Janocko, Tiracorda a cut above

Commentary

There has not been enough said about the fine coaching this area has in our local sports programs.

Although winning is always the goal in any game, it is not the primary focus of a good coach.  Building character, discipline and teamwork is the most important objective in the education process.

Much time, effort and most of all patience has to be invested by those dedicated to the task of coaching.

We seemed to be blessed with exceptional talent and character with an abundance of fine coaches in both football and Little League Baseball.

In high school football, one coach stands out among the rest for a multitude of reasons: Clearfield’s Tim Janocko.

His sole presence on the field commands respect from his players. His appearance — white shirt and tie — sets him apart from the rest of the coaches. His demeanor is strictly professional and well received by players and appreciated by both parents and fans.

My hat goes off to Janocko for maintaining this professional attitude in a time when it is so desperately needed to nurture our young athletes striving to make their mark.

On the other end of the sport spectrum, but no less dedicated is volunteer Little League coach Aaron Tiracorda, a Pennsylvania State Police trooper.

Through his efforts and extreme dedication to the sport of baseball, he led the Four Leaf All-Stars Little League team to a 4-0 victory in the Clearfield Tournament, taking home first place out of nine participating teams.

Tiracorda donates his time and efforts to area youth throughout the entire season, receiving nothing more than the satisfaction of leading young athletes and watching them develop to their full potential.

There can not be enough praise given to dedicated men like Tiracorda. His dedication makes an outstanding role model for the youth as well as representing the exemplary character of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Our admiration and gratitude go out to Janocko and Tiracorda for their excellent work in coaching.

The one common thread joins the two coaches together can serve as an important message to all: They achieve respect and success through professionalism and patience, not intimidation.

Joseph E. Colton

Smithmill

Altoona had ’60s dynasty

Richard Boston’s letter about the 1966 Altoona-Massillon game brought back some memories.

I was 16 at the time and was on that train from Altoona for that iconic game. As I remember, the train ticket round-trip was $8.

I remember clearly that after the game, an angry crowd followed the Altoona fans to the train, surrounded the cars, and a near-riot atmosphere ensued. We were told to stay in the cars with the windows closed, and not to engage the Massillon fans.

When this news reached Altoona, there was a huge media stir.

That was a time when Altoona was a true football dynasty, playing the best teams from around the state. The 1960s produced many great football players and teams as some of us remember.

It was also a time when the senior graduating class was around 1,000, and with 2,000 undergrads, there was a huge talent pool to pull from.

Sadly, I do not think Altoona Area High School will ever see such success again.

Mike Union, Duncansville

Dodgers need a makeover

Probably back in the Great Depression years, some newspaper artist did a sketch of some unshaven bums with their knapsacks while riding a rail car.

He labeled the sketch “Them Bums,” who were the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Well, the name still sticks with the current Los Angeles Dodgers. They still find ways to screw things up as they don’t seem to be serious about winning the National League championship and World Series.

They are in the same unreal world of the Hollywood movie snubs. This organization has one of the highest payrolls in all of pro sports, and their players are underachievers.

They haven’t won a World Series going back to 1988.

Frankly, what this organization needs is a complete makeover from general manager down through manager, pitching and batting coaches, including some players who really don’t know how to bleed Dodger blue.

They could start by getting Theo Epstein and Joe Madden from the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubbies will be reckoned with for a number of years while “Them Bums” can disappear into obscurity.

Les Hart,  Duncansville

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