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Local Sports Scene

Annual Zach Pruitt Tournament Held
Meteors’ Rob Volk Is Athlete of the Month

All-Pro Selection Is The Latest Honor For Montrose Graduate
By Tom Robinson

New York Giants guard Chris Snee continues to gain recognition that he is one of the top performers at his position in all of football.

Snee, a Montrose graduate, was named last week to the Associated Press National Football League All-Pro team.

With his selection, along with Steve Hutchinson of the Minnesota Vikings, Snee is considered one of the two best guards in professional football.

“It is a very big honor because it combines both the AFC and NFC,” Snee said, according to the New York Post. “There is so much talent at every position, but speaking of guards there is a lot of talent out there. I’m honored.”

Snee helped the defending Super Bowl champions continue their success with an NFC East Division championship. He was one of two Giants, along with defensive end Jason Tuck, to be named to the team.

Snee was earlier announced as a starter for the NFC in the Pro Bowl.


Binghamton Senators goalie Brian Elliott and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Chris Minard have been selected to start for Team Canada in the American Hockey League All-Star Classic January 26 in Worcester, Mass.

At the time the selections were announced last week, Elliott led the AHL in wins with 18, ranked second in save percentage at .926 and was sixth in goals against average with 2.31. The Ontario native won an NCAA championship with Wisconsin in 2006. Elliott was the AHL Goalie of the Month for December.

Minard led the AHL with 26 goals and 13 power-play goals. Another Ontario native, Minard was tied for second in the league with 41 points in 30 games while also playing seven games for the parent Pittsburgh Penguins.

AHL all-stars get together for a skills competition January 25, followed by the all-star game the next day. Teams are split according to where players were born with Canada taking on the rest of the world, which is known as PlanetUSA.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has a total of three players in the game. Forward Jeff Taffe and defenseman Ben Lovejoy were each selected to play for PlanetUSA.

Taffe was tied for second in the league with 41 points in 31 games. He played in the 2003 AHL All-Star Classic and was selected to play in last year’s game in Binghamton, but was unable to because of a recall to Pittsburgh.

Lovejoy was tied for the AHL plus/minus lead at plus-20.

Jean-Michel Dauost’s power-play goal with 2:16 remaining Friday night lifted the Penguins over the Senators, 4-2, opening a four-point gap between the teams in the AHL East Division standings.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is in third place, while Binghamton is in fourth.

“To be able to make it a four-point game, get two and the win, it’s certainly a big game,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.

After Daoust broke a 2-2 tie, Connor James scored an empty-net goal with a second left.

John Curry made 30 saves in the win.

In girls’ basketball, Montrose remained unbeaten in Lackawanna League Division 3 play and took over sole possession of first place with a 44-22 victory over Blue Ridge, followed by a 58-44 win over Susquehanna.

Julia Koloski had 10 points for the Lady Meteors, who took a 33-8 halftime lead against Blue Ridge.

Kaitchen Dearborn led the Raiders with 10 points.

Dallas Ely had 21 points, with the help of four 3-pointers, in the win over Susquehanna while Koloski added 13.

Hannah Price had 23 points to lead Susquehanna.

Mountain View knocked Forest City out of a share of first place with a 50-40 victory Thursday. The game left both the Lady Eagles and Lady Foresters a game behind the Lady Meteors with a 3-1 league record.

In boys’ basketball, Elk Lake and Mountain View each won Friday night to remain unbeaten in Division 3 of the Lackawanna League and set up their meeting for sole possession of first place, which was scheduled for Tuesday night at Mountain View.

Elk Lake defeated Blue Ridge, 58-36, while Mountain View stopped Forest City, 52-42.

Montrose crushed Susquehanna, 64-21.

Bill Stranburg scored 15 points, Kyle Bonnice added 12 points and Rob Volk had nine points, 14 rebounds and seven blocked shots for the Meteors.

Montrose led 49-14 after three quarters.


Justin Herbert is closing in on a 75-year-old school record at Franklin & Marshall.

The senior 174-pound wrestler from Blue Ridge posted his 27th career pin January 27. Paul Cassel established the record of 29 in 1934.

