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Old Forge flavor pacing CP team


The Connell Park Big League Senior All-Star team is fueled by Old Forge residents, Chrissy Belko, Jess Armillay, Andi Alsalahat, Nicole Marianelli and Chelsea Cadwalder who are pictured above with their teammates.

Four former members of the Old Forge HS Softball team, and two current members, are among the group of players from the Connell Park Big League Senior Softball team that advanced to the Big League Senior Softball Regionals in Waldorf, MD.

Old Forge graduates Chrissy Belko, Jess Armillay, Andi Alsalahat and Nicole Marianelli, along with Blue Devils catcher Chelsea Cadwalder and outfielder Taylor Nemetz helped lead Connell Park to a 15-5 win over Bristol at the State Championships held in Mansfield last weekend.

Connell Park, the District 17 representative, finished as runners-up to state tourney champion Carbino Club, the District 32 representative. Both will travel to the Regionals which begin Wednesday and continue until August 1.

In the win over Bristol, Marianelli led the offense with four hits, and Belko smacked two monster home runs.

Alsalahat doubled and tripled for CP, and Cadwalder doubled and singled as Armillay picked up the win on the mound.

The winner of the Regional tournament in Maryland advances to the Big League World Series in Kalamazoo, MI in August.

Armillay will enter her second year at Misericordia University this fall, and Belko will enter her second year at Bloomsburg University. Both played for their school’s softball teams as freshmen.

Marianelli will join her sister Allyson on the Lycoming University softball team, and Alsalahat is going to walk-on the University of Florida softball team.

Cadwalder, a junior, returns for her third season behind the dish for the Blue Devils, and Nemetz, a sophomore, started every game in right field for the District 2 Class 1A championships as a freshman.

Mucciolo just horsing around

He was a star on the 1992 Old Forge High School PIAA State Champion baseball team. He also excelled on the hardwoods for the Blue Devils that same season when they captured a District 2 Class 1A Basketball title and advanced to the PIAA Eastern Semis.

But almost 20 years later, Old Forge’s John Mucciolo is heavily involved in a much different kind of sport – horse racing.

Mucciolo works for Brisnet.com which is an internet site that covers the Sport of Kings. The former pitcher, shortstop and point guard writes for the site, and recently two of his articles were featured on NBCsports.com.

In May, Mucciolo’s article on the Preakness Stakes and its infamous, “Woodstock-like,” infield party, was his first writing to make the national site. Then just this past week, Mucciolo had his story on the opening of the DelMar Racetrack season featured on the front page of the NBCSports.com horse racing section.

So if you need a winner at the Downs, its best you track Johnny down for a tip.

Crossbow is in the family

Three generations of crossbow shooters proved their prowess at the PSAA State Indoor Championships in April when Terry Butler, his daughter Ashley Rampulla, and his grandson Brandon McDermott, won their respective classifications at the event.

Terry won the Senior Men’s Crossbow division while Ashley won the Women’s Crossbow division. Brandon won the Cadet Crossbow Quest in his first attempt shooting at 20 yards.

The Northeast PA Crossbow Shooters Association won the PSAA team Title. Both Terry and Ashley are members of the team along with Mike Blessing and Odrun Stevens.

Dream Game notes

Die-hard Dream Game fans will notice a difference this year when the defenses lineup for the 77th annual affair between the City and County.

Both coaches have agreed to go away from the tradition 5-2 defense to a more modern 4-3 front to accommodate for pass-happy offenses that have begun to make there way into Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Blitzing and stunting are still prohibited in the game, but most veteran coaches – especially the legendary ones – usually find ways to get their linebackers to fill the gaps quicker without calling for a “blitz.”

Old Forge will have at least two starters in the game.

Brandon Souryavong will start at left tackle and Michael Tagliaferri will start at outside linebacker. Souryavong will also see a lot of time on defense at middle linebacker.

Wide receiver Connor Fultz is among three players sharing two spots. Riverside’s Tommy Armillay and Valley View’s Joe Browning are the others. Fultz will also rotate with Browning at free safety.

Mike Matisko will come off the bench for the County as a defensive lineman and also at tight end.

The Billings Blue Devil

Kyle McMyne suffered his first loss as a professional on Friday night when he lasted just 1.1 innings Billing’s 5-4 loss to Orem on the road in Utah. The Old Forge righty allowed four earned runs on three hits, three walks and a hit batter. He also struck out one.

OFHS sports physicals set

Old Forge High School will conduct sports physicals on July 26 from 9-11:30 a.m. at the high School. Students must use the PIAA physical form which can be obtained in the High School office. Completed forms must be signed by a parent/guardian and submitted at the time of physical.

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