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Michael Boytim

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 ...

No ‘Mania’ for this fan of wrestling

I’m never quite sure whether professional wrestling stories belong in the sports or lifestyle section of the newspaper, but with concerns over the coronavirus, pro wrestling may be the closest thing to sports still appearing live on our televisions every week. Friday’s Smackdown on Fox ...

Area seniors fretting over possible loss of spring sports season

Friday’s announcement by several school districts that spring sports will not take place until at least April was just another in a string of postponements across the world of athletics. The shock of a few baseball, tennis, softball and track and field events being postponed or canceled ...

BG deserves homecourt edge, too

Perhaps the most interesting boys basketball game of the season in Blair County is set to be played Monday night. The concern centers around how many people will actually get to watch it. Altoona will visit Bishop Guilfoyle’s Pleasant Valley Gymnasium for the first time in four years, and ...

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 ...

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 ...

Forfeits having major impact

On Wednesday, two more District 6 football games, Bishop Carroll at Bellefonte and Portage at Conemaugh Valley were canceled. Those games joined the Clearfield at Philipsburg-Osceola game, which was called off on Monday. The Mounties will also be forfeiting their game at Penns Valley next ...

Boytim: Whoa, we’re halfway there

Though there are probably still some students who haven’t memorized their class schedules yet, we’re already halfway done with the high school football regular season. So let’s take a quick look at where our area’s teams stand in the District 6 and District 5 playoff hunts. Class ...

Patience needed for officials

If you sit in the stands for a high school sporting event and listen to some parents, you would think that the officials at nearly every game are awful or out to get a certain team. While that’s almost never true, the officiating has started to become a topic of conversation in the press ...

Rivalries can’t be interrupted

There’s plenty of buzz this week about the Penn State-Pitt series coming to an end again after it was resumed following a long break four years ago. Generations seem split on the issue, but that’s just because your perception of the world is based off your life experiences. For current ...

Keeping the faith in week 2

It’s often said that positivity is at its highest in the preseason when every team is 0-0. But, after reviewing each team’s Week 1 results from the Mirror’s coverage area, there’s certainly a reason for every team, even the ones that experienced lopsided losses, to feel good about ...

Reliving the scholastic year’s best moments

The 2018-2019 scholastic sports season has come to a close, and plenty of memories made in communities across the Mirror’s coverage area will live on forever. Selecting just the top 10 moments was challenging, as seven PIAA state champions made the list, but none of those earned the top ...

New bill not the answer

Pennsylvania State Representative Aaron Bernstine unveiled House Bill 1600 Tuesday in Harrisburg in an attempt to bridge the concerns of both public and private schools in regard to the PIAA playoffs in several sports. The bill would separate playoff brackets in football, boys and girls ...

Star junior sets goal to three-peat

HERSHEY — Perhaps it was the bravado that comes with youth or the thrill of reaching the peak of your sport for the first time, but a year ago some of the first words out of the newest PIAA Class 2A girls champions’ mouths were talk of a repeat. When Bellwood-Antis captured its second ...