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The first game of the 2010 girls’ soccer season is 10 months away, but already the Montrose Lady Meteors have caught their first break.
Montrose will be the largest Class A school in the state in girls’ soccer a year from now, according to the latest enrollment figures and classification breakdowns released by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association for the next two academic years.
The PIAA is switching girls’ soccer from two classifications to three next season in anticipation of the consolidation with the last of the spring soccer teams that will make the move to the fall in 2012. The change creates the most drastic shuffling of classifications for the next two-year cycle.
Class A will be for all schools with female enrollments of 205 or less.
Montrose’s female enrollment number is exactly 205.
Class AA will be for schools with enrollments of 206-369 and Class AAA will be for those at 370 and up.
Montrose won the District 2 Class AA title this year when the PIAA had just two classes - AAA and AA - for girls’ soccer.
The PIAA collects three-grade enrollment totals, split separately by totals for boys and girls, every two years. It then splits the teams in each class as close to equal as mathematically possible for the next two-year cycle.
Montrose is Susquehanna County’s largest school with 221 boys and 205 girls.
Mountain View is next in boys while Elk Lake is next in girls. Mountain View has 192 boys and 138 girls. Elk Lake has 177 girls and 155 boys.
Blue Ridge follows with 145 boys and 134 girls.
Susquehanna is the smallest school for girls and Forest City is the smallest for boys.
Susquehanna has 119 boys and 86 girls. Forest City has 134 girls and 102 boys.
Forest City is in the lowest possible classification in every sport.
Susquehanna is in the lowest in every sport except football where its co-sponsorship with Blue Ridge means both schools’ enrollments have to be counted and the team is considered Class AA.
The same issue exists with the Blue Ridge soccer teams that include players from Susquehanna.
Montrose joins Susquehanna in Class AA in football.
Baseball and basketball are the only other boys’ sports where any county teams compete outside the smallest classifications.
Montrose, Mountain View and Elk Lake are each Class AA in baseball. Those three are joined by Blue Ridge in Class AA in basketball.
The cutoffs are different because they are figured for each sport based only upon the schools that compete in the sport.
Mountain View has just four more girls than Blue Ridge but will be a class higher in basketball. Mountain View’s 138 is three above the maximum for Class A while Blue Ridge is one below.
Montrose and Elk Lake are Class AA in softball and basketball.
The remaining county teams are in the lowest class in each sport.
The breakdowns for girls’ soccer are likely to go through significant adjustments again in 2012 when the remaining schools switch to the fall. Each break will probably be at a higher level because most of the spring soccer teams are among the biggest schools in the state.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The winter sports season gets underway Friday around the state.
The highlight of the Opening Night schedule is the annual Red Wallace Memorial Scholarship Game in boys’ basketball with Carbondale playing at Elk Lake.
More than three decades after the passing of Michael “Red” Wallace, the two schools he had a connection to continue to honor him with the traditional season opener.
Wallace, one of the original members of the Boston Celtics, played at Fell Township High School, which is now part of the Carbondale Area School District. He coached Elk Lake to state championships in 1969 and 1977. His 1977 team completed a state-record, 36-0 season just months before Wallace’s death.
Elk Lake is the defending Lackawanna League Division 3 champion.
Montrose, which tied Elk Lake for first place in the second half, opens its season at Riverside. The Vikings knocked off three straight higher-seeded teams to reach the District 2 Class AA final last year, beginning with a 46-31 win over Montrose in the first round.
Susquehanna is at Athens and Blue Ridge is in the Sayre Tip-Off Tournament, which continues Saturday, in other Friday openers.
Forest City opens Saturday at home with a 2:15 game against Lakeland.
In girls’ basketball, Mountain View opens at Holy Cross in a meeting between teams that could be factors in the District 2 Class AA playoffs. The Lady Eagles had the best Lackawanna League Division 3 record a year ago, but missed out on a title in playoff losses that continued with a first-round upset in district play. Holy Cross went 17-7 and returns one of the league’s top players in Julie Kosin.
