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  Brock Farris, 4x800 Relay Team Qualify For State Track Meet  
  May 30, 2024  
The Boardman High School boys track team will be represented in two events at the 2024 OHSAA State Championship this weekend at Welcome Stadium in Dayton, Oh.
The Spartans will be represented on the track Friday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. in the 4x800 relay after the team of junior David D’Altorio, senior Brock Farris, sophomore Adam Nigro, and senior Ethan Boots posted a season-best time of 7:54.72 to place third overall at the OHSAA Northeast Regional.
On Saturday, the Spartans will be represented in the 800 meter run by Farris following his school-record time of 1:52.82 that earned him third overall in the regional championship. Farris will race at 4:45 p.m.
“This group has had such a great year starting way back in June when they began training for cross country,” explained Spartan Head Coach John Phillips, adding “they have remained focused on getting to state as a group after just missing in the fall, I could not be more proud of them and excited for this weekend in Dayton. They have earned this, and they deserve it-they will represent Boardman, and our program with pride.”
At the regional meet, the Spartans also had sophomore James Mitchell place 7th in the shot put with a career best throw of 50-3.5”. Sophomore Ahmed Mohammed placed ninth in the discus with a throw of 145’5”.
Junior Santino Radujkovic was 11th overall in the discus with a throw of 141’ 10”. D’Altorio placed 12th in the 3200 with a time of 9:56.
Senior Aiden Berg finished 10th overall in the 400 with a time of 51.05. Freshman Robrick Taylor was 12th overall in the 400 at 51.65. The Spartan 4x400 relay team finished 11th overall at 3:26.81.

PICTURED: STATE QUALIFIERS: Boardman High School’s 4x800 relay team (pictured from left to right) of Ethan Boots, Brock Farris, David D’Altorio and Adam Nigro posted a school record time last week in regional competition to qualify for the State championship meet. Farris also qualified in individual competition with a school record time in the 800 meter run.
  Amendol’s Three Set Win Gives Boardman The AAC Tennis Title  
  May 9, 2024  
Boardman High School’s #1 singles player Matt Amendol claimed a hard-fought win on Monday night in a match against Canfield to lift the Spartans to the All American Conference title. It was the second time in five days the Spartans bested the Cards by a 3-2 tally.
Amendol won his first set, 64, and dropped the second, 4-6. Down 1-4 in the third set, Amendol came back to post a 7-5 victory.
Boardman’s #2 singles player, Evan Sweder notched a 6-4 and 6-4 win, while #3 singles player Gabe Hammerton also won, 6-0 and 6-1.
Canfield claimed a pair of doubles wins.
At #1 doubles, the Cards bested Boardman’s Liam Hetzel and Marcello Jacobson, 7-6 and 6-4; and in #2 doubles action, Canfield defeated the team of Cooper Mraz and Jackson Lewis.
The Spartans are unbeaten in AAC tennis play.
  All Lady Spartan Relay Teams Take Top Spot At Quad Meet  
  May 9, 2024  
The Boardman Lady Spartans defeated Canfield, Chaney and Youngstown East on Senior Nigh last week, 146-60-32-7.
All four Lady Spartan relays claimed first places including the 4x800 of Abbi Mihok, Jordyn Lacivita, Morgan Russo and Moriah Doyle; the 4x200 relay of Xy’Asia Gilford, Janessa Prisby, Abbi Mihok and Kenzie Riccitelli; the 4x100 relay of Gilford, Gina DiNapoli, Sarah Blasco and Prisby; and the 4x400 relay of DiNapoli, Jaelynn Cicchillo, Gabby Vennetti and Mihok.
Sarah Bero was a double winner in the shot put and the discus.
Sophia Martin was a double winner in the high jump and the pole vault.
Cicchillo won the 1600, Gabby Vennetti won the 800.
Lady Spartans scoring second place finishes were Blasco in the 100 hurdles, DiNapoli in the 300 hurdles, Prisby in the 200, Lily Ison in the shot put, Lily Warren in the discus, Gigi Angiuli in the long jump and Alena Scott in the pole vault.
Earning third place points for Boardman were DiNapoli in the 100 hurdles, Morgan Auck in the 1600, Riccitelli in the 400, Blasco in the 300 hurdles, Russo in the 800, Vennetti in the 3200, Evelyn McLane in the shot put, Ison in the discus, Gina Mariani in the high jump, Sophia Martin in the long jump and Sam Rhinehart in the pole vault.
Garnering fourth place points were Angiuli in the 100 hurdles, Riccitelli in the 100, Lauryn Swantek in the 1600, Auck in the 200, Angelina Nespeca in the shot put, Gwen McLane in the discus, Angiuli in the high jump and Zohna McMillen in the long jump.
Rounding out the scoring with fifth place points were Angiuli in the 100, Olivia Brady in the 1600, Gianna Berardino in the 300 hurdles, Cicchillo in the 200, Mia Brown in the 3200, Savanna Watkins in the shot put, Julia Forbes in the discus, Tea Smith in the high jump and Ava Acevedo in the long jump.
Head Coach Rick Sypert noted his seniors
“will be dearly missed for all of their contributions to the program. They complete their careers with a 27-1 record and 3 AAC championships, with a chance at a fourth on May 9.”
Senior members of the Lady Spartan team are Morgan Auck, Sarah Blasco, Angelina Nespeca, Evelyn McLane, Morgan Russo, Kenzie Riccitelli and Savanna Watkins.
  Brock Farris Sets Mark In 800 Meter Run As Boardman Posts Quad Meet Win  
  May 9, 2024  
The Boardman High School boys track and field team concluded the regular season with a record of 6-0 after a 146-79-15-13 victory over Canfield, Chaney, and Youngstown East this past Tuesday.
The Spartans, under the direction of Head Coach John Phillips, have completed three straight undefeated regular seasons.
Boardman opened the meet with a first place finish in the 4x800 meter relay with the team of senior Sava Crnjak, senior Ethan Boots, junior David D’Altorio, and senior Brock Farris.
Spartan freshman Ethan Timblin placed second in the 110 high hurdles with classmate Stephen Stanford in third and fellow freshman Liam Feehley in fifth.
In the 100 meter dash, senior Aiden Berg placed first and classmate Phil Clark was fifth.
Boardman’s 4x200 team of sophomore Kevin Tomlin, Clark, sophomore Landon Duble, and freshman Robrick Taylor placed second.
In the 1600 meter run, Farris placed first with sophomore Adam Nigro in second and classmate Chase Moore in fourth.
Boardman’s 4x100 team of Tomlin, Clark, freshman Ian McCaskey, and Duble placed third. Berg crossed the finish line first in 400 followed by Taylor in second and D’Altorio in fourth.
In the 300 meter hurdles, Stanford placed second and Timblin was third. In the 800 meter run,
Farris placed first in the 800 meter run with a school record time of 1:53.96, followed by Nigro in third and junior Drew Kornbau in fifth.
The 200 meter dash was won by Clark with Tomlin placing third.
D’Altorio placed first in the 3200 with Boots in second, freshman Jonathan Burgos-Perez in third, and sophomore Dom Theodore in fifth. Boardman’s 4x400 relay team of Berg, Duble, Timblin, and freshman Zezo Hadidan placed second.
In the field events, the Spartans placed three athletes in the high jump with Taylor and junior Kayant Fontanez-Waid tying for second place and senior Breylin Jones taking fourth. Taylor also placed first in the long jump.
In the discus, junior Santino Radjukovic placed first and sophomore Ahmed Mohammed placed third.
In the shot put, sophomore James Mitchell placed first, junior Chase Conner took third, and freshman Brandon Shaw placed fifth.
Junior Isaiah Doyle placed first in the pole vault with Theodore second, freshman Jayden Mayhew in third, and junior Ryan Lamharhar in fourth.
The meet served as Senior Night for Boardman, the eleven member class competing at Spartan Stadium for the final time includes: Aiden Berg, Ethan Boots, Phil Clark, Sava Crnjak, Brock Farris, Antajuan Hightower, Cameron Jeffrey, Breylin Jones, Keegan Kilpatrick, Bryson Shelton and Ethan Yi.
The Spartans claimed the top spot in the meet with 146 points, while Canfield notched 79 points. Chaney had 15 points while East managed a baker’s dozen points.
  Mike ‘The Italian Stallion’ Mannozzi Still Chasing His Olympic Dreams  
  Now Competing As Member Of Air Force World Class Athlete Program:   April 4, 2024  
Michael Mannozzi
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Mannozzi, 37, (a Boardman native and 2005 graduate of Boardman High School) currently of San Diego, Calif. where he trains and competes as part of the Air Force World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) has qualified for his fourth U.S. Olympic Trials, this time in Marathon Relay Mixed Race-Walking.
The event will replace the 50K race-walking event at the trials that will be held later this year and features one male and female race walker, each racing two-legs---the first leg consisting of 12.2 kilometers, followed by three 10K legs. Men race the first and third leg while the female partner races the second and fourth legs. Mannozzi started in 10th and managed to move to 8th individually while he and his relay partner, Lydia McGranahan, of Wyoming, were 7th as a team.
Mannozzi says he is laser-focused and training with other U.S. athletes and olympians to give the best chances for an Olympic Trials qualification and Olympic team birth in 2024. He missed over eight months of race walking in 2023 due to injury and managed to navigate his way with the Naval Medical for treatment and began race walking again in the fall, 2023.
During his break from training, his wife, Jemma, obtained her U.S. citizenship and the racewalker, known as ‘The Italian Stallion,’ completed Airman Leadership School at Vandenberg Space Force Base. It was also during his time at the infamous ‘Space Force Base,’ that he set the record for the fastest walking time in the Santa Barbara half-marathon. At graduation, he was awarded the Commandant Leadership Award. This award is presented to the student who, in the Commandant’s judgement, made the most significant contribution to the overall success of the class. (
The break served as a healthy reset that Mannozzi needed before easing back into full time race walk training, that includes weight training, cycling, running, power walking and swimming.
After eight weeks of training, he toed the line for what was to be his first of two Olympic Team Trials. The challenge was to come up with a race plan with his coach, 2023 World Champs silver medalist, Perseus Karlstrom. During the ten months of working together, this was Mannozzi’s first major race (the marathon medley mixed-race event).
Mannozzi then resumed training for the 20k race held on Mar. 17 in El Cajon, Calif., his first 20k since the 2021 Olympic Trials. He finished 9th in a field of 17 entrants in 1:41:53, his best time in over seven years! This currently ranks him 13th nationally in the 20K. He plans to continue training for the Track and Field Olympic Trials in late June in TrackTown USA, Eugene, Ore.
Next up is the Penn Relays Olympic Development 5K in late April. In 2012, he was the 10K Olympic Development champion at the Penn Relays.
This June, he will be promoted to the rank of staff sergeant.
Mannozzi began his race walking career at Notre Dame College in Euclid, Oh. where he garnered his first, first place race in the 3K at the 2010 NAIA championships, coming from last place to first place in the final lap of that race for the victory.
Mannozzi says he is proud to represent his hometown of Boardman where he has received strong support from his family (that lives on Erskine Ave.) as well as Cirelli Jewelers, Outdoor Recreation Equipment, Second Sole, Pizza Joes, and the D.D. and Velma Davis Family YMCA Davis Family YMCA, and his Boardman High School wrestling coach, Dom Mancini.
  Ethan Anderson BHS Graduate Marietta Basketball  
  March 22, 2024  
Ethan Anderson
 No. 3 ranked John Carroll University defeated Marietta College, 88-69, in the semifinal round of the Ohio Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Blue Streaks improved to 24-2 and Marietta finished the season with a 17-10 record. John Carroll jumped out to a quick 14-1 lead and never looked back. The Blue Streaks never trailed in the game. A three-pointer from Ethan Andersen (Boardman HS, pictured) at the 7:33 mark of the first half got the Pioneers within six points, 28-22. Andersen finished with 9 points in the game. Andersen, is a junior majoring in environmental science, saw action in every game this season with Marietta. On the season he scored 118 points, (averaged 4.5 ppg) and grabbed 154 caroms (3.5 rpg). He notched a season-high 14 points in contest vs. Baldwin Wallace.
  Boardman Girls Win Ohio Div. 1 Bowling Title  
  Greenaway Wins Individual Laurels:   March 14, 2024  
State Champions: BHS Girls Bowling Team
COLUMBUS, OH.---Boardman coach Justine Cullen said she just “felt something in the air” when her bowling team walked into HP Lanes on Saturday.
“I was amazingly calm all day,” Cullen said. “Normally, I’m really worked up, animated and screaming. I was relaxed because I knew we had it.”
After taking over the top position in the 16-team field after the first game, Boardman was never stopped the rest of the way, defeating #3 seed Troy, 3-1, in the best-of-five Baker System match-play finale for their second title in nine state appearances.
“There is just no word to describe it. Winning a state title period is so rare and incredible,” said Cullen of Boardman’s first title since 2010.
“These girls are just the nicest girls in the world. They work hard and play for each other and they’re not selfish at all. They are all friends, and they are sweethearts. They deserve this in every sense of the word, and I’m so happy I was able to help them get there.”
In addition to the team title, Boardman junior, Kaitlyn Greenaway, also won the state individual title with a 653 series, finishing one pin ahead of Wilmington junior Kylie Fisher and two ahead of Ashland senior Jada Baker in one of the closest individual races ever.
Greenaway did not have an open frame during her three regular games.
“It’s just our team … we’re a big group of friends,” said Greenaway, who finished fourth a year ago (644 series) and sixth in 2022 (604). “We play for we each other and we build off the energy of each other. It’s just unbelievable.”
But Boardman also had some help from Troy, that was making its 14th state appearance, with one title (2016) and now three runner-up finishes.
The Trojans were their own worst enemy during the final round, missing 12 spare conversions through the four-game match. Troy missed four in a 184-142 loss in the first game; five during a 158-144 loss in game two.
As for the Lady Spartans, they had just seven spare misses to go with four splits.
“We’re not always going to strike, but we’re going to cover, and that’s pretty much us all the time,” Cullen said. “If another team isn’t doing that and we are, I know our confidence level is going up. We know in that case, we’re going to come out on top.”
Troy won game three, 203-171, to keep their title hopes alive.
A key moment in the fourth game came in the ninth frame after Boardman failed to convert a 2-9 spare in the eighth. However, Troy failed to convert a 2-4-5 spare to give Boardman an opening.
Junior Marissa Funk, who also earned second-team All-Ohio honors, was not going to let it go by.
“I had the chance to set (Greenaway) up good and get it all ready for her,” said Funk, who shot 594 during qualifying, good for 10th place overall after finishing 18th a year ago (581 series).

“I knew she would take it home for us.”
Funk threw a strike in the ninth, and Greenaway followed with the first two in the 10th while Troy’s anchor was able to throw just one strike in the frame as Boardman took the win and the title, 179-168.
Individually for Boardman, junior Kaitlyn Greenaway, claimed the individual state championship title, shooting games of 218, 190, and 245 for a 653 set.
Lady Spartan teammate, junior Marissa Funk, was named second team All-Ohio, finishing in 10th overall with games of 190, 179, and 225 for a 594 set.
Also on the lanes for the newly-crowned state champs, junior Gabby Vennetti rolled games of 178, 169, and 177 for a 524 set, landing her in 32nd individually. Other Boardman contributors were junior Emily Leonard with games of 179, 152, and 145 for a 476 set, junior Lily Haase with games of 164 and 179, senior Audrey Anderson with a combined game total of 138 with Haase, and sophomore Jasmine Kortes in baker game play.

PICTURED: STATE CHAMPIONS: The Boardman High School girls bowling team, under the direction of Justin Cullen, won the Ohio Girls Div. I state title last weekend in a field of 16 teams at HP Lanes in Columbus. After taking over the top position in the 16-team field after game #1, Boardman was never stopped the rest of the way, defeating #3 seed Troy, 3-1, in the best-of-five Baker system match-play finale for their second title in nine state appearances. The Lady Spartans also won a state bowling title in 2010, and their appearance in this year’s state tournament was their fifth in a row. Members of the team, in front, from left, Marissa Funk, Kaitlyn Greenaway and Audrey Anderson. In back, from left, Gianna Rohan, assistant coach; Jasmine Kortes, Gabby Vennetti, Emily Leonard, Lily Haase and Coach Cullen.
  Ashton O’Brien Hits For 27 Markers:   March 14, 2024  
Boardman News Sports
The No. 4 seeded Cardinal Mooney boys’ basketball team is on a mission.
After topping No. 17 Ashland Mapleton, 82-32 in the Division III, Northeast 2 district semifinals at Salem High School, head coach Carey Palermo’s ‘five’ followed that up with a convincing 84-59 victory over No. 12 South Range last Friday to capture their third district championship in the last four seasons.
They will now head to the regional semi-finals where they will meet Canton Central Catholic at press time at Canton’s historic Memorial Field House.
The Crusaders (18-7) are the No. 9 seed in District III, Northeast 2 and have won 10 straight games while the Cards (21-5) enter the game on a seven-game win streak and are 13-1 in their last 14 frays.
The winner of the Mooney-CCC contest will meet the winner of the Cleveland Lutheran East versus Fairview Park Fairview outing on Saturday at 2 p.m. for the regional title, also at Memorial Field House.
Lutheran East is the No. 1 seed in Northeast 3 while Fairview Park is the No. 5 seed in Northeast 4.
Against South Range, which finishes their season 18-7, Ashton O’Brien led four Cardinals in double figures with 27 points while Rocco Turner added 17 points, Jibri Carter 16 and Eddie Nieves 14 markers, the ‘quad squad’ scoring 74 of their team’s 84 points on the night.
Palermo said winning the district title after a one-year absence was a very special moment for the entire team because of the hard work they put in all season long and a gratifying moment as well for the team’s senior players.
“It means a lot because it meant the world to the seniors to cut down the nets tonight,” Palermo stated after the game. “This is their third district title in four years and I think our seniors have a pretty good grasp of just how difficult it is to win a district championship, having finished as runners-up a season ago. Seeing them win and then cut down the nets was really a sweet feeling.”
Against the Raiders, the Cardinals rode seven points from O’Brien and five more points from Turner – Landon Moore hooped 14 of his 21 points in the period – as they opened a 20-17 advantage after the first eight minutes of action.
Five points each from Carter, Nieves and O’Brien in the second stanza helped CMHS outscore SRHS in the second frame, 17-12 as they opened a 34-32 halftime advantage.
That was the closest the Raiders would get the rest of the way, however, as Mooney outscored the Raiders after intermission, 50-27 for the 25-point victory.
Nick Pregibon added four points with Nico Genova, Will Desmond and Kingston Powell rounding out the Cards’ offense with a bucket apiece.
Luke Rohan scored a team-high 22 points – he had six of his team’s eight triples in the game – for the Raiders.
O’Brien and Turner each had five triples for the Cards – Nieves added two triples and Carter the other missile from downtown – as Mooney rippled the nets 13 times from beyond the arc.
Against Ashland Mapleton, who finished their season 16-8, the Cards became just the third team in program history to win 20-games in a season as they eliminated the Mounties, 82-32 in the district semi’s.
Carter led four Cards in double figures with 16 points, Genova and O’Brien each added 13 points while Nieves chipped in with 11 markers as CMHS improved to 20-5 on the year, their first 20-win campaign since former head coach Nick Bellino led the Cards to a 22-3 overall mark in 1997-98.
The 20 wins marks just the third time ever in program history that they posted a 20-win campaign, the other coming in 1988-89 when the late Roy Nard guided the Cards to a 23-1 overall mark, the best overall single season in program history.
The Cards opened a 29-11 lead after the first period, increased their margin to 46-14 at the half and outscored the Mounties in the second half, 36-18 for the 50-point victory, their second largest margin of victory this season.
Ryan Hickey had a team-high 13 points for AMHS.

PICTURED:  CARDINAL MOONEY HEAD COACH CAREY PALERMO and his team and fans are all smiles after the Cardinals captured their third district cage crown in the past four years last weekend with an 84-59 victory over the South Range Raiders.
  Pair Signs To Play At Wooster  
  February 29, 2024  
Two Boardman High School student-athletes have signed letters of intent to continue their sporting careers in the fall at the College of Wooster.
M.C. Werth will play volleyball with the Fighting Scots, while Mackenzie Riccitelli will join the Wooster women’s basketball team.
Mary Catherine Werth was voted team captain her senior year. Werth is a two-time letter winner and was voted AAC second team and District One honorable mention during her senior season.
In addition to playing volleyball for the Lady Spartans, Werth has been playing club volleyball since she was 12-years-old. As a member of the Lady Spartans volleyball team, she played a key role in leading Boardman in winning the AAC conference this season. Werth ended her varsity volleyball season with 224 kills, 37 blocks, 141 bigs, and a baker’s dozen assists.
She carries a 3.78 GPA and plans on dual majoring in Secondary Education and English with a minor in Physical Education. Werth is also a member of the Boardman Lady Spartan basketball team.
Riccitelli is a four-year starter who was first team All-AAC her sophomore, junior and senior years, and was voted AAC Player of the Year this season. year. She has been voted first team All District 1, Division 1 both her junior and senior year. She was on the All Northeast Inland Team her junior year and was special mention All-Ohio. She carries a 4.0 GPA and will major in education where she hopes to be a teacher and a coach.
  Former Boardman Resident, Bill DeCicco, Spends A Lot Of His ‘Spare Time’ On The Bowling Lanes  
  February 15, 2024  
A Boardman Township resident from 1952 until 2013, Bill DeCicco has spent a significant portion of his ‘spare’ time for the past 71 of his 83 years on this planet rolling strikes.
As a 12-year-old it all began on a Saturday morning during the summer of 1953 when DeCicco and a couple of friends peeked inside the former Champion Recreation in downtown Youngstown. Spotted by George Vallos, the long time manager and a bowling professional, he said we could bowl but it was going to cost us a quarter a game. After rolling a couple of strikes and something like a 108 game DeCicco became ‘hooked.’
This led to DeCicco’s joining the very first Saturday morning youth league at Mar Hill Lanes that fall. Mar Hill was located on Market Street on Youngstown’s far southside. Mar Hill and the nearby Marvondale Lanes were where many from Boardman bowled until 1960 when Ed Theis and Dick Wilson constructed Boardman Lanes as the Mahoning Valley’s first “modern pin palace.”
However, when Boardman Lanes opened DeCicco was a student at Denison University. At Denison he honed his bowling skills by taking a physical education bowling class from George Hill at the former 6-lane Granville Recreation. Hill later went on to become an assistant at Ohio State to famed football coach Woody Hayes. Then academics was the priority and bowling was limited to occasional visits to centers in nearby Newark and Columbus.
Graduation from Denison in June of 1963 provided additional spare time to concentrate on bowling. That fall DeCicco joined the Boardman Businessmen’s League at Boardman Lanes along with 1959 Boardman High classmate the late Cort Prout and long time friend Pete Chick. The team was sponsored by Prout Boiler.
DeCicco maintained a membership on the Prout Boiler team until 2013 (50 years) when he relocated to greater Cleveland to reside closer to family. In addition to Boardman Lanes he bowled another 12 years in a league at the former Bowladrome and 3 years at Holiday Bowl both located in Struthers.
Currently, DeCicco bowls in two senior leagues and subs in another at RollHouse-North Olmsted formerly known as Buckeye Lanes. Buckeye was the long time location of the Professional Bowling Association’s Cleveland Opens and where in 1983 pro-bowler Norm Duke won his first title at age 18. Remembering his Boardman roots “Board Men” is the name of DeCicco’s Monday team.
DeCicco’s career bowling highlights follow:
 ● 3 - 300 games including his second on his 65th birthday and third on his 65 1/2 birthday
 ● 3 - 299 games
 ● 1 - 298 game
 ● 31 - games of 275+
 ● 23 - 700+ series (757 high)
 ● 12 - 200+ averages (207 high)
 ● 1990 recipient of the Boardman Businessmen’s Pete Chick. Sr. Memorial Award for sportsmanship and fellowship
 ● 3rd place (of several hundred entries) in the 1997 Ohio State Seniors Tournament with a 1352 actual for 6 games
 ● 1st place in the Greater Youngstown Bowling Association’s (GYBA) 2000 and 2001 Youth/Adult Tournaments (with Billy Klase)
 ● 1st place in the 2004 GYBA Seniors Singles Tournament
 ● 2006 Induction into the GYBA Hall of Fame.
 ● 1st place in the 2008 GYBA Seniors Doubles Tournament (with the late Russ Turner).
Over the years, DeCicco has written several bowling related articles for the former Youngstown Vindicator, The Boardman News, the Struthers Journal and the former Lane Lines. He continues as historian for the Boardman Businessmen’s League maintaining 62 years of league records with assistance from Denise Simon.
In 2017 DeCicco established a Facebook group for bowlers entitled “Boardman Bill’s Bowling Buddies” and he serves as its administrator.
Presently the group is comprised of 234 members. Most are from the greater Youngstown and greater Cleveland areas. Nathan Needham serves a moderator representing Boardman Lanes while Jay DesForges serves in similar capacity for RollHouse-North Olmsted. Those with an interest in bowling are welcome to join.
  The Catch, The Stop And The Play Helped Propel The Niners To Their First Super Bowl Championship  
  Hacksaw Reynolds Made Big Plays That Launched A Football Dynasty:   February 8, 2024  
associate editor
It was Jan., 1982 when the San Francisco 49ers, owned by Eddie DeBartolo Jr., made their first appearance in the Super Bowl, played that year inside the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich.
It was just five years before, in 1977 when the Niners were purchased for $13 million by Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., who then turned over the team to his son, Eddie Jr.
The early years of DeBartolo ownership were not the best of winning times for the Niners. In fact, coming into the Super Bowl, San Francisco was coming off 2-14 and 6-10 seasons.
Enter Head Coach Bill Walsh and quarterback Joe Montana (a 1979 third round draft pick out of Notre Dame) and the Niners began to turn things around.
They finished the 1981 season with a 13-3 record, then earned the right to play in the Super Bowl when a Montana pass to Dwight Clark in the right corner of the end zone, dubbed ‘The Catch,’ propelled the Niners to 28-27 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC championship game.
In Super Bowl XVI, the Niners squared-off against the Cincinnati Bengals and built one of the biggest halftime leads in the history of that game, 20-0.
When the second half play began, Cincinnati quarterback Ken Anderson looked like a different man after a first half where he missed a bunch of passes while under heavy pressure from the Niners defense.
Anderson led the Bengals on the opening drive of the third stanza on an 83-yard scoring march that concluded when the Bengals quarterback scrambled across the goal line from five yards out.
And, the Cincinnati defense held the Niners to just four yards of total offense in the third quarter.
Midway through the third, Cincinnati got a big break when Anderson lofted a third down, 49-yard pass to wide receiver Cris Collingsworth that gave the Bengals a first down on the Niners 14 yard line.
But the Niners defense turned it up a notch, led by linebackers Jack ‘Hacksaw’ Reynolds and Dan Bunz
With Cincinnati on the San Francisco one yard line, the Bengals called on their 250-lb. fullback, Pete Johnson. His second down run at the end zone was stopped when Reynolds and Bunz led a charge that bashed the fullback for no gain.
On third down, Anderson went to the air, connecting with halfback Charles Alexander, who was stopped in his tracks by Bunz, inches short of the goal line. Nunz’s tackle has been memorialized in football lore as “The Stop.’
Then, on fourth down, the Bengals went for the touchdown and again, Johnson was stopped in his tracks, short of the goal line, as Reynolds and Bunz led the charge again. That play remains known as ‘The Play.’
The goal line stand gave the momentum back to the Niners, despite the fact they did not score a touchdown in the second half of thecontest.
Cincinnati then came back in the final quarter and closed the score to 20-14 on an Anderson TD aerial.
But the Niners answered on a Ray Wersching field goal, one of four he booted in the game. This one was from 40 yards out with 3:25 left in the game and from there, the outcome was never in doubt. Another Wersching field goal made it 26-14, before the Bengals added a TD in the waning moments of the game.
Hacksaw led the Niners defense that game, making 16 tackles, including eight solo takedowns.
“Jack gave us leadership and maturity and toughness and set an example for everybody...As strange a guy as he was, he really put us on the map. I think that single addition was the key to our success,” Head Coach Walsh said of his linebacker.
That first San Francisco Super Bowl victory, to this day is heralded as “The Super Bowl win that launched a football dynasty.”

PICTURED: THIS SUNDAY, THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ers will seek their sixth Super Bowl title in franchise history under the direction of owners Denise and John York, and their son, Jed, who is a graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School. On Jan. 24, 1982, the Niners claimed their first of five titles with a 26-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. While San Francisco moved out to a 20-0 halftime lead, the Bengals gained the momentum in the third quarter of the game and sought to close the Niners’ margin to 20-14 when they moved to the 1-yard line midway through the third stanza. Enter Jack ‘Hacksaw’ Reynolds, 64, a fierce linebacker who made two stops on Cincinnati fullback Pete Johnson on the one yard line to help preserve the Niners victory.
  Catullo Garners Fourth Spot At Kenston Wrestling Meet  
  Switka, Rankin, Swavel Also Place:   January 4, 2024  
Four wrestlers from Boardman High School reached the podium at the Kenston Invitational Wrestling Tournament held Dec. 28-29. Antonio Catullo led Boardman finishers, earning a fourth place in the 113 lb. bracket.
In the 150 lb. division, Boardman’s Max Switka claimed fifth place laurels; while Willy Rankin (132-lb) and Quin Swavel (190-lb) took seventh places in matches both won by pins
Catullo won four of six matches by pins, but was eliminated in the bout for third place when he dropped a 12-2 major decision to J.J. Strano, of Kenston. Catullo won a pair of matches with early pins, putting Ashton Pfeifer of Ontario HS down in 23 seconds; and Garrett Wiester, of Keystone HS in 30 seconds.
Switka earned his fifth place, blanking Bennett Claypoole of Pymatuning Valley HS, 6-0. Big wins came when he bested Jack Cutlip, of Hudson HS (15-0 technical fall); and pinned Nathan Miller, of Geneva HS in 79 seconds.
In their seventh place bouts, Rankin pinned Qwintin Howard, of Crestview HS at the 3:02 mark of their match; and Swavel took down Kevin Howard, of Norwalk HS in 2:39.
Ontario HS won the Kenston with 229.5 points, while Boardman took 16th place with 84.5 points. A field of 31 teams competed in the meet, known for bringing plenty of talent for wrestlers to use to gauge themselves and what kind of competition they will see when sectional tournaments begin. Local results follow:
Third Place
113: J.J. Strano (Kenston B) maj. dec. Antonio Catullo (Boardman), 12-2, Catullo finished fourth.
Fifth Place
150: Max Switka (Boardman) dec. Bennett Claypoole (Pymatuning Valley), 6-0.
Seventh Place
132: Willy Rankin (Boardman) pin Qwintin Howard (Crestview), 3:02.
190: Quin Swavel (Boardman) pin Kevin Howard (Norwalk), 2:39.
Consolation Semifinal
113: Antonio Catullo (Boardman) pin Steven Rocha (Riverside), 4:08.
150: Addison Trisket (Madison) dec. Max Switka (Boardman), 3-0.
Consolation Quarterfinal
113: Antonio Catullo (Boardman) pin Ashton Pfeifer (Ontario) , 1:54.
132: Jamie Mackey (Fairfield) dec. Willy Rankin (Boardman), 7-5.
150: Max Switka (Boardman) pin Dylan Kick (Chardon), 4:55.
190: Austin Hardesty (Chardon) dec. Quin Swavel (Boardman), 4-0.
Fourth Consolation
106: Aidian Pastor (Madison) dec. Frank Quinlan (Boardman), 4-2.
113: Antonio Catullo (Boardman) pin Caleb Simcic (Madison), 0:23.
126: Tucker Pason (NDCL) pin Phil Clark (Boardman) 4:36.
132: Willy Rankin (Boardman) pin Jacob Pajestka (Valley Forge), 1:50.
138: Mario Brienza (Revere) dec. Petch Wongkeaitaroon (Boardman), 7-0.
150: Max Switka (Boardman) tech. fall Jack Cutlip (Hudson), 15-0.
165: Nico Helton (Norwalk) pin Jacob Boyles (Boardman), 2:03.
190: Quin Swavel (Boardman) maj. dec. Jojo Herbert (Valley Forge), 16-4.
215: Cayden Calogar (Riverside) pin Idries Aduenaaj (Boardman), 1:49.
126: Tyler Maxwell (Strongsville) pin Phil Clark (Boardman), 1:05.
132: Jack Harrison (Madison) pin Willy Rankin (Boardman), 1:59.
150: Aidan Jones (Revere) pin Max Switka (Boardman), 5:49.
Third Consolation
106” Frank Quinlan (Boardman) dec. Joey Triscaro (Kenston), 5-0.
113: Antonio Catullo (Boardman) pin Garrett Wiester (Keystone), 0:30.
138: Petch Wongkeaitaroon (Boardman) dec. Nick Hansen (Riverside), 11-6.
165: Jacob Boyles (Boardman) pin Chris Barone (Riverside), 0:22.
190: Quin Swavel (Boardman) pin Brenton Mason (Crestwood), 1:16.
215: Idries Aduenaaj (Boardman) pin Tommy Simpkins (NDCL), 2:34.
285: Jacob Holtz (No. Olmsted) pin Landon Whippo (Boardman), 2:25.
Second Consolation
106: Frank Quinlan (Boardman) pin Omar Abuatiq (No. Olmsted), 2:50.
138: Petch Wongkeaitaroon (Boardman) pin Isaiah Bragg (Hawken), 1:06.
157: Liam Kuhn (Crestview) pin Andrew Moran (Boardman), 2:28.
165: Jacob Boyles (Boardman) dec. Drew Pfost (Crestwood), 11-4.
175: Hudson Davis (Strongsville) pin Lucas Mitchel (Boardman), 0:55.
190: Quin Swavel (Boardman) pin Joe Penny (NDCL) 1:35.
285: Landon Whippo (Boardman) dec. Cam Mullins (Madison), 3-2.
Second Round
106: Aiden Ohl (Ontario) pin* Frank Quinlan (Boardman), 1:38.
113: Steven Rocha (Riverside) pin Antonio Catullo (Boardman), 5:16.
126: Phil Clark (Boardman) dec. Zander Joltin (West Geauga) , 7-4.
132: Willy Rankin (Boardman) pin Ryan Noydara-Robinette (Kirtland), 4:43.
138: Brogan Fielding (Spire Academy) pin Petch Wongkeaitaroon (Boardman), 3:23.
150: Max Switka (Boardman) pin Nathan Miller (Geneva), 1:19.
165: Gabe Adams (Fairfield) pin Jacob Boyles (Boardman), 5:27.
175: Will Vucetic (Chardon) pin Lucas Mitchel (Boardman), 1:00.
190: Bobby Shinault (Lakeside) dec. Quin Swavel (Boardman), 3-2.
215: Danny Grayson (Valley Forge) dec. Idries Aduenaaj (Boardman), 3-1.
First Round
132: Willy Rankin (Boardman) maj. dec. Jamie Mackey (Fairfield), 14-4.
150: Max Switka (Boardman) pin Jimmy Unger (Ontario), 1:35.
157: Quinn Bruder (Fairview) pin Andrew Moran (Boardman), 3:04.
285: Grason Bias (Ontario) pin Landon Whippo (Boardman), 1:13.
  Ethan Andersen Member Of Marietta Pioneers Cage Team  
  November 30, 2023  
MARIETTA, OH.---A member of the Marietta Pioneers basketball team this year is 6-7 post player Ethan Andersen, a former All American Conference all-star performer at Boardman High School under Head Coach Pat Birch.
Marietta is currently 4-1 on the season and in their most recent game, a 118-76 victory over Bethany, Andersen notched a dozen points, grabbed five rebounds, and had a pair of steals and a pair of blocked shots.
As a sophomore, Andersen earned his first varsity letter, appearing in 26 games, and starting in seven of those contests. He averaged 3.5 points a game and 2.6 caroms a game.
At Boardman High School, Andersen earned All American Conference Player of tghe Year honors in 2021 and was a first team, All-Ohio Academic Team selection.
Andersen is major in environmental engineering at Marietta.
  Derrick Anderson With Golden Knights Hoop Team  
  November 30, 2023  
ERIE, PA.---A member of the 2023-24 Gannon University Golden Knights men’s basketball team is junior Derrick Anderson, a 6-2, 180-lb. guard.
To open the season Gannon is off to a 5-0 start, averaging 116 points a game, including a 140-108 victory in their opener over Glenville State.
As a senior at Boardman High School in 2019-20 under Head Coach Pat Birch, Anderson was an OHSAA Division I All-State second team selection who averaged 22.7 ppg., 4.8 rpg., and 4.0 apg. He was named the All-American Conference’s Red Tier Player of the Year while scoring 545 points as a senior. During his prep career at Boardman he scored 1,045 points.
After graduating from Boardman High School, Anderson took his talents to Snow College in Utah where he saw action in 34 games playing for the junior college.
Last season, Anderson played at Butler County Community College in Pennsylvania with a Pioneers team that went 21-5. Anderson scored in double figures in every game and ended the year ranked third in the country among Div. III players with a 22.4 ppg average. His 5.5 assist per game ranked him 14th in the county in that category. His career high at Butler was 37 points in a victory over Pennsylvania Highlands.
Anderson is a criminal justice major at Gannon.
  Farris, D’Altorio Gain All-Ohio Status At State XC Championship Meet  
  November 9, 2023  
Senior Brock Farris became the 14th harrier in Boardman High School cross country history, claiming a 13th place finish in a field of 182 runners at last weekend’s Ohio prep championships held at Fotrtress Obetz, near Columbus.
Farris posted a career best time of 15:29, that ranks second all time in school history.
Farris was joined by BHS junior David D’Altorio who placed 20th overall with a time of 15:46 and earned All-Ohio for the second consecutive season.
Both runners became the first Spartan duo to sit atop the podium at the state championship, and had the best finish since 2013 when Mark Hadley placed first and Alan Burns took 21st place.
Ben Gabelman, of Westchester North, won the state title race with a time of 14:51.70.
“This was really a great showing by both David and Brock,” said Spartan Head Coach John Phillips. “They ran really strong races and positioned themselves in the top 25 as soon as the gun went off. They both represent Boardman High School with such class, it was the perfect way to conclude such a great season for them and our team.”
D’Altorio was awarded Academic All Ohio by the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches for having a GPA of 3.5 or higher. This is D’Altorio’s second straight year being recognized for his performance in the classroom.
Farris and D’Altorio are currently second and fifth respectively on The Boardman CC All-Time Top-25.
The Spartan duo will travel to The Nike National Cross Country Regional Meet next weekend on the campus of Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, looking to advance to the national championship that will be held in Eugene, Oregon.
Boardman High School cross country competitors who have earned All-Ohio recognition are Hadley, Mitchel Dunham, Tim Powers, D’Altorio, Farris, Sam Deskin, Tim Grady, Dave Roberts, Burns, Tom Albani, Frank Bero, Donn Craig, Jay Anzellotti and Kevin Gorby.
Competing in the state championship race on the girls’ side of the ledger as Lady Spartan Gabby Vennetti, a junior. She placed #126th in the race won by Evelyn Prodoehl, of Lakota West, who posted a time of 17:23.60.

