Main News
County Living
Church Announcements
Dated Events
Military News
Subscribe to the Transcript


Call Today To Book Your Ad For Our Annual Christmas Special Running December 17th

Please visit our kind sponsor

Issue Home November 26, 2008 Site Home

Local Sports Scene

County Athletes Excelled On Keystone College Teams
By Tom Robinson

Graduates of Susquehanna County high schools were active in fall college sports, particularly at Keystone College in LaPlume where each team had representation from the county.

Jenna Francher, a sophomore from Mountain View, was a first-team Colonial States Athletic Conference women’s cross country all-star after finishing third for Keystone in the conference meet.

Brenda Reed, a sophomore from Blue Ridge, was eighth in the conference meet and earned a second-team CSAC all-star berth.

The field hockey team went 10-7 with help from Brackney Brotzman and Kellie Sussman.

Brotzman, a freshman from Montrose, had four goals and five assists while starting all 17 games. Sussman, a senior from Elk Lake, started 12 games and had four goals and two assists.

Carly Dibble, a sophomore from Elk Lake, started all but one game and Ashley Zuidema, a junior from Forest City, made seven starts while playing every game as part of the defense on the women’s soccer team that went 2-13. Zuidema also filled in as goalie in two games, making three saves while allowing five goals.

Karl Sussman, a senior from Elk Lake, played in three games while Matt Powell, a freshman from Forest City, played in one for the men’s soccer team (3-13-1).

Thaddeus Koneski, a sophomore from Elk Lake, and Zachary Knott, a freshman from Blue Ridge, were members of the men’s cross country team.

Elsewhere, Laura Carden enjoyed a standout senior season on the NCAA Division II level as a member of the Mansfield University field hockey team.

Carden, from Montrose, had more than twice as many goals and points as everyone else on the roster. She had 13 goals and two assists to help the team go 7-12.

Tony Pagnotti, an Abington Heights graduate with family in Susquehanna, is part of the Millersville University men’s soccer team that advanced to the NCAA Division II quarterfinals. Pagnotti scored the game-winning goal in the NCAA Tournament opener when Millersville avenged a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship game loss by beating California University of Pennsylvania, 3-0.

Joey Scanlon, a sophomore from Mountain View, also came through with clutch postseason performances in men’s soccer.

Scanlon helped put Misericordia University in the NCAA Division III Tournament by connecting on his penalty kicks in two shootout wins in the MAC Freedom Conference playoffs.

Scanlon started all 19 games he played, earned second-team conference all-star honors and produced three goals and five assists.

Stan Vitzakovitch, a freshman forward from Forest City, played in four games for Misericordia (14-4-3).

Nick Stoud, Scanlon’s former Mountain View teammate, helped Marywood University to a winning record. Stoud played in 13 games as a freshman, making nine starts and assisting on three goals for the Pacers (12-7).

Julie Page, a junior from Blue Ridge, was third on the team in kills as Wilkes University went 12-20 in women’s volleyball. Page played in all 32 matches, starting in 27, and saw action in 110 of 114 games.

Anthony Dorunda, a sophomore from Blue Ridge who played football at Susquehanna, played in four games for the Wilkes University football team and scored his first touchdown. Dorunda caught two passes for 41 yards and a score and ran twice for six yards.

Brittany Ely, a sophomore from Montrose, played in 13 games for the Wilkes women’s soccer team (10-10-1). She started two games and scored a goal.


Joe Klebon scored every Riverside point on four touchdown runs and an extra point kick in a 25-7 victory over six-time state champion Southern Columbia in a state Class A football playoff game.

Jay Velehoski was 11-for-18 passing for 191 yards for the Vikings, who made up for being outgained by making a series of key defensive stops.

Dunmore won the District 2 Class A championship when Michael Perry ran for 220 yards and three touchdowns while Miller Holmes threw for 117 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-13 romp over Wilkes-Barre GAR.

In professional hockey, Adam Berkhoel threatened an American Hockey League record when he posted his third straight shutout and extended an unscored upon streak to 202:43 before giving up a goal in Friday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Berkhoel was in goal for Wednesday’s 3-0 shutout of the Syracuse Crunch.


Dunmore and Riverside have advanced to the state football quarterfinals.

Our high school football predictions were 2-0 last week, bringing our playoff record to 13-1 (92.7 percent) and our season record to 114-16 (87.7 percent).

This week’s predictions: Schuylkill Haven 34, Riverside 23; West Catholic 22, Dunmore 21.

TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at

Back to Top


By Gerald Hodges

The Racing Reporter

Benson And Bowyer, The Other NASCAR Champions – Johnny Benson and Clint Bowyer have had great seasons. Benson won the Craftsman Truck Series title, and Bowyer held off Carl Edwards to win the Nationwide Series.

Benson was honored as NASCAR’s 2008 Craftsman Truck Series champion this past week at the annual awards banquet in Miami.

Team owner Bill Davis and 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Johnny Benson.

At 45, it seemed that Benson might have reached the end of his racing career.

It had been 13 years since he won the Busch Series champion (now the Nationwide), so it was only natural for Benson to believe he might have reached the finish line.

But Bill Davis had other plans. He hired Benson on a full-time basis in 2005 to drive his No. 23 Toyota, beginning at Michigan. He finished third in the standings a year ago and was the runner-up to Todd Bodine in 2006. He has 14 race victories during the past three seasons.

