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Sport columns

Wrestlers go after state glory on weekend

Some things in sports are tough to watch, and other things in sports are downright excruciating to watch. In the last year, most fans just want any sport to watch (I saw the “Blue Jays” take on the “Cardinals” in an epic duel at the bird feeder during the quarantine). Now that most ...

License fees mean better fishing

March brings spring’s arrival, the start of a new fishing season and the obligation of anglers to invest in the management of the Ohio’s fish and fisheries. For many years, March 1 not only signaled the beginning of the end of winter, but also the time when a new fishing license was ...

A new style starts today with Phillips

There have been a lot of different approaches to restoring order within the Youngstown State football team since Jim Tressel stepped down as coach 20 years ago. Three coaches with varying styles tried their hand at building a consistent winner, and while there were some good years, two ...

To wrestling community, Joe is not just average

This past weekend, the Eastern Ohio Wrestling League had its annual tournament at Fitch High School in Austintown. It has become quite an event, as the league has grown to 25 teams spanning seven different counties in Northeast Ohio. This year, wrestling fans once again got to witness some of ...

Plenty has happened since last Browns road playoff win

Let’s put the recent Cleveland Browns playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in historical perspective. If you have been a Cleveland Browns fan as long as I have, you may have experienced these life “stressors” and / or milestones between Browns road playoff wins: ¯ Getting cut by ...

Appreciation for fishing, life needed after 2020

In many ways, the dawn of 2021 is like the start of a new fishing day. When I go to the lake at sunrise and slide the boat off the trailer at the ramp, the day spreads out in front of me with opportunity and optimism. I can build on yesterday’s positives. But I also can learn from ...

Couch Fan offers wishes for New Year

As part of the new normal, us “boomer” sports fans have to get used to: ¯ Downloading apps to our televisions in this post-cable, post-satellite television universe. Now, does that Cleveland baseball team play on Fox Sports Go or just the regular Fox Sports app? ¯ Telling the ...

My time was special thanks to the people

Late morning, about 11 a.m. These grey corduroy and leather slippers hug my bare, size-14 feet on this chilly, snow-covered day as I make my way down the staircase inside my home. My daughter, Alexa, enveloped herself in a charcoal black polyester winter covering with a furry, brown ...

YSU seeks routine amid COVID chaos

YOUNGSTOWN — College basketball coaches, their players and supporting staff are creatures of habit. Schedules are followed. Itineraries are met. Practices. Weight lifting. Classes. Meals. One-on-one meetings with position coaches. Those are just some of the on-campus activities student ...

Sights, sounds of Scrappers bring normalcy

A nearby wooded area encompasses the baseball stadium parallel to the Eastwood Mall. The Eastwood Field facility has been a fixture in the Mahoning Valley since the summer of 1999. Shane Bieber, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor, CC Sabathia and Tyler Naquin are a few of the ...

Optics of college basketball different

My wife looked at me, put up one hand, telling me she didn’t believe what she had just seen. I watched a clip from CBS’ Sunday Morning show myself, then shared it with my bride. George Clooney was trending on Twitter for some hair-raising reason, stunning for most of the fans of the ...

Brody Rupe carves his own path at state

Chris Rupe has made so many speeches the week of the state cross country meet, invigorating his teenage distance runners to stretch their talents to heights they never would imagine. McDonald High School’s boys cross country is synonymous with Division III state excellence, winning five in ...

Fishing University stars test Mosquito Lake bass

Bass anglers looking to pursue higher education about Mosquito Lake will have an opportunity to earn their master’s degree when they view the Fishing University TV show in 2021. Professional bass anglers Charlie Ingram and Ray Brazier traveled to Trumbull County on Thursday and prepared for ...

Lake Erie walleye count rated excellent

Judging by the mid-day parades of trucks towing boats southbound on Ohio 11 this summer, it is apparent that limiting on Lake Erie walleyes was not difficult. Based on news released earlier this week by Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, the outlook for easy limits ...

Weird start to 2020

It was weird. I guess I should be grateful for fall sports to be back, more so for a sport I’ve covered for almost two decades — cross country. Nothing has made sense in 2020. That includes the distance runners in this area. A 3.1-mile run starts. Normally, a word sparsely used ...

Preparing for a football season unlike any other one

High school football in Ohio is set to begin in four days after the most difficult and convoluted preseason that followers of the sport have seen. Despite not knowing whether or not the governor’s office would even allow games to be played, players and coaches prepared as if the season ...

Patience is virtue during a bad day on the lake

Some fishing days are easier than others. Thursday was not one of the easy days, but it provided yet another learning experience. I hitched up the BassCat in the cool inkiness before sunrise and arrived at Mosquito Lake just as dawn broke in a molten gold splash across the lake over Cortland. ...

Spring ball isn’t all bad for Penguins

Let’s start this column with a game. It’s called, “Words I never want to hear again after 2020.” 1. Social distancing. 2. COVID-19. 3. Mask up. 4. Fluid situation. 5. Spring football. Feel free to email me your list. I’m curious to see which ones drive you mad. I don’t know if ...

OHSAA plan more about its budget

A flexible regular-season schedule of at least six games with expanded high school football playoffs is the new plan. The Ohio High School Athletic Association lost its spring sports season and, more importantly, the winter sports postseason because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Money was lost by ...

Six weeks are better than none

So, the Ohio High School Athletic Association went and did it. The organizing body for high school sports in the state conferred with all the right people — school superintendents, principals, athletic administrators and coaches — and came up with a plan for high school football this fall ...