Sports Columns

Pirates should have delayed rebuild for another year

The Pirates decided to blow it up, and the most disappointing thing about that is the team actually had a chance to be good this year. Maybe not a great chance, but with Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, 85 wins and playoff contention might have been within reach. Call me optimistic there, but ...

January is filled with both honors and observations

Some January honors and observations while still mourning the end of the Steelers’ football season, as well as the end of the McCutchen baseball era in Pittsburgh. n Penn State’s athletics program is among the best in the nation, according to the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings at ...

Schopp returning to area as Purdue assistant

When Penn State wrestles Purdue at home on Friday night, area wrestling fans will see a familiar face on the Boilermakers’ bench in Tyrone native A.J. Schopp. The 2010 state champion, two-state runner-up and four-time state placewinner is in his first year as an assistant coach at Purdue ...

Mehno: This one was a nightmare defeat

PITTSBURGH — Let’s dig way down and see if we can’t find something positive to say about the debacle that defrosted at Heinz Field Sunday afternoon. Maybe the Steelers spared their fans another heartbreak in New England by exiting the playoffs early. Sunday’s final was Jacksonville ...

Cruel chant in stands contrasts with classic contest

The beauty and the ugliness of scholastic basketball played out in their highest forms about 10 miles apart in Blair County on Friday evening. In Bellwood, the Bellwood-Antis and Juniata Valley girls engaged in a game for the ages, one that has a place high on the list of the best high school ...

Forming a plan for success

PITTSBURGH — Getting to the AFC Championship game is as easy as 1-2-3 for the Steelers as they play the Jacksonville Jaguars this afternoon. 1. Contain Blake Bortles. He’s the kind of quarterback whose legs are more dangerous than his arm. 2. No big plays. The Steelers defense has been ...

Dinner event will feature local fly-fishing legends

Well, the brutal Arctic weather that had settled on our region finally released it icy grip somewhat last week. Temperatures soared into the 50s on Thursday, and I celebrated the day by pheasant hunting with a friend and his pointing dog. I acquired a new 20-gauge over-under shotgun last ...

Caselena the authority when it comes to turkey talk

To the average turkey hunter, meeting Mary Jo Caselena can be surprising. This petite woman, who couldn’t possibly weigh more than 90 pounds, is the state’s professional turkey biologist? Indeed she is and once she opens her mouth to start explaining the Game Commission’s plans and ...

Mehno: Football delivers great weekend

PITTSBURGH — What a weekend of football. It was perfectly timed because the weather was miserable. It took courage (and a parka) to open the door just long enough to scoop up the Mirror and bring it inside. The NFL got off to a slow start with Tennessee at Kansas City, but that picked up ...

Summit changes prove to be success

Anyone observing an indoor soccer game at the Summit Tennis and Athletic Club five years ago and coming back this season to watch an indoor game, would see few, if any, similarities. Mike Alianiello, soccer director, at the Summit for the last decade, has made indoor soccer there a different ...

Olympics flame the fire of peace

The Winter Olympic Games are growing closer by the day, and with them, the ongoing hope for peace through sport. Every two years the world pauses, taking a break from political grandstanding and chest-pounding for a few weeks of friendly contests in the arenas of summer or wintertime athletics. ...

Nothing like drama in the ’Burgh

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are very good at what they do, which is why they’re one of four teams sitting out this playoff weekend with a first-round bye. They’re good at something else, too — keeping secrets. When they released James Harrison shortly before they left for their Dec. ...

Steelers’ OC winds up on injury report

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers don’t even have a game this weekend, but they were all over the headlines on Tuesday. It started with the vague and peculiar announcement that offensive coordinator Todd Haley hasn’t been able to report for work because of a hip injury. The Steelers ...

First Day Hikes set tone for parks

The New Year rang its way in with unseasonably cold weather, but that did not stop Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation Friends Groups from celebrating 2018 with a series of First Day Hikes. At Shawnee State Park in Schellsburg, the PPFF 2017 Park of the Year, dozens of people of all ...

Steelers avoid major injuries

PITTSBURGH — If you could overlook the icicles forming on your eyebrows, this was just like NFL preseason football. The stars were on the sideline and the subs had the field. That’s the way it worked for Sunday afternoon’s regular season finale between the Cleveland Browns and ...

Plenty to be excited about for this new year

Happy New Year! Some random thoughts on, well, a bunch of random stuff, not all of which involve sports: n Having Christmas and New Year’s Day both on a Monday is cool because it’s a great three-day weekend to spend with family and friends. But having to go back to work the Tuesday ...

Lions save best of ’17 season for last

GLENDALE, Ariz. — There’s sure something about the Fiesta Bowl that agrees with the Nittany Lions. Penn State kept its perfect record in the desert intact at 7-0 by starting strong and holding off Washington, 35-28, Saturday in a well-played and entertaining showdown at University of ...

Test your knowledge of the year past

PITTSBURGH — It’s that time again: the last week in the last month. Time to vacuum the pine needles, hunt for 75 percent discounts on picked-over Christmas merchandise and — oh yes, thank you, Lord — send the kids back to school. But before any of that happens, it’s time to tackle ...

Pennsylvania set to have its first game wardens

Starting Monday, the law-enforcement officers of the Pennsylvania Game Commission will be officially called “state game wardens.” I suppose many folks are thinking to themselves, “Weren’t they always called game wardens?” Actually, no. The wildlife law-enforcement personnel in many ...

Deer struggling to survive in wintry conditions

The trimmings are in the trash by now, and the venison has been transformed into steaks, hamburger and bologna. We all secretly figured that we would pay for the spring-like weather we had the first week of rifle deer season and were we ever right! A few hardy hunters will venture out in ...