This netter says thanks

Published Oct 2, 2013 at 6:51 am (Updated Oct 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm)

While reading the article in the Sept. 18 edition of The Almanac regarding three deserving and inspiring people inducted into the Upper St. Clair athletic Hall of Fame, I was compelled to respond.

I was a member of Rich Saccani’s tennis teams in each of my four years at USC. Little did I know it at the time, but in hindsight, I was perhaps the single most fortunate and blessed member of the tennis program of the early 1980’s era.

On the one hand, I was privileged to play with, learn from, and simply admire in awe Marty Sieckmann. He was an unbelievably talented player who performed at a level that was head and shoulders above everyone else.

We would drill 3-on-1 against Marty and have no prayer of winning any games, let alone taking a set. His dominance in winning the PIAA singles championship was overwhelming. That tournament was over before it began.

Were it not for the shoulder injury that plagued his career at Rice University, I am convinced that Marty would have become a tremendous professional player and a household name. He was simply that good.

On the other end of my four years, I was blessed to cap off my scholastic career in 1984 as the captain of one of Coach Saccani’s six WPIAL championship teams. As the only senior on the 1984 squad, Coach nicknamed me “Pops” and honored me with the team captaincy even though our most talented guys were the juniors, led by Billy Kopp and Chris Brown.

With Coach Saccani’s constant encouragement, we learned more about leadership than thought possible. While winning the WPIAL championship was a thrill of a lifetime, the journey eclipsed the destination.

The cohesion developed as a team and the learning and maturation that we all experienced was a reflection of Coach Saccani’s unwavering excellence as our leader.

While we played tennis with and against some of the best tennis players of that WPIAL era, we were taught and led by the most outstanding scholastic tennis coach that Western Pennsylvania has ever seen.

As fulfilling as our experiences were on the courts, even better and far more important were the lessons learned from Coach Saccani. He was truly a teacher in all manners of the word, not only in tennis but in life.

He taught all of us the value of hard work and sacrifice, the virtue of living life and pursuing sport with integrity, the joy that stems from competing with passion, and the pride that comes from respecting everyone before, around and after you.

Coach Saccani is a great man and an inspiration to all that he touched. I could not be more proud for him to be so duly recognized forever as a Hall of Famer. So congratulations Mr. Saccani on your accomplishment and thanks for everything you meant to me, to all of us whom you coached.

Todd Singleton

Great Falls, Va.

Uncontrollable roads

In response to Mr. Hartman’s comment about the speed stickers on garbage cans, it’s just another way to try to curb the speed in the townships, which all need to find a way to make our roads safe. North Strabane has the red signs telling speed enforcement areas as do Peters, plus radio ads say how they’re gong to watch for those people that are dangers to the highways and the public.

Just a ride to Washington will show how our roads are out of control. (Police) cannot sit in a church lot, or any lot and expect to curb this. You have to get into the traffic (unnoticed, unmarked) and ride with the wolves.

It all starts from the higher ups to get personnel out and protect our highways and make it safe to use and as far as the interstate, that’s another Talladega that needs attention. Anybody can see why people get killed.

Ed Gerhold

North Strabane

Make a conscious effort

Looking through my calendar of national observances, it appears that October is turning into “food month,” beginning with World Vegetarian Day and World Day for Farm Animals Oct. 1 and 2, continuing with National School Lunch Week Oct. 14-18 and World Food Day Oct. 16, and culminating with Food Day Oct. 24.

World Day for Farm Animals Day ( Oct. 2 is perhaps the most dramatic of these. It celebrates the lives, exposes the abuses, and memorializes the slaughter of billions of sentient animals raised for food. Recent undercover investigations showed male baby chicks suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground to death, pigs clobbered with metal pipes, and cows skinned and dismembered while still conscious.

Moreover, a recent Harvard study of more than 120,000 people confirmed once again that meat consumption raises mortality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Animal agriculture accounts for more water pollution than all other human activities. A 2011 United Nations report recommends eating less meat to reduce greenhouse gases.

The good news is that our meat consumption has been dropping by nearly 4 percent annually. Entering “live vegan” in a search engine brings lots of useful transition tips.

Michael Andre


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