2016 month-by-month area sports timeline

JANUARY

n Penn State loses to Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl. After the game, QB Christian Hackenberg announces he will leave early for the NFL Draft.

n On the last day of the regular season, the Steelers qualify for the playoffs with a win over the Browns and a loss by the Jets to the Bills. In the first round, the Steelers beat the Bengals, 18-16, but lose, 23-16, to the Broncos in the divisional round.

n Penn State assistant football coaches Bob Shoop and Herb Hand leave for jobs at Tennessee and Auburn, respectively. Wide receiver Geno Lewis transfers to Oklahoma and linebacker Troy Reeder to Delaware. They are part of a group of five players who decide to transfer.

n Brett Pry is named Penn State’s new defensive coordinator.

n Hollidaysburg grad Luke Rhodes plays in the NFLPA college football all-star game in California. He was a four-year starter at William & Mary.

n Moshannon Valley’s Eric Sherkel receives preferred walk-on status to play football at Bowling Green.

n A snowstorm that drops between 7-30 inches in the Mirror coverage area wipes out a generous amount of high school and collegiate sporting events over a two-day period.

n One-time Altoona Rail Kings manager Walt “No-Neck” Williams dies at the age of 72.

FEBRUARY

n Hollidaysburg football player Seth Aungst receives preferred walk-on status to play at West Virginia.

n Penn State’s football program has its recruiting day and the highest ranking it receives in the country is No. 18.

n In a win over Northern Bedford, Bellwood-Antis’s Karson Swogger scores 33 points to become the all-time leading scorer in school history as a junior.

n The Huntingdon wrestling team advances to the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class AA Team Duals Championship before falling to Reynolds and Chestnut Ridge. The Lions lose in the first round but come back through the consy round where they go 1-1 and did not medal.

n The Bellwood-Antis girls basketball team wins the ICC title over Everett. The Bellwood-Antis boys win the ICC title over Southern Fulton.

n The Tyrone girls basketball team ties for the Mountain League title with Penns Valley.

n Chris Kozak is hired as the new football coach at Bishop Carroll.

n John Franco steps down as football coach at Altoona after four seasons.

n The Bishop Carroll boys and girls basketball teams win the D6-A titles on the same night.

n The Altoona boys and girls basketball teams lose to the boys and girls teams from State College in the D6-AAAA title games.

n The Bedford girls basketball team loses to Forest Hills in the D6-AAA title game.

n The Everett boys basketball team loses to Berlin in the D5-AA title game.

n The Hollidaysburg boys basketball team beats Somerset in the D6-AAA title game.

MARCH

n The Hollidaysburg boys and Bishop Carroll boys basketball teams win in the first round of the state playoffs. However, the BG boys and Central Cambria girls lose in the first round. The Bishop Carroll and Bishop Guilfoyle girls basketball teams win in the first round while the Bellwood-Antis and Tyrone boys teams lose.

n Swimmers Max Gehringer of Hollidaysburg, Gabby Gironda of Central Cambria and Haley Goldstone of Huntingdon win gold at districts and advance to states.

n Local wrestlers who advance to states in Hershey include Philipsburg-Osceola’s Bryce Bennett and Dakota Weitoish, Hollidaysburg’s Hunter Gill and Dalton Long, Altoona’s Cole Manley and Brinton Simington, Penn Cambria’s Austin Farabaugh, Jacob Driskel and Chase Proudfit, Central Cambria’s Max Murin, Ian Ostrowski and Tommy Opdenhoff, Huntingdon’s Tyler Scott, Logan Fisher, Jon Wagner, Jacob Oliver and Collin Glorioso, Chestnut Ridge’s Justin McCoy, Connor Buttry, Jared McGill, Morgan Deremer and Brandon Beaver, Moshannon Valley’s Larry Brown, Everett’s Garrett Cornell, Wes Graham and Liam Flaherty, Northern Bedford’s Zach Clarka and Bedford’s Jonathan Gabriel.

n In the second round of the PIAA basketball playoffs, the Hollidaysburg boys and Bishop Carroll boys are eliminated. The BG girls and the Bishop Carroll girls win and move on to the third round.

n The BG girls basketball team advances to the state semifinals against Pittsburgh North Catholic, but the BC girls team loses in the third round to end its season. The BG girls have their season end with a loss to North Catholic in the next round.

n Medaling at states in high school wrestling are Cole Manley, Altoona; Jacob Oliver, Huntingdon; Max Murin, Central Cambria; Aaron Burkett, Chestnut Ridge; Jonathan Gabriel, Bedford; Seth Baney, Huntingdon; Collin Glorioso, Huntingdon; Austin Farabaugh, Penn Cambria; Jared McGill, Chestnut Ridge; Morgan Deremer, Chestnut Ridge; Conner Buttry, Chestnut Ridge; Justin McCoy, Chestnut Ridge; Jon Wagner, Huntingdon; Jacob Driskel, Penn Cambria and Logan Fisher, Huntingdon. Oliver wins a gold medal.

n Pitt men’s basketball team loses in the first round of NCAA tourney to Wisconsin.

n Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon resigns from his post to take the job at TCU, his alma mater.

