2017 in review

JANUARY

n The Penn State football team loses a heartbreaker in the Rose Bowl, 52-49, to USC on a last-second 46-yard field goal.

n Penn State’s Chris Godwin and Garrett Sickels announce they will leave early for the NFL Draft. Teammate Marcus Allen announces he will return for his senior season.

n The Steelers win their playoff opener, downing Miami, 30-12. In the second round against Kansas City, the Steelers beat the Chiefs to set up a showdown with the Patriots for the AFC title, which the Steelers lost.

n Bellwood-Antis’ Karson Swogger becomes the all-time scoring leader in basketball history at B-A — boys or girls. Lili Benzel also becomes the BG girls leading scorer as does Kasey Engle for the Tyrone girls basketball team. Later in the month, Swogger becomes the all-time scorer in Blair County history in a win over Williamsburg.

FEBRUARY

n Huntingdon and Chestnut Ridge make it to the PIAA wrestling team duals in Hershey where both wind up in the consolation round of the event.

n Because of personal problems in South Korea, Jung Ho Kang does not open up spring training with the Pirates.

n Sidney Crosby reaches the 1,000-point milestone for his career with game-winning goal in overtime win over Winnipeg.

n Everett girls win the ICC basketball title with a win over Bellwood-Antis. On the boys side, Mo Valley beats McConnellsburg for the title.

n Central Cambria’s Max Murin is the OWA winner for the District 6 wrestling tournament, and Chestnut Ridge’s Justin McCoy is the OWA winner for the District 5 wrestling tournament.

n For the first time ever in school history, the Altoona gymnastics team will compete the Pa. Classic in the Gold Division — the top division possible — where they finish fourth overall in the team standings.

n Central boys lose to Johnstown in District 6 4A basketball finals. Bedford girls lose to Forest Hills in District 6 4A finals. The Altoona girls beat State College in the District 6 6A finals, while the Altoona boys lose to State College in the D6 6A finals.

MARCH

n Going to states in high school wrestling as regional champs are Huntingdon’s Jacob Oliver, Central Cambria’s Max Murin, Mo Valley’s Larry Brown and Chestnut Ridge’s Justin McCoy and Dylan Williams, along with Altoona’s Cole Manley.

n In the District 6 1A girls basketball final, Bishop Carroll beats Juniata Valley. Bellwood-Antis girls loses the D6 2A title to Bishop McCort while the BG boys lose the D6 2A title to Bishop McCort. In the boys D6 1A final, Williamsburg loses to Saltsburg. The Central Cambria boys win the D6 3A title over Richland, while the Tyrone girls lose to West Shamokin in the D6 3A title game.

n The Huntingdon boys swim team wins the D6 2A title. Five Huntingdon swimmers qualify for states: Zeb Fowler, Haley Goldstone, Ben Atherton, Andrew Edwards and Matias Berger.

n Saint Francis football player Lorenzo Jerome is the first Red Flash football player ever to be invited to perform at the NFL Combine for the upcoming NFL Draft.

n Going for gold in the finals in the PIAA Class 2A wrestling tournament are Central Cambria’s Max Murin, Chestnut Ridge’s Justin McCoy and Huntingdon’s Jacob Oliver. All three wound up victorious.

n Making it to the third round of the state basketball tournament are the Central Cambria boys, as well as the girls teams from Bishop Guilfoyle, Bishop Carroll, Bellwood-Antis and Juniata Valley.

n Penn State wrestlers Jason Nolf, Zain Retherford, Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall and Bo Nickal each win a national championship in St. Louis. The team also wins the national title.

n Penn State men’s ice hockey team wins first-ever Big Ten title, 2-1, in double OT over Wisconsin.

n The Bellwood-Antis girls lose to Bishop McCort in the 2A girls state semifinals in high school basketball. In the 1A girls state semifinals, Juniata Valley beats Bishop Carroll for a trip to Hershey and the state title. Against Lebanon Catholic, Valley lost in the finals.

APRIL

n For the first time since 2009, the Blair County boys beat the Central PA boys in high school basketball action at the Mirror Classic. The Blair County girls lose to the Central PA girls.

n Penn Cambria football coach Jason Grassi steps down after four seasons.

n The Curve are 7-3 after 10 games in the Eastern League, good enough for first place.

n With a 6-7 record, the Pirates find out that all-star outfielder Starling Marte will be suspended 80 games for violating the league’s drug policy. Even upon his return, he will not be able to play in the postseason if the team makes the playoffs.

n The Pittsburgh Steelers draft OLB T.J. Watt out of Wisconsin with their first pick in the NFL Draft.

n Lorenzo Jerome of Saint Francis signs a free agent deal with the 49ers.

n Penn State WR Chris Godwin is picked in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Buccaneers.

