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SCRANTON - Football players who recently graduated from 10 high schools have spent the last two weeks being formed into the City team that will take the field Wednesday night against the County in the 76th annual Scranton Lions Club Dream Game at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Each of the other players has at least one former high school teammate to help him with the transition, but Susquehanna’s Chris Kimble stands alone.
Kimble is the only Saber on the team that is being guided by Montrose coach Jack Keihl.
“A lot of other schools have a few more kids,” Kimble said. “I don’t really have anyone I know on the team.”
Kimble, who can also play defensive end, spent the eight practice sessions trying to make himself known as a tight end. The 6-foot-1, 232-pounder is likely to play that position at Division II West Virginia Wesleyan in Buckhannon, W.Va., where he is headed in August.
“That’s what I was scouted for was tight end,” said Kimble, who sent out highlight films, which led to repeat inquiries from West Virginia Wesleyan where he will study athletic sciences.
Kimble entered the Susquehanna program a year after it ended a 34-game losing streak. Although he was part of more struggles early in his four-year career, Kimble was one of the seniors last year when the Sabers doubled their victory total while returning to a winning mark with a 6-4 record.
Among Kimble’s City teammates are three-year Montrose starters Rob Volk, Dalton Smith and Bryan Castrogiavanni.
Kimble said he is anxious to play with all-state running back Michael Perry from Dunmore.
“I didn’t play against Mike Perry,” Kimble said. “I watched him on TV and I looked forward to being on a team with him.”
Kimble’s role at tight end should include blocking for Perry and Wallenpaupack’s Joe DeFebo, another all-state running back. Their success could go a long way in determining whether the City can pick up a win and even the all-time series at 36-36-4.
“It’s going to be a wonderful backfield,” Keihl said. “I think I looked at four or five running backs.
“It will be a challenge to share the ball that much.”
Perry and DeFebo are highly unlikely to be looking at the 20 or 30 carries they often had to break down the few defenses that found success against them.
If either or both can produce the usual effort in less attempts, the City should be tough to beat.
“We’ll be concerned with tackling their running backs,” said Lakeland’s Jeff Wasilchak, who will be trying to improve to 2-0 as Dream Game head coach while guiding the County.
Game rules restrict teams to basic 5-2 defenses, but Wasilchak said even within that, the County will find a way to concentrate on the all-state running backs.
“We’ll pay more attention to them,” Wasilchak said. “And, we’ll be sure we’re teaching proper alignment and tackling.
“We have to tackle the correct way and we’ve got to be sure everybody is ready to swarm to the ball.”
Wasilchak has a total of seven Chiefs on his roster, the most of any team.
Players from Mid Valley, Carbondale, Abington Heights, Riverside, Lackawanna Trail, Western Wayne, Valley View, Old Forge and Honesdale are also part of the County roster.
Six players from Dunmore, the Lackawanna Football Conference Division 2 and District 2 Class AA champion last season, will be joined by players from Montrose, Scranton, Scranton Prep, West Scranton, North Pocono, Holy Cross, Delaware Valley, Susquehanna and Wallenpaupack on the City roster.
Proceeds from the game benefit projects to help prevent blindness.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
McMurray Claims Brickyard 400 Win
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Jamie McMurray gained the lead from Kevin Harvick on a restart with 15 laps to go in the 17th running of the 160-lap Brickyard 400, and pulled away for his fifth career Sprint Cup victory.
“When Kevin got by me with just a few laps to go, I thought it was over,” said McMurray. “My car was real tight, but he gave me the outside on the restart, and that was what I needed. I was better at the end.
Jamie McMurray wins 17th Brickyard 400.
“With 10-laps to go my crew chief said, “Do what you’ve got to do and don’t worry about those other guys.”
McMurray became only the third driver in series history to win both the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year. The other two drivers were Dale Jarrett (1996) and Jimmie Johnson (2006).
His win also gave team owner Chip Ganassi his first Trifecta; a win in the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, and Indianapolis 500.
McMurray’s teammate, Juan Montoya started on the pole and led 86 laps. During a caution period late in the race, Montoya’s team elected to put four fresh tires on his car, while most of the other teams only took two.
When Montoya returned to the track he was eighth. Then on lap 143, he spun out of control and hit the outside wall. As he slid down the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran into him, putting both cars out of the race. Earnhardt finished 27th, while Montoya was 32nd.
Second-place finisher, Kevin Harvick is still the points leader.
“I got tight going into the corner and I had to wait on my car, and Jamie was able to use the momentum he had to get by me,” said Harvick. “My car never acted like that again. We had a top-5 car, and we had a chance to win, but couldn’t quite make it happen.”
Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and Kurt Busch were the remaining top-10 drivers
Top-20 Chase contenders after 20 of 36 races. Note: Only the top-12 drivers will be in the final 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. 1. Harvick-2920, 2. J. Gordon-2736, 3. Hamlin-2660, 4. Johnson-2659, 5. Kurt Busch-2658, 6. Kyle Busch-2630, 7. Burton-2615, 8. Kenseth-2573, 9. Stewart-2544, 10. Edwards-2496, 11. Biffle-2462, 12. Bowyer-2446, 13. Martin-2384, 14. Earnhardt-2353, 15. Newman-2299, 16. McMurray-2295, 17. Kahne-2290, 18. Reutimann-2269, 19. Logano-2241, 20. Truex-2145
KYLE BUSCH BESTS EDWARDS IN NATIONWIDE RACE
There was no controversial finish in last Saturday night’s Nationwide series race, but for the second week race in a row, Carl Edwards went side-by-side for the lead on the final lap, but Kyle Busch held Edwards off to win the Kroger 200 at the 0.686-mile track.
Last week at Gateway International Raceway, Edwards dumped Brad Keselowski coming to the checkered flag, triggering a multicar accident and forcing NASCAR to penalize both drivers.
This time, Edwards raced Busch cleanly, and Busch grabbed his 38th career Nationwide Series victory, second only to Mark Martin on the all-time win list. Martin has 48 wins in the series.
Edwards and some others on the lead lap pitted for fresh tires on Lap 162, with Edwards restarting 11th with 28 laps to go. Edwards sliced through the top-10 to get to second, and a caution came out with six laps to go.
On the green-white-checkered restart, Busch got the jump on Edwards into Turn 1, though Edwards tried to get to the inside lane on the white flag lap and on the final lap. But Busch was up to the task. He led four times for 144 laps.
Ron Hornaday, who won Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race here, ran in the top-five for most of the race until he and the lapped car of J.C. Stout got together in Turn 2 on Lap 161, and he finished 28th.
Aric Almirola, Trevor Bayne, Reed Sorenson, Brendan Gaughan, Justin Allgaier, Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, and Steven Wallace were the remaining top-10 finishers.
Top-10 points leaders after 20 of 35: 1. Keselowski-3189, 2. Edwards-2989, 3. Allgaier-2691, 4. Kyle Busch-2681, 5. Menard-2505, 6. Harvick-2434, 7. S. Wallace-2338, 8. Gaughan-2277, 9. Bayne-2205, 10. Leffler-2161
HORNADAY IS INDY TRUCK WINNER
Ron Hornaday snapped a 22-race winless streak in the Truck Series on Friday night, winning the AAA Insurance 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis ahead of Kyle Busch.
Top-10 points leaders after 12 of 25: 1. Bodine-1861, 2. Almirola-1684, 3. Sauter-1679, 4. Hornaday-1649, 5. Peters-1649, 6. Dillon-1584, 7. Crafton-1583, 8. Skinner-1574, 9. Starr-1528, 10. White-1493
EARLY NASCAR DRIVER PASSES
Earl Brooks of Lynchburg, VA passed away last week.
His life story proves that not all the winners see victory lane. In his 262 race Cup career, Brooks never got to the checkered flag first, but the man still played an important part in NASCAR history.
Brooks began competing in NASCAR Grand National Racing in 1962, with most of his starts coming between 1967 and 1971, while Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, David Pearson and Bobby Isaacs were trading paint.
But that is not his real claim to fame.
Perhaps he will be best remembered for the way he offered help to the lone African-American to win a top series NASCAR race, Wendell Scott. Brooks and Scott traveled together, shared tools and shared parts. At a time when doing such a thing wasn’t so fashionable, Brooks and Ned Jarrett were a big part of keeping Wendell Scott competitive.
Brooks also owned cars driven by Dave Marcis, Ed Negre, and Dick May among others. He was known as the “Earl of Lynchburg,” hailing from that Virginia City. He was 80 years old.
Not all winners get trophies, and not everyone who gets trophies is a winner. Earl Brooks, in his own understated way, was a champion.
Weekend Racing: The Sprint Cup and Truck teams will be at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. The Nationwide teams travel to Newton, Iowa.
Sat., July 31, Camping World Truck Series race 13 of 25; Starting time: 12:30 p.m. ET; TV: Speed.
Sat., July 31, U. S. Cellular 250 Nationwide Series race 21 of 35: Starting time: 7 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2.
Sun., Aug. 1 Sprint Cup Pennsylvania 500, race 21 of 36: Starting time: 1 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN.
Racing Trivia Question: Who was the 2005 Sprint Cup champion?
Last Week’s Question: Who was the winner of the inaugural Brickyard 400? Answer. Jeff Gordon won the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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