photo/Howard Reese
 BOARDMAN HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY runners David D’Altorio, at left, and Brock Farris, at right, earned All-Ohio honors last weekend competing in the Ohio Div. I championships. Farris set the pace for the Spartans with a 13 place finished while D’Altorio was 20th. 182 harriers competed at the event.
  Connor Miller Receives Lee Tressel Award  
  June 29, 2023  
 Connor Miller, of Boardman, was among over 30 students who received recent recognition for achievements at Baldwin Wallace University. Each spring, BW’s Honors Award Ceremony recognizes student achievement with a variety of scholarships and awards for academics, athletics and leadership. Miller, a graduate of Boardman High School majoring in pre-allied health/pre-physical therapy, received the Dr. Lee Tressel Award. The scholarship is named for a former head football coach and athletic director for Baldwin-Wallace College who maintained a strong commitment to academic excellence and encouraged all athletes to excel in their academic as well as their athletic pursuits. Miller is a member of the Baldwin Wallace football team.
  Boardman Posts Second Straight 9-0 Track Season  
  Spartans Race By Mooney And Youngstown East:   May 11, 2023  
The Boardman High School boys track and field team concluded the regular season with a record of 9-0 after a 142-12-9 victory over Cardinal Mooney and Youngstown East last week.
This is the first back-to-back undefeated seasons for the Spartans since the 2008-2009 campaigns.
The Spartans opened the meet with a first place finish in the 4x800 meter relay with the team of senior Andrew Yocum, senior Joel Cuevas-Pixley, junior Antajuan Hightower, and freshman Adam Nigro.
Senior Brady DePietro placed first in the 110H with junior Breylin Jones in second. In the 100 meter dash, junior Aiden Berg placed first, sophomore Marcus Rutledge was second, and junior Phil Clark was third. The 4x200 team of junior Ethan Yi, freshman Joe Kasbee, sophomore Sam Boor, and freshman Micah Bukovac placed first.
In the 1600 meter run, the Spartans scored all of the four places with junior Brock Farris in first, sophomore David D’Altorio in second, freshman Chase Moore in third, and freshman Dom Theodore in fourth.
Boardman’s 4x100 team of senior Logan Thompson, DePietro, Cuevas-Pixley and senior Jared Mahood placed first.
Spartan junior Ethan Boots placed first in the 400 with D’Altorio in second, and sophomore Danny LaCivita in third. In the 300 meter hurdles, DePietro placed first with freshman Kevin Tomlin in second.
In the 800 meter run, senior Ben Zilavy was first with Hightower in second, Yocum in third, and Moore in fourth. The 200 meter dash was won by Cuevas-Pixley with Berg in third and Clark fourth. The Spartans swept the 3200 with Nigro in first, D’Altorio in second, LaCivita third, and freshman Jonah Stevens in fourth. The 4x400 relay team of Zilavy, Boots, D’Altorio, and Yocum placed first.
In the field events, the Spartans placed three athletes in the high jump with sophomore Kayant Fontanez-Waid in first, freshman Victor Dimargio in second, and freshman Quin Swavel in third. Thompson placed first in the long jump with Jones in third.
In the discus, senior Tyler Cherne placed first overall with sophomore Santino Radjukovic in second, freshman Ahmed Mohammed in third, and senior Ricky Boyarko in fourth.
In the shot put, Cherne was first with sophomore Chase Conner in second and Boyarko placed fourth. Sophomore Isaiah Doyle placed first in the pole vault with Theodore in second.
The Track Meet MVP went to freshman Jonah Stevens.
The meet served as Senior Night for Boardman, the eight member class competing at Spartan Stadium for the final time includes: Ricky Boyarko, Tyler Cherne, Joel Cuevas-Pixley, Brady DePietro, Jared Mahood, Logan Thompson, Andrew Yocum and Ben Zilavy.
  October 20, 2022  
Rocco Turner
Cardinal Mooney junior Rocco Turner won the OHSAA D-III state golf championship at the NorthStar Golf Course in Sunbury, Oh..  The first round was played on Friday, October 14 and began an hour late due to frost on the course. The weather was brutal with wind gusts close to 40 mph. Rocco stayed the course and tried to make as many pars as possible considering the conditions. He finished his first round with a 2-over-par 74.  Saturday’s final round was better conditions, the wind wasn’t as bad and Turner decided to play a little more aggressive and attack the course. His final round was a 1-under- par 71, including four birdies and an eagle.
He finished the tournament with a 36-hole total of 145 strokes, winning the state crown and first team all-Ohio laurels by four strokes.
Even though it was her first season coaching the Mooney boys team, Coach Mary Theresa Bellino knew what to expect at a state tournament having been to the state championship in 2018, 2019 and 2020 with the Mooney girls. She knew if she could keep Rocco focused on the job at hand, he would be able to take home the title.
The fact that he won didn’t surprise her. “Rocco is a talented and focused player. He knows what he has to do to shoot his best and he does it. I couldn’t be more proud of him,” said the head coach.
Making it even more special for Turner was the fact that the whole Mooney team made it to state tournament where they finished 9th out of 12-team field with a team score of 723.
The Mooney team included Turner’s younger brother, freshman Dante, who shot 176 (90-86), freshman Alex Eckstein shot 183 (96-87), senior Tim Reardon shot 219 (111-108), and senior Joe Zeno shot 254 (129-125).
  Coach Don Bucci On Hand As Mooney Honors 1982 Ohio Championship Grid Team  
  October 6, 2022  
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the CMHS 1982 Division II football state championship.
At the Cardinal Mooney vs. Brush High School football game at Mineral Ridge Stadium last Friday, team members and coaching staff from that 1982 team were recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to the Mooney football program.
The 1982 team brought home the third of Cardinal Mooney’s eight state grid championships tate defeating Toledo St. Francis deSales 12-0, on November 26, 1982. The Cards finished 10-2 that year, defeating Steubenville and Mentor Lake Catholic in the playoffs, prior to the match-up with St. Francis in the title game.
Seniors on the team had a three-year record of 33-3, earning two state championships (they were a part of the 1980 State Champ team and also made a trip to the state semifinals in 1981).
Several members of the coaching staff were in attendance at last Friday’s game, including Roy Nard, Tony Congemi, Dan Kukura and lkegendary Head Coach Don Bucci.
When asked about this team, Coach Bucci said “This is one of the great Mooney teams, that went underestimated in the regular season. But with their grit and tenacity, they went on to earn this state title.”
Just two weeks ago, the Cardinals notched the program’s 500th win with a 37-0 win over Youngstown East.
  FOG-58 Old-Timers Advance To Championship Series  
  September 29, 2022  
Boardman News Sports
The FOG 58’s scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning last Tuesday to defeat A2Z and advance to the championship game of the of the Youngstown Old-timers 50+ Baseball League, Inc., double-elimination play-offs.
The FOG will now meet Greenville at press time, a team that handed them their only setback of the post-season, 8-6, scoring three runs in the fifth inning to break a 5-all tie back on September 15.
Greenville remains undefeated and in the winner’s bracket with the FOG needing to win twice coming out of the loser’s bracket if they expect to win the title.
If a second game is necessary, it will be played on Thursday beginning at 5:15 p.m. at the Poland High Baseball Complex field.
Jack Hay tossed a complete game, scattering eight hits, striking out one while allowing four bases on balls to pick up the win.
Larry Yoho was saddled with the loss, going 5 1/3 frames, allowing two of the three FOG runs but just four of their seven safeties.
“I felt like Mark [Cherol] and I were working in sync the entire game,” Hay said. “Their hitters battled but luckily our defense held tight and our offense came through in the end. It was a pretty good game overall and a nice win for all us old-timers.”
The FOG took the early 1-0 lead in their initial at bat when Butch Angelucci led off with a single, advanced to second on Carmen Nocera’s sacrifice bunt, moved to third on Joe Kraus’ infield out then scored on Mike Homer’s single to left field.
Three of the FOG’s seven hits in the game took place in the opening frame.
While the FOG could manage just one hit and three base runners – all three runners were retired via infield double plays in the second, third and fourth innings – over the next three stanzas, Hay held A2Z at bay despite his opponent sending 14 batters to the dish over those same three frames, stranding five runners and 12 overall in the game.
In the fifth inning, A2Z knotted the game at a run apiece when Ken Klinvex led off with a single, advanced to second on Bill Sattler’s walk with one a way then came around to tie the game on Terry Hogan’s two-out single.
With darkness approaching, the FOG plated the game-winning runs in the sixth inning for a 3-1 lead and an advantage they would not relinquish the rest of the way.
Kraus drew a one-out walk, went to second when Mike Homer followed with a base on balls then scored on Cal Baker’s single to left field for a 2-1 lead.
The FOG extended their lead to 3-1 when Larry Kelly’s sacrifice fly sent Homer across the plate.
In the seventh inning, Sattler led off and reached on an infield error and after Ron Pringle flew out to Angelucci in centerfield, Brian Wright hit into a game-ending double play that ended A2Z’s season and sent the FOG into this week’s championship series.
“It was a nice, bounce back win from our tough loss last Thursday,” player-manager Jon Wallace added after the game. “This puts us in the championship round and we will need a solid, overall effort against Greenville. Our pitching is a little thin but we will just have to step it up. Jack [Hay] pitched a great game tonight against an excellent opponent and defensively we were solid. Our offense came alive at just the right time.”
Baker led the FOG with two singles and a run batted in while Angelucci (run scored), Kraus (run scored), Homer (run scored), Terry Noble and Wallace registered the other five safeties, all singles.
  U.S. Air Force Gives Mannozzi Chance To Puruse Olympic Racewalking Dream  
  The Italian Stallon: ‘Building my base camp...on the way to the summit’:   September 1, 2022  
associate editor
Senior Airman Michael Mannozzi, 36, of Boardman, is one of nine U.S. Air Force athletes to be selected for a two-year program that will allow him to train for the Olympic Trials for a chance to gain a berth in the 2024 games in Paris, France.
As a part of the Air Force’s ‘World Class Athlete Program,’ (WCAP), Mannozzi will train at a location (probably in California) that will provide him with the greatest potential to make the U.S. Olympic team as a race walker.
In 2019, Mannozzi (known in race walking circles as ‘The Italian Stallion’) enlisted in the Air Force and following basic training, he was assigned to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Oh. as a religious affairs airman. Still, he didn’t give up race walking and he was a familiar site at Wright Patterson practicing his craft at 5:00 a.m. in the morning; all the while touting his potential in the sport to just about anyone who would listen---including a tech school squadron commander who was impressed at the race walker’s efforts to help fellow airmen pass physical training tests. The commander wrote letters up the chain-of-command that moved hurdles and gave Mannozzi the chance to represent Wright Patterson, and the U.S. Air Force at race walking events.
This July, Mannozzi won the 10K racewalk at the United States Track and Field Masters Championships held in Lexington, Ky., his 18th national race walking title.
His first crown came in 2010 when with two laps to go and trailing the field in the NAIA national championships, he came back to win the race representing Notre Dame College in Cleveland.
Mannozzi’s remarkable run into an elite status among American race-walkers actually began at Youngstown State University in 2005, where as a freshman, he wanted to form a wrestling team at the school, which at the time had none. While at YSU, he tried as a ‘walk-on’ to join the Penguins cross country, track and football teams. He was spurned at every turn.
Then, while attending a wrestling meet at Kent State University, he wore a ‘YSU wrestling sweatshirt’ that he made.
At that meet, he was approached by the father of an Austintown Fitch wrestler who was on the KSU mat team, and who asked about the YSU program.
At that point, Mannozzi had to explain there was no wrestling program at the school---and the father suggested he contact Notre Dame College, that was just starting their own wrestling team.
Mannozzi visited the school and soon joined the ND wrestling program on a scholarship. But he was ‘sub-par’ on the mats, and decided to try out for the school’s track program.
Though he scored some points in track and field, it didn’t seem he would attain any status in the sport.
So, his javelin coach suggested Mannozzi try racewalking, since the school did not have any athletes competing in that event. He wasn’t very good at that either, and in his first race in Mar., 2008, the whole field of competitors beat him.
Then he came out of nowhere two years later to win the NAIA championship and since that time has been doggedly pursuing his Olympic dreams.
“I don’t intend to give up on my dream,” he says,
After college graduation in 2011, Mannozzi continued to train and race, making a living with part-time jobs, including at Tee Up golf range in Boardman; and the D.D. and Velma Davis Family YMCA, all the while competing in the sport he loves at venues across America, and around the globe.
Among his career highlights: He is a six-time Team USA member, has participated in several Pan American competitions, and earned a bronze medal in the 50K race walk at the 2016 Olympic Trials, but his time was too slow to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team.
A memorable experience was being the first in three generations of his family to return to Italy, where he participated in the 2016 World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships in Rome. His father, Russ, had dreamed of visiting Italy but was held back by a long battle with multiple sclerosis prior to his death when Mannozzi was 14-years-old. The trip, and meeting his Italian relatives, felt like he was fulfilling his father’s wish, he says.
His racing career came to a halt when Mannozzi suffered a leg injury in 2017. “I came crashing down,” he recalls.
Despite visits with doctors, chiropractors and trainers, no one could figure out what was wrong with his leg, so he stopped training, gained weight and felt discouraged, he says.
In search of opportunity, he and his family moved to Canada, where Mannozzi got a job in retail footwear. Eventually, he started training again, slowly regaining his form and participating in races around Canada. Still, things continued to be difficult financially. And, Mannozzi is open about his battle with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which he says hampered his ability to make long-term plans.
He was considering becoming a police officer when he was accepted into the U.S. Air Force, a process he’d started with recruiters more than two years prior, he says. He enlisted in July, 2019. Two months later, he set the record for the fastest Air Force race walk marathon, and in 2020 was honored as Wright Patterson Athlete of the Year.
Mannozzi says he’s grateful for where he is in life and trains with as much dedication as ever, getting up between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. about 360 days per year.
“It’s become my time in prayer, and it’s become my time of regulating my ADHD,” he says
After all he’s been through, he’s a smarter racer now. He’s aware he doesn’t have that ‘extra gear’ anymore and has lost some speed, but he knows how to leverage his talent and training. His mental attitude has shifted for the better, too. Now that his family is enjoying financial stability, it’s easier to commit to a healthier lifestyle, he says.
He absolutely plans to stick to race walking for the long term.
“I know now if you don’t get up at 5 a.m. — even though you are tired and it’s dark and it’s cold out and nobody is out there — this is your only shot,” he says. “This is all you have.”
He is also aware, at 36-years-old, his days at achieving his Olympic dreams could be numbered.
“I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m building by first base camp on Mt. Everest, and working hard to get to the summit.”
Mannozzi and his wife, Jemma, are the parents of two sons, Matthew and Jason. His wife and children provide constant inspiration along his journey.
  Congson’s First Field Goal Gives Boardman 10-7 Win Over Mooney  
  Ortiz Darts 34 Yards For Spartans Touchdown:   August 25, 2022  
Boardman News Sports
Austin Congson’s 32-yard field goal with 3:04 remaining lifted the Boardman Spartans to a 10-7, come from behind victory over arch-rival Cardinal Mooney last Friday at Mineral Ridge High School’s Joe Lane Stadium, thanks to a great catch of a high snap from center on the kick attempt by Fernando Ortiz.
“Ortiz did a great job having patience and the ball skills to get the ball down on the tee,” Spartan Head Coach D.J. Dota said.
The 51st renewal of the series was also the season lidlifter for both schools as the Spartans won for the third straight year and fifth time in the last seven outings against the Cardinals.
After a scoreless first half and 30:21 overall to start the game, the game looked like it might head to overtime without either team posting a crooked number on the board.
For Congson, who replaced his brother, Cole – he handled the placekicking duties a year ago – and like his sibling a soccer standout for head coach Eric Simione’s BHS varsity team, too, nerves were expected as he attempted his first varsity field goal but left him once he witnessed his kick splitting the uprights.
“At first, I was a little bit nervous but my teammates are always there to help and calm me down,” Congson said. “They encourage and support me, which helps me to adjust when I get on the field.”
Congson said he appreciates both first-year head football coach Dota and Simione with his practice and game schedules.
“Both coaches are truly amazing this year and I really love it,” he added.
The Cardinals, coming off an un-Cardinal Mooney-like 1-9 season in ’21, were looking to start the ’22 campaign on a winning note under third-year head mentor Carl Pelini.
CMHS broke the scoreless tie with 5:39 remaining in the third quarter, scoring on their initial possession of the second half when junior signal-caller Ashton O’Brien found Robert Hardy from nine yards away.
Nick Pregibon’s placement went right down the middle of the goalposts for a 7-0 Cardinals’ lead, a margin they maintained until midway through the final stanza when senior running back Fernando Ortiz found paydirt from 34 yards out to pull BHS to within a point at 7-6.
Congson’s extra point attempt then knotted the score at 7-all with 6:04 remaining in the contest.
Ortiz, who had just two yards rushing on five carries in the opening session, finished the game with 86 yards on 13 totes and the only score BHS could muster.
He thanked his offensive line for granting his modest request.
“I just told my line to give me one block and I will bust it for them,” Ortiz stated. “They gave me a block and I just shot it. They caught me earlier on a couple wheel routes and I got some yards, but this was all thanks to my offensive line.”
Ortiz said the team appreciates their new head coach.
“He [Dota] expects the best out of us at all times,” he noted. “He’s not going to sell us short and we aren’t going to sell him short, either. We love him, he loves us and we just had to buy in, which we did today. We kept fighting and fought adversity, just like coach said we are going to have to do.
“Cardinal Mooney is a way better team. It was a good game and I think we underestimated them a bit but we fought through and got the win.”
The Spartans had a chance to knot the score on a drive that consumed the final 2:52 of the third period and the first play of the final frame, but quarterback Tomas Andujar’s pass on third and six from the CMHS seven yard-line fell incomplete.
On the ensuing drive for CMHS, O’Brien connected with Carlos Gomez on 62-yard gain on a third and seven from their own 11 yard line before he was hauled down at the Spartans’ 27 yard line.
O’Brien then found an open Rocco Gentile at the BHS 10 yard line, only to fumble the ball with Andujar recovering and returning the pigskin to their own 20 yard line.
The Spartans could not capitalize on the opportunity, however, as Andujar’s pass was intercepted by the Cardinals’ Todd White at the Boardman 35 yard line.
Two plays later, Boardman’s Aiden Berg returned the favor, picking off O’Brien which led to their nine-play, 81 yard drive and their first score of the season.
After the BHS defense held the Cardinals to a ‘three and out,’ Andujar led the Spartans to the CMHS 16 yard line, which culminated in Congson’s game-winning kick.
Dota said everyone was on cloud nine when the final gun sounded.
“We were down in their zone the first time and thought we could kick it, but went for it and didn’t get it,” Dota said. “Then, we got down there and the score was tied and we attempted the field goal. Austin has the leg strength to do it but you get nervous with the guy who has only been around for a month and a half, maybe two months and he’s kicking it.
“He comes once a week and he had never kicked in any game, ever, so what a kick. He must be on cloud nine right now. I know because we all are. We drove it, were in a fourth and long situation so we decided to kick it. We knew he had the leg and it wasn’t the greatest snap or hold getting it down. It was slow but he made it and that’s good.”
Dota said Ortiz came up big for the Spartans in the second half after a swarming Cardinals’ defense held him in check the first 24 minutes of action.
“They did a good job of sticking a lot of guys in the box but made a few adjustments to get him on the perimeter,” Dota added. “I think he ran a little bit different in the second half, too, and felt like he ran a lot harder but again, it’s all reps. It is getting those reps every week and hopefully he continues to do that and get better each week.
“He broke a bunch of tackles on that touchdown run and has the power. We’ve talked I have become like a dad to him. I’m not always nice to him and he knows that, but it is there for him to be the best runner that he can be. Also, I told him at the end of the game that’s the type of runner you should be all the time. Sometimes, it is just a gear that he must use.
“Coach [Michael, Jr.] Popio and I call the defense and it’s easy for us to say, but we played really good defense all night and hopefully we can continue to do that. Our guys stepped up when we needed to make plays and that is what I am most proud of. Our guys came out, they didn’t quit, kept fighting and we talk about the hard work that we put in so hopefully it continues to pay off.”
The Spartans racked up 310 yards of total offense on 66 snaps, registering 223 yards and their only touchdown on 45 ground attempts, going ‘6 of 21” through the air for an additional 87 markers.
Andujar picked up 95 yards on 27 carries while Ortiz had 86 yards on 13 totes, the two backfield aces combining for 181 of their team’s 223 ground yards.
Signal-caller Nico Holzschuh was just as effective with his time under center, adding 40 yards of his four carries.
Andujar was 6 of 18 through the air for 87 yards with an interception while Ortiz led all BHS receivers, hauling in three aerials for 73 yards.
Cardinals’ head coach Carl Pelini said a few mistakes in the red zone proved costly but was otherwise pleased with his team’s effort.
“We prepared well enough to win, we played hard enough to win, we just have to learn how to win,” Pelini stated. “It was a hot night and we were able to substitute some guys who gave us good minutes, plus it was a heck of a football game on both sides. Both teams played really hard and it just came down to the field goal attempt and some special team’s mistakes on our part.
“The turnover in the red zone in a close game, those are mistakes you cannot afford to make. We made a few too many mistakes to win a game like this.”
The Cards ran 45 plays from offense and racked up 198 total yards offensively, of which all but 10 came via the passing game.
O’Brien was 16 of 29 for 179 yards with two interceptions while the running game could manage just 10 total ground yards on 16 carries.
Carlos Gomez led all receivers with three catches for 112 yards, Noah Thomas adding a game-high four receptions for 12 yards.
Boardman fumbled twice, losing one with an interception to go along with their two miscues while CMHS also fumbled twice, lost one and threw two balls to the opposition.
Boardman was penalized five times for 60 yards while the Cardinals were pushed back four times for a total of 20 yards in losses.
The Spartans held a 12-9 advantage in first downs.
Junior Varsity
On Saturday, Boardman’s junior varsity grid team defeated Cardinal Mooney, 12-8. The Spartans got touchdowns from Mason Nawrocki on a 22-yard pass from Zack Haus; and Vince Atwood scored on a 5 yard scamper.
  Boardman 12-U Softball Team Ends Tournament Run At Central Regional Championships With 2-2 Mark  
  August 4, 2022  
Boardman News Sports
The Boardman 12-U Community softball teeam finished 2-2 at last week’s Little League Softball World Series Central regional, opening the tournament with a 2-0 win over Boyd County, Kentucky Boyd, then following that up with a 2-0 decision over Beardstown-Illinois on July 27.
After a hard fought loss to eventual champion Missouri Daniel Boone, 5-2, Boardman scored the first two runs of the tournament that Missouri allowed after outscoring their first two opponents by a 27-0 count, on July 28, and eventual runner-up Floyds Knob Community Club of Indiana eliminated the Boardman entry the following day, 13-0, to finish .500 for their four-game effort.
“This was such an amazing experience and a really awesome ride,” head coach Marissa Davies said after the tourney. “I could not be any prouder of these girls. They represented our Boardman community and great state of Ohio with class, creating a lifetime of memories that they will never forget.
“This team has accomplished so much, ending our historic post-season run as district and state champions while finishing third overall in the Central regional tournament.”
In their opening game, pitcher Emma Davies hurled a three-hitter, striking out 12 while Emily Swantek and Addie Rudge each drove in a run to pace Boardman to their shutout of Kentucky.
In their 5-1 win over Illinois, Davies needed just 82 pitched to dispose of Illinois – like Boardman, they also finished the tournament 2-2 overall – scattering five hits and striking out five while Taylor Watts, Emily Swantek, Davies, Mia Duble (double) and Katherine Rudiak had Boardman’s five safeties.
Addie Rudge knocked in two runs with Addie Volosin and Rudiak also adding RBIs.
Boardman took a 2-0 lead in their initial at bat when Watts led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and after Davies walked placed runners on first and second to start the game.
After Swantek’s single loaded the bases, Watts scored on Rudge’s fielder’s choice with Addie Volosin making it a 2-0 contest when her ground out plated Davies.
Boardman extended their lead in the third frame when Rudge’s grounder scored Watts – Watts led off the inning with a single – for a 3-0 advantage, making it a 4-0 contest when Volosin reached on an infield error hat permitted Davis to cross the plate.
Illinois avoided the shutout in the fourth inning when pitcher Khloe Kearns led off with a double, advanced to third base on a wild pitch then scored on a sacrifice fly by Addilyn Tracy.
Boardman added an insurance marker in the sixth inning when Duble doubled with two outs, scoring the team’s fifth run of the game when Rudiak drove her home with a single to left field.
“We played well together and I am super proud of them,” Davies said after the game. “In our first two games we had timely hitting, excellent pitching and our exceptional defense.”
Boardman lost their first game of the tournament, dropping a 5-2 decision to Missouri, a team that had not allowed a run in their first two outings.
Missouri twirlers Jaylynn Brown and Rylee Ellsworth combined to throw a five-hitter, striking out six while issuing two free passes as they outdueled Davies, who needed just 62 total pitches as she absorbed her first loss in regional play.
Davies scattered eight hits and struck out five during her six innings pitched.
Missouri opened a 1-0 lead in the first when Mackenna Gibson’s sacrifice fly scored Ealynne Bostick, making it a 2-0 contest in the third inning when Gibson’s r.b.i. double also drove home Bostick.
Back to back doubles by Keelee Hagler and Ellsworth to lead off the fourth inning extended the Missouri lead to 3-0 and when Taylor Trim’s triple plated Ellsworth, Missouri made it a 4-0 contest.
Bostick’s two-out double then drove home Trim as Missouri bult a 5-0 margin.
Boardman avoided the shutout in their final at bat when Swantek’s one-out double drove home Davies with their first run of the game, pulling to within 5-2 when Rudge followed with a single that scored Swantek.
That would end the scoring for both teams.
Swantek (double) finished with two of her team’s five safeties while Rudge, Volosin and Addie Fiddler registered the other three hits.
Swantek and Rudge each had an RBI as Boardman suffered its first loss of the tournament.
Indiana then eliminated Boardman, 13-0, in a game-shortened, 3½ inning affair.
Pitcher Aubrey Duckworth allowed just one hit, which came off the bat of Addie Fiddler with two outs in the second inning.
An 11-run first inning was just too much for Boardman to overcome as Indiana added two insurance markers in the third inning to eliminate the tourney’s Ohio representative.
Adyson Rohman led Indiana offensively with two hits and three runs batted in while Emory Hegedus, Natalie Curtis, Shealee Kerley and Emma Warren all drove in two runs for the tournament’s eventual runners-up.
Missouri then proceeded to dispose of Indiana, 4-0, in the championship game.
The champion Daniel Boone Little League unit led the nine-team Central regional with a perfect 4-0 mark, with Boardman finishing 2-2 in their four games played
Indiana finished 5-2, Illinois and Iowa joined Boardman with 2-2 marks, Kentucky was 1-2 while Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin were 0-2 in the double elimination tournament.
  D’Altorio, Farris To Compete At National Meet  
  June 16, 2022  
PICTURED: The Boardman High School boys track team will be represented this weekend at The Adidas Outdoor Nationals by distance runners Brock Farris, on left, and David D’Altorio, at right. The Spartan duo will be racing Friday (Farris) and Saturday (D’Altorio) on the campus of North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, North Carolina. The meet is one of three outdoor national meets held this weekend with the two others located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Eugene, Oregon. Farris will be racing at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Friday in the Emerging Elite Division of the 1600 meter run. He earned his trip clocking a 4:25 at this year’s OHSAA Northeast Regional Championship in late May. D’Altorio will be racing at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Freshman Division of the 1600 run. D’Altorio earned his spot in Greensboro by racing 4:32 at this year’s OHSAA Northeast District Championship.
  Boardman Cindermen Make School History At State Meet  
  June 9, 2022  
The Boardman High School track and field team had a historic trip to the 2022 OHSAA state track and field championship held last weekend at Jesse Owens Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University.
Prior to this season, Boardman’s boys program never had a relay team make the podium at the state meet. This year, the Spartans 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams ended that streak.
Also, Boardman’s boys program has never had an athlete reach the podium in three separate events during the same state meet; this year Boardman had two achieve that mark, Logan Thompson and Ben Alvarico.
The Spartan 4x200 relay team of seniors Trey DePietro, Ben Alvarico, Cameron Thompson and Logan Thompson placed seventh in the state earning All-Ohio honors and becoming athletes 56,57,58 and 59 in school history to achieve All-Ohio status. A few minutes later, the same quartet placed fifth overall in the 4x100 relay to become the highest placing relay squad in school history. Later, Logan Thompson placed eighth in the 300 hurdles, and Alvarico placed seventh in the 200 meter dash, both becoming the first Spartans to step on the podium three times during the same day at the state meet.
“This group of athletes will be remembered for a long, long time,” said Boardman Head Coach John Phillips. “They are the most successful sprint/hurdle group in the storied history of our program. I can not congratulate them enough and their event coaches Rick Sypert and John DePietro. What a tremendous run they all had, I am extremely proud of them all,” Phillips concluded.

PICTURED:   REPRESENTING BOARDMAN HIGH SCHOOL last weekend at the Ohio Prep Track and Field Championships in Columbus were, from left, Cam Thompson, Tommy Nawrocki, Trey DePietro, Brady DiPietro, Brady DePietro and Logan Thompson.
  Mooney GOAT Kyle McCarthy ‘Stays In The Game’ As Top-Rated Sports Agent  
  March 24, 2022  
As a former Cardinal Mooney High, Notre Dame and pro football standout, Kyle McCarthy fully understands competition.
In his position as director of football for Athlete’s First, the premier football sports agency in the world, he’s just as competitive to ensure that his current and growing client list receives their best deal possible.
Negotiations are just a part of the equation when he is representing a player or coach.
“For those that I represent, I am helping them navigate the waters, either with the draft process, free agency or deciding what is the next best move for their future. It keeps me in the game,” he told the Curbstone Coaches during Monday’s meeting at Avion Banquet Center.
McCarthy is a former Cardinal Mooney High state championship quarterback---he led the Cardinals to the Division IV state title in 2004--and baseball star, who went on to college and served as captain of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team his senior year He played in the NFL for the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders, and fought cancer to become one of the top football agents in the nation.
He has had to scratch and scrape for everything that he’s ever earned.
“I played for Coach [P.J.] Fecko and it was his first season after taking over for Coach [Don] Bucci. We didn’t have much success that first year but went on to win the state championship my senior year so it was great to be a part of the growth process,” McCarthy said, adding “I didn’t know it back then but going through the college recruiting process helped prepare me for my vocation today as a sports agent.”
Social media wasn’t in full force back then like it is today so to get noticed, McCarthy purchased two VHS systems, made a highlight tape then sent out nearly 150 copies of that tape to college coaches around the country, hoping one might notice his play.
“I went into my senior year without a scholarship offer and after we won the state championship, a few Mid-American Conference schools came calling but actually thought I might end up at an Ivy League school or the Naval Academy,” added McCarthy, who was inducted into the Cardinal Mooney Athletics Hall of Fame this past weekend. “That all changed when Jim Tressel, who had taken over at Ohio State University a few years earlier, called to offer me a scholarship.
“I visited Ohio State with Ted Ginn, had a great experience and that is when everything took off. Northwestern, Boston College and Notre Dame then offered me, it came down to Ohio State, Notre Dame and the Naval Academy and being Irish-Catholic from the Midwest, I visited Notre Dame and everything after that went full speed ahead.”
McCarthy couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity that former Fighting Irish head coach Charlie Weis provided.
“I red-shirted because of a shoulder injury my freshman year, played special teams as a sophomore, started at safety as a junior then as a senior, served as team captain as well,” McCarthy stated. “I always respected coach Weis for giving me the chance to play at tradition-rich Notre Dame. As a coach, he was a consistent guy every single day and players respect that in a coach.”
Upon graduation, McCarthy went undrafted and became a priority free agent for multiple NFL teams, choosing the Denver Broncos where he made the team as a rookie before blowing out his knee in Week 16 of the 2010 season.
After rehabbing and spending another season in 2011 with the Broncos when they won the AFC West Division title, then spending time with the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders over the next couple seasons, he ended his professional football dream and returned to Notre Dame as a graduate assistant coach under former Fighting Irish head mentor Brian Kelly.
In 2014, a stomach pain that he thought was a sports hernia became so severe that he had to see a specialist.
A cancer diagnosis would eventually alter his career path.
“That diagnosis certainly wasn’t what I expected but I dealt with it,” McCarthy noted. “Coach Kelly was always so supportive, I never missed practice and the energy with a college football program helped get me through those days. It also gave me a different perspective of my future.
“I stayed close with my former agent, Brian Murphy, we talked about a lot of things during that time and because of my football background he offered me a job, on the spot, to work with Athlete’s First. I took a few weeks to think about it, talked it over with my wife, Kelsey, then took a leap of faith.
“Seven years after moving from South Bend to Laguna Beach, California, things have been going great. I love working with elite players and coaches in the NFL and college, I love the advisory part of my job and I’m still close to the game that I love.”
Next Monday, area high school winter state champions will be honored by the Curbstone Coaches organization.
  Sean O’Horo Qualifies For Ohio Prep Wrestling Championships  
  Drops Only Match Of Season At District Title Bout:   March 10, 2022  
Boardman High School senior and Kentucky Wildcats grid recruit, Sean O’Horo had a 43-match win streak snapped last weekend at the Ohio Div. I district wrestling tournament at North Canton Hoover, falling by a pin in the 175-lb. championship match to #2 state-ranked Luke Vanadia, of Brecksville.
The second place finish earned O’Horo a berth in this weekend’s state mat championships at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus where more than 15,000 fans will watch the action.
O’Horo enters the state event with a 43-1 record and will face Cleveland St. Ignatius junior Jarrell Young (23-4) in the opening round.
In district competition, O’Horo opened with a pin over Ryan Zentkovich of Massillon Washington at the 1:35 mark of their match. He advanced to quarterfinal action with a pin over Matthew Haney of Medina Highland at the 4:59 mark of that match.
O’Horo qualified for the state tournament in semifinal district competition, posting a 6-0 decision over Ben Romano, of Hudson High School.
In the championship match-up, Vanadia moved out to a 13-6 lead before putting O’Horo down by a pin.
“Sean wrestled a great first three matches to qualify for state and then ran into a buzzsaw in the finals against Vanadia and got pinned ,” Boardman Head Wrestling Coach Dom Mancini said, adding “But he’s where he needs to be and got a draw that is favorable at state.”
His state tourney matches will be live-streamed on Facebook at Boardman Spartan Wrestling.
Two other Spartans wrestlers participated in the district event, freshman Max Switka, at 126 lbs. and senior Ashton LaBelle, at 144-lbs.
In first round action, Switka lost by pin to Charlie Curtis of Massillon Perry; and then fell by a hard-fought 5-4 decision to Bryce Russell, of Medina HS.
LaBelle dropped a 5-1 decision to Creed Hill, of Medina Highland in the first round, then toppled Jamison Gurchie, of Barberton by a tech fall in his first consolation match. He won with an 8-3 decision over Mark Sobonya, of Painesville Riverside, but dropped out of the competition when he was pinned by Christian Giltz, of Massillon Perry.
“Max wrestled hard and got a taste of where he needs to get to. He lost a close match in the wrestlebacks and that should be a motivation for next season,” Coach Mancini said.
The mat mentor noted that “Ashton did what he always does---fought like a champion.
“He went 2-2 just missing placing in the top six, and he avenged a loss at sectionals to Riverside along the way.”
  Spartan Freshman Cage Team Claims AAC Championship  
  February 24, 2022  
Boardman High School’s freshman basketball team toppled Canfield, 41-40, in All American Conference championship play last week.
Kaden Mayhew led all scorers with 11 points. Sully Smith finished with a season high 9 points, while Terrell McDowell provided scoring punch off the bench with 8 points. Joey Nuzzi played lock down defense and ended with 6 points.
Rounding out the scoring for Boardman were Zach Haus with 4 points, while Grayson Eicher had 3 points, brought great intensity along with his 4 points in the second quarter. Grayson Eicher connected on a corner 3, while collecting many rebounds and swatting several shots.
Boardman earned a berth in the AAC title game posting a 54-38 victory over Austintown. The Falcons took an early lead in the game.
A dominant third quarter, fueled by intense pressure defense gave Boardman the lead, and the Spartans never looked back.
Mayhew led the winners with 17 points, and Nuzzi added 11 points on some great drives. Eicher controlled the paint and scored 8 markers, while McDowell chipped-in with 6 markers. Ashton Hoover and Landon Whippo each scored 4 points, and Ivan Rudiak had 2 points. Haus and Destin Sellers rounded out the scoring with a free throw each. Connor Congemi, Sullivan Smith, Mason Nawrocki and Rocky Graham all contributed to the win as well.
  Glenwood Middle School Eighth Grade Girsl Basket Ball Team Wins All American Conference  
  February 10, 2022  
 GLENWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL’S EIGHTH GRADE girls basketball team won the All American Conference tournament last week with a 52-34 victory over Austintown in a game played at the Glenwood gym. Showing spirit on the sidelines are, from left, Glenwood’s Tessa Ross, Abriana Horton-Evangelista and Olivia Combis.
  Former Boardman HS Track Coach And Athletic Director, Denise Gorski, Earns Curbstone Hall Of Fame Laurels  
  January 20, 2022  
Boardman News Sports
The 53rd Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame Banquet is scheduled for Sunday, May 1 with 12 new members set for enshrinement during ceremonies at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center, 7440 South Avenue, Boardman.
The class was originally to be installed on May 3, 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of induction ceremonies in both 2020 and 2021.
Former Ohio State University and NFL quarterback, and current YSU assistant football coach, Mike Tomczak will serve as guest speaker.
This year’s class includes Phil Annarella (football, posthumous), Mike Banks (basketball), Andrew Bushey (baseball), Sandra DePizzo (bowling), Jim Evans (sports media), Tim Filipovich (basketball), Denise Gorski (contribution to sports), Tim Joyce (basketball), Joe McHenry (all-sports award), Rick Shepas (football), John Turco (football) and John Zebroski (golf).
Gorski is the longtime Boardman Schools teacher and track and field coach who spent 35 years (1977-2013) in the classroom and had a very successful, five-decade run as a Spartans coach, administrator and teacher.
She added director of athletics (October 2013 to June 2019) duties to her impressive resume upon her retirement, spending a total of 41+ years in the Boardman school system.
Born December 26, 1955, she is a 1973 graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School where she earned letters as a member of the Black Tigers’ volleyball, basketball and softball teams (1971-73).
She earned her undergraduate degree in physical education from Kent State University in 1977, later earning her MA in sports science from Ashland University.
Upon her arrival at BHS (she was a physical education-adapted PE teacher for 35 years from 1977-2013), she first served as assistant girl’s track coach (1978-81) for four years, was an assistant girls basketball coach (1978-79) for two seasons, head girl’s hoop coach in 1980 and the Spartans’ head girl’s golf coach for five years.
She took over as head girl’s track coach in 1982, a position she held for 32 years before giving up the reins after the 2014 campaign.
Her long list of accomplishments in track alone includes 16 Mahoning County championships, 12 Steel Valley Conference titles, nine District crowns and nine District runner-up finishes.
Under her direction, Spartan athletes qualified for 53 events at the state meet with 26 earning all-Ohio honors in those events.
She molded two state champions in Laurie Gomez Henes and Amber Bland with Gomez Henes winning the 1600 meter run (5:54.90) in both 1987 and 1988 (5:53.39), also winning the 3200 meter run (10:48.58) in the latter year.
Her best 1600 meter time scholastically was 4:48.58, turned in at the Arcadia Invitational while her best 3200 clocking was 10:28.8. She was also the Midwest Meet of Champions titlist in the 1600 meter run.
Bland, who also starred on the BHS girls’ basketball team, was a state champion in the high jump after clearing 5’9” at the 2001 state meet.
Gorski also developed a state runner-up in Adriane Blewitt, who finished second in the discus in 1998 with a toss of 145’ 10” (her career-best effort was 153’ 5’).
She had four athletes-relay teams place third at state, including Heather Nordgren (1993, discus – 141’ 4”), Bland (2002, 100 meter dash – 12.26), the 4 x 800 relay team (2003) of Brittany Durkin, Sarah Grabert, Jessie Moore and Monica Cuevas (9:11.38) and in 2003, Cuevas (2:13.08) in the 800 meter run.
She developed five performers that finished fourth overall, including Liz Linsley (1985, discus – 125’ 9”), Nordgren (1992, discus – 133’ 7”), Cuevas (2002, 800 meter run – 2:14.47), Alison Brager (2002, pole vault – 10’ 6” and again in 2003, 10’ 8”) and Bland (2002, high jump – 5’ 6”).
Her fifth-place finishers included individuals Tammy Crockett (1983, 100 meter dash – 12.36) and Valerie Hood (2010, discus – 128’ 8”), and two 4 x 800 meter relay teams, the first in 1986 (9:32.3, consisting of Gomez, Myssi Trigg, Jennifer DePietro and Tracie Thomas) and again in 2002 (9:24.26, made up of Durkin, Gina Mavrikis, Grabert and Cuevas).
Sixth-place all-state performers included Nordgren (1993, shot put – 39’ ¼”), Blewitt (1998, shot put – 41’ 0”) and Moore (2004, 800 meter run – 2:16.02) while two student-athletes finished seventh, including Breanne Romeo (2006, 400 meter dash – 58.03 with a career best 56.46 effort outside state competition) and Valerie Hood (2010, shot put – 40’ 2½”).
Two others finished eighth, including Nordgren (1992, shot put – 39’ 2½”) and the Spartans’ 2001, 4 x 800 relay team of Durkin, Mavrikis, Grabert and Cuevas (9:36.39).
Among her many awards, she was selected as the Fred Dafler Career State “Coach of the Year” for women’s track in 2001, was honored as the District I “Coach of the Year” on four separate occasions and was elected to the OATCCC Hall of Fame where she was the 2009 Ed Barker Award recipient, which is presented to those for their contributions to cross country and track and field across the state of Ohio.
For 10 years (1993-2002) she served as OATCCC District I representative, also serving as secretary for the organization from 2002-05.
Selected as a coach for the Ohio Senior All-Star team for the Midwest Meet of Champions on three separate occasions (1996-98), she was chosen Ohio women’s head coach in 1998.
For her leadership and contributions to the Mahoning Valley, she was a 2015 Athena Award nominee.
Currently retired, she and husband, Dan, a former BHS boys basketball coach, reside in Poland.
Individual tickets are $60 each, tables of eight $480 and further information can be obtained by calling 330-506-6774, or by visiting the organization’s website at
  Boardman Mat Team 2-3 At Austintown Duals  
  Sean O’Horo Sets Career Mark For Most Wins:   January 13, 2022  
Boardman went 2-3 at the Austintown Fitch Duals last week to move to 9-6 on the season.
Highlighting the meet for the Spartans was senior Sean O’Horo, who went 5-0 and notched his 144th career win to broke the school record for most wins in a career.
“He has plenty of season left to win another 20 matches. He was a highly successful wrestler entering Boardman as a OAC junior high state runner up. Currently, Sean is ranked 9th in the state in Div 1. He has one goal and that gears toward the state tournament,” Head Coach Dom Mancini said.
O’Horo is now 19-0 on the season.
Several Spartans stepped-up over the weekend and won at least three matches including Willy Rankin 11-7 (113 lbs), Max Switka 11-8 (126 lbs), Ashton LaBelle 12-3 (144 lbs), Peyton Switka 10-6 (165 lbs), Matt Beil 4-8 (215 lbs).
“The Switka brothers are gritty and have a lot of room for improvement,” Mancini said.
Ashton LaBelle dropped two matches to tough opponents after being out for two weeks.
“The team wrestled well despite going 2-3 with tough competition,” Mancini said
Results Follow:
106: Christian Osborne (SVSM) over Frank Quinlan (BOAR) (Fall 1:24) 113: Willy Rankin III (BOAR) over (SVSM) (For.) 120: Patrick Witschey (SVSM) over Sloan McNally (BOAR) (Fall 3:26) 126: Max Switka (BOAR) over (SVSM) (For.) 132: Braden Dunlap (SVSM) over Christopher Beeman (BOAR) (Fall 1:30) 138: Andrew Swanson (BOAR) over Anthony John Paul (SVSM) (Fall 2:29) 144: Elliot Alessia (SVSM) over Ashton Labelle (BOAR) (Dec 5-3) 150: Mason Gruic (SVSM) over Jacob Boyles (BOAR) (Fall 2:45) 157: Calvin Gwinn (SVSM) over (BOAR) (For.) 165: Peyton Switka (BOAR) over (SVSM) (For.) 175: Sean O`Horo (BOAR) over Ryan Price (SVSM) (Fall 1:15) 190: Jacob Heath (SVSM) over Ethan MCCutcheon (BOAR) (Fall 5:20) 215: Bryson Getz (SVSM) over Matt Beil (BOAR) (Fall 1:10) 285: Andy Vanscoy (SVSM) over James Gatewood (BOAR) (Fall 3:25)
113: Willy Rankin III (BOAR) over Damien Gerthung (AUFI) (Fall 1:03) 120: Jacob Ferguson (AUFI) over (BOAR) (For.) 126: Max Switka (BOAR) over Caiden Gasior (AUFI) (Fall 3:18) 132: Authur Croom (AUFI) over Christopher Beeman (BOAR) (Fall 4:17) 138: Rocco DiFlorio (AUFI) over Andrew Swanson (BOAR) (Dec 14-9) 144: David Shannon (AUFI) over Ashton Labelle (BOAR) (Dec 3-0) 150: Aric Smith (AUFI) over Jacob Boyles (BOAR) (Fall 1:36) 157: Clayton Marcum (AUFI) over (BOAR) (For.) 165: Tyler Lintner (AUFI) over (BOAR) (For.) 175: Devin Phillips (AUFI) over Peyton Switka (BOAR) (Dec 6-4) 190: Sean O`Horo (BOAR) over Dom Zemko (AUFI) (MD 11-0) 215: Peyton Quarles (AUFI) over Ethan MCCutcheon (BOAR) (Fall 0:25) 285: Joshua Fitzgerald (AUFI) over James Gatewood (BOAR) (Fall 0:33) 106: Frank Quinlan (BOAR) over Skye Jones (AUFI) (MD 21-9)
120: Sloan McNally (BOAR) over Kaylee Schultz (HUBB) (Fall 1:04) 126: Max Switka (BOAR) over Emily Flynn (HUBB) (Fall 0:49) 132: Christopher Beeman (BOAR) over Aiden Lehman (HUBB) (Fall 2:55) 138: Noah Adamson (HUBB) over Andrew Swanson (BOAR) (Dec 7-4) 144: Ashton Labelle (BOAR) over Hunter Shaffer (HUBB) (Fall 0:36) 150: Jacob Boyles (BOAR) over Benjamin Logan (HUBB) (Fall 1:32) 157: Double Forfeit 165: Peyton Switka (BOAR) over Joseph Komlanc (HUBB) (Fall 2:50) 175: Sean O`Horo (BOAR) over Alan McCarthy (HUBB) (Fall 1:45) 190: Joe Hamm (HUBB) over Ethan MCCutcheon (BOAR) (Fall 1:24) 215: Matt Beil (BOAR) over (HUBB) (For.) 285: Nick Bowser (HUBB) over James Gatewood (BOAR) (Fall 0:29) 106: Bradyn Balla (HUBB) over Frank Quinlan (BOAR) (Fall 0:32) 113: Ej McCarthy (HUBB) over Willy Rankin III (BOAR) (Fall 2:47)
126: Dylan Rhoads (LOUI) over Max Switka (BOAR) (Fall 0:50) 132: Pablo Castro (LOUI) over Christopher Beeman (BOAR) (Fall 1:12) 138: Dominic Hoffarth (LOUI) over Andrew Swanson (BOAR) (Fall 1:02) 144: Ashton Labelle (BOAR) over Josiah Walker (LOUI) (Dec 7-0) 150: Wyatt Smith (LOUI) over Jacob Boyles (BOAR) (Fall 3:01) 157: Jude Yeager (LOUI) over (BOAR) (For.) 165: Brenden Severs (LOUI) over Peyton Switka (BOAR) (Fall 1:00) 175: Sean O`Horo (BOAR) over Noah Peterson (LOUI) (MD 11-2) 190: Blake Schaffer (LOUI) over Ethan MCCutcheon (BOAR) (Fall 1:29) 215: Matt Beil (BOAR) over (LOUI) (For.) 285: Cameron Brazek (LOUI) over James Gatewood (BOAR) (Fall 0:24) 106: Lacey Harvey (LOUI) over Frank Quinlan (BOAR) (Fall 1:45) 113: Kolten Barker (LOUI) over Willy Rankin III (BOAR) (Fall 1:23) 120: Connor Novosel (LOUI) over (BOAR) (For.)
132: Christopher Beeman (BOAR) over Madison Burns (HOWL) (Fall 0:50) 138: Rian Spangler (HOWL) over Santino Slipkovich (BOAR) (Fall 4:28) 144: Andrew Swanson (BOAR) over Syrus Wright (HOWL) (Fall 5:15) 150: Ashton Labelle (BOAR) over Carter Mock (HOWL) (Dec 5-3) 157: Jacob Boyles (BOAR) over Arison Wayt (HOWL) (Fall 1:36) 165: Peyton Switka (BOAR) over Francis Gajski (HOWL) (Fall 5:03) 175: Sean O`Horo (BOAR) over Christopher Mijavec (HOWL) (Fall 1:20) 190: Ethan MCCutcheon (BOAR) over John Adam (HOWL) (Fall 0:54) 215: Matt Beil (BOAR) over (HOWL) (For.) 285: Garrett Corley (HOWL) over James Gatewood (BOAR) (Fall 3:36) 106: Frank Quinlan (BOAR) over (HOWL) (For.) 113: Willy Rankin III (BOAR) over Zion Heller (HOWL) (Fall 1:41) 120: Dakota IronCloud (HOWL) over Sloan McNally (BOAR) (Fall 2:39) 126: Adam Heckman (HOWL) over Max Switka (BOAR) (DQ)
  Lady Spartans Best Rival Cardinal Mooney  
  Mackenzie Riccitelli Meshes 15 Points:   December 2, 2021  
Boardman News Sports
After quarantining for 10 days due to COVID-19, Boardman High’s second-year girls’ head basketball coach, Brett Green, returned to the sidelines last Saturday in time to coach their game at Cardinal Mooney.
His team presented him with the result he was looking for, a 47-43, road victory over their arch-rivals for their first win of the season.
Mackenzie Riccitelli hooped a game-high 15 points and Cami Goske added 11 markers, the two combining to score 26 of Boardman’s (1-1) 47 overall points. Their offense offset 29 turnovers committed as a team and a total of 45 in the game when the Cardinals’ 16 miscues are added to the total.
“The game plan was to play as a team and watch our turnovers,” Riccitelli said. “It’s a great feeling to win, especially to overcome the adversity we’ve faced the past couple weeks. We’ll address the turnovers in practice and move forward.
“Last year, we lost to them at home so this was a nice win for us.”
A triple by CMHS guard Angelina Rotunno and two free throws by Alaina Scavina staked the Cardinals (1-1) to a 5-2 lead at 5:21 of the opening period.
A bucket and free throw by Emma Mills, and a hoop by Goske keyed a 5-0 run for Boardman as the Spartans reclaimed the lead – there were 11 lead changes and seven ties in the contest – 7-2 with 2:10 remaining in the opening session.
Two buckets by Rotunno gave the Cardinals a 9-7 advantage with 59 seconds left in the quarter but a triple by Riccitelli with 16 seconds remaining helped BHS forge a 10-9 advantage heading to the second stanza.
Two free throws by Ava Freeborough at the 2:00 mark of the second quarter gave the Spartans a 15-14 lead but free throws by Scavina and Olivia Rouser, and a bucket by Sophia Diorio keyed a 4-0 run to end the period and give the Cardinals an 18-15 lead heading to the locker rooms.
Five points by Goske and four points each from Bella Martin and Reagan Smith after intermission helped cut the Spartans’ deficit to 32-30 with eight minutes remaining.
“I like scoring and rebounding, both are equally important but tonight our defense helped create our offense,” Goske added.
Goske made the second of her two free throws just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter to help Boardman pull to within a point, 32-31 and when Mills connected from beyond the arc 46 seconds later, the Spartans opened a 34-32 advantage.
It was a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way.
A bucket and three-point play by Riccitelli offset a hoop by Rouser as BHS extended their lead to 39-34, making it a 44-38 contest on a hoop and free throw by Goske, and a bucket by Riccitelli that keyed a 5-0 run as Boardman extended their lead to six points.
A triple by Rotunno then cut the CMHS deficit to 44-41 with 1:10 remaining but it was too little, too late as the Spartans closed on a 3-2 run to secure their first win of the season.
“It was tough being away for 10 days and definitely great to be back on the bench,” Green stated. “This was a big win for us, an emotional win. The key was keeping our composure, working hard on our offensive sets and playing physical.
“We’ll take Sunday off then be back at it on Monday. We made just 10 of 24 free throw attempts so we’ll work on that and keep our focus. It’s one day at a time, one possession at a time.”
Rotunno had 15 points for the Cardinals, the only CMHS player to finish in double-digits offensively as she tied Riccitelli for game-high laurels.
Like the Spartans, the Cardinals also had trouble at the charity stripe as they connected on just 7 of 17 attempts, the two teams combining to make just 17 of their 41 opportunities for a 41.5 conversion percentage.
“Missing free throws are costly but that wasn’t the only thing that hurt us today,” first-year Cardinals head coach Dom Diorio noted. “We got a little lazy on defense and must execute better when we have the ball. Also, we need to take care of the ball and get better shots. We cannot settle for the first shot because that isn’t always the best option.
“Angelina brings a lot of energy when she is in the game and she did that today, we just have to keep her out of foul trouble.”
The Spartans return to action December 1 when they play host to the Louisville Leopards (7 p.m.) at the Spartans Gymnasium.
Then Cardinals travel to Canton Central Catholic, also on December 1 for a 7 p.m. contest with the Crusaders, closing out the week on Saturday when they host South Range.
Tip-off with the Raiders is set for 2:30 p.m.
Junior Varsity
Boardman High School’s junior varsity team moved to 2-0 on the season, topping Cardinal Mooney, 34-12.
The junior Lady Spartans canned 12 of 12 from the free throw line in the game.
Sarah Bero paced the winners with 8 points, while Ally Fleming, Alex Ward and Natalie Davis added 6 points each.
Delaney Olexa led Mooney with 5 points.
  Officiating Crew Honors Its Own During Special Halftime Ceremony  
  September 23, 2021  
Boardman News Sports
For the past 30 years, Boardman High alum Rich O’Brien (Class of ’73) was a member of YDFOA (Youngstown District Football Officials Association), spending his last 20-plus years as an umpire on referee Jim Gahagan’s highly-respected officiating crew.
O’Brien, formerly of Bristlewood Dr., retired after last season and this past February, passed away after a brief but courageous fight with cancer.
During halftime of last Friday’s East-Boardman game at Spartan Stadium before more than 3,000 fans, Gahagan and his crew presented O’Brien’s wife, Susan, and her family a beautifully-framed uniform top that O’Brien proudly wore during his officiating career.
A heartfelt, two-minute tribute from Gahagan preceded the presentation and was played for those in attendance on the giant scoreboard, located in the north endzone of the stadium.
“Rich and I were friends before we were officiating friends,” said Gahagan, who is a 1974 BHS graduate. “A little over 25 years ago, they told me as a referee that I needed to find a good guy in the middle if I was to have a respected crew. I never found that good guy because I found the best guy and that was Rich O’Brien.”
Gahagan said O’Brien was a master at his position and an official both teams respected.
“Rich wasn’t looking to see how many holding calls he could make in a game, he just didn’t do that,” Gahagan added. “Instead, he did preventative officiating, opting to talk to the linemen and they loved him for that quality.”
A U.S. Navy and Vietnam Veteran and 1982 YSU graduate, O’Brien was a member of Mayo Realtors from 1982 until his death.
He credited Rick Fryda – it was a chance meeting with him when he was looking for a home to purchase – for encouraging him to get into officiating.
O’Brien worked on several crews before there was an opening on Gahagan’s staff, that coming in 1999 and he worked his final two decades with Gahagan as referee, Pete Sforza (head linesman), Floyd Crooks (back judge) and Kevin Pushay (line judge).
Gahagan’s crew that worked Friday’s contest included Sforzo, Crooks and Pushay, along with Tom Sullivan and Robert Zaku.
Accepting the framed jersey at midfield was O’Brien’s wife, Susan, who was accompanied by Rich’s brother, Mike and his wife Lynn, daughter Jillian and her husband, Mark DeSalvo, son Richard and his wife, Allison and son Patrick and his fiancé, Alexis Paidas.
Patrick recently took the football officials class and has been assigned to Gahagan’s crew, looking to be mentored by the group with the hopes of following in his father’s footsteps.
“You won’t find a family more polite or respectful than the O’Brien family,” Gahagan stated. “Richie and Patrick were great baseball players and like their dad, great sportsmen. His kids still call me Mr. Gahagan. We’re mentoring Patrick and he is coming along so expect to see him on the field in the not too distant future.”
Gahagan and O’Brien were hoping to retire the same year with the 2021 season the 41st and last now for the former.
“It’s just not the same this year for me without Rich,” Gahagan noted. “I have five games left and then I will be through. I still haven’t made up my mind about playoffs but this is definitely my last year as a football official. I had a special team and Rich was a big part of that team.”
This past August, O’Brien and Susan, would have celebrated their 42nd anniversary. In addition to their three children, their family also includes grandchildren Hadlee, Phebee and Mark DeSalvo, and Cooper and Nolan O’Brien.

