Rural schools need own league

First, I find the Altoona Mirror to be very insightful with the Thursday, Nov. 15 presentation of the boundary schools (public schools) vs. the non-boundary schools (private schools) for sports purposes within the PIAA.

Namely, that the article was presented on the obituary page as the PIAA considers it a dead issue.

I believe the article had many good ideas. The only idea I disagree with is the students’ right to transfer, causing a penalty of sitting out for a sports season.

There are many legitimate reasons for a transfer. However, there is no entity within the PIAA to fairly judge what is legitimate. The PIAA has proven to be a good-old-boy organization.

Since the PIAA is against doing anything with the non-boundary schools, I believe that they should at least be fair to the truly small public (boundary) schools by having state playoffs of their own.

I submitted the Mirror a letter (Aug. 2, 2009), objecting to the need for higher classifications within the PIAA. I believed then and still do that the truly small public schools should be treated fairly.

The other idea that I have had for many years is schools that consider the public vs. private to be unfair should leave the PIAA and form their own athletic association with their own playoff system.

Al Montanaro


Bowl season stirs fond memories

Absent the College Football Playoff, the end of this year’s regular season is where Joe Paterno would be at his finest.

At 9-3, he would have worked over every bowl representative, and Penn State would end up in the very best possible bowl game.

The Maryland-Ohio State game, the week before, would have been a perfect setup for him, and he would assure every one of them that Penn State would win that Maryland game the next week long before it was played.

For those not listening to him, he would remind that to overlook them, it might be awhile before Penn State would consider their warm climate bowl, while reminding them of the large Penn State traveling party that enjoyed going south for the winter.

He would assure that Penn State would show up against an even higher ranked, superior team and give them a good game. And he did.

At the actual Maryland game, there would be all kinds of bright colored sports coats in the press box at Beaver Stadium worn by representatives of every major bowl game. Media types would be collecting all of the nice trinkets for the various bowls.

I would get to see and mingle with Neil Rudel, Herb Werner, Jimmy Lane, Ron Bracken, Fred Kavelak, Terry Nau and Len Slother.

My dad and I would sit in the press box, with our Penn State photo credentials, getting warm while enjoying the spectacle taking place. We knew that in a few short weeks we would know where we would be spending the New Year’s holiday.

Media credentials for a bowl game were our pay for providing season-long photo coverage for the Tyrone Daily Herald and the Huntingdon Daily News.

That’s what I remember about the bowl season before the playoff systems took over. It was a fun time.

Will Walk

Spring, Texas


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