APRIL

n Paul Hasson steps down as head boys basketball coach at Altoona Area High School.

n Saint Joseph’s, a private school in the State College area, hires Steve Guthoff as its head coach and John Franco as an assistant coach for its football program, which is in its third year of existence. Franco is the longtime area coach at both Tyrone and Altoona. Guthoff has coached at Tyrone, Philipsburg-Osceola, Bellefonte and Lewistown.

n Central PA all-star basketball teams, boys and girls, beat the Blair County at the annual Mirror Classic at Mount Aloysius.

n The Pirates open the season 4-0 before losing to the Reds. The Curve open the season at 0-2.

n Altoona hires Nick Felus, a Penn Cambria graduate, as its new head football coach.

n Elected into the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame are Jeff Bower, Thom Geishauser, Jenny (Shingler) Hansberry, Doug Hoover, Bob and Joan Lozinak (owners of the Curve) and the 1958 and 1966 Williamburg boys basketball teams.

n The highlight of the 2016 NFL Draft for the Penn State football team is QB Christian Hackenberg going to the Jets in the second round.

n Hollidaysburg graduate Luke Rhodes, a standout football player at William & Mary, signs a free agent deal with the Tampa Bay Bucs a few hours after the 2016 NFL Draft concludes.

MAY

n Ryne Talko of BG wins the District 6-AA singles tennis title. Hollidaysburg’s Sam Sky falls in the finals of the District 6-AAA finals. In the doubles finals, Altoona’s Kyle Good and Jake Colledge lose in the 6-AAA finals, while BG’s Vincent D’Andrea and Danny Sullivan fall in the AA finals.

n Bedford beats Somerset for the District 5 Class AA team tennis title. Hollidaysburg beats State College for the D6-AAA boys team title while BG beats Richland for the D6-AA boys team title. BG beat James Buchanan in the first round of states, while Hollidaysburg falls to Fox Chapel. Bedford loses to Indiana. BG then beats Indiana in the next round of states and advances to the state semifinals against Wyomissing where BG falls, 5-0.

n Doug West is named the new boys basketball coach at Altoona.

n District 6 track and field gold medal winners included Erika Voyzey, Lauren Michina, Alyssa Martinazzi, Daiquain Watson, Mackenzie Wilkinson, Lindsey Hallinan, Lexi Peterman, Jadyn Tiricave, August Cook, Will Kachman, Tanner Sipes, Whitley Furry, Justin Helsel, Josh Russo, Max Sankey and Alec McDermitt, along with the Central Cambria girls 1600 and 3200 relay teams, the Penn Cambria boys 400 relay teams, Bedford boys 400, 1600 and 3200 relay teams, the Bedford girls 400, 1600 and 3200 relay teams, along with Seth Foor and Gavin Gilbert.

n The Altoona Mirror Athletes of the Year are August Cook (Bedford) and Alyssa McGhee (Bishop Guilfoyle).

n Tyrone’s Erika Voyzey wins PIAA gold in high jump for a third straight year. The Central Cambria girls 3200 relay team wins gold, too. Members are Sydney Gilkey, McKenna Hayward, Paige Wess and Lexi Peterman.

JUNE

n The Juniata Valley baseball team wins the District 6 title over Portage in the Class A game. Hollidaysburg (AAA) and Central (AA) lose in title games. Philipsburg-Osceola softball wins the D6-AA title, as does Everett softball in D5-AA, while Bellwood-Antis loses in the Class A title game. In first round of states, JV, Central and Portage all lose, as does Everett softball. P-O comes from behind to beat Steel Valley and advance to the second round where it loses to South Park.

n Bishop Guilfoyle and Altoona lose in the PIAA state tourney in high school boys volleyball action.