PICTURED: photo/John A. Darnell jr.
 A LOCAL FOOTBALL OFFICIATING CREW honored one of its own, the late Richie O’Brien, during halftime ceremonies held at the Boardman-East game at Spartan Stadium. Among those on hand for the ceremonies were, from left, Jim Gahagan, Mr. O’Brien’s son, Pat, and his wife, Susan.
  Boardman High School Varsity Cheerleaders  
  September 9, 2021  
MEMBERS OF THE BOARDMAN HIGH SCHOOL VARSITY CHEERLEADING TEAM this year are, from left, Hollis Bernacki, Arabella Malie, Jenna Greene, Morgan Spearman, Zoe Wynn, Gianna Pinciaro, Kaylee Khlem, Riley Adams and Paige Mercer.
  Late TD Gives Boardman 16-12 Win Over Chaney Cowboys  
  September 2, 2021  
Boardman News Sports
Fernando Ortiz’s 10-yard run with 2:12 remaining helped lift the Boardman Spartans to a 16-12, come from behind victory over the Chaney Cowboys last Friday at Rayen Stadium.
The 36th game of the series between the two teams – the Spartans now own a 22-14 advantage – marked their first meeting since the 2009 campaign as Boardman ran their win streak to five in a row over the Cowboys.
“We just had to keep fighting and overcome some adversity,” aid Ortiz, who rushed nine times for 28 yards and authored what turned out being the game-winning score. “It is a great feeling to not only get the win but be 2-0 after our first two games. Our third quarter was a bit shaky but we kept fighting and overcame it.
“We kept pushing, kept our heads up and I have to give a big thank you to my offensive line for those great blocks. They [‘Chaney] have a lot of skilled players and a bunch of great athletes but overall, I felt like we were the better team tonight.”
Unlike last week when BHS racked up 333 total yards and 304 on the ground, the Spartans (2-0) had to work for everything and found out early on that Chaney, despite losing their starting quarterback, Jason Hewlett, to a season ending injury in their opener against Austintown Fitch a week ago, reserve signal-caller Andrew Gault was more than just a handful.
The Boardman defense, despite several ill-timed penalties – they were flagged 11 times as a team for 90 yards in losses – rose to the occasion when they needed to.
After a scoreless opening period, the Spartans took the early 3-0 lead when Carson Essad split the uprights from 28 yards away, that coming at 9:07 of second frame.
Spartans’ signal-caller Anthony Hightower, who posted a game-high 75 yards on 14 carries, then found a wide open Cam Thompson in the right side of the endzone with 35 seconds remaining in the opening half as BHS built a 9-0 lead – the placement was wide left – heading to the locker room at intermission.
Hightower, who came on in relief of injured starter, Tomas Andujar, in the second half of last week’s game against Cardinal Mooney and guided BHS to three scores – he also rushed for 60 yards – also connected on seven of his 10 aerial attempts for 84 yards and a tally.
He likes his team’s resilience and what he has witnessed thus far through their first two games of the season.
“On that final drive, the only thing I was thinking is that we have to keep pushing,” Hightower added. “We’re a special team and as long as we put our minds to it, we know what we can do so I wasn’t worried at all. I had faith in me and my team and we showed it tonight.”
Hightower said his team must clean up their penalties because it will eventually cost them down the road.
“We had a lot of penalties tonight and must clean up that area. We’ll do that in practice this week,” he stated. “Also, we must address some mental errors, must control ourselves, stay poised and play within ourselves. Starting the season with two straight wins does feel great so we’re going to keep riding this wave.”
Neither team could mount an attack nor penetrate the other’s goal line in the third period but the fourth quarter was a totally different story, as if someone flipped the switch and ordered an offensive attack over the final 12 minutes.
Gault, who accounted for both Cowboys (0-2) scores, found D.J. Waller from 15-yards away at 10:50 of the final stanza to avoid the shutout but a failed placement left the Spartans with a slim 9-6 margin.
Chaney then held BHS on their next offensive series, setting up Gault’s second tally of the game, this time scrambling to paydirt from 15-yards out to cap a three-play, 50 yard drive that took just 73 seconds off the clock.
The second straight failed placement, which sailed wide right, left CHS clinging to a 12-9 lead with seven minutes remaining.
Enter Hightower and Ortiz.
Taking over on their own 31-yard line and faced with a third and 15 from their own 26-yard line, Hightower’s pass was interfered with and after the 15-yard penalty was assessed, Hightower called his own number on a third and one, picking up 36 yards to place the ball at the Chaney 23-yard line.
Five plays later, Ortiz capped the nine-play, 69-yard drive that took 4:48 off the clock with his 10-yard touchdown run to give Boardman the lead for good with 2:12 left.
The failed placement left the score at 16-12 in favor of the Spartans.
Chaney’s final drive netted just 19 yards and after Boardman took over, Hightower took a knee twice to run out the clock and preserve their first road victory of the season.
First-year Spartans’ head coach Seth Antram has now won his first two games as head of the program.
“It’s definitely a great feeling just to walk away 2-0. It was a great battle on both sides, that’s for sure with both teams battling it out. We were fortunate to come out on top,” Antram noted. “We ran the ball last week against Mooney and I knew they [Chaney] were going to load the box defensively. Offensively, they came out with a couple formations to try to throw us off a little bit, which we kind of assumed they would try to do but didn’t know exactly what they would go with.
“A wildcat with some different formations of which we were able to finally adjust but it was basically what we expected. I figured it would be whoever had the ball last would be able to pull it out and we were fortunate to be on that side of it.”
While the Spartans had their way on the ground against Mooney in Week No.1, it was a totally different feeling against the Cowboys.
“Their defense, they loaded the box and played physical,” Antram said. “We were trying to get the ball on the edge as best we could and they were playing well in space there.”
Both teams showed an improvement between the first and second weeks, however, both coaches feel that they must still shore up multiple areas moving forward.
“Penalties for sure. Penalties and the defense,” Antram stated. “They played great but we need to clean some things up. Running the ball, actually, as much as we did against Mooney but just a couple things with our running backs plus the line and a couple things we need to do differently in the box offensively.”
In addition to Hightower’s offensive performance, Sean O’Horo carried the ball 19 times for 46 yards, Niko Holzschuh was 1 of 2 through the air for 25 yards in relief of Hightower while Cam Thompson was the game’s leading receiver with four catches for 58 yards and a score.
O’Horo also caught two aerials for 28 yards for the Spartans.
Gault finished 5 of 8 for 78 yards through the air and a touchdown for CHS, adding a rushing score as well to pace CHS offensively.
Malik Hunter led Chaney in rushing with 52 yards on nine totes while Waller caught three Gault passes for 64 yards and a touchdown to lead the Cowboys offensively.
Amill and Antram are no strangers with Antram having served as Amill’s offensive mastermind the past three seasons before accepting the Boardman head coaching job.
“I appreciate everything Seth has done for me and our program,” Amill stated. “Getting this started from the ground up has been a challenge and he was there every step along the way. Outside football, he has truly been one of my best friends and that will continue to be after Friday’s game. I am happy to see what he is doing and wish him all the best during his season.”
Amill felt his team played hard and with a break or two, could easily have won their first game of the season.
“We’re going to always play hard but tonight, they made more plays than we did and made them when they needed to make them,” Amill added. “We had the interception but the pass interference hurt so hats off to them. They played a good game.
“As for our defensive game plan, every week we just line up and play football. It’s about being tough, having some pride, being physical and just playing. That’s exactly what we came out and did tonight. We were hitting them most of the game, had a couple missed tackles here and there and they got some big first downs on third down.”
The Spartans travel to Massillon Jackson on Friday while the Cowboys play host to Cardinal Mooney, also on Friday at Rayen Stadium. Both games kick-off at 7 p.m.
 GAME NOTES…In 36 games played during the Spartans-Cowboys series, BHS is now 7-4 since the 2000 season…During their current five-game winning streak, BHS has now outscored CHS by a 192 (38.1 ppg) to 25 (5.0 ppg) count, a plus-33.1 point differential....Defensive standouts for the Spartans included Stephen Conti with two, forced fumbles, while Ashton LaBelle finished as the leading tackler for Boardman. Spartans grading out with winning efforts for the Spartan defense were Bryaden Joseph-Robinson, Sean O’Horo, Conti, Jared Mahood and Joe Sferra.
  New Coaching Staff, Bevy Of Seniors Lead Boardman Spartans Football Team In 2021  
  August 19, 2021  
associate editor
Boardman High School will take the field this season with a senior-laden team, looking to earn a berth in Div. II playoff action for a second, straight season and facing a strong schedule that includes Massillon Jackson, and three All-American Conference powerhouse teams in Warren Harding, Austintown Fitch and the Ursuline Irish, not to mention the Spartans opener against rival Cardinal Mooney.
As well, Boardman opens under first-year head coach Seth Antram and a revamped coaching staff.
Boardman went 4-4 last year, falling out of play with a loss to Painesville Riverside in second-round playoff action.
Most notably, the Spartans will take the field this year without last season’s starting quarterback, Jason Triveri, who opted-out of playing on the gridiron while announcing on social media he will play baseball next year at Youngstown State.
Triveri missed the first four games of last season with a leg injury and in his place was Terrence Thomas, who has signed to play football at Big Ten Purdue Boilermakers next fall.
But Thomas will be out of action for at least the first two games this season, as he is dealing with a leg injury.
The talented Thomas rushed for 655 yards and six touchdowns last year and also hit on 26 of 61 passes for 380 yards and five TDs. He also spiced Boardman’s special team play with three kick returns for touchdowns. Thomas was named last season’s Most Valuable Player on Boardman’s offense.
That leaves the quarterbacking duties among three candidates for the starting job in sophomores Nico Holzschuh and Tomas Andujar; and senior Anthony ‘Ant’ Hightower, who was featured as a wide receiver last season for Boardman.
Boardman figures to enter play on their offensive front averaging 252-lbs. a player in 6-0, 230-lb. junior Tyler Cherne and 6-3, 285-lb. senior Joe Sferra at the tackles slots; 6-3, 240-lb. junior Caleb French and 6-3, 280-lb. Cortland Love at the guard position; and 5-10, 225-lb Ty Terlesky at center.
Candidates for starting tight end include probable starter Jared Mahood, a 5-11, 180-lb. junior; as well as 6-0, 225-lb. junior Isaiah Torres.
On the outside, the Spartans will be led by senior Cam Thompson and Hightower, with plenty of support from Brayden Joseph-Robinson, KeJuan Robinson and Phil Clark.
Thompson had 16 receptions for 411 yards and five touchdowns a season ago, while Hightower had 11 grabs for 172 yards and a pair of scores.
In the backfield, 6-0, 195-lb. senior Sean O’Horo is back. He led the team in rushing last year and over his two seasons as a starting running back has carried the ball more than 300 times while accumulating 1500 yards over the turf, mostly on runs up the middle of the line.
Also figuring in the backfield is junior Fernando Ortiz who rushed for 225 yards last year on 22 carries. Waiting in the wings is 6-0, 218-lb. sophomore Willie Torres.
Isaiah Torres, Sferra, Love and Ortiz figure to start on Boardman’s defensive front with Mahood and senior Ashton LaBelle at linebacker.
Rotating around the field will be a bevy of safeties in O’Horo, who led the team in tackles last season and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player on defense; and Hightower, Braden Joseph-Robinson and Thompson, with support from Stephen Conti.
Hightower logged 42 tackles, while leading the team in interceptions (4) and pass break-ups (5) last season; and as a sophomore he had 29 tackles, a pair of interceptions and a pair of pass break-ups.
Handling place-kicking duties will be Carson Essad while Cole Congson figures to kick on kick-offs. Both also play for the Spartans soccer team. Essad set a school record last year for the most extra-point kicks in a single game, seven, in a playoff win over Cuyahoga Falls. He will also serve as Boardman’s punter.
“We have the potential to be a good team,” Coach Antram told The Boardman News, adding especially on defense. We have shown promise, but have to be more consistent.”
Five Spartans on this year’s team earned All-American Conference all-star laurels last season, including Thomas, O’Horo, Hightower, Thompson and Sferra.
Antram said his team has a great attitude and he and his coaching staff have been working to make this year’s team a family.
“We tell our kids, if you outwork others in practice, you will do a good job on the playing field,” Antram said.
The Spartans had two pre-season scrimmages, the last being last week against Findlay.
“I think we took a step in the right direction against Findlay,” Antram said.
Antram’s staff this season includes Mike Popio Jr., head defensive coach; Andre Elliott, secondary and special teams coach; Jessie Curry, linebacker coach; Steve Stahura and Bob Poghen, defensive line; Jason Congo, wide receivers and junior varsity offensive coordinator; Kris Reash, running backs and tight ends; and Bob Toth and Paul Butto, offensive line. Nick Colla and Anthony Sluss serve as defensive assistant coachs, and will also coach Boardman’s freshman grid team.
The Spartans open the season at home on Fri., Aug. 20 against rival Cardinal Mooney. The Cards hold a 29-18 margin in the series but could take the field without their talented running back Zy’ere Rogers, who has been battling a knee injury.
Boardman ends the season playing four teams with highly-touted quarterbacks that are Warren G. Harding, Ursuline, Austintown Fitch and Canfield.
  Cardinal Mooney Looks To Improve On 2-6 Mark A Season Ago Second-Year Head Coach Carl Pelini Cautiously Optimistic  
  August 19, 2021  
Boardman News Sports
A season ago, Carl Pelini assumed the head coaching reins at his alma mater, Cardinal Mooney, the day before doubles were set to begin.
With a full season and entire off-season now under his belt, he is cautiously optimistic that the 2021 campaign can be the one that turns one of the Mahoning Valley’s most storied programs around and pointed in the right direction.
CMHS posted an un-Cardinals-like 2-6 overall mark last year but went 1-1 in the play-offs during a challenging, COVID-19 pandemic-type season that included everything from social distancing fans to a shortened regular season to every team qualifying for post-season play.
“We grew but since I didn’t take the job until the day before doubles, I felt like we were playing catch up all year,” Pelini said. “We were in the play-offs still installing offense and defense but this year has been completely different.
“We’ve had last year as a foundation to build off, had the kids in the weight room since November so I think we’re bigger, stronger, a little bit faster and have just a little more culture in the program.
“We were able to talk football with them all summer so we are weeks, weeks, maybe months ahead of where we were a year ago in terms of understanding our schemes, both offensively and defensively. Hopefully, that translates to more success on the field.”
The Cardinals started the season 0-2 a year ago before defeating East, 7-0 for their initial win under Pelini. They finished the regular season with losses to Chaney, Boardman and Ursuline before drubbing Conneaut, 44-7 in the opening round of the play-offs.
A heartbreaking 24-21 loss to the Garrettsville Garfield G-Men in the second-round of the play-offs brought their season to a screeching halt but at the same time had both coaches and players alike already casting an eye toward the ’21 campaign.
Under Pelini, the Cardinals will run a multiple offense with a lot of personnel groupings and different sets while defensively, it’s a 42 or 43 depending on personnel.
Two juniors, Cam Sweeney and Alec Delsignore, and sophomore Ashton O’Brien are currently in a battle for the starting signal caller slot. Only Delsignore has game experience having rushed the ball twice a season ago for 12 total yards.
“Right now, nobody has the upper hand,” Pelini said last week prior to their final scrimmage. “They are all doing good things with our last scrimmage a big determining factor in who starts against Boardman in our season opener. I do believe we’ll narrow it down to two and both will see some time early in the season.”
Zy’ere Rogers, the Cardinals’ all-purpose running back the past three seasons, returns for his senior year looking to improve on his 1,189 yards rushing and seven touchdowns of a season ago.
“Zy’ere had a great off-season and we’re excited about him returning this season,” Pelini stated. “Davontae Miller is another running back with a lot of experience who has really looked good in camp.
“Then we have a couple of young kids, Jamar Howell and John Jones, not a lot of experience but both with a lot of ability and that will give us something in the run game. Daqua Douglas as a fullback will be splitting time with Davontae [Miller] and he has looked good in the pre-season as well.
The wide receivers and tight ends could be a strength for the team this season.
“Senior Jack Phillips was hurt a year ago but he’s tall, he’s fast, he’s long, has great hands and has had a tremendous pre-season,” Pelini noted. “Tyrin Howell is a completely different type of receiver, a little quicker, smaller and likes to work over the middle so we will be able to use him in a lot of different ways.
“We’re really deep at tight end which is something that I didn’t have the luxury of a year ago. We’ve got Jeff Brenner, Rob Hardy, Will Desmond and Carter Simons and all will see time.”
The offensive line has depth, which pleases Pelini.
“The offensive line is probably the strength of our team,” Pelini said. “Both of our tackles, Tino Merlo and Adam Garloch played a lot a year ago. Adam played as a freshman, both are juniors and both have great size.
“At center, Jack Desmond started every game last year, Mitch Tofil has a lot of experience at right guard and at the other guard position, there’s a competition going on right now between Michael Kaufman, Caleb Beachum and Logan Boyd so we are building some pretty decent depth on the offensive line.”
Defensively, Jack Desmond, Will Desmond and Brenner will see time while at tackle, Garloch and Merlo will be joined by Isiah Givens and Beachum.
“Our linebackers are all back,” added Pelini. “Davontae [Miller] had a great season a year ago and was one of our leading tacklers. Daqua Douglas started every game for us last year as well. Rob [Hardy] and Jamar [Howell] stepped in and are giving us good depth as well as Logan [Boyd], who can play multiple positions.”
The defensive backfield also has depth and experience.
“Right now, there’s still some competition going on but Tyrin Howell is at one corner,” Pelini stated. “He started every game he was in last year but was a transfer so he only played the first half of the season. A new starter on the other side, Brandon Lott, played a lot last year, had a great off-season and we expect great things from him.
“At safety, Jack Phillips and Ty Reali are very athletic and should give us depth there.”
Special teams play has Nick Pregibon pegged as the team’s punter.
“Nick Pregibon is a sophomore soccer player,” Pelini noted. “He has a strong leg, is very accurate and I am excited about him. Punting duties are still up in the air so we will see how that rolls out.
“Zy’ere [Rogers] will be back there returning punts along with Tyrin Howell and Jamar Howell, both of whom will see duties as returners.”
The Cardinals play their first three games on the road, opening at Boardman on Friday night before traveling to Hubbard (August 27) and Chaney (September 3).
They will host Linsly (Wheeling, West Virginia) in their home opener on September 11 and follow that with a home contest against Austintown Fitch (September 17) before hitting the road to take on East (September 24) and Brush (October 1).
They will conclude their season at home against Warren Harding (October 9), travel to Steubenville (October 15) then host arch-rival Ursuline (October 23) in their regular season finale.
“It’s always hard when you’re a Division V school and you’re playing Division II opponents,” Pelini said. “We’ve got Boardman and Austintown Fitch on the schedule, two big schools, Brush is on the schedule and we go down to Steubenville, which is always going to be a difficult task.
“Linsly, a private boarding school, is a new opponent this year and that will be a tough game. Ursuline is a strong team again this year and we will finish the season with them. It is going to be a challenge but that is who we are. We’re not going to back down from anybody. We’ll play everybody and do our best to see how it turns out.”
One thing new for the Cardinals’ program is a new home field as they move from YSU’s Stambaugh Stadium to nearby Mineral Ridge High School.
“We thought we’d give it a chance and I am excited,” Pelini said about their new home field. “Playing in YSU stadium, I kind of felt like I as in a vacuum. There wasn’t a lot of atmosphere and the crowd was spread out.
“I think going to a smaller stadium will just create more of a high school atmosphere. I am excited to get fans closer to the field, bring the noise level up and I think it will be good for everybody.
“We said we would do it for a year, looked at a lot of different places, decided on Mineral Ridge and we’ll see how it goes. We’ll evaluate at the end of the year and see what we will do moving forward.”
Kickoff against the Spartans is set for 7 p.m.
  FOG-50 Squad Tops Niles For 11th Straight Victory As Mike Glinatsis Pitches Complete Game, 4-Hitter  
  OLD TIMERS BASEBALL:   August 5, 2021  
Boardman News Sports
Mike Glinatsis fired a complete game, four-hitter while player-manager Jon Wallace had two hits, including the game-winner as the Boardman FOG defeated Niles RJS, 2-1 in Youngstown Oldtimers 50+ Baseball League, Inc., 50+ league action this past Sunday at Boardman High School.
The win marked the 11th straight for the FOG, who have not lost since May 30 when Chester (West Virginia) handed them an 8-1 setback and an 0-2 start to their season.
Siting at 11-2 overall now, Glinatsis allowed just one hit – a two-out single by Tom Pitko in the sixth inning – over the last five innings in a game that he needed just 83 pitches to complete.
“I struggled earlier in the season to get that first batter of every inning retired but today it all came together for me and I felt really, really good. That was the key,” Glinatsis said after the game. “Our defense was phenomenal, turning three double plays including a game-ending twin killing.
“Today, we came up big when we needed it most, took advantage of our early opportunities and then let our defense do the rest. You win when you do the little things and today we were fundamentally sound.”
Chuck Nardone led off Boardman’s first inning with a single, advanced to second base when Mark Gozur reached on an error and after Nardone was erased on Cedric Hawkins’ fielder’s choice, Carmen Nocera drove home Gozur with his opposite field single for the early 1-0 advantage.
In the RJS second inning, Mike Holisky reached on an error to start the frame, moved to second on Ed Mortimer’s single then loaded the bases on Tom Franken’s single. Ron Mortimer then followed by hitting into a twin killing, scoring Holisky to knot the game at 1-all.
The FOG took the lead back for good in their half of the second when Butch Angelucci led off with a walk, advanced to second base on Mark Cherol’s ground out then scored what turned out to be the game winning run, a single by Wallace to the opposite field for a 2-1 margin and the end of the scoring.
“I hit a curve on a ball that was low and away and on an 0-2 count,” Wallace added. “RJS is an excellent team and we knew that it would be a tight game. They are an excellent hitting team and Mike [Glinatsis] did one excellent job the entire time of keeping them off balance when they were in the batter’s box.
“When you turn three double plays, including one to end the game then that tells me our defense is playing their very best and at the right time as we are in the home stretch of our schedule with play-offs right around the corner.”
Boardman returns to action on Sunday when they play host to Salem at the Boardman High School Sports Complex. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.
Sunday, August 15 – CHESTER, 2 p.m.
Sunday, August 29 – GIRARD, 2 p.m.
Sunday, September 5 – vs. RJS @Boardman Field of Dreams, 2 p.m.
  The Valley’s Five World Boxing Champs Will Be Honored Aug. 13 Free Event At Amphitheater  
  July 22, 2021  
Boardman News Sports
With boxing interest seemingly waning in the area, former Boardman resident Lou Schiavoni and son, Joe, will be hosting a “Night of Champions” salute on Friday, August 13 at the Downtown Amphitheater that will honor the Mahoning Valley’s five world champion fighters. It is a show that has been in the works for several years.
“Joe and I love boxing and interest seems to have waned a bit in our area,” said Lou, a Cardinal Mooney High School graduate and former Golden Gloves champion. “We’re trying to bring boxing interest back and when you look at the many great fighters that hail from the Mahoning Valley, it truly is amazing we have five world champions.
“These aren’t minor belts won, but belts from the big three which is the IBF, WBA and WBC. All five boxers have committed to attend and in addition to the Covelli Centre along with Premier Bank helping with this community day, seed money was provided by the New Orleans law firm Peiffer, Wolf, Carr, Kane and Conway as they look to branch out to Youngstown.”
The five world champions to be honored include (listed alphabetically) lightweight champion Harry Arroyo (40-11-0), cruiserweight titlist Jeff ‘Prime Time’ Lampkin (39-19-1), lightweight champion Ray ‘Boom-Boom’ Mancini (29-5-0), middleweight champ Kelly ‘The Ghost’ Pavlik (40-2-0) and bantamweight titlist Greg ‘The Flea’ Richardson (31-8-1).
Also set to be introduced is local Junior Olympic gold medalist Zion Hensley, currently the top-ranked 90-pound female fighter in the United States.
“Our city is tough. For generations, the people of the Mahoning Valley have fought for everything we have,” added Judge Joe Schiavoni, who won a novice title in the last Golden Gloves event ever held in the area at the Struthers Field House. “Five guys from Youngstown have made it to the top of the toughest sport in the world and it is time that their accomplishments are celebrated.”
Videos of each fighter, compiled by Jim Fogarty of Warren, will be shown with Bob Hannon set to moderate the opening and a question and answer session afterwards.
Noted local boxing trainer Jack Loew will close the show.
“Boxing in the Mahoning Valley is slowing down so to see Lou and Joe put on a night like this, honoring our five local world champions, hopefully it will kick-start some shows in the area,” stated Tom Miller, former international boxing judge.
Lampkin, who hails from Youngstown’s east side, is currently 59-years-old. “Youngstown is and always has been a special place for boxing,” he noted. “The fact that all five world champions will be honored, while a pleasant surprise is truly humbling for me.”
Mancini, who was raised on Youngstown’s south side, is also looking forward to the event. “I am very honored to be part of such a special event,” he said. “Recognizing the accomplishments of the five world champions from our city is a night we will all remember.”
Pavlik, also a south side native, is currently in Las Vegas but will return in plenty of time for the event.
“I think it is a great thing because it brings attention to every world champion from our city,” he added. “The odds of becoming a world champion are slim so to have five world champions from a city our size is quite an accomplishment. It will be an exciting evening.”
Richardson, who is 63-years-old, was the bantamweight champion from February 25, 1991, to September 19, 1991.
“This is big to me,” Richardson stated. “I was a national champion in the amateurs but the goal was always to become a world champion and I was able to accomplish that during my career. I truly am humbled and definitely looking forward to spending time with everyone that evening.”
Eric Ryan, Covelli Centre president, has always been a big boxing fan and has followed the accomplishments of all five world champions over the years.
“Youngstown boxing history is something we are all proud of and to have all these champions on one stage at the same time will be very special,” Ryan noted. “I thank Lou and Joe for spearheading this event and making this special night as reality.”
The event, which begins at 8 p.m., is free and open to the public. Gates open at 7 p.m.
  Mannozzi 12th In 20k Racewalk At Olympic Trials  
  July 1, 2021  
Mike Mannozzi
Boardman native Mike Mannozzi competed in his third Olympic Trials last weekend, this time in the 20k racewalk, finishing in 12th place in a field of 16 runners in Springfield, Oregon.
Mannozzi posted a time of 1:44.35 in the 12.4-mile race, well behind the winner, Nick Christie, who claimed the top spot in a time of 1:30.48.
Mannozzi’s time was his fastest time in the 20k since 2016 and at 35-years-old and now a chaplain’s assistant in the U.S. Air Force, says he is not done racewalking.
“I am going to keep trying. I exceeded my expectations and hope to compete in the Air Force marathon this fall,” Mannozzi said, adding “I’m 35-years-old now, and I’m not stopping. I’m not done yet.”
Mannozzi started the 20k event in last place for the first three laps, and then moved up passing three competitors in the field to finish in 12th.
A 2005 graduate of Boardman High School, Mannozzi graduated from Notre Dame College in 2011, with a bachelor of arts degree in special education. While at the school he was the 2010 NAIA national racewalking champion surging from last place to the top spot in the final lap of the race.
In 2012 he competed in his first Olympic Trials, in both the 20k and 50k racewalking events, finishing in fifth place in the 20k and in ninth place in the 50k.
In 2016 he claimed a bronze medal in the 50k Trials.
He is the son of Marilyn and Brian McGowan, of Erskine Ave.; and the late James Mannozzi.
At this year’s Trials, he was the only enlisted service corps member in all of the competition.
20K Racewalk, 2021 Olympic Trials Results
1, Nick Christie, unattached 1:30:48. 2, Daniel Nehnevaj, Raleigh Walkers, 1:31:59. 3, Emmanuel Corvera, NYAC, 1:34:38. 4, Steven Smith, unattached, 1:35:54. 4, Steven Smith, unattached, 1:35:54. 5, Anthony Joseph Gruttadauro, Shore AC, 1:37:51. 6, Samuel Allen, Shore AC, 1:37:59. 7, Bricyn Healey, unattached, 1:38:18. 8, Jordan Crawford, Legacy Athletics, 1:39:45. 9, Joel Pfahler, unattached, 1:42:48. 10, Pablo Gomez, Tracksmith, 1:43:40. 11, Carson Johnson, Cumberland College, 1:43:49. 12, Michael Mannozzi, U.S. Air Force, 1:44:35. 13, Benjamin Hofstra, Cornerstone University, 1:46:23. 14, Allen James, So Cal TC, 1:47:25. 15, Anthony Peters, Raleigh Walkers, 1:47:40.

PICTURED: BOARDMAN NATIVE Mike Mannozzi competed in his third Olympic Trials last weekend in Springfield, Oregon, and finished in 12th place in the 20k racewalk.
  Seven Spartans Qualify For Ohio Track Championships  
  June 3, 2021  
The Boardman Boys Track Team will send seven athletes in ten events to the 2021 OHSAA State Championship this weekend at Hilliard Darby High School after placing fifth overall at this year’s OHSAA Northeast Regional last weekend.
The Spartans opened the OHSAA Regional with junior Cameron Thompson placing 3rd in the 100 meter dash to qualify to state with a time of 11.38. Next up for Boardman was the 4x100 relay. The all junior team of Anthony Hightower, Cameron Thompson, Ben Alvarico, and Trey DePietro raced to a 2nd Place finish, just missing first place by 1-100th of a second with a time 43.19. Following the relay, sophomore Logan Thompson added to the roster to state by placing 3rd in the 300H in a time of 39.82. Teammate Trey DePietro missed qualifying, but still finished 8th in the event with a time of 40.79. Senior Jonah Bacho will also travel to state after a 4th place finish in the shot put. Bacho’s throw of 52’5.75” was nearly 3 feet ahead of the next athlete, comfortably qualifying the Spartan to state.
“I am so proud of all of our athletes ,” said Boardman Head Coach John Phillips, “they battled in some terrible conditions with rain, wind, and cold, and did not let that affect them one bit. This is the biggest group we have taken to Columbus in a long time-huge credit to our kids. This is not possible without our coaching staff either--I cannot thank Rick Sypert, John Pallini, John DePietro, Darrien Williams, and Jason Armburger enough, they did a fantastic job preparing our kids for the big stage.”
Joining them at state will be senior Micah Beckwith who qualified in all four seated events earlier this season. Beckwith will compete in the shot put final on Friday as well as prelims in the 100 and 400 and will have finals in those events along with the 800 on Saturday.
“Micah is going to be very busy on Friday and hopefully, if all goes well, Saturday too. His experience during his freshman and sophomore seasons have prepared him for the workload he is going to have this year. He is a very dedicated athlete and works very hard on the track, in the ring, and in the weight room,” said Phillips.
All of the Spartans will compete on Friday and Saturday at Hilliard Darby High School.

PICTURED:  BOARDMAN HIGH SCHOOL QUALIFIERS for the Ohio prep track and field championships, from left, are Jonah Bacho, Anthony Hightower, Ben Alvarico, Logan Thompson, Cameron Thompson, and Trey DePietro.
  Now In The Air Force, Mike Mannozzi, 35, Still Pursuing Racewalking Career With Dreams Of Earning 50k Olympic Berth  
  Former NAIA Champ Named Airman Of Year By USAF Sergeant’s Association:   May 13, 2021  
associate editor
There haven’t been many sporting events happening at full throttle during the pandemic, however, in late February, the USA Track & Field 50k/35k Race Walk national championships were held in Santee, Calif. The field of international competitors included Boardman native and USAF Airman First Class Michael Mannozzi along with several Olympians.
Mannozzi’s goal was to finish in the top-ten in the 31 mile ultra-race. He finished fifth with a time of 4:54.00 for the 31 miles (50k) race. (Equivalent to 21 times-consecutively for 125 laps around a 400 meter track without breaks).
In the California race, nearly half the American men did not finish or were disqualified for having three red cards for either one or a combination of the two rules of racewalking---loss of contact, and straightening the advancing leg upon the point of contact until it passes under the body. These two cardinal rules distinguish race walkers from their running counterparts.
It was sunny and 45-degrees at the start which was a pleasant temp compared to Dayton, Oh. where Mannozzi trained in 16 degrees less than two weeks from race day while stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB. The warmest training temperature he had in the 12 weeks leading up to this event was 37-degrees, where half of his training time was completed before sunrise.
“As a newly operational airman, father to a family of four, who is completing his Career Development Course, I had to sharpen my routine to allow time for the arduous training for a 50k (31.07 miles) race, the longest footrace in the Olympic program,” Airman Mannozzi (who in known in race walking as ‘The Italian Stallion’) said.
“To finish fifth with my best time in over four years and wearing my Air Force shirt and hat on the podium was a dream come true,” said the airman, adding “It made all of the training in the cold and dark worth it.”
Mannozzi, who raced that day with three World Championship competitors representing their military branches from Ecuador and Columbia, relied on his experience, discipline and resolve, which were refined through his Air Force service.
“My long term goal is to represent our Chapel Staff, the 88th ABW, and the entire Air Force in future events and ultimately apply for the World Athlete Class Program (WCAP) in 2022. The fact that I have finished one place higher than in 2016 Olympic Trials and over eight minutes faster shows my progress while an active duty Airman and raising a family,” Mannozzi said.
The racewalker said the fifth place finish marks 12 years consecutively being ranked in the top-10 in an Olympic distance, Mannozzi said.
“I am the only current male racewalker to achieve this mark,” he said.
Airman of the Year
Recently, Mannozzi, 35, was named the Chapter and Division 1 recipient of the Air Force Sergeant’s Association Airman of the Year Award.
Competes In Pan Am Cup Trials
On April 11 , Mannozzi raced in the Pan Am Cup trials and Masters 20k Race Walk Championships in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. He attained his personal goals in the meets, finishing top-10 ( 9th American) and finished second in his age group with a time of 1:48.02 for 20k.
“That is 8:43 per mile average for 12.4 miles (50 laps on a 400 meter track equivalent). This is nearly four minutes faster than my previous 20k and my best time in two and a half years, Mannozzi said, adding “Now I wait to see if I make the top-15 for the Olympic Trials in two months. I am near the cut-off of the top-15 times in the nation. According to my records I currently sit ranked 14th.”
Mannozzi began his racewalking career while attending Notre Dame College in Euclid, Oh. In 2010 he came from one lap behind to win
the NAIA 3k national title.
  April 14, 2021  
THE 4x1600 RELAY TEAM set a new school record last weekend at the Medina Relays. Pictured, from left, the relay team of Alayna Cuevas, Lauren Bero, Raegan Burkey and Julia Gorby set a new school record with a time of 22:11. They broke the previous record of 23:04 set in 2013 by Daisy Corso, Trista Cunningham, Brandi Gatte and Jordan Grantonic.
  Cleveland Heights Lutheran East Knocks Cards Out Of Regional Play:   March 18, 2021  
Boardman News Sports
The Cardinal Mooney Cardinals boys’ basketball team will look back on the 2020-21 campaign as one that tested their mettle but in the end, made them stronger as a unit for all that they had to endure.
They ended last season right about the time the COVID-19 pandemic wrested control of our daily lives then had to adjust to off-season practice restrictions. They made sure to follow pre-season social distancing rules, adjusted their line-up due to injuries and if that weren’t enough of an interruption, had the middle of their season paused again, this time for 23 more days when testing revealed contact tracing.
Through all the adversity, they posted a 17-5 overall mark – it was their best finish since the 2009-10 season when they also went 17-5 and just the third time overall since the turn of the century that they had 17 wins in a single season, going 17-6 in 2003-04 – won their first district championship then made their first regional appearance since 1997-98 as they authored both eight and five-game win streaks.
It was a season that the team will never forget while fifth-year head coach, Carey Palermo, will most assuredly take pause to remember it as the season that finally bore the fruits of his labor as they put the Cardinals back on the local basketball map and made the program relevant once again in the Mahoning Valley.
The season also produced the program’s seventh, 1,000 point scorer – this is the 64th season of varsity competition for the roundball sport at CMHS – when sharpshooter Michael Pelini canned his 35th and final point against LaBrae – the Cardinals won, 77-39 – in the district semi-finals for an even 1,000 when the final buzzer sounded.
Pelini followed that up with a 24 point effort against Waterloo in the district title game, including the game-winner – a step-back triple – from well beyond the arc with 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime to lead CMHS to regional play for just the sixth time in school history.
In his final game as a Cardinal against Cleveland Heights Lutheran East – a 74-31 loss by the Cardinals – his 19 point effort against the Falcons in the regional semi’s gave him 1,043 points for his illustrious career.
It left him a point short, however, of family bragging rights – his Uncle Mark, better known as college football coach, ‘Bo,’ scored 1,044 for CMHS from 1983-86 – a point the two will no doubt discuss during family get-together’s when they reminisce about a missed lay-up, free-throw that went array or triple that went halfway down, only to come right back up and cost either the former or latter a chance to add to their totals
Their season ended on March 9 at Twinsburg High School after that setback to the Falcons while the loss, albeit tough to take, couldn’t take away from the season the team had just posted.
Pelini had a team-high 19 points while Mick Hergenrother added six markers to pace the Cardinals, who trailed just 9-4 after the opening quarter but fell behind 34-9 at intermission.
“I told our kids in the locker room after the game that there’s no shame in losing to a team like that,” Palermo said. “They’re a special basketball team. They’ve won six straight district championships, been to state three times out of those six years and are the favorite to win the state title this year in our division.
“If anybody gets the chance to see them play, they’re definitely worth the price of admission or if you have to pay to watch them on-line. It was a tremendous experience and we now know what level we’re going to have to compete at if we want to win a state title in the years to come, which we believe we have a chance to at least get back to the regionals.”
Pelini led the team in scoring (18.2) and rebounding (6.8), also adding 1.5 assists and 1.7 steals in the 19 games that he played.
“It was an awesome year for us,” Palermo added. “The kids were so deserving of everything they got, all the post-season accolades, being able to hang a banner in their own gym and cutting down the nets on their home court.
“They were just an unbelievable group of kids, especially that senior class. Seeing what they worked through in their four years from where our program was to where it is now, it’s a feeling they’re going to remember and a feeling the school is going to remember for a long time.”
In addition to Pelini, the other three seniors Palermo will lose to graduation include Thomas Fire (12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.0 steals), Anthony Ellinos and Tarren Amill.
Palermo hopes that some college or university will understand that Pelini is a student of the game and will only get better.
“Michael has dressed varsity since day one for us,” Palermo stated. “I said quite a few times this year that if I was I was a better coach, he would have been playing varsity as a freshman. He’s gotten better every day that he stepped into our gymnasium while his love for and knowledge of the game was infectious to our entire team.
“He’s a kid who puts up over 500 shots a day in the off-season and takes 100-300 shots a day during the season so all the honors and awards that he receives aren’t by accident. It’s a shame that more colleges aren’t noticing him, a shame that more colleges aren’t offering him scholarships or knocking down his door.
“The biggest thing I hear is that he doesn’t look like a basketball player so it’s just amazing to me. You look at the teams we play, his production and the results so I just don’t know what a basketball player is supposed to look like.
“He’s been great for our program and in the biggest moments always stepped up. That to me is the mark of a great player.”
Palermo called Fire an unsung hero.
“Thomas is another player who has really evolved and improved his game since his sophomore year,” he noted. “His first start in our program came when he was a sophomore and it happened to be our sectional game against Struthers.
“Three of the last four years, Struthers has been in the district finals and we beat them in Thomas and Michael’s sophomore year. He had 16 points and never really looked back. He’s another captain, started every game for us since then and is also one of the heartbeats of our team.
“He’s tough as nails and for two years has guarded the best player on the opposing team. Think about this because Thomas averaged 13 points a game for us and we’ve never called a play for him. He’s this incredibly unselfish player, gets out in the passing lanes and really disrupts teams from a defensive standpoint.
“He’s a really good kid and the guy who made sure that everyone was working hard in practice, that everybody was there in the summer and the guy I could scream and yell at, which only made him go that much harder.
“He’s a true competitor and a player who has been absolutely great for our program.”
Palermo also appreciated both Ellinos and Amill, calling them both true team players.
“Anthony is just an unbelievable teammate, a guy who literally accepted any role that we gave to him,” Palermo said. “He’s another quick kid who can guard on the ball and when his number was called, contributed and always gave as much as he can. You couldn’t ask for a better kid.
“If you would have told me as a freshman that he would be a senior on our team and he’d be cutting down the nets with a district title, I couldn’t tell you it would have turned out that way but he just kept getting better and bought into us.
“The same thing with Tarren. He is the one player on our team who would literally do anything you ask of him. You cannot find anyone in our program that doesn’t like Tarren but again, when his number was called he always gave as much as he could.
“There might have been five or six games when his number wasn’t called but he always maintained a positive attitude. If you watched our games and saw our bench, he was always waving towels, cheering on his teammates and getting the guys into the game.
“He was the first one off the bench giving players high-five’s, is a true program kid and someone who has a future in coaching as far as any sport with which he wants to get involved.”
Palermo reiterated that the season, in fact, did have challenges.
“We’ve had 10 of our top 12 players since June 1 and made it a point that this basketball team is going to be committed to conditioning, staying in shape and we kept telling our kids that since June,” he added. “When you look at the rules, you didn’t know when you were going to get shut down or when there was going to be a pause so we needed to make sure that the No. 1 thing we do is stay in shape.
“We had two shutdowns in November, one in January and each time the kids knew, when they came back the first couple days we were going to run and we were going to run hard. We were going to get our legs back into shape because we’re going to pressure. We want to press and these kids bought into that.
“Some basketball teams, it’s not that they don’t want to put in the work but when you’re running suicides, sprints and what-not, that can get old really quick. These kids didn’t shy away from the hard work.
“If you look at our team, we’re not the most athletic, not the biggest nor are we the longest but I don’t think there are many teams that work as hard as we do or are as tough as we are. That’s a testament to the kids for not just buying into our coaching staff and culture but going above and beyond.”
Despite losing four seniors to graduation, Palermo and staff will welcome back seven juniors and a sophomore back to the fold next season, a conglomeration of talent that saw considerable playing time this season and contributed to the team’s overall success.
The seven returning juniors include Mick Hergenrother (12.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 3.6 steals), Jack Pepperney (4.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg), Drew Pecchia (2.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg), Zach Hryb (1.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg), Jack Phillips (1.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg), Jack Desmond (1.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg) and James Campbell (0.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg) while the lone sophomore is Jaxon Menough, who averaged 1.7 points and 0.6 caroms in 17 games played.
“All eight players lettered so we’re expecting a lot out of all of them next year,” Palermo stated. “Mick [Hergenrother] is a returning captain and we’re going to lean on him a ton while those juniors’ roles are going to expand.
“We actually think that our best class is our freshmen class right now with five or six of those players competing for varsity next year. Our freshmen team was 10-2 and our JV team was 10-4 this year so we really like where our program is at.
“The junior class that will be seniors next year includes three starters returning in Drew Pecchia, Jack Pepperney and Mick Hergenrother, who I think is a kid who has a really good opportunity to play some college basketball when he graduates.”
The Cardinals were 16-3 with Pelini and 1-2 when he went down with a broken wrist.
“The low point of the season was probably when Michael [Pelini] broke his wrist,” Palermo noted. “We went 1-2 without him when he broke his wrist then went right into quarantine so it was like we just lost in overtime, the game in which he just broke his wrist then we were off for 10 days.
“Then you need to get back into shape and must play Ursuline, Howland and then Ursuline, again. We just didn’t have the legs to play those games. Rivalry games have a lot of emotion and in those games we were just spent in the first quarter.
“Then, you’re missing your leading scorer, one of your primary ballhandlers and a guy who has been in that game for three years.
“Ursuline had one heckuva’ year, a heckuva’ start to their season but I would have loved for Michael and our team to have the opportunity to play them at full strength.
“I feel very strongly about my guys because when we were at full strength, we went 16-3.”
1,514 – Vince Marrow, 1984-87
1,280 – Preston Wells, 1990-94
1,136 – Scott Parker, 1986-89
1,107 – Curtis Ingram, 2000-03
1,094 – L.J. Sutton, 2005-08
1,044 – Mark ‘Bo’ Pelini, 1983-86
1,043 – Michael Pelini, 2017-21
  Boardman Graduate Corey Linsley Agrees to Contract With Los Angeles Chargers  
  March 18, 2021  
Corey Linsley
COREY LINSLEY, WHO spent the first seven seasons of his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers, has reportedly agreed to a $62.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, of which $17 million is guaranteed. The 29-year-old Linsley played football at Boardman High School (Class of 2009), then became an All Big Ten performer at Ohio State, prior to joining the Packers in 2014 where he earned All-Pro laurels last year. His contract will make him the highest paid center in the NFL.
  Pelini’s Buzzer-Beater Propels Mooney Into Regional Berth  
  Cards Top Waterloo, 58-55, For District Title:   March 11, 2021  
Boardman News Sports
Looking back on last week, what a wild week the Cardinal Mooney Cardinals boys’ basketball team experienced.
What a memorable week their senior sharpshooter, Michael Pelini, authored.
The No. 2 seeded Cardinals (17-4) topped No. 4 LaBrae on March 2, 77-39 to advance to their first District final since 2014 then on Friday night, proceeded to continue their perfect post-season run with a thrilling, 58-55, come from behind overtime win over No. 7 seed Waterloo for the Division III, Northeast 2 District championship.
It was their first District crown since 2013 – they won the District title that year under former head coach Brian Danilov – and just their third District appearance since the turn of the century.
Against LaBrae, Pelini became just the seventh Cardinals’ player ever to score 1,000 career points, hooping 35 markers against LaBrae (10-7) for an even 1,000 upon completion of their semi-final victory.
He followed that up with 24 point effort against Waterloo, including the game-winner – a step-back triple – from well beyond the arc with 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime as CMHS advanced to Regional action for just sixth time in this, their 63rd season as a varsity program.
Pelini now has 1,024 points in his career and remains 20 points behind his Uncle Mark, better known as ‘Bo,’ who was the Cardinals’ first player to crack the historic milestone when he amassed 1,044 points from 1983-86.
“I’m a senior and this was the last time playing on my home court,” Pelini said. “When I got the ball with under six seconds remaining, Kyle Shockley, who is one of the very best players I have ever played against, was guarding me and I just said to myself I can either shoot it or we can go to another overtime.
“I shot the ball, it went in so needless to say this is a game that I will always remember. It’s so special to be moving on to the regionals. Ever since our freshman year we’ve been saying that we want a District championship and each year we’ve improved .
“This team, we’ve gotten so close over the years so this is just a special achievement for all of us. It says a lot about the character of this team.”
The Vikings opened a 4-3 lead in the opening period on a pair of free throws by Shockley – he finished with a game-high 32 points on seven buckets, including a triple and a 17 for 24 performance from the charity stripe – and Luke Simons, building an 11-7 advantage after the first eight minutes as they entered the bonus with 1:10 remaining in the opening period.
Drew Pecchia had four points on two buckets for the Cardinals in the stanza.
Shockley added seven more points in the second quarter while Pelini scored seven points as the Cardinals pulled to within 20-18 at the intermission.
Pelini, it turned out, was just warming up as he scored the first two buckets of the second half to give the Cardinals their first lead of the game, 22-20 just 37 seconds into the third period.
He then added a triple while James Campbell also notched a bucket from beyond the arc, and both Mick Hergenrother and Thomas Fire added fielders as CMHS went on a 14-3 run to forge a 32-23 second half margin.
Foul trouble once again plagued the Cardinals as they committed their seventh foul of the half just 5:39 into the third quarter.
Waterloo closed the period on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 32-31 with eight minutes remaining in regulation.
A back and forth final period saw the Vikings reel off the first nine points of the quarter for 40-32 lead but four points by Pelini then a steal and hoop by Hergenrother keyed a 10-4 Cardinals run as CMHS pulled to within 44-42 with 2:13 remaining.
A bucket by Pelini and three free throws by Fire gave Mooney a 47-45 lead but Jack Sandel’s hoop with 1.7 seconds remaining knotted the game at 47-all to force an extra four minutes of play.
A triple and three point play by Shockley gave Waterloo a 53-49 edge 39 seconds into overtime but a triple and free throw by Hergenrother, and a hoop by Fire keyed a 6-0 run by CMHS for a 55-53 CMHS lead with 22.4 remaining.
Shockley’s two charity tosses with 14.3 remaining knotted the score at 55-all, setting up Pelini’s heroics in his final home appearance as a Cardinal.
After a time out, a shot by Shockley from the Cardinals’ side of the court hit the top of the backboard and fell off as the buzzer sounded, securing the Cardinals’ first Regional appearance in nine seasons.
“They switched all screens, we haven’t seen that all year and it took us right out of our offensive rhythm,” fifth-year head coach Carey Palermo added after the game. “They’re a championship-caliber team, having won the District last year.
“In overtime at the end, we knew that whatever we were going to run they were going to try and take it away. We just wanted to get Michael [Pelini] the ball and told him to go make a play. When he was in the huddle, I said you get the ball, go make that play and told him this is what you dream about.”
With the many distractions both on and off the court this season, Palermo noted how special it was to be advancing to Regional play.
“It’s really special,” he stated. “As a program, when I took over, we really struggled. We struggled for a couple years but we got better. We kept making improvement, we kept getting better and this is the culmination of that. We wanted to establish our own culture and felt the last couple years we’ve done that.
“Again, this is kind of the end piece to that but we’re not done. We know that we have a tough game coming up in the Regional semi-finals against Lutheran East. We’re going to be happy tonight, we’re going to celebrate but tomorrow [Saturday] we’re going to come in and get back to work.”
At press time, the Cardinals were to take on the Falcons with the game set for March 9 at Twinsburg High School.
The Falcons were a 103-68 winner over West Salem Northwestern to capture the Northeast 4 District crown with the winner then to take on the winner of the Creston Norwayne versus New Middletown’s Springfield Local Tigers contest – they play immediately after the Cardinals – for the Regional title on Saturday at 5 p.m., also at Twinsburg High School.
Against Waterloo, Fire (14 points) and Hergenrother (11) joined Pelini in double figures for the Cardinals while Sandel added eight markers for the Vikings.
In the District semi-finals against LaBrae, Pelini almost outscored the Vikings by himself as he hooped 35 points to lead CMHS.
Fire added 14 points and Hergenrother 10 as the Cardinals opened a 19-6 lead heading to the second quarter and never looked back.
Mooney went up 34-19 at the half, outscored LaBrae 26-12 in the third period to open a 60-31 lead and coasted to their 38-point victory.
Connor Meyer led LaBrae with 12 points, seven coming in the opening half of play.
 CARDINALS BOYS BASKETBALL NOTES…Lutheran East heads into their regional semi-final contest with the Cardinals sporting a 12-3 overall mark, having scored 101 and 103 points, respectively, their last two times out. They started 7-0 and have won four of their last seven outings…The Falcons have scored 1,131 points (75.2 points per game) in 15 frays while allowing 856 points (57.1), a plus-18.2 scoring differential.
1,514 – Vince Marrow, 1984-87
1,280 – Preston Wells, 1990-94
1,136 – Scott Parker, 1986-89
1,107 – Curtis Ingram, 2000-03
1,094 – L.J. Sutton, 2005-08
1,044 – Mark ‘Bo’ Pelini, 1983-86
1,024 – Michael Pelini, 2017-21

