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Michael Boytim

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 ...

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, ...

Wasn’t easy, but fall sports hit finish line

Remarkably, the fall scholastic sports season in the area has been completed. Unlike years past when certain team or individual accolades stood out, just getting to the finish line is the accomplishment that will be most remembered. Throughout the summer, it was unclear whether local ...

Altoona has night to savor

As I sat down in the Mansion Park press box for Altoona’s District 6 Class 6A championship game Friday night, I sent out a tweet about the two latest high school football games canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’d heard about them earlier in the day, but had avoided sending it out ...

It’s good to be a Bison these days

There might not be a school in the area happier that the PIAA went ahead with fall sports than Bedford. It’s hard to argue against the Bisons looking the most impressive in the region over the first three weeks of the high school football season with a dominating win over long-time rival ...

Scholastic ADs having a tough time

It has to be hard to be an athletic director in 2020. Last week, Tyrone learned its high school football game at Clearfield was postponed at 11 a.m. the same day the Golden Eagles were supposed to play. It was picture day at Tyrone, and I have to imagine several players were wearing their ...

Savor your football game this weekend

You Tube Another season of high school football previews with Michael Boytim and Scott Franco of the Mirror is now on the Mirror Channel on You Tube. Check it out today. The day thousands of athletes across the area have been waiting for all summer has finally arrived, and while the ...

Playing sports ultimately family choice

One of the most frustrating things in life can be inconsistency. People don’t like being told they can’t do something when they can see someone else just as qualified getting that same opportunity. So, imagine the frustration of a high school golfer or girls tennis player if the PIAA ...

One-game Wild Card has to go

Many of the complaints you will find associated with the rules and traditions of Major League Baseball involve not wanting to change things that have been associated with the game for decades. But for me, the most frustrating rule in professional baseball is a new one. The original addition ...

‘Y’ puts best foot forward with July 4 Race

Williamsburg’s Loc O outpaced seven-time 15K winner A.J. Kelly of Altoona by more than two minutes to win the 48th running of the Angie Gioiosa Memorial Fourth of July Race on Saturday. But the top two finishers didn’t gather on a medal stand to congratulate each other. In fact, no one ...

Unheralded Davis blossoms into solid major leaguer

There haven’t been many players step into a batter’s box at PNG Field or its previous name of Blair County Ballpark wearing an Altoona Curve uniform who went on to play 14 years in Major League Baseball and lead the American League in a statistical category. In fact, there might only be ...

Cue up Kool & The Gang, let celebrations start again

The PGA Tour became the latest sports league to resume activities this weekend, but plenty of us are still feeling a big void in our lives. Sports aren’t essential to living as we have all learned the past few months, but they do bring a lot of meaning and happiness to a lot of people’s ...

There’s nothing like the experience of being in stadium on game day

Before I get into all the reasons attending a live sports event is better than watching it on television, please remember that my co-worker is arguing that you should voluntarily stay cooped up in your house where most of you have been trapped for months. If that isn’t the biggest argument ...

Reminiscing while exercising

While I was out on my daily walk recently pondering how competitive the Blair Regional YMCA 2-mile walks will be after so many people have picked up the hobby during the corona-virus pandemic, I saw a kid at a baseball field. He had just one ball and a bat. During my circle around the outside ...

‘Tecmo Bowl,’ ‘MVP Baseball’ among all-time faves

We have all been cooped up long enough now that anyone who has an old video game system has probably pulled it out and tried a few of their old games, maybe for the first time with their own children. As a kid who grew up in the late 1980s and early 90s, I got to experience a wide range of ...

Curry, Durant, Golden State benefit from today’s technology

It looks like my first point-counterpoint has me as a pretty big underdog. As ESPN’s documentary “The Last Dance” continues to chronicle Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls dynasty for both fans who enjoyed watching the original run and people just being introduced to it now, the Bulls’ ...

PIAA decision tough for everyone

Throughout my 15 years working in the sports department at the Altoona Mirror, I have had to conduct some very emotionally tough interviews. Talking with Juniata Valley girls basketball coach Rachelle Hopsicker and her team after the Lady Hornets led Jenkintown by nine points in the 2018 PIAA ...

Spring brings memories of baseball

Living without spring sports gives everyone a chance to reflect on some of their memories of years past. Staring out the window into the sun and an empty baseball field while visiting my father in Tyrone a couple weeks ago, I started to think about one of the most memorable high school ...

A ‘Classic’ case of ‘what if?’

Readers of our newspaper should be pulling out their sports pages to read about last night’s Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic. It could have been one of the most memorable yet, with at least seven future NCAA Division I girls players set to lace up their shoes and one of the strongest ...