Sports Columns

United States flopping at Olympics

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — It was, perhaps, the defining moment for the U.S. team at this Olympics. Not Shaun White blitzing the halfpipe in a final run to win gold, a win that came with some baggage by itself. Or Chloe Kim delighting fans from two countries when she won her halfpipe, ...

Frees extremely critical of Pirates manager

PITTSBURGH — It should have been easy to find manager Clint Hurdle at Pirates spring training camp on Friday. He was under the bus, right where David Freese threw him in an unexpected camp-opening rant. Freese unloaded on the Pirates over a number of topics. Some were valid, and some made ...

Enthusiam lacking in Pirate City

BRADENTON, Fla. — Who are these guys? That’s been one of the prevailing questions this week as the Pirates launched their 50th spring training season in this Florida city. No Cutch. No Gerrit Cole. No Tony Watson, either. Instead, there’s Kyle Crick and Joe Musgrove and Colin Moran. ...

Giger: Bubble rap: Starting tonight, Lions have chance to bolster NCAA hopes

We’ve cleared Valentine’s Day, and Penn State basketball is still relevant this season. That, if you’re a college hoops fan in these parts, is a thing of beauty. The Nittany Lions bring a three-game winning streak into tonight’s huge home game against No. 8 Ohio State at the Bryce ...

Mehno: Pitt hoops has some serious problems

PITTSBURGH — Pitt’s basketball program has fallen on hard times. That much is indisputable. The Panthers don’t win very much, and their home court is three-quarters empty for some games. The issue here is how can the university fix the program and make Pitt basketball a hot ticket ...

Time to turn focus from duals to postseason

We’ve come to the point in the high school wrestling season where we turn our focus from dual meets to postseason tournaments. The District 6 Class 2A Tournament and the District 5 Tournament begin the postseason around here. For Chestnut Ridge, its dual meet season lived up to the ...

Enjoying month filled with winter sports

Some general observations while enjoying a sports-filled February… Blue Knob has become a Winter Wonderland under new management this season, marked by improved facilities, more consistent hours and a new tubing location in the works. The highest skiable mountain in Pennsylvania is a ...

US skaters must rebound from 2014 Olympics

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — They can’t blame the suits. Or their training methods. No more excuses. It’s time for America’s most decorated Winter Olympics program to step up in South Korea. “I don’t think there’s a more motivated bunch of athletes here,” Brittany Bowe said. ...

Mehno: Steelers shouldn’t pay Bell big bucks

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers seem to be heading toward a long-term contract agreement with Le’Veon Bell. It could cost them about $15 million per season for the services of one of the best running backs in the NFL. Here’s a better idea: Put the franchise player label on Bell for the 2018 ...

Mehno: Super Bowl provides lots of stories

PITTSBURGH — The football wasn’t always letter perfect, but the entertainment value of Super Bowl 52 was off the charts. Some small observations from the big game: n Who could have predicted a huge play would be a pass Tom Brady didn’t catch rather than one he threw? n Option pass ...

District 6 basketball playoff fields taking shape

The cutoff date for the District 6 playoffs is Feb. 12, but most of the teams are going to have most if not all of their games in by the end of this week, so the qualifying teams and the seeding already are assuming their final form. And District 6 has its point standings up on its basketball ...

Milestone approaching

BRADENTON, Fla. — When pitchers and catchers report in a week or so, it will mark the beginning of the 50th year of spring training baseball for the Pirates in this Florida city. The Kansas City Athletics had their spring headquarters here from 1963-68 and Bradenton tried to lure another ...

Mehno: It’s time for Chief Wahoo to go away

PITTSBURGH — Chief Wahoo is retiring. More accurately, Chief Wahoo is being retired. The Cleveland Indians announced they will eliminate the cartoon Chief from their uniform at the end of the upcoming season. The Chief has been a focal point for protests for years now. Native American ...

Goodman Shaffer: Attitude of gratitude: Power in the positive

As New Years’ resolutions begin to fade from our mind, there is one that I think is worth some re-commitment. It’s the concept that our attitude dictates our happiness, and, in fact makes an impact on those around us as well. It’s not a new idea. Rev. Norman Vincent Peale first ...

PSU winning streak in jeopardy with Nolf out

This Saturday’s 8 p.m. clash between Penn State and Ohio State at Rec Hall has been highly anticipated among wrestling fans for a long time. Depending upon what polls you follow, they are either first or second in all of them. Some had been predicting the Buckeyes would be the team that ...

Fantasy camp highlight of first week

Jim Lane will provide a weekly diary update from Florida into Spring Training BRADENTON, Fla. — Greetings from Florida. We arrived Monday and spent most of the first week settling into our new condo and catching up with some old friends. The annual ride on the Amtrak Auto Train was one of ...

Mountain League boys teams earning respect

Anyone want to venture a guess the last time a Mountain League boys team won a District 6 basketball championship? You have to go all the way back to 2010. That year, Penns Valley knocked off Cambria Heights for the D6-2A crown. Since then, the Laurel Highlands Conference has dominated the ...

Rudel: Piece of Altoona history remembered

It’s safe to say there are few in Altoona Area High School’s rich football history remembered more for one single play than Brooks Kaufman. Kaufman, who passed away last month in New Jersey at the age of 94, was the central figure in the infamous Altoona-Johnstown 1940 season finale that ...

Mehno: XFL sounds like terrible idea … again

PITTSBURGH — Vince McMahon is talking about bringing back the XFL. McMahon has millions from his World Wrestling Entertainment business, which gives him plenty of money to blow on a bad idea like an NFL alterative that would run in the spring and early summer. There may be an appetite for ...

Pens may want to start a win streak

PITTSBURGH — A few months ago the debate question was whether the Penguins could win a third consecutive Stanley Cup. Now the question is whether they’ll make the playoffs. The Penguins have enough talent to catch fire and cruise comfortably into the postseason field. But that spark ...