photo/Howard Reese
 CARDINAL MOONEY’S MARK PELINI, 45, SOARS OVER A PAIR OF Waterloo defenders for a shot from behind the arc with 1.6 seconds left in overtime to lift the Cards to a 58-55 victory and a district title last weekend.

NOTE: On Tues., Mar. 9 Cardinal Mooney fell out of regional tournament play falling to Lutheran East 74-31 in semi final action.
  Offense Anemic As Hoover Sweeps Boardman Out Of Tournament Play, 52-30  
  March 4, 2021  
Boardman News Sports
On a night when they needed to play a near flawless game offensively, the Boardman Spartans’ offense was all but silent as they were eliminated from post-season play by former Federal League foe North Canton Hoover, 52-30, last Saturday night at the Boardman Gymnasium.
With that sectional final loss, the Spartans end their season 15-6 overall despite authoring a third straight All-American Conference Red Tier championship, which extended their league win streak to 28 games dating to the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
Trey DePietro led the Spartans with 10 points, joining Ethan Andersen – he also had 10 points during their 35-32 loss to the Vikings back on January 5 – as the only two BHS players to hit double-digits against NCHHS in their two games played this season.
The Spartans hit two triples – the first by Spencer Smith just 40 seconds into the game and the second by Andersen at 4:35 of the opening period – for the early 6-2 advantage, then went without a bucket until the third quarter, a stretch of 15:01 to fall behind 31-16, all but dooming the Spartans’ chances of advancing to district play.
“That’s two games that we played against them this year and we averaged 31 points, scoring 32 the first time and 30 points tonight so that’s obviously something that they’re doing well,” Boardman head coach Pat Birch said after the game. “Their ‘bigs’ defend well inside, they don’t make mistakes, don’t play out of position and we knew coming in that we were going to have to play not perfect offensively, but going to have to take advantage of the opportunities when they were there.
“I think you saw early in the game we had some pretty good chances that didn’t go and I felt that kind of set the tone for the night. We hit our first couple of shots but couldn’t capitalize the rest of the first half.
“You look up and you weren’t doing things bad defensively. I felt like we were playing pretty good, we were speeding them up when we finally did score but we didn’t score consistently enough to keep our pressure on them and keep the game fast.”
After taking the early lead, the Vikings’ (15-8) Eli Barker hit a shot to cut the deficit to 6-4 and when Cade Henne hit the first of his game-high four triples at the 3:17 mark, Hoover wrested a 7-6 lead and never trailed the remainder of the way.
Henne scored eight of his game-high 20 points in the opening period, keying a 10-1 run to finish the quarter as the Vikings opened a 12-7 advantage heading to the second stanza.
A triple by Lucas Tindell, six more points by Henne and a stingy defense that held Boardman scoreless from the field – they were seven of 10 from the charity stripe – helped the Vikings open a 25-14 lead at the intermission.
In the third quarter, a bucket by Wes Collins, free throw by Eli Barker and triple by Tanner Ware extended the Hoover lead to 31-14 before DePietro broke the Spartans’ field goal drought with his hoop at 4:34, cutting the margin to 31-16.
Barker’s five points in the period helped extend the Vikings’ lead to 39-19 with eight minutes remaining.
Boardman’s D.J. Evans, DePietro and Luke Ryan added triples in the final period but it was too little, too late as Hoover, the No. 12 seed, advanced to the Division I, Northeast 2 district semi-finals where they were scheduled to meet No. 14 seed Green High School – the Bulldogs defeated No. 8 Hunting Valley University School, 49-48 on Saturday – on March 3.
Barker added 15 points to join Henne as the two Vikings to finish in double figures as Hoover won their seventh consecutive game, winning for the 10th time in their past 11 outings.
For the Spartans, Andersen finished with seven points, Ryan added six markers, Evans four and Smith a triple which came at the outset of the game.
Birch took a moment to laud the leadership of his senior class, which has produced a 57-12 (.826 winning percentage) overall mark in 69 games played the past three seasons while producing three AAC Red Tier titles.
“I told them after the game that this doesn’t define who they are. They had a successful year,” Birch added. “One of the things that really sticks out when you talk to other coaches is how hard this season has been for everyone. I feel like everyone feels it’s just a success to get through the season.
“Despite the uncertainty, this group has been great. They’ve never been down, they’ve showed leadership, showed a lot of unselfishness and are just good guys that probably sacrificed their role.
“That isn’t easy for a kid to understand but they took it in stride, were very good leaders and I really, really appreciated that. Big E [Ethan Andersen] is going to be really hard to replace as he’s been the centerpiece for us the past three seasons.
“He’s never lost a league game, been the anchor and you just don’t replace a player like that so I’m going to miss him and our other seniors, but that’s high school sports.”
  February 18, 2021  
Boardman News Sports
The Cardinal Mooney Cardinals girls’ basketball team is hitting their stride at just the right time.
Despite dropping a hard-fought, 43-39 decision to West Branch back on February 3, they completed their regular season with a 47-41 win over arch-rival Ursuline (February 5) then last Thursday, toppled East at home, 44-24 to capture their second consecutive Steel Valley Conference championship.
With an unblemished 6-0 league mark the past two seasons, it’s safe to say that the SVC title runs through 2545 Erie Street in Youngstown.
The Cardinals – they are currently 11-6 overall in a shortened 17-game regular season – are the No. 9 seed in the upcoming Division II, Northeast 2 sectional-district tournament and at press time, were set to once again host the Golden Bears in the sectional semi-finals on February 17.
Last week against EHS, the Cardinals raced out to a 17-7 lead after the first eight minutes of action and never looked back as they posted their 12th consecutive SVC contest since the league was reconfigured in time for the 2019-20 academic year.
Two triples by Angelina Rotunno and four points by Katie Hough helped set the pace in the opening session while a stingy defense – the Cardinals held the Golden Bears to just three points in the second quarter – and four points each from Hough and Olivia Rouser helped Cardinal Mooney to a 28-10 halftime lead.
Four more points by Hough and Alaina Scavina stretched the Cardinals’ margin to 36-16 after three frames while Mooney’s Maria Fire and East High’s Brianna Thompson each scored four points in the final eight minutes as CMHS concluded their regular season with two straight wins and a 20-point victory over the Golden Bears, a team they struggled to beat on the road back on January 20, 36-34.
Hough had a game-high 14 points for Cardinal Mooney while Fire was the other Cardinals’ player to finish in double figures with 10.
Rouser, Rotunno and Scavina each added eight markers with Natalie Femia’s fourth period bucket rounding out the scoring for the Cards.
Thompson finished with 10 points to lead the Golden Bears.
CARD GIRLS BASKETBALL NOTES…The Lady Cardinals concluded the regular season by going 5-3 at home and 6-3 on the road…They scored 796 points in 17 contests, an average of 46.8 per contest while allowing 688 (40.1) for a +6.7 point differential…Their road to the SVC included two wins over Chaney (83-20 at home on January 6 and 65-22 on January 23 on the road), two decisions over East (36-34 on January 20 on the road and 44-24 on February 11 at home) and two victories over arch-rival Ursuline (45-36 on January 27 on the road and 47-41 at home on February 5)…Defense was the name of their game in the SVC, outscoring league opposition 320 (53.3 ppg) to 177 (29.5 ppg) or an average of 23.8 per outing.
  Spartan Ethan DunLany Captures 500-Free Sectional Swimming Title  
  Boardman Qualifies 18 Tankers For District Meet:   February 18, 2021  
Ethan DunLany
The Boardman Spartan Swim and Dive Team qualified 18 athletes to compete in the 2021 Northeast District Division I High School Swimming and Diving Championships in Geneva, Oh.
15 swimmers and three divers will represent the Spartans at the Spire Institute in Geneva. Divers will compete on Thursday and the swimmers will compete on Saturday with the goal of qualifying for the state meet the following weekend in Canton. Only 24 athletes across the state will qualify per event for the Ohio State Swimming Championships.
The Boardman boy’s swim team competed in the Division 1 Sectional Championships at Wooster High School last week. Sophomore Ethan DunLany earned sectional championship honors in the 500 freestyle with a first place time of 5:00.07.
“Our young team of guys swam solid races and were really aggressive in the water. We were incredibly proud with how hard they attacked their events and with the amount of time they were dropping. Their hard work has paid off...we were able to qualify 11 boys and all three relays. Now we get to taper our boys and see what they can do,” Coach Carlo Cordon said.
Boys Sectional Results
[LB=Personal Best: QU=District Qualifier]
 200 Medley Relays: Justin Yocum, Jackson Behun, Owen Lee, Carter Cailor 8th 1:46.03 QU
 200 Freestyle: Ethan DunLany 7th (1:52.10) LB QU, Owen Lee 12th (1:57.52) LB, Liam Manley 17th (2:01.25) LB, Matthew Vasko 22nd (2:11.03) LB
 200 Individual Medley: Caleb Satterfield 2nd (2:03.97) QU, Siman Mascola 5th (2:05.83) LB QU, Andrew Yocum 17th (2:15.45) LB, Aaron Hura 33rd (2:49.46) LB
 50 Freestyle: Landon Mitchell 27th (24.86) LB, Ethan Boots 33rd (25.29) LB, Luca Bounamici 38th (26.59) LB, Sam Bundy 41st (27.75) LB
 1 Meter Diving (11 Dives): Teddy Anzevino 4th (402.10) QU, Samuel DeJoseph 5th (393.40) QU, Caleb Austin 8th (195.10) QU
 100 Butterfly: Owen Lee 6th (56.44) LB QU, Justin Yocum 13th (58.29) LB, Landon Mitchell 14th (58.45) LB, Liam Manley 29th (1:04.13).
 100 Freestyle: Siman Mascola 9th (51.10) LB QU, Jackson Behun 17th (53.87) LB, Ethan Boots 30th (59.17) LB, Ethan Slick 36th (1:04.87) LB
 500 Freestyle: Ethan DunLany 1st Sectional Champ (5:00.07) QU, Carter Cailor 4th (5:05.50) QU, William Parker 17th (5:55.01) LB, Matthew Vasko 18th (6:04.63) LB
 200 Freestyle Relays: Siman Mascola, Carter Cailor, Ethan DunLany, Caleb Satterfield 6th (1:34.62) QU
 100 Backstroke: Andrew Yocum 10th (59.56) LB QU, Justin Yocum 11th (1:00.06) LB QU, Carter Cailor 12th (1:01.58) QU, William Parker 21st (1:07.72).
 100 Breaststroke: Caleb Satterfield 9th (1:03.70) QU, Jackson Behun 15th (1:09.21) LB, Ethan Slick 27th (1:16.49), Luca Buonamici 30th (1:22.49)
 400 Free Relays: Siman Mascola, Justin Yocum, Ethan DunLany, Caleb Satterfield 5th (3:29.19) QU
Girls Sectional Results
200 Medley Relay Ella Huston, Julia Basista, Alexis Mihok, Hayley Ho 5th (1:55.29) QU
200 Freestyle: Alexis Mihok 4th (2:00.12) QU, Maddie Mraz 27th (2:19.65) LB, Sam Murray 32nd (2:27.49) LB, Morgan Auck 36th (2:32.29) LB
200 Individual Medley: Julia Basista 8th (2:24.63) LB QU, Morgan Russo 15th (2:33.03) LB, Madison Kelso 20th (2:43.09) LB, Ireland Parker 21st (2:48.26) LB
50 Freestyle: Hayley Ho 13th (26.23) LB QU, Morgan Auck 26th (28.19) LB, MacKenzie Kelso 36th (30.30) LB, Lacie Dray 42nd (32.14) LB
1 Meter Diving (11 Dives): Leah Boerio 15th (243.40), Ava Bosnjak 16th (218.85)
100 Butterfly: Ella Huston 11th (1:05.75) QU, Madison Kelso 22nd (1:14.16) LB, Cadence Vlaiku 30th (1:18.57) LB, MacKenzie Kelso 31st (1:18.74) LB
100 Freestyle: Alexis Mihok 10th (55.73) QU, Casey Wert 21st (58.84) LB QU, Allyson Schwendeman 26th (1:00.02) LB, Morgan Russo 34th (1:01.86) LB
500 Freestyle: Casey Wert 20th (6:02.47) LB, Sam Murray 27th (6:35.85) LB, Olivia Pickens 29th (6:38.99), Cadence Vlaiku 34th (6:57.61)
100 Backstroke: Ella Huston 8th (1:03.98) LB QU, Allyson Schwendeman 14th (1:06.87) LB QU, Ireland Parker 23rd (1:12.77) LB, Erin Giampietro 32nd (1:21.25) LB
100 Breaststroke: Julia Basista 7th (1:11.74) QU, Hayley Ho 14th (1:14.36) QU, Maddie Mraz 18th (1:16.51) LB, Olivia Pickens 30th (1:26.21)
400 Free Relays: Morgan Russo, Julia Basista, Casey Wert, Allyson Schwendeman 7th (4:00.30) QU.
  Lady Spartan Lexi Beadle Takes District Mat Crown  
  February 18, 2021  
The girls have been wrestling boys all season and last Sunday they had a chance to tangle with some girls in district wrestling competition.
Boardman High School’s Lexi Beadle was District champion at 116#. In the championship match Lexi decked #1 seed Lexi Zehe of Madison in 4:38. In the first round Lexi won a 14-0 major decision over Ava Nelson of Mentor. In the semis, Lexi decked Camryn Manley of Mogadore in 3:25.
“That was the most dominating performance that we have had all year by any of our wrestlers. From start to finish Lexi wrestled outstanding,” Boardman Co-Head Coach Dom Mancini said.
Sloan McNally placed third at 121#. In the consolation finals Sloan decked Faith Perriman in 51 seconds. Earlier Sloan lost to the eventual champion Marcella Hatcher of Cleveland Central Catholic. In the consies, Sloan decked Donna Tran of Mentor in 47 seconds.
“Sloan battled hard. I tell you one thing about our girls, they were two of the meanest girls in the tournament,” Coach Mancini said.
“After wrestling the boys all year, this was a walk in the park for them,” Coach Mancini said.
  Lady Spartan Keglers Top Austintown To Cap 2nd Straight Unbeaten Season  
  Boardman Claims Sectional Championship:   February 18, 2021  
The Boardman High School girls bowling team wrapped-up their second consecutive undefeated regular season against Austintown Fitch on Tues., Feb. 10 at Boardman Lanes, beating the Lady Falcons 2606-1824; and then earned a sectional championship by 558 pins in action at Amron Lanes In Canfield last Friday.
Against Fitch, Lady Spartan Alayna Turillo was the match medalist, shooting her high on the year with scores of 236 and 208 for a 444 set.
Other Boardman scores were Lexus Petrich with a 194 and 233 for a 427 set, Sam Hoffman with a 168 and 225 for a 393 set, Josalyn Hibbard with a 168 and 216 for a 384 set, and Fatima Rehman with a 154 and 197 for a 351 set.
The Lady Spartan keglers shot an impressive baker series to end the regular season, going 203, 201, and 203 for a 607 series.
High roller for Austintown was Emily Wagner with a 174 and 171 for a 345 set.
In the sectional tourney, Boardman rolled-up a total pin fall of 4079, well ahead of second place Kent Roosevelt and third place Warran G. Harding.
Boardman led the sectional meet from start to finish, shooting scores of 921 for both the first and second game of play and an impressive 1080 for the third.
In the baker game series, the Lady Spartan keglers shot 149, 228, 179, 186, 235, and 180 for a 1157 baker game total, averaging a 193 per game.
Individually, Josalyn Hibbard was the sectional champion, shooting her high set on the year with games of 235, 217, and 216 for a 668. In the runner-up spot was teammate Lexus Petrich, shooting games of 209, 168, and 264 for a 641 set.
Other Lady Spartan finishes included Sam Hoffman who placed 11th overall with games of 170, 168, and 209 for a 547 set. Not too far behind her in 13th place was Fatima Rehman with scores of 154, 192, and 169 for a 515 set.
Grace Oklota came off the bench in impressive fashion, rolling games of 176 and 222 for the second and third games of individual play. Alayna Turillo was also a contributor, shooting a 153 in the first game.
  Burkey Reaches 1000 Point Milestone  
  February 11, 2021  
Raegan Burkey
PICTURED: Boardman High School senior Raegan Burkey, became the 12th Lady Spartan to score 1,000 points in her prep career in a game against Austintown Fitch last week.
  BOARDMAN DOWNS AUSTINTOWN, 54-42:   January 21, 2021  
Pat Birch, BHS Head Basketball Coach
Boardman News Sports
With their 54-42 victory over arch-rival Austintown Fitch on Friday night, BHS boys’ basketball coach Pat Birch earned the 100th victory of his scholastic coaching career, all coming during his nine seasons at the helm of the Spartans’ cage program.
“In the moment right now, I was just thinking of our game with Austintown Fitch,” Birch said. “I was just thinking about what we could have done better and what we need to do to get better but I know I will sit down at some point in time and realize that it has been a rollercoaster ride of its own, kind of like tonight’s result.
“We’ve had those years where I was questioning what I was doing. You start to question your program yet you’ve had those years where you could see what it could be like. I’ve always believed that if you did things the right way, the kids played hard and they were unselfish then you’d get wins, eventually, and we’ve been able to do that the last few years.”
The Spartans (7-2, 2-0: All-American Conference, Red Tier) scored the first nine points of the game, built a 32-17 halftime advantage and a 21-point (47-26) lead heading to the final period, then had to withstand a furious Falcons (4-6, 1-1) rally over the final eight minutes for their third consecutive victory of the season.
With the win, the two-time defending AAC Red Tier champions have now won 21 straight league contests dating to the final regular season game of the of the 2017-18 campaign – they defeated AFHS, 51-41, at home on February 22 – have won six straight games against the Falcons and bagged 49 wins in their 57 outings, an impressive .860 winning percentage.
To appreciate Birch’s run and the success the program has enjoyed over the past two-plus seasons, one needn’t look any further than Birch’s first six seasons at the helm and the struggles both he and his staff endured while patiently implementing what has become a take note formula for success at 7777 Glenwood Avenue.
Quite frankly, his teams have taken on the persona of their coach and that can only spell trouble for opponents that either visit or host the Spartans basketball juggernaut.
Luke Ryan, who scored a team high 11 points – he had two triples and a three-point play in the second quarter – has witnessed his share of Spartans and Birch victories, having also spent time in the stands as a spectator watching brothers J.R. and Zach flourish in Birch’s system.
“It’s really special for me to be a part of tonight’s celebration for coach Birch,” Ryan added. “I’ve been watching him coach my brothers the past several years and it’s so much fun being a part of this success. It’s a great experience for me.”
It seems like eons ago that the 2002 Springfield Local High School graduate recorded his very first win, a 51-40 decision at Campbell Memorial on December 4, 2012 in his second game at the helm.
“I was very fortunate to play under an excellent coach in Jeff Brink,” stated Birch, who was the starting point guard his final two seasons for the Tigers. “Coach Brink shaped my fundamental views of coaching which were team first, maximum effort and being fundamentally sound.
“We had a lot of success following that formula, going 41-4 during my junior and senior seasons, including an undefeated season my junior year.”
While that formula worked for the Tigers, Birch’s teams struggled early in his coaching career as they were just 5-41 after his first two seasons and a mere shell of today’s winning program, going 10-48 just 58 games into his tenure.
BHS administration, however, recognized his ‘stick-tu-itive’ approach, stuck with him and nine years later they continue to reap the benefits of his 24-7 approach to the game.
Eric Simione, current home basketball public address announcer – he has manned he microphone from his familiar seat at press row the past 24 seasons – and boys head soccer coach, who along with Birch serves as a social studies teacher, has watched his fellow teacher and coach grow his program while sticking to his ideals, beliefs and the proper way to deal with his players, both on and off the court.
“Boardman was wise to give a young Pat Birch both the opportunity to lead our basketball program and the time to implement his system,” Simione said. “He’s like a brother to me and while we started celebrating rare victories in those early seasons, tonight we celebrate his many victories.
“I’m proud of him and the Spartan that he has become.”
A 2007 graduate of Baldwin-Wallace University, Birch played four years at defensive back for the Yellow Jackets, lettering in both his junior and senior campaigns.
He credits the collegiate grid game for his discipline.
“Playing college football taught me so much,” Birch added. “It taught me about time management, playing through adversity but most of all, having to earn everything, including playing time as a member of the team.”
Birch earned his undergraduate degree from B-W in secondary education-integrated social studies, later earning his MA in administration from Youngstown State University.
His first job upon graduation from college was at Hudson High School, which reunited him with Brink and ultimately provided him the opportunity to begin his scholastic coaching career.
“I was a permanent building substitute teacher,” he stated. “This position allowed me to form many relationships as I moved throughout the building each day. My first coaching job at HHS was when I served as head freshman basketball coach, that coming during the 2006-07 season.
“Coach Brink had just been hired as Hudson’s new head basketball coach after two very successful stints at Springfield Local and Salem High School. I was in my final year of college and finishing up my student teaching when he asked me to come on board.
“He gave me an opportunity to assume the reins of my own team and for that I have been forever grateful. That experience was invaluable and forever cemented my path to becoming a head basketball coach.
“That first game was quite memorable as we rallied from 14 points down at Twinsburg and won so I was forever hooked on coaching. The following season I moved up as the Explorers junior varsity head coach before getting hired at Boardman, that coming in June of 2008 as a full-time social studies teacher.”
Birch began his BHS coaching career during the 2008-09 academic year, serving as an assistant coach for Jim Goske where he helped mostly with the junior varsity team and their youth program.
For the next three years, Birch was the head JV coach, working one season under Goske and then two more under former head mentor, Dan McKeown. It was during that time that he also coached varsity football and assisted with the freshman baseball program.
After four seasons as an assistant, the Spartans’ head coaching job became open and despite his youth, Birch felt he was ready to take the next logical step in his coaching career.
“It was the fall of 2012 when the head basketball position became available so I decided to throw my hat in the ring,” Birch noted. “I was coaching varsity football at the time and completing my master’s degree but I thought it was an opportunity on which I could not pass.
“I was a young coach but believed that I could provide stability and over time, build a strong, winning program.
Despite a rocky start to his coaching tenure – the team was 3-20 and 2-21 during his first two seasons at the helm – he never wavered, stuck to his plan as players began to buy into his system.
“My first couple of seasons were very tough,” he said. “We were still in the Federal League, which had taken its toll on the program. The travel, lack of rivalries and overall talent gap led to an enthusiasm and interest decline in the program.”
It was when the Spartans joined the All-American Conference that Birch’s program took a 180 degree about face.
“Heading into my third season, which was in 2014-15, we joined the All-American Conference. It renewed rivalries and energized the program,” he said. “The first two years were spent learning how to win games as we finished with just five wins both years.
“Despite a losing record, those teams began to change the culture of our program and during my fifth season we finally broke through. In 2016-17, we recorded 19 wins and were runners-up in the conference to eventual district champion, Warren Harding. That senior class was the group that took what we had been building and finally got us over the hump and it’s that group that will always be so very special to me.”
Current BHS director of athletics, Marco Marinucci, admires not only Birch’s approach to the game but that of his staff and players as well.
He said that approach has been contagious.
“Coach Birch has worked incredibly hard over the years,” Marinucci stated. “His work ethic has become contagious among his assistants and players throughout the years and he is most deserving of this milestone.”
The 2017-18 season was a step back for Birch as the team posted nine victories for the third time in four seasons, dropped three overtime contests as it couldn’t seem to replicate the successful formula from the previous year.
“That season probably taught me more than any other year of my coaching career,” Birch noted. “I learned that creating a winning program is never really finished and that your standards have to constantly and consistently be reinforced.”
While the 2017-18 campaign might have taken a step back in the development progression, the last two seasons (2018-19 and 2019-20) have been full speed ahead with the foot down all the way on the pedal and showing no signs of letting up.
“All of our hard work seems to have come together the past two-plus seasons,” Birch said. “We were very fortunate to have some great leaders, unselfish kids and talented players that fortunately, all came together at the same time. Those 2019 seniors led the way with their leadership and unselfishness but it was the 2020 senior class that truly represented everything we want our program to be about.
“They were a dedicated group who played extremely hard and unselfish and not only were they successful on the hardwood, they were great representatives of our community.”
Former BHS girls’ basketball coach and current assistant athletic director, Jeff Hammerton, started his coaching career at the same time as Birch, adding that he loves and admires everything he stands for as the face of his program.
“Pat and I started our head coaching career’s the same year and we both wanted to make lasting impacts in our respective programs,” Hammerton added. “We would talk in the gym daily and I just knew he would accomplish great things.
“This milestone victory is so well-deserved and with his work ethic, I just know that there will be many more wins and accolades still to come. I couldn’t be any happier for him.”
During the Spartans’ run over the past 57 games, Birch was named the MVCA (Mahoning Valley Coached Association) Coach of the Year on two separate occasions (2017, 2020), earned the OHSAA (Ohio High School Athletic Association) State Award, also in 2017 and in 2019, was named Northeast Ohio Inland District Coach of the Year.
The Birch File:
Overall Record: 100-97 (.508)
Yearly Record:
2012-13.........3 - 20
2013-14.........2 - 21
2014-15.........9 - 14
2015-16.........9 - 15
2016-17.........19 - 5
2017-18.........9 - 14
2018-19.........20 - 4 (1st AAC)
2019-20.........22 - 2 (1st AAC)
*Record through first nine games of season.
Milestone Victories
Win No. 1: vs. Campbell Memorial, 51-40 on December 2, 2012.
Win No. 10: vs. Austintown Fitch, 45-37 on January 16, 2015.
Win No. 20: vs. Ashtabula Lakeside, 75-62 on January 28 in 2016.
Win No. 25: vs. Niles McKinley, 63-43 on December 6, 2016.
Win No. 40: vs. Massillon Perry, 60-58 on February 21, 2017.
Win No. 50: vs. Youngstown East, 58-34 on February 3, 2018.
Win No. 60: vs. Howland, 73-46, on January 11, 2019.
Win No. 75: vs. Uniontown Lake, 64-43 on December 17, 2019.
Win No. 80: vs. Austintown Fitch, 68-44 on January 14, 2020.
Win No. 90: vs. Youngstown Chaney, 66-60 on February 14, 2020.
Win No. 100: vs. Austintown Fitch, 54-42 on January 15, 2020.
Top-5 Memorable Games
In addition to Friday’s milestone 100th career coaching victory, Pat Birch recalled five of his most memorable victories during his nine seasons at BHS head boys’ basketball coach:
 •No. 5, 2012-13 vs Cardinal Mooney: “It was a great atmosphere and gave us a glimpse of what the future could look like.”
 •No. 4, 2013-14 vs North Canton Hoover: “We shocked the Federal League by upsetting the Vikings. It was an awesome experience.”
 •No. 3, 2016-17 vs Warren Harding: “We opened up what would become a memorable season with an unforgettable game versus Harding. Down by double digits with a few minutes to play, we rallied back to stun the Raiders. This win launched us to a great season.”
 •No. 2, 2018-19 at Canfield: “In the middle of a 16-game winning streak, we played at Canfield and a gym that we had not won at in a very long time. We came out and played one of our better games of the season, pulling away while this win unofficially made us AAC Red Tier favorites.
 •No. 1, 2019-20 “Senior Night” versus Austintown Fitch: “We celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the 1970 “Final Four” team. This night connected our program’s rich history with our present success. It was an unforgettable night, one in which the community showed outstanding support for our student-athletes.
 •Honorable Mention: Home tournament games vs Dover (2019) and Wooster (2020). “The environment in our gym for both games gave me the chills. There was a moment in each game where we needed our crowd and right on cue, they rose to their feet and electrified the gym!”
Note: Special Thanks to Eric Simione who
helped with the statistics and fact verification for this article.
  Center Corey Linsley Earns All-Pro Selection  
  January 14, 2021  
Green Bay Packers center and Boardman native Corey Linsley has been named a first-team All-Pro for the 2020 NFL season by the Associated Press.
Linsley, who was the highest-graded center at Pro Football Focus this season, received 18 of the possible 50 votes for first-team All-Pro. While Linsley was the first-team center, Ryan Kelly of the Indianapolis Colts and Frank Ragnow of the Detroit Lions shared second-team honors.
Linsley, who didn’t make the Pro Bowl, is a first-time All-Pro.
Despite missing three games with a knee injury, Linsley still only allowed one sack and four total pressures over 734 total snaps and 437 pass-blocking snaps, per PFF. He was also the site’s highest-graded run-blocker, a testament to his impact in creating holes in the wide-zone run scheme for running backs Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and A.J. Dillon in 2020.
Linsley only allowed a pressure in three of his 13 games played. He was the anchor to an offensive line that allowed a sack percentage of just 3.6 on Aaron Rodgers, the best of his career as a starting quarterback.
Linsley also produced a run-blocking grade of 70.0 or better in 10 of his 13 games.
A fifth-round pick of the Packers in 2014, Linsley has been the starting center in Green Bay for the past seven seasons. Now 29, he is an unrestricted free agent following this season.
The Packers named Linsley the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award this year, highlighting his work off the field.
Linsley is a 2009 graduate of Boardman High School, where he earned first-team All-Federal League, All-Northeast Ohio and second-team All-Ohio honors. He then played at Ohio State, earning All Big Ten laurels in 2013.
  Coach Green Gets First Win At Helm Of Lady Spartans  
  December 24, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
After two losses to start their season, the Boardman Spartans girls’ basketball team presented first-year head coach Brett Green with his first win of the campaign when they defeated Struthers, 58-50, on Monday, Dec. 14 at the area’s historic Struthers Fieldhouse.
Raegan Burkey had a game-high 20 points while Gia Triveri added 16 markers to pace the Spartans’ well-rounded performance.
“We are getting better, it’s a learning process. The girls are playing hard,” Green said. “Raegan Burkey and Gia Triveri hit some really big shots for us, Mackenzie [Riccitelli] is learning how to be a varsity point guard with 11 assists, Katie Stamp and Emma Mills were great with rebounding and playing help defense.
“We also got some quality play from our bench. Overall, it was a great team win.”
Burkey’s offensive output included a game-best five buckets from beyond the arc while Triveri added five rebounds and three steals.
Stamp narrowly missed a double-double with 11 rebounds and eight points while Mills’ effort also included 11 rebounds to go along with her six tallies.
Riccitelli also added eight points, six rebounds and two steals to her overall effort.
Emma Elia had a game-high 20 points for the Wildcats.
Last Saturday afternoon, the Spartans fell to cross-town rival Ursuline, 38-32 to drop to 1-3 overall and 1-2 on the road.
“Defensively, we did exactly what we were trying to do. We kept them under 40 points and wanted to force someone other than [Anisah] Moorman to beat us,” Green stated. “Emma Mills did an excellent job on her and we played decent help defense.
“We continue to outrebound every team we’ve played through our first four games but we’ve got to have more pride in taking care of the ball and be strong and run our offense.
“We’re much better than we have been playing, we just have to believe that and finish on fast breaks and execute in the half court offensive sets.”
Stamp led the Spartans with nine points and 10 rebounds while Burkey added seven points and eight caroms. Triveri registered eight points to help the Spartans offensively.
Rachel Fabry had a game-high 13 points and Moorman added 12 points for the Fighting Irish, which improved to 2-1 overall.
Junior Varsity
In junior varsity action, the Spartans posted a 50-20 victory over UHS as Sam Duble and Cami Goske each registered 12 points for BHS.
Chelsea Johnson had a game-high 16 points for Ursuline.
At press time, BHS was scheduled to host the West Branch Warriors at the Spartans’ Gymnasium then will break for the Christmas Holiday.
They will return to action on December 28-29 when they travel to South Range to compete in the Raiders’ Holiday Tournament.
They will go up against South Range on December 28 then will close out the 2020 portion of their schedule when they meet the Akron Archbishop Hoban Knights the following day.
  Spartans Hand Cardinals First Loss On Season, 51-42  
  14-2 Third Quarter Spurt Keys Win:   December 24, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
The Boardman Spartans boys’ basketball team moved to 4-0 with a 51-42 victory over the Cardinal Mooney Cardinals last Friday and will now eye an 11-day break for the Christmas Holiday.
They will return to action on December 29 when they travel to Massillon Jackson to take on the former Federal League foe Polar Bears.
Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its harsh realities, it’s a start to the season Spartans head coach Pat Birch and his squad expected to author heading into Christmas break.
Ethan Andersen scored a team-high 15 points, Trey DePietro added 13 points---11 in the second half---and D.J. Evans 10 markers to pace the Spartans (4-0) as they improved to 25-1 in their last 26 home contests and are now 45-6 (.882) in their past 51 frays.
In a game that featured just 15 combined first quarter points, a not so offensive 17-15 lead by the Spartans at halftime and Cardinal Mooney (3-1) holding a 32-28 lead heading to the final stanza, it was Andersen, DePietro and Evans combining for 20 of Boardman’s 34 second-half markers to pace their comeback
A 12-2 run in the second half gave the Spartans the lead for good.
“We just had to make some plays. This was one of those games where you just had to step up, get an offensive rebound or a put-back and we were able to finally do that in the second half,” Birch said. “Also, Spencer Smith hit a huge ‘three’ somewhere in that sequence.
“They had us right where they wanted us and I felt like we were on the ropes. They played a really good game and Michael Pelini was starting to get going but D.J. [Evans] answered the call on that and really challenged him down the stretch, which was a big deal for us because it freed up Ethan [Andersen] to get some rebounds.
“I think it just came down to a couple minor adjustments these guys took and then executed. Because of that, we were able to scrap out a gutsy win tonight.”
Triples by the Spartans’ Smith and Marco Stilliana offset a triple by Cardinal Mooney’s Jack Pepperney and a hoop by Pelini to stake BHS to a 10-5 first quarter advantage on Senior Night .
Thomas Fire’s four points and three markers by Pelini cut the Cardinals’ deficit to 17-15 at the half.
“Boardman plays extremely hard. They get up and down the floor, they’re always on the floor for loose balls and they really buy into coach [Pat] Birch and his toughness. He was a great player in high school and they truly are a reflection of him,” Cardinals head coach Carey Palermo said.
“I know it wasn’t pretty but I thought we surprised them with how physical we were and how hard we played early. Do I want the game to be 15-10, no? It was 15-10 because of the physical play by both teams. Their size hurt us on the glass and they did a good job in their 2-3 of hitting the high post and then hitting the short corner.
“It took them a while to figure it out but that two or three minute stretch in the second half, they figured it out. I’m proud of our guys and how they fought tonight. Early in the third quarter we went down by eight and that was when we put together that a 14-2 run to go up by four heading to the final period.
“In years past, teams that I had might not have responded that way but these guys did. All we can really do is grow from this game and move forward,” Palermo added.
Eight points by Pepperney, including two buckets from behind the arc and seven points by Pelini helped CMHS outscore the Spartans after intermission, 17-11 as built a 32-28 margin with eight minutes remaining.
It was the Andersen (eight points), Evans (six points) and DePietro (six points) show in the final frame as they combined for 20 of their team’s 23 points – a Smith triple was the other bucket – outscoring the Cardinals in the final eight minutes by a 23-10 count to seal the victory.
Birch said all four games his team has played thus far have been similar in style, calling out DePietro for his play after intermission.
“He [Trey] was huge. We don’t win the game without him,” Birch stated. “We challenged him at halftime to be the player that he is capable of being and I don’t even think he knows how good he is capable of being.
“You saw the one grab when he went coast to coast for an ‘and one’ and he’s capable of that. He’s still learning that position. We threw him in at point guard three weeks ago when we had some COVID issues, looked at him and said we think you can do this and he has proven that he can. He’ll just keep getting better.
“All four of our games so far have been similar in style in terms of just scrappy, kind of beat you up type games and we knew tonight that we were going to get a physical game.
“They’re really tough and we just had to answer that challenge. It just took us some time to get our legs underneath us.”
Andersen wasn’t surprised at how physical the Cardinals were throughout the game.
“We came into this game knowing that they’re our rival, that they were looking to get a win and they were going to come in here and give us their best effort and to some degree, I’d like to think that we knew it was coming.
“The key was our second half effort. They came out, they were working harder than us, getting 50-50 balls and rebounds and we just flipped the switch. We came out, gave better effort, played stronger, matched their physicality and took control of the game.
“This win feels amazing. We have a young group here, we’ve been working really hard to try and come together as a team, to have a great season and I think we’re doing that.”
DePietro also expected a tough game from their rivals.
“We knew this was going to be a battle so we needed to work hard and battle back,” DePietro noted. “Ethan and I knew we had to push harder and do what we needed to do to get back the lead.
“We’re happy and it’s special to be 4-0 heading into Christmas break but we were worried coming back after being on COVID break that we wouldn’t be up to speed. We’ve really pushed through and worked hard and I’m happy with the way we are playing right now. We just come with the mentality that we’re going to win the game.”
Pelini and Pepperney paced the Cardinals offensively with the former hitting a game-high 17 points and the latter connecting on a game-high four buckets from beyond the arc to finish with 14 tallies.
The two combined for 31 of their teams’ 42 total points, including 23 of 27 in the second half while Fire (seven points) and Mick Hergenrother (four points) rounded out the scoring for CMHS.
Smith had six points on two triples for BHS.
The Spartans started the week with a hard fought, 49-43 road win at former Federal League foe Uniontown Lake last Tuesday.
Andersen had a team-high 13 points and hauled in seven caroms to pace the Spartans while DePietro was very active at both ends of the floor, hooping 12 points, adding eight rebounds and registering four steals.
Evans held the Blue Streaks in check defensively the entire game, adding eight points while Luke Ryan also scored eight points as BHS improved to 2-0 on the road.
Ben Alvarico made several key plays, hitting a three-point dagger with a little over a minute to play then adding a quick lay-up off a Seth Cervello steal. Alvarico finished with seven points.
Cervello not only provided a crucial steal but played with great energy and effort throughout the game. Smith hit an important free throw late while Ty Ventresco and Stilliana each provided crucial minutes against the Blue Streaks.
The Cardinals bounced right back on Saturday night with a 66-30 win at Campbell Memorial. Fire hit a game-high 20 points and Pepperney added 12 markers to pace the Cardinals (4-1) offensively.
CMHS built a 20-9 lead after the first eight minutes of action and never looked back. They increased their margin to 33-15 at the half then made it 60-21 after three periods as they evened their road record at 1-1.
Zach Hryb had four points, James Campbell and Jaxon Menough three points each for the Cardinals as they connected on eight triples in the contest.
  Hough’s 18 Markers Leads Lady Cards To 45-37 Win Over Boardman  
  December 17, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
Two days after suffering a heartbreaking 43-41 loss to Crestview, the Cardinal Mooney Cardinals girls’ basketball team was the team doing a little heartbreaking of their own.
Katie Hough scored a game-high 18 points and the Cardinals’ defense weathered a late Boardman rally as CMHS topped the Spartans, 45-37 Saturday night at the Spartans’ Gymnasium.
It was the first time that the Cardinals’ senior class walked off the Spartans’ hardwood victorious.
“This is probably one of the best feelings ever because during my four years on the team, we have never won on this floor,” Hough said after the game. “To finally pull it off is a pretty good feeling. We knew that they [Boardman] were going to be a challenge, would come out and play hard so we just had to play harder, work on our execution and get better with our defending.”
Hough, who scored 13 of her team’s 20 first-half points, enjoys being the go-to player offensively.
“It feels good knowing that I can be trusted with the ball in my hands and that I’ll execute,” she added. “We stepped up, played more as a team and just came together. We had a fantastic group of girls who came in during the third quarter and they brought some much needed energy for us in the second half.”
Hough scored five of the Cardinals (1-1) seven first quarter points, offsetting Emma Mills’ two buckets for the Spartans (0-2) to stake Cardinal Mooney to a 7-6 lead after the first eight minutes of action.
Four buckets by Hough in the second frame helped the Cardinals extend their lead to 18-9 but two buckets by Gia Triveri keyed a 6-2 Spartans run to end the quarter as Boardman cut the deficit to 20-15 heading to the locker room.
Two free throws and a three-point play by Triveri keyed a 10-0 run by the Spartans to knot the score at 20-all while another Triveri hoop with 3:17 remaining in the third period knotted the game once again, this time at 25-all.
Three points by Hough, and triples by both Alaina Scavina and Maddie Trimble then keyed a 9-3 Cardinals run as they opened a 34-28 lead heading to the final eight minutes of play.
“A triple and bucket by Mills with 5:48 cut the Spartans deficit to 36-33 but two hoops by Scavina keyed a game-ending 9-4 run for the Cardinals as they secured their first victory of the season.
“We’ve missed 17 practices due to the situation that everybody is in right now so our goal is just to get better every time we step on the floor,” Cardinal Mooney head coach Jason Baker stated. “We wanted to cut our turnovers in half, had 26 on Thursday and just 14 tonight but we still have to get in better game shape and I think that will help us making shots.
“Offensively, I thought we executed phenomenally, especially in the first half to get lay-ups. They just didn’t fall tonight. I think the first thing that must come for us is our execution and kind of get back into game shape. Then we’ll make those shots. I’m not at all worried about that.
“The staple of our team and program is our half-court defense and I thought that it was really good tonight.”
The Spartans, who lost their season opener at Marlington, 71-41 back on November 23, were playing their first game in 19 days, hardly a prescription for success for any team.
Spartans’ first-year head coach Brett Green saw a marked improvement in his team, however, despite the layoff.
“We’re getting better daily. We’d like to get better than we are but it’s a learning process,” Green noted. “We’re in the gym, we’re out of the gym and everybody is trying to work it out. We’re young, we’re doing a lot of new things as far as our offensive and defensive philosophies, but must stay focused throughout the game.
“We’re rebounding extremely well right now. We had 17 offensive rebounds so we’re doing a lot of the things that we want to do, things that we work on in practice so it’s just making it whole and putting it all together.”
Triveri and Mills each finished with 10 points while Raegan Burkey and Katie Stamp added five points apiece for the Spartans.
Neither team took care of the ball very well with Boardman committing 20 miscues and the Cardinals 16.
  After Eight Seasons, Coach Ignazio Steps Down As Boardman Grid Coach  
  Spartans Made Four Playoff Appearances During His Tenure:   December 10, 2020  
After eight seasons at the helm of Boardman Spartans football, Head Coach Joe Ignazio submitted his resignation on Monday. Ignazio’s tenure with the Spartans football program spanned 18 years, including his first ten seasons as an assistant coach.
The Spartans finished last season with a 4-4 log, and made their fourth appearance in post-season play under Coach Ignazio. (Boardman reached the playoffs in the 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2020 seasons).
The Spartans under Coach Ignazio logged a 33-48 record during his eight seasons at the helm.
Ignazio’s first win as a head coach came against Massillon Perry.
Under his direction, the Spartans played their final game at old Boardman Stadium, claiming a victory over the Canton McKinley Bulldogs; and Boardman also hosted its first playoff game ever under his direction.
“The 2015 season, when we hosted our first playoff game, was the culmination of a lot of hard work. The season included a win at Warren Harding when we blocked a field goal and scored. It was a testament to our kids being coached on the little things,” Coach Ignazio said this week, adding “Honestly, every win is special.”
The coach noted “It is hard to win. I’m thankful of all the relationships built over the years. I couldn’t be more grateful for all of the hands that touched this program in any way.”
  Prep Gridders Earn Post-Season Honors  
  December 3, 2020  
Eight members of this year’s Boardman Spartans football team under the direction of Head Coach Joe Ignazio earned post season laurels.
Boardman’s bellweather junior Terrence Thomas was tapped for All Northeastern Ohio AllInland District honors as a defensive back. He was named to the All Mahoning County team, as well as first team All American Conference at wide receiver.
“Terrence already has offers from Kentucky and Youngstown State,” Ignazio said, adding “he was all over the field for us, and stepped in, in late summer, when our starting quarterback, Jason Triveri, broke his ankle.”
Thomas played at quarterback, wide receiver, defensive back and was a big part of the Spartans return game.
On the season, Thomas went 21/61 passing for 380 yards, five touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. He grabbed 15 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns, and carried the ball 69 times for 655 yards and six more scores. In addition, he had 13 kickoff returns for 380 yards and a pair of TDs; and three punt returns for 72 yards and another TD. He logged 13 tackles on the defensive side of the ledger.
Junior Sean O’Horo led Boardman on the defensive side of the ball at defensive back and on the corner slot, posting a team-high 64 tackles on the season. His totals included a 12 takedowns for minus yards, a pair of pass break-ups and an interception.
O’Horo earned first team All American Conference at defensive back; and was named first team All Mahoning County, as well as honorable mention All-Inland. He was also a contributor on the offensive side of the ball, rushing for 662 yards on 121 carries, posting four touchdowns; and he also caught eight passes for 63 yards.
“Sean is a workhorse. He is as tough as they come and was our leading rusher and tackler who played his best ball toward the end of the year,” Ignazio said.
Earning first team All Mahoning County honors and second team All American Conference laurels was junior wide receiver Cam Thompson, who led Boardman receivers with 16 grabs for 411 yards and five touchdowns.
Coach Ignazio noted that Thompson “really connected” with Triveri when the signal caller returned to the line-up in mid-season.
Another Boardman junior, Anthony Hightower was named first team defense All Mahoning County and second team defensive back in the All American Conference, and also earned honorable mention All-Inland. Hightower finished the season with four interceptions, five pass break-ups and 42 tackles.
Spartan senior Jake Powell was named first team All American Conference as a defensive lineman, while Boardman’s Joe Sferra was named second team All American Conference as an offensive lineman.
Powell finished with 44 tackles on the year and played big in Boardman’s playoff game against Painesville Riverside with 10 tackles and a big fumble recovery.
Also earning post-season mention were Boardman’s offensive lineman Nick Winsen and safety Stephen Conti, tapped honorable mention All-AAC.
Cardinal Mooney
In Div. 5, three members of Cardinal Mooney’s football team earned All Mahoning County honors---Tailback Zy’ere Rogers, wide receiver A.J. Pecchia and offensive lineman Kerri Hewlett.
Rogers finished the season with 1,189 yards rushing on 134 carries. He notched 8 TDs on the campaign.
Tapped for All Mahoning County defensive laurels were Will Skretta and Mike Pastella.
Skretta finished the season with 76 tackles, including 16 for a loss; and had seven quarterback sacks.
Pastella, heading for Elon after he graduates from Mooney, posted 93 tackles from his linebacker position this season.
  2020-21 Cardinal Mooney Girls Varsity Basketball  
  Roster & Schedule:   November 26, 2020  
2-Angelina Rotunno
4-Maddie Trimble
11-Gia Diorio
15-Jenna Frommelt
20-Katie Hough
21-Natalie Femia
22-Alyssa Rapp
24-Alaina Scavina
31-Gia DiVincenzo
34-Olivia Rouser
44-Maria Fire
50-Cherish Little
Wednesday, November 25 – @Crestview, 7 p.m.
Monday, November 30 – @Columbiana, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, December 2 – AUSTINTOWN FITCH, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 5 – CANTON CENTRAL CATHOLIC, 2:30 p.m.
Monday, December 7 – SOUTHEAST, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 12 – @Boardman, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 19 – @Warren Harding, 2:30 p.m.
Monday, December 21 – @Austintown Fitch, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 23 – @South Range, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 30 – @Valley Christian, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 6 – CHANEY, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 9 – @Ursuline, 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 13 – HOWLAND, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 16 – LOUISVILLE, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 20 – @East, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 23 – @Chaney, 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 27 – URSULINE, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 30 – CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN, 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 3 – WEST BRANCH, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 6 – EAST, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, February 8 – @Salem, 7:00 p.m.
  2020-21 Boardman Spartans Varsity Girls Basketball  
  Roster & Schedule:   November 26, 2020  
0-Mackenzie Ricitelli, freshman
1-Ally Fleming, sophomore
2-Adriana Goske, senior
3-Paige Snyder, junior
4-Raegan Smith, sophomore
5-Samantha Duble, freshman
10-Gia Triveri, sophomore
11-Bailey Moore, senior
12-Bella Martin, sophomore
15-Raegan Burkey, senior
20-Kennedy Furano, senior
21-Cami Goske, sophomore
22-Dana Haus, junior
24-Natalie Davis, sophomore
25-Faith Walston, freshman
30-Emma Mills, junior
41-Katie Stamp, senior
50-Cianna Johnson, freshman
Monday, November 23 – @Marlington, 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 28 – SALEM, 2:30 p.m.
Monday, November 30 – @Liberty, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 5 – HATHAWAY BROWN, 7:00 p.m.
Monday, December 7 – EAST, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 12 – CARDINAL MOONEY, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 16 – LOUISVILLE, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 19 – @Ursuline, 1:30 p.m.
Monday, December 21 – WEST BRANCH, 7:00 p.m.
Monday, January 4 – @Uniontown Lake, 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, January 6 – @Howland, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 9 – AUSTINTOWN FITCH, 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 13 – @Canfield, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 20 – WARREN HARDING, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 23 – HOWLAND, 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 27 – @Austintown Fitch, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 30 – CANFIELD, 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 3 – @Chaney, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 10 – @Warren Harding, 7:00 p.m.
  2020-21 Cardinal Mooney Boys Basketball Schedule  
  November 26, 2020  
Tues., December 1 - @Newton Falls, 7 p.m.
Fri., December 4 - @St. Thomas Aquinas, 7 p.m.
Tues., December 8 - VALLEY CHRISTIAN, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., December 11 - AUSTINTOWN FITCH, 7:30 p.m.
Tues., December 15 - WARREN JFK, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., December 18 - @Boardman, 7 p.m.
Tues., December 22 - MINERAL RIDGE, 7:30 p.m.
Tues., December 29 - @Canton C. Catholic, 7:30 p.m.
Tues., January 5 - WARREN HARDING, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., January 8 - @Austintown Fitch, 7 p.m.
Tues., January 12 - CHANEY, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., January 15 - @Ursuline, 7 p.m.
Tues., January 19 - HOWLAND, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., January 23 - @West Branch, 7 p.m.
Tues., January 26 - EAST, 7 p.m.
Fri., January 29 - CHANEY, 7 p.m.
Tues., February 2 - URSLINE, 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., February 4 - vs. St. Francis de Sales (@
 Chaney), 6 p.m.
Sat., February 6 - @Lake Center Christian. 1:30 p.m.
Fri., February 12 - EAST, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., February 13 - CANTON C. CATHOLIC, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 16 - SOUTH RANGE, 7:30 p.m.
*NOTE: Home games listed in CAPS.
  2020-21 Boardman High School Boys Varsity Basketball Schedule  
  November 26, 2020  
Fri., December 4 - CLEVELAND BENEDICTINE, 7p.m.
Tues., December 8 - @Chaney, 7 p.m.
Fri., December 11 - LOUISVILLE, 7 p.m.
Tues., December 15 - @Uniontown Lake, 7 p.m.
Fri., December 18 - CARDINAL MOONEY, 7 p.m.
Tues., December 22 - @Poland, 7 p.m.
Tues., December 29 - TALLMADGE, 7 p.m.
Tues., January 5 - NORTH CANTON HOOVER, 7 p.m.
Fri., January 8 - EAST, 7 p.m.
Tues., January 12 - @Howland, 7 p.m.
Fri., January 15 - AUSTINTOWN FITCH, 7 p.m.
Sun., January 17 - vs. Massillon Washington (at North
 Canton Hoover Spectrum Ortho. Classic), 12:30 p.m.
Tues., January 19 - @Canfield, 7 p.m.
Fri., January 22 - CHANEY, 7 p.m.
Tues., January 26 - @Warren Harding, 7 p.m.
Fri., January 29 - HOWLAND, 7 p.m.
Tues., February 2 - @Austintown Fitch, 7 p.m.
Fri., February 5 - CANFIELD, 7 p.m.
Fri., February 12 - WARREN HARDING, 7 p.m.
Sat., February 13 - CANTON GLENOAK, 7 p.m.
Tues., February 16 - @Lakeview, 7 p.m.
Fri., February 19 - @Ursuline, 7 p.m.
*NOTE: Home games listed in CAPS
  2020 Prep Grid Season Was Like No Other  
  Referees Were Not Allowed To Handle The Ball:   November 5, 2020  
BHS Head Coach Joe Ignazio
The 2020 prep football season in Ohio was like no other season---as all teams dealt with uncertainties created by the coronavirus pandemic. Teams began practices not really knowing if they would ever take the field. When the games began, players lined the field 6-feet apart on the sidelines, each given a marker as to where they were to stand.
On the field, the referees were not allowed to handle the ball, not even to mark the line of scrimmage. Instead, they tossed a bean bag onto the ground, as the offensive team would take ‘their’ ball into the huddle and then to the line of scrimmage, where the bean bag was on the ground.
There were few fans in the stands, and those that were, were all ‘socially distanced’ in an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is unknown if anyone in the stands ever came down with covid symptoms due to attending games. Coaches strutted the sidelines in masks, while student-athletes on the field were un-masked.
When ‘regular season’ play began, all teams played under revised schedules that included every team in Ohio earning a spot in playoff action, no matter their record; as well they opened regular season play without holding any pre-season scrimmages.
And then there were the water bottles. Players coming off the field of play would get a fresh bottle of water to help them rehydrate, then toss the bottle to the ground, where a grid assistant was tasked with the job of picking-up the bottles and tossing them into a special waste can.
On the sidelines for each game was a special Ohio High School Athletic Association official, tasked with the responsibility of overseeing compliance with rules of play established under the pandemic.
Under the direction of eighth-year Head Coach Joe Ignazio, the Boardman Spartans finished with a 4-4 record, including a disappointing, season-ending loss to Painesville Riverside in second round playoff action. That game saw two coaches not with the team due to covid concerns, that were elevated after the game when some five Spartan coaches were hit with covid-related sanctions, causing cancellation of a regular-season game against Chaney, that was scheduled to follow the playoff loss to Riverside.
“The safety and well-being of our student-athletes was first and foremost. It was definitely an interesting year to say the least. But, I leaned on our coaches, athletic director, principal and superintendent.
“We discussed controlling the controllables. Our job was to get better at football. When an incident arose we dealt with it. A lot that dealt with covid was out of our hands.
“We had protocol in place for everything you can think of. It was the first and only year that I had to actually create a social distance seating chart for the football field. Everyone involved, including our kids, did their best to adhere to the protocol in place for everything you can think of. It was the first and only year that I had to actually create a social distance seating chart for the football field. Everyone involved, including our kids, did their best to adhere to the protocol in place. Wearing masks, making sure everyone had their own water containers, practice plans were adjusted to abide by guidelines, how our student-athletes entered and left facilities, social distancing, and how they were fed/ate were all part of the changes that took place,” Coach Ignazio said.
The Spartan mentor said he felt the challenges of the 2020 prep season were both similar and unique for all area programs.
“The challenges started early on with our off-season strength and conditioning program. It is the foundation we build off of every year. We had to trust in the self-discipline of our student-athletes to carry out the workouts/challenges that we posted on our Football Google Classroom. We really found out who bought into our program at that point. Every team deals with injuries and other adversity. Our program was not free from that.
“But, we did not use it as an excuse either. We talked about it being an opportunity for someone else to step up,” Coach Ignazio said.
Boardman will lose several, key seniors from this year’s team as they look towards the 2021 campaign.
“Jake Powell led our defensive front. He was a captain and someone our seniors looked up to. Nick Winsen, Anthony Micco (captain), and Ryan Henry were senior leaders up front on both sides of the ball. They laid a foundation that the younger kids can build off of going into next year.
“Our linebacking crew was led by Ritchy Evans.
“Powell, Winsen, Micco, Henry and Evans laid the foundation the younger kids can build off of going into next year,” Coach Ignazio said.
“Marco Stilliana (captain) played safety and was involved offensively early on until he was injured. He is a tremendous program kid and was out there playing with a big club on his hand the rest of the season. Jahiem Johnson made some big plays down the stretch at cornerback,” Coach Ignazio said about his senior leaders.
Powell (6-2, 225 lbs.) was among the team leaders in total tackles with 43 takedowns, a couple of pass break-ups and three tackles for minus yards. His lone fumble recovery on the season came in the playoff game against Painesville that kept the Spartans in the game.
While the Spartans will face some rebuilding on their front wall on both sides of the ball next year, the cupboard is not bare when it comes to skill players.
“Our skill players are really talented and mostly all juniors,” Coach Ignazio said, noting the Spartans two best players statistically were Terence Thomas on the offensive side of the ball; and Sean O’Horo on the defensive side.
When projected starting quarterback Jason Triveri was forced out of action at the beinning of the season, Thomas assumed that role.
“Terence is a kid who already has offers from Kentucky and Youngstown State University. He was all over the field for us. He stepped-in when Jason (Triveri) broke his ankle and unselfishly did what it took to lead the team on the offensive side of the ball.
“He played quarterback, wide receiver and was a big part of our return game,” Coach Ignazo said, adding that Thomas is “a dynamic athlete with the type explosion that colleges love at the next level. He shows it on the defensive side of the ball as well.”
On the season, Thomas connected on 26 of 61 passes good for 380 yards and five touchdowns; and ran the ball 69 times for 655 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 13 kickoff returns, amassing 380 yards and a pair of touchdowns; and tallied a TD on one of his three punt returns.
O’Horo set the pace for the Boardman defense, totaling 64 tackles on the season that included a dozen takedowns for minus yards from his cornerback slot. He was also the Spartans leading rusher, netting 662 yards on 121 lugs, and scoring four touchdowns.
“Sean is a workhorse. He is as tough as they come. He was our leading rusher and leading tackler. He played his best football toward the end of the year,” Coach Ignazio said.
Other junior class standout for the Spartans this year were Cam Thompson at wide receiver, Triveri at quarterback, safety Stephen Conti, safety and wide receiver Brayden Joseph, as well as Joe Sferra, Cortland Love and Aiden Miller on the front lines; as well as Anthony Hightower, who saw action on both sides of the ball.
Thompson led the Spartan receiving corps, hauling down 16 passes for 411 yards and five touchdowns.
“Cam led our team in receiving and remained patient through our injuries at quarterback. He really connected with Jason Triveri at the end of the year,” the head coach said.
Triveri sat out Boardman’s first four games of the season rehabbing the ankle injury. In four games under center, he hit on 37 of 76 passes good for 632 yards, eight touchdowns and had seven interceptions.
Conti was another defensive safety who filled-in due to injury throughout the year and ended up keeping a starting position.
Sferra, Love and Miller will all return as starters next year on the offensive line. Sferra and Love also got significant time on defensive side of the ball this season.
Joseph played wide receiver and safety as a junior. He was injured early in the season and played through the injury.
“He will be a significant contributor on both sides of the ball next year,” Coach Ignazio said.
Hightower had 11 catches for 172 yards and a TD at the wide receiver post and was also strong on defense, logging 42 tackles, while leading the team in interceptions (4) and pass break-ups (5).
Also back next year will be placekicker Carson Essad, who split the uprights on 21 of 27 extra point attempts; and also hit one field goal on the season as a sophomore. His seven PAT boots vs. Cuyahoga Falls set a school record.