Herbert had a pin to start a comeback against Gloucester for Franklin & Marshall’s first victory of the season. The Diplomats were down, 19-8, before Herbert’s pin was the first of five straight bout wins to rally for a 30-19 triumph.

Herbert is 12-8 with four pins and a technical fall.


Montrose teams will be home in key Lackawanna League events Wednesday and Thursday.

The Meteors will host defending champion and Division 2 favorite Elk Lake in wrestling Wednesday.

The Lady Meteors face Forest City in a Division 3 girls’ basketball game Thursday.

In the American Hockey League, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are at the Binghamton Senators for the second straight Friday night.

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

The Demise Of The “King’s’ Kingdom – The Petty name and No. 43 car will still be around this season.

The Petty Kingdom won’t.

Richard Petty in 2008.

Richard Petty Racing is a thing of the past. It has been integrated into Gillett Evernham Motorsports.

The “King” is no longer a car owner.

A spokesperson is the best word I know to use in describing his future role in racing.

It’s a sad end to a glorious reign.

Last June, Kyle Petty announced that his family had sold a majority of his family’s team to an investment group, Boston Ventures.

Apparently the Boston group didn’t have enough money to keep the operation open after the loss of two major sponsors.

“They filled their plate with more than they could eat,” said Richard Petty. They looked at it and said, ‘Oh my God, this is Sprint Cup racing. We can do this and be a part of it.’

“They got into it, and it was a different animal than what they thought it was. I don’t think they were ready for it.”

That, and the fact that the last time a Petty car was in victory lane was in 1999, led to its downfall.

Sponsors want to see results. While most Fortune 500 companies don’t insist that a driver win every week, it is a proven fact that if a driver isn’t running up front, the team isn’t getting the maximum exposure.

The Petty cars for the last few years were no more than “field-fillers.” They helped make up the 43-car starting field, but had no chance of winning.

Six months after the Boston Group took over, the operation was down to one car, and during the Christmas Holidays, that car, the No. 43, that Richard Petty won most of his 200 races in, was sold/merged/absorbed into GEM.

Petty’s last ride was in 1992.

In late 1991, Petty announced he would retire after the 1992 season. His final top-ten finish came at the 1991 Budweiser at the Glen. He chose to run the entire 1992 season, not just selected events as other drivers have done before retirement. His year-long Fan Appreciation Tour took him around the country, participating in special events, awards ceremonies, and fan-related meetings.

Despite the tremendously busy appearance schedule and mediocre race results, Petty managed to qualify for all 29 races in 1992. On his final visit to each track, he would lead the field on the pace lap to salute the fans. Petty's final race was the season-ending race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race was notable in that it was the second closest points championship in NASCAR history, with six drivers mathematically eligible to win the championship.

A record 160,000 spectators attended the race, which went down to the final lap with Bill Elliott winning the race, and Alan Kulwicki winning the championship by 10 points over Elliott after Davey Allison dropped out early after a crash.

Facing the intense pressure, Petty barely managed to qualify at Atlanta, posting the 39th fastest speed out of 41 cars. He would not have been eligible for the provisional starting position, and had to qualify on speed.

Early in the race, Petty became involved in an accident, and his car caught fire. He pulled the car off the track, and climbed out of the burning machine uninjured. His pit crew worked diligently all afternoon to get the car running again, and with two laps to go, he pulled out of the pits and was credited as running at the finish in his final race. He took his final checkered flag finishing in 35th position. After the race, Petty circled the track to salute the fans one final time.

NASCAR has changed so much since Richard retired in 1992 that I’m not sure how he will be missed. He was and still is an essential part of NASCAR's roots, and a reminder of how NASCAR used to be.

He’s always been a gentleman around me, and I hope he doesn’t quit hanging out at the race track. I will continue to search the infield for Richard standing on his hauler wearing his cowboy hat.

Meanwhile, Kyle Petty said he would like to obtain a Cup ride for 2009, but conceded that his efforts could be harmed by the economic downturn.

