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Sports Columns

Locals have watched Nits’ new OC grow

Two local high school football coaches have first-hand experience with new Penn State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. R.J. Albarano roomed with him in the late 1990s while the two were on the football team at California (Pa.) University. “He played QB for us at Cal,” Albarano, a ...

Plenty to choose from when talking about Flash all-time wins

When Saint Francis opened its 2020-21 basketball season with a shocking 80-70 upset at Pitt, my immediate reaction was to call the victory the best of Rob Krimmel’s nine-year tenure. But where did it rank in annals of the Red Flash program? Though its place on the national landscape has ...

From 2020’s best play to its weirdest incident

The Associated Press will hand out its individual NFL awards on the night before the Super Bowl in Tampa. Until then, here are some off-the-beaten track honors to consider. BEST GAME: In Week 9, the first professional matchup of Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray lived up to the hype. The two ...

Making time for the feeding of winter birds

Photography has long been one of my favorite hobbies and a perfect complement to all my other outdoor pursuits. Needless to say, I was delighted to count a new camera as a Christmas present this year. Okay, in full disclosure, it was really a gift to myself. I just couldn’t resist the ...

Tiny Bible school is fast becoming Washington Generals

ATLANTA — Carver College has become college basketball’s equivalent of the Washington Generals, barnstorming from city to city, playing games almost every night, enduring one enormous beating after another. Appalachian State 105, Carver 23. Wofford 111, Carver 37. Georgia Southern 92, ...

Pitt basketball’s COVID-19 issue offers perspective

Prior to his team’s trip to play Miami in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener earlier this month, Pittsburgh men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel joked about traveling to a place with nicer weather but not being allowed to enjoy it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Capel coached the Panthers to ...

2020 perfect for socially distanced Newby Awards

In these scary times, it’s hard to pull off an awards show. Thankfully, the Newbys have always been a state of mind, so it shouldn’t be a problem to carry on safely in the midst of a pandemic. We never got around to ordering trophies, or reserving a space, or rolling out an actual red ...

Nature knows what to do in the woods

It is not just hunters who express concern for the state’s wildlife during a prolonged and wicked winter. We seem to be on the path to a tough winter this year. Many non-hunters also wonder how wildlife survives during rough winters. It is not easy to explain nor to contemplate. But ...

Reminiscing about muzzleloaders in the ’70s

As the late archery and flintlock deer seasons get underway this weekend, a contingent of intrepid hunters will venture forth with those special weapons for a final chance to put some venison in the freezer this winter. Both seasons run through Jan. 23. These late hunts present plenty of ...

College playoff still creating controversy

When the College Football Playoff system was mercifully installed back in 2014, coaches, players, fans and media breathed a collective sigh of relief. The process of determining the national champion would presumably finally be cut and dried, and decided on the field, with none of the ...

Lions can let loose vs. Illini

Some nitpicking as Penn State’s home season (for sure this time) concludes: n With three games canceled, and uncertainty over the availability of some key Ohio State players in the Big Ten title game, there’s an anti-climatic cloud over the entire conference today, and, surely, Penn ...

PSU football: McGloin’s amazing story shows ultimate underdog

Christian Hackenberg was a five-star recruit. So was Anthony Morelli. Penn State’s recent four-star quarterback recruits include Rob Bolden, Pat Devlin, Paul Jones and Kevin Newsome. I can hear your collective groans. Not a single one of those guys ever went on to start a game at ...

Finish line for PSU football season, mercifully, should be near

Kickoff Saturday: Michigan State (2-4) at Penn State (2-5), Noon TV: ABC Latest line: Penn State is favored by 14.5 points With all the uncertainty that has surrounded this year, college football’s goal was really pretty simple: Just get the season in. And for the Nittany Lions, by ...

MLB deals blow to heartland

(Editor’s note: This is a national commentary on MLB’s reduction of minor league franchises from 160 to 120. The Altoona Curve survived; the State College Spikes did not but will be participating in a new MLB sponsored league for draft prospects next summer.) Minor league baseball ...

Area gyms remain silent for now

Tonight was supposed to be the first night of competition for the winter scholastic sports season, but in District 6, there won’t be any tip-offs, grappling or dives into a pool. And there might not be for quite some time. The PIAA decided not to delay the season at its meeting Wednesday, ...

New identity imposing Nittany Lions’ will

Football teams often talk about an identity. Through their 0-5 start, the Nittany Lions didn’t have one, other than a losing identity. They certainly didn’t have a defensive identity as they were lit up for 30 points weekly. Nor could they throw the ball effectively, even though they ...

Penn State’s Ciarrocca hasn’t lost confidence

Lion time Today: Penn State at Rutgers, noon Records: Penn State (1-5); Rutgers (2-4) TV: Fox Sports 1 Latest line: PSU favored by 11.5 When things aren’t going well — despite Penn State’s one-game winning streak – coaches who have enjoyed past success typically refer to their ...

Victory breathes life back into Nittany Lions

There’s a fine line between winning and losing, but there’s a wide gap on how outcomes affect certain teams. Especially teams with big dreams. Penn State’s 27-17 victory Saturday at Michigan in an empty Big House sent a much-needed infusion of positivity through the Nittany Lions, who ...