Twelve things that crossed my mind on Dec. 12, 2012, which is the last day to have identical digits (12/12/12) until Jan. 1, 2101 (01/01/01).
1. Richland football earned a lot of respect with the way it played in the PIAA Class AA tournament, and coach Brandon Bailey showed why a growing number of people think he's one of the best around. Check out this quote from Aliquippa's Malik Shegog in a recent edition of the Tribune-Review, "Hats off to (Richland‘s) coach; they played hard, and he had them ready."
2. Sixteen 3-pointers in an awful lot to make in a game at any point during the season. Somerset hit 16 of them at Bishop Carroll in a boys game on Monday.
3. Central Cambria's Max Kirsch and Richland's Brady Moran both had opportunities to play Division I golf. It's a pretty neat story that the duo opted to become teammates next year at IUP, and a big get for the Crimson Hawks. Kirsch and Moran played their best in the big tournaments.
4. Winston Redman resigned as football coach at Conemaugh Valley. Like any coach, Redman had his detractor but, from this perspective, he did a solid job this season. CV has a lot of building to do. The linemen are small and so are the numbers.
5. Ferndale is also looking for a football coach to replace Tony Penna Sr. Rebuilding Ferndale is a bigger task than turning Conemaugh Valley into a winner. The Yellow Jackets' struggles brings me back to one of my favorite arguments. ... It's time for more mergers.
6. It will be interesting to see how many area players land on the Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State football team. Here's a few guys I believe are worthy: Dalvin Williams (Johnstown), Stuart Urch (Ligonier Valley), Tanner Solarczyk, Josh Dininny, Derek Crawford, Luke Shertzer and Elijah Metzger (Richland), Drew Glotfelty (Berlin), Brock Medva (Shade), Tony Strasiser, Levi Albright (North Star) and Johnny Sheesley (Blacklick Valley).
7. With a majority of skill players returning, Richland should be primed for another strong year in 2013, but replacing all those seniors up front will be difficult. Don't be surprised if Forest Hills is right there with the Rams atop the LHAC standings next year.
8. All signs point toward Don Bailey returning for another season at Forest Hills. Could all signs be pointing to another "Bailey Bowl" for the District 6 Class AA title in 2013?
9. Greater Johnstown and Somerset fielded underclassmen-heavy teams this fall and should be much improved in 2013. Teams from the WestPAC, however, were senior-oriented. Should be interesting to see which programs do the best job replacing departing talent like Strasiser, Glotfelty and Sheesley.
10. Wondering how many other opening will happen in football? Counting Conemaugh Valley and Ferndale, the guess here is five.
11. Love it when teams beef up the schedule in hopes of bettering postseason performance. The Ligonier Valley girls basketball team, which moved up to Class AAA this year, is a good example. The Rams compete in the Heritage Conference, which includes some Class A schools. That won't help LV in the postseason, but playing at the Greensburg Salem Tournament gives it a better idea of what it will take to advance in a larger classification.
12. Did the players from Johnstown and Westmont get to keep the Ampipe/Walnut Heights jerseys their wore earlier this season?