“I have to really thank Bill and Gail Davis,” Benson said. “They've given me a great opportunity, along with Toyota, to come and do this. It was just awesome. I'm glad that we could get that for them. It means more to me to get that for them. They've done so much for me.

“When we started this deal, the goal was to try to get a championship, and it's been amazing to get 14 wins and now a championship in the last three years. Bill has been in the sport for many, many years. He's put a lot of blood, sweat, tears in this, a lot of money, and he deserves it. He deserves more than one, and hopefully he'll get more than one before this is all done with.

“Words can't describe this. I was kind of crying down the backstretch, but hopefully I'm over it. Just when [Craftsman Truck Series director Wayne Auton] came over the radio to say congratulations, that's way cool.

“My wife kept telling me that I only had to win by one. She kept saying, 'God already has a plan, it's all set, and it's going to be what it's going to be.' That was my approach going into the race.”

Benson announced earlier this month that he was leaving BDR at the end of the season, so the championship provides a perfect final chapter to the past four and a half years.

“You know, it is bittersweet to talk about that, but in the same token, I really want to talk about the championship and what it's meant for us because that's what [this] is about,” Benson continued. “Next year doesn't have anything to do with right now. Right now it's about the championship.”

Final top 10 Craftsman Truck Series drivers: 1. Benson-3725, 2. Hornaday-3718, 3. Bodine-3621, 4. Darnell-3412, 5. Crafton-3392, 6. Skinner-3363, 7. Crawford-3315, 8. Setzer-3197, 9. Sprague-3125, 10. Cook-3072.

Bowyer Wins Nationwide Series By 21 Points – No one was hotter down the stretch than Carl Edwards, whose Roush Fenway Racing team won three of the last four races – and finished second in the fourth.

Still, Clint Bowyer was steady and did what he had to do to hang on to the points lead. In the Ford 300 at Homestead, Bowyer’s No. 2 Richard Childress Racing crew copied Edwards’ two-tire strategy midway through the race, keeping Edwards in sight the rest of the race, and taking the championship by 21 points.

“Carl, he's been a long time friend from our early racing days, and I think it's a true testament to the steppingstones of NASCAR,” Bowyer said. “We both came from the Weekly Racing Series, went through the regional touring series, and he went to the Truck series.

“We've raced each other for a long time. He's from the Midwest (Columbia, MO). He's last year's champion, and it feels great to be able to beat him.”

Edwards, who won seven Nationwide Series races, was the 2007 Nationwide champion.

“If I've got to get beat by somebody, I want it to be a dirt racer from Emporia, Kansas (Bowyer's hometown). Clint is one of the best,” said Edwards.

“But we'll be back next year, and I hope Clint will, too. There's no shame in giving 100 percent and finishing second. That's all we could do.”

Final top 10 Nationwide drivers: 1. Bowyer-5132, 2. Edwards-5111, 3. Keselowski-4794, 4. Ragan-4525, 5. Bliss-4518, 6. Kyle Busch-4461, 7. Reutimann-4388, 8. M. Wallace-4128, 9. Leffler-4086, 10. Ambrose-3991.

Stewart Moves To His Own Team – For awhile Sunday, it looked like Tony Stewart might go out as a winner after he passed Matt Kenseth for the lead with just 22 laps remaining. But it wasn’t to be. Eleven laps later, he pitted for fuel and wound up finishing ninth.

It was Stewart’s last race for Joe Gibbs Racing after 10 years. He now moves to his own team, Stewart-Haas.

“I wish I could say I’m happy for this but I’m not,” said Stewart. “It’s something I decided, but as you can see, we’re all emotional. It’s hard knowing that after 10 years being with these guys, it’ll be something different next year.

“I’m excited about what I’m doing, but I’m not excited about leaving these guys.”

Greg Zipadelli is the only crew chief Stewart has worked under. Zipadelli will remain at JGR as crew chief for youngster, Joey Logano, who will take over Stewart’s seat in the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet.

Final top 10 Sprint Cup Standings: 1. Johnson-6684, 2. Edwards-6615, 3. Biffle-6467, 4. Harvick-6408, 5. Bowyer-6381, 6. Burton-6335, 7. J. Gordon-6316, 8. Hamlin-6214, 9. Stewart-6202, 10. Kyle Busch-6186.

Robby Gordon Gears Up For Baja 1000 – Proving once again that he never tires of racing, Robby Gordon left this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finale in Homestead, Florida and headed straight for Ensenada, Mexico to compete in the 41st annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, one of the most grueling off-road races in the world. Gordon, a three-time overall winner, hopes to pilot his No. 77 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Chevy CK 1500 to his fourth victory.

The Baja 1000 is the world’s longest non-stop and most famous desert race. This year’s race will be a challenging 631.35-mile journey around the northern Baja California peninsula, beginning and ending in Ensenada. It will be trying even to the most skilled racers as they weave their way over rocky desert landscape and mountain terrain.

Next Week: NASCAR’s Early Heroes.

Racing Trivia Question: Which Series will Sam Hornish race in 2009?

Last Week’s Question: Who do you think was the “Most Improved Driver of 2008? Answer: According to fan response we received it was David Ragan.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at:

Back to Top

News  |  Living  |  Sports  |  Schools  |  Churches  |  Ads  |  Events
Military  |  Columns  |  Ed/Op  |  Obits  | Archive  |  Subscribe