Category Archives: Sports

Little guy creates giant stuff

Sports column by Bill Bostic

Sports have a way when you least expect it to unfold a series of events that can reshape your world for a day, a week or maybe a lifetime.

For me, watching Jeff Gordon make a daring, dangerous move at Daytona to win did that. For sure, Jack Nicklaus playing a back nine for the ages at The Masters in 1986 at age 46 to win will forever be an inspiration to me. And, I’m still shaking my head over Penn State’s football team coming out of nowhere to grab the Big 10 championship last season.

These events were performed on a national and in some cases a worldwide stage and witnessed by millions. They were great moments in sports. But none of them inspired me to wax poetic at 3:30 in the morning like the baseball game I witnessed last night at an outpost in Lebanon County that features a chicken-processing plant across from the ballfield.

The baseball team sponsored by the fine folks associated with Linglestown’s American Legion Post 272 is making a run for a regional tournament title from the losers’ bracket. They’ve faced elimination the last four games and are still fighting.

Here’s what you need to understand: tournaments like this one that require playing nine-inning games on consecutive days are often won by the team with the deepest pitching staff. This kind of schedule is a nightmare for coaches who don’t have a long roster of arms in their stable.

Linglestown’s first pick to start last night’s contest against the undefeated York County champs from Pleasureville wasn’t ready to go, so the coaches decided to give the ball to the team’s closer, Mario Cattabiani, minutes before the first pitch.

This set the stage for a David and Goliath story to be written by Cattabiani, Linglestown’s smallest player and probably the smallest player by a bunch in the tournament.

Little guys aren’t supposed throw 116 pitches and turn in a complete-game victory, allowing only one earned run and giving up one walk with five strikeouts.

But without fanfare, that’s just what Cattabiani did. Lacking speed, he used his wit developed over 15 years of playing youth baseball at Koons Park to get batters to swing at the “junk” he was offering up. And, he helped himself by making four tremendous defensive plays on bunts and slow rollers.

Cattabiani’s gutty performance and classy Facebook Live post-game interview stirred my soul. It made me realize that my decision a few months ago to revive Linglestown Gazette was without a doubt the right thing to do.

Jeff Gordon, Jack Nicklaus, and Penn State football are OK in a pinch. But little guys bringing giants to their knees in rural Pennsylvania trumps them all.

Mario Cattabiani and the entire Linglestown Legion squad, thanks for giving me a moment that blew my socks off!
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Thanks go out to Linglstown Legion coach Barry Shipley for helping with this column. Photo submitted by Mario F. Cattabiani.

Bocce ball returns to Koons Park

The bocce ball courts at Koons Park that fell into disrepair in recent years have been upgraded and are ready to be put into use this week. And, if you’re really into this kind of sport, the courts can also be used for a game called petanque.

Odds are you’re not familiar with bocce and petanque. Well, you have a chance to change that this week.

The Rotary Club of Colonial Club and the Lower Paxton Twp. Parks and Recreation Dept. will be holding an open house on the courts at Koons Park on Wednesday, July 19 from 6 to 8 pm and Thursday, July 20 from 1 to 3 pm and 6 to 8 pm.

Township residents are welcome to come and see the improvements made at the park at the open house sessions and meet members of the Rotary Club to hear the plans for all courts and how residents can become involved in helping to organize activities. There will also be a demonstration of all activities provided and the equipment used.

The Rotary Club has made this possible through the generosity of the club members who continue to assist the parks and recreation department improve the recreational activities for residents of Lower Paxton Twp.

For additional information please contact the Lower Paxton Parks and Recreation Dept. at 717 657-5635.

McDevitt, CD & CD East student athletes spotlighted

* There’s an interesting twist about the three members of Bishop McDevitt High School boys’ swimming team pictured above – they’re related to each other, compete together on a relay team and have qualified for the state’s biggest meet of the season.

Pictured (L -R) are freshman Jonathan Mata, sophomore Alex Pompei and senior Anthony Pompei. Alex and Anthony are brothers and Jonathan is their cousin and they will be swimming in the 200 medley relay with junior Wendell Banks this weekend in the state championships at Bucknell University.

Also competing at states for Bishop McDevitt will be freshman Jenna Clancy in the girls’ 100 backstroke event.

* Congrats go to Central Dauphin High’s Garrett Peppelman for winning his second state wrestling title last weekend. CLICK HERE for details from PennLive on how he won gold in his final match as a Ram.

