Taking a look back at the year that was

JANUARY

n Steelers lose at home in first round of playoffs to the Ravens, 30-17.

n Penn State underclassmen Donovan Smith, Jesse James and Deion Barnes declare early for the NFL Draft.

n Penn State football defensive coordinator Bob Shoop interviews for the same job at LSU but does not get it.

n Jeff Smith claims the new city league bowling series record (869), breaking the 1998 record owned by Artie Fink (868).

n The NCAA announces that it is giving the late Joe Paterno back his wins that were taken away during the Jerry Sandusky scandal, making Paterno the winningest coach (409) in college football history again.

FEBRUARY

n Chestnut Ridge wins the District 5-AA team wrestling duals title over North Star and advances to states where it loses in the PIAA finals to Boiling Springs.

n Huntingdon loses in District 6-AA team wrestling duals finals to West Branch, and then in the first round of states, falls to Northern Lebanon.

n Altoona football standout Kevin Givens changes his mind and switches from Pitt to Penn State for his college football future.

n Ex-Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is hired to coach the defense for the Titans.

n Several recruiting services ranked Penn State football’s class as top 15 in the nation.

n Bellwood-Antis’ girls won the ICC title over Everett.

n Altoona’s gymnastics team wins the Central Pennsylvania League title with a win at DuBois.

n One-time Penn State football coach Tom Bradley is hired as the new defensive coordinator at UCLA.

n Altoona upsets State College in the girls D6-AAA girls basketball final. However, the boys lose to State College in the D6-AAAA finals. The Bishop Guilfoyle girls lose to Blairsville in the 6-A finals, while the Bishop Carroll boys beat Portage in the 6-A finals. Everett beats North Star in the girls D5-AA finals. The Tussey Mountain girls win the D5-A title, and the Chestnut Ridge boys win the D5-AA championship.

n Going to states in swimming are Altoona’s Katerina Parowski, Central’s Taylor Flaugh, Central Cambria’s Gabby Gironda, Hollidaysburg’s Colter Long, Alex and Max Gehringer and C.J. West and Huntingdon’s Alex Tietjens, Zeb Fowler, Trent Stevens and Nick McKim.

MARCH

n Area wrestlers in Hershey finished as follows, in Class AA: Gold: Max Murin, Central Cambria (113); Jonathan Gabriel, Bedford (126); Silver: Aaron Burkett, Chestnut Ridge (106); Jacob Oliver, Huntingdon (152); Bronze: Conner Buttry, Chestnut Ridge (195); Fourth: Levi Niebauer, Cambria Heights (170); Fifth: Trent Crouse, Chestnut Ridge (152); Sixth: Justin McCoy, Chestnut Ridge (120); Jon Wagner, Huntingdon (160); Eighth: Nolan Link, Penn Cambria (113); and in Class AAA: Silver: Cole Manley, Altoona (106); D.J. Hollingshead, Altoona (170)

n High school basketball teams who lost in the first round of states include Altoona girls, Bishop Carroll boys, Everett girls, Central Cambria boys, Chestnut Ridge boys, Bellwood-Antis boys and Tussey Mountain girls.

n Still alive after one round of PIAA play in basketball, BG, BC, Portage and Bellwood-Antis girls, plus Portage boys.

n SFU men’s basketball team loses to SFU Brooklyn in NEC semifinals but is invited to play in the College Invitational Tournament. In the first round, they lose 67-64 to Bowling Green.

n In the second round, the Portage boys lose to Monessen while the Bellwood-Antis girls beat Burrell. The BG and BC girls lose in the second round while Portage moves on with a win. Bellwood loses in the third round. Portage beats North Penn to move on to state semifinals where it falls to Old Forge to end its season.

n Hollidaysburg’s Colter Long wins the bronze medal at states in the 200 IM in high school swimming. He missed the gold by one second.

n The PSU men’s basketball team makes it to the third round of the Big Ten tourney before losing to Purdue. They end their season at 18-16 with no postseason play.

n Pitt is knocked out in the first round of the NIT, losing to George Washington. The Pitt women win in the first round of the NCAA tourney before losing to Tennessee in the second round.

n Altoona loses to Richland in the LMHL finals in high school ice hockey action.

