Please visit our kind sponsor
Rob Volk, Bryan Castrogiavanni, Ethan Jones and Dalton Smith have established their place in the Montrose football lineup, but who the four returning starters will be surrounded by is somewhat uncertain.
“We’re going to be young,” Montrose coach Jack Keihl said. “I could have as many as 18 sophomores which would be nearly half the team.”
Keihl could see the situation coming a year ago when the Meteors, with 16 seniors on the roster, got off to a 3-1 start then struggled, in part because of injuries.
“I knew it was going to be something we would have to deal with this season,” Keihl said.
The issue is complicated by the fact that the Meteors lost momentum late in the 2008 season. They lost their final six games by a total of 259-60 and finished sixth out of seven teams in Division 2 of the Lackawanna Football Conference with a 1-5 division record.
Volk, a 6-foot-5 senior quarterback in his third year as a starter, has the strong arm to lead a passing game if the offensive line develops.
Castrogiavanni, a 240-pound senior, is the a two-way returning starter, but he is the only one back in the line on either side of the ball.
Jones started at linebacker last season as a sophomore and also saw some playing time at fullback.
Smith started at tailback and cornerback before being injured.
Volk, Jones and Smith will be joined in the offensive backfield by either senior Mark Waddington or junior Zach Thorne at flanker.
Seniors Casey Burchard and Mike LoSapio are split ends while junior Mason Griffiths is at tight end.
Jordan Fair, a 200-pound senior, will be counted on to anchor the line from his center position.
Senior A.J. Clark, junior Bob Dean and sophomore Chris Spoehr are the players most likely to fill the two guard spots.
Castrogiavanni should be joined at tackle by a junior, either Dean, James Brewer or C.J. Hartman.
Two of the three from among Dean, Brewer and Hartman are also most likely to fill the other interior defensive line spots along with Castrogiavanni, a tackle.
Fair is one defensive end while either Burchard or Griffiths will probably be the other.
Jones will be joined at linebacker by Clark or a sophomore, either Tim Strayer or Isaac Bulkley.
Waddington is a cornerback along with either Smith or LoSapio.
LoSapio, Thorne or Volk are likely to fill the two safety spots.
“We’re a very young and inexperienced team,” Keihl said. “We’ll have to rely on Robbie and Castrogiavanni quite a bit.”
Keihl has added two veteran assistant coaches. Former Montrose head coach Tom Lucenti returns to work with the running backs and linebackers. Nick Pappas, who has 25 years of experience, much of it with Susquehanna Valley (N.Y.), will coach the linemen.
Defending District 2 Class AA champion Dunmore appears to be the division favorite over Scranton Prep and Lakeland. Valley View and defending division and District 2 Class A champion Riverside could be a threat to the contenders. Montrose could be fighting with Western Wayne for position at the bottom of the standings.
In addition to playing its division opponents, Montrose again plays Susquehanna, Lackawanna Trail, Old Forge and North Pocono. The Meteors open at Susquehanna Friday, then play back-to-back home games September 11 and 18 against Lackawanna Trail and Old Forge before moving into league play.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Junior Cole Wheaton shot an 80 while sophomores Jordan Smith and Casey O’Reilly added 82s to help Montrose finish sixth out of the 19 full teams at the Irving Jackman Memorial Tournament at Scranton Municipal Golf Course.
Billy Stranburg, a junior who shot 87, completed the team score in the event where each team used its low four scores out of six players.
Abington Heights beat Scranton Prep in a playoff after both teams shot 305.
Mountain View entered three players in the event, led by senior Kyle Wilkins with a 93.
Blue Ridge, Elk Lake, Forest City and Susquehanna were the only teams in the Lackawanna League that did not enter the tournament.
Both Blue Ridge and Susquehanna were unable to fill their six-player lineups in the league opener and had to forfeit points in losses.
Anthony Dorunda continues to move around at Wilkes University, which opens its football season at home Saturday against Muhlenberg College.