* Central Dauphin East senior Chase Edmonds, an all-state football running back, was recently named to the Pennsylvania Big 33 roster new balance 855. Also, he was honored this week by the Colonial Park Rotary Club as the high school’s student-of-the-month. CLICK HERE for more from PennLive about Chase’s outstanding athletic accomplishments.
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Tom Mata, Jr. submitted information about Bishop McDevitt’s swimming team.

Weekend quickies for Linglestown & beyond

joe_trojcak

Joe Trojcak

Need a break from shopping, wrapping & partying?

If so, consider stopping by St. Thomas Roasters for sounds of the season and other musical artistry by Joe Trojcak & Friends, SATURDAY, 8 – 10 pm, no cover. Joe plays a wicked piano and is a class act.

If you want some excitement, head to the PA Farm Show’s Equine Arena for a pro indoor soccer game SATURDAY between your Harrisburg Heat and the Detroit Waza, 7:05 pm. The Heat have won their last two games and are playing some good soccer these days. Plus, the team’s roster includes three Central Dauphin grads: Ken Fultz, Connor Malone and Justin Johnson.

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets or buy them at the door.
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Pictured above is Harrisburg Heat media guy Andy Linker, who is trying to lure a former member of The Beatles to attend Saturday’s game at the Farm Show. Sir Paul was a no show at Thursday’s game at Sports City near Linglestown. CLICK HERE for the story with a video report from WHP TV-21.

WARNING: Pro Wrestlers to Invade Linglestown in Less than 70 Days!

Below is entertainment news you’ll only find on Linglestown Gazette. (Have some fun with it, for gosh sake!)

Are you sitting down?

Pro wrestling has taken root in Lower Paxton Township in recent months. Hey, this is not a joke – it’s the real deal my friends!

Escaping the attention of most in the area, the Ultimate Wrestling Experience, or UWE, has held a few matches in the gym at the old Lower Paxton Junior High School located behind Karns Food along Old Jonestown Road.

Sources tell the Gazette that their last show earlier this year at the former school, now owned by a church, was a sellout.

And that’s not all …

Last month UWE attracted 2,500 fans to a match held at Metro Bank Stadium after a Senators baseball game. The guys and gals in the weird outfits even rooted for the visiting team to beat the Senators, according to fans who attended the game.

UWE show at Metro Bank Park on 6/22/13

UWE show at Metro Bank Park on 6/22/13 (See photo credit below.)

Now this troupe of ruffians is set to cross Route 22 and invade the Linglestown area on Sept. 28 at the Sports City complex located a mere 2.5 miles west of the village square.

Be on the lookout for strange characters with bulging muscles and watch this space for updates.
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Photo credit for Metro Bank panoramic view: ©2013 Kristen S. Poole

Linglestown baseball coverage might expand

It won’t be long until Koons Park in Linglestown will be abuzz with baseball teams prepping for the 2009 season. Opening day for midget baseball – April 18 – will be here in a blink of an eye.

Last year, I had a great time serving up in-depth coverage of the Linglestown Twilight team that won the East Shore Twilight League championship for the second year in a row. And, toward the end of the season there were occasional updates on pony, teener and Legion teams thanks to Karen Cattabiani, Mike Shaffer and Fran Roman.

This season I’d like to expand coverage to include timely game summaries for as many divisions as possible, a statistics package, and photos and videos. I think players and their families would really get a kick out of following players and teams.

But, to provide this service, I’m going to need help from several people – most likely parents, grandparents and students who are interested in sports – to gather scores and game highlights.

Also, I would need two or three sponsors to offset costs for banners, perks for volunteers and possibly a professional-grade video camera.

If you would like to see expanded coverage of Linglestown Baseball Association teams this season, here’s how you can help out:

* Sign up to be a volunteer reporter – no experience is needed. All you would do is fill out game report forms.

* Ask businesses or community groups to consider being a baseball coverage sponsor. At a minimum, sponsors would be mentioned in all baseball reports posted on Linglestown Gazette.

For more details, e-mail B² or call (717) 512-0722.
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2008 Linglestown Twilight coverage

2008 Linglestown Legion coverage

2008 Linglestown youth baseball coverage

3-time Olympic champ headlines softball clinic

The Central Dauphin Rams Softball Clinic on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 17-18, will feature Lisa Fernandez (pictured), a three-time Olympic gold medalist. She will conduct pitching, coaching and all-skills clinics. CLICK HERE for more info and a link to download a registration form.