APRIL

n Receiving all-state honors in basketball were Bellwood-Antis’ Ana Hollen, Portage’s Lexi Wozniak and BG’s Lili Benzel, Bishop Carroll’s Brandon Martinazzi, Portage’s Mike Bryja and Bellwood-Antis’ Nathan Davis.

n The Altoona Curve open the 2015 season with a 1-0 win at Harrisburg.

n The Pirates open the 2015 season at 0-3 after getting swept in Cincinnati.

n After 12 seasons, Troy Polamalu announces his retirement from the Steelers.

n Dave Bailey steps down as boys basketball coach at Tussey Mountain after 42 years at the helm.

n Jeff Batzel steps down as football coach at Northern Bedford. He is replaced by Garry Black.

n Long-time Juniata Valley football coach Bill Clouse dies at the age of 75.

n The Steelers select LB Bud Dupree out of Kentucky with the first pick in the NFL Draft.

MAY

n Altoona wins the AAA doubles title and Huntingdon wins the AA doubles tennis title.

n Altoona graduate Julian Howsare, a standout for the Clarion University football team, is invited to New York Jets camp as a free agent during NFL Draft weekend.

n Bedford duo of Ben Windows and Zach Miller win D5 doubles tennis championship.

n Kelsey Focht wins the women’s BOY tournament while Ralph Hamilton wins both the Senior BOY men’s title and men’s title. Ken Gilley and Ellie Vandevander won the Over 70 seniors titles for men and women, respectively.

n The long-time voice of Penn State sports, Fran Fisher, passes away at the age of 91.

n The BG boys volleyball team wins the D6-AA title over Forest Hills. On the same night, Altoona loses to State College in the boys AAA game.

n B-A’s Ana Hollen, BG’s Sam McCloskey and Altoona’s Eli Mencer are the winners of the Mirror’s Female and Male athlete of the year awards.

n The Altoona boys tennis duo of Chad Allender and Ryan Good make it to the second round at states before faltering. Huntingdon’s Austin Perow and Taylor Mitchell, along with Bedford’s Zach Miller and Ben Windows, lose in the first round.

n Williamsburg’s Mike Biddle (javelin) and Tyrone’s Erika Voyzey (high jump) win gold on the first day of states.

n Central beats Marion Center for the D6-AA softball title, while Bellwood-Antis beats Bellefonte for the D6-AAA title. Everett downs Chestnut Ridge for the D5-AA softball title.

n Juniata Valley beats Blairsville for the D6-A baseball title while Altoona loses to State College in D6-AAA baseball finals. Bellwood-Antis loses to Richland in the D6-AA final.

JUNE

n In the first round of states, the softball teams from Central, Bellwood-Antis and Everett all win. The Juniata Valley baseball team also wins, but the B-A baseball team is defeated. Central loses in the second round while B-A and JV move on. The JV baseball team loses in the state semis, while B-A loses to Trinity in the semifinals.

n Randy Meck leaves Chestnut Ridge to become the new head coach of the Tussey Mountain boys basketball team, replacing long-time Tussey coach Dave Bailey.

n Mike Harris is hired as the new boys basketball coach at Claysburg-Kimmel.

n Hollidaysburg announces it will pull its football team out of the WPIAL at the end of the 2015 season. It will be an independent.

n Rodger Fair is not rehired as the Penn Cambria girls basketball coach and is replaced by Keith Saleme at the June school board meeting.

JULY

n The Spring Cove Dragons won the George B. Kelley Federation title over Martin Oil.

n The Altoona 13-year-old Babe Ruth team won the state title with a victory over Mifflin County.

n Claysburg won the Cambria County American Legion baseball title with a win over St. Michael.

n Penn State announces the football team will go back to wearing jerseys without names on the back of them.

n The Pirates acquire Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez for a minor league pitcher to help soften the blow of losing third baseman Josh Harrison to injury.

n It is announced that former Penn State and NFL running back Blair Thomas will come to Hollidaysburg at the beginning of August to run a one-day camp for kids ages 7-13.

n Wise Trailer Sales wins the Altoona AAABA league title. Lilly Conrad Chiropractic American Legion wins the Altoona Greater City League title. Eldorado Kiwanis wins the Altoona Teener Minor League title. Police wins the Altoona Teener Major League title.