Montrose is home Friday night against Valley View.
Susquehanna and Elk Lake both open in the Tunkhannock Tournament, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Blue Ridge is at the Sayre Tip-Off Tournament the same nights.
In wrestling, Blue Ridge is at the Bloomsburg Tournament Friday and Saturday.
Elk Lake and Montrose open with the Wyalusing Tournament Saturday while Mountain View is in the Wilson Tournament.
In swimming, both the Elk Lake boys’ and girls’ teams open at home against Athens Friday.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
“Rowdy” Kyle Busch Wins Snowball Derby
By Gerald Hodges; The Racing Reporter
PENSACOLA, Fla. - The 2009 Nationwide Series champion, “Rowdy” Kyle Busch passed “Fast” Eddie Mercer of Pensacola on lap 282 of the 300-lap race to win Sunday’s 42nd Snowball Derby, before the largest crowd in the history of the event.
“Well, since I didn’t make this year’s Cup Chase and didn’t have any obligation to go to the banquet, this was the best place for me,” said Busch. “This is the one (race) you want to win. This is the one that really counts.
"Rowdy" Kyle Busch, winner of 42nd Snowball Derby.
“Unfortunately, my M&M’s Cup team didn’t make the Chase this year, so we decided to come down here and run the Snowball Derby.
“I’m very proud of my team. We came in here, and they’ve worked very hard. There is a lot of good racers here. We came in as the outsiders, and they really gave me a good car. This was a full-fledged effort to try to win.”
When asked about his thoughts on next year’s Cup season, he said, “I’d like to say we are going to win the championship, but you never know. We had some good runs this past year, and we had some bad runs. The bad runs overcame the good runs. I’m proud of all the guys on my Cup team, but today is what it’s all about and we won the Snowball Derby.”
Eddie Mercer finished second. Steven Wallace, another Nationwide Series driver and 2004 Snowball Derby winner, finished third.
“We had a good car, and I thought we were in pretty good shape, but on the last pit stop, something was wrong with the set of tires, and it didn’t handle like it should there at the end.”
Race fans might have thought the 2009 racing season ended on Nov. 22 when NASCAR's three major series competed at Homestead. But they were wrong. Fans know the racing season is never complete until a champion is crowned in the Snowball Derby, the country's most prestigious short-track race that occurs each December.
The polesitter was Johanna Long, the 17-year-old daughter of racer Donald Long. Ross Kenseth, the 16-year-old son of NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth started second, while Kyle Busch qualified third. Chase Elliott, son of Bill Elliott qualified ninth.
With the regular racing season over, several of NASCAR’s bigger stars headed south to Five Flags Speedway in hopes of finding victory lane.
Those entered in this year’s classic included Cup driver David Stremme, Nationwide drivers Steven Wallace, John Wes Townley, Cale Gale, and James Buescher, Brian Ickler, and Ryan Sieg from the Camping World Trucks.
Past winners of the Snowball Derby include such notables as Donnie Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Ted Musgrave, Rich Bickle, Gary St. Amant, Rick Crawford, Bobby Gill, Pete Hamilton, Ted Musgrave and Jody Ridley.
For the complete race rundown, go to: www.5flagsspeedway.com.
LOGANO WINS ROOKIE OF YEAR
Joey Logano, who finished the Cup season 20th in points with one win, was also the youngest driver to earn the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award and became the youngest Cup winner when he won the rain-shortened June 28 race in Loudon, N.H.
He beat out veteran open-wheel and sports car racer Max Papis and former Formula One driver Scott Speed for the honor.
“It's really cool to get the Raybestos award. That's something you only get one shot at,” he said.
He will share a $114,000 top rookie bonus with his team along with the $5.3 million he won in Cup races.
“Sweet. I didn't know the rookie of the year award paid that much,” Logano continued. “Wow, maybe I can buy the car I've been wanting.”
He has been modest throughout his first full Cup season after being elevated to replace Tony Stewart in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota when Stewart announced his plans late last year to start his own team.