MAY

n Hollidaysburg tennis coach Brian Denis gets his 400th win as his Tigers beat Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic.

n Bedford’s Jess Hampton wins the District 5 2A singles tennis title. Teammates Caleb Beidle and Willie Bonn team up to win the District 5 2A doubles tennis title. In the first round of states, Bedford falls to Sewickley Academy.

n Penn Cambria hires John Franco to be its new football coach.

n Pittsburgh Pirates star young pitcher Jameson Taillon is diagnosed with cancer.

n The Central Cambria School Board sends a letter to the PIAA asking it to seperate private schools and public schools in its sports classifications across the state because of an unfair advantage held by the private school system.

n Central Cambria opens up its high school football coaching position which has been occupied by Bill Corrente the past four seasons.

n For the second year in a row, the BG boys tennis team beats Juniata for the D6 2A crown. On the same day, Hollidaysburg comes up short in the 3A title match to State College. In the first round of states, BG loses to Wyomissing.

n Penn Cambria pitcher Mason Ronan gives verbal commitment to Michigan State to play baseball collegiately for the Spartans.

n Jose Canseco makes an appearance at PNG Field where he takes part in a home run derby and signs photographs as the Curve beat Erie.

n Karson Swogger (Bellwood-Antis) and Alex Hoenstine (Central) are named Altoona Mirror girls and boys athletes of the year at a banquet held at the Casino in Lakemont.

n Carl Bennett, long-time owner of the Building II Rec Hall in Altoona, passes away.

n Altoona and Bellwood-Antis baseball teams both lose in the district finals.

n The Juniata Valley, Huntingdon and Hollidaysburg baseball teams win district titles on the same day. Huntingdon’s win was over Central.

n The Central Cambria girls 3200 relay team wins gold at the state meet in Shippensburg. Members include McKenna Hayward, Lexi Peterman, Paige Wess and Sydney Gilkey.

n Glendale beats Claysburg-Kimmel for the D6 1A softball title. P-O beats Ligonier Valley for the D6 3A softball title.

JUNE

n Chestnut Ridge baseball wins its first state playoff game while Hollidaysburg loses its first state playoff game, ending its season.

n Central ousts Chestnut Ridge in the second round of states in high school baseball action. Juniata Valley loses, too. Huntingdon and Bellwood-Antis both win their games. In softball action, Claysburg-Kimmel, Glendale and Philipsburg-Osceola all win their first-round state playoff games.

n Shane McGregor is hired as the new football coach at Central Cambria.

n The B-A baseball team loses in the state semifinals, while Central beats Huntingdon in the state semifinals for a trip to the finals at Penn State. It takes on Holy Redeemer for the state title game where ity wins easily, 8-3.

n Ron Muffie, a legendary member of the Saint Francis men’s basketball team, passes away at the age of 82.

JULY

n Chet Dillen, one-time head football coach at Bellwood-Antis, passes away at the age of 84.

n Park Home beats Martin Oil to win the George B. Kelley Federation baseball title.

n Claysburg beats Bedford to win the Cambria Legion baseball title.

n The Hollidaysburg Little League team becomes the first in the history of the Hollidaysburg Area Summer Baseball League to qualify for the state tournament by winning its region. However, in its bid to make it to the LLWS in Williamsport, Hollidaysburg is eliminated at states.

n Dan Ott of Altoona wins $4.7 million as the runner-up at the World Series of Poker’s Main Event in Las Vegas.

n Penn Cambria baseball player Mason Ronan, who had given a verbal to pitch for Michigan State in college, switches and will now pitch at Pitt.

n Beauchamp’s P&H wins the Dean Patterson LWS over Sheetz.

n Karson Swogger wins the Lynnette Williams Spirt Award given by Reliance Bank and the Hollidaysburg YMCA.

