Hansar set standard for Altoona

Bobby Hansard, who passed away last month, was one of the toughest, best all-around athletes to come out of Altoona during the 1950s-60s, and that is saying something because there was no shortage good, hard-nosed athletes in that era.

Hansard took it to a different level.

He was outstanding in baseball (5th Ward/Altoona High School), basketball (he played on the 1958 AHS team that went to the state championship game and lost to Haverford) and football (Altoona might have lost two games total his junior and senior years).

He was a good student and an honorable guy but took guff from no one.

If you talked to some of the good athletes from that era (Altoona or Johnstown), they would tell you the same.

I was several years behind Hansard, but I never forgot how he handled himself. He was someone many in the community admired.

Ken McGeary


Catich was ‘man among boys’

I was very saddened to read Philip Cmor’s article on the passing of Steve Catich, a past basketball standout at Tyrone Area High School.

Catich was the subject of my halftime speech at the 2009 Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic when he stole the show for Blair County against the Central PA all-stars, the team I was coaching.

I told our players at halftime that Catich was “eating our lunch.”

That night, Steve Catich played like a man among boys.

Dave Bailey, Saxton

(The writer is the former boys basketball coach at Tussey Mountain High School.)

Franklin deserves credit

I disagree with Cory Giger’s recent column that Joe Moorhead deserves the bulk of the credit for Penn State’s offensive resurgence.

I feel that credit should go to James Franklin. There would be no Moorhead story if Franklin didn’t hire him.

Deceased sports talk host Pete Franklin (no relation) made this point when a caller here on the west coast once complained the Warriors’ problems began when they traded Robert Parish to Boston.

Franklin — Pete — corrected him by saying the Warriors’ mistake was talking to Red Auerbach since he hosed every team he dealt with.

The point is James Franklin knows what he wants and will find the right coach, and if it proves to be the wrong one — John Donovan — he will quickly make a change.

Mark Goodman

Novato, Calif.


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