Also, the deadline is fast approaching for the Central Dauphin Rams Fast-Pitch Clinic that is run by Ken Williams, a longtime coach in the area. Starting on Sunday, Jan. 25, this four-week clinic focuses on the fundamentals of fast-pitch pitching. Coach Williams provides each participant with a videotaped analysis of their pitching motion. This the 16th year for the clinic at Central Dauphin High School, and the fee for the entire four-week clinic is only $50. Registration deadline is this Saturday, Jan. 10. CLICK HERE for a registration form.

2008 Look-Back: Exclusive sports coverage

Linglestown Gazette offered expanded coverage of the Linglestown sports scene this year.

The main focus last summer was on the Twilight baseball team that won a second straight league championship. Several game reports included video post-game interviews with players and coaches, including one that featured catcher Bryan Stovall get a pie in the face.

Occasional reports were published about midget, pony, teener and Legion baseball action.

A Gazette thank you goes out to Steve Econ, Mike Shaffer, Fran Roman and Karen Cattabiani for filing game reports this season.

This year marked the second season for exclusive coverage of Linglestown Colts youth football. Eileen Arnold submitted game scores. Thanks Eileen!

Please e-mail B² to set up coverage for amateur sports teams based in Lower Paxton Twp.

Backyard news, 12.18.08

CD, CD East doubleheader Central Dauphin Rams topped Central Dauphin East Panthers in a backyard match-up of highly ranked girls’ basketball teams Wednesday night at a jam-packed East High gym.

The contest was close through the first half (Rams led 27–24 at the break), but the second half was a different story. The Panthers went stone cold midway through the third period, and the Rams, led by junior guard/forward Alyssa Thomas, easily pulled away to a convincing 62–43 victory to go 5–0 for the season. More from The Patriot-News.

In the nightcap, CD East’s boy’s team topped the Rams 73–52. For details, check out the game report from The Patriot-News.
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Pictured: CD Ram Sarah Dowhower (right) is shown defending against a CD East guard in last night’s game. (Click on the photo to view a larger version.) Photo by .

School opens eatery Dauphin County Technical School located on Locust Lane in Lower Paxton Twp. recently opened a newly expanded, state-of-the-art restaurant called The Carcjou Corner. CLICK HERE for a feature article from The Patriot-News.

Question of the day Has anyone made a move to do personal banking at the First National Bank of Marysville branch located on N. Mountain Road in Linglestown? If so, please post a comment on what prompted you to make the move.

By the way, the bank recently merged with Halifax National Bank.

Question of the day #2 Does Verizon’s cable TV system include the public-access channel that is on Comcast system’s 20, the channel that broadcasts Lower Paxton Twp. meetings? Please post a comment if you’re in the know.


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Early Monday quickies, 12.15.08

* A big Gazette welcome goes out this morning to this blog’s newest sponsor, First Impressions’ Boutique, Gifts and Day Spa. Stop by and get some “retail therapy” today!

* Justin Shirk, quarterback and linebacker for the Central Dauphin Rams football squad, snagged both the defensive and offensive player MVP honors in the Mid-Penn Conference’s Commonwealth Division.

Other Rams named as to the division’s all-star team: Jack Lippert (defensive and offensive end); Paul Coleman (defensive back); Kyle Jackson (receiver); Marcus Simpson (receiver); Dan Fisher (punter and placekicker)

* Colonial Park resident Just Dave (pictured) performed Saturday evening at St. Thomas Roasters coffee house in Linglestown. I found his art to be a good listen. He’ll be back on Saturday, January 31.

* State Rep. Ron Marsico was back in the news again Friday. This time he joined other state lawmakers who are objecting to a felon who’s helping build a slots casino in western Pennsylvania.

* B² update #1 My family traveled last Saturday, Dec. 6, on a Lower Paxton Twp.-sponsored bus trip to the Big Apple. We walked the streets of Manhattan and weaved our way through a massive crowd that gathered at the famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center (pictured).

The township’s Park and Recreation Department will be sponsoring another New York “Day On Your Own” on Saturday, April 18.