AUGUST

n Barton’s (Altoona) captures the Area 4 VFW 15-16 state tournament with wins over Hollidaysburg and Clearfield.

n Johnston Realty goes 1-2 at the national AAABA tournament in Johnstown.

n Penn State is the preseason No. 6 team in the country in the AP Top 25 college football poll.

n Pittsburgh Steeler RB Le’Veon Bell holds out the entire preseason because of a contract dispute.

SEPTEMBER

n Penn State opens its season with a 52-0 win over Akron on the same day Pitt escapes with a 28-21 win in OT over FCS Youngstown State.

n On the final day of the regular season, the Altoona Curve, who already clinched at least a playoff spot near the end of August, win the division and advance to the EL title game where they beat Trenton, 4-2. They sweep both Bowie and Trenton to win the championship.

n The Steelers open the NFL season with a 21-18 win over the Browns.

OCTOBER

n The Altoona Mountain Lions golf team wins the District 6 3A title. Derek McAlkich wins the individual 3A title. Tyrone’s Andrew Ferguson wins the individual 2A title.

n Tina Hollen (Tyrone) and Jess Stevens (Altoona) win the District 6 2A and 3A tennis titles, respectively.

n The Penn State football team moves up to No. 3 in the country after a win over Northwestern and an Oklahoma upset loss at home to Iowa State.

n In District 6 doubles girls tennis action. Hollidaysburg’s Veronica Helsel and Jenee Delerme win the 3A title while Central Cambria’s Olivia Ratchford and Liza Brady win the 2A title.

n The Central Cambia boys cross country team qualifies for the state tournament for their winning performance at the District 6 meet.

n The Altoona boys knock off State College for the D6 4A title, 1-0.

n Chestnut Ridge girls volleyball falls in D5 finals to North Star.

NOVEMBER

n The Hollidaysburg girls soccer team beats Somerset, 1-0, for the D6 3A title. The Hollidaysburg boys soccer team beats Bellefonte, 5-2, for the D6 3A title.

n The Altoona girls volleyball team falls 3-1 to State College in the D6 4A title game. The Hollidaysburg girls volleyball team falls 3-0 to Somerset in the D6 3A title game.

n Altoona’s Jess Stevens and Hollidaysburg’s Veronica Helsel and Jenee Delerme compete at states in singles and doubles action, respectively, where they go 1-1 in opening-round play. Other area players who lose in the first round include Tyrone’s Tina Hollen, Bedford’s Emily Ruhlman and Central Cambria doubles team Olivia Ratchford and Elizabeth Brady, along with Payton Whysong and Vanessa Hyde of Chestnut Ridge.

n At the state meet in cross country in Hershey, the top area girls runner is Central Cambria’s Carly Kaschalk of Central Cambria in 20:40 (76th) while the top boys runner is Bedford’s Van May, who finished in 16:55 (27th).

n In the first round of state soccer playoffs, Hollidaysburg’s boys and girls, and Central’s girls lose. Bedford wins its first-round game and a second-round game, too. But falls in the third round.

n In the first round of state volleyball playoffs, Northern Cambria and Bishop Carroll both win. In second round, NC loses while BC moves on to third round where it’s eliminated.

n No. Bedford wins D5 1A football title over Windber. Chestnut Ridge wins D5 2A title. Both lose in the first round of states.

n The Hollidaysburg football team wins the D6-8-10 title over Grove City, then loses to Gateway in state quarterfinals.

n In the D6 1A title, BG loses to Homer-Center, ending its run as 3-time state champion and also its 59-game winning streak. In the D6 3A title game, Huntingdon loses to Forest Hills.

n Penn State ends regular season at 10-2 after a win over Maryland. Pitt ends season at 5-7 but does so with upset win over No. 2 Miami.

n Claysburg-Kimmel football coach Dan Foor steps down from his position.

n Joe Moorhead leaves the PSU football team as OC to become head coach at Mississippi State. The Lions’ Ricky Rahne is later named the new OC.

DECEMBER

n It is announced that Penn State will play Washington in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 30 in Arizona.

n Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier suffers an injury to his spinal chord in a win over the Bengals. He is kept at a Cincinnati hospital overnight before returning to Pittsburgh. He is put on injured reserve, thus putting an end to his 2017 season.

n The IUP football team loses in the Division II semifinals at home to West Florida.

n Central Cambria’s Matt Holsinger and Chestnut Ridge’s Noah Dillow both surpass the 1,000-point scoring mark for their high school basketball teams.

n Penn State beats Washington, 35-28, in the Fiesta Bowl.

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