×

Sports Columns

Defensive showing the reason for 2 of 3 Penn State losses

Penn State’s defense played great for the first 58 minutes this season. It’s been flat out awful ever since. There’s no question the Nittany Lions’ offense has had major problems, and Neil points them out. But the offense did enough to beat Indiana. The defense collapsed at the ...

Hoping new normal doesn’t last long

If sports in this unfortunate year of COVID-19 have taught us anything, it’s to embrace the non-traditional. While Toronto and Edmonton were playing host to the NHL playoffs, NBA teams were competing in a bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The entire World Series ...

Disorganization spooking 0-2 Lions

UNIVERSITY PARK — On Halloween night, in an eerie backdrop under a full moon, with only family and staff dotting cavernous Beaver Stadium, Ohio State was anything but spooked. In fact, the only people scared are the legion of Nittany Nation fans suddenly dealing with an 0-2 start following ...

Nittany Lions must keep offense on field, Fields off it

Coming up Saturday: Ohio State (1-0) at Penn State (0-1) Time: 7 p.m. TV: ABC Latest line: Nittany Lions are 11.5 underdogs. If there’s one thing that last week’s loss at Indiana accomplished, it quickly took the shine off tonight’s matchup with Ohio State and the pressure that ...

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 ...

Another search for elusive success at PSU

Since everything has been said during this virus-extended offseason about the latest opener in the modern era of Penn State football — the 1887 team (PSU’s first) opened Nov. 5 — my usual pre-game column will shift today. Besides, there was a bigger Penn State story this week with the ...

Elliott’s time is now to race into title round

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chase Elliott again has a chance to take the next step in his young but quite celebrated career. He’s back in the round of eight for a fourth consecutive year, once again trying to drive through to his first championship finale. Is he a true contender? The time has ...

Tigers make statement

When the Altoona Mountain Lions opened their season last week by thrashing traditionally-respected Cumberland Valley, most figured the crosstown rivals from Hollidaysburg arrived at Mansion Park as underdogs Friday night. Well, as Lee Corso might say, “Not so fast, my friends.’’ If ...

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 ...

Lambour raced to inclusion:

Of the countless Division I athletes Blair County has produced over the years, Tim Lambour’s experience was perhaps the most unique when it came to racial relations. Lambour was a basketball standout at Bishop Guilfoyle, helping lead the 1970 Marauders to the Pennsylvania Catholic ...

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 ...

Gazing into (shattered) crystal ball

This is supposed to be the most special time of the year. The calendar flips to September, summer vacation is in the rear-view mirror, the kids are back in school, the cooler fall air begins to replace the August heat. And you pack the car, hopefully with the Mirror Gameday in tow for a ...

PIAA needs to keep using common sense

Credit the PIAA for last week’s overwhelming decision – by 25-5 vote — to go against Gov. Wolf’s recommendation to keep high school sports on the sidelines until Jan. 1. The PIAA obviously values the high school sports experience and all that goes with it — the hard work, the ...

NFL scare: A reminder of uncertainty

Up until this weekend, the biggest news out of NFL training camps was that there hadn’t been any big news. No wave of star players testing positive for COVID-19. No mass outbreaks of the virus discovered despite tens of thousands of tests. That changed — if only for a few hours — with ...

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 ...

The PIAA shouldn’t have to cry Wolf

This is a big week for participants and followers of Pennsylvania high school sports. The PIAA met with representatives of Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday to counter the governor’s recommendation of postponing scholastic sports until Jan. 1 due to the coronavirus. When Wolf made his ...

These are college football’s darkest days

Individually, nobody died from the Big Ten’s decision Tuesday to cancel its upcoming fall sports schedule, namely the football season, due to the coronavirus. Nonetheless, it sure feels like everyone involved with the game — players, coaches, support staff, fans and, yes, even the media ...

Parsons’ choice $ign of times

If the coronavirus hasn’t been depressing enough, Penn State fans got word via social media late Tuesday night that the Nittany Lions’ best player, linebacker Micah Parsons, is opting out, or bypassing, the season — should one actually be held. The information wasn’t ...

Rudel: Parents deserve to see their kids play

Suffering through the coronavirus pandemic has been the worst thing most of us have experienced in our lifetime. If you and your family are healthy and working, count yourselves fortunate. Even so, every aspect of life has been affected — closing of schools, adjustments at work, the awful ...