Sport columns

A year later, YSU football faces change

It’s been one year and one day since one of the biggest moments in the last 20 years for Youngstown State University football. If you’re a sports a fan, you’ve seen the highlight — probably a couple of different times. YSU tight end Kevin Rader caught a ball on the back of a defender ...

Juggernaut on the mat

They’re hard to overlook, even though some people may want to, just out of spite. It’s like the New England Patriots in the NFL. There are a lot of great teams and spectacular players, but deep down, everyone knows the Patriots are the team to beat, even if they don’t want to admit ...

Get out of the seats and make some calls

So, you are sitting in the stands watching your son or daughter (or grandson, or niece, or granddaughter, or family friend, etc.) play. Varsity, junior varsity, middle school, even non-school competition, it doesn’t matter. Inevitably, there is a bad call by an official. At least it looks ...

Coming together a huddle at a time

YOUNGSTOWN You can see it out on the grassy area, yards ahead from the starting line. Clusters of athletes wearing their tank tops, shorts and sweatbands, or other thermal wear — depending on the conditions. Each cross country team gathers before the race. Sometimes the coach has a ...

Taylor honored for work in volleyball

Longtime Lakeview volleyball coach Scott Taylor was honored this weekend by the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association, receiving the organization’s 2017 Jim Muth Sportsmanship Award. Taylor spent 21 years — 17 as head coach — coaching volleyball at Lakeview where he also was a ...

It’s not about 88-point margin

YOUNGSTOWN — Jerrod Calhoun said it three times, three times too many in my book. You should never have to defend hard play, no matter how much the grumblings of some whiners would like you to do so. So Calhoun’s Youngstown State basketball team scored a school-record 134 points. You ...

Rome (YSU) won’t be built in a day

AKRON — Youngstown State’s team couldn’t even move about in a cramped locker room inside the James A. Rhodes Arena. The men’s basketball team took to the adjoining hallway to get some last-minute stretching in, jump a few raised hurdles no bigger than a foot off the ground. Some ...

QB duel had fans buzzing

The question was posed throughout the season by all kinds of fans, coaches, players and media who follow high school football in the Mahoning Valley, and the debate picked up quite a bit over the last week. The area’s two best quarterbacks (arguably) finally squared off, and the result was ...

YSU lands top-level recruit for 2018-19

Atiba Taylor said he cannot remember when he did not have a basketball in his hands. The 6-foot-4, 176-pound combination guard is said to have an uncanny court vision. Schools like LaSalle, Temple, Rutgers, Kansas State and St. Joseph’s (Philadelphia) took notice of the New Jersey standout ...

McDonald outside looking in at playoffs

Many area high school football fans are looking forward to a potential Girard at Lakeview playoff game later this week, but the attention of some is drawn to the unfortunate plight of the 8-2 McDonald Blue Devils. With the Ohio High School Athletic Association about to release the official ...

Penguin basketball progress continues

Pat Birch had an open-ended invitation. Jerrod Calhoun, Youngstown State’s first-year men’s basketball coach, recently told all the area high school boys basketball coaches that they were invited to his team’s practices. It was an offer Birch couldn’t refuse. Now Calhoun might not be ...

Usually reliable line play an issue

There is a litany of reasons the Youngstown State football team will likely be on the outside looking in when the FCS postseason field is announced next month, and they’re not the ones fans are used to hearing. For years, inexplicable losses that could have vaulted YSU into the playoffs ...

Potential playoff teams face pressure

The pressure is building for high school football players — and coaches. They can use the old cliche of focusing on one game at a time and not looking ahead all they want, but every coach knows exactly where they stand in the computer ratings of their respective region. It’s part of their ...

Weather drier for XC postseason

My eyes deceive me. I really can’t believe what I’m seeing on my laptop. These AccuWeather forecasts are wrong. It’s the cross country postseason. Rain, cold, mud. Repeat three early and often. This year, not so much. I’m confused by the 72-degree forecast for Saturday’s district ...

The meaning of ‘Lakeview football’ showed up Friday

POLAND — Where does this game rank in games you’ve seen? Lakeview football coach Tom Pavlansky asked the question before either reporter could utter a question. Lakeview rallied from 17 points down and upended previously undefeated Poland on Friday, 35-30. It ranked high on my list, ...

Olympian coming to area event

It took less than 2 minutes, but it gave Clayton Murphy a lifetime of memories. Murphy went to Rio de Janeiro as part of the U.S. Olympic contingent for the 2016 Summer Olympics. He ran the 800-meter run in 1:42.93 seconds and took home a bronze medal, becoming the first American in 24 years ...

Coverage of protests takes away from games

If you’re one of the people sick of reading, watching or hearing about NFL protests, please raise your hand. No need to take a knee. We’ve seen enough of that lately. There’s a little contradiction in this column because it, too, relates to the peaceful-yet-incorrigible protests taking ...

Maplewood runners always in contention

Maplewood. It’s synonymous with all things cross country. It is the school’s football — the dominant sport. Entrenched in an area where football is hyped more times than not, the Rockets are one of a handful of schools in Trumbull County without a football team. The difference is those ...

Penguins continue recruiting in Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN — Click. Refresh. Click. Refresh. Repeat a couple of more times. Potential Youngstown State University men’s basketball recruits are out there. Searching under Youngstown State and going latest is the key. I read a little over a week ago a senior guard, who is around 6-feet ...

Legends, Legacy & other stuff

A little bit of this and a little bit of that as the Cleveland Indians begin another winning streak: If you haven’t made reservations for next week’s second annual NFL Legends Reunion and golf outing at Trumbull Country Club, contact Virginia Holmes of the Warren Gridiron Club, or Ray ...