yunick.
Except for fate, he might have been a major league baseball star. He played first on his high school team and then on various American Legion league teams in his home state of Florida. Fireball might have gone on to fame as a professional baseball player if not for the fact that his family moved from Tavares to Daytona Beach in 1945.
Daytona Beach in the mid ‘40s and into the 1950s was the heart of everything automotive and Fireball evidently jumped right in with both feet. Fireball ran in the first Daytona Beach race in 1948 but was knocked out after fewer than 10 laps. The experience seemed only to increase the young man’s desire to race – would you expect anything less from someone called “Fireball”?
Roberts made his NASCAR debut in 1950, and 10 races into the season he notched his first victory at Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsboro, North Carolina. Roberts’ victory at the age of 21 made him the youngest winner on the circuit.
A month later he showed his rear bumper to NASCAR regulars Curtis Turner, Lee Petty, Herb Thomas and Marshall Teague as he won his second race in the inaugural running of the Southern 500.
Despite his promising start, Roberts ran in fewer than 10 races each season between 1950 and 1955, claiming just two victories in that period. It was not until 1956 that Roberts burst onto the scene, scoring five victories. The following year, he posted eight first place finishes, a personal best.
His ascent to superstardom began when he signed on with former Indy 500 winner, Pete DePaolo’s operation. Other members of DePaolo’s team included Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly, Ralph Moody, Marvin Panch, and Louis “Red” Vogt.
In 1958, he recorded six wins (five of them won back-to-back) in just 10 starts. He was selected as the 1958 Professional Athlete of the Year by the Florida Sportswriters Association.
Fireball is also remembered as one of NASCAR’s first “smart” drivers who relied on his head as much as his foot for racing. He was reportedly one of the first drivers to maintain a physical fitness regimen.
In 1963 he won four more races, including Darlington’s Southern 500.
He was unable to build on that success in 1964. A top-five finish at Riverside, California was marred by his friend Joe Weatherly’s death, and a mid-race mechanical failure spoiled his chances for another Daytona 500 win.
Though he finished second in several races, when the World 600 at Charlotte came in May, he was still without a win. There were rumors he would hang up his helmet in favor of an office job.
To the horror of the fans he got caught in an accident involving Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson and hit the outside wall. His car burst into flames. He was taken to a Charlotte hospital with burns all over his body.
He died July 2, 1964 at the age of 35 and is buried in a cemetery just east of Daytona International Speedway.
Ned Jarrett, who went on to become a NASCAR Grand National Driving champion, called Fireball, “the most respected driver there ever was.”
His record totaled 33 wins and 33 poles in 206 starts.
Next Week: How the Chase is Shaping Up.
All three of NASCAR’s major series are racing at Indianapolis. The Cup teams are on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, while the Nationwide and Truck teams race at the half-mile “Indianapolis Short Track,” at nearby Clermont.
Friday, July 25: Craftsman Truck Series Power Stroke Diesel 200, 7:30 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is shaping up to be a battle royale. Kyle Busch seems to own the Cup series this year with seven wins. His teammate, Tony Stewart is also hungry for a victory, especially at Indy. Stewart could be the first driver to win back-to-back races. Four-time Indy winner Jeff Gordon is winless in 2007, and this could be his breakthrough race.
Saturday, July 26: Nationwide Series Kroger 200, 7:30 p.m. TV: ESPN.
Sunday, July 27: Nextel Cup Allstate 400, 1 p.m. TV: ESPN.
Racing Trivia Question: Which team owner has won the most Indianapolis 400 Cup races?
Last Week’s Question: Who won the Inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994? Answer: Jeff Gordon.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: email@example.com.
VanWinkle Competes In 4-H Shooting Sports
Susquehanna County 4-H member Rip VanWinkle III recently traveled with the Pennsylvania State Shooting Sports Team to the Heartland Shooting Sports Club in Grande Island, Nebraska to compete in the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational held June 23-26. The shooting sports invitational invites the top finalist in each state 4-H competition from across the country to compete for top prizes nationally.
2 1/2" pic.
Rip VanWinkle recently competed in the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitation in Grande Island, Nebraska.
VanWinkle was selected to compete at the National Shotgun Competition, based on his fourth place finish in the shotgun contest at the 2007 Pennsylvania State 4-H Achievement Days held at Penn State University last August.
At the national competition, VanWinkle competed in several classes in the shotgun category. In the skeet competition he placed sixth, and in sporting clays he finished eleventh. He also shot in the trap class, but his placing is not yet available at this time. During his trip to Grande Island, he also participated in a charity shoot held at the Heartland Shooting Sports Park.
VanWinkle was accompanied to Nebraska by several family members and friends. The VanWinkle family took the opportunity to enjoy the sights of Grande Island by visiting Hornady Manufacturing, Inc., maker of Hornady bullets; the Case IH Grande Island Plant, which manufactures Case, International and New Holland Combines. They also toured the Strategic Air Command.
Rip is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Rip Van Winkle II of Montrose. He will be a senior at Elk Lake High School in the fall, and has been a member of the Arrows and Clays 4-H Club for nine years.
The focus of all 4-H programs is the development of youth as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens. The 4-H Shooting Sports Program stands out as an example. Youth learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of hunting and archery, and much more. The activities of the program and the support of caring adult leaders provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, self-worth, and conservation ethics.
For more information about the 4-H Shooting Sports Program here in Susquehanna County, contact Penn State Cooperative Extension Office at (570) 278–1158.
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