* B² update #2 The B² family tramped over hill and dale Sunday to cut down a Christmas tree (pictured). We went to a cut-your-own-tree place in Fishing Creek Valley that is charging $30 a tree no matter what the size. To find the place, take Blue Mountain Parkway over the mountain to Fishing Creek Valley Road, turn left and go 1.6 miles – a sign marking the tree farm is on the right.


This post is sponsored by …

Rec basketball sign-up dates

Attention youth basketball players …

Registration sessions for the 2008 Linglestown Rec Basketball season will be held on three consecutive Monday evenings, October 13, 20 and 27, from 6–8 pm at the Linglestown Baseball Clubhouse located behind home plate at the midget baseball field in Koons Park – Instructional league for Boys and Girls ages 6 and 7; Pony, Midget and High School leagues for boys ages 8–18 (as of 12/31/08). Proof of age required for first-year players.

Questions regarding sign-ups, please contact sffcoach@verizon.net.

Twilight baseball finale …

Twilight playoff championship notes … Winning pitcher Steve Booker had a 132-pitch outing in Wednesday’s game, struck out nine and only walked three. His record for the season was 3-0 with a 1.33 earned run average, and he had an outstanding 37 Ks in the 27 innings he pitched. … Nolan Shaffer, Valley View’s pitcher, was a tough cookie for Linglestown batters to crack in the final series. He only gave up one run in winning game #2 at Valley View last Friday, and made Twilight work extremely hard to scratch out three runs last night. … A.J. Granito, who retired after last season, got the itch to play again after finishing some classes this summer and accepted coach Econ’s invitation to play halfway through the season. The decision turned out to be a good one – Granito got the call to pinch hit in the eighth inning and delivered the winning hit! … Linglestown Gazette’s playoff MVP goes to first baseman Sean Frailey, who stroked a double in the seventh inning that led to the tying run being scored. In the five official games of the final series (one game was thrown out due to a tie), Frailey went 8-for-14 (.571 avg.) with three singles, two doubles, three knocks that went back, back, back, outta here and five runs batted in. He also was rock solid in the field at first base. Awsome job, Sean! … Where’s Rhys? Secret weapon Rhys Wolford came up big in the season finale. He scored the tying run as a pinch runner for first baseman Sean Frailey in the seventh inning when Jason Kelly singled up the middle, and then made a clutch diving catch while playing first base in the eighth on an attempted bunt. Way to go, Rhys! … Coach Steve Econ said Valley View not only was a good ball team, but they also showed a lot of class when some of their players came over after the game to personally congratulate a number of Twilight team members. … The game was one of the few in team history that was covered by a local TV news crew – WHP TV-21 sent a cameraman who filed a great video report. (A bootleg copy of the report is posted below.) … According to former Twilight coach and longtime fan Bob Kemmler, the last time Twilight won both the regular season and playoff championships was way back in 1969. … The team’s season record was 35 wins, 11 losses and 4 ties. … Bill Di-space-Santo (Di Santo) had a dream come true – he showed up in a photo published in today’s Patriot-News, and his name was spelled correctly. BB made sure the photographer knew about the all-important space. … BB had a wanna-get-away moment while making the rounds high-fiving and hugging players after the big win. When I congratulated catcher Bryan Stovall, who is soon headed back to classes at Millersville University, he got one of those hurt-puppy-dog looks on his face. It turned out that I had mindlessly called him Frailey. Oops!

Source:WHP TV-21

Twilight wins playoff title in dramatic fashion

Linglestown Twilight needed an extra inning and clutch hits Wednesday by Brian Zellers and A.J. Granito to defeat Valley View 3-2 and win their second straight East Shore Twilight League playoff championship.

For game details, jump over to a story by Bob Black of The Patriot News, and check out the paper’s The Sports Blog for a great photo by Patriot-News photographer John Whitehead.

A monster-sized set of Twilight notes is located in the post above this one.

2008 East Shore Twilight League champs

Back row, left to right: Sean Frailey, Bryan Stovall, Josh Muscalus, A.J. Granito, Jason Kelly, Sam Phillips, Sean Kelly, Bill Di Santo, Brad Sanders, Pete Hayden, Steve Booker, Nick Barbera, Brian Zellers

Front row, left to right: Jim Miller, Scott Montgomery, Rhys Wolford, Jack Muscalus, Ken Connor, Shawn Berwager, Coach Steve Econ

Missing from photo: Aaron Confer