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Sport columns

Ups and downs of YSU game Saturday

Jason Slay looked around as the Youngstown State University men’s basketball team began to warm up with some stretching exercises. The YSU associate coach glanced around and started clapping. He observed his players — some stretching, others dunking. The group gathered around the basket. ...

New coach must be right pick for YSU

The initial response was curiosity. Most people wondered: Who’s Doug Phillips? Youngstown State’s choice for the next football head coach was somewhat surprising. A relatively unknown football coach from the Mahoning Valley, Phillips wasn’t thought to be the first choice. The names of ...

Penguins in position to make history

YOUNGSTOWN — The shine off the Beeghly Center floor glows with the LED lights from high above illuminating down on the 94-by-50 foot floor. It brought a glow to the empty surface and building. The white and red cushioned folding chairs signifying each bench lay empty, as well as the red ...

Recalling a packed Beeghly Center

YOUNGSTOWN — Feb. 10, 2001. The date was significant as Youngstown State University and Valparaiso were vying for first place in the former Mid-Continent Conference. YSU revealed a month later its exit strategy to the Horizon League, a newly formed conglomeration with teams like current ...

Penguins must embrace journey

Matt Manley and his crew of student assistants had cases of water, Gatorade and other snacks stacked and ready to go into the storage compartments of the tour bus parked behind the Beeghly Center. Some were heading for overhead compartments in the middle part of the bus that was being ...

Student section needed at Beeghly

YOUNGSTOWN — They come in, look around and take their seat. It’s in the upper level of the Beeghly Center. Some sit on the hard, wooden benches on the ends behind the baskets, other take refuge on wooden bleachers. They are students, Youngstown State University students. They come for ...

MLB issues return with sign stealing

History tends to repeat itself, especially in the sporting world. Take Major League Baseball. It was during the 1919 World Series that a band of Chicago White Sox players — back then the best team money could buy— conspired with a group of gamblers to throw the championship to a team ...

Five key tips for the beginning angler

Anglers who have experienced the joys of fishing understand the basics about tackle and where to go on our local lakes and rivers for fat walleyes, slab crappies, jumbo perch and big largemouth bass. But for every person experienced in fishing, dozens more are wondering how and where to ...

Despite negatives, Pelini will be missed

The news was a little hard to believe. A high-profile coach who had been successful leading one of the nation’s storied programs was coming to Youngstown State. Bo Pelini, the intense and oft-criticized Nebraska coach who won more than 70 percent of his games with the Cornhuskers, decided to ...

Intensity key part of push by YSU

YOUNGSTOWN — Intensity, it’s easy to say, hard to display when exhaustion runs through your being. School and other factors can affect the all-out intensity in preparation. It’s about being ready for 40 minutes of dribbling, shooting, rebounding and boxing out on a hardwood surface with ...

Gradishar more than Hall of Fame worthy

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has been known for questionable, or frankly, downright stupid decisions over its lifespan. The Hall of Fame class for the NFL’s centennial season was a chance to make up for all the mistakes that have been made. All the legends over the years who have yet to ...

Penguins look for rebound tonight

FAIRBORN — The bus exited BB&T Arena in Northern Kentucky, only a 15-to-20-minute drive north toward downtown Cincinnati. Silence. Not much was said by members of the Youngstown State University men’s basketball team. Many were listening to headphones or ear buds. It was a time ...

Attracting success in home of Norse

HIGHLAND HTS, Ky. — The drive from downtown Cincinnati is about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the traffic flowing out of the city on Interstate 471 toward a bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky. The trek into the Bluegrass State starts with a blue sign with a white outline of the horizontal ...

Can YSU remain among the best?

Is Youngstown State one of better teams in the Horizon League? My friend Mike laughs at the thought. ‘Who have they beaten?’ he asks. He starts rattling off Thiel, Westminster, USC-Upstate, North Carolina Central, SEMO (Southeast Missouri State), Robert Morris, Binghamton, along with wins ...

Gritty wins define these Penguins

Quiet. Michael Akuchie could hear the sounds of silence inside the confines of the Beeghly Center after basketball games. His squeaking shoes echoed. The sound of the bounces of the inflated, leather basketball, or as it grazed nylon baskets or clanked off the metallic rim reverberated in the ...

Even windy weather can’t stop Penguins

CHICAGO The incandescent glow of laptops and phones began to illuminate the quiet lull of a bus headed eastward toward Youngstown in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the final day of 2019. Youngstown State University men’s basketball trainer Todd Burkey was busy watching seminars on ...

Area wrestlers take on the challenge

Stepping on the line seems so easy. It’s a flat line on a mat. You simply step on it. And yet so many miss it. So many avoid it. And so many are scared to death of it. The lines on a wrestling mat are approximately 3 feet apart from another and painted either red or green, and each ...

Penguins begin Horizon schedule

Assistant coach Jason Slay is sitting near the front of the team’s bus. His AirPods are in, black ballcap is on his head and his focus is straight ahead as the vehicle starts motoring down I-71 Friday afternoon toward its final destination in Indianapolis. The attention of the Youngstown ...

Who will be watching the Penguins?

YOUNGSTOWN — The echos are almost deafening with every bounce of the air-filled, leather ball. Shoes are squeaking with the sounds ringing in the ears of dozens of fans occupying the red chairback seats and bleachers in the upper part of the Beeghly Center, built in the early 1970s. Most are ...

Can’t we all just get along with leagues?

Boardman football coach Joe Ignazio began explaining how his team was preparing for the 2019 season in his warm office with a fan circulating the humidity — an office parallel from the team’s practice field. Sweat occasionally dripped down from this reporter’s brow. Good, warm ...