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Junior-high Chucks lose a close one to Indiana

December 14, 2010

INDIANA — Indiana won seven of the 12 bouts on the mat and had just enough at the end to surpass the Punxsy junior-high wrestling team last Friday, 47-39.

The Chucks (0-1) were boosted by four-straight wins by fall from 110 to 130 pounds, but Punxsy struggled to win just one match after that once the weight classes grew larger.

Ahead 39-29 with three bouts remaining, Punxsy bumped up Austin Covatch and Troy Peace, giving Indiana a forfeit at 185 pounds. Covatch and Peace, however, each lost by fall, ultimately pushing Indiana ahead for the eight-point win.

Chucks ready to improve on last year's success

December 12, 2010

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsy eighth-grade boys' basketball team enters the 2010-2011 season coming off a 9-8 seventh-grade campaign.

The Chucks return all of last year's leading scorers, including Ryan Sloniger, Dakota Thomas and Adam Ferko. Punxsy starts the season today at DuBois CC.

Chucks to begin first junior-high season today on road

December 12, 2010

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Eighteen Chucks will enter their first season as part of the Punxsy junior-high basketball program on the seventh-grade team.

The Chucks are being coached by Darren Sherry, who is leading a Punxsy junior-high basketball team for the first time under first-year varsity coach Dirk Neal.

Punxsy starts the season at 4 p.m. today at DuBois CC.

Offensive struggles lead to loss

December 11, 2010

MARION CENTER — The Punxsy girls' basketball team scored just seven first-half points and turned the ball over 23 times during a 54-23 loss to Marion Center Friday night during the Marion Center Tip-off Tournament.

The Lady Chucks (0-1) return to the court at 2:30 p.m. today when they take on Central Martinsburg in the tournament's consolation game. The championship game — between Marion Center and Westmont Hilltop — will follow at 4:30 p.m.

Low-post issues carry into defeat

December 11, 2010

EMPORIUM — The Punxsy boys' basketball team kept things close every quarter, but could never pull ahead during a 62-45 season-opening loss to Cameron County Friday night in Emporium.

The Chucks (0-1) received more bad news after the loss, as senior forward Darren Pifer may have suffered a concussion after a hard fall with 7:14 left in the third quarter. Pifer's status for Punxsy's next game — Tuesday in Redbank Valley — is uncertain at this time.

Junior Logan Weaver led the Chucks with 21 points, nailing three three-pointers. He added eight rebounds and three assists.

Ninth-graders begin season with win over North Catholic

December 11, 2010

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsy ninth-grade boys' basketball team started the 2010-2011 season on the right foot, downing North Catholic Friday night at home, 43-32.

The Chucks — which went 10-7 last year as eighth-graders — are led by Brandon Krug this season. Krug, a 2002 PAHS graduate, is coaching junior-high ball for the first time in Punxsy.

"The whole team played together," Krug said. "Our defense and intensity were the difference in the game."

Brandon Mancuso led the Chucks with 18 points. Following Mancuso was Tanner Evans, who managed seven points.

Take-charge guy Strano finds leadership dream

December 10, 2010

The following is from The Punxsutawney Spirit's “Where Are They Now?” series. The focus is to catch up with former Punxsy athletes to find out what made them a success growing up, and what they are doing today.

BAYTOWN, Texas — Bob Strano always wanted to be the guy in charge.

Even at a young age, back in junior-high, being a leader was his ultimate goal.

Strano, a 1966 Punxsutawney Area High School graduate, recently found a scrapbook from when he was an eighth-grader, and inside was what he wanted to be when he grew up.

Seniors Crago, Meterko voted first-ever Spirit Fall MVPs

December 9, 2010

PUNXSUTAWNEY — After a two-week voting period and more than 2,000 votes cast between the two genders, two seniors stood out among the rest according to the public's selection of The Punxsutawney Spirit's first-ever Fall Sports Most Valuable Players.

Shawnna Crago, a volleyball player who helped the Lady Chucks win their sixth district title in a row, and A.J. Meterko, a cross country runner who finished second at districts and earned his third consecutive trip to states, were selected as the two 2010 winners.

Punxsy native named Shippensburg football coach

December 9, 2010

SHIPPENSBURG — A 1988 Punxsutawney Area High School graduate continues to have an eventful few months at Shippensburg University, as after being inducted into the school's Athlete Hall of Fame in October, he was named the head football coach Wednesday.

Mark 'Mac' Maciejewski, the son of Stan Maciejewski and Nancy Weisinstein, graduated from Shippensburg in 1992. For the past 12 seasons, he has been an assistant coach with the Red Raiders, and Wednesday, he replaced Rocky Rees — who announced his retirement in September — as head coach.

Chucks primed to jump back above .500 in 10-11

December 8, 2010

PUNXSUTAWNEY — As losses due to way too many forfeits continue to be something of the past, the Punxsy junior-high wrestling team is focused on improving and finishing above .500 after an 8-9 season last year.

The Chucks were known for having a small roster, but benefited from hard-working wrestlers while managing a combined record of 22-16 from 2006 to 2009. Now, with 28 wrestlers on the roster after having 26 at the outset of last season, the Chucks are ready to return to their winning ways.

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