Sport columns

Vision of what’s to come for YSU

Picture this ... Hot chocolate in one hand, a soft pretzel with extra salt in the other, both providing a brief respite of warmth to the extremities. Concrete is below each step as the sudden rush of bone-chilling air rushes over the body. It’s a blustery day on a cold, harden seat ...

Let’s combine bowl games & playoffs

College football for me crossed the rubicon in 2018. There were several times in the last week or so that I felt that something was terribly wrong with this great sport. No, it wasn’t the fact that Big Ten champion Ohio State didn’t make the top four and once again fell short of ...

Waid’s impact far beyond one contest

CANTON Mark Waid sat at a table with three of his teammates in the underbelly of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, awaiting questions from a few area reporters. His body language dictated he’d rather be someplace else instead of having an Ohio High School Athletic Association microphone in ...

Decision to stay, or go, is on Pelini

The speculation began before the season even started. Before the epically embarrassing loss to Butler. Before there was a quarterback controversy. Before the team was eliminated from playoff contention. People have wanted to know what’s next for Bo Pelini since last season ...

YSU women not taking 3-0 start for granted

YOUNGSTOWN — McKenah Peters takes the rebound from associate head coach John Nicolais. The Youngstown State women’s basketball assistant coach watches the sophomore guard make 10 consecutive free throws before she has lunch with her team in the concourse of the Beeghly Center. Senior ...

Nagy proud of distance running in Niles, area

BAZETTA Les Nagy had a Sharpie in his hand, signing some T-shirts under the pavilion in the midst of the Trumbull County Fairgrounds as one of the honorees at this year’s The Legends cross country event. The Niles High School legend was one of the nation’s fastest distance runners in ...

Last time around the track this season

The summer racing season is nearing its end for another year, but area race fans still have the opportunity to get out to a track. Tonight and Saturday, Mercer Raceway Park will host the Little Guy Nationals. Mercer has been near idle this year, hosting only one other racing event. The event ...

Tony J. takes new twist in wrestling

THOSE who follow wrestling in the slightest bit — and even some who don’t — know one name quite well. He’s the elite of the elite when it comes to northeast Ohio wrestling, reaching levels no one has seen before or since. His style was more than exciting — it was transcendent to a ...

McDonald’s roads to state never given

Freshly-cut grass. Remnants of what was a couple weeks ago in the Canfield Fair. The unmistakable smell of french fries emanating from a vendor, wheeled near the hub of today’s Suburban League Championships at the Canfield Fairgrounds. They are all staples of the yearly run where distance ...

Saturday’s loss ‘better’ than previous week

The outcome was still a loss, but it was much less shocking. The Youngstown State Penguins were embarrassed by what a recent Sports Illustrated article called “one of the biggest upsets of the century” last week. Really, that’s only about 18 years, but still, the story wasn’t a good ...

Difficult to explain Penguins’ bad loss

Savon Smith looked down at the podium to see if there was something in the statistics that could explain what just happened. Not surprisingly, there wasn’t. Youngstown State, a team with more than 60 scholarship players and one that many expect (or expected) to compete for a playoff berth ...

Thoughts from 2018 Billy Goat Challenge

Ted Rupe sat in a van as he always has, parked by the finish line at Woodland Park. He was at the 2018 Billy Goat Challenge — staring at his laptop computer. “I’m playing solitaire,” he joked. Rupe, whose name echoes thoughts of epic distance jaunts at Maplewood High School, ...

YSU football embarking on pivotal year

YOUNGSTOWN — There isn’t any hiding it for the Youngstown State football team. Last season was disappointing, on a number of levels. Coming off its first national championship appearance in nearly 20 years, the Penguins, who brought back numerous starters, had a chance to make ...

Formula differs for promoting prospects

It’s one of the many mysteries of minor league baseball — up there with who comes up with all the quirky promotions. Some managers don’t even like to talk about it, as if it’s a secret code or some type of classified information that, if unveiled, will result in a catastrophic ...

Decision is a memorable one

COLUMBUS — The decision. Nothing to do with LeBron James leaving Cleveland for the Los Angeles Lakers. An 11-year-old girl pondering an all-day trip to Columbus with her father. She saw the forecast for Sunday, mid-90s. All she thought about was the heat as she ate lunch with her ...

Coaches from area honored

Trumbull County and the rest of the Mahoning Valley have produced, through their high school athletics programs, numerous student-athletes who have gone on to great success in the college and professional ranks. While in high school, those student-athletes have been stellar representatives ...

Top award starts in throwing circle

Simple spread of white chalk. Some prefer rosin on his or her hands. Deep breath. Focus. All that surrounds the thrower is a crowd. Some bystanders. Others have nervous energy. Shuffle. Shuffle. Throw. The weighted ball temporarily defies gravity through the power of the body ...

Another year, another epic state meet

COLUMBUS — The heat sheets and time schedule come first. Sift through the names, find the ones from Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, along with those from Grand Valley, Pymatuning Valley, Garfield and Windham. Blue highlighter, sometimes yellow. Whatever is the closest in hand. Use it and ...

Opportunity knocks for area coaches

It's hard not to look back at high school without some type of regret. Oh, come on. Don’t act like you’re not still upset over being too shy to ask that cute girl to prom, or that you’re not still wondering how good you could have been at sports if you wouldn’t have been out causing ...

NFL visit about more than new helmets

It’s not odd to see an NFL player in Warren G. Harding High School. Heck, the city of Warren has produced dozens of professional football players over the years. On this day, however, the appearance was, indeed, strange. Members of the Cleveland Browns organization were at the school on ...