Lady Lions missing intangibles

In my recent letter to the Sunday sports mailbag, I said the Penn State Lady Lions basketball team was not a money team.

Their performance in the NCAA Tournament against LSU was a repeat of their game against Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament in which they shot only 22 percent from the field.

In the second half against LSU, the Lady Lions went cold in the field once again. Their big star, Maggie Lucas, scored only nine points in the game. I felt this team might not even make the Sweet 16 much less the Elite Eight.

The sad thing was LSU only had seven players, and they refused to quit. On the other hand, Penn State had everything going for them but failed to get the job done.

Coach Coquese Washington is a good coach but not a great one. She shows a pattern of being outcoached, and her players just don’t have what it takes. There is an intangible that is missing with her teams. I fear Washington has this albatross around her neck that could mark her legacy for what it is. Lady luck is not in her corner.

Les Hart


Tigers should have eyes for Albarano

After living in the Altoona/Hollidaysburg area for only a short time, it was evident to me that it is the ideal place to settle down.

There is a clear focus on family, friends, community and education. These attributes are hard to find, as a total package, in the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan area.

During my time in the community, I befriended many talented young adults who returned after college to raise a family in their hometown and continue the tradition they loved as kids.

R.J. Albarano is a stellar example of youthful talent that any community is lucky to have. When I heard the position of head football coach at Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School was available, I immediately thought of him.

For the past eight seasons, Albarano has been giving back to his alma mater as an assistant coach for the Golden Tigers. In addition, he is the head coach at home for future Tiger players – his three sons, whom he raises with his wife Jodie.

Albarano is also on the tail end of completing a second degree in special education so that he may be employed at an area school.

He is the epitome of a male role model and should absolutely be the next head coach at Hollidaysburg.

As a community, it is important to recognize highly qualified individuals in our own backyard. It would be a hard task to find anyone who can know the legacy of values that this community has passed down through generations.

I am proud to call R.J. Albarano my friend, and I hope to one day address him as “head coach.”

Karla Garner

Plymouth, Conn.

PIAA?hurts smaller schools

Once again another high school sports season is over, and only one team from the area made it to the state semifinals in basketball, and only a handful of area wrestlers won medals.

Pennsylvania is known to be one of the best states for high school sports in the nation, but the small schools in Pennsylvania are not given a fair chance.

There is no way that the smaller districts like 5, 6, and 9 should wrestle and play basketball against District 7 in order to make it to state finals.

There is no reason that the Pittsburgh area schools and the Philadelphia area schools and some of the Lehigh Valley schools could not be made to go up to Class AAA.

The same problem is also in the bigger districts like 3. There is no way little schools like Greenwood and West Perry should be made to play against the Philadelphia schools.

I know the PIAA rules go by the amount of students in each school, but I think this rule should be looked at by our state senate.

William L. Slick

New Paris

Dogs ‘willing, wanting’ for Iditarod

This is in response to a letter in last week’s mailbag (“Iditarod punishes dogs.”)

I have watched the Iditarod on TV, bits of the race and pre-race, and I sure didn’t see anyone drag or force any of the dogs to the sled.

These dogs are bred to work, and they are not happy when not working. In fact, they can become downright troublesome as in chewing the furniture or chasing their tail for hours. Smaller breeds have also been bred for specific jobs. If a Sheltie is only allowed out to do its business, you will have a problem because of all the pent-up energy.

Dogs are not people. They are willing and wanting to work for their next meal. Their lives run on instinct, not human characteristics.

Sarah Myford O’Brien