Here we are at the first day of high school winter sports in Pennsylvania.

I have to be honest. Usually the winter sports season is my least favorite time of the year. It never really had anything to do with the sports. I love wrestling, but I also enjoy basketball. I suppose some of it has to do with being inside rather than outside.

But I am actually pretty excited about this season.

There has historically always been pretty good wrestling around here. I even like to tell the story a lot about how current Tyrone wrestling head coach Terry Tate was my first varsity wrestling match when I attended Mo Valley. I was a freshman, and he was a junior chasing a state title that he eventually won his senior year.

Of course, Tate pinned me pretty quick. I told myself after that match, ‘It can only get easier from there.’ It’s pretty cool that I am here now at The Daily Herald covering Eagles wrestling with Tate as the coach.

And then there is basketball where all Tyrone and Bellwood-Antis boys and girls teams had success last season.

My first day on the job here in Tyrone was in March when the Lady Blue Devils played their state semifinal game against Blairsville at St. Francis University. A week later, assistant news editor Chuck Banas and I were making the trip to Hershey to watch Bellwood win the state championship. It was a pretty great time to come aboard at The Daily Herald covering my first state championship team in my career.

It’s even cooler to think that Bellwood probably has a chance to do it all over again this year.

Of course, the Tyrone girls also made the state tournament last season, and both boys teams also had very good seasons.

When the winter season is arguably one of the most successful seasons in the Daily Herald coverage area, it’s hard not to be excited about covering some very good sports.

Steelers will bounce back

Let’s face it. It’s been a tough few weeks for the Steelers.

The good thing is they are still half a game ahead of the Ravens with four games left. Baltimore still has to play the Chiefs and the Chargers yet, and both of those games are on the road for the Ravens.

The bad news is the Steelers are now down to Jaylen Samuels as their starting running back, and James Conner is out this week with a sprained ankle in the middle of a playoff chase.

They should beat the Raiders this week, even though Pittsburgh typically hasn’t played well on the west coast for what seems to be since I was born. The Raiders simply aren’t good enough to seriously consider if they can knock off the Steelers.

But if the Steelers do somehow end up losing that game, I just don’t feel good about a playoff berth at all with the Patriots at home and New Orleans on the road coming up the next two weeks.

Goodbye, Urban

Sorry, but you can’t convince me that Urban Meyer is retiring for good.

I had joked on social media earlier this week that I would bet $20 dollars that Meyer will be coaching again somewhere by the 2020 season, if not next season. I’m not really going to bet on it, but I do believe he can’t stay away either.

We have seen this song and dance before with Meyer. Things got bad at Florida and left, but returned to coaching only one year later. Things got bad at Ohio State earlier this year, and he’s left the game again.

You know what they say. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...

Andy Stine is the sports editor at The Daily Herald. He can be reached at sports@thedailyherald.net.

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