JULY

n Altoona grad Chris Carper tries to qualify for the Olympics in Rio in the javelin and comes up short, while Bellwood-Antis’ Brian Leap tries to qualify for the games in the triple jump. He also comes up short.

n BG football star Evan Chadbourn suffers a serious knee injury and finds out he will not be able to play this fall for for the two-time defending state champs.

n At the All-Star break, the Altoona Curve are in first place in the Eastern League’s Western Division. The Pirates are in second place in the National League Central.

n Mike Iuzzolino is hired as the new assistant men’s basketball coach at Robert Morris.

n Makenzie Wilkinson of Hollidaysburg wins the Lynnette Williams Spirit Award in girls basketball.

n Saint Francis University women’s basketball gets a commitment from Bellwood-Antis’ Karson Swogger.

n Johnston Realty wins the Altoona AAABA League, but is eliminated early at the national tourney in Johnstown.

n The Pirates trade closer Mark Melancon to the Nationals.

n Conrad Chiropractic Lilly American Legion wins the Greater City League baseball title again.

August

n The Pirates trade starter Francisco Liriano to the Blue Jays.

n Williamsburg hires Jim Michelone and Brock Anders as its new girls and boys basketball coaches, respectively.

n Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell is suspended for the first four games of the season by the NFL for violating the league’s drug policy. It is later reduced to three games.

n James Harrison is told he will be suspended if he does not go to New York to talk to the NFL about PEDs. He eventually agrees and goes and avoids the suspension.

September

n The Penn State football team wins its season opener, 33-13, over Kent State.

n On the last day of the season, the Curve qualify for the Eastern League playoffs with a win at Richmond. They take on Akron in the first round of the playoffs and are eliminated in Game 5, 1-0, in extra innings.

n Meeting for the first time in 16 years, Pitt beats Penn State, 42-39, at Heinz Field.

n The Steelers open the 2016 season by crushing Washington, 38-16, on Monday Night Football on the road.

n Longtime Glendale High School sports contributor Larry Shank passes away.

n Altoona Curve GM Rob Egan steps down after a long tenure with the team to take the GM job in Charlotte.

n For the first time in 11 years, a MLB game ends in a tie as the Cubs and the Pirates play to a 1-1 tie when rains came and ended the game. With only three days left in the season, and the Cubs already in the playoffs, there was no need to finish the game.

October

n Derek Martin is hired as the new GM of the Altoona Curve.

n Hollidaysburg’s Isaac Wood wins the District 6 3A boys golf title. Philipsburg-Osceola wins the District 6 2A team title, while Altoona wins the District 6 3A team title. Central Cambria’s Lauren Stevens is the District 6 girls golf champion in 2A.

n Altoona’s Jess Stevens wins the District 6 3A singles tennis title while Central Cambria’s Kourtney Cavalier wins the District 6 2A title for the fourth time. In doubles action, Altoona’s Lindsey Hallinan and Maura Skelley win the District 6 3A title.

n Bedford’s Allison Shuke and Emily Ruhlman win the District 5 2A doubles tennis title. The Bedford team also wins the team title, but loses in the first round of states.

n Three area golfers qualify for states.  They are CC’s Lauren Stevens, Everett’s Zach Robinson and Hollidaysburg’s Isaac Woods. None of them medal, however. The P-O team qualifies for team states.

n Penn State’s football team knocks off No. 2 Ohio State, 24-21.

n Hollidaysburg wins the District 6 3A team title in girls tennis, while Central Cambria wins the title in District 6 2A. Both teams lose in states.

n Joey Cora leaves the Altoona Curve’s managerial position to coach third base for the Pirates in 2017.

n The BG, Bedford and Hollidaysburg girls won soccer titles, while the Everett and Hollidaysburg boys win their titles.

n The Central Cambria girls and boys cross country teams win districts and advance to states in Hershey. The girls finish fourth at states. Sydney Gilkey is their top runner.

n BG and Penn Cambria girls win District 6 volleyball titles while Hollidaysburg and Altoona lose in the finals. Both teams make it to the state tourney before bowing out.

NOVEMBER

n In high school football, Hollidaysburg loses to Meadville in the District 6-8-9-10 regional. Central wins the District 6 3-A title over Juniata, while Bishop Guilfoyle wins the District 6 1A title over Homer-Center. At states, both teams make it to the semifinals. BG wins over Steel-High while Central loses to Beaver Falls.

n Penn State football coach James Franklin is voted coach of the year by the Big Ten media. He also wins the The Sporting News Coach of the Year award, too.

DECEMBER

n Penn State’s football team wins the Big Ten East Division title and plays Wisconsin for the league championship where the Lions come from behind to win, 38-31. They miss the College Football Playoffs but get invited to the Rose Bowl to play USC.

n Bishop Guilfoyle wins its third straight PIAA 1A football title, this one over Clairton, 17-0, in Hershey.

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