PHOTO: BOARDMAN HEAD GRID COACH: “Every team dealt with injuries and other adversity. Our program was not free from that. But, we did not use it as an excuse either. We talked about it being an opportunity for someone else to step up.”
  Beavers Notch Three Touchdowns On ‘Pick-Six’ Interceptions:   October 22, 2020  
 PAINESVILLE, OH.---Boardman gave-up an early safety, and three second half pick sixes to fall to Painesville Riverside, 39-28, in Ohio Division II, second round prep playoff action last Friday night. The game saw a pair of 76 yard touchdown plays called back by penalties---one for each team; and at least two Spartan coaches not at the game due to COVID-19 precautions.
Boardman’s first possession of the game came to a quick stop when Mason Stephens picked-off a Jason Triveri pass early in the first quarter. The Spartans returned the favor when Anthony Hightower intercepted a Dom Lulow first down pass to give Boardman the ball back inside their own 5 yard line. But a high snap from center on first down sailed into the end zone and was recovered by the Beavers for a safety and a 2-0 lead at the 9:26 mark of the first period.
After the ensuing kick, Painesville took just four plays to get to paydirt to climb into a 9-0 lead. The Spartans answered, traveling 62 yards in seven plays, capped-off by a Triveri to Hightower TD connection. Another high snap from center disrupted the PAT boot, as the Spartans trailed, 9-6, at the 2:31 mark of the first stanza.
Painesville appeared to score two plays later when tailback Matthew Spofford jaunted 76 yards on the outside of the field for a score, but the tally was nullified by a penalty and four plays later the Beavers were forced to punt.
The Spartans got the ball back on their own 24 yard line and on first and ten, Terrence Thomas broke free for a 76 yard scamper to the end zone that was nullified by a holding penalty on Cam Thompson.
Boardman was not deterred by the penalty flag, and marched the 74 yards in seven plays, taking their first lead of the game at the 5:51 mark of the second stanza when Thomas ran into the end zone. A Cam Essad PAT kick lifted the Spartans into a 13-9 lead.
But Painesville answered with a touchdown with 40 seconds left in the first half to hold a 15-13 lead at intermission.
The Beavers moved their lead to 21-13 with the first score of the third quarter on the first of three Triveri aerials that went for pick sixes in the second half, at the 8:23 notch of the third stanza.
Painesville was moving downfield again and moved into the red zone when Jake Powell stole the ball from a Beaver ballcarrier and darted 45 yards to set the stage for the Spartans next score of the game. It came on a second and five pass to Thompson that covered 60 yards. A two-point conversion run by Spartan tailback Sean O’Horo knotted the contest at 21-21 with 1:45 left in the third quarter.
Painesville got great field position at midfield on the kickoff, but two plays later, Lulow was intercepted by O’Horo on a third down play, after Blaine Strines had deflected a second down Lulow pass try.
Boardman couldn’t answer, preferring the air game to a turf attack. The strategy proved costly, as Triveri was intercepted on a second and 13 pass. Two plays later, Stofford rambled 80 yards for a touchdown. Another missed PAT by the Beavers made it 27-21 with 8:51 left in the game.
On the ensuing series, the Spartans tried a long pass intended for Thomas. But the receiver fell down and the pass was picked-off and returned 85 yards for a Beavers TD. When O’Horo stuffed a PAT try, Painesville held a 33-21 lead with 7:27 remaining on the game clock.
Once again, Boardman came back, staging a ten-play drive that ended when O’Horo burst over the goal line. Another Essad PAT kick sliced the Beavers margin to 33-28 with 5:17 left in the game.
On the ensuing series, Boardman’s defense forced a three and out and the Spartans got the ball back on their own 28 yard line with 2:35 left in the game.
Three plays later, Triveri tossed-up a waffler that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown to make the final score 39-28; as Painesville notched the victory on the strength of 20 points scored off turnovers by Boardman.
On the game, Boardman held a 26-17 command in first downs, while Painesville held a slight edge in total offense, 393-391. The Spartans converted on five of nine third down plays in the contest, and limited the Beavers to just three of 13 on their third down tries.
Spofford led the Painesville offense, mounting 141 yards in just ten carries with a pair of TDs, while Lulow finished 10 of 19 through the air for 126 yards. Adding spice to the Beavers ground attack were Don Tromba with 67 yards in 13 lugs, and Cayman Locker with 41 yards in 11 carries.
Jamir Francis had two interceptions, while Stephens, Isaiah Drake and Dom Tromba also had aerial thefts for the winners.
Triveri tossed for 294 yards in the game, but the pass interceptions were a thorn in his side. Thompson paced the Spartan receivers with six grabs for 146 yards and a TD, while Thomas had four catches for 55 yards (and 24 yards in nine rushing attempts), and Hightower made three catches for 56 yards. O’Horo had a pair of catches for 25 yards, while Nate Fleming finished with two catches for 12 yards.
O’Horo led the Boardman ground game with 78 yards in 19 lugs, most of it in the second half when the Spartans were victimized by the pick sixes.
Boardman bowed out at 4-4, while Painesville improved to 7-0 with the win.
  October 15, 2020  
Carson Essad - 29
 CARSON ESSAD, 29, Boardman High School’s sophomore kicker, set a school record for most extra points in a game, seven, last weekend in playoff action against Cuyahoga Falls. The Spartans won, 49-0. Essad broke the previous record of six PATs held by three former Spartan kickers, Andrew Good, vs. Wilson (2000) and vs. Chaney (2002); Pat Hughes, vs. Fitch (1997); and Tommy Fryda, Ashtabula Lakeside (2018). Holding the ball for Essad in this photo is Colin Thomas.
  Boardman Manhandles Cuyahoga Falls 49-0 In First-Ever Playoff Win At Spartan Stadium  
  Iganazio’s Team Moves On To Face 5-1 Painesville Riverside:   October 15, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
The Boardman Spartans’ football program fielded its very first varsity team in 1917 and over the years has produced a myriad of gridiron memories.
After 104 years of exciting action, they can finally add a home playoff victory to their ever expanding grid resume.
Terence Thomas scored three touchdowns, Jason Triveri threw for three scores and a stingy Boardman defense held winless Cuyahoga Falls to just 165 total offensive yards as the Spartans stunned the Black Bears, 49-0, in opening round action of the Division II, Region 5 playoffs last Friday at Spartans Stadium.
Thomas and Triveri were instrumental in the Spartans racking up 422 offensive yards, 205 of which came on the ground as Sean O’Horo led the way with 135 yards and a touchdown on tencarries. Fernando Ortiz added another 110 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
“It feels great to get the program’s first ever home playoff win,” Triveri said. “It’s just a special feeling and I feel blessed to be the quarterback. Our goal was to work hard and outplay them in every area of the game.
“Terence is a freak, that’s all I can say. You give him the ball and he can do whatever with it. You just throw it up to him and bang, it’s a touchdown waiting to unfold.”
Boardman (4-3) won the toss and elected to receive but it took them almost a full quarter to kick start their offense.
Once they did score, however, it was just a matter of whether the running clock would be invoked to begin second half action.
O’Horo got the Spartans on the board first, capping a nine play, 76 yard drive with a 19 yard scamper to give BHS a 7-0 lead with 30 seconds remaining in the opening period.
For O’Horo. winning the program’s first ever playoff game is a satisfying feeling.
“It means the world to us, just to know that we’re the only team ever to do it,” he added. “Knowing we’re going to go down in history and that it’s going to stick with us the rest of our lives is just awesome.
“As we prepare for next week’s playoff game at Painesville Riverside, we just need to keep playing together. If they get a good play, just come back the next play and keep playing as one unit. We knew that Cuyahoga Falls ran a pretty basic offense but we didn’t want to underestimate them. We worked all week on stopping their offense and I think we executed that really well tonight.”
If the game belonged to Boardman then Thomas arguably owned the second quarter.
After O’Horo’s touchdown, the Spartans’ defense forced a three-and-out and when Black Bears punter Tyler Harris punted from his own 19 yard line, Thomas fielded the sphere then gracefully raced 54 yards to the house for a 14-0 lead just 32 seconds into the second frame.
Triveri then connected with Cam Thompson with a 49 yard touchdown strike for the first of his three touchdown passes to extend the lead to 21-0 at the 8:03 mark, following that up with scoring strikes to Thomas from 39 yards away (1:54) on the opening play of their next to last drive of the first half then from 61 yards out (:44) on their final drive to forge a 35-0 halftime advantage.
“This is a very special moment because we worked hard for this,” Thomas stated. “It feels so good to be the first group to accomplish this feat and win a home play-off game. We felt like we needed to get the ball to our playmakers and let them do what they do best, to make them miss and get into the endzone.”
Thomas said Triveri has been excellent under center since his return.
“The connection with Jason at quarterback has been really good,” Thomas noted. “It spaces out the offense, leaves the defense guessing and keeps everyone in touch. Looking ahead to this week, we need to stay aggressive and just keep doing what we do on both sides of the ball if we expect to advance.”
Thompson echoed Thomas’ assessment and connection with Triveri.
“Jason has been throwing passes to me since sixth grade and we’ve connected on a different level every year,” Thompson said. “Having him back has really been helpful for our offense because we now have Terence at wide out and he can still run the ball when asked to do so.
“Tonight, we had great second effort from everyone when they had the ball and that effort produced quite a few yards after the initial hit.”
At halftime, the Spartans racked up 227 yards offensively – 57 on the ground and 170 through the air – while holding the Black Bears (0-6) to just 44 total yards – 28 rushing and 16 passing – on 28 plays, an average of just 1.6 yards per snap.
With a running clock set to begin the second half, fans that were in attendance got a glimpse of the Spartans’ offensive future when sophomore running back Fernando Ortiz, much like Thomas and Thompson, broke several tackles en-route to a 42 yard touchdown scamper to extend the lead to 42-0 heading to the final stanza.
Junior Marcel Tomlin then finished off the scoring with a one-yard tally with 1:40 remaining to secure their 49-0 post-season victory.
On Cuyahoga Falls’ final drive of the game and with the Spartans looking to preserve their shutout, Black Bears running back Kobe Brown – he was CFHS’s leading rusher with 89 yards on 16 carries – broke free from his own 20 yard-line for a 43 yard run and it looked like he might hit paydirt, but was caught from behind at the Spartans’ 37 yard line by Joel Cuevas-Pixley to preserve the shutout.
Two more plays yielded no gain and an incomplete pass before the final gun sounded on the Spartans’ victory.
The touchdown saving tackle yielded more than just a shutout, according to Boardman head coach Joe Ignazio.
“It just talks about our young kids and the ownership that they take. They see how hard our older guys work and how important that is to them,” Ignazio stated after the game. “They know our defensive staff has to buy doughnuts for them when they pitch a shutout so those seniors are extremely proud tonight for that touchdown saving tackle.”
Ignazio lauded his team’s second effort.
“Terence is tremendously athletic and hard to bring down,” Ignazio added. “He’s just so shifty. Sean [O’Horo] is more of a power horse . He’s got that wrestling background and is tough as nails. Fernando is a big back who complements Sean well, has been really patient playing behind a kid like Sean and got his opportunity tonight so we’re extremely proud of him.”
For Ignazio and his staff, the take-away from the game is what the Spartans will hang their hat on as they prepare for No. 6 seeded Painesville Riverside on Friday evening.
“A win is a win but we said we wanted to get in, make some noise and beat good football teams,” he added. “Riverside is going to be a good football team. We’re going to get back, watch film and continue to grow.
“Our maturation process has gotten a little bit better but in big games, we need to eliminate mistakes and grow as a football team and we’ll plan on doing that on the road this week.”
In addition to O’Horo’s 99 yards, Ortiz logged the ball six times for 84 yards and a score in a little over a quarter of action with Triveri finishing 6-of-11 for 170 yards and three touchdowns with an interception on his second drop-back the only tarnish on his final stat line.
Thomas caught four passes for 114 yards and two scores while Thompson added his one reception for a 49 yard score to pace the Spartans offensively.
Cuyahoga Falls was led by Brown’s 89 yards on 16 carries, an average of 5.6 yards every time he touched the ball while as a team, the Black Bears posted 165 total yards of offense – 119 on the ground and 46 through the air – on 49 plays from scrimmage, an average of a mere 3.4 yards per snap.
Both teams suffered penalties during critical drives with the Spartans penalized eight times for 65 yards and CFHS four times for a negative 49 yards walked off.
Kickoff with the Beavers is set for 7 p.m.
 GAME NOTES: With their loss to the Spartans, the Black Bears remained winless this season at 0-6 and dating to last year, when they won their first two games of the campaign, they have now lost 14 consecutive contests…In six games this season, CFHS has now been outscored by a 224-44 count…They are 15-91 (.142 winning percentage) since the start of the 2010 season…With the win, Boardman is now 3-0 in three games played against their Summit County foes…The Spartans have played Painesville Riverside twice before and own a 2-0 overall mark against the Beavers....Painesville enters playoff action with a 5-1 log, including three shutout victories. The Beavers only loss was against Chardon, 35-7.....A beast on the defensive side of the ledger for Boardman all year long is conerback Sean O’Horo who was all over the field against C-Falls. He posted three tackles for losses against the Black Tigers, while Stephen Conti, Jake Powell and Jaheim Johnson also played strong....Boardman Head Coach Joe Ignazio looks at this weekend’s playoff game this way---“This game gives a chance to beat a good football team. Riverside is big and physical. They are very disciplined in all phases of the game. They are fundamentally sound in their schemes. Their QB does a good job managing what they do. Their tailback is big and runs hard. They run a 3-3 stack defensively and do not want to break it. So, they are going to have six guys in the box at all times. It should be a tremendous football game.
“Our young men are excited for the opportunity. Time will tell if they can face the challenge of being on the road. Painesville is a hike. We are excited to represent our families, school, and community.”
  Thomas Returns Pair Of Kickoffs For TDs Boardman Topples Cardinal Mooney, 34-17  
  October 1, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
With one week remaining in the regular season, the Boardman Spartans are arguably hitting their stride while casting an eye toward the playoffs, which begin in a little over a week.
The fact that they aren’t the same team that failed to score a touchdown during a season opening loss at Austintown Fitch back on August 29, and have put up 88 points the last two weekends, has opponents now taking notice of the upstart Spartans and their maturation metamorphosis.
A defensive touchdown by Ritchy Evans, two kickoff returns to the house by Terence Thomas – he also caught a 19-yard pass for a tally – and two touchdown passes by southpaw quarterback Jason Triveri in his season debut paced Boardman to a 34-17 victory over the Cardinal Mooney Cardinals in the 47th renewal of their series last Friday at Spartans Stadium.
With the win, BHS avenged a 28-27 loss suffered at the hands of CMHS a season ago and have now won three of the last five outings – all in even years – between the two rivals.
The Cardinals, however, still own a 29-18-0 all-time advantage in the series.
When asked if he could remember the last time his script included a similar start to a game, Spartans head coach Joe Ignazio drew a blank.
“Gosh, we’ve had a couple close ones, maybe against [Massillon] Jackson or something like that but I’m not sure that we got the ball in,” stated Ignazio. “I can’t remember the last time.
“Ritchy did a great job in getting his fumble recovery to the house. It was a great effort by him, he was in good position and it starts the momentum of the game off right, exactly how wanted. We missed the kick but our kids are resilient, they’ve learned to weather the storm and it wasn’t like that at the beginning of the year.
“They’re gaining more and more confidence, week-in-and-week-out and I’m extremely proud of them.”
The Spartans won the toss and elected to defer to the second half, which led to Evans’ initial score of the game.
On the Cardinals’ opening drive, two plays yielded just three yards. Faced with a third and seven from their own 39 yard-line, Cardinals signal-caller Pat Guerrieri was crunched by Ryan Henry and Jake Powell for a three-yard loss, fumbled and that led to Evans’ heads up play as he took the ball out of the air, then rambled into the end zone from 36 yards away for the first score of the game and a 6-0 lead just 61 seconds into the contest.
Three drives later, Guerrieri gave the Cardinals their only lead of the game when he hit paydirt from two yards out to knot the score at 6-6.
Brian Phillibin followed with the placement and a 7-6 lead for Cardinal Mooney.
If Evans set the tone of the game with his opening score of the contest, it was Thomas who wrested the momentum back in favor of the Spartans when he took the ensuing kick-off and raced 96-yards to the house for a 13-7 lead and a margin they would not relinquish the rest of the way.
“I love special teams because they are a big part of the game,” Thomas added. “You get to go out there, make plays and make it easier for the offense. When you’re put in a good position then you are going to make plays.
“Our game plan coming in was to just execute. The biggest difference between our first game and tonight is that we’ve gotten better as a team. We’ve come together and we’re ‘one’ now. The Spartans.”
A Phillibin 25-yard field goal with 3:27 remaining in the second period cut the Cardinals deficit to 13-10 heading to halftime.
Cardinal Mooney (1-4) outplayed Boardman (3-2) offensively in the opening half, racking up 192 yards of total offense – 120 on the ground and 72 through the air – on 33 plays to the Spartans’ 86 yards – 47 rushing and 39 passing – on just 21 snaps.
The only place not reflected being outplayed offensively was the only place that it mattered and that was on the scoreboard.
Thomas then took the opening kickoff of the second half 84-yards for a touchdown just 17 seconds into the third quarter and when Triveri found Cam Thompson from 64-yards away for his first initial touchdown pass of the game and season, BHS opened a 27-10 margin at the 7:57 mark of the period.
Davontae Miller’s four-yard touchdown scamper with 18 seconds remaining cut the Boardman lead to 27-17 heading to the final period of play.
Triveri then added an insurance tally when he connected with Thomas on a 19-yard strike with 8:30 left to finalize the scoring
Triveri was 4-of-10 through the air for 102-yards and two touchdowns, also suffering an interception on the first toss in his debut.
“It feels amazing to get back under center. There are no words for it,” Triveri stated. “On the interception, I was just nervous to get back under the Friday night lights but once I was in there then I was ready to go. After the interception, I had to forget about it and move on.
“It was just a great feeling to be able to hook up with Cam [Thompson] and Terence [Thomas] for a touchdown.”
Ignazio singled out both Thomas and Triveri for their play.
“We had talked earlier in the year. Terence got a special team touchdown against them last year and was like one away from the all-time school record and I talked with him about that all week,” Ignazio noted. “Coaching special teams, it’s great to have a kid like that back there that you can get the ball to.
“With Jason, we’ve eased his reps in and kind of had an idea of when we were going to get him into the game. He’s been tremendously patient, I know frustrated at times but he got in there and made the most of the opportunity. It was good to see him battle back after that first early interception because it just wasn’t his fault.
“He had a guy up in his face early so he had to do some things protection-wise. As the game went on, he did exactly what he needed to do to build a little confidence and responded by making some great throws.”
Ignazio said it has been great watching his team develop since their opening game with the Falcons.
“It’s part of the maturation process,” he said. “Our kids have grown up. They are willing to show up and be coached, be coached hard and I think early on sometimes they questioned whether they were ready for that.
“It’s been a different vibe when you can knock off a couple teams, especially an opponent like Cardinal Mooney.”
Defensively, senior lineman Jake Powell has felt the vibe all year and added a couple sacks and rushed passes against the Cardinals.
“This is the first time we’ve beaten Mooney on our new home field and we couldn’t have done it tonight without a team effort,” Powell added. “It was just a great group effort by everybody in all phases of the game. This is an amazing feeling.
“Everyone is on the same page and we’re all striving for the same goal. We’re working together as a team and everything is falling into place. I must thank my coaches for setting me up and putting me in good positions to make those tackles and my other teammates for assisting me. They’re doing their jobs and if they don’t, none of this goes down.”
Sean O’Horo led the Spartans in rushing with 90 yards on 20 totes while Thomas racked up 34 yards on seven carries.
Thompson had two catches for 70-yards and a score while Thomas posted 219 all-purpose yards.
Cardinal Mooney’s Zy’ere Rogers led all rushers with 142-yards on 20 carries, Miller 45-yards and a score on six rushes while Guerrieri posted 38-yards and a touchdown on 12 rushes.
As a team, the Cardinals racked up 408 total yards – 245 on the ground and 163 through the air – on 53 plays while Boardman accumulated 229 yards – 127 on the ground – on 45 opportunities under center.
Guerrieri was 15 of 28 for 163 yards and a pick through the air for the Cardinals with Dan Lyons (five catches for 45 yards) and Rogers (four catches for 31 yards) his favorite targets.
The Spartans conclude the regular season on Friday night when they travel to Canfield to take on the Cardinals. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Spartan mentor Ignazio said that Canfield “is a really good football team. They have a combination of size and speed. They are physical and disrupt what you want to do offensively. They do a good job at balancing their run game both inside and on the perimeter. Crawford and Sammarone run hard. Their young QB is talented and has shown he can open up their pass game.”
 GAME NOTES: Head coach Joe Ignazio was happy to have quarterback Triveri back on the field after missing the first four games of the season with an ankle injury. “It was good to see him back. It takes a lot of hard work to get back from an injury like he had. He is a determined young man. For not playing at all up until Friday, he threw the ball extremely well. He got the rust off early, and settled in quickly. It will be good to see him keep getting better each week. The TD pass to Terence Thomas was really good...threaded the needle. Then he aired one out to Cam Thompson. Different throw, but he executed both well” the head coach said.
Coach Ignazio also lauded the play of the Spartans special teams against Mooney. “Our kick return unit was really good. The entire unit came together and executed. Terence Thomas was the key beneficiary with return TD’s of 96 yards and 84 yards, but it was the entire unit that blocked to open it up. The unit includes Ashton LaBelle, Luke Huzicka, Ritchy Evans, Blaine Strines, Jared Mahood, Nate Fleming, Alex Micco, Sean O’Horo, Stephen Conti, Cam Thompson and Terence Thomas.”
Thomas tied the all-time career record for TD returns in a career held by Jay Upthegrove (2000-2001 who also has four).
“We have a talented young kicker in Carson Essad that will continue to get stronger and better. We are excited for what his future holds,” said the Boardman head coach.
  Boardman Piles-Up 555 Yards Of Total Offense, Rolls By Howland, 54-19  
  Boardman (2-2) Faces Cardinal Mooney (1-3):   September 24, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
Heading into last Friday’s game with the Howland Tigers, the Boardman Spartans had scored just 43 points in their first three outings for a rather inauspicious 1-2 start to their season.
It took them just 34 minutes and 15 seconds to match and ultimately surpass that disappointing three-game scoring drought.
Terence Thomas rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns, passed for 145 yards and three more scores, accounting for 345 of his team’s 555 total yards to lead the Spartans to a 54-19 rout of the Tigers at Lombardo Field.
With the win, Boardman (2-2) climbed back to the .500 mark, avenging last year’s 27-24 setback to the Tigers at home as they moved to 1-1 on the road.
They’ve now won three of the last four outings between the two schools and improved to 12-3-1 in 16 games played against their Trumbull County foes.
The Tigers (1-3) lost for the second consecutive week and dropped to 1-2 at home.
Thomas carried the ball just 11 times for an average of 18.2 yards per tote, picking up 12-plus yards on five occasions with touchdown runs of 3, 61 and 60 yards included on his impressive gameday resume.
Sean O’Horo also rushed for 107 yards – he carried the ball 11 carries for an average of 9.7 per carry – and a touchdown while Fernando Ortiz, who is just a sophomore, added 54 yards on three carries – an average of 18.0 per rush – and a score, hitting paydirt on a 56-yard run.
“We practiced hard this week, we practice hard every week and we just came out ready to capitalize,” said Thomas, who sparked the Spartans to a 14-0 advantage after just 12 minutes of action. “We were disappointed with a 1-2 start and while it feels nice to be back at .500, we’ve got to keep improving and continue to get better each week.”
Thomas’ 28-yard scoring strike to Anthony Hightower at 9:26 of the opening frame staked BHS to the early 7-0 advantage, capping a seven-play, 73-yard drive on their first possession of the game.
It was a lead they would not relinquish the remainder of the way.
“We had a very good week of practice and today it paid off on the field,” Hightower added. “Those Monday through Thursday practices and the hard work we put in showed on Friday.
“Terence is my guy. We hope to continue doing big things.”
After forcing a punt on the Tigers’ first possession of the game, Thomas’ 3-yard run at 5:29 of the period capped a seven-play, 54-yard drive the second time they had the ball for a 14-0 lead after one quarter of play.
Tigers’ signal-caller David Burman found Luca Massucci with a 14-yard pass at 10:20 of the second period and when Ashleigh Macias added the placement, Howland cut the Boardman lead in half at 14-7.
It didn’t take long for BHS to answer as Thomas’ 61-yard scamper down the left side of the field, outrunning the Tigers’ defense the last 35 yards resulted in a 21-7 lead for the Spartans just 50 seconds later.
Howland’s Eric Babinchak, who registered 183-yards on 28 carries, scored on an eight yard pass from Burman at 6:12 of the session and after the kick failed, the Tigers cut the lead to 21-13.
As if on cue from their three previous scores, the Spartans added three more scores before the half as they built a 40-13 lead at the intermission.
Hightower added his second touchdown of the game on a 22-yard pass from Thomas at the 5:35 mark, Thomas scored on his second long run of the game, this time from 60-yards away at 2:39 and after Thomas found Cam Thompson from 66-yards out with 56 seconds remaining, the Spartans built a 27-point lead at the half.
“Terence and I have worked together a lot during the off-season and during practice so our timing is there,” stated Thompson, who had two catches in the game for 83 yards and a score. “Today, it really paid off.
“The key tonight was dependability. We depend on one another, even the scout team that helps prepare us each week. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing as we move forward and we’ll be alright. ”
Babinchak’s second touchdown of the game, a four-yard run at 4:57 of the third quarter cut into the Spartans’ lead to 40-19 but O’Horo’s 28-yard gallop at 1:45 stretched the lead back to four scores and a 47-19 margin heading to the final stanza.
“We came together tonight and grew up as a team,” O’Horo noted. “Our offensive line has come together the last couple weeks and it seems like every week they get better and better.
“They push off the ball to get me and all of our backs a nice hole to run through and also provide protection for Terence when he runs or drops back in the pocket.”
Ortiz’s 56-yard scamper with 10:17 remaining then made it a 54-19 game and a running clock the remainder of the way.
“We’re demanding of our kids to continue to show up and get better and they finally responded and put together what we thought they were capable of tonight,” Spartans head coach Joe Ignazio said. “I’m extremely proud of my staff. Some teams I’ve seen coached would give up in situations like what we’re dealing with but our guys show up every day, coach their butts off and don’t give up until the last whistle. Our kids see that.
“We’ve had conversations about it and our word this week was dependable. We told every kid hat we have to depend on each other and now it’s time to go.”
Ignazio called out Thomas for his offensive exploits.
“He’s a tremendous athlete and obviously a kid who we want to have the ball in his hands,” Ignazio added. “He’s struggled at times learning the quarterback position but the kid is an unbelievably tremendous kid. He is mature, does everything we ask and while he gets frustrated at times, he never gets down, always has a positive attitude and I’m so happy for him.”
In addition to the Spartan’s offensive execution, Ignazio also lauded his defense for their play hard-nosed play.
“We played physical. You know, they’re big up front and that was something we worried about early on this week when we saw them on film,” he stated. “I thought we matched their physicality. At one point they ran 44 offensive plays to our 24, which speaks to our scoring quick and them having to sustain long drives.
“We’re still not where we need to be there, we did some things differently but we’ll get back at it, shore some things up against the run, continue to compete and continue to get better.”
Hightower finished the game with three catches for 62 yards and two scores while Marcel Tomlin added 50-yards on seven carries during his fourth quarter action.
Burman was 11 of 29 through the air for 97 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers as they racked up 314 total yards, all but 97 coming on the ground.
The Spartans held a 21-18 first-down advantage.
Boardman will now host the Cardinal Mooney Cardinals (1-30 on Friday at Spartan Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
  Ursuline Smacks Boardman, 40-13  
  September 17, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
This past Friday, it took just 23 seconds for the visiting Ursuline Fighting Irish to wrest the game’s momentum from the Boardman Spartans.
On the second play of the game, Ursuline’s Jakylan Irving picked off Boardman quarterback Terence Thomas’ errant pass and raced 36-yards to the house for the early 7-0 advantage and a momentum swing from which the Spartans could not recover.
The score turned the highly anticipated smash-mouth football game turned into an early 21-0 deficit with the Spartans eventually falling to the visiting Irish, 40-13 at Spartan Stadium.
The win matched Ursuline’s win total from a season ago when they went 2-8 overall in head coach Dan Reardon’s return to the helm while also avenging a 34-19 loss suffered at the hands of the Spartans at YSU’s Stambaugh Stadium last October 18.
The game also marked the 42nd renewal of the series with the Spartans now clinging to a 22-19-1 lead.
“We didn’t come ready to play and that’s on me,” BHS head coach Joe Ignazio said after the game. “Right from the get-go, I mean we go kick-return, drop the ball, not sustaining blocks and they just seemed to play a step or two faster than us all night long.
“I thought we came out a little bit more lively the second half but at that point, when you’re on a continuous clock, it’s too late and I’m disappointed that we weren’t playing with more pride against an opponent like that.”
Boardman’s second series stalled and on Ursuline’s ensuing series, Trent Hill found the endzone (7:56) from a yard away and when Matthew Reardon added the placement, the Fighting Irish extended their lead to 14-0 by capping their seven-play, 76-yard drive in exactly 2:00.
Ursuline rode the momentum they generated by perfectly executing an on-side kick that was recovered on Boardman’s 36 yard-line by DeMarcus McElroy.
The Spartans held, couldn’t generate any offense on their next series with punter Carson Essad perfectly placing his punt as it pinned UHS at their own nine yard-line.
Facing third down with three yards needed for a first-down, UHS running back Dante Walker negotiated the Spartans’ defense for 84 yards and a score as the Fighting Irish opened a 21-0 margin heading to the second period of play.
“When you go the second play of the game for a touchdown, it puts you in a bind but we talk to our kids that you’ve got to respond,” Ignazio added. “Are you going to pack it in and let them ram it right down the field again and that’s exactly what happened. We’ve got to deal with adversity, mature a little bit and we’ll get back after it.”
Ursuline (2-1) extended their lead to 27-0 on Hill’s second score from a yard away at 9:22 of the second stanza (the placement failed) and when UHS signal-caller Brady Shannon found Terrell Dillworth from 31-yards out (the point after try failed for the second consecutive time), the Fighting Irish built a 33-0 lead heading to the locker room at intermission and a running clock to begin the second half.
Shannon guided UHS to 351 total offensive yards in the opening 24 minutes of action, including 208-yards on the ground while the stingy Irish defense held the Spartans (1-2) to just 130 yards – 71 yards rushing and 59 through the air.
The Spartans finally got on the board at 8:43 of the third period when Thomas hit paydirt from 56 yards out, cutting the deficit to 33-7 and stopping the continuous clock, albeit temporarily after the Essad placement.
When McElroy added his one-yard gallop and Dylan Peplowski the extra point at 5:13, Ursuline opened a 40-7 with 12 minutes remaining.
Boardman’s Fernando Ortiz then closed the scoring when he crossed the goal line on a 42-yard scamper with 2:30 left.
Thomas paced the Spartans with a game-high 107 yards on 17 carries, connecting on five of 13 aerial attempts for 77 yards but suffered two misfires, one going for the game’s first tally.
“Terence is learning the quarterback position. He was thrown into it in June when we lost our quarterback,” stated Ignazio. “He’s athletic as heck, it’s just his knowledge of the position isn’t up to par for Friday night yet.
“He’s got to make better decisions and that’s part of the maturation process but it’s not coming as fast as we need it to so we’ve got to keep plugging away, get in the film room and got to keep coaching him up.
“If you’ve got to take away a positive, it‘s that our coaches are coaching their butt off ‘til the end and our kids were still responding. We’ve just got to get things taken care of.”
Ezpected to see action soon at quarterback is pre-season projected starter Hason Triveri.
Ortiz added 56 yards on four carries with a touchdown while Sean O’Horo racked up 48 yards on 16 totes for the Spartans offensively.
The Spartans had 277 yards of total offense, 200 on the ground while Ursuline racked up 445 total yards offensive, 290 rushing and 155 through the air.
McElroy carried the ball 11 times for 96 yards and a touchdown to pace UHS’s ground attack, Walker had 81 yards on two carries for a score while Hill racked up 51 yards on five totes for two touchdowns.
Shannon was 12-19 overall for 155 yards and a touchdown to pace the Fighting Irish through the air.
On Friday, Boardman will travel to Howland to take on the Tigers (2-1) at 7 p.m.
  Boardman Clubs Golden Bears, 27-7  
  Thomas Runs For 175 Yards, Passes For 2 TDs:   September 10, 2020  
Delay of game penalties proved costly for East High School last Friday night, as the Boardman Spartans claimed their first win of the season last Friday night, 27-7.
Midway through the third quarter, down 14-7, East’s Jamez Brooks recovered a Terrence Thomas fumble to give the Golden Bears the ball 16 yards from paydirt.
After Marco Stilliana and Luke Huzicka halted a Frank Harris 5-yard run, East was called on three, straight plays for too much time, backing them up 26 yards from the goal line.
Yet another flag was thrown for a fourth straight delay infraction, pushing East back behind the 30 yard line.
Keyed by a Sean’O’Horo pass break-up; and a quarterback pressure on a fourth down play by Boardman’s Blaine Strines and Cortland Love, the Spartans took over and marched 61 yards in six plays to take a 20-7 command in the contest at the end of three quarters of play. Thomas capped the drive rushing for a TD from 8 yards out, and he also picked-up 28 yards on a third down run to keep the drive alive.
Boardman put the first score of the game on the board at the 9:08 mark of the opening stanza when Thomas lofted a touchdown pass to Huzicka on a third and 14 play. Carson Essad added the PAT.
East was thwarted on their next possession when Nick Winsen fell on a fumble on a second down play.
Late in the first quarter, Boardman took advantage of a 9-yard East punt to get the ball back on the 35 yard line.
Thomas darted 30 yards on a second down play, and a face mask penalty on East moved the Spartans to a first and goal at the 2 yard line.
But East defenders Anthony West, Mikel Barnette and Cam Atwood broke through the Spartan offensive front to drop Thomas on first down for a loss.
Thomas answered on the next play, connecting with Kejaun Robinson to lift Boardman to a 14-0 lead.
The Golden Bears got their only score of the game at the 1:25 mark of the second quarter. It came after a Willie Jones 52-yard kick return to the Boardman 44 yard line, and ended when Arwood ran 39 yards to cross the goal line.
Boardman capped the scoring in the game when O’Horo crossed the goal line in the fourth quarter.
Thomas led the Boardman offense, rushing for 175 yards in 13 attempts. He also hit on 4 of 15 passes, good for 52 yards and the pair of touchdowns.
O’Horo, who was limited to six yards in Boardman’s opener against Austintown, picked-up 50 yards on the ground in a dozen carries against East.
“It was a good team win. Our kids got better. We hit two goals: win at home and win on senior night.,” said Boardman Head Coach Joe Ignazio.
The Spartan mentor said that “Defensively, Jake Powell, Sean O’Horo, and Stephen Conti all had good games. Nick Winsen had a fumble recovery and Anthony Hightower had an interception
“Jahiem Johnson stepped-in and had two big tackles in critical situations. One was a touchdown saving tackle that kept East out of the end zone.”
Boardman gets back into action with a home game this Friday night at 7:00 p.m. against the Ursuline Irish.
The Irish opened the season with a 29-6 win over Chaney, and lost last week in a 56-28 drubbing at the hands of Austintown Fitch.
They are a good football team with talented players,” Coach Ignazio said about the Irish, noting his opponents have good players at the skill positions, including quarterback Brady Shannon .
“You knew after last year that Ursuline was not as bad as their record. They had key pieces in place to turn things around,” he added.
  Austintown Crushes Boardman, 33-3  
  Falcon Quarterback Devon Sherwood Connects For Five TD Passes:   September 3, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
The cloud of uncertainty that hovered over area high school football teams was finally lifted this past weekend with programs finally getting down to business and playing their season opening contests.
Austintown Fitch made sure they sent a statement to the remaining teams on their schedule that they’re hungry and happy to be back on the field.
The Falcons’ junior quarterback Devin Sherwood’s statement resonated loudest.
Sherwood completed 20 of 28 passes for 286 yards and five touchdowns and Jamell James rushed for 76 yards on 14 totes to lead the Falcons to a 33-3 victory over the Boardman Spartans in the season lidlifter for both schools last Saturday at Greenwood Chevrolet Falcon Stadium.
It marked the first time since 1966 that the two teams opened their respective seasons against one another – they last played each other in the season opening game in both 1965 and 1966 – despite the fact they had to wait an extra day to get it in.
With the Spartans slated to open their 72nd varsity campaign on August 28, thunder, lightning and heavy rain curtailed the start – the teams had already warmed up and were awaiting a thumbs up to return to the field – and pushed their opener back 24 hours.
Despite the outcome, BHS head coach Joe Ignazio had no excuses, especially when addressing the off-season uncertainty
“Everybody is in the same boat so you can’t use it as an excuse,” he said. “Our kids need to come prepared and we’re playing like we hadn’t scrimmaged, competed and things like that. Overall, it’s a huge disappointment the way that we didn’t show up tonight.”
Between their opener and second outing this week, Ignazio and staff will look for a marked improvement with the hopes of climbing back to the .500 mark.
“I think [quarterback] Terence [Thomas] did some good things offensively for never playing the quarterback position,” he added. “He’s coming along and he continues to work hard.
“We’re getting in good positions, we just have breakdowns. Kids start doing their own thing and for the first time, we have to watch the film against an opponent, continue to get better and have a have a big jump from week one to week two.”
The Falcons (1-0) wasted no time getting on the board, taking their opening drive of the game 81 yards in 13 plays, Sherwood capping off the five minute drive with a 10-yard scoring strike to Jaden Murray for the early 6-0 advantage.
After the two teams traded possessions, Thomas marched the Spartans down the field and on a first and goal from the Falcons’ four-yard line, Thomas scored what was believed to be the game-tying touchdown.
The tally was nullified, however, as Boardman was called for holding and on first and goal from the 16-yard line, a disputed shovel pass by Thomas was ruled a fumble and recovered by Fitch’s Donovan Oliver to thwart the BHS drive just 1:26 into the second stanza.
Sherwood wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity, heaving a 49-yard strike across his body to Nate Leskovac and after the Spartans stopped the placement for the second straight time, Fitch maintained a 12-0 lead.
The two teams once again traded possessions and at 3:36 of the second frame, Sherwood hit Tyler Evans from 32 yards out for his third touchdown strike of the game. When Josiah Berni added the placement, the Falcons opened a 19-0 margin.
On the ensuring drive, Thomas led Boardman to the Fitch eight-yard line where placekicker Carson Essad got the Spartans on the board with a 25-yard field goal, cutting the deficit to 19-3 at intermission.
In the opening 24 minutes of action, the Falcons held a 279-83 total yards advantage.
Sherwood ended up utilizing five different receivers as his scoring targets.
“We have some really, really good weapons on the perimeter and everyone can make a play when they have the ball in their hands,” Sherwood stated. “We try to spread the wealth and it worked out for us tonight.”
He also addressed everyone’s off-season uncertainty.
“We really didn’t know if we were going to have a season and we’re blessed to have one,” Sherwood noted. “We prepare hard in the off-season, we go best-on-best in practice pretty much everyday and it just paid off for us tonight.
“I’m a little disappointed in the six-game season because I want to play more football, but I understand the situation and the pandemic that we’re going through right now because we’ve got to remain safe.
“We do have playoffs this year, which I am thankful for so hopefully we’ll have more than six games.“
Sherwood was also quick to dish out kudos to his offensive line.
“The offensive line did really, really well today,” he said. “Garrett Hogan, Nate John at center and really everybody just kept doing their thing and getting the job done.”
Sherwood proceeded to find James at 7:05 of the third period to increase their margin to 26-3, closing out the scoring at 9:16 of the final quarter with a four-yard strike to Donnie Ellis to secure their 30-point victory.
Todd Simons led all Falcons receivers with five catches for 62 yards, James added four receptions for 32-yards while Murray and Ellis each had three receptions for 35 and 24 yards respectively.
For the Spartans (0-1), Thomas was nine of 19 through the air for 78 yards and was also the team’s leading rusher, carrying the ball 15 times for 55 yards.
Anthony Hightower was on the receiving end of three Thomas aerials, picking up 39 yards while Sean O’Horo (22 yards) and Cam Thompson (12 yards) hauled in two Thomas completions.
Thomas ended up accounting for 133 of the Spartans’ 144 total offensive yards.
With the win, the Falcons have now won five straight against their arch-rivals and lead the all-time series, 39-32-1.
  Four Decades Ago, The Boardman Spartans Went Unbeaten In A 6-Game Season Due To A Debilitating Teachers’ Strike  
  August 20, 2020  
associate editor
Due to the coronavirus, Boardman High School has scheduled a six-game ‘regular season’ this fall, with a potential playoff run set to begin Oct. 9.
According to BHS Athletic Director Marco Marinucci, the Spartans grid team could ‘opt-out’ of the playoffs, and if they did, Boardman could then play two more games---Oct. 16 against Massillon Jackson, and Oct. 23 against the Chaney Cowboys, with both games on Boardman’s home turf.
But, did you know it was 40 years ago the Spartans played a six-game season and finished with a 6-0 mark under the direction of Head Coach Gene Pushic?
Boardman couldn’t play five games in that 1980 season because of a debilitating teachers’ strike that wiped out contests against Chaney, Howland, Fitch, Ursuline and Cardinal Mooney.
While the teachers’ union threatened a strike during the first two weeks of the 1980 season, Spartan gridders posted a 13-6 win over Wilson and a 33-0 win over Canfield to open the season.
Six weeks later, the Spartans went back on the field and claimed a 22-18 victory over the Campbell Memorial Red Devils. They followed that with a 3-2 win over the Warren Western Reserve Raiders (on a Mike Lewis field goal), and a 41-0 blast over the Niles McKinley Red Dragons.
Pushic’s team finished the season with a home game on Nov. 6 against the Barberton Magics, and came off the field with a 27-12 victory before some 5200 wind-chilled and standing-room-only fans at Boardman Stadium.
The Magics took the early lead in the game after Tom Gamble intercepted a Bernie Kosar pass (his first interception of the year) at the 9:25 mark of the first quarter and darted to the one yard line. Barberton quarterback Bryan Breitenstein then plunged over the goal line on the next play.
John DePietro took the ensuing kickoff 36 yards and the Spartans then proceeded to march to the Magics’ 31 yard line before fullback Steve Gresock was stuffed on a fourth and one play to halt the drive.
Boardman’s defense answered when Larry Napolitan, Dave DeHoff and Gresock sacked Breitenstein on a third down play to force a punt.
Kosar was intercepted a second time, this one by Scott Murphy, and Barberton held a 6-0 lead after one quarter.
Again the Spartan defense answered the call in the early moments of the second stanza, as Bob Partlow and DeHoff sacked the Magic quarterback for a seven yard loss on first down; and Gresock, Brad Williams and John Spiese stuffed a draw play for a loss to set-up a third and 18 for Barberton.
On the play, Breitenstein, under heavy pressure, went back to pass and his aerial was intercepted by Nik Amstutz who churned 55 yards for Boardman’s first TD of the game. A Lewis PAT boot gave Boardman a lead and the Spartans never looked back.
On the ensuing kickoff, Barberton’s Mel Johnson fumbled and the loose ball was gobbled-up by Boardman’s Andy Inboden at the 20 yard line.
A Kosar to Joe Allegretto pass covered 19 yards and a Gresock plunge, coupled with another Lewis PAT boosted the Spartans into a 14-6 lead. Lewis added a field goal late in the second frame to send the Spartans into the halftime lockerroom with a 17-6 lead.
Another Lewis field goal in the third frame, and a DePietro eight yard TD run in the fourth stanza, behind blocks from Stan Feret and Mike Lyons, capped Spartans scoring in the game.
Kosar connected on seven of 15 passes in the game, good for 112 yards; while DePietro paced the Boardman ground game with 87 yards, and Gresock added 52 yards over the turf.
Reserve notched its only points in the game with just seconds left on the clock when Lewis, who was also the Spartans punter, scrambled around the end zone on fourth down and out of bounds to give the Raiders two-points on a safety.
Boardman ended the year ranked fifth in a field of 36 schools in Region 1-Division 1 rankings of the Ohio High School Athletic Association and were ruled ineligible for post-season play because of the teacher’s strike.
The perfect season was Boardman’s first since the 1961 team, under the direction of Jerry Thorpe, posted a 9-0 record.
Although the Spartans couldn’t play in the post-season, their win over Warren Western Reserve was a highlight of the season.
The year before, Boardman entered its final game of the season with an 8-0-1 log and lost to the Raiders, ending their playoff hopes and knocking Pushic’s team out of a Steel Valley Conference title-tie.
  Boardman’s Grid Season Opens Away Against Highly-Touted Austintown Fitch  
  18 Lettermen Return For The Spartans:   August 20, 2020  
last year’s edition of the Div. II Boardman Spartans football team didn’t meet its goal of a third, straight playoff appearance.
With a proposed six-game schedule under guidelines from the Ohio High School Athletic Association, due to the COVID-19 event, all schoolboy teams in the state will be given an opportunity to participate in playoff action.
Following week four of the ‘regular season,’ all teams will be eligible to participate in a ‘playoff game.’ If a team loses in the first round, it can still add two more games to its ‘regular season’ slate.
The sidelines will be different, players and coaches must stand six -feet apart, and the ‘team sideline’ has been extended to the 10-yard line.
Referees are not supposed to handle the football, that the offensive team will take back into the huddle for the next play. The refs will mark the line of scrimmage with a bean bag.
As of Sat., Aug., 15, less than two weeks away from the start of the season, guidelines had not been issued governing fan attendance, although some local athletic directors suggest the possibility of between 1,200 and 1,500 fans at sites like Boardman Stadium; and at prep games at Stambaugh Stadium.
Coming off a 3-7 log last year, Boardman is scheduled to open the season Fri., Aug. 28 at Falcon Stadium against Austintown Fitch. (7:00 p.m. kickoff).
The Falcons drubbed the Spartans, 40-14 last season and return junior quarterback Devon Sherwood, and junior tailback Tyree Martin.
In a last season victory over the Spartans, Sherwood connected on 20 of 23 passes good for 381 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran the ball 14 times for another 66 yards and two TDs.
Under the direction of Joe Ignazio, who enters his eighth season at the helm, the Spartans return 18 lettermen and have 15 seniors on their roster.
Those lettermen include junior tailback Sean O’Horo, who carried the ball 190 times last season for 825 yards and five TDs; return specialist and wide receiver, Terence Thomas, a junior, who had 45 catches for 554 yards and four TDs last season; and Cam Thompson, a senior, who had 26 grabs for 269 yards and seven TDs a season ago.
Anchors on the offensive and defensive fronts include 6-3, 280-lbs. Cortland Love, a junior; Joe Sferra, 6-3, 260 lbs; and Nick Winsen, 6-2, 260 lbs., a senior; and Jake Powell, 6-2, 225 lbs.; and Ryan Henry, 6-1, 240 lbs., a senior.; and Anthony Micco, 6-6, 240 lbs., a senior.
Boardman enters its game against Fitch without its projected starting quarterback, Jason Triveri, a 6-2, 195 lb., a junior. Triveri has been out of practice with an ankle injury.
Stepping in at the quarterback spot is expected to be Terence Thomas, with junior Colin Thomas in a back-up role.
Due to the pandemic, Coach Ignazio’s team has not had any scrimmages.
“One benefit is we have had more practice time and inter-squad scrimmages,” the coach said.
With Terrance Thomas under center, Boardman’s opener against the Falcons will likely see O’Horo and Nate Fleming in the backfield with Marco Stilliana, Ashton LeBelle and perhaps Fernando Oritz seeing some time.
Up front, players who will see action include Sferra, Winsen, Micco, Henry and Love.
A large corps of receivers have shown well during the pre-season, including Thomas and Thompson. Others who could see action include Anthony Hightower and Brayden Joseph.
The defense front for the Spartans includes Love, Winsen, Powell and Henry, and at the lineback posts are Ritchy Evans, Blaine Strines, and Fleming and Luke Huzicka.
The Spartans secondary will see Stilliana, Thompson, O’Horo, Hightower and Strines on the field; and they will likely get an immediate test when they face Sherwood and the Falcons.
Ignazio’s coaching staff this season includes Mike Popio Sr., Carmen Tarantino, Mike Popio Jr., Paul Butto, Bob Toth, Jason Congo, Jason Triveri, Bob Poghan, Joe Caruso and Devin Campbell (a Boardman grad who played at the University of Buffalo and ended his career as the school’s all-time leading kick returner).
The Boardman-Fitch grid series dates back to 1942, when the Falcons won, 26-13.
The Spartans have beaten a Fitch team only since 2012, and that was a 10-3 game in 2015.
Fitch owns a 36-34-1 advantage in the overall series between the two schools.
Fri., Aug. 28: Austintown.............away
Fri., Sept. 4: Youngstown East........home
Fri., Sept. 11: Ursuline..............home
Fri., Sept. 18: Howland...............away
Fri., Sept. 25: Cardinal Mooney.......home
Fri., Oct. 2: Canfield................home
Oct. 10: Playoff......................TBA
Fri., Oct. 16: Massillon Jackson......home*
Fri. Oct. 23: Youngstown Chaney..home*
(*Games, if played, depend on outcome of playoffs.)
  Big Red First Foe As Mooney Opens Under First Year Head Coach  
  August 20, 2020  
Under the direction of interim head coach Carl Pelini, Div. V Cardinal Mooney High School’s football team opens-up the season on Fri., Aug. 28 against Reno Saccocci’s Steubenville Big Red at Stambaugh Stadium. Saccocia has been Big Red head coach for some 36 years.
Mooney and the Big Red have faced each other nine times, all in playoff action. The Cards hold a 7-2 advantage over Steubenville. The two teams last faced each other in 2017, with the Big Red mounting a 19-14 victory.
Pelini and the Cards will head onto the field looking to better back-to-back 4-6 seasons.
Last season’s losses included a doubel-overtime game to Lousville, that Mooney lost, 20-14.
In game game, the Cardinal offense was led by sophomore tailback Ze’yere Rogers, who posted his second straight 200-yard game (227 yards). On one Cardinal 75-year scoring drive, Rogers lugged the ball nine times for 72 yards, including a 3-yard TD run. (The previous week Rogers had 200 yards in a Mooney 38-13 win over Youngstown East).
On the season last year, Rogers carried the ball 203 times, running for 1,160 yards and seven thouchdowns.
Back at quarterback is expected to be senior Pat Guerrieri, who sat out the latter portion of last season with an injury.
Guerrieri, who also plays safety, posted 559 total yards of offense last year, rushing for 222 yards and passing for 337 yards.
The ‘Bison’ on the Mooney front line could be 6-2, 325-lbs. Kerri Hewlett. Also featured will be Carl Farina, 6-0. 230 lbs.; and Will Skretta, 225 lbs, All are seniors.
Expected to see action at fullback and linebacker is 6-1, 230-lbs. Mike Pastella, another senior, who had eight catches last season. Back for his senior season is 6-2, 180-lbs. senior Danny Lyons, who could see action on both sides of the ball at an end position.
Due to rescheduling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mooney loses previously scheduled games against Akron Archbishop Hoban, Pittsburgh Carrick, Akron St. Vincent- St. Mary and Austintown Fitch.
Following their season opener, the Cardinals square-off against Warren G. Harding on Fri., Sept. 4 at Mollenkopf Stadium.
Aug. 28: Steubebville Big Red....YSU
Sept. 4: Warren G. Harding....away
Sept. 11: Youngstown East....YSU
Sept. 19: Youngstown Chaney....YSU
Sept. 25: Boardman....away
Oct. 2: Ursuline....YSU
Oct. 9: Playoffs....TBD
  Boardman Boys Soccer Team Enters 40th Season  
  Spartans Helped To Pioneer The Sport In The Area:   August 13, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
The Boardman Spartans boys’ soccer team is scheduled to open their season August 22 when they play host to Ursuline High School at the BHS Sports Complex, a game that will mark the beginning of their 40th season of varsity competition.
Given the state of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s a game that everyone hopes will take place.
“Boardman was one of the first area schools to welcome high school soccer into their athletic offerings,” stated current head coach Eric Simione, who enters his eighth season at the helm. “As a history teacher, I have always felt that it is important to periodically reflect upon the past.
“Reaching the 40-year milestone seemed like an appropriate time to do so and as a coach, I feel that it is important for our players to understand that they, too, are writing the next chapter in our program’s history.”
In the fall of 1980, the Spartans were coming off an 18-3-1 overall mark, playing as the Boardman High School Soccer Club when they were elevated to varsity status the following fall.
The transition was a seemingly effortless one as they picked up right where they left off the year before, rolling to a 15-1-1 ledger that charter campaign under the tutelage of Dino D’Agostino.
A total of five head coaches have roamed the sidelines for the Spartans since that maiden season, leading the program to a 351-260-95 overall mark in 706 total games played and a highly respectable .564 winning percentage.
“Personally, it is an honor to coach at Boardman High School and to add little pieces to the tradition that has been built over the years,” Simione added. “Last year, we celebrated the team reaching 350 wins and a few years earlier recognized a player for scoring our 100th all-time goal against Austintown Fitch.
“This year, hopefully, this group will be the 40th team to take the field as we try to have something memorable each year for the players to look back on.”
In addition to D’Agostino, who spent nine seasons (1981-89) at the helm and posted a 104-43-20 (.743) overall mark in 167 total games played, the other head coaches include Dave Brenner – six seasons from 1990-95 – who was 62-39-16 (.598) in 117 overall games, John Yosay – six years from 1996-2001 – who went 49-41-15 (.533) in 105 frays, Ahmet Olgun – 11 seasons from 2002-12 – the longest tenured head coach who guided his teams to an 85-79-28 (.516) overall ledger in 192 overall games and Simione, the current head coach who took over the program in 2013 and is 51-58-16 (.472) in 125 games played during his seven seasons at the helm.
With 22 wins the last two seasons – the team is 22-11-4 overall, going 12-4-3 in 2018 and 10-7-1 last season – Simione has guided the program to their most wins in back-to-back seasons since 1997-98 when they went 27-8-3 overall – they were 10-6-2 in 1997 and 17-2-1 in 1998 – under Yosay.
Since becoming a varsity sport, the Spartans have won seven league championships, all in the Steel Valley Conference (1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1997), four district crowns (1991, 1992, 1993 and 1998) and on three occasions advanced to the regional finals – they lost to Walsh Jesuit, 2-0 in 1991; lost to Brecksville, 2-1 in 1992 and again to the Bees in 1993, 6-4 – leaving them one game shy of advancing to the state ‘Final Four.’
Most notable is the fact that the Spartans lost to the eventual state champion Bees on two occasions when they captured back-to-back crowns in 1992 and again in 1993.
In 39 years of competition, the Spartans have produced 11 players that have been named all-state with four earning first-team laurels.
Individually, those earning first-team honors include Dave Garchar (1989), Tony Volpi (1992), Larry Lencyk (1998) and Tommy Fryda, a season ago.
Other all-state honorees include Neal Hogan (1994, second-team), Joe Campesi (2003, honorable mention), T.J. Hosa (2005, honorable mention), D.J. Herman (2008, second-team), Devrim Olgun (2009, second-team), Christian Silvestri (2011, second-team) and Trevor Boggess (2018, second-team).
In addition to earning first-team all-state honors, Volpi was also named Ohio’s Division-I “Player of the Year” along with capturing All-American status.
Volpi, as a player and D’Agostino, as a coach, have both been inducted into the Youngstown District Soccer Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Alex Kidd, who served as an assistant coach at BHS and was a coach at Warren JFK High School, is also a YDSCA hall of fame honoree.
Additionally, seven players have been honored for their exploits by the BHS Boosters with induction into the Athletics Hall of Fame.
They include Garchar (Class of 1990, 2005 HOF inductee), Volpi (Class of 1993, 2008 HOF inductee), Lencyk (Class of 1999, 2015 HOF inductee), Yosay (Class of 2000, 2016 HOF inductee), Jason Keller (Class of 1993, 2017 HOF inductee), Neal Hogan (Class of 1995, 2019 HOF inductee) and Campesi (Class of 2004, 2020 HOF inductee).
Team-wise, BHS has fared well against local rivals and league foes.
Drawing from the current All-American Conference, Red Tier membership, the Spartans hold an edge against all foes except the Howland Tigers.
Against arch-rival Austintown Fitch, BHS leads the series 26-19-14 while owning a slight 112-107 all-time scoring edge.
They lead Canfield, 19-17-5 in 41 all-time games and have outscored the Cardinals, 91-74.
BHS trails Howland, however, 11-20-6 in 37 games played. The Tigers and Spartans have played multiple close contests, resulting in an 89-79 scoring edge in favor of HHS.
Against the Warren Harding Raiders, the Spartans hold a 20-3-2 overall mark in 25 games played and have authored a 104-24 scoring advantage, which translates into less than a goal allowed per contest.
Against other yearly local opponents, BHS holds an 18-8-4 advantage and a 77-48 edge in goals scored against and the Poland Bulldogs, they lead Cardinal Mooney, 13-7-2 in 22 overall games while outscoring the Cardinals, 81-26 and against this year’s season opening opponent, Ursuline High School, BHS leads, 18-6-3 in 27 overall games with a dominating 113-32 goals margin.
1981...................15-1-1, Dino D’Agostino
1982...................13-2-1, Dino D’Agostino
1983...................13-5-2, Dino D’Agostino
1984....................7-6-2, Dino D’Agostino
1985...................16-3-2, Dino D’Agostino
1986 ...................7-7-3, Dino D’Agostino
1987....................7-8-3, Dino D’Agostino
1988...................11-6-3, Dino D’Agostino
1989...................15-5-3, Dino D’Agostino
1990....................9-8-1, Dave Brenner
1991...................11-5-6, Dave Brenner
1992....................6-3-2, Dave Brenner
1993...................11-7-3, Dave Brenner
1994...................11-5-2, Dave Brenner
1995...................4-11-2, Dave Brenner
1996...................1-11-4, John Yosay
1997...................10-6-2, John Yosay
1998...................17-2-1, John Yosay
1999....................7-6-3, John Yosay
2000...................4-10-3, John Yosay
2001...................10-6-2, John Yosay
2002................... 6-8-2, Ahmet Olgun
2003...................7-11-0, Ahmet Olgun
2004....................9-5-4, Ahmet Olgun
2005....................8-7-2, Ahmet Olgun
2006....................9-5-3, Ahmet Olgun
2007....................6-8-2, Ahmet Olgun
2008....................7-9-1, Ahmet Olgun
2009...................10-6-2, Ahmet Olgun
2010....................8-7-3, Ahmet Olgun
2011....................8-5-6, Ahmet Olgun
2012....................7-8-3, Ahmet Olgun
2013....................6-8-5, Eric Simione
2014...................10-8-0, Eric Simione
2015....................5-9-3, Eric Simione
2016...................2-13-2, Eric Simione
2017....................6-9-2, Eric Simione
2018...................12-4-3, Eric Simione
2019...................10-7-1, Eric Simione
TOTALS: 351-260-95 / .564 Winning Pct. (706 Games Played)
Dino D’Agostino, 1981-89 / 9-years / 104-43-20 (.743)
Dave Brenner, 1990-95 / 6-years / 62-39-16 (.598)
John Yosay, 1996-2001 / 6-years / 49-41-15 (.533)
Ahmet Olgun, 2002-12 / 11-years / 85-79-28 (.516)
Eric Simione, 2013-present / 7-years / 51-58-16 (.472)
  Mooney’s Fecko Exits With Winning Legacy  
  August 6, 2020  
P J Fecko
Boardman News Sports
In the end, four state championships, three state runner-up finishes and 158 total wins during his 20 years at the helm wasn’t enough for former Cardinal Mooney head football coach and alum P.J. Fecko to save his job.
Fecko was replaced as head coach on July 27 by new school president, Thomas Maj, who announced the change in its football operations.
Maj noted in a brief. three paragraph press release that Fecko would no longer be head coach but would continue to teach at the school, turning to another CMHS alum, Carl Pelini, to oversee its storied football program as the interim head coach.
Maj had previously hired Pelini, a former Florida Atlantic University head coach, Bowling Green State Falcons interim head coach and YSU assistant, as the school’s associate director for advancement.
A text to Fecko seeking comment wasn’t returned.
Fecko enjoyed nothing but success as both a CMHS player and the fourth head coach in the history of the sport at the school, which enters its eighth decade of competition when the 2020 season begins.
As a player for the Cardinals – Fecko played from 1990-92 and is a 1993 CMHS graduate – he was a member of two Steel Valley Conference championship teams and two playoff squads with their 1990 team advancing to the state semi-final round.
To understand the legacy that he leaves as head football coach, you must understand the legacy that his three predecessors left prior to his appointment in time for the 2000 season.
Opened in 1956, the Cardinals first head coach was John Hudzik (1956-60), who then passed the reins of the program off to Denny Barrett (1961-65).
The two coaches combined to post a 52-29-5 (.634 winning percentage) overall mark, building the program from the ground up while laying a foundation that took the program from relative obscurity to a force opponents would have to contend with if they appeared on their schedule.
If Hudzik and Barrett were responsible for laying the program’s foundation, then Don Bucci, who came to the school as a part of Barrett’s initial staff in 1961, took the program to unparalleled heights during his 34 years (1966-1999) as Cardinals’ head mentor.
Bucci posted a 284-79-5 (.772) overall ledger in 368 games coached, leading the Cardinals to four state championships (1973, 1980, 1982 and 1987), a runner-up finish (1985) and 10 state “Final Four” appearances (1999, 1996, 1990, 1987, 1985, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1976 and 1973).
He assumed athletic director duties in 2000 when he passed off the program’s baton to Fecko, who served as his defensive coordinator.
Many coaches will tell you that they want to be the head coach that replaces the head coach who replaced a coaching legend, opting not to deal with expectations of fans and an alumni base that can get restless if those expectations are not met.
For Cardinal Mooney and Fecko, however, it seemed to be a marriage that was made in heaven, despite the fact it didn’t exactly start out as many, including Fecko, had hoped it would.
Fecko did everything but run from the challenge of replacing a state coaching icon in Bucci.
Instead, he embraced it.
As the team’s defensive coordinator during Bucci’s last season, Fecko’s 1999 defense was a big reason the team advanced to the state semi-finals, allowing just 42 total points over their 14-game slate, an average of a mere 3.0 points per fray.
While the Bucci-era ended with three state semi-finals appearances in the decade of the 90’s, the Fecko-era got off to a rocky start.
He started the new millennium with a 5-5 overall mark and followed that up with an un-Mooney-like winless season (they went 0-10) in 2001.
After a second 5-5 ledger in 2002, which left him 10-20 overall in his first 30 games as head coach, Fecko turned the corner and again Cardinal Mooney became a statewide force.
They went 8-3 and made the play-offs in 2003, beginning a string of nine consecutive play-off appearances (2003-11) and 11 over 12 seasons, missing only in 2012 when they suffered through a 3-6 campaign.
Overall, Fecko-coached teams made the playoffs 13 times – they were 143-38 (.790) overall during those playoff seasons – authoring a 38-9 (.809) post-season record and a mark admired by those coaches and programs who had once again failed to make it to the 11th week of the season.
Fecko’s 12-year run beginning in 2003 and lasting until 2014 also produced two Steel Valley Conference titles, an SVC co-championship, a regional semi-final appearance, a perfect 15-0 slate (2009) and a 119-36 (.768) mark in 155 games played.
If you exclude the forgettable 2012 season when they went 3-6 overall, Fecko’s teams authored a 116-30 ledger, an admirable .794 winning mark in 146 overall games.
In 65 years of football for the Cardinals, the program is 494-189-10 in 693 games played, an impressive .720 winning percentage.
During that span, the Cardinals have qualified for the playoffs on 29 occasions and own a 63-21 (.750) mark in 84 post-season games, ranking fifth overall and right behind other state tradition-rich programs Cleveland St. Ignatius, which is first overall, Maria Stein Marion Local and Newark Catholic, who are tied for second-place and fourth-place qualifier, Coldwater.
While statistics can read however you would like them to read, fact is that while school officials showed patience with Fecko his first three seasons when he was 10 games under .500 before finally breaking through with his first play-off appearance in year No. 4, impatience might be the best descriptor to use for the current decision makers.
Posting a 33-30 (.524) overall mark since 2014 and an 8-12 (.400) mark the past two campaigns, albeit with three play-off appearances, it might be an acceptable winning percentage in Major League Baseball yet was an un-Mooney like, six-year period that spelled the end of a fabulous 20-year run for Fecko.
Pelini will become the second consecutive CMHS alum to lead his alma mater, owning a football coaching pedigree who like Fecko, embraces a challenge.
He’ll draw from his stops on the high school level as an assistant coach at CMHS and as head coach at Austintown Fitch, and collegiately as an assistant at YSU, Bowling Green State, Ohio University, Kansas State, Minnesota State and Nebraska, and as head coach of the FAU Owls, looking to returning the Cardinals to the state title game, a game in which they last appeared in 2013 when they finished as state runners-up.
There are two milestones Pelini will be a part of with the Cardinals’ program in 2020 if, in fact, there is a fall season and one not shortened due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
With 494 all-time wins, the Cardinals’ sixth win will be their 500th all-time in school history while the seventh game played will mark the 700th all-time since the program’s initial game during that memorable 1956 charter season.

