Archive - Dec 2011 - Sports Article
Story of the year: Mesoraco receives his dream call
PUNXSUTAWNEY â 2011 was a whirlwind year for former PAHS â and current Cincinnati Reds' â catcher Devin Mesoraco and his loyal, local fans and one during which his dream of playing in the Majors became a reality.
When Mesoraco hit an eighth-inning home run during the first week of spring training with the Cincinnati Reds March 2, manager Dusty Baker said that the slugger hit the ball a mile, maybe even a mile-and-a-half.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Carl A. Truance, for whom the Punxsutawney Holiday Classic has been named since 1995, was an avid fan of Punxsutawney sports.
He would have been pleased with the performance the Chucks gave Thursday night to be crowned tournament champions.
Punxsy's Cory Geer, playing off the bench, hit a shot with 38 seconds on the clock to give the Chucks a 53-52 lead, and the Chucks held on to win by that same score.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â The Lady Chucks fell behind early for the second day in a row and were unable to overcome the deficit to lose 39-33 in the consolation game against the Lady Cougars of Hazleton at the 17th-annual Carl A. Truance Holiday Classic Thursday afternoon in Punxsutawney.
The Lady Cougars' intense full-court pressure defense was a key factor in shutting down the Lady Chucks in the first quarter, and Hazleton converted early to jump out to a 13-5 lead in the first quarter.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â With the winter weather finally hitting Punxsutawney just after Christmas, the weather seemed fitting for the opening day of the 17th-annual Carl A. Truance Holiday Classic.
Truance was an original member of the Booster Club and was known for his support of Punxsutawney athletics.
The Punxsutawney Jaycees originally ran the Holiday Tournament for 26 years be- fore the Booster Club took over in 1995. In 1996, the tournament expanded to include the girls' bracket, as well.
In a state the size of Pennsylvania, reaching a state championship tournament is a rare occasion.
In Part II of The Spirit Sports Year in Review, readers will have the opportunity to look back on eight different 2011 Punxsutawney teams that reached that level â one team even won its state title.
There was no lack of newsworthy sports in Punxsutawney this year, and The Spirit will feature one final installment of Year in Review in Saturday's edition.
13- & 14-year- old VFW All- Stars win states
PUNXSUTAWNEY â 2011 has been a year which saw many great accomplishments â from teams to individual â in the Punxsutawney area, and as the year winds to an end, it is the perfect time to look back on some of the achievements which stood out in 2011.
There are too many to list, and surely, some notable stories will be left off the list, but the year was one of transition, as The Spirit saw its first new sports writer since late in 2006.
Amid the transition, Punxsutawney area sports continued to thrive, leaving plenty to review as the area looks forward to 2012.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Current Cincinnati Reds' and former Punxsutawney Area High School catcher Devin Mesoraco, known for his generosity to the Make-A-Wish campaign in Punxsutawney over the years, is displaying his Christmas spirit in another manner related to his lifelong-dream-turned-career this year by contributing to the renovation of the Rich Kuntz Memorial Field complex this week.
This Christmas is a very special one for me, as it is my first as "Uncle Zak."
My gorgeous niece came into the world in January of this year, so this is her first Christmas, and although she lives more than 2,000 miles away in Canada, she's spending her first Christmas in the States with us.
Emma Jean has brought joy into the lives of us all, and we're all incredibly excited that she is visiting us.
And personally, she has given me a renewed sense of the giving aspect of the Christmas holiday.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Despite fighting its way to a virtual tie on the mat with Clearfield, Punxsy's junior high wrestling team fell victim to a number of forfeits over a much-larger Bison squad and lost Wednesday's match 66-30.
ALTOONA â The Punxsy seventh- and eighth-grade basketball teams have worked hard to earn their Christmas break, which will run until Jan. 4, 2012. But before the break came a pair of tough games against Brookville and Altoona-White.
In the eighth-grade game at Altoona Wednesday, Punxsy hung with Altoona in the first half to trail by just five points at halftime, but Al- toona broke the game open against the Chucks to outscore them 25-12 in the second half and earn a 43-25 win.