Dorunda, a Blue Ridge graduate who played quarterback at Susquehanna, began his college career as a reserve tight end. Last season, he played both tight end and quarterback and appeared in four games. He ran twice for six yards and caught two passes for 41 yards and his first college touchdown.
This season, the 6-foot-2, 226-pound Dorunda is listed as both a wide receiver and quarterback.
Wilkes went 4-6 last season.
THE WEEK AHEAD
High school football season gets underway Friday night with Susquehanna at home under the temporary lights against Montrose.
Predictions for opening weekend games involving LFC teams, with the home team in CAPS, are: SUSQUEHANNA 40, Montrose 27; DUNMORE 23, Mid Valley 7; Lakeland 38, LACKAWANNA TRAIL 16; Riverside 22, OLD FORGE 12; Wyoming Valley West 24, SCRANTON 7; Carbondale 24, ATHENS 10; HOLY CROSS 30, Freedom Village 16; WALLENPAUPACK 27, Pocono Mountain West 24; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 10, Hazleton Area 7; SCRANTON PREP 21, West Scranton 20; DELAWARE VALLEY 42, East Stroudsburg North 14; NORTH POCONO 14, Valley View 12; HONESDALE 34, Western Wayne 17.
We had our best season ever predicting games in 2008. Our final record was 116-16 (87.9 percent), including 15-1 (93.8) percent) in the playoffs.
Boys’ soccer also starts Friday.
Wallenpaupack is at Mountain View in a Lackawanna League Division 1 game, Holy Cross is at Montrose in a Division 2 game and Mid Valley is at Blue Ridge while Dunmore is at defending champion Forest City in Division 3 games.
The Lackawanna League girls’ soccer season opens Tuesday, September 8 when the schedule includes Elk Lake at defending champion Mountain View and Blue Ridge at Forest City in Northern Division games.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Cousin Carl Goes International
By Gerald Hodges; The Racing Reporter
Marcos Ambrose led 60 laps and only made one mistake in 74 laps, but that single miscue allowed Carl Edwards to make a pass on him on the last turn of the last lap to win Sunday’s Nationwide Series race in Montreal, Canada.
“I made one mistake and it cost me the race,” said Ambrose, who finished second.
Ambrose was leading the race with Edwards right behind him as they entered turn-14, the last turn before the checkered flag. Ambrose did not brake hard enough and his No. 47 Toyota slipped sideways just enough to allow Edwards to get by. Ambrose regained control, but was not able to overtake Edwards.
Carl Edwards, winner of Sunday's Nationwide race in Montreal, Canada.
Edwards did his traditional winning backflip, and said, “We just went international. Marcos Ambrose is probably the best road course driver there is. He’s helped me a lot. It makes it special being able to pass him.
“I thought it was over. Once we came off the last hair-pin corner, I drove it as hard as I could. He had a little bit of trouble with a wheel-spin, and I had a little run, but I couldn’t out brake him. He just let off the brakes a little early and hopped the curb too hard and slipped on that last turn.”
The win was the first road course victory for Edwards.
NASCAR stopped the race with 16-laps to go and made teams switch to rain tires. When racing resumed, there were several multi-car accidents. Only 24 of the 43 starting cars were running at the end of the race.
“It was a crazy race,” continued Edwards. First it was dry, and then it was wet. At one point I was just trying to survive.”
Andrew Ranger finished third followed by Jacques Villeneuve, Brad Keselowski, Tony Raines, Jean-Francois Dumoulin, Stephen Leicht, Brendan Gaughan, and Kyle Busch.
Top-10 points leaders after 25 of 35; 1. Kyle Busch-4034, 2. Edwards-3842, 3. Keselowski-3752, 4. Leffler-3429, 5. S. Wallace-2900, 6. Allgaier-2898, 7. Keller-2821, 8. Gaughan-2787, 9. Bliss-2774, 10. McDowell-2738.
HORNADAY CONTINUES TO LEAD TRUCKS
Top-10 Truck Series leaders after 16 of 25: 1. Hornaday-2593, 2. Crafton-2373, 3. Skinner-2277, 4. Bodine-2169, 5. Scott-2134, 6. Starr-2110, 7. Braun-2096, 8. Setzer-2065, 9. Crawford-2051, 10. Cook-2015.