“If Tony hadn't left, I probably would have run a full (NASCAR) Nationwide series this season with maybe some Cup races at the end of the year,” said Logano.
He won five of the 22 Nationwide races he entered.
KANSAS SPEEDWAY UPS THE ANTE
Kansas Speedway’s application to operate a Hard Rock Casino on speedway property has been approved by the Kansas Gaming Commission. International Speedway Corp., which owns the track and is controlled by the France family, promised the track a second race, beginning in 2011.
Mike Helton, president of NASCAR said they would not add a race to the current 36-race schedule. The big question is which of the current ISC tracks will lose a race to Kansas?
Most fans would favor Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., but Michigan Speedway might be one to lose out. Sponsors want to race twice at ACS because it's in the second largest market in the country. Michigan, an almost identical track to ACS but 30 years older, lies in one of the most depressed areas of the country. Being in the backyard of the Big-3’s headquarters was a big reason Michigan had played host to two Cup races a year since 1969. No one knows whether all three automakers will survive. Michigan Speedway also could become a victim of the problem.
Martinsville, the oldest facility in NASCAR, was thought to be the location that would lose a race. But the resurfaced track at Bristol has eliminated much of the bumping, and banging that made the short track so popular. NASCAR officials aren't going to mess that up and take a race away from the old Virginia track, a move that would cause a revolt by many fans. Martinsville appears safe for keeping both Cup dates.
ISC currently has two other Cup races at Daytona, Talladega, Richmond, and Phoenix. It has one race at Darlington, Watkins Glen, Chicagoland, Homestead-Miami and Kansas.
Racing Trivia Question: What year did Mark Martin first compete in the Cup series?
Last Week’s Question: Where is the NASCAR Hall of Fame going to be located? Answer. Charlotte, NC. It will open in May, 2010.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Montrose ended the girls’ soccer season by playing against three straight championship teams.
Junior goalie Katelyn Spellman proved to be the great equalizer in those games, lifting Montrose to wins in two of the matchups and making the Lady Meteors a championship team as well.
Spellman saved 28 shots while allowing just one goal in the last two rounds of the District 2 Class AA tournament, then kept the Lady Meteors in striking distance for much of their first-round state game.
For leading Montrose to the district championship, Spellman has been selected as the latest Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Month.
“I’ve seen a lot of soccer in my day, but she made some plays that just amazed me,” Montrose coach John Cherundolo said.
Spellman, in her third year, was selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player.
“When we couldn’t score, she kept us in games,” Cherundolo said. “When we scored, she kept the other team down.”
The Lady Meteors finished 10-6. They entered the district tournament as the fourth seed, but knocked off the top two seeds.
Montrose rallied for a 2-1 win over top-seeded Lakeland, the Lackawanna League North Division champion, when Spellman made 12 saves.
“We knew we could beat them,” Spellman said. “We had played Lakeland twice in the regular season and they were both close games where we made a couple mistakes.”
Montrose followed up the win over Lakeland when Spellman had a 16-save shutout in a 1-0 victory over defending champion Mountain View to avenge a shootout loss in last year’s final.
“That loss definitely hung with me the whole year,” Spellman said. “Everyone remembered how much we had wanted that game.”
Montrose’s season ended in a 6-1 loss to District 4 champion Lewisburg, which ultimately lost to state champion Loyalsock in a shootout in the semifinals.
The Lady Meteors trailed just, 1-0, at halftime and Spellman finished with 29 saves.
“She kept us in it in the first half,” Cherundolo said. “They could have had four or five if she didn’t make a bunch of great saves.”
Spellman and the entire defense will be back next year.
“They’re a great defense,” Spellman said. “A lot of the success that I get credit for should go to them.”
Spellman is also a returning starter on the basketball team. She played mostly junior varsity as a freshman but did gain some varsity experience that year.
After being on the track team as a freshman, Spellman was part of the softball program as a sophomore, playing on the JV team and getting some varsity action.
Katelyn, the daughter of D.J. and Jane Spellman, lives in Montrose.
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