Neil Rudel

Saint Francis adds chapter to its history

LORETTO - Tyrone's Nick Leasure looked out at the full house at the John F. Kennedy Center and quickly summed up the feelings of those honored."It's a humbling experience to be in front of all the Saint Francis greats," he said.Those fortunate enough to attend the Hall of Fame induction ...

Fifth-year seniors have seen it all

UNIVERSITY PARK - Kyle Carter smiled when reminded during Penn State's annual football media day that he's one of just six remaining fifth-year seniors in the program."In some ways," he said, "I feel like a dad out here."Though just 22 years old, Carter is wise beyond his years.He's seen some ...

Weaver leaves icing on local hockey legacy

Dave Weaver arrived in Altoona 16 years ago to become the news director at WRTA Radio."I really thought when I moved here I'd be here two-three years in the radio business and then try to move up to a bigger (radio) market," he was saying the other day before Tuesday night's sendoff party at ...

Dorsett visit stirs memory

Tony Dorsett had never been in Altoona, only through it a couple of times, prior to his guest appearance Thursday night with the Curve."Is Penn State near here?" he asked.In fact, yes, he was told, which led Dorsett to a story about his high school recruitment in which he ultimately picked Pitt ...

Bowling induction stirs emotions

The Altoona chapter of the United States Bowling Congress put its best foot forward Saturday night - and not just because it honored the Mirror's Scott Franco for his 12 years of coverage.Franco has carried the torch nicely following the retirement and passing of Herb Werner, who years ago ...

Hall of Fame enshrinee Bill Polian pays tribute to lesser known Paterno

When Bill Polian is enshrined in the Pro Football of Fame next month, he'll pay tribute to a name that is recognized throughout the football world: Paterno.Although he knew and respected Joe Paterno, the Paterno who most influenced Polian was George.Most Penn State fans knew George Paterno as ...

Tigers’ defection from WPIAL a gamble

The Hollidaysburg Area School District announced a little more than a week ago that the upcoming football season would be its last in the WPIAL.Beginning in 2016, the Tigers will play an independent schedule, resuming relationships with familiar opponents such as State College, DuBois, Central ...

For Webb, an ‘uplifting day’ in Duncansville

The pioneer of weight training in central Pennsylvania was the center of attention Saturday at an annual reunion held in his honor.Former and current lifters, all with pronounced builds, lined up at the Progressive Martial Arts Gym on Sixth Avenue in Altoona to greet Jake Webb, regarded as an ...

Fisher’s heart filled PSU

Penn State lost one of the most beloved pieces of its history - one who definitely merits a spot on Mount Nittany's Mount Rushmore - with the passing of Fran Fisher.The greatest ambassador the school ever had, who connected fans and helped build the Nittany Nation from the early days of Beaver ...

Early 1980s set tone for PSU’s schedule

On a day when the Mirror's topic of discussion is non-conference scheduling, it's ironic that former University of Georgia coach Vince Dooley was just in town.Dooley, who spoke at the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School Marauder Club's annual spring luncheon Friday, was on the losing end of ...

Hack back and on (NFL) track

UNIVERSITY PARK - The NFL Draft is right around the corner (April 30-May 2), and Christian Hackenberg won't be in it.But a year from now, he very well may be, as NFL draft analysts continue to slot him on top of a short list of the best quarterbacks available beginning in 2016.He's already been ...

Rudel: PSU’s Chambers deserves more time

Some random thoughts stored up over a long, cold winter:n Until Penn State's respectable showing in the Big Ten Tournament, speculation existed over the status of Patrick Chambers and whether he would be cut loose with time remaining on his contract.Though Chambers' body of work has been less ...

Coaches named for annual Mirror Classic

The coaches are set for the 10th annual Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic, which will match the top seniors from Blair County against the best of Central Pennsylvania on Friday, March 27 at Mount Aloysius College.Bellwood-Antis' Jim Swaney and Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic's Chris Drenning will ...

Both hope rivalry game can provide momentum

As a player at Bishop Guilfoyle High School 40 years ago, Paul Hasson wasn't fortunate enough to beat Altoona.But that doesn't mean the crosstown rivalry isn't significant to him.In fact, Hasson's memories of Altoona-BG may have been the best of anyone in the large crowd that attended Tuesday ...

PSU recruiting has changed with the times

UNIVERSITY PARK - Joe Paterno used to joke that one of his first press conferences, to preview spring practice, "was probably at the Rathskeller with about three people."Suffice to say had he walked into festivities Wednesday morning on National Letter-of-Intent Day at the Lasch Football ...

NCAA rights its wrong with Penn State

The NCAA fell further on its sword Friday with the announcement that it was restoring to Penn State the 112 victories it took away in July 2012 as part of a package of over-the-top sanctions for the school's incompetence in managing Jerry Sandusky.Maybe it will bleed to death.Of all the ...

Rudel: PSU departures underscore transition

The number of college football underclassmen bypassing a final season of eligibility to take their chances in the NFL Draft is down considerably since last year.A record 98 players jumped early in 2014, but as of Friday that number has been cut by nearly 30 percent as 63 were rolling the ...

Rudel: Crystal ball takes peek at PSU in ’15

In the spirit of tradition, we now take a long gaze into our blue and white crystal ball to see what's in store for Penn State's year ahead. Here goes:n After beating Alabama, Ohio State also stuns Florida State to capture the national championship, thanks to a pair of controversial calls ...

Offense helps year end on right note

NEW YORK - Penn State picked the perfect way and the perfect place to get back in the postseason bowl business.At hallowed Yankee Stadium, the most famous venue in sports, the Nittany Lions rallied from four deficits to defeat Boston College, 31-30, in overtime, before a Pinstripe Bowl record ...

Bowl gives Lions chance to start 2015

NEW?YORK - Is a bowl game the end of one season or the beginning of another?It depends on the season.Penn State's storied history includes a number of years - nine to be exact, including the 1948 Cotton Bowl - in which the Nittany Lions arrived at a bowl site intent on clinching a perfect ...