EVERNHAM AND CROCKER TIE THE KNOT
Ray Evernham married his former driver, Erin Crocker in Las Vegas last week.
Evernham is 52, Crocker is 28.
Evernham won three Cup championships (1995, ’97, ’98) while serving as crew chief for driver Jeff Gordon at Hendrick Motorsports. He left Hendrick prior to the 2001 season to become a team owner, working with Dodge officials when the automaker made its return to NASCAR’s Cup series.
Crocker began her NASCAR career as a development driver for Evernham. She made 10 starts in what is now the Nationwide Series and 29 in the Camping World Truck Series between 2005 and 2008.
Evernham eventually gained a divorce from his wife, and now works for ESPN, after selling the majority of his interest in the team to George Gillett, Jr. in 2007.
Evernham’s infatuation with Crocker caused lots of talk in the NASCAR garage, and even led one of his drivers, Jeremy Mayfield, to say, “We hardly ever see our boss. He spends more time around his girlfriend’s team than he does ours.”
A RACE WITHIN A RACE
With just two regular season races left before the start of this season’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship much of the focus is on the battle for position.
It’s a race within a race.
That’s the race for the top seed in the Chase, a spot currently held by MarkMartin.
Martin, with four wins, would have 40 bonus points going into the Chase’s first race at New Hampshire.
Once the Chase field is set, each of the top 12 driver’s points will be reset to 5,000. Then, 10 bonus points will be added for each win during the first 26 races to create the “seeding.”
The battle for the top seed seems like a three-driver contest: Martin, Tony Stewartand Jimmie Johnson.
Martin, currently 10th in the points standings, has the more pressing matter of staying in the top 12.
But both Stewart and Johnson have three wins for 30 bonus points apiece, and the luxury of already having clinched a Chase spot.
That means the pressure is off - and winning is literally the only goal over the next two races.
“If the chance presents itself, we'll take a risk [if it means winning],” Johnson said. “We did at Michigan. We're going for the win. We'll try to do the opposite [of other teams' strategy] if that opportunity is there to go for a win."
But, statistically, Stewart owns the advantage. At Atlanta and Richmond, Stewart has a combined five wins, a series-high Driver Rating of 102.4 and a second-best Average Running Position of 10.1.
Top-15 Sprint Cup Chase contenders with two to go: 1. Stewart-3564, 2. Johnson-3344, 3. J. Gordon-3310, 4. Hamlin-3141, 5. Edwards-3110, 6. Kurt Busch-3103, 7, Newman-2995, 8. Biffle-2986, 9. Montoya-2975, 10. Martin-2971, 11. Kahne-2963, 12. Kenseth-2945, 13. Kyle Busch-2911, 14. Vickers-2906, 15. Bowyer-2833.
Weekend Racing: The Camping World Trucks are at Newton, Iowa, while the Cup and Nationwide teams will be night racing at the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Sat., Sept. 5, Nationwide Series Atlanta 300, race 26 of 35, Starting time: 6:30 pm (EDT); TV: ESPN2.
Sat., Sept. 5, Camping World Series Iowa 200, race 17 of 25, Starting time: 9:30 p.m.
(EDT); TV: Speed Channel.
Sun., Sept. 6, Sprint Cup Pep Boys Auto 500, race 25 of 36, Starting time: 7 pm (EDT); TV: ESPN.
Racing Trivia Question: What is the name of the camp operated by Kyle Petty and his wife for kids with health care needs?
Last Week’s Question: How many NASCAR Truck championships has Ron Hornaday won? Answer. He has three, 1996, ’98, and 2007.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: email@example.com.
Season passes for Susquehanna Community High School are now being sold in the high school office. Senior Citizen passes are also available. Passes are for all regular season home sporting events.
News | Living | Sports | Schools | Churches | Ads | Events
Military | Columns | Ed/Op | Obits | Archive | Subscribe