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Southern Columbia senior quarterback Stone Hollenbach will always be remembered in Tiger lore as the guy who got the football into the hands of heralded teammates Julian Fleming and Gaige Garcia.

But the guy who Hollenbach works most closely with never catches a pass or runs with the ball. That would be Troy Donlan, who starts his fourth season as the Tigers' starting center and will be joined on the offensive line by two other three-year starters, guard John Stabinski and tackle Oak Six.

As a senior, Donlan (5-11, 260) is being counted on by the Tigers' coaching staff to do a little more, and he is one of a number of candidates vying to replace three departed defensive line starters.

That's an area of potential concern to the coaching staff, but when you're coming off a 16-0 state championship season and have most of your offensive weapons back, it's a nice concern to have.

"I think we have a lot of guys who can be pretty good (older) players," Donlan said. "They're going to get their opportunity and they've all been working hard in the weight room and in speed camp. We also have some young guys who are going to get their chance to step up."

Defensive end Lear Quinton, like Donlan, could end up being a two-way lineman and will probably be the left guard to Stabinski's right.

Donlan, who has been a starter on a team which has been 47-1 with two state titles in three seasons, knows the Tigers are the program that everyone wants to emulate.

"I think there is always a big target on our backs," Donlan said. "We can't just take anything for granted this season because we've done. People are working hard to get back to (the state championship game). All the other teams are out there working, too.

"Staying healthy is important, too."

As for Hollenbach, who has accepted a preferred walk-on offer from the University of Alabama, he will almost certainly own all of Southern's passing records by the end of the season, barring injury. Like Donlan, Hollenbach knows the Tigers have a target on their backs after going 47-1 with two state titles in the past three seasons.

"Hollenbach talked about the success the Tigers had in summer 7-on-7s. They won the Penn State tournament, beating a number of AAAA, AAAAA, and AAAAAA teams from around the east coast. Southern also was solid at Berwick's tournament.

I'm excited," Hollenbach said. "Everybody wants to go out on top in their senior year. Our goal is to win another state championship."

COAL TOWNSHIP — For those who have not been vacationing in Iceland for the last year, the biggest anticipation going into the area’s high school football season is the beginning of the Henry Hynoski era at Shamokin Area High School.

The thrill of a hard-fought win. The disappointment of losing to a rival team. The walk across the field on senior day.

BLOOMSBURG — For all the depth and experience the Bloomsburg University football has coming into the 2018 season, the bottom line for the Huskies to extend their streak of consecutive winning seasons to 20 – and meeting their goal of bettering last year’s 7-4 overall and 4-3 record in the Pe…

After a 4-7 campaign a season ago, Lewisburg is looking to get back to prominence in 2018 with a healthy roster.

Danville finished last season with a 9-3 record and may find itself in better standing this year, since most of their players are returning to the gridiron.

Central Columbia posted a 9-3 record last year. This campaign, the Blue Jays could find themselves battling for a playoff spot yet again, thanks to the impact some of their returning starters can have on a game.

DREHERSVILLE — Even in the pitch-black darkness of predawn the telltale rumble of crossing railroad tracks and the mist rising off the Schuylkill River indicate to visitors they are just minutes away from reaching their destination.

MOUNT CARMEL — Mount Carmel is known for grinding out yards, especially with senior running back John Ayres lugging the ball out of coach John Darrah’s single-wing attack.

ALMEDIA — “So you can run the ball,” Shamokin head coach Henry Hynoski said with a smile to senior Nathan Miller after he posted several big gains as a running back during Shamokin Area’s scrimmage against Central Columbia and G.A.R. Saturday night at Central Columbia.

CATAWISSA RR — After missing most of his basketball season and all of track and field to an injury that required surgery, Southern Columbia’s Julian Fleming admitted he was anxious to compete again.

WWE presents its annual SummerSlam spectacular live on pay per view and on its own network this evening from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, where a capacity crowd will get thirteen matches featuring multiple title bouts over the course of what looks like is shaping up to be about…

ORWIGSBURG — Mount Carmel Sharks swimmer Mason Fantini won two events and John Rhodes brought the team’s total wins to three during the annual Anthracite Swim League Summer Championships held Saturday, July 28 at the Blue Mountain Middle School pool.

Mount Carmel Area athletic director Greg Sacavage recently announced several special events during Red Tornadoes home football games for the upcoming 2018 scholastic sports season.

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Following a midsummer break for both central Pennsylvania tracks last weekend, the national touring Craftsman World of Outlaw Late Model Series will hit Williams Grove and Port Royal speedways, before completing their Pennsylvania trifecta with Sunday’s show at Erie Speedway in western Pa.

Outdoors-related clubs and organizations can submit items to be considered for publication in the “Outdoors Notebook” by emailing to sports@newsitem.com.

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State football Coach James Franklin joked Saturday about being repeatedly “shot” in a summer paintball outing with players and coaches, noting he had given up, even raised his “weapon” in surrender, but took the brunt of some questionable fire as he left the field. He …

Outdoors-related clubs and organizations can submit items to be considered for publication in the “Outdoors Notebook” by emailing to sports@newsitem.com .

CATAWISSA RR — Southern Columbia quarterback Stone Hollenbach accepted a preferred walk-on offer from the University of Alabama, Thursday, just weeks before the start of his senior season as a Tiger.

WHEELING, W. Va. — Former Shamokin High School state wrestling champion Bill Welker has been honored as a silver medal finalist in the 12th annual National Indie Excellence in Books Award for his memoirs, The Sparrow’s Spirit: A Champion Wrestler’s Lifetime Reflections on Prayer and Perseverance.

PAXINOS — The Coal Region Crackers, a family-based club whose mission is to strengthen their children’s grit by using the mantra “set goals, reach goals, repeat,” recently completed its third Spartan Weekend.

MOUNT CARMEL — The Mount Carmel Lions won their third straight Lower Anthracite Teener League baseball championship Monday with a 4-0 win over American Legion Post 541.

Sunbury’s Mark Smith was back in Selinsgrove Speedway victory lane Saturday night following the 360-sprint car feature. His third Selinsgrove win of the season in the 360’s was worth $2,000. He also has a 410 sprint car win at the track this season.

With WWE profits soaring during the second quarter (helped substantially by revenues from WrestleMania and the enormously lucrative Saudi Arabian deal) and a windfall coming in the not too distant future from television revenue deals, WWE stock continued to rise and reached an all-time high …

Outdoors-related clubs and organizations can submit items to be considered for publication in the “Outdoors Notebook” by emailing sports@newsitem.com. Women’s Day registration underway Registration is underway for the Schuylkill County Sportsmen’s Association Women’s Outdoors Day, Saturday, …

Twenty-three football teams attended Tuesday’s District 4 Football Media Day hosted by the District 4 Coaches Association at the Williamsport Country Club.

STATE COLLEGE — The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association is still the organization responsible for governing high school athletics in the state but it’s clear that the people who run the schools want it to make some changes.

Representatives from nearly 150 school districts across Pennsylvania gathered in State College on Tuesday for a PIAA Equity Summit, hoping to provide ideas for a state-wide playoff system that provides fair and equitable competition for traditional public schools.

The stakes can’t get much higher for the annual meeting between Shamokin and Mount Carmel on the gridiron, but a national organization is now making the pot just a little bit sweeter for this year’s Coal Bucket game.

MANDATA — In addition to hiring Craig Taxis as the head boys soccer coach at a salary of $3,400 at their meeting last week, the Line Mountain School Board also hired Carrie Moore as head cheerleading coach at a salary of $1,900.