Ever since my son played football for Bellwood-Antis in 2004, I have been a faithful fan looking forward each year to watching the Blue Devils defeat their opponents each week and usually ending with a District 6 title or with only one or two losses.
I have always been so impressed by this ballclub with how they welcomed my son and how they work so well together as a team both on the field and off.
I was in attendance on Friday, Nov. 12 at the Bellwood-Bishop McCort playoff game and witnessed a most unfortunate event as several referees displayed their inability to realize the mistake they made, which cost the Blue Devils one last chance to score.
After the second "official timeout" was called, it was obvious that Referee Lester Link did not know what he was doing and as admitted by District 6 officials evaluator Dick Scialabba in the article printed in the Altoona Mirror "a mistake was made."
How sad for the Blue Devils, whose last play placed them on the 3-yard line, and given their track record, every Bellwood fan knew they would take that ball into the end zone on the next play.
Unfortunately, that next play did not come.
Taking that opportunity away from them should not go unnoticed and just stating "an error was made, and you have to live with it" is not good enough.
I hope the Bellwood-Antis team holds its head high, knowing this one-point loss speaks volumes.
Let's hope in the future that District 6 employs officials that understand and know the game of football so this major error does not ever happen again.
Kim K. Vandevander
Not impressed with Pirate hiring
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The Pittsburgh Pirates' continuing drive for the highest form of mediocrity continues. Hiring a manager with a losing record in his managerial career comes as no surprise, given the organization's past history.
Clint Hurdle says the Pirate brass is behind him all the way. Great! Let's see how that translates to the product on the field
After winning the first Eastern League championship in Altoona Curve history, I'm sure Matt Walbeck and most Curve fans were shocked when the Pirates canned Walbeck.
The reasons given for releasing him changed from day to day, but in the end, there was only one reason that made sense: Matt Walbeck was a winner, and winning is something Neal Huntington and the Pirate organization know nothing about.
On one hand, the Pirates said Walbeck didn't have enough experience for promotion, but yet, they considered a couple of individuals with no experience above Single-A while searching for a manager.
Funny, but I can't see where "experience" made any difference the past 18 seasons. There's an old saying, "familiarity breeds contempt," but the Pirates motto is "familiarity breeds content," hence their satisfaction with 18 consecutive losing seasons and hiring managers with less than stellar records.
All they want is an individual who will follow their directives, without questions or comments. Results are secondary. Their treatment of Matt Walbeck is the proof in the pudding.
I hope I'm wrong, but it looks like Pirate fans are in for the same old, same old. At least for as long as Huntington and his cronies are running things.
PSU needs to go 'outside'
Looking at Penn State's 2011 schedule, I see four losses in Big Ten play and a loss to Alabama in out of conference.
The quarterback situation will be unsettled but a dilemma for coaches if Rob Bolden doesn't start but Matt McCloin does. By the way, Kevin Newsome transfers and Paul Jones will be worked somewhere in the offense.
Now, because Tim Curley and Graham Spanier have no backbone when it comes to controlling the elder Paterno, Joe will be back in 2011. Joe will be at the age of 85 in December 2011, and that should be the end of the road and into retirement for him.
There is only one way for Spanier to go for the 2012 season, and that is go to the outside and get a proven winner who is also a stickler for solid academics.
If State should stay "inside," then go with Ron Vanderlinden to replace Joe.
One final note: The strength program stinks.