Pictured: P.J. FECKO, pictured, was ousted last week as head coach of the Cardinal Mooney football program after 20 years at the helm.
  Carl Pelini Tapped To Replace P.J. Fecko At Cardinal Mooney  
  July 30, 2020  
New president of Cardinal Mooney High School, Thomas Maj, announced on Monday a change in football operations---PJ Fecko will no longer be the head coach. Fecko will continue to teach at the school.
Maj also announced that he has welcomed back alum Carl Pelini, who he hired as the associate athletic director for advancement. Pelini will oversee football operations as interim head coach.
“PJ Fecko dedicated his heart to this program, and we will always take great pride in what he accomplished,” Maj said. “We thank him for his service to our school. With our storied history and devoted alumni base, we are ready to begin the next chapter in our school’s history.”
During his 19-year career at the helm, Fecko led the Cardinals to four state championships (2011, 2009, 2006 and 2004). The Cards also finished as the state runner-up in 2013, 2007 and 2005. Under Fecko, Mooney went 159-80.
Pelini is a former high school head coach at Austintown Fitch. In three seasons, he led the Falcons to a record of 12-18. He recently served as defensive coordinator as Youngstown State under his brother, Bo Pelini.
  June 25, 2020  
Boardman News Sports

“I still have that competitive feeling and the league is exactly that, competitive...
My mind says I can still play but my body tells me otherwise.”

