Altoona Mirror from Altoona, Pennsylvania on June 5, 1988 · Page 39
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June 5, 1988

Altoona Mirror from Altoona, Pennsylvania · Page 39

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Altoona, Pennsylvania
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Sunday, June 5, 1988
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Page 39
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Ray Keech recalls 'cup of coffee 9 in Tiger chain — Page D3 Altoonn fRirror Sports D4 DJ 03 DS D D6 Outdoors D7 Alteon* Mirror, Sunday, Jane 5, INS Jim Lane Expos pound Drabek, Bucs by 7-3 Down the Lane Massillon football is on pedestal Athletics. To some school ' districts, it's big stuff. To most, it's not. The majority of school districts — at least in this area — look upon athletics as part of the total school package. Few coaches rate any , special favors. They generally have the same, teaching load as other members of the faculty and the 'salary they receive for coaching is certainly far from great. , When you consider the number of . hours coaches work during the course of a season their pay usually can be measured in cents-per-hour, ! not doUars-per-hour. :' Most administrators would agree - that men and women coach because of their love for the sport and because of the student-athletes they work with. Few people coach for the money. At the Big A Booster Club banquet last week, Altoona AD Jack Ray noted that Altoona coaches have a. combined service of over 400 years! 1 At least five of them — Marty Rusnak (wrestling), Jay Perry (baseball), Herb Faris (tennis), Gordon White (track), and Art Taneyhill (basketball) — have over 20 years under their belts. One has to wonder what's in store for those pro- 'grams when these men finally decide they've had enough. Coaching no longer is the attractive profession it once was. There are top many hassles with the administration, with toe parents, and with the athletes, too. The bottom line is that it's not worth the agony for what's involved. It's not unusual for school districts to hire outsiders as coaches because many 'teachers no longer are interested in coaching. The Altoona High girls field hockey program folded a couple of years ago because of a lack of in- terest. As of this week, AAHS had : • not secured a soccer coach for next ; fall, which means that program - could be on thin ice. ' Altoona is not alone when it comes ' to coaching problems. Most districts ' have similar trouble. At Bishop ;. Guilfoyle, John Frederick, who - doubles-as girls basketball coach and athletic director, and assistant football coach Tom Bussman are the only BG teachers who coach BG ., athlet^ teams. ' While most area school districts treat their athletic programs as part of the total school package, there are others who put athletics on a Massillon, Ohio, for instance. High school football has long been king in Massillon. The Massillon tradition '• began many years ago under Paul Brown; who later went on to professional fame with the Cleveland : Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. Massillon coaches are expected to win. In most cases, 7-3 and 6-4 records aren't good enough. John Maronto found that out. Maronto's teams couldn't beat Canton McKinley and that doesn't sit well with Massillon fans either, so Maronto resigned after the 1987 season with a couple of years left on bis contract. The newest coach in the catbird seat at Massillon is 31-year-old Lee Owens, who has compiled a seven- year coaching record of 54-20 •! <»t three phio high schools. He was given a three-year contract. Football is big business in : Massillon. Owens was not hired to be a teacher. He was hired as head foot> ball coach, athletic director and off- season conditioning coordinator. His . firstyear M |ary is $45,000. That's right, »45,000. According to Bob Stewart, sports editor of the Massillon Repository, ; Owens' salary the second and third years "will depend merely on how well he manages to teach assorted teenage boys to run, pass, block and ""somehow, I don't think that's what high school sports are all about. By John Mehno Mirror Sports Correspondent PITTSBURGH-In this week's installment of As The Rotation Turns, there was a deadlock. Bob Walk and John Smiley were somewhere near awesome and Brian Fisher and Mike Dunne were just this side of awful. It remained for Doug Drabek to break the tie. He wound up siding with the have- nots and the Pirates lost to the Montreal Expos 7-3 before 30,669 at Three Rivers Stadium Saturday night. Drabek was charged with six runs, four earned, in three-plus innings. Andres Galarraga hit his 14th home run, a two-run shot in the first inning. "I threw a pitch right down the middle of the plate to him," Drabek said. Bad move, considering Galarraga is one of the National League's hottest hitters. Drabek exited in the fourth after allowing consecutive singles to Galarraga, Hubie Brooks, Tim WallachandTomFotey. That gave the Expos a 4-0 lead and two squeeze Mints with Bob Kipper on the mound inflated the margin to On the first, by Casey Candaele, first baseman Sid Bream threw the ball away, giving the Expos a run and a couple of extra bases. Then pitcher Dennis Martinez dropped a bunt that sewed the second run. "We got some funny runs from the bottom of the order but we'll take •those, too," Montreal Manager Buck Rodgerssaid. "We had a fro lead but we still didn't have a laugher." Martinez, who is 3-0 lifetime against Pittsburgh, cruised through five innings, throwing an efficient 58 pitches. To get the next five outs, Martinez needed 47 pitches and the outs were well-spaced. The Pirates scored twice in the fifth. Andy Van Slyke singled off Galarraga's glove at first and Bobby Bonilla, knocked down by a 0-2 pitch, pounded a triple to right. R.J. Reynolds struck out but the second run scored on Bream's grounder. An inning later, Jose Land singled and Stole and Bonilla greeted reliever Andy McGaffigan with a rtwwtrikeait. The damage had been done, though, with Drabek putting the Pirates in too deep a hole. Reliever Jeff Robinson gave the Expos an extra measure in the eighth when he allowed consecutive singles by Wallach, Foley and Jeff Reed. McGaffigan struck out Mike Diaz with two runners on in the eighth and lefty Bob McChire came in and got Barry Bonds to pop out. McClure got three outs in the ninth for his first save. The Pirates are now 5 and l'/2 games behind the first place New York Mets and just a game up on the third-place Cardinals. Not the best time to