Westmoreland’s Hand headed to Texas


Herb Hand is the pride and joy of Westmoreland High School.

He is a 1986 graduate who went on to be an outstanding football player for Hamilton College.

Did you know he just signed a huge contract to coach with the University of Texas?

He invited some of his college teammates led by Mark Vacca to attend the Oklahoma game which is played in the Cotton Bowl. This game is called the Red River Showdown and will be seen on ESPN on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Herb’s coaching descriptions at Texas are co-offensive coordinator and head offensive line coach.

Did you know Herb was also an outstanding basketball player at Westmoreland and played for my brother Jim.

Herb was in the area last week and visited all his old time friends from Rome and the Mohawk Valley.

I played golf with Tom Coultry last week. Tom is retired and just returned from a two-week trip from Ireland. He is so much fun to play with and has the best turn of any golfer at Teugega. He is long off the tee especially at the age of 70. He knows how to putt the tough Donald Ross greens and has soft hands. His weakness? He lost to me!

Good luck to all our local teams playing in the World Series of Bocce this weekend. I live in a 55 and older development and they have a Bocce League on Monday night. I always walk over and tell them with pride where the world championship games are played.

Jake Ross died in a car accident last week at the age of 27. He was one of my favorite athletes at Rome Catholic High back in 2007-08. His best sport was baseball where he also played in college. He and Joe Melioris were one of the best one-two pitchers in Redwing history. He also served in the U.S. Army for five years as an Air Traffic Controller. Our sympathies go out to his family and his former Redwing teammates who loved him. May he rest in peace. 

Geek of the week: Phil Mickelson, he broke the rules again. He tramped down the fescue grass last week at the Greenbrier golf course for a two-stroke penalty. At the U.S. Open he hit a moving ball on the green. Good grief!

Don Alvarez was my best friend growing up at St. Mary’s Grammar School back in the 60s. A few years ago when we were playing at Teugega He scolded me for trampling the fescue on the first fairway. Don won the Rome City Golf Championship six times back in the day and is one of Rome’s all time great players. 

Pick of the week: Freddie Freeman to win the Home Run Derby in this year’s Major League All-Star game. 

Rome Sports Nickname: Steve Baker “The Home Run Maker.” Steve was home last week with his wife and baby daughter. Steve was a Rome Free Academy class of 1998 exceptional ball player who played college baseball at Liberty. He was a four-year starter who broke the home run record. He is now working in real estate in Charlotte, NC.

Rome sport look-a-like: Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale and RFA 2007 star pitcher Garrett Baker. They are both lefty pitchers too.

I had a mother bear and her four cubs in my back yard last night, a huge friendly

A raccoon thinks my campfire is his home and two loons are singing to me every night. The Adirondacks are awesomeness.


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