The Boardman FOG defeated the Youngstown Classics, 12-4 in the season opener last week for both teams of the Youngstown Baseball League’s 58-plus division at Fields of Dreams Complex on McClurg Road.
The game was the first of a 10-game modified schedule – with rules adjustments due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) – for the group since Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine gave the official word back on May 14 that sports leagues could commence play starting May 26.
The 50-plus division began play on June 20 with play-offs slated in early-September for both groups.
Dave Smercansky, Jack Hay and Mike Glinatsis combined to limit the Classics to four tallies with Carmen Nocera and Mike Homer each lacing three hits, and Ed Prence two safeties to pace the FOG’s 14-hit attack.
“We were worried that we might not have a season and at our age, we cannot afford a ‘red-shirt’ year,” said Jon Wallace, FOG player-manager. “Opening day every year is the same as you cannot wait to put on your uniform and get started. We only had two practices heading into today’s opener so we had a chance to work out some of the cobwebs that have developed during the off-season.
“This squad, along with our 50-plus team, has a chance to be pretty good and contend for a title.”
Wallace’s 58-plus squad has won the YBL’s league title on four occasions, losing in the semi-finals a season ago.
The 50-plus group are defending league champions and have won two titles overall.
Unlike their youthful counterparts who like to show-off their arms, offensive prowess and range in the field, foul balls seem to be just out of reach of the defense, catchers have a hard time throwing to second base after their pitchers’ warm-up tosses while batters sometime stumble out of the box trying to leg out an infield hit.
A sure double is “stretched into a single” because the legs aren’t what they used to be, infield pop-ups are sometimes a challenge to catch up to while pitchers, if permitted, would take more than six warm-up tosses prior to an inning.
While many players on both teams have remained active for three, four and sometimes five decades after their initial season of play, Charlie Harris of the Youngtown Classics is a ‘classic’ in his own right for at age 80 – he became an octogenarian when he celebrated his birthday on June 10 – and playing the diamond sport now in his ninth decade, he definitely qualifies for a ‘Bobblehead Day” give-away.
“This is great and I feel absolutely great,” added Harris, a 2006 Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame honoree who laced a one-out single off Hay in the fourth inning but was caught looking and called out on a Hay ‘fastball’ for a third strike in the sixth frame. “Opening day is still special to me after all these years. You get to renew friendships, meet new teammates and have fun with a group that loves the game a much as you do.”
Each player was responsible for a self-examination prior to the game with social distancing observed over the course of a game.
The 62-year old Smercansky, who also serves as YBL commissioner, was pleased with his outing and the play of both teams the first time out this season.
“The 58’s were created for guys not getting enough playing time in the 50-plus league,” he stated. “The pandemic really had a negative effect on our schedule because we lost six games. Today, however, was our first step back and everyone was excited to be back on the field.
“For a guy who has a 16-year old trapped inside him, as long as I can get my uniform on and make it to the field then I am going to play.”
Hay, who graduated from BHS in 1969, relieved Smercansky in the fourth inning and proceeded to toss three innings of scoreless ball against the Classics.
“My arm felt great and I was ready to go,” Hay noted. “The knee was sore, but that’s another story. We didn’t know if we would even have a season this year so it was great to be back among teammates and friends.”
Mark Cherol, a 1973 graduate of the former Woodrow Wilson High School who resides in Huntington Woods, played collegiately at both the University of Mount Union and Youngstown State University, usually catches but started in left field – he would catch Glinatsis in the final inning – made an inning ending catch in right field for the FOG that thwarted a Classics third inning rally.
“I’ll play anywhere they put me,” said Cherol, who is in his 25th year in the league. “I play in two other leagues and you simply cannot beat the camaraderie amongst all the players. There’s silliness, a lot of jibber-jabber and we have a lot of fun, but we’re serious when necessary.”
Glinatsis, a 1973 Spartans’ alum, threw the last inning to Cherol to work out some of the kinks of an eight-month lay-off.
“We have to take this slow and easy,” he added. “Even after all these years, I’m still excited to get on the field and be among friends and teammates.”
Nocera, 58, is a 1979 graduate of New Castle High School and a four-year baseball letterwinner at Geneva College in his 11th season in the league.
He spent this past season as an assistant baseball coach and academic advisor at Eastern Gateway Community College.
“We’re like little kids going to an amusement park,” Nocera stated. “Opening day is always special and today is one that you cannot beat because we weren’t sure there would be a season.”
FOG second sacker Larry Kelly, who is a New Castle native and four-year letterwinner in baseball at Slippery Rock University, is in his 17th season in the league.
He has been an attorney the past 32 years with the law firm Luxenberg, Garbett, Kelly and George.
“I miss playing baseball so much and just the thought of turning a key double play is enough to get me to the ballpark,” Kelly noted. “At our age, I’m not so sure there’s anything better than hitting a line drive with a wooden bat. The fact that we can still do it at our age is amazing in and of itself.”
Cedric Hawkins, a service representative with Liberty Mutual in New Castle, is in his first season with the FOG and has spent six seasons with the 50-plus group.
“The coronavirus drove me nuts but I was able to work from home,” he said. “I looked forward to this day for quite some time and like my other teammates on opening day, I had butterflies on my drove to the park.”
Rob Armeni, BHS Class of ‘82, is also in his first season in the league. He batted fifth in the line-up, roamed center field and walked in the third inning, also singling in the fourth frame.
A former YSU baseball standout, he has served as a physical therapist at Youngstown Orthopaedic Center the past 16 years.
“I think the last time I played was in 1988 so it has been 33 years between hits for me,” Armeni laughed. “I do work out every day and have a batting cage in my backyard, which I use to throw batting practice to my sons. Today was a lot of fun for me.”
Tom Banna, former YSU football standout, is player-manager for the Classics. At 67 years of age, he is beginning his 12th year in the league. “I still have that competitive feeling and the league is exactly that, competitive,” Banna added. “My mind says I can still play but my body tells me otherwise.”
  41 Years Ago Boardman Native Mike Glinatsis Tossed A No-Hitter As A Member Of The San Francisco Giants Affiliate Shreveport Captains  
  June 11, 2020  
Mike Glinatsis Baseball Card
Boardman News Sports
The Youngstown Baseball League’s 50-plus and 58-plus divisions will begin play on June 16 with a 10-game modified slate, including play-offs which will be played in early-September.
Former Boardman Spartans pitcher Mike Glinatsis will once again be a member of both Boardman FOG league entries and at age 65, is most excited to be playing in this, his 57th season of organized baseball.
A standout for the Spartans, on the local sandlots and at Youngstown State University for their late head coach, Dom Rosselli, Glinatsis was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 1976 June amateur draft after spending three seasons with the Penguins.
The day before the start of this year’s YBL season will give Glinatsis a chance to pause and reflect for on Friday, June 15, 1979 in Jackson, Mississippi, 41 years and one day ago while playing for the Shreveport Captains – the Class AA farm team of the Giants at the time in the Texas League – Glinatsis threw the only no-hitter of his seven-year professional career.
The game was the first of a scheduled afternoon doubleheader as the Giants were in desperate need of a win and chasing the Mets in the standings, trailing their Eastern Division counterparts three and a half games.
“As I was warming up in the bullpen prior to the game, I really didn’t have a special throwing session, one that I could say today is the day , I think I am going to go out and throw a no-hitter,” Glinatsis said. “As things unfolded, I got stronger and felt better and the end result was a no-hit win that we really needed.”
It was his third no hitter overall, having thrown a perfect game while a member of the local COLT League All-Stars – consisting of players from Poland, Boardman, North Lima and New Middletown – and another as a member of the Class AA NABF national champion Trolio’s Sportswear squad in 1984.
Glinatsis ran his record to 4-2 with the win, needing just 67 pitches – 48 were strikes – with the closest thing to a hit a liner by Jackson’s Mike Howard, which was speared by shortstop Tommy Runnells in the seventh inning.
He knew by the fifth inning, although he didn’t admit it to anyone, that something special was unfolding.
“The unwritten rule that you don’t bring anything up about a no-hitter being thrown was certainly invoked in our dugout,” he added. “I just got ahead of the hitters, basically threw what my catcher, Bob Kearney, wanted me to throw and worked the corners.
“Former Major League player and manager, Bob Brenly, who played collegiately at Ohio University, was our third baseman and the got the grounder that ended the game. When he threw it over to our first baseman, Jose Barrios, to end the game, that’s when it really hit me that I had just, in fact, thrown a no-hitter. It was a great feeling.”
His manager, Andy Gilbert, who had managed Glinatsis the previous year when they were together in the Class AA Eastern League at Waterbury, Connecticut, told sportswriter Bill McIntyre in an article that appeared in The Sporting News the following week that his opening day starter was coming finally into his own.
“Last year, I thought it would probably take him two or three years to put it together, which he is starting to do right now,” stated Gilbert, a native of Derry Township, Pennsylvania who passed away on August 29, 1992 in Davis, California. “Throwing 67 pitches in a seven-inning game means he is getting ahead of the hitters. When he does that, he’s hard to beat. This year, he’s not beating himself. He’s not getting behind and walking guys.”
Gilbert was old school and a pleasure to play for, according to Glinatsis.
“It was the second year that Andy Gilbert and I were together and basically, two-thirds of our team was kept intact from the year before in Waterbury,” Glinatsis noted. “He was a former Major League player who started managing in the Minor Leagues in 1950 so he knew the ropes.
“He was a tough-nosed guy and 65 years-old at the time he coached us in Shreveport. He always had a story to tell and seemed to get the most out of the players that he coached. Everyone loved playing for him.”
Glinatsis began his Minor League career in 1976, playing for Great Falls (Pioneer League) in the Rookie League before advancing to Class A and Cedar Rapids of the Midwest League.
In 1977, he finished his Class A career with the Fresno Giants of the California League, advancing to Waterbury and the Class AA Eastern League in 1978.
He spent 1979 and 1980 as a member of the Shreveport Captains and in 1981, was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Class AA farm team, San Antonio, also in the Texas League.
He finished his professional career in 1982 as a member of the Miami Marlins, a Class A independent entry of the Florida State League.
He earned two trips to the San Francisco Giants’ 40-man spring training roster for his play and finished his Minor League career with a 39-57 overall mark, pitching in 181 games, starting 114 while posting four shutouts and 32 complete games.
He toiled 855 innings, notched 464 strikeouts and finished with a respectable 4.20 earned run average.
“I’ve had fun at every stop along the way,” Glinatsis said. “From Boardman Little League to COLT League, Class B to YSU, Class AA to professionally, and now in the Youngstown Baseball League to the Roy Hobbs World Series that is held in Fort Myers, Florida in the fall.
“I’ve made friends I would never ordinarily have made and met people I never would have met had it not been for baseball. Mike Trbovich was a scout for the Giants at the time when I was in college and I have him to thank for the opportunity to play professional baseball.
“I’ll play as long as this body permits me to play. Quite frankly, I’m having as much fun now as I ever had. Baseball really has been good to me.”
Unlike many other players, Glinatsis did return to college after his playing days ended and earned his bachelor of arts degree in geography – he minored in history – from Youngstown State in 1983.
  Vulcans Get Record-Setter In Kicker Tommy Fryda  
  April 23, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
Boardman Spartans record-setting placekicker and punter, Tommy Fryda, has made it official by recently committing to California (Pa.) University where he will play football for the Vulcans beginning this fall.
“California University has a great football program and they’ve done really well the past several seasons,” Fryda said. “I was impressed with the coaches during my visit, we built as great relationship and the campus was quite impressive as well.”
Fryda earned four letters for the Spartans, playing for head coach Joe Ignazio during a scholastic career that culminated with him becoming the program’s all-time kick- scoring leader with 149 points.
He also set the new program standard with 116 career extra points, 37 more than runner-up Andrew Good who was successful on 79 extra points from 2000-02, is tied for second with 35 extra-points in a season – he is tied with Mike Pollifrone, who registered 35 XP’s in 1985 while both are one behind Phil Curl, who converted 36 placements in 2007 – and is third overall with 11 career field goals.
“I am extremely happy for Tommy and his family. I happened to connect with CU’s assistant coach Peter Davila, a former YSU football player under Jim Tressel who recruits our area right before the dead period,” Ignazio added. “He was a two-sport fall athlete who also had a tremendous basketball career.
“He was Player of the Year in soccer then set records in football and basketball so he is a pretty special student-athlete. We have a saying that we use at Boardman that goes like this: “Standing in the presence of” and our young people respond by saying “Greatness.”
“I am honored to have stood in the presence of Tommy’s greatness.”
Fryda noted that the Vulcans had six kickers last season, only two return with one other kicking recruit that he must go up against if he expects to play as a freshman.
“Head coach Gary Dunn said they could really use me,” Fryda stated. “He said I could be a weapon and all I am looking for is the opportunity to compete.”
Fryda earned 10 total letters during a stellar scholastic career for the Spartans, four each in football and soccer, two in basketball while also playing baseball two years as well.
He sports a 3.58 cumulative grade point average and hopes to major in environmental science at CU.
With the coronavirus still wreaking havoc over the entire nation, Fryda said he’ll have to find an alternate means of practice before reporting to the Vulcans’ football camp on August 9, if the season starts on time or is even held this season.
“The turf at the high school is now closed so I am confined to my house for the moment,” Fryda noted.
“I will probably need to find a grass field that is open so that I can kick and punt, all the while just working hard and staying in shape.”
As a member of head coach Eric Simione’s soccer team, Fryda helped the team to a 30-33-8 overall mark, including a 22-11-4 ledger his final two seasons.
In 71 games played over his four-year career, he started 69 contests and played in all but one, the lone game that he missed coming during his sophomore season when Youngstown State University double-booked Stambaugh Stadium for both a Cardinal Mooney and an Ursuline football game.
That forced the Spartans football contest with Ursuline to be moved to Thursday night, the same night the BHS soccer team was scheduled to play Warren Harding.
“Tommy was a key component in building our record over the past four seasons,” said head soccer coach Eric Simione. “We graduated two large classes in the two years before he arrived, therefore there were many openings on the varsity roster his freshman year.
“We had a small senior class that year and were very young and inexperienced, giving Tommy and a few other younger guys the chance to play varsity as freshmen and sophomores.”
Fryda finished his soccer career with both 20-plus goals and assists.
“The thing about Tommy, at least in soccer, is not necessarily the statistical numbers he has put up in terms of scoring but the timely significance of his goals,” Simione added. “I can go back to games against Canfield, Poland and North Canton Hoover when we really needed a goal. Tommy came through and if he didn’t do the scoring himself, he found a way to get the ball to a teammate who did.
“This really all comes from the fact that along with being a skilled athlete, he is a competitor with a winning mentality and an astute understanding of the game plan and game time situations. He understands, both on the pitch and the hardwood, when to pass, when to shoot and when to roll the dice.
“Few players have the guts to pull up on a fast break for a three-point shot or to launch the soccer ball from 40-45 yards out. Tommy doesn’t just have the guts to do it, he absolutely loves to do it.”
In soccer, Fryda earned Division I first-team all-District and second-team all-All-American Conference Red Tier as a junior, following that up his senior season when he once again earned Division I first-team all-District and first-team all-AAC Red Tier laurels.
Additionally, he was selected Division I District “Player of the Year,” leading to his selection to the Division I all-State and all-Great Lakes Region first teams, narrowly missing All-American status.
“Most impressive to me is that all of these accolades are in addition to setting several school records and receiving similar honors in both football and basketball,” Simione stated. “Tommy has had the type of storybook senior season across three sports that most young men can’t even dream about and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving gentleman.
“We will certainly miss him as our outside left midfielder next fall but we wish him the very best and are excited about what he will accomplish for the Vulcans over the next four years.”
In basketball, Fryda played for head coach Pat Birch and helped the team to a 42-4 overall mark the past two seasons, the best two-year mark for the program since the early 1970’s.
“I’m very excited for Tommy to continue his academic and athletic careers in college, a feat that not many kids get to say yet have the opportunity to choose from three sports that they played,” Birch noted. “He could just as easily be playing college soccer or basketball, he is that talented.”
Fryda set the school record for triples in a single season with 61, accomplishing that feat last season as the team finished 22-2 overall.
He finished the season averaging 10.5 points per contests, shot 47 percent from the 3-point line (61/130) and for his efforts was named first-team all-AAC and honorable mention Northeast Ohio Inland District.
“Tommy has been a staple of our basketball program over the past four years,” Birch said. “As a freshman, he was a major contributor on a freshman team that lost only one game then as a sophomore, there were moments in the middle of the season when Tommy was perhaps the best player in the gym, days that made us consider bringing him up to varsity.
“Unfortunately, he got sick for a couple weeks and it took him awhile to recover. As a junior, he was a significant player for us as he came off the bench to provide shooting and effort that made that team exceptionally deep. As a senior, he took his game and our team to another level.
“He exploded early in the season during back-to-back games against Uniontown Lake and Cardinal Mooney and never looked back. He made nine three-pointers in those two games which helped propel him to the single season school record for 3’s.
“Outside of missing Tommy’s shooting ability and consistent effort, we will miss him as a kid even more. He was a big part of our team chemistry as both a leader and sometime ‘team prankster,’ always helping to keep the team both focused and the mood light. I’m very proud of his accomplishments and equally excited to see him succeed at the next level.”
He also played baseball two years for head coach Joe Gabriel.
“Tommy Fryda is a great kid and a very tough competitor,” Gabriel added. “His work ethic is off the charts and he comes from a great family of athletes.”
Fryda is the son of John and Marie Fryda, Boardman.

PICTURED: TOMMY FRYDA, 80, kicks an extra point last fall out of the hold of Zach Ryan, in a game against the Ursuline Irish.
  Former YSU Women’s Basketball Coach Ed DiGregorio Dies At 93  
  Led Lady Penguins To Three NCAA Post-Season Berths:   April 9, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
When the Youngstown State University women’s basketball program needed a shot in the arm in the early 1980’s, newly appointed athletic director Joe Malmisur relied on his East Side roots and tabbed childhood friend, Ed DiGregorio, as the man charged with the task.
A noted athlete during his scholastic and collegiate days, DiGregorio, a long time resident of Mayflower Dr. in Boardman, passed away on Sunday, Apr. 5 at age 93. He served 20 years (1983-84-2002-03) at the helm of the women’s program where he led them to six 20-win seasons, five consecutive conference championships, three Mid-Continent Conference Tournament titles and three apperances in NCAA post-season tournaments.
The winningest head coach in Penguins’ women’s basketball history, he finished with a 320-241 (.570 winning percentage) overall mark and was inducted into the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003 for his efforts.
Jim Tressel, former Penguins head football coach (1986-2000) and current YSU president, said DiGregorio was a role model who cared deeply about all student-athletes.
“Coach DiGregorio is truly one of the giants in the coaching world that blessed my years at YSU,” Tressel said. “He, along with Joe Malmisur, Jack McKenna and Ed Strauss, were the ultimate role models as to how one must care deeply about their student-athletes.
“Coach DiGreg had high expectations for his Penguins, on and off the court, which resulted in some of the finest teams in our history as well as some of the finest young ladies that have ever worn the red and white. His wisdom and love will be missed by us all,” Tressel said.
DiGregorio took over for Jeff Cohen, who lasted just one season (1982-83) and posted an 11-16 overall ledger.
He went 7-17 his first season and the following year went 14-13 overall, the first of his 12 winning seasons.
Dan Wathen served as head athletic trainer during DiGregorio’s 20-year run.
“It was with great sadness that I learned of Coach D’s passing. It was an honor and privilege to have been able to work with him during his YSU tenure,” Wathen added. “An even greater honor was the friendship we had for the past four decades. I’ll miss our lunches and conversations and I am sure that all his former players and Penguins fans join me in expressing our love for him, also in wishing his family heartfelt condolences.”
A graduate of East High School, he played basketball and earned his undergraduate degree from Mount Union College, later earning his MA from Westminster College.
He built a reputation as a person who supported everything and everyone on the YSU campus and in the Mahoning Valley.
He recommended Ken Brayer – he is the former student sports information director and football equipment manager who has had a seven-decade association with YSU – for his first teaching position.
“Ed recommended me for my first teaching position at East High School,” Brayer stated. “I appreciated his willingness to help a new teacher, his guidance in and out of the classroom and the genuine concern he had for his students and athletes.
“With his many teaching and coaching duties, he still made sure he spent time with his family and never hesitated to ask about my wife and our family.”
DiGregorio twice earned Mid-Continent Conference “Coach-of-the-Year” honors, first in 1995 and again in 1999.
Players like Colleen Cook, Ann Marie Martin and Shannon Beach, members of his famed “Fab-5” recruits that played from 1994-98, were responsible for DiGregorio’s post-season accolades.
“Coach D and his wife Edie first saw me play in the state championship game in Hershey, Pa. As those who know coach, he took a big chance on an average student and unproven point guard,” noted Cook, who led the team in steals three consecutive years (1995-96 to 1997-98) and in assists during the 1996-97 season. “Turned out God’s hand led me to a town, school and team where I reached academic and athletic aspirations beyond anything I could have planned.
“I graduated cum laude with a major in accounting and was a part of one of the top 32 teams in the country in 1998. As a coach he kept things simple with basic drills, plays, conditioning and it worked. Coach’s demeanor was confident, intelligent and he was respected by all who knew him.
“We always looked forward to special holiday meals at his home and handmade cookies from his wife. He developed relationships with our families and watched out for us on road trips [meals, planes, buses], making sure we were safe in our dorms and doing well in school. His influence in Youngstown and any city we visited was impressive.
“He pulled me from a practice at our first NCAA tournament and introduced me to Joe Paterno as he knew he was a legend to me. He took us to Mass if we were traveling on Sunday’s and always wanted to help people succeed. Well, he did that on and off the court and I will forever remember the influence he had and continues to have on me as a player, student, child, wife and parent.
“What a huge loss. There aren’t a lot of people like him anymore. Prayers to his family during this difficult time as we say goodbye to a life well-lived and a legacy to be admired.”
Beach scored 1,148 points from 1993-98.
“We lost a good one today,” Beach said. “He was my coach of things more than basketball. In my college years, I just saw basketball. He made me love it more than I thought possible and to that I am most grateful.
“I love this game and I love YSU. In my later years, I just saw life, real and raw. While I relish the great times and successes we had and oh, the fun, my most vivid memory as an adult was his battle with cancer.
“He was determined and resilient. As a team, we saw him get sick, lose his hair due to treatments yet he still coached us to great success despite it and because of it. I didn’t get it as much as I do now.
“The last time I saw him was at a YSU recognition event and despite his frailty, he walked to me and said, ‘How’s your boy?’ I have been praying for him. He cared more for me and my family than anything else.
“It was always more than basketball with him. Always, and that’s what I want people to know. That is what made him and the program great. And oh, the green hair, the greatest basketball moment between him and me.”
Martin is a noted area hardwood official who scored 1,630 career points for the Penguins.
“When I received the news of Coach D’s passing, I was filled with many different emotions,” Martin stated. “I was sad because the world is going to miss an amazing, genuine human being who would always put everyone else before himself. Then I was happy because I realized the impact that he had not only on my life, but everyone else that was lucky to know him.
“I will be forever grateful for him. The memories we had, the lessons he taught me and how he had a large impact on who I am today. He was like a second father to me, calling us his other daughters.
“The one thing that I will always remember is him saying, “if your feet are set, shoot the ball and put it into the fishing net. This resembled how he looked at life because if your feet are set then you will be ready for anything. He not only taught us about basketball but he prepared us to be successful adults. We will always be grateful for you, Coach D.”
Former Boardman Spartans football standout Joe Conroy, longtime YSU women’s volleyball coach and a member of the sports information stat crew during DiGregorio’s coaching tenure, called his colleague a one of a kind mentor and friend.
“Coach D was a great friend. He was someone who always had the time to listen to everyone,” Conroy added. “As a coach, he demanded excellence from each player and got the most out of his teams. The proof is when you walked into Beeghly Center, took one look around and saw what he was able to get out of his players.”
Two players, Dorothy Bowers and Danielle Carson, are local products who helped kick-start DiGregorio’s program and lay the foundation for future teams and the success they would eventually enjoy.
Bowers, like DiGregorio, was an East High alum who played from 1984-88 and would go on to become the program‘s all-time leading scorer with 2,324 points. She remains one of just two, 2,000-point scorers on the distaff side – Brandi Brown, who played from 2009-13 is the other with 2,079 career points – and remains second overall – the all-time leader is Jeff Covington, who scored 2,424 career markers from 1974-78 – between the men’s and women’s programs.
“I am at a loss with the death of Coach DiGregorio. We lost a legend,” Bowers stated. “The legacy he created at YSU can’t even be described in words. Coach D has always been more than a coach to me. He was a father figure, mentor and friend and was like family.
“He knew my entire family, my grandmother, mother, aunts, uncles, siblings, husband and my children. His family remains my family to this day and his daughters are my sisters, his sons my brothers. He supported me even after my college career, coming to every event that I had as recent as last year. We talked often, I would visit with him and beside my family he is one of the reasons I am where I am today as a college dean.
“Looking back 35 years ago, he took a chance on me and made Tanja Simone and I his first recruits at YSU. It was by far the best four years of my life. I learned to be the best basketball player I could be, traveling across the United States while playing the game I love and learning how to be a successful woman with this man under our guard.
“Coach DiGregorio worked very hard to turn the program around and he did. He brought in class act players and coaches and put YSU women’s basketball on the map. He raised money for the program, using some of his own money at times and he was just so supportive of YSU, still going to games and letting the world know that YSU is a great place.
“He went above and beyond for the program and especially his players, ensuring we had the best of everything. I will be forever thankful for the opportunity to have played for him and coached with him. Coach D was so proud of me but I was even more proud of him and his spirit of love and giving that he always displayed.”
Carson scored 1,697 career points, which was second to just Wanda Grant – she scored 1,829 career points from 1977-81 – at the time of her graduation. She played her final three seasons under DiGregorio.
“It’s definitely a very sad day today for our YSU family,” she noted. “Coach D’s passing brings so many emotions. I loved his stories about growing up since he was being in the late 1920s. His love for his wife, children and grandchildren was so beautiful.
“You could see how much he cared for every one of his players throughout the years. He wasn’t just a coach for woman’s basketball, he was guiding us for our futures after college. I will never forget his underhand foul shots and cannot say thank you enough for such wonderful memories.”
Current women’s head coach, John Barnes, said DiGregorio truly was one of a kind who cared passionately about YSU, the Mahoning Valley and especially the Penguins’ women’s hoop program.
“I was so sorry to learn of the passing of Coach DiGregorio. He meant so much to the community, YSU and especially our women’s basketball program,” Barnes said. “The day of my press conference he reached out to make sure I was taken care of and comfortable. He took extra time to introduce me to many of the community members and throughout my time here was always there with an encouraging word and pat on the back.
“Coach D reached heights at YSU that every coach aspires to achieve. He not only set the bar with championships, but also with great relationships developed over many years and will truly be missed.”
Current YSU director of athletics, Ron Strollo, said DiGregorio was the most caring coach who had time for everyone.
“Then thing that stands out to me is the love that he had for his players and how emotional he was when he was with them,” Strollo stated. “He really enjoyed the time that he was able to spend with them when we were honoring his anniversary teams and their many accomplishments.
“He found overachievers that came together as a team and just won. Most interesting is the impact that he had on our program. His success created a brand for us on the women’s basketball side and because of that, made us an attractive destination for future players and coaches.
“His love for his wife, Edie, and his family was unparalleled and Nicole and I will miss him dearly.”
Boardman Spartans standout, Tanja Simione, joined Bowers as DiGregorio’s first two recruits and was a part of the solid foundation that was laid in those early years. She played from 1984-88, scored 823 career points and dished out 376 assists over a stellar four-year career.
“We were the lucky ones, all of us Lady Penguins who were fortunate to play for Coach D,” Simione added. “He had a big heart and treated us like queens both on and off the court. He wanted us to have great experiences and our holiday classics included traveling to New York City, Florida and Las Vegas where he would always have fun and exciting activities planned for us aside from playing basketball.
“On the court he was a fierce competitor. He would be the first to praise us when we did well and when we would do something not so smart, he never belittled us but he did know how to throw some smack down and make us all laugh at our personal mistakes on the court.
“He got to know each of us, treating us fair and equal all the time. His family came to every game and they were such a big part of the team. Family came first for him and he taught us to lead by example. For me, personally, he was a father figure and was always there for me when I needed him most.
“He will be missed, but it gives all of us comfort knowing that he led a long life, one of service to YSU and the community while touching so many lives along the way.”
Rick Love, current associate athletic director, first got to know DiGregorio during his undergraduate days at YSU.
“Coach D was one of the classiest coaches and gentlemen that I have had the privilege of working with during my over 30-plus years in athletics,” noted Love. “YSU celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the 2000 women’s basketball team’s trip to the NCAA tournament this past February and what was apparent from all of the players who returned for the event was how much love, respect and admiration they all had for him.
“Coach D wasn’t just a coach or mentor but someone they admired long after their playing days. The Mahoning Valley and YSU family certainly lost a coaching legend, a man who made his mark as a hall of fame coach for the Penguins.”
DiGregorio hired Boardman’s Bill Terlesky as an assistant principal at East High School at mid-year in 1970, giving him his first administrative position in the Youngstown City Schools.
“Ed was the first guy that I worked for as an assistant principal and I am proud to say that he was my mentor,” Terlesky said. “He was an easy guy to work for because he clearly stated what he expected of you, knew you’d make a few silly mistakes and then grow from them.
“He was a strong family man who wanted to run East High like that and he did. He treated the custodial staff the same way he treated teachers and administration and made EHS a fun place to work. We shared many rounds of golf, laughed the whole time and I’ll always remember him as one of the very best that I ever worked for and with.”
Overall, DiGregorio coached in all three leagues of which YSU has been a member including the Ohio Valley Conference (1983-1988), Mid-Continent Conference (1992-2001) and Horizon League (2001-03).
He mentored 13 players that were named first-team all-conference while 10 players were named all-conference second team.
Four athletes earned conference player of the year laurels including Bowers (1987-88, OVC), Liz Hauger (1996-97, Mid-Con), Shannon Beach (1997-98, Mid-Con) and two-time POY Brianne Kenneally (1998-99 and 1999-2000 in the Mid-Con).
DiGregorio and his wife, Edie, are the parents of five children; James, Marilyn, Cheryl, Karen and the late Edward.

PICTURED: DURING THE 2000-01 CAMPAIGN, Youngstown State women’s basketball coach Ed DiGregorio notched his 300th win in a 74-59 victory over Valpo. He is pictured here with Nikki Pope, 22, after that game.
  ‘Double-A’ Boardman Cagers Earn All-Ohio Laurels  
  Spartans Land Four Players On Red Tier All-Conference Team:   March 25, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
The Boardman Spartans boys’ basketball team went 22-2 this past season, fashioned a 10-game win streak to start the season and a 12-game win skein at the end before being eliminated in the district semifinals by Canton McKinley, 59-47.
Their success the past two seasons--- they were 20-4 in 2018-19 and are now 42-6 in their past 48 contests, have won consecutive All-American Conference Red Tier games, have won 18 straight league games and are 23-1 at home ---was due in large part to the play of senior guard Derrick Anderson and junior center Ethan Andersen, both of whom were recently named Ohio Division I all-state selections.
Add to the mix senior guards Tommy Fryda and Daeone Martin, who also earned post-season honors and it’s easy to understand why head coach Pat Birch’s team has been so successful over the past two campaigns.
Derrick Anderson, Ethan Andersen and Fryda were named to the All-American Conference Red Tier first-team, Derrick Anderson was voted the AAC Red Tier Player-of-the-Year for the second straight season, Martin earned second-team laurels with both Derrick Anderson (second-team) and Ethan Andersen (honorable mention) earning all-Ohio laurels.
“I am extremely proud of all of our players for their accomplishments. Not only is earning all-Ohio recognition an individual award but it’s also a testament to our team, Birch said. “Derrick will go down as one of the best players to ever come through Boardman High School.
“Not only has Derrick been a phenomenal basketball player, he has also been an equally great kid and teammate and despite all of the accolades he has received, he remains extremely humble and selfless.”
Derrick Anderson finishes his highly decorated career with 1,045 points, which is third all-time on the program’s scoring ledger. He becomes just the sixth player in program history to reach that scoring plateau.
He was named AAC Red Tier POY and earned first-team Northeast Ohio Inland District the past two years and is now a back-to-back state pick, having earned special mention honors as a junior a season ago.
Anderson has had several colleges express an interest in him once he graduates but the recruiting process, however, is currently on hold nationwide as everyone continues to deal with the effects associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
“Being named all-state two years in a row and AAC player of the year in consecutive seasons is nothing short of a blessing,” added Anderson, who expects to major in either business or the theater. “I’m truly blessed to have been honored that way because these last two years have been unforgettable.
“Everything that we have achieved is something that won’t ever go away. I would like to thank my coaches, teammates, family, friends and entire Boardman community for everything because without them, none of this would have been possible. My plan for college is to play the game that I love. I don’t know how it will happen or where I’ll end up, so I’ll just continue to be patient and trust God.”
At 6-7, Ethan Anderson is the tallest Spartan on the team and had a breakout season this past year as a junior.
While Derrick was the top scorer on the team (22.7 points per game), Ethan finished second, averaging 10.9 points per fray while Tommy Fryda – he set the single season record for triples with 61 ( he was 61 of 130 for 46.9 percent, ending his career with 84 “treys” overall – was third at 10.5 points per contest, the only three players that finished in double figures on the year.
Andersen led the team in rebounds, hauling in a team best 7.9 per fray.
“Ethan has been such an important piece of our success over the past two seasons,” Birch stated. “His size and skill set has allowed us to take huge strides as a team. He is a hard-working kid who gets it done on the court and in the classroom, where he has a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average. We will build next year’s team around Ethan’s skill set and I think he will really flourish offensively being the focal point.”
In addition to his all-state honorable mention and AAC Red Tier first-team selections – he was a second team pick a year ago – Andersen also earned second-team all-Northeast Ohio Inland District.
“It’s very exciting to be honored. As a team, we worked hard all season and I need to say thank you to my coaches, teammates and parents,” he noted. “We had two great seasons and nine awesome senior leaders this year. I weigh 185 pounds so the goal is to get into the weight room, work hard in the off-season and put on some weight before next year begins.”
While several colleges have already made overtures to Andersen, he’ll join Trey Metzka of Struthers and Austintown Fitch’s Todd Simons when they AAU ball this off-season with the Pittsburgh Flash.
“We were scheduled to begin practices last week, but everything has been pushed back due to the coronavirus situation,” he said. “We have four tournaments scheduled for July in Toledo, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Providence, Rhode Island and in Pittsburgh. I’m really looking forward to the competition.”
While recapping the team this season, Birch called Fryda and Martin special senior leaders.
“Tommy Fryda is a hard-working, tough kid who is a great competitor and electric shooter,” Birch stated. “Daeone was our quiet contributor, a workman-like player who showed up every day with the same approach and produced some really big moments.”
2020 All-American Conference
Red Tier Team
First-Team Selections:
Todd Simons, Junior, Austintown Fitch
Derrick Anderson, Senior, Boardman
Ethan Andersen, Junior, Boardman
Tommy Fryda, Senior, Boardman
Joe Bruno, Senior, Canfield
Cam Durig, Senior, Howland
Aston Bates, Junior, Warren Harding
D’Muntize Owens, Senior, Warren Harding
Second-Team Selections:
Kris Brown, Senior, Austintown Fitch
Devin Sherwood, Sophomore, Austintown Fitch
Daeone Martin, Senior, Boardman
Brayden Beck, Senior, Canfield
Trey Dye, Junior, Canfield
Justin Jones, Senior, Howland
DeAveion Burgess, Junior, Warren Harding
AAC Player of the Year
Derrick Anderson, Senior, Boardman
First Team
Max Land, Cincinnati Moeller, 6-4, sr., 14.1 (points per game); Matt Allocco, Hilliard Bradley, 6-4, sr., 18.0; VonCameron Davis, Walnut Ridge, 6-5, sr., 27.3; Sean Jones, Gahanna, 5-11, so., 19.0; Brandon Noel, Chillicothe, 6-8, sr., 18.0; Josiah Fulcher, Lima Senior, 6-foot-2, senior, 21.3; John Hugley, Lyndhurst Brush, 6-10, sr., 23.0; Grant Huffman, Lakewood St. Edward, 6-4, sr., 17.0; Kade Ruegsegger, Dover, 6-4, sr., 24.5; Kobe Johnson, Canton McKinley, 6-3, jr., 18.1
Second Team
Gabe Cupps, Centerville, 6-1, fr., 10.3; Nate Johnson, Lakota East, 6-3, jr., 17.0; Kalen McKinney, West Carrollton, 6-3, sr., 18.2; Trevell Adams, Columbus South, 6-0, sr., 15.7; Keaton Turner, Dublin Coffman, 6-0, sr., 22.6; Sean Craig, Sylvania Northview, 6-6, so., 20.3; Luke Chicone, Mentor, 5-10, jr., 18.4; Devontae Blanton, Lakewood St. Edward, 6-6, sr., 17.1; Garrison Keeslar, Green, 6-5, sr., 12.1; Derrick Anderson, Boardman, 6-1, sr., 22.2; Christian Parker, Canton GlenOak, 6-5, sr., 18.9
Honorable Mention
Adrian Michael, Toledo Start, 5-10, sr., 10.9; Luke Denbow, Ashland, 6-1, so., 18.2; Kendal Marshall, Toledo Central Catholic, 6-3, sr., 11.1; Feisal Crumby, Toledo St. Francis, 12.2; Dominique Cole, Toledo Central Catholic, 6-6, sr., 10.7; Dashad Floyd, Toledo Start, 6-1, sr., 11.2; Brady Lichtenberg, Toledo St. John’s; 6-1, jr., 12.7; Noah Moser, Springboro, 6-4, sr., Mo Njie, Centerville, 6-9, sr., Alex Williams, Moeller, 6-4, jr., Trey Robinson, Hamilton, 6-6, sr., DeArius Randle-Barker, Princeton, 6-1, sr., Julian Mackey, Lakota West, 6-3, sr., Jackson Holt, Turpin, 6-3, jr.; Tre Beard, Chillicothe, 5-11, sr., 13.9; Tegan Myers, Logan, 6-0, so., 14.7; Brandon Ford, Ashtabula Lakeside, 6-0, jr., 18.2; Chad Rogers, Mentor, 6-5, sr., 21.4; Luke Floriea, Mentor, 5-10, sr., 15.5; Omar Abuhamdeh, North Royalton, 5-10, jr., 13.0; Bishop Thomas, Painesville Harvey, 6-3, sr., 19.4; Chris Blauman, Madison, 6-3, sr., 20.4; Tyler Jackson, Garfield Heights, 6-4, jr., 14.4; Brent Walker, Canton McKinley, 6-6, jr., 12.8; Quentin Toles, Massillon Perry, 5-11, jr., 14.8; Jayden Ballard, Massillon Washington, 6-3, jr., 12.9; Corey Tripp, Medina, 6-3, jr., 12.7; Tre Massey, Brunswick, 6-2, jr. 21.2; Ethan Andersen, Boardman, 6-7, jr., 11.2; D’Muntize Owens, Warren Harding, 5-11, sr., 16.0; Todd Simons, Austintown Fitch, 6-3, jr., 21.0; Trevin Carter, Akron Ellet, 6-1, sr., 19.0; Maison Ross, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, 6-3, sr., 13.9; Erik Stern, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, 6-8, jr., 14.1; Jack Christian, Marysville, 5-10, jr., 18.2; Bobby Crenshaw, Newark, 6-0, sr., 12.5; Marcus Johnson, South, 6-4, sr., 14.7; Kaveon Ross, Walnut Ridge, 6-6, sr., 15.7; Victor Searls, St. Charles, 6-8, sr., 14.5; Bilal Sow, Canal Winchester, 6-4, sr., 19.3; Brock Waits, Grove City, 6-0, jr., 19.8
  Canton McKinley Claims 59-47 District Semifinal Win:   March 12, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
A year ago, the Boardman Spartans posted a 20-4 overall mark and walked off with the All-American Conference Red Tier crown, going a perfect 10-0 in league play.
With eight seniors returning this season, it prompted head coach Pat Birch to wonder, albeit to only himself, could the Spartans duplicate the success that they enjoyed in 2018-19.
After going 22-2 and winning a second straight AAC Red Tier title – Boardman went 8-0 and have now won 18 straight league games – Birch finds himself once again wondering can his team, in fact, reach down and squeeze yet another 20-win season next year out of a squad that will once again feature some seasoned veterans.
The Spartans’ season came to an end last Thursday when Canton McKinley stopped BHS in the district semifinals, 59-47 at the Canton Civic Center.
It marked the second straight season – they lost to the Green Bulldogs last year, 61-47 – that the Spartans lost in the district semifinals, ending a two-year run that has produced a 42-6 overall mark.
With a solid nucleus returning, Birch is cautiously optimistic that next season’s squad can pick right up where this year’s team left off.
“This has been a very special two-year run for us,’ Birch said less than 24 hours after the Spartans’ season ended. “It started last year with Che Trevena and Cam Kreps setting the tone and helping to lay the foundation. We worked hard in the off-season to duplicate that success, now we must work just as hard this off-season if we expect to do it once again next year.”
Riding a 12-game winning streak heading into their game with Canton McKinley, the Bulldogs opened a 15-10 lead after the first eight minutes and held on to a slim, 22-19 lead at the intermission.
The Spartans took a five-point lead in the third period, but McKinley rallied for a 34-31 lead with one stanza remaining.
The Bulldogs (20-4) outscored the Spartans, 25-16, in the final frame for a 12-point victory, their fifth in a row and a trip to the district championship game against Green High School, the only two teams that were able to solve the Spartans’ puzzle this season.
Derrick Anderson led BHS with 16 points (he grabbed eight rebounds) while Ethan Andersen added 15 markers and a team-high nine caroms to pace the Spartans.
Anderson finished his scholastic career with 1,064 points – he is one of just six boys players to reach the 1,000 point plateau for their careers – which is good enough for third-place all-time, right behind leader Greg Dunn (1968-71), who scored 1,385 points and Jim Goske (1988-71), who hooped 1,071 points and stands second all-time.
“We’ve had the best two-year run in four decades and that’s very special,” Birch added. “This team was special and our senior group has meant the world to me. It starts with them as kids and includes more than just basketball. It’s about school, football, baseball and life. It was also very special because everyone knew their roles.”
Derrick Anderson was the top scorer on the team, averaging 22.7 points per game with Ethan Anderson (10.9 points) and Tommy Fryda 10.5 points the other two players to finish in double figures on the campaign.
Ethan Andersen led the team in rebounds, hauling in 7.9 per fray, Derick Anderson added 4.8 rebounds per contest while Fryda set the single season record for triples with 61 – he was 61 of 130 (46.9 percent) – ending his career with 84 ‘treys’ overall.
“Derrick Anderson is a special player who is as humble and likeable as he is talented,” Birch stated. “Tommy Fryda is a hard-working, tough kid who is a great competitor and electric shooter.”
Sophomore Trey DePietro (3.2 points, 3.4 rebounds) will join Ethan Andersen next season, giving the Spartans what Birch hopes will be a dominant inside presence.
“We will build next year’s team around our twin towers, Ethan Andersen and Trey DePietro,” Birch noted. “They are versatile players who have good skill sets and I think both will flourish next year.”
The other seven departing seniors include Daeone Martin (7.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg), Charlie Davis (2.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg), Zach Ryan (2.0 ppg., 3.0 rpg), Connor Miller (1.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg), Andrew Clark (1.1 ppg, 0.7 rpg), Jim Goske (0.3 ppg, 0.2 rpg) and Joey Zahran (0.9 ppg, 0.6 rpg).
“Daeone was our quiet contributor, a workman-like player who showed up every day with the same approach and produced some really big moments,” Birch said. “Charlie is one of our unsung heroes who plays the right way every time he steps on the floor while Connor is a tough as nails competitor, one of our glue guys who did all the little things needed to win.
“Zach is smart, tough, selfless and instinctual, the motor that made us go while Andrew was a very hard worker and a great leader for our team every day in practice. Jimmy Goske was the heartbeat of our team, a player who brought contagious energy every single day. Joey Zahran was a great teammate and a person who added so much value to our team each time we hit the floor, either in practice or for a game.”
Also heading to their senior year next season will be Spencer Smith, Marco Stilliana and Ty Ventresco.
“Spencer, Marco and Ty are great kids who will also be fighting for a starting position,” Birch added. “They’ll also look to contribute while our junior class, which consists of Luke Ryan, D.J. Evans, Ben Alvarico, Seth Cervello and Carter Mraz, to name a few, is talented and will also see several guys fight to start and contribute.
“Sophomore Brady DePietro is very talented and will be in the mix as well. know many people think it will be a rebuilding year but I think we will reload more than rebuild.”
Ryan and Evans are the two players from that group who saw varsity action this season.
The Boardman High School basketball team has not reached a district final game since the 1985-86 season.
  March 5, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
The Boardman Spartans boys’ basketball team has outscored opponents by 385 points this season, an average of 16.7 per fray en-route to a 22-1 overall mark.
Their last four games---three regular season and opening tournament contest---have tested their mettle and gone down to the wire before winning all four contests by a slim 6.5 points per game average .
Boardman’s opening tournament game against the Wooster Generals last Friday proved to be another test and yet another that they passed, albeit without flying colors by their own admission.
Derrick Anderson, held scoreless in the opening period, scored a game high 23 points, including a dozen markers in the crucial final period as the Spartans derailed the Generals (19-2) last Friday, 58-51, at the Spartans Gymnasium.
Daeone Martin proved to be the game’s X-factor, coming off the bench to pour in 11 points, including a key triple and seven points in the third stanza, that answered any charge the Generals would make.
With the win, the No. 3 seeded Spartans (22-1) advance to district semifinal action for the first time since 1986 at the Canton Civic Center where they will meet the No. 2 seed Canton McKinley Bulldogs (19-4), a 55-50 winner over the Massillon Washington Tigers.
The other district semifinal contest will pit the top seeded Green Bulldogs (20-2) as they take on the No. 4 seeded Canton GlenOak Golden Eagles (17-7) with the winners advancing to the title tilt on Saturday, March 7 at 1:00 p.m.
There was no panic in Anderson---he’s scored 20 or more points in 18 the Spartans’ 23 contests this season---who watched his team build a 15-6 lead after the first eight minutes of action behind a triple and six points from Zach Ryan.
Anderson’s 23 points now gives him 1,048 for his career and places him in fifth place on the boys’ all-time scoring legend, six points behind Fred Davis (1,054), who occupies fourth place and eight points behind former teammate Holden Lipke (1,056) who is third all-time.
Former hoop standout Jim Goske (1,071 points) is second on the all-time scoring legend with Greg Dunn (1,385), who played from 1968-71, currently entrenched as the all-time leader.
“I didn’t feel any pressure. I just felt like I had to keep my composure and let the game come to me,” Anderson said. “I didn’t want to force anything because my teammates trust me and I trust my teammates.
“Wooster is a good team and tonight they matched both our intensity and energy. The key for us was to continue playing our game from start to finish, get rebounds, don’t get outrebounded and keep playing tough defense.”
Ryan opened the scoring with a triple just 62 seconds into the contest for the early 3-0 advantage.
Little did Ryan know at the time but his hoop gave the Spartans a lead that they would not relinquish the remainder of the game.
Boardman built a 15-6 lead after the first eight minutes, but six points by Micah McKee keyed a 10-3 run for the Generals as they pulled to within 18-16 at 4:57 of the second frame.
Anderson’s first points of the game, a triple 40 seconds later, stretched the Spartans’ lead to 21-16.
Six more points by Anderson and a hoop by Tommy Fryda offset a triple by Reece Mitchell and free throw by McKee as Boardman opened a 29-22 lead at intermission.
A McKee bucket in the lane at 3:27 of the third period cut the Wooster deficit to 35-32, but Martin scored the Spartans’ last seven points of the period to give Boardman a 42-38 margin with eight minutes remaining.
“I just came in and did what I had to do,” Martin said. “Coach [Pat Birch] told us to go out, play hard and things would fall in place. This is a big win because it gives us momentum heading into the district.
“Canton McKinley is a good team, we’re a good team and it’s going to be a good game. We’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time, so it’s time to go back there and get a win.”
During a nip and tuck fourth quarter, Wooster cut the Spartans’ lead to 47-46 on two free throws by Drew Dossi with 3:58 remaining, pulling to within 52-51 on a triple by Mitchell--- his second of two in the quarter and third overall in the game---with 59 seconds left.
Anderson, however, scored of the game’s final 11 points, while Ethan Andersen added two free throws for the other two points, as Boardman held on for the seven-point victory, their 11th in a row.
The Spartans also completed the home portion of their schedule undefeated, winning all 13 contests.
“It’s really special to finish the season undefeated at home,” Birch stated. “These guys held serve on their home court each night against really good teams. At times we didn’t have our best game but still found a way to win.
“Go back a week or so against Chaney and they were the team that got us ready for tonight. I’m running out of words to say about them because I love them so much. They mean the world to this program.”
Birch was impressed with Wooster’s resilience and fight.
“We played them in the tournament two years ago and I was really impressed with how hard they played back then,” Birch noted. “It’s the same coach, same system and I’ve seen them five different times leading up to tonight’s game. Every time you watch them, they play hard, they’re long, athletic and I just knew they would present some challenges. Our guys answered the bell time after time and I couldn’t be any prouder of them.”
Birch also lauded Martin for his effort.
“Derrick obviously didn’t have his best game offensively to start and still ended up with 23 points,” Birch said. “They challenged Derrick a lot and Daeone came in, hit some big shots and made some big hustle plays.
“I told him that was the result of perhaps the three best days of practice he’s had for us as a basketball player. He has found another gear in practice and I think you saw the outcome on the floor tonight.”
 GAME NOTES…With a 20-4 overall mark last season, the Spartans are now 42-4 (.913 winning percentage) in their last 46 games played…Canton McKinley and the Spartans have four common opponents this season in Green, Youngstown East, Uniontown Lake and Canton GlenOak. Boardman is 3-1 against those opponents as they defeated GlenOak, 70-68, on the road in their season opener on December 3; Lake, 64-43, at home on December 17; and East, 63-50 at home on January 24. They lost to Green, 50-45, in a rare Sunday contest on January 19 at North Canton Hoover High School…The Bulldogs are 5-2 in seven games versus common opponents, splitting with both GlenOak---they lost on the road, 71-65 on December 6 and won at home, 70-60 on January 14; and Green---they won 53-46 at home on December 20, losing on the road, 50-43 back on January 31; and taking both games from Lake---they won on the road, 70-46 on January 10 and posted a 65-51 win at home on February 14; while defeating East, 81-50 in their season and home opener on November 27......Wooster outscored the Spartans last Saturday night from two-point range, 32-26; but the Spartans held the edge in points from behind the arc, 15-9, as well as from the charity stripe, 17-1.....Derrick Anderson went 11/12 from the free throw line, including 7/8 in the fourth quarter to help secure the victory.....Also aidng the win were Junior Forward, Ethan Andersen, who was a force inside, scoring 7 points, grabbing 8 rebounds and blocking 4 shots, while challenging many more; senior Tommy Fryda finished with 7 points, while giving a great defensive effort; senior Zach Ryan had a really big firtst quarter, scoring 6 points; sophomore forward Trey DePietro played a very significant role for the Spartans, scoring 4 points and grabbing many rebounds; senior Connor Miller came up huge throughout the game, setting great screens, fighting for 50/50 balls and securing big rebounds; and senior Charlie Davis played crucial minutes, drawing a very timely offensive foul against the Generals.....Boardman mentor Pat Birch noted “Special thanks to the Boardman students and community for creating a special atmosphere inside Spartan gymnasium.”
Greg Dunn, 1968-71...................1,385 points
Jim Goske, 1988-71...................1,071 points
Holden Lipke, 2015-18................1,056 points
Fred Davis, 1971-74..................1,054 points
Derrick Anderson, 2017-20...........*1,048 points
Alan Burns, 1953-56..................1,013 points
Jim Geller, 1962-65..................**959 points
Jay Powell, 1969-72....................920 points
Butch Anderson, 1954-57................770 points
Dave Erickon, 1968-71..................769 points
Jerry Suess, 1959-51...................742 points
Jim Soller, 1962-65....................716 points
*Currently active
**Geller’s head coach, Dick Selby,tallies his point total at 1,102 points