have three-fifths of the pit- See Bucs on Page D4 Love of game continues to drive Ronan Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrlch Jim Ronan is still one of the GCBL's most-feared sluggers By Neil Rudel Associate Sports Editor Jim Ronan works in Altoona; lives in AshviUe and plays his borne baseball games in Claysburg. All of which is by choice. At 3:30 daily, Ronan hears the Conrail whistle, resists the temptation to yell "Yabadabadoo!" jumps in his pickup truck and heads home for,"a quick bite to eat." Then it's bade on the road for a 35-minute ride to Claysburg, where he is a signifi- cantportion of the nucleus comprising Thomas Subaru, a team that if it gets quality pitching must be considered the favorite to win the Greater City Baseball League title. Such is life for the 37-year-old Ronan, arguably one of the best players — maybe the best — over the longest period of time in GCBL history. The power-hitting shortstop is the City League's leading home run hitter of the modern era with 110. Since City League historian/statistician Frank Eby passed away, the other records are scarce, but Ronan is at or near the top in doubles, triples, runs scored and RBI. "In the history of the City League, if he's not the best to come out of here, he's close to the very best," Said Dick Lingenfelter, the oldest (52) active player in the GCBL and now Ronan's teammate with Thomas. "I'd say Ronan and Gene Decker (pitcher-shortstop)," said Rick Young, a former Ronan teammate for years with Eldorado and 4D's Lounge. Ronan's success formula is simple: He's blessed with natural ability—his grandfather and father, both also named Jim, were outstanding players — and he takes nothing for granted. A barrel-chested specimen, Ronan lifts weights daily in the offseason and plays basketball three times a week. It helps offset the specks of grey that sprinkle his crewcut. "Hey, I'm getting up in ssars," he said. "Let's not kid anybody." While Ronan is still a terror at the plate, batting close to .500 in the early stages of this, his 19th season, he is admittedly slipping a tad in the field. His two-run error in the season opener allowed 4D's to bump Thomas, 5-4. "He took it very hard, especially being the first game of the year in a new town," said teammate Dave Hoenstine, himself the Rookie League Player of the Year while with the Cincinnati Reds' Eugene, Ore. farm dub in 1978 and one of the GCBL's best players. "But he'll do a thousand good things compared to that." "I don't know if that was an omen or what," said 4D's player-manager Pat Miller. Ronan, you see, left 4D's along with the Bros. Hoenstine, Dave and Doak, and second baseman extraor- dinaire Chris Glass after last season. He says there was nothing personal against Milter or 4D's and in fact wrote sponsor Bob DiVentura a thank-you letter. "I love those guys, but I always .wanted to play in a small communi- See Ronan on Page D3 Lakers prove themselves Worthy, 117-102 ByJohnNadel AP Sports Writer INGLEWOOD, Calif. - For the second time in the playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers had to win a particular game or their dream of becoming the first NBA team in 19 years to repeat as champion would become a nightmare. For the second time, they came through. James Worthy scored 14 of his 28 points in the third period Saturday as the Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks 117-102 in the seventh and deciding game of the Western Conference-finals. "Winning championships doesn't mean anything to anyone anymore, especially if you're the Lakers or the (Boston) Celtics," Worthy said. "You've got to do something extraordinary. And this is an opportunity for us to do something like that/' The Celtics are the last NBA team to win back-to-back championships, accomplishing the feat in 1968 and 1969. The Lakers put the Mavericks away by outscoring them 15-2 to turn a precarious 100-94 lead midway through the fourth quarter into an insurmountable 115-96 advantage. The Lakers earned the right to face the Eastern Conference- champion Detroit Pistons in the best-of-seven NBA finals, which begin Tuesday night at the Forum. Dallas became the second straight team to extend the Lakers to the limit in the 1988 playoffs. Los Angeles had to go seven games to eliminate Utah in the Western Conference semifinals, winning the final game 109-98. "I think we have to be strengthened by having to compete down to the wire," Lakers coach Pat RUey said. "We have a legitimate chance to repeat for the first time in the nine years this team has been whole. We have the opportunity, now it's up to us to do it." The Lakers have won four championships since Magic Johnson joined them in 1979. But Riley said something has gone wrong in their first three attempts to repeat. Last June, Riley guaranteed the Lakers would repeat. Now, it's the Pistons who stand in their way. ' 'The one thing we have to gear up for is their defense, which is just awesome," Riley said. "They are primarily a running team which can be as explosive as anyone." Johnson had 24 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds Saturday. Byron Scott had 21 points and Kareem Abdul-Jaboar contributed 17 for the Lakers. "Earvin (Johnson) just came to- day focused and wanting to move on," RUey said. "He's the best." "Basically, I was just ready to play," Johnson said. "I knew it was up to me to get us going. I didn't want to wait until the second half to get involved in the offense." Johnson had 16 of his points in the first half. "It was our game all the way," he said. "We were playing our game throughout the game. The key was getting the boards. We were scoring the whole time. What was keeping them in was the offensive boards." Mark Aguirre led the Mavericks with 24 points. Roy TarpJey bad 18 and James Donaldson and Derek Harper added 15 each for Dallas. Donaldson pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds and Harper had 11 assists. The Mavericks, in the conference finals for the first time, gave the Lakers all they could handle most of the way Saturday. But the defending champions had enough to maintain their perfect playoff record at home against Dallas, winning for the 10th time in as many poet-season games between the teams at the Forum. "They showed whey they are the defending champion, Dallas coach John MacLeod said. "Their players showed today how you rise to the occasion. They nude the big plays. SeeUktr* on PageM Associated Press Earvin Johnson shows his magic against Mavs

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