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Sports Columns

Looks like the right time to take a look at postseason picture

Most of the area’s teams have played at least 11 games, meaning the regular season is more than half over. So let’s take a peek at where the teams in the Mirror’s coverage area stand and where they might be by the time the playoffs begin. We’ll start on the girls side where once ...

Giger: Lions right ship in crucial game

UNIVERSITY PARK — Most coaches won’t admit publicly that one contest is a must-win game, even when it’s pretty obvious. Like the game Penn State played Saturday afternoon. “Was it a must win?” Patrick Chambers replied when asked. “I don’t believe in that. I believe there’s a ...

Bellwood-Antis star maintains humility

CLAYSBURG — When Tuesday’s game at Claysburg-Kimmel was briefly stopped to honor Alli Campbell’s Blair County scoring record-breaking basket, it may have been the only moment Campbell felt out of place during the game. She was trying to get back on defense. Suddenly, teammates were ...

High school blowouts can be awkward both ways

BELLWOOD — Friday night was a special one for Bellwood-Antis coach Jim Swaney, who won his 500th game as a head coach. But as happy and emotional as he was after the game, he likely felt somewhat awkward during it. His Lady Blue Devils overwhelmed a rebuilding Moshannon Valley team that ...

Giger: Bad week, bad signs for PSU basketball

UNIVERSITY PARK — There was a distinct sound of bricks being thrown at the basket as Penn State started Saturday’s game 0-for-12, and the end of the disappointing loss to Wisconsin brought about the sound of people starting to jump off the Nittany Lion bandwagon. Maybe that’s unfair — ...

Goodman Shaffer: Hikes inspire celebration of state parks

Another new year (and an exciting new decade) is under way. For many of us, 2020 began with a hike at a Pennsylvania State Park. The First Day Hike initiative has become a tradition in our region and around the nation, one that’s growing every year. By the numbers: since 2012, all 50 ...

Penn State puts bow on year, ‘trending up’

DALLAS — After the Gatorade dousing of James Franklin and all the colorful confetti had fallen to celebrate Penn State’s 53-39 Cotton Bowl victory over Memphis, the Nittany Lions staged a mini-dance party in their locker room. Yes, they regretted the two losses this season, especially at ...

Memphis has impressive showing in defeat

DALLAS — How about a tip of the cap — or cowboy hat given where the game was played — to the Memphis Tigers. To be honest, I thought they were on the verge of getting blown out. Memphis started out well, but once Penn State figured out it could run at will and grabbed a 28-13 lead, ...

Keep your head in the game: Lions will need right mindset against Memphis

DALLAS — The bowl season, especially the non-College Football Playoff games, can be littered with duds. Witness the 14-0 (lack of) effort Miami — the U, not of Ohio — mailed in during Thursday’s Independence Bowl loss to Louisana Tech that resulted in the Hurricanes’ offensive ...

Coordinator needs freedom to make changes

This is exactly the kind of hire James Franklin should have made for the offensive coordinator job. The key word there is “kind.” I cannot sit here and tell you Kirk Ciarrocca is a home run hire who will do Joe Moorhead type of things for Penn State’s offense. No one can predict the ...

Welcome back: PSU men return to top 25 for first time in 23 years

Remember 1996? That was a cool year. I graduated from college that year, so yeah, that seems like a long, long time ago. Way back in 1996, the Penn State men’s basketball team was ranked in The Associated Press Top 25. The Nittany Lions finished that season 21-7 and No. 18 in the ...

A holiday ode to winter sports

This year’s poem celebrates the Winter Sports Season ‘Twas some time before Christmas and all through the region, The athletes were stirring… here comes a new season. With singlets and uniforms doled out with care, The hope of a championship floats through the air. The coaching ...

Giger: Fans should climb on PSU hoops bandwagon

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State absolutely has a great chance to make the NCAA Tournament this season. Yes, it’s true. Really. No, reeeaaallly. I know, I know, PSU hoops history has beaten down so many college basketball fans around here that you just simply will not let yourself believe ...

Giger: PSU benefits from Rahne’s departure

Old Dominion did Penn State a big favor, and gave Nittany Lion fans an early Christmas present. That may sound harsh, but let’s be clear about one thing: Losing offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne is addition by subtraction for Penn State’s offense. Rahne is a good guy. A family man. A ...

Giger: Facts simply don’t back up Penn State’s Rose Bowl snub

It takes just two words to explain Penn State getting snubbed for the Rose Bowl. 1. Bogus 2. Illinois This really isn’t complicated, and anyone who tells you otherwise is fooling themselves. That goes for the College Football Playoff selection committee, which botched this thing. It’s ...

Saturday hunts change Thanksgiving

Pennsylvania’s firearm deer season is underway, though with a significant change from recent decades. Hunters took to the woods the Saturday after Thanksgiving rather than Monday, for the first time since 1963. The change was implemented to increase the number of hunters enjoying the ...

Raise a drumstick to Nittany Lions’ history

I’m thankful for Penn State’s history. Yes, the Nittany Lions have a present to feel very good about and a bright future, too, as the program has a chance to be in the College Football Playoff next year. But on this Thanksgiving Day, it’s cool that we as Penn State followers — be it ...

PSU always relevant on the national stage

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Penn State, and yet with a little bit of help, the Nittany Lions could be heading to the Rose Bowl. That’s certainly what you would call something to be thankful for. There are so many things that Penn State football fans can be thankful for, ...

Giger: Shorter in transfer portal bad look for Lions

The long and short of it is, Justin Shorter’s development and production at Penn State have been terribly disappointing. The how and why are debatable. Who’s to blame is debatable. What’s not debatable, though, is that Shorter is unhappy and apparently wants to leave Penn State. The ...