Altoona in need of new affiliation

Watching Altoona’s heartbreaking loss to Pittsburgh Central Catholic again reminded me of the recurring questions such as why are we in the WPIAL and why isn’t the athletic council reviewing options?

It is well documented where our illustrious athletic director, Phil Riccio, stands on the issue, but even he should consider some other options after watching that game.

Altoona has a great football history.

It is unfortunate and sad that in recent years many people attend the games only to see someone in the band, cheerleaders or majorettes.

We want to attend the games to see some local football rivalry and some hard fought games that mean something to the fan base.

John Franco felt pretty strongly about exploring a schedule with more central Pennsylvania flavor — against Riccio’s wishes — and we see where that ended up.

The athletic council has a duty to do what is right for everyone involved, including the players and the fans.

This issue needs to be addressed and a solution found.

Cindy Beauchamp


1960s, win over Massillon memorable

Jim Lane wrote a great piece last week on Altoona’s victory over Massillon, Ohio, in 1966.

My late father talked about this game many times when I was growing up. He would have been 39 years old when he made the trip.

He always claimed Altoona fans had to flee a rock-throwing episode aimed at their train when leaving Massillon. I have no idea if this was true. Does anyone else who attended remember this? I have no reason to think he made this up.

We certainly had ugly incidents with Johnstown during this period.

It’s sad to see a high school as large as Altoona now producing such weak teams. This 1960s era proves that Altoona has the ability to produce strong teams.

I just wonder if we will ever witness this prosperity again.

Richard Boston


Student patriotism a source of pride

I attended a Hollidaysburg Lady Tigers volleyball game last week and participated in their “pink” fundraiser for breast cancer awareness.

I was impressed with the presence of the school band, cheerleaders and the effort that was put into making this a successful event.

Prior to the start of the game, we put our hands over our hearts as the national anthem was sung. I was astounded to look down and hear my 6-year-old grandson, Nicolas, singing every word.

He knew the song and showed no bashfulness in belting it out.

I’ve thought about it a lot since. With all the publicity given to Colin Kaepernick nationally and the press given pre-K teachers locally for being good for only “babysitting,” I thought it was worth sharing that he learned this in pre-K and sings it regularly.

Kudos to Missy Clapper and other dedicated teachers like her who know that these children are our future and the importance of our past — and to my grandson, who has shamed me for not singing out loud. I will from now on. Shouldn’t we all?

Lynn A. Taddei


BG kindness, city warmth appreciated

Altoona has a lot to be proud of — primarily its people.

I was recently in town for a funeral and was overwhelmed by the kindness and support offered by so many there.

In particular, you should know about the extreme kindness of the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School football team.

The deceased was a major fan of BG sports and was well known for attending games with his two brothers.

BG’s young men and their coaches were present at the viewing and the funeral mass. There is no doubt that kind of caring instilled by the school, it coaches and families is one of the major reasons for the success of BG over the years.

With all of the trumped-up negativity that can be so readily observed this election cycle, it is such a pleasure to see that Altoona continues to be positive, and that its people are happy, kind and supportive.

This is the type of city, country we all hope to be a part of. Thanks to BG, the folks at the Clarion Hotel and the city of Altoona for giving me a moment to reflect. Thank you for your kindness and for being a model for others.

Chuck Greiner

New Orleans, La.

Chambers recruiting opening eyes

We have to go back to 1954 when the Penn State basketball was in the only Final Four.

That is 62 years ago.

We have waited a long, long time for the resurrection of PSU men’s basketball, and maybe there is finally hope that something good will be reborn under coach Patrick Chambers.

I think if anybody was going to make it happen, it would be this man — the perfect fit for this program.

He has started with solid back-to-back recruiting classes. The class of 2016 was the best highlighted with young men coming off the top Class AAAA basketball team from Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia.

These three classmates felt they could make a major difference in the resurgence of Penn State basketball, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they open a tunnel up connecting their powerhouse program with players wanting to choose to come to Penn State.

This year will be an ongoing work in progress, and it will get better as the players increase their competitiveness in the years ahead.

I applaud Chambers bringing his annual Blue-White Hoops Showcase to the Altoona Fieldhouse  last weekend.

He is planting a seed with these kids involved in a basketball clinic.

Les Hart, Duncansville