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Some fond snowy memories

March 3, 2008 - Neil Rudel

The controversy over the PIAA's refusal to reschedule Friday night's PIAA Class A playoff game between St. Joseph's out of the WPIAL and Bishop Guilfoyle at Central Cambria was of significant concern and deservedly so.

Of course, safety should always be practiced first, and judging from various accounts, there were communication snags during the decision-making process.

It also should be noted that several of St. Joseph's players must travel 15-20 miles just to go to school.

The ultimate decision to forfeit the game was one that surely no one wanted to have to make.

While high school sports are often postponed because of weather, not so at the college level.

I spent many a night driving on Route 220 in the snow, on that brutally dark stretch between Port Matilda and Tyrone, returning from Penn State basketball games (and thinking, it's one thing to be killed covering Penn State football, but Penn State basketball???)

There have been instances were it's been so bad in Loretto -- often another world when it comes to winter -- when former St. Francis sports information director Kevin Southard would instruct fans and the media not to show up.

One February night in 1991, during the run to the NCAA Tournament when basketball mattered at St. Francis, the Flash overcame a big first-half deficit, memory tells me 20 points, to beat Monmouth. For the record, there were two NBA players in the game that night -- Flash guard Mike Iuzzolino and Hawk post Alex Blackwell.

When we came out of the Stokes Building after filing the stories, snow was a foot deep.

I gave Tony Graham of the Asbury Park Press a ride back to the Ramada in Altoona, and when we got up on Route 22, visibility was zero. Tony literally hung out the passenger side window and guided me down the mountain and into Altoona.

I credited the Monmouth camp with an extra assist that night ...



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