AUGUST

n Williamsburg’s Upper Deck wins the Dean Patterson LL World Series.

n Wise Trailer Sales fares quite well at the national AAABA tourney in Johnstown, making it to the final three with Boston and New Orleans. Wise eventually lost to Boston. It went 4-2 at the tourney.

n Winston Redman is named the new football coach at Everett High School right before the start of the season to replace Jerry Fabian, who left for a full-time teaching/coaching job in West Virginia.

n Long-time local AAABA baseball man Gary Bevan passes away.

n Maurkice Pouncey breaks his ankle in a preseason game and will miss the start of the season for the Steelers. Teammate Martavis Bryant is suspended the first four games by the league for violating the substance abuse policy.

SEPTEMBER

n For the first time since the early 1940s, the Penn State football team loses to Temple. This time it’s to open the 2015 season.

n The Steelers open the 2015 season with a 28-21 loss to New England.

n For the third straight year, the Pirates clinch a spot in the playoffs, this time with a win over Colorado on Sept. 23.

n Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger suffers a nasty knee injury in a win over the Rams. He is projected to miss 4-6 weeks.

n The Pirates clinch the wild card for the third straight year and open with the Cubs in the NL wild card. They lost.

OCTOBER

n Jeremy Eckenrode of Central Cambria wins the District 6-AA golf title. Lauren Stevens of CC wins the girls title. Eckenrode went on to medal at the PIAA championships for the second consecutive year.

n Bedford girls win the District 5-AA tennis title. Hollidaysburg wins the District 6-AAA team title. Both lose in the first round of states.

n Central Cambria’s Kourtney Cavalier wins the D6-AA singles tennis title. Hollidaysburg’s Veronica Helsel wins the D6-AAA singles title.

n Long-time Hollidaysburg athletic director and current Huntingdon AD Dean Rossi passes away at the age of 79.

n In the AAA doubles final in girls tennis, Hollidaysburg’s Helen Rose and Aly Baum beat teammates Jenee Delerme and Chloe Love. In Class AA action, Hannah Swope and Julia Schaffer won the title for CC. Bedford’s Allison Shuke and Olivia Ackley won the D5-AA doubles title.

n Central Cambria won the boys and girls District 6 team cross country championships. Bedford’s William Kachman won the boys Class AA individual title.

NOVEMBER

n Hollidaysburg’s boys soccer team lost in the finals to State College in D6-AAA play. The Altoona girls soccer team lost in the finals to State College in D6-AAA play. BG beat Mo Valley in the D6-A girls final.

n Central girls win the D6-AA girls soccer final while Bedford boys lose in the D5/6-AA soccer boys final.

n In D6-A girls volleyball final, Purchase Line beat Bishop Carroll while in D6-AA girls volleyball final, Somerset downed Penn Cambria.

n The Central Cambria girls cross country team finishes second at the PIAA state meet.

n In the first round of states, the BG girls and Central girls soccer teams lose.

n In the first round of states, the Bishop Carroll girls volleyball team loses.

n Portage’s Alli Kissell receives a Division I scholarship to Ohio State to compete on the rifle team.

n In the Class AA District 6 football final, Central won 27-7 over Juniata. In the Class A District 5 football final, Northern Bedford lost 45-7 to Berlin. In Class AA District 5, Bedford lost 21-17 to Karns City in the 5-6-8-9 final. In the D6-A final, BG beat Mo Valley, 50-0.

DECEMBER

n Penn State football coach James Franklin fires offensive coordinator John Donovan. Franklin hires Joe Moorhead as the new OC. He was the head coach at Fordham.

n In the first round of states, BG defeats Camp Hill, 38-3. Central beats Hickory, 30-21. Both teams advance to the semifinals. BG beats Old Forge to return to Hershey, while Central falls to Aliquippa in its game. In the finals, BG dominates Farrell, 35-0, to win its second title in a row.

n Penn State football player Carl Nassib wins more than a half-dozen postseason honors, including the Lombardi Trophy and the Hendricks Trophy. He was also named a first-team All-American.

n Receiving all-state honors in football were Bishop Guilfoyle’s Evan Chadbourn (Player of the Year in Class A), Dakota Leamer, Aaron Yasulitis, Luke Frederick and Logan McGeary. Marauders coach Justin Wheeler was named Class A Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. Joining the BG players on the Class A all-state team were Moshannon Valley’s Eric Sherkel and Northern Bedford’s Jacob Dasher. In Class AA Central’s Noah Benton and Trevor Miller were honored.