“I think the merger is a plus for Richard Petty and for Petty Enterprises,” Kyle Petty said. “We have not spoken about it or how he (Richard) will fit into the organization. The less I know about it, the better off I am. I have not been a part of the organization for the past five or six months.

“I think I can still drive and with the right team, could win races. We are all sitting around and twiddling our thumbs to see how the bailout is going to affect the contracts already in place with the auto manufacturers. Speedways have already seen corporate sponsors begin to pull back. Some of the teams have seen some of their sponsors cut them 15-to-20 percent because it is all they can afford.

“The economy is going to make each race a local race. People are not going to be traveling from Oklahoma to Talladega. You are going to see people there from Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia who can drive over for the day and go home.

“Racing teams are also feeling the pinch, and I think even the drivers that are secure in their ride are worried about it, too.

“There’s going to be even less opportunities out there for the unsigned drivers, and that’s going to hurt drivers who are looking for a new ride.”

Elliott Sadler To Stay – Elliott Sadler, who has driven for Gillett Evernham Motorsports for the past two and one-half years, will retain his position as driver in 2009, less than two weeks after it was reported that A.J. Allmendinger was close to finalizing a deal that would've put him in the 19 car for 2009.

Sadler had threatened to sue if his contract was terminated before the end of 2010.

That means A. J. Allmendinger is job hunting again.

Next Week: Racing in 2009; Beyond the Hype.

Racing Trivia Question: What year did Richard Petty get his first win?

Last Week’s Question: Which NASCAR series does Matt Crafton compete in? Answer: The Camping World Truck Series.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at:

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Annual Zach Pruitt Tournament Held
Submitted By Mary Jane Darrow

On December 26 and 27, the seventh annual Zach Pruitt Memorial Basketball Tournament was held at Blue Ridge. This is one of the few tournaments for the junior high boys who are the future varsity stars. Six local schools participated in what was a very exciting day.

This year was the organizers’ biggest challenge, since we depend on sponsors’ donations and do not use school funds. We have awarded scholarships each year and will again this year. Luckily, the school allows the teams to be there and our Athletic Director, Mr. Corse and his staff always go out of their way to help. Parents of Blue Ridge boys who play and many parents of Zach’s friends generously donated to the concession stand. To them and our sponsors, thank you.

It was another great tournament. Elk Lake won the seventh grade trophy, and Tunkhannock won for the eighth grade. The eighth grade Susquehanna players really gave Tunkhannock a run, playing them three times before it was over. Thanks to all who participated.

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Meteors’ Rob Volk Is Athlete of the Month
By Tom Robinson

From the time Rob Volk started playing basketball in elementary school, he has understood where he could help a team most.

“That was my main focus when I came into basketball, all I wanted to do was block shots and get rebounds,” Volk said in an interview about an hour before getting 14 rebounds and blocking seven shots Friday night in Montrose’s 64-21 rout of Susquehanna. “I was never worried too much about points.”

The 6-foot-5 junior was discussing his role on the team after earning Most Valuable Player honors at the Susquehanna County Christmas Tournament, an accomplishment that helped him pick up another award as December’s Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Month.

Volk averages a double-double for the Meteors, who are off to a 2-1 start in Division 3 of the Lackawanna League and 6-2 overall. He produces 10 points per game, but gives Montrose even more on the boards with an average of 12 rebounds.

The biggest scoring night of the season for Volk came in the tournament semifinals when he had 26 points, along with 16 rebounds, in a victory over previously unbeaten Blue Ridge. The Meteors then topped Elk Lake in a game that is still the only loss of the season for the defending division champs.

“Winning the Christmas Tournament was pretty impressive,” Volk said. “It’s pretty big because it’s the same teams we have to be able to beat in the league season.”

Volk, who missed the end of his sophomore season because of two sprained ankles, moved into the starting lineup this season. He is excelling on the basketball court, although he acknowledges that it is secondary in interest to him behind football, where he has been the team’s starting quarterback the last two seasons after being a varsity back-up as a freshman.

“Football is definitely my biggest priority,” he said. “I play basketball for the excitement and to keep in shape.

“We’re definitely having a good season so far. Everyone is playing real well.”

Rob is the son of Robert and Christine Volk of Montrose.

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