A fun time when football starts up

All nine of Blair County’s football teams kick off their seasons tonight?

Nine? Well, yes, technically.

The Blair County football program fraternity will have an extra member for this season, at least. St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy is going to be utilizing Bishop Guilfoyle’s Tom Irwin Field for its home games this season while renovations make the makeshift field at the recently-opened Boalsburg school unplayable.

The Wolves open the season at BG tonight against Halifax from just north of Harrisburg. Later this season, St. Joseph’s will entertain Chestnut Ridge at Irwin Field, which has lights, a pressbox and concession stand but has been used primarily for practices and junior high games.

“We reached out to some other places to see where we could call home,” St. Joseph’s first-year athletic director Chad Walsh said. “Bishop Guilfoyle and (athletic director) Mike Cacciotti and everybody up there were really cool trying to help us out.”

The Wolves hope to have a facility closer to State College next year, but it’s not out of the question they could be back at BG if this works well and nothing else presents itself.

“Who knows?” Walsh said. “This is a trial. We’ll see how it works out.”

Faces in new places

Running back-defensive back Reid Miller was one of Hollidaysburg’s top players the last couple of seasons, but he transferred in the middle of last school year to IMG Academy, the sports-minded prep school in Bradenton, Fla. The football team there is coached by former Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke and sent top quarterback recruit Michael O’Connor to Penn State.

Miller picked off a pass in IMG’s season-opening win last week against Godby High School of Tallahassee.

A couple of area products will be rolling up their sleeves tonight as first-time head coaches outside the area, too. In addition to Altoona grad Scott Mitchell at Hershey, former Moshannon Valley player Adam Walstrom is running things at Corry. Walstrom is the son of one-time Glendale coach Gary Walstrom Sr. and brother of current Glendale coach Gary Walstrom Jr., and he was one of current Hollidaysburg coach Homer DeLattre’s assistants at Corry.

Schedule matters

If you saw the Mirror’s preseason tabloid on Tuesday, you noticed all the WestPAC teams are listed as “TBA” for week 10.

With Rockwood’s program on hiatus and now an even 10 teams in the circuit, the WestPAC decided to play within its own ranks for the last regular season game based on standings. The top two teams will play each other, three will play four, five will play six, etc.

Also, with Northern Bedford now playing Northern Cambria in week 10, District 9 Class AAA teams Clearfield, Punxsutawney and Bradford have replaced the Black Panthers with Warren in their floating arrangement. The top two of those teams will play in a district championship game. The odd team out will play Warren.

Cmor can be reached at pcmor@altoonamirror.com or 946-7440.