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Sport columns

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 ...

A quick look back at football season

The Ohio high school football season came to an official end this past weekend with the crowning of seven state champions. The season didn’t end on a winning note for the Mahoning Valley, as Springfield’s historic run was halted in a 48-14 loss to Anna in the Division VI state title game. ...

Listen up, Pelini coming back for YSU

YOUNGSTOWN TELLING people what they don’t want to hear is never an easy thing to do — for anyone. Doctors have to do it. Families have to do it. Friends, bosses, co-workers — and journalists. We all do. It’s part of life, whether we like it or not. So, while some people don’t ...

Fishing quells sports-induced anxiety

I am an anxious football fan. Game day stirs a churn of anxiety in me as the hours and minutes tick down to kickoff. Perhaps you are like me and were seeking distractions as The Ohio State Buckeyes prepared to square off against Wisconsin on Saturday evening. I was confident of the outcome, ...

Players, coaches learn to overcome

YOUNGSTOWN — Coaches are supposed to instill wisdom in their players. John Barnes has done just that for the Youngstown State University women’s basketball teams since he has been the team’s coach starting in the 2013-14 season. There’s on-court knowledge, practice habits, life ...

Protect your anglers from the sun’s harmful rays

While it is true that fishing will remain productive for another week or two here in the Youngstown-Warren area, the truth is most of us are turning our attention elsewhere as the nasty weather days outnumber the good ones. With Black Friday just behind us and the Ohio State Buckeyes suiting ...

Giving thanks for kids in sports

Driving with my 16-year-old son in the passenger seat, earbuds in, listening to his version of hype music. Some of it is classic rock, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC. Thank goodness. The other is this modern techno and this new, mundane rap. My eyes roll as we progress forward. Few words are said, Erik ...

Reasons to be thankful for YSU men

THURSDAY is a day to give thanks for the blessings we have, hence the holiday Thanksgiving. The Youngstown State University men’s basketball team is thankful winning two of three games this past week against North Carolina Central and University of South Carolina-Upstate, both with staunch ...

Is this the 2016-17 YSU season once again?

COACH John Barnes has seen this before. This is a repeat performance this Youngstown State University women’s basketball team didn’t want to make, especially after trying to find their footing following last Saturday’s come-from-behind win against Eastern Michigan. YSU saw starters ...

Emmerling gifts Student Fishing League to youth

It is possible Harry Emmerling is one of Santa Claus’ elves. He may dress in everyday clothing and work for the city of East Liverpool, but if you look and listen closely and pay attention to what you see and hear, you will detect clues that Emmerling is not your ordinary person. He ...

Busy week for Penguins

Focus. The Youngstown State University men’s basketball team has it this season, looking to improve on its 12-win campaign of the 2018-19 season. The Penguins had a six-game win streak midway through the Horizon League season and is a team that wants to be prevalent during the 2019-20 ...