Last updated: March 15. 2014 3:11PM - 1598 Views
By - nwagner@timesleader.com

The Sunday Dispatch Bridge Trophy will remain at Pittston Area after the Patriots claimed the crown for the seventh straight season.
The Sunday Dispatch Bridge Trophy will remain at Pittston Area after the Patriots claimed the crown for the seventh straight season.
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With another dominating winter sports season, Pittston Area has once again clinched the 2013-14 Sunday Dispatch Bridge Award prior to the start of the spring sports season.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the award, which was started in the 2002-03 school year. Pittston has now won 10 of the 12 seasons.

There are not enough head-to-head matchups for Wyoming Area to catch up in the spring.

The Patriots took control of the series with a 6-0-1 mark during the winter season. Pittston Area won the DeMinico Game back in December to get things started. From there, the girls basketball team did its part with a 64-40 win over the Warriors in the Pittston Holiday Tournament. In the lone wrestling match between the two schools, Pittston Area’s smaller wrestlers proved key in a 46-27 win.

Things were a little closer in the pool. In the Warriors first full season with a boys team, Wyoming Area tied Pittston Area after the Patriots finished in first and second in the 400 freestyle relay. On the girls side, Pittston Area took a 131-55 victory.

Pittston Area was also a winner in the annual Blue ‘n’ Gold Ice Hockey game.

After the fall season was finished, the Patriots already had a 5-3 lead. The two teams didn’t see each other on the field hockey pitch this year. But on the soccer pitch, both Pittston Area teams were victorious — the girls took an 8-1 win behind Allie Barber’s three goals, while the boys claimed a 3-0 win. Wyoming Area’s girls volleyball and tennis teams proved to be too much for the Patriots.

This marks the seventh consecutive Bridge Award victory for Pittston Area. They won decisively each time. PA won 13-8 in 2004-05, 16-5 in 2007-08, 13-8 in 2008-09, 13-8 in 2009-10, 12-5 in 2010-11 and 13-5 in 2011-12.

The first two school years of the competition — 2002-03 and 2003-04 — the winner was decided by the overall winning percentage of the schools’ teams in sports where they played each other with head-to-head games weighted for two points. Pittston Area won both of those years. Beginning with the 2004-05 season, the formula was changed to a simple head-to-head competition. Whichever school won the most games against the rival school won the trophy.

Pittston Area won decisively in five of the first seven years of head-to-head. Wyoming Area won two close ones. In 2005-06, WA won 11-9, and had to win the last two games, softball and baseball, to clinch. In softball, Pittston Area had beaten Wyoming Area, 12-2, earlier in the season and 11 consecutive times since 1997. But Wyoming Area pulled the upset, 6-5, to give the school a 10-9 lead with the just one baseball game left. Wyoming Area had to win the game because, if the Bridge standings ended 10-10, Pittston Area would have retained the trophy. There is no tiebreaker. Wyoming Area won, 6-5.

In 2006-07, Wyoming Area won, 12-11, after being behind 11-10 with two games to go, boys tennis and softball. The Warriors won the tennis match, 3-2, setting up a winner-take-all softball game. Lots of drama, as the Bridge Trophy was at the field for all to see. Wyoming Area won.

Pittston Area doesn’t go in for such drama. It clinched early every time it won, just like last school year when it led 13-1 going into the spring and won 13-5.

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