Sport columns

Good grief, it’s tough to be an official

THERE was a recent article on Yahoo.com that reported the average salary of an NBA referee is between $150,000 and $550,000 per year. Impressive, huh? Yeah, well, they deserve it. As a sports reporter for the last 15 years, the ignorance and outlandish criticism I’ve heard spewed toward ...

It’s not about promoting a school’s brand

THIS is the look you want your program to have heading the NCAA Tournament? Bradley University, you just disgraced your fans who have waited since the 2005-06 season to return to this pinnacle. Your players, who have given everything they have each and every practice and then some, are ...

Surprise on mat at wrestling state meet

Sadly, Las Vegas is a destination that has escaped me over the years. It really is sad because “the city that never sleeps” and I could be a beautiful duo. Or maybe not. It could be like crossing the streams on “Ghostbusters” and possibly lead to the total destruction of the universe. ...

Penguin women belong on top

YOUNGSTOWN — It’s Wednesday morning and I’m driving down Schenley Road near Youngstown, heading to a Wednesday morning mass. It’s Ash Wednesday and I’m trying to think of what to give up for the 40-day Lenten season. Hamburger, hot dog and sub buns. That’s my plan. Hopefully it ...

Different opponents, sites for YSU teams

Horizon League teams figured out a trip to the Beeghly Center meant nothing more than 40 minutes of pain and misery. The Youngstown State women’s basketball team hopes to inflict some more of what its done for the better part of the previous two months, going 9-0 against the rest of this ...

YSU needs to rekindle earlier mojo

Three consecutive losses. Wright State, Northern Kentucky and Cleveland State. Sound familiar? It should. The Youngstown State men’s basketball team was losers of three straight before heading to Oakland (Mich.) University for a Jan. 30 regular season game on the Rochester, Michigan ...

Wrestlers ready for district battles

One of the most unforgiving days of the season is nearly upon high school wrestlers. The goal of every wrestler who steps on the mat this weekend at their respective district tournament is to qualify for state, but only the top four in each 16-man weight class advance. It’s when the numbers ...

Can YSU sustain success?

YOUNGSTOWN — The crowd started to fill the Beeghly Center earlier than usual on Saturday afternoon. The Youngstown State University pep band was more than doubled in size with area high school band members a part of the merriment in the loudest area inside the nearly 50-year-old venue, the ...

Take notice of Niles boys hoops

THINGS never seem to come easy for Niles, regardless of the sport ... or politician, fiscal situation, levy, coach, etc. A city known for a blue-collar work ethic and football stardom back in the 1950s and ‘60s has endured some black eyes in recent years. Basketball certainly hasn’t been ...

No matter the format, tourney is exciting

With area girls basketball teams having started tournament action on Saturday and the rest getting into action this week — to be followed next week by the start of the boys’ tournaments — it’s time for the debate regarding the location of games during the first two rounds of the ...

Streak may result in memorable season

YOUNGSTOWN Looking across the way at the Beeghly Center, I remember those red, plastic chairback seats where I was sitting, about four rows up. Joining me was the late Dan Peters, as he normally did when I stopped by practice. I was in my mid-20s, my first year covering Youngstown State ...

Barnes has special time in Indiana

“OH my gosh, that is so freggin’ cool.” That’s how I started a conversation with Youngstown State University women’s basketball coach John Barnes. Circumstances took his team to the famed Hinkle Fieldhouse on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis. If you ever watched the ...

More than meets the eye with YSU hoops

YOUNGSTOWN — Todd Burkey stood in a corner, watching and observing during Thursday’s game. His focus was vastly different than those in the Beeghly Center stands watching and complaining about a missed call, errant shot or successful play. They all saw the last-second bounce pass from ...

Resiliency, the key to YSU men’s success

DETROIT Shot swish, others clank off the rims inside Calihan Hall for a few collegiate players. It was a Friday night a couple of miles outside one of our nation’s largest cities. The Motor City has tried to reinvent itself, modernizing the downtown area, making that area more palatable ...

High school postseason gets rolling this week

Area wrestlers kicked off the 2018-19 high school winter sports postseason on Saturday with the Dual Team Tournament regionals, and area swimmers and divers begin their postseason trek this week at sectional meets. The wrestlers competed Saturday in the usual dual match format with each ...

Have some patience and it’ll all be fine

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — I have a key card for my room and a pass for Friday morning’s buffet breakfast. That’s all I had on me, along with my phone. One round of the berries, melon, yogurt and oats and another trip for a bit of eggs, potatoes and bacon. If you’ve ever been to a hotel ...

Stop, look up from your phone screen

YOUNGSTOWN — Screen goes blank. Quick vibrate on an attempted restart. Nothing. Quick trip to my cell phone provider confirms my worst fears. My phone is dead. A new one isn’t coming until Monday. Weird feeling not having that tether cord attached, being the slave to that handheld ...

YSU women all about consistency

YOUNGSTOWN — The dribbles of the basketball reverberate among the walls, as well as the yells emanating from those players honed in on one task. Some are louder than others. All have the same goal: improvement. John Barnes stood near center court, where a media table would be on game day. ...

Defense the key for YSU against Wright State

KEITH GUNTHER is bound to be there, surround by his Ursuline boys basketball team, looking at the action on the Beeghly Center floor. All eyes are on Mark Hughes, the Wright State University senior guard. Hughes and his Raiders have that same green and white color scheme as Ursuline, so ...

Pelini, YSU need to take next step

There was a lot of hype when Bo Pelini was hired at Youngstown State, and rightfully so. Many in the media, locally and nationally, felt the Penguins, as the saying goes, might have outkicked their coverage with the hiring — meaning not many expected a coach of his caliber to come to ...