Mountaintop Residents Make News In 2017
By ANDREA O’NEILL
Correspondent

While new years open new chapters and close old ones, some things simply remain as predictable as the sun rising and setting each day.

A chapter in the lives of 208 Crestwood High School Seniors ended in June as yet another graduating class filed two by two onto the floor of the Mohegan Sun arena to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance” played by the Crestwood Marching Band. Superintendent John Gorham sent them on their way into the world with a few last tidbits of wisdom, stressing that life will bring the unexpected, and that happiness is not always found along a preplanned route.

“For a significant group of the class of 2017 who are undecided, your trajectory may not be as defined as you would like at the moment, but down the road you just might be surprised to find how successful you are…I am grateful for every unplanned twist and mile of my journey…Be who you are. Lift up the sky. The future is yours. Shine on, Comets.”

No parent could have said it better, and we all wished the Class of 2017 “Good Luck”.

As a shining example to that class of 2017, fellow 1993 Crestwood alum, Bob Hines, was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class to train for an upcoming space flight. Hines, who earned a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Boston University and Masters Degrees in Flight Test Engineering and Aerospace Engineering, reported for duty in August to begin two years of training as an Astronaut Candidate that will include space walk techniques, orbital mechanics and other skills needed for long duration space flight like emergency medicine, dentistry and geology, as well as the Russian language to communicate with his International Space Station colleagues. Upon completion, he will be assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office while he awaits a flight assignment.

Another Crestwood alum, class of 2010 baseball standout, Matt Wotherspoon, entered a new phase of his career as a pitcher for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides in the Baltimore Orioles organization. Originally drafted by the Yankees in June of 2014 after his four-year career at the University of Pittsburgh, Wotherspoon was traded to the Baltimore Orioles over the Independence Day weekend with a 3-1 record and 1.85 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched with the AAA Railriders. Wotherspoon says he is thrilled to be a part of the Orioles and is excited for an opportunity to learn and grow with the organization.

The Northeast Pennsylvania Cricket Club also celebrated a sporting milestone, as did the Crestwood Cross Country program. The Cricket Club hosted its fifth summer Cricket Tournament at their home field at the Nuangola Recreation Fields. The club started with about eight members in 2012 and has now grown to over forty members who get together every weekend and host the annual community tourney. The Crestwood Cross Country team had a strong finish under coach Rob Moulton’s fourth season as head coach, including several state qualifiers and one undefeated 8th grader. Moulton has used his time to build team expectations and create a team culture of dedication and determination and says both upper and underclassmen have stepped into leadership roles. It is this team culture and cohesion that Moulton believes will carry through the next several years.

Mountain resident, Jack Weigand, made his Salt Flats racing debut over the summer near Salt Lake City and broke the 115mph organization record for his class at 117.6 mph for the standing at Bonneville Speedway in Windover, Utah. Weigand opened a racecar business in the mid 70’s while still in his teens and briefly made a living driving and building racecars for Evergreen Raceway and other circle tracks. After the recession in the 1980’s, Weigand briefly left racing and opened a business building custom pistols. Weigand continued to do some road racing and hill climbing locally and regionally, eventually finding Salt Flat Racing and says he has already started building a new car to be ready for next year.

While business and recreation accomplishments are all very noteworthy, some of the mountain residents are also working to help the lives of others. For the fourth year in a row, the Wascavage Familyspearheaded a coat in memory of their son and brother, Matthew who died from Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 19. The tradition was originally an Eagle Scout project for Kevin Wascavage, and the family collects and distributes about 1200 coats every fall to wherever there is a need.

On the first weekend in December, Madison Dompkosky co-hosted horse drawn carriage rides around Wilkes-Barre Public Square as part of the city’s Holiday Market. Having done her share of fundraising as part of her membership in the Miss America Organization, Dompasky got the idea from trips she had taken to the Big Apple and wanted to give that opportunity to local folks while raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Demand was so high that tickets sales the first night had to be stopped an hour before the event ended in order to accommodate everyone who had already purchased tickets and Dompkosky was able to raise a total of $1500, surpassing last year by $200.