This is in reply to John Hartsock's recent article concerning the retirement of athletic directors Debbie Appleman of Williamsburg High School and Suz Price of Juniata Valley High School.
I have been a local basketball official for the past 39 years and have been to many, many different high schools as a varsity basketball official.
I must commend Appleman and Price for their professionalism as athletic directors.
They always treated our basketball crew with upmost dignity and support. They always went above and beyond their duties to ensure our time at their high school was a pleasant one - before, during and after the game.
I know I will miss their pleasant personalities and good nature. I wish them well in their retirements.
Gary Zimmerman, Duncansville
AAHS?teams need more support
Supporters of the Altoona Area School District need to get a better attitude.
Everybody is always putting each other down. Instead of focusing on lowering people's morals or focusing on their weaknesses, we should begin to support one another and focus on each other's strengths.
Also, we need to support one another by going to our athletic events.
Nothing is worse than Friday nights when our stands are only half full. As an athlete, I know that when there's a crowd cheering for you and supporting you and getting behind you, you get the extra motivation and play even harder.
We host districts and regionals for wrestling, and we have the smallest crowd of all the other schools.
Mifflin County and Central Mountain each fill an entire section of bleachers and, coincidentally, they have the best wrestlers in the district.
Not only does having a crowd of fans cheering for you and supporting you make you wrestle better on the mat, but it also gives you more motivation to work harder and become better in the practice room.
None of our athletic teams from football to wrestling to basketball to volleyball really have much fan support, and that hurts. All of our students need to start to support one another and go to one another's athletic events.
Athletes work so hard to achieve their goals, and it hurts when small crowds come to support them.
Brinton Simington, Altoona
(The writer is completing his freshman year at the Altoona Area Junior High School.)
Dodgers, Pirates go opposite ways
As a longtime Los Angeles Dodgers fan since I was 6 years old, I thought I would do a comparison of the Dodgers vs. the current Pirates.
There are two factors which separate the teams, namely, the Dodgers are a large-market team and the Pirates are a small-market team. The Dodgers are bloated with salaries paid to supposedly very talented veterans who came via trades or free agents. The Pirates have been developing their players who are homegrown.
At present, the Dodgers are in a tailspin and can't win at home. I think the Pirates' players are still thinking of what they accomplished last year when they broke their streak of losing seasons. They have to be wondering why the slow start, but Clint Hurdle is a patient man, and I think he will get them turned around.
If the Dodgers don't win the National League championship and get into the World Series, I feel Don Mattingly will be fired as manager, and some underachieving high salaried players will be gone.
They will have to concentrate on building their depleted farm system. The Pirates will continue to develop their players and concentrate on getting quality players in the draft. They're headed in the right direction.
Les Hart, Duncansville