The great American spirit was on hand at the Hollidaysburg Area Junior High School when Westmont and Tyrone squared off in a District 6,Class AA boys basketball game on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Prior to the game, the crowd was on its feet ready to hear a recording of the national anthem. However, some technical difficulties had the scorers table scrambling to get the CD player working, and the paid attendance was standing listening to the silence.
All of the sudden, a small group of Tyrone fans began singing the anthem. By the end of the second line, all fans, players, cheerleaders, coaches, referees and game workers were singing the Star Spangled Banner in unison.
To call it heartwarming is an understatement.
I have been around sports my entire life and have played and coached in many games where the anthem is played, and never have I seen such a gracious act to ensure the anthem would be heard before a game.
In typical student section style, the Tyrone student section followed this amazing chorus with their own chants of "USA." If only Christina Aguilera could have been there to witness how to truly tribute the stars and stripes.
So, from the scorers table, I'd like to acknowledge that group of Tyrone fans who started singing our national anthem. Not only did they save my potentially embarrassing moment from the PA announcer seat, but they made a great start to what ended up being a great game.
Heights is in the wrong league
"I was hired to decide what to do, not to be undermined. I said it would take three years to show improvement, not win. I think I held up my end of the bargain."
- ex-Cambria Heights football coach Justin Myers (Altoona Mirror, Feb. 24)
Since 1987 , Cambria Heights has not had a winning season so that tells me that it is not the coaches.
Cambria Heights is playing out of its league. The Highlanders should be playing Class A schools instead of being outclassed by AA schools.
The student enrollment for Cambria Heights is roughly 510 students in grades nine through 12. This limitation on enrollment makes it hard to compete with much larger schools.
Other nearby high schools with similar enrollment numbers all compete in Class A and have respectable records.
So before people point fingers at the cause of the unsuccessful program and use the easy way out by blaming the coaches, they need to consider getting into the appropriate class and the wins will come.
The reason I am writing this is because I am tired of seeing high school coaches who devote their time and hard work for the kids getting blamed for things that are out of their control.