PICTURE: photo/Howard Reese
BOARDMAN EARNS FIRST DISTRICT BERTH SINCE 1986: UNDER THE DIRECTION OF HEAD COACH Pat Birch, the Boardman Spartans improved to 22-1 on the season last Saturday with a 58-51 win over the Wooster Generals in Ohio Div. I sectional championship play. Boardman advanced to semifinal district play to face the Canton McKinley Bulldogs (19-4). Boardman enters against McKinley as the #3 seed while McKinley carries the #2 seed. In final prep rankings of the regular season, Boardman ended rated #7 in the state while McKinley was rated #10. Pictured, Boardman’s Tom Fryda, 1, drives to the iron for two points. #3 is Wooster’s Ezra McKee. (Story on page 12)
  Kamperman Wins Div III Sectional Heavyweight Division  
  March 5, 2020  
 COLUMBIANA HIGH SCHOOL junior Jacob Kamperman, left, won Div. III sectional championship honors last weekend at Rootstown High School in the 285-lb. heavyweight division, pinning all of his foes. In the title match, Kamperman was up against #1 seed Seth Phillips of Berlin Center Western Reserve. Phillips opened strong and took a 5-1 lead after one period. In the second frame, after battling back from a near fall, Kamperman turned Phillips to post a pin at the 4:49 mark of the match. Kamperman enters district competition at Garfield Heights carrying a 23-2 log on the year. He is pictured with Columbiana wrestling coach Doug Velasquez, a 1989 graduate of Boardman HS. Kamperman is the son of Rick and Christy Kamperman and his father is a 1998 Boardman HS graduate.
  #7-Ranked Boardman Opens Tourney Play Saturday  
  February 27, 2020  
Head Coach Pat Birch: “If we expect to make a deep tournament run then
we must find another gear, because learning on the spot isn’t an option.”
Boardman News Sports
Head coach Pat Birch’s Boardman Spartans boys’ basketball team has had a memorable two-year run, going 41-5 with a program record 21 regular season wins - they finished 21-1 overall – this year.
With back to back 20-win campaigns, several individual milestones achieved and new standards set, Birch said his No. 3 seeded Spartans must now kick it up a notch in the Canton district tournament if they expect to advance.
The Division I sectional tournament gets underway this week with five semi-final games slated for Wednesday, February 26 at home team sites.
The Green Bulldogs – Boardman’s only loss this season and the team that eliminated them in last year’s district semi-finals – are the top seed in this year’s Canton district tourney and they will play the winner of the Dover (No. 9 seed) at Massillon Perry (No. 8 seed) game.
Canton McKinley is the No. 2 seed and they will play the winner of the No. 10 Massillon Jackson at No. 7 Massillon Washington contest.
The Spartans will host the winner of Wednesday’s No. 11 Alliance at No. 6 Wooster game at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the BHS gymnasium.
The Spartans will put their 11-game win streak on the line and Birch said his team is excited to get the post-season underway.
“If we expect to make a deep tournament run then we must find another gear because learning on the spot isn’t an option,” Birch said. “We’ll get a chance to see the Alliance-Wooster game and both teams are very talented. On paper, Wooster might be the favorite but we’ll prepare for both teams.”
According to Birch, playing at home has its benefits.
“It helps when you don’t have to travel,” he added.
“Two years ago, we had to go to Wooster and travel takes a toll on everyone. At home, the crowds are great and that helps as well.”
Senior standout Derrick Andersen scored a career-high 38 points against Ursuline on February 18 to become just the seventh boy’s player and 18th overall (either boys or girls) to reach 1,000 points for a career.
He currently has 1,025 points during his three seasons as a Spartan.
“It’s very special and a great feeling to reach 1,000 points for my career, but this could not have been possible without God, my teammates and my coaches,” Anderson stated. “Everybody played a huge part, which is why it is so special.”
Birch said he has a starting ‘6’ and is expected open tourney play with Anderson (23.0 points per game, 4.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists), Ethan Andersen (10.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg), Connor Miller (2.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and Zach Ryan (1.9 ppg, 0.8 rpg) on the hardwood, with record-setting three-point artist Tommy Fryda (10.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.0 steals) or Daeone Martin (7.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg) rotating as the fifth starter.
“Fryda and Martin are both quality starters,” Birch noted. “We need to be at our best and not look ahead because you’ll find yourself on the outside looking in. Staying out of foul trouble will be the key.”
While some feel that Boardman should have been a higher seed, Fryda isn’t complaining about their No. #3 seeding.
“I think it’s a fair spot that we’re in and the match-ups we’re going to be playing,” said Fryda, the school’s all-time single season three-point shooter. “It’s been surreal and a great season so far. We’ll need to keep our composure and set the tone of the game at the outset.”
Ethan Andersen is looking for the Spartans to make some noise come tournament time.
“We just need to be prepared and have the right mindset,” he added. “We need to work as a team, be strong defensively and keep rolling with the momentum that we have built right now.”
Chemistry has been a big factor in their success, Andersen stated.
“We’ve been playing together so long and our seniors have been a great group,” he noted. “The last couple of years that we’ve played together we really jelled as a group. We’ll take it game by game, one at a time and not look ahead. As long as we maintain our focus then we should be alright.”
Unselfish and playing as a team has been the key according to Derrick Anderson.
“Sticking together has a team had paid off,” he said. “We must stick to the game plan, believe in our abilities and continue to work hard.”
For Birch, being tested late in the season has helped his team refocus.
“We wanted to be tested and the last three regular season games did just that,” Birch stated. “We made adjustments, needed to make stops and that was good because ultimately, we’ll need to play a full 32 minutes on Saturday. All 15 players on our roster know their roles and when they’ve gotten their chance they’ve performed admirably.”
Rounding out Birch’s tournament roster will be Trey DePietro (3.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg), Charlie Davis (2.4 ppg, 1.3 rpg), Andrew Clark (1.2 ppg, 0.8 rpg), Joey Zahran (0.9 ppg, 0.6 rpg) Spencer Smith (0.7 ppg, 0.1 rpg), Jim Goske (0.4 ppg, 0.2 rpg), Ty Ventresco (0.4 ppg, 0.6 rpg) and Marco Stilliana (0.1 ppg, 0.0 rpg).
For Birch and his squad, a 66-55 winner in their final game of the season against Austintown Fitch, it’s now about fine tuning all areas of their game heading into the tournament.
“It’s about trying to get better at all of the little things,” Birch noted. “Our goal is to be the best version of ourselves heading into Saturday night. We aren’t going to change who we are in terms of our athletic ability or size, but we do need to be the best version of who we are beginning with sectionals.”
 GAME NOTES…Prior to Senior Night against the Falcons last Friday, Birch invited back members of the 1970-71 team that went 16-2 during the regular season, 23-3 overall and advanced to the state Final Four in Columbus. One member from that team, guard Jay Powell, who went on to star at Davidson College (along with teammate Greg Dunn) and would later earn his MA in Sports Administration from Ohio University, addressed the team prior to the game. “These kids have restored such enthusiasm in the community,” Powell said, adding “The gym is packed so thank you and congratulations to this team. Athletics bring people together and when people come to the games it’s their way of saying thank you for your hard work and preparation. My advice to them was to take it one game at a time, enjoy the experience and just keep playing like they have all season. My hope is to see them playing in Columbus in a couple weeks.”
  Boardman’s Late Charge Dunks Chaney, 66-60  
  Fryda Sets All-Time 3-Point Mark:   February 20, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
As the regular draws to a close and school’s prepare for post-season play, the Boardman Spartans boys’ basketball team is looking to fine tune their well-oiled machine for what they hope will be a deep tournament run in the upcoming Division I tournament in Canton.
The Chaney Cowboys provided more than a test for the Spartans last Friday evening.
Tommy Fryda hit six triples, four of which came during a crucial second quarter run, while Derrick Anderson scored 14 of his game-high 21 points in the second half as the Spartans defeated the Cowboys, 66-60 before a packed house at the BHS Gymnasium.
It was the ninth win in a row for Head Coach Pat Birch’s Boardman team as they improved to 19-1 overall and won for the ninth consecutive time---their only loss this season came back on Sunday, January 19, in a 50-45 setback at the hands of the Green Bulldogs at North Canton Hoover High School---improved to 10-0 at home and stand 13-1 since January 1.
The Spartans are now 39-5 in their last 44 outings.
While Anderson picked up his game during a critical second half run, it was Fryda’s four triples in the second period that turned a 19-13 second quarter deficit into a 33-27 lead and eventually a 35-29 halftime advantage.
“This game will go a long way in helping us prepare for the post-season,” Fryda said. “The atmosphere, our defense and offense, it’s only going to help us come tournament time.”
Six points by Cowboy Cameron Lawrence and four markers from Travis Easterly staked the Cowboys (15-6) to an early 15-7 lead but consecutive buckets by Ethan Andersen, Daeone Martin, Connor Miller and Trey DePietro keyed an 8-2 run by the Spartans to end the quarter as they pulled to within 17-13 after the first eight minutes of action.
Fryda, who now has canned 57 buckets from beyond the arc this year, entered the game needing two triples to become Boardman’s all-time single season record-holder, and five to set the all-time school mark. The boys record was 52, set by Joe DePasqua during the 1991-92 season while the all-time mark of 55 was held by both Jolene Moschella, set during the 1992-93 season and later tied by Monica Touvelle during the 2007-08 campaign. Fryda broke the boys mark in the second period with his second trey at the 6:07 mark, setting the all-time standard with his fifth triple of the game with 4:15 remaining, the first of his two consecutive buckets from beyond the arc in the frame.
“This achievement, I cannot get there without the help of my teammates and coaches,” Fryda said, adding “It’s good to be in a game like this as the regular season winds down and you get ready for tournament play. They’re a good, athletic team and it was good to go against them late in the season.”
Birch said Fryda is as locked in as any player right now when he is shooting.
“About ten days ago, I looked up and said Tommy’s got to be close to the all -time single season triples record,” he stated. “I started counting and said, ‘Holy Cow,’ he’s really close. The last couple weeks he’s seeing the rim and right now it looks like the ocean to him. He’s playing with a lot of confidence and rightfully so because he’s a really good player.”
Derrick Anderson’s first bucket of the second half extended the Spartans’ lead to 37-31 just 66 seconds into the session.
A 10-0 run by the Cowboys, started with Easterly’s triple and ending with Sharrod Taylor’s lay-up, gave Chaney a 41-37 lead, only to have Boardman go on a 12-4 run as they opened a 49-45 margin with eight minutes remaining.
Derrick Anderson scored eight of the Spartans’ final 12 points in the frame.
“I started slow and really didn’t get my groove until the second half when we sped things up,” he noted. “We’ve been in moments like this before, kept our heads and composure and were prepared for this type of game. Chaney is a good team and it was good to go up against them late in the season.”
Birch said Derrick Anderson’s face at halftime told the entire story of the first half.
“You could see Derrick’s face in the locker room at halftime. He knew that he had to find another gear and I think he did that,” Birch said. “He put us on his back for a while and that allowed some of the other guys to settle down. Tommy got open again and Derrick made some plays that are fun to watch.
“It was a back and forth game. Chaney went on some runs, we were able to answer, then we went on some runs and they were able to answer. That’s what tournament basketball is all about, except we’re going to have to do that and then some going into Canton. This was a good tune up but it gets real over there pretty quick.”
The fourth quarter featured ten lead changes, the last coming at the 1:35 mark when Ethan Andersen’s hoop gave the Spartans the lead for good, reeling-off the game’s final six points to preserve the victory.
“It’s been a while since we’ve had to make some plays in the fourth quarter, probably going back to the Green game, which was the middle of the year for us,” Birch added. “We needed a game like this. That’s a really good basketball team. Chaney has a lot of pieces they can use to make a tournament run and I give them a ton of credit, being shorthanded tonight, coming in here and playing that way.”
In addition to Derrick Anderson and Fryda, Ethan Andersen added 9 points and Daeone Martin 6 points to pace the Spartans.
Chaney placed three players in double digits, led by Easterly’s 19 points, also receiving 18 points from Taylor and 13 markers from Quincy Jones.
Boardman handed out 11 assists, added five blocks and three steals while committing eight turnovers.
The Cowboys registered six blocks, five steals, dished out five assists and committed nine miscues.
 GAME NOTES: Prior to announcing the starting line-ups, Spartans players hand delivered roses to their mother’s sitting in the stands in honor of Valentine’s Day. With 21 points against the Cowboys, Derrick Anderson now has 964 career points and needs just 36 more to become the seventh-ever boy’s player and 17th overall – there are 11 girl’s hoopsters – to score 1,000 points in their BHS basketball careers.
Boardman 59 - Louisville 35
The Spartans were able to contain a good shooting Louisville team last week (Tues., Feb. 11) to earn a 59-35 non-conference win.
The Spartans were led by Derrick Anderson with 20 points and 4 rebounds. Tommy Fryda connected on four 3-pointers, including 3 in the first quarter to blow the game open early. Ethan Andersen was strong inside with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Daeone Martin has a nice night with 8 points. Trey DePietro had a strong game with 6 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks. Zach Ryan and Connor Miller provided the defensive toughness all night, with Ryan grabbing 7 rebounds and Miller taking down 4 boards. Charlie Davis posted 2 rebounds, whileAndrew Clark hit a shot from behind the arc, and Joey Zahran rounded out the scoring with 2 points.
Junior Varsity
Boardman lost to Louisville 50-45. After leading by five points at halftime, and upped the margin to 8 points at the end of three quarters of play.
In the fourth quarter, Louisville clamped down on defense and overtook Boardman late in the period.
Leading the way for the Spartans were Luke Ryan with 10 points and Marco Stilliana with 9 points. Ty Ventresco and Seth Cervello both chipped in with 6 points. Spencer Smith and Brady DePietro each added 5 points. Rounding out the scoring was Ben Alvarico with 4 points.
The Boardman junior varsity defeated Chaney, 44-42, to improve to 10-8 on the season.
Luke Ryan posted a game-high 22 points for the winners, including 11 markers in the third quarter, that included three baskets from behind the arc. Ty Ventresco added 9 points, 8 of which came in the first half, while Brady DePietro added 6 points, all in the second quarter. Tony Hightower and Seth Cervello each had a 3-point bucket, while Carter Mraz added a free throw to round out the scoring.
Alan Burns..............................1953-56
Jim Geller..............................1962-65
Greg Dunn...............................1968-71
Fred Davis..............................1971-74
Jim Goske ………………........................1988-91
Holden Lipke............................2015-18

PICTURED: CONNOR MILLER, 13, and Zach Ryan made big plays last week taking charges against a physical Chaney team. “Connor and Zach both made huge plays defensively, especially taking those charges. Those are winning plays that make a difference in a close game,” Head Coach Pat Birch said. Miller gets a rebound and goes back to the hoop in this picture, as Cowboy Allen Underwood provides the defense.
  February 20, 2020  
The Glenwood Jr. High School eighth grade girls basketball team won the All American Conference championship last week, downing Howland Middle School, 29-22.
MacKenzie Riccitelli paced the champs with 13 points, including her final four free throws to close the game. Ava Bosnjak added 7 markers, while Mary Catherine Werth had 5 points, and Sam Duble chipped-in with 4 points.
Faith Walston was a defensive standout.
Other members of the title team, coached by Vince Carnevale and Nick Colla, included Gabby Goddard, Aleshia Tomlin, Sarah Blasco, Dana Qutail, Cameron Lyda, MacKenzie Kelso, Ja’Sayia Evans, Cici Johnson and Lanie Vennetti.
Glenwood capped a 14-1 season with the win.
Glenwood earned its trip to the title game with a 39-23 win over the Austintown Red.
Leading the way for Glenwood was Duble with 13 points with Riccitelli following up with a dozen markers. Bosnjak had a strong game on both ends of the floor and finished with 6 points, while Werth added 4 points and Johnson and Walston rounded out the scoring with 2 points each.
  YSU Taps Cincinnati Bearcats Assistant Coach Doug Phillips To Lead Penguins Grid Program  
  February 13, 2020  
Doug Phillips
After a national collegiate ‘late’ signing day on Feb. 5 during which the Youngstown State University football program said it signed one player; and the abrupt resignation of Head Coach Bo Pelini, the University of Cincinnati Bearcats running backs coach, Doug Phillips, 51, has been named to lead the Youngstown State University football program. He is the eighth grid mentor in the history of the school.
Phillips is a New Middletown, Oh. native, who served as a graduate assistant under Jim Tressel during the Penguins national championship runs in 1991 and 1992; and also served as head coach at Springfield Local High School (1997-2000) and at Salem High School 2001-05).
Phillips joined the University of Cincinnati football staff in Jan., 2017. He coached tight ends and served as UC’s special teams coordinator in 2017 before shifting to running backs coach in 2018.
He has nearly 25 years of football coaching experience, including six seasons at the NCAA FBS and FCS level and has coached in three national championship games (including in 2006 at Ohio State).
Phillips returned to an on-field coaching role with the Bearcats after spending the 2016 season at Iowa State (where former YSU head coach Jon Heacock now is defensive coordinator) as the director of player personnel.
Phillips was a high school administrator from 2008-15, serving as a principal and superintendent, most recently as the superintendent at West Branch Local Schools. Phillips was also an assistant principal and principal for the Dickson County school district in Dickson, Tenn., and principal at Dalton Local Schools (outside of Canton, Oh.) from 2009-12.
He coached the defensive ends and served as Bowling Green’s recruiting coordinator from 2007-08, helping the Falcons share the 2007 MAC East title and earn a bowl bid.
Phillips joined the Falcons staff after spending the 2006 season as the defensive quality control coach at Ohio State working with UC Head Coach Luke Fickell. He was part of a staff which won the Big Ten championship and played in the BCS title game. The Buckeyes were fifth in the country in scoring defense that season. On the field, he assisted with the Buckeye linebackers which included All-American and Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner James Laurinaitis.
Phillips led his high school alma mater, Springfield Local, to back-to-back state playoff appearances. His 1999 team won the first of consecutive league championships and made the first of two playoff appearances, while his 2000 squad went undefeated in the regular season and returned to the postseason, where it to the state quarterfinals. After four years at Springfield Local (1997-2000) Phillips moved onto Salem High School, where he spent five seasons (2001-05) and guided his teams to better records every season, culminating with a league runner-up finish in 2005. In addition, he guided the school to consecutive winning records in 2004 and 2005, a feat that was accomplished for the first time in 30 years at the school.
Phillips received his start in college football from 1991-92 at Youngstown State with Jim Tressel. He coached tight ends, defensive backs and running backs/kickers during his stay.
While an undergraduate student at Toledo, Phillips got his coaching career started at Toledo St. Francis DeSales and Sylvania Northview. After earning a bachelor’s degree in education from UT in 1991, he received a master’s degree in educational administration from Youngstown State in 1995.
The Youngstown State football team will open the 2020 season on Sept. 5 against Akron at InfoCision Stadium. The programs, separated by less than 50 miles, haven’t played since November 1995.
The series between the Penguins and Zips dates back to 1940, but the last contest, a 24-10 YSU victory on Nov. 4, 1995, at the Rubber Bowl was almost 24 years ago.
YSU leads the all-time series by a 19-14-2 margin and won the last three contests before the series was halted. Until 1995, the Penguins and Zips played for 29 consecutive seasons dating back to 1967.
The last YSU football contest against a Mid-American Conference foe was Kent State in 2003.
  With Wins Over Canfield And Warren Harding, Spartans Clinch Second Straight AAC Crown  
  February 13, 2020  
Boardman News Sports
On a night when most games were cancelled due to school closings earlier in the day, the Boardman Spartans boys’ basketball team gave Chad Krispinsky’s MyYTV “Game of the Week” audience a glimpse of what area fans can expect from them come tournament time.
The Spartans (17-1, 7-0: AAC Red Tier) reeled off the first nine points of the game and led from opening tip to final buzzer as they defeated Warren G. Harding High, 59-35 to claim their second consecutive All-American Conference Red Tier outright championship.
Ethan Andersen had a game-high 16 points, Derrick Anderson added 15 markers despite sitting out most of the second period due to foul trouble, while Daeone Martin canned 10 points off the bench to pace the Spartans, who won their seventh consecutive outing and improved to 37-5 over their last 42 contests.
It was a game that featured seven blocks by BHS – six from the 6’6” Andersen – with the Boardman defense, which is holding opponents to a just 45.8 points per fray, holding the Raiders (12-7, 5-2) to just 18 second half points (six in the third period) and the second least of any opponent this season.
They had previously defeated conference foe Howland, 64-31 back on January 28.
“Coming in we just wanted to win. We were looking at the AAC championship and wanted to finish that out and protect our title from last year,” Ethan Andersen said. “It also means a lot to get the series sweep because it really highlights the work we’ve put in this season. We come out, we grind, we try to get better every day and it has paid off.”
Andersen said the game plan that head coach Pat Birch and his staff put together was executed perfectly.
“I think the key tonight, just like every other game, was to come out and work hard,” he added. “Whether that’s offensively or defensively holding them to points, it starts with working hard, wanting to play defense and putting it all out there on the court.”
Defensively, the Spartans could not have scripted a better start to Friday’s game as they raced to a 9-0 advantage, held the Raiders scoreless for the first 2:57 of the game, limited their AAC foes to just eight points in the opening frame and opened a 19-8 advantage after the first eight minutes of play.
The start was the complete opposite from their January 21 encounter at the Spartans’ Gymnasium when the Raiders opened with the early 7-1 lead, then led 11-5 before BHS went on a 26-7 run to manufacture a 31-18 halftime margin.
With Derrick Anderson picking up his second foul early in the second quarter, Daeone Martin picked up the slack by scoring eight of his 10 points in the period to help the Spartans forge a 30-17 lead at the intermission.
Ethan Andersen called attention to the team effort once Derrick Anderson went to the bench.
“With Derrick, he’s a great player but we have ten guys behind him at all times ready to work hard and pick up the slack. You saw that tonight,” he started.
Anderson entered the game with 908 career points and with 15 markers against the Raiders, now has 923 for his stellar career.
He needs 77 points to become just the sixth boy’s player and 17th Spartans’ hoopster – there are 11 girl’s players – overall to score 1,000 points during their BHS hardwood careers.
His early foul trouble didn’t seem to bother the well-oiled Boardman basketball machine.
“We’re a team and a group, not individuals,” Derrick Anderson noted. “I got in foul trouble but everyone just stepped up. It’s very special to get a season sweep of a good Warren Harding team. We work hard in practice, watch film everyday so it’s nice to get the win that gives us the conference championship once again.”
Back-to-back buckets by Ethan Andersen, the last at 3:06 of the third stanza, gave Boardman a 41-21 lead as they outscored WGH in the quarter, 17-6 for a 47-23 lead with one period of action remaining.
Ethan Andersen and Derrick Anderson then combined for eight of the Spartans’ final 12 points with the BHS defense putting a muzzle on the Raiders’ scoring attack as only four players – Aston Bates with 12 points, Munch Owens and Dom Foster with nine points each and Kamare Evans with five points – found their way into the scoring column.
“Our No. 1 goal coming into the year was to be able to repeat as league champions,” Birch said. “It’s never easy as we went from being the hunter last year to the hunted this year and I think we really responded to that. Everyone has given us their best shot and we’ve been able to step up and answer the challenge.”
Birch was more than satisfied with how his team adjusted once Derrick Anderson went to the bench with foul difficulty.
“You never want to see your leading scorer go down early like that,” Birch added. “Daewon Martin really stepped up and had a huge first half and that’s kind of been the essence of the team this year. Someone needs picked up, our next guy is right there ready to do it and I think that speaks volumes about these seniors. These guys are ready to step up for each other.”
He also said Ethan Andersen’s presence inside has been a big factor in their success this season.
“Ethan was a huge presence inside tonight and he has been for us all season,” Birch stated. “Most of our defense is focused around him being down there. Our guards create a lot of havoc and then there’s ‘Big E’ behind them ready to clean everything up. He had a ton of blocks and rebounds for us tonight and we cannot be who we are defensively without him.”
Boardman dished out 11 assists on their 25 hoops, added four steals but committed 14 turnovers, nine of which came in the opening half of play.
The Raiders also committed 14 miscues, adding six steals and three assists.
Boardman 75 - Canfield 54
In another game last week, Boardman went on the road and earned an AAC victory over Canfield, 75-54.
Derrick Anderson cracked the 20 mark for the sixth game in a row, with a game high 21 markers to go with 5 assists. Tommy Fryda connected on 5/7 from downtown for a season-high 19 points, and also snagged 3 steals, 3 rebounds and dished out 3 assists. Ethan Andersen had a strong night inside with 17 points including a big dunk is transition. Andersen also grabbed 8 rebounds
Rounding out the scoring for the Spartans were Daeone Martin had a strong game with 5 points and 6 rebounds. Connor Miller was very solid on both ends, scoring 4 points while also taking 2 timely charges. Trey DePietro played really good minutes, scoring 4 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. Charlie Davis was very steady for the Spartans, hitting a dagger 3-ball in the fourth quarter. Zach Ryan was strong on both ends, scoring 2 points and grabbing 3 rebounds.
Trey Dye paced Canfield with a baker’s dozen points, while Jake Kowal and Joe Bruno added 8 points each and Brayden Beck chipped-in with 7 points.
  Boardman Cages Continues Their Winning Ways Beating Tallmadge And Howland  
  February 6, 2020  
Tommy Fryda
Despite a 20-point first quarter by the Tallmadge Blue Devils, Boardman was able to take control of the game in the second quarter, going into halftime with an 8 point lead 34-26.
Derrick Anderson scored 9 of his 28 in the 2nd quarter and Tommy Fryda and Zach Ryan both hit big 3-pointers.
“The second quarter was really about out defense. We held Tallmadge to just six points in the quarter. We did a great job rotating and covering guys. Fryda had a couple steals, and Ryan and Trey DePietro did a really nice job on Tallmadge’s best player, holding him scoreless in the second quarter,” Boardman Head Coach Pat Birch said.
The Spartans came out firing and displaying a pesky defense, extending the lead to 55-38, and solid free throw shooting allowed Boardman to finish off a resilient Tallmadge squad, 71-49.
Anderson finished with a game high 28 points to go with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals, while Fryda connected on five triples, on his way to 16 points. Fryda also snagged 7 steals and grabbed 3 rebounds. Ethan Andersen was the third Spartan in double figures with a dozen markers, to go with 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Ryan connected on pair of shot from behind the arc for 6 points, along with a solid defensive effort. Trey DePietro added 4 points and played large inside, collecting 6 rebounds. Connor Miller and Daeone Martin chipped-in with 2 points each. Martin also grabbed 4 rebounds, and Joey Zahran rounded out the scoring with 1 point.
The win was Boardman’s fifth in a row and improved their record to 15-1 on the season.
Boardman used a fast start, jumping on Howland 21-0 to start the game, to earn an AAC victory, 64-31, last week.
Anderson had a game high 20 points, to go with 5 assists. Fryda hit three 3-balls on his way to 11 points, and Martin added 8 points while playing strong defense, snagging 4 steals. Charlie Davis had 7 points and 3 rebounds. Andersen added 5 points and 5 rebounds. DePietro chipped in with 4 points and 4 rebounds. Jimmy Goske, Andrew Clark and Luke Ryan rounded out the scoring with 3 points each.
Zach Ryan had a strong floor game with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Miller was a big factor defensively and Zahran grabbed 2 rebounds for the Spartans.
Junior Varsity
The Boardman junior varsity cage teamcould not keep down a hot shooting Tallmadge squad on Friday night, falling, 51-37. Tallmadge came out and knocked down eight 3-pointers in the game.
Leading scorer for Boardman was Spencer Smith with 9 points. Brady DePietro scored 7 points and Luke Ryan added 6.
Boardman pounced on Howland, 55-28. The Spartans jumped-out to a commanding 36-14 halftime lead, knocking down six 3-pointers in the half. Leading scorer for Boardman was Luke Ryan with 14 points. Marco Stilliana added 13 points, and Seth Cervello had 10 points. Other scorers were Carter Mraz and Danny Zahran 5 points each; Ty Ventresco, 4 points, and DePietro 4 points.

PICTURED: BOARDMAN’S TOMMY FRYDA, 1, connected on eight shots from behind the arc as Boardman posted victories over Tallmadge and Hudson.
  January 30, 2020  
Under the leadership of Cardinal Mooney High School graduate, 39-year-old Jed York, the San Francisco 49ers, were one of the most unlikely pre-season picks (40-1) to compete in this year’s Super Bowl. This Sunday the Niners will enter Super Bowl LIV as a slight underdog against the Kansas City Chiefs, when the hottest offense in the NFL meets their match in the strongest defense in the NFL. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. Serving as
co-chairs of the Niners franchise are Denise and John York, who provide the resources and guidance, to uphold the 49ers celebrated history out of DeBartolo Corp. headquarters at Market St. and Southwoods Dr. in
Boardman. Here’s a recap of the Niners Super Bowl history:

Jan. 24, 1982
San Francisco 26 – Cincinnati 21
Pontiac Silverdome
 The Niners entered the game with a 13-1 record. Joe Montana threw for 157 yards and a touchdown. The game was one of the most-watch in television history at the time with more than 80 million viewers. The Niners victory was the first of five Super Bowl wins under owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.
Cost of a 30-second television commercial: $324,000

Jan. 20, 1985
San Francisco 38 – Miami Dolphins 16
Stanford Stadium
 The Niners entered the game with 15-1 record and were once again led by quarterback Joe Montana who went 24/25 passing, good for 331 yards and three touchdowns.
Cost of a 30-second television commercial: $525,000

Jan. 22, 1989
San Francisco 20 -Cincinnati 16
Joe Robbie Stadium
 San Francisco entered the game with a 10-6 mark. While Niners wide receiver Jerry Rice was named game MVP with 11 catches for 215 yards and a TD, it was Johnny Taylor who grabbed the game-winning touchdown pass with 32 seconds left in the contest, capping a 92 yard drive that began with just 3:10 left on the clock. The Super Bowl win was the last for legendary Niners Head Coach Bill Walsh.
Cost of a 30-second television commercial: $650,000

Jan. 28, 1990
San Francisco 55 – Denver 10
Louisiana Superdome
 San Francisco entered the game with a 14-2 record under first year Head Coach George Seifert. ‘Super Joe’ Montana performed his magic again, connecting on 22/29 passes for five touchdowns and was named Super Bowl MVP for the third time.
Cost of a 30-second television commercial: $700,000

Jan. 29, 1995
San Francisco 49 – San Diego 26
Joe Robbie Stadium
 San Francisco entered the game with a 13-3 record with Steve Young at quarterback. Young was named Super Bowl MVP. The win marked the fifth and final Super Bowl title for the Niners under the ownership of Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.
Cost of a 30-second television commercial: $1.15 million

Feb. 3, 2013
Baltimore 34 – San Francisco 31
Mercedes Benz Superdome
 San Francisco entered the game with an 11-4-1 record under the leadership of Jed York. The as the Niners were led by Jim Harbaugh and the Ravens were led by his brother, John Harbaugh. Baltimore jumped out to a 21-6 first half lead, and increased that to 28-6 when Raven Jacoby Jones ran a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown. 108 million people watched the game on television.
Cost of a 30-second television commercial:
$4 million

Sun., Feb. 2, 2020
San Francisco vs. Kansas City
Hard Rock Stadium
 San Francisco enters with a 13-3 record, while the Kansas City Chiefs come into the game with a 14-2 log and are a slight favorite. The Niners earned their berth in the game defeating the Green Bay Packers, 37-20 in the NFC title game. The Chiefs won their trip to the Super Bowl besting the Tennessee Titans in the AFC championship game, 35-24.
Cost of a 30-second television commercial: $5.6 milliongame is often referred to as the ‘Har-Bowl,’
  Pelini Steps Down As YSU Head Coach To Become LSU Defensive Coordinator  
  January 30, 2020  
Bo Pelini
BATON ROUGE, LA.---Bo Pelini, who helped The LSU Tigers to the 2007 BCS national championship, is returning to the Tiger coaching staff as defensive coordinator, head coach Ed Orgeron announced on Monday.
Pelini returns to LSU after serving as the head coach at Youngstown State for the past five seasons where he guided the Penguins to a 33-28 overall mark and an appearance in the FCS national championship game in 2016. Pelini has a head coaching record of 100-55, which includes seven years as head coach at Nebraska.
Pelini’s hire is pending approval from the LSU Board of Supervisors at a reported annual salary of $2 million.
“We are privileged to have one of the top defensive coordinators in all of football in Bo Pelini join our staff,” Orgeron said. “Bo has had some of the best defenses in football during his career and we are looking forward to him bringing his tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise back to LSU to continue to win championships.”
In his three years as defensive coordinator with the Tigers from 2005-07, LSU went a combined 34-6, claimed the 2007 national title and beat Notre Dame to win the Sugar Bowl during the 2006 season. LSU also appeared in the SEC Championship Game twice, winning the league title in 2007.
In his first stint as defensive coordinator with the Tigers, LSU’s defense ranked No. 3 nationally in total defense all three years. LSU finished No. 1 in the Southeastern Conference in total defense in both 2006 and 2007 and ranked No. 2 in the league in 2005.
“The opportunity to return to LSU is truly unique,” Pelini said. “Culturally, with my prior experience at LSU, I know it is a great fit for me. The chance to work with Coach Orgeron, the ability to take charge of the Tigers defense, is something that I’m extremely excited about. All of that in a place that both my family and I immensely enjoyed when we were there before is very exciting for us. We are very honored and looking forward to this next chapter.”
With Pelini as defensive coordinator, LSU led the SEC in scoring defense twice in 2006 and 2007. LSU allowed only 12.6 points per game in 2006, which ranked No. 4 nationally, while the 14.2 points per game the Tigers gave up in 2005 rated No. 2 in the league and No. 3 in the nation.
Under Pelini, LSU averaged 38 sacks a season over that three-year span and the Tiger defense was credited with a combined 71 turnovers, which included 36 in 2007, a figure that led the SEC and ranked No. 3 nationally.
In Pelini’s three years with the Tigers, LSU had defensive players earn seven first team All-America honors and had eight defenders selected in the NFL Draft, which included first round picks in Glenn Dorsey and LaRon Landry. Dorsey also became the most decorated defensive player in LSU history claiming four national awards – Outland, Lombardi, Nagurski and Lott.
One of the most respected and innovative defensive minds in the game, Pelini spent seven years at head coach at Nebraska from 2008-2014 where he led the Cornhuskers to a mark of 66-27. Pelini’s Nebraska teams won at least nine games all seven years he was in Lincoln, which included three 10-win seasons from 2009-11.
Pelini guided Nebraska to appearances in the Big 12 Championship Game in 2009 and 2010 and then followed that with a Big Ten Legends Division Crown in 2012 and the school’s lone appearance in the Big Ten title game. Nebraska appeared in a bowl game in all seven of Pelini’s seasons with the school.
Statements from Coach Bo Pelini
“The past five years have been terrific. I can’t thank President Jim Tressel and Ron Strollo enough for the opportunity here and support along the way. For all of the people, honestly too many to name, who were part of my YSU experience, I also want to extend a heartfelt thank you.
“The experience for me professionally to coach my hometown university and to appear in a championship game, is something I will always treasure. For Mary Pat and I, Youngstown will always hold an element of home for us with our children graduating from Cardinal Mooney High School and so many of our family members residing here. My YSU days will always be special for the entire Pelini family.
“And trust me, I will be checking in every week in the fall to follow the Penguins as they continue to build on our successes and I know they have great days ahead.”
YSU Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ron Strollo said a national search will begin immediately. Some of the early names that have surfaced as interested in the YSU post are current Penguins assistant coach and Pelini’s brother, Carl; as well as Shane Montgomery, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at James Madison University, who previously spent eight years as the offensive coordinator at YSU.
  Former BHS Track Coach/Director of Athletics Denise Gorksi Set For Induction Into Curbstone Coaches Hall Of Fame  
  December 12, 2019  
Boardman News Sports
The 53rd Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame Banquet is scheduled for Sunday, May 3rd with 12 new members set for enshrinement during ceremonies at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center, Boardman.
Former Ohio State University and NFL quarterback, and current YSU assistant football coach, Mike Tomczak will serve as guest speaker.
The 2020 class includes Phil Annarella (football, posthumous), Mike Banks (basketball), Andrew Bushey (baseball), Sandra DePizzo (bowling), Jim Evans (sports media), Tim Filipovich (basketball), Denise Gorski (contribution to sports), Tim Joyce (basketball), Joe McHenry (all-sports award), Rick Shepas (football), John Turco (football) and John Zebroski (golf).
Gorski is the longtime Boardman Schools teacher, and track and field coach who spent 35 years (1977-2013) in the classroom and had a very successful five decade run as coach-administrator-teacher.
She added director of athletics (October, 2013 to June, 2019) duties to her impressive resume upon her retirement, spending a total of 41+ years in the Boardman school system.
Born December 26, 1955, she is a 1973 graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School where she earned letters as a member of the Black Tigers’ volleyball, basketball and softball teams (1971-73).
She earned her undergraduate degree in physical education from Kent State University in 1977, later earning her MA in sports science from Ashland University.
Upon her arrival at BHS (she was a physical education-adapted PE teacher for 35 years from 1977-2013), she first served as assistant girl’s track coach (1978-81) for four years, was an assistant girls basketball coach (1978-79) for two seasons, head girl’s hoop coach in 1980 and the Spartans’ head girl’s golf coach for five years.
She took over as head girl’s track coach in 1982, a position she held for 32 years before giving up the reins after the 2014 campaign.
Her long list of accomplishments in track alone includes 16 Mahoning County championships, 12 Steel Valley Conference titles, nine District crowns and nine District runner-up finishes.
Under her direction, Spartan athletes qualified for 53 events at the state meet with 26 earning all-Ohio honors in those events.
She molded two state champions in Laurie Gomez Henes and Amber Bland with Gomez Henes winning the 1600 meter run (5:54.90) in both 1987 and 1988 (5:53.39), also winning the 3200 meter run (10:48.58) in the latter year.
Her best 1600 meter time scholastically was 4:48.58, turned in at the Arcadia Invitational while her best 3200 clocking was 10:28.8. She was also the Midwest Meet of Champions titlist in the 1600 meter run.
Bland, who also starred on the BHS girls’ basketball team, was a state champion in the high jump after clearing 5’9” at the 2001 state meet.
Gorski also developed a state runner-up in Adriane Blewitt, who finished second in the discus in 1998 with a toss of 145’ 10” (her career-best effort was 153’ 5’).
She had four athletes-relay teams place third at state, including Heather Nordgren (1993, discus – 141’ 4”), Bland (2002, 100 meter dash – 12.26), the 4 x 800 relay team (2003) of Brittany Durkin, Sarah Grabert, Jessie Moore and Monica Cuevas (9:11.38) and also in 2003, Cuevas (2:13.08) in the 800 meter run.
She developed five performers that finished fourth overall, including Liz Linsley (1985, discus – 125’ 9”), Nordgren (1992, discus – 133’ 7”), Cuevas (2002, 800 meter run – 2:14.47), Alison Brager (2002, pole vault – 10’ 6” and again in 2003, 10’ 8”) and Bland (2002, high jump – 5’ 6”).
Her fifth-place finishers included individuals Tammy Crockett (1983, 100 meter dash – 12.36) and Valerie Hood (2010, discus – 128’ 8”), and two 4 x 800 meter relay teams, the first in 1986 (9:32.3, consisting of Gomez, Myssi Trigg, Jennifer DePietro and Tracie Thomas) and again in 2002 (9:24.26, made up of Durkin, Gina Mavrikis, Grabert and Cuevas).
Sixth-place all-state performers included Nordgren (1993, shot put – 39’ ¼”), Blewitt (1998, shot put – 41’ 0”) and Moore (2004, 800 meter run – 2:16.02) while two student-athletes finished seventh, including Breanne Romeo (2006, 400 meter dash – 58.03 with a career best 56.46 effort outside state competition) and Valerie Hood (2010, shot put – 40’ 2½”).
Two others finished eighth, including Nordgren (1992, shot put – 39’ 2½”) and the Spartans’ 2001, 4 x 800 relay team of Durkin, Mavrikis, Grabert and Cuevas (9:36.39).
Among her many awards, she was selected as the Fred Dafler Career State “Coach of the Year” for women’s track in 2001, was honored as the District I “Coach of the Year” on four separate occasions and was elected to the OATCCC Hall of Fame where she was the 2009 Ed Barker Award recipient, which is presented to those for their contributions to cross country and track and field across the state of Ohio.
For 10 years (1993-2002) she served as OATCCC District I representative, also serving as secretary for the organization from 2002-05.
Selected as a coach for the Ohio Senior All-Star team for the Midwest Meet of Champions on three separate occasions (1996-98), she was chosen Ohio women’s head coach in 1998.
For her leadership and contributions to the Mahoning Valley, she was a 2015 Athena Award nominee.
Currently retired, she and husband, Dan, a former Boardman High School and Ursuline High School boys basketball coach, reside in Poland.
Individual tickets are $60 each, tables of eight $480 and will be available in mid-January.
Further information can be obtained by calling 330-506-6774 or by visiting the organization’s website at
  Promoter Speaker At Curbstone Coaches  
  December 5, 2019  
Boardman News Sports
 BEAVER TOWNSHIP---Since 2005, Eric Ryan and his JAC Management Group have promoted concerts and sporting events, also managing the day-to-day operations at sites including, but not limited to the Covelli Centre, Packard Music Hall, Youngstown State University and several venues throughout the midwest.
From Elton John to Carrie Underwood to Trans-Siberian Orchestra, to Blake Shelton, Florida-Georgia Line and even the Zach Brown Band, his acts have been well-received and money-makers at sites which he represents.
Speaking to the Curbstone Coaches during Monday’s weekly meeting at Avion Banquet Center, Ryan told the group he’s tried to promote athletic competitions when possible and add sports themed events to his line-up of promotions.
“The Youngstown Steelhounds, a member of the Central Hockey League and an affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, played at the Covelli Centre from 2005-06 to 2007-08 before disbanding,” Ryan said. “The Youngstown Phantoms, a Tier-I team in the United States Hockey League, is currently housed by the Covelli Centre so we have hockey going on from late-September until mid-April.
“On the whole, minor league sports isn’t an easy proposition but the Phantoms and their administration do their very best to promote their product. They work hard and the community needs to support their efforts if they are to sustain.”
Ryan’s JAC team took over for Global Entertainment in 2007 and his immediate charge was to find a way to turn a profit for the Covelli Centre and City of Youngtown, having suffered yearly losses during those early years.
“We’ve worked really hard and I am proud to say that for ten straight years now, we’ve been able to turn a profit,” Ryan added. “In addition to concerts and other related events, we’ve also staged outdoor ‘3-on-3’ basketball tournaments, championship boxing events, both indoors and outdoors, high school basketball games and special scholastic basketball tournaments.
“We’ve also been home to a highly successful state wrestling tournament, which is a competition that attracts students of all ages.”
Ryan said the four-day, two-weekend wrestling event remains attractive because it draws coaches, athletes, families and media from all over the state.
“The wrestling tournament alone will bring over 10,000 people each weekend to the Mahoning Valley,” he stated. “Not only do you see some of the very best wrestlers from across the state, but those two weekends have had a great economic impact on our area with hotels, restaurants and gas stations reaping the benefits.”
Ryan estimates that he programs and promotes between 100-110 events for the Covelli Centre, another 70 for the Packard Music Hall while JAC Live promotes and produces another 15-20 events outside the Youngstown market.
Under Ryan’s direction, the Covelli Centre will host the West Virginia-YSU basketball game on December 21, a game that he credits Penguins’ head coach Jerrod Calhoun with an assist to finalize.
“For some time now, I’ve wanted to do a game a year with YSU and a marquee team,” he noted. “We did a Hiram-YSU game and that kind of kick-started this whole process. I mentioned my idea to Coach Calhoun and he is the one who really laid the groundwork to make this happen with WVU.
“Tickets are selling well and while it’s a one-game special event, we feel that we can do it annually. We’ve even entertained the thought of hosting a doubleheader and making it a gala the night before so there are many options and opportunities we’ll keep exploring.”
For tickets to the WVU-YSU game, visit the Covelli Centre Box Office or go to
  Boardman Wrestling Team Opens Season Hosting 6-Team Compco Spartan Duals  
  December 5, 2019  
By Al Miller
Wrestling Reporter
Boardman High School wrestling has two Co-Head Coaches again this year. Dom Mancini starts his 20th season at the helm of the Spartans, and Frank Mancini is in his 34th year of coaching.
The Spartans are a young team with only 3 seniors and two juniors on the 26-man roster.
Boardman opens the season on Dec. 7 at home for the Compco Spartan Duals at 10:00 a.m. Teams competing in the duals include Boardman, Alliance, Fitch, Jefferson, Madison and Massillon.
The Spartans have a brutal dual meet schedule this season. The Spartans have a brutal schedule this season. They have home matches with #1 state-ranked Louisville and 7th-ranked Steubenville Big Red; and have away matches against #4-ranked Canfield, and #5-ranked Beaver Local. After only two home matches last season, the Spartans have six home matches this season.
Boardman was 8-7 in duals last season.
“Dual meets are going to be rough, but it will help the kids in big matches. The nerves for dual meets are generally up more so than a tournament when there are multiple mats. In a dual meet when there is only one mat, the pressure is on when you have a good kid. It’s only going to help our kids get mentally tough,” Coach Frank said.
Boardman has three returning District qualifiers Dom Vennetti, Ray Cmil and Nate Thompson.
“Dom Vennetti looks really really good in the room right now. We’re happy where he is at, especially in the beginning of the season. Looks like he’ll wrestle 126-lbs. in the beginning and eventually get down to 120-lbs. which we think will be a good weight for him,” Coach Dom said.
Ray Cmil is expected to wrestle at 113# this season.
“Ray has been the most impressive to me so far. His tenacity in the room. His aggressiveness and how he’s not afraid to let it fly. That’s what you look for in a good wrestler. If Ray gets down to 113-lbs., he’ll be somebody that’s going to compete to be on the podium this year,” Coach Dom said.
Nate Thompson is coming off surgery from a football injury and is expected to wrestle at 160-lbs. when cleared.
“I think the outlook for Nate is great. He’s got the right attitude. I think it’s a matter of maturity for him. At the end of last season, he started competing at a high level and was winning. It’s kind of lit the fire for him and he has carried that into this year. Even though he’s injured, where he is mentally, he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with at the end of the year,” Coach Dom said.
Boardman has four returning District alternates---Anthony Baglama, Sean O’Horo, Tyler Rae and Ashton LaBelle.
“Anthony is a veteran. He’s been wrestling since he was 5-years-old. Last year he had some bad luck getting mono and not being able to compete the way he wanted to. I think he’s looking forward to the season,” Coach Dom noted.
“Sean’s been competing at a high level for a long time. I think that showed well in his football season this year where he was a leader as a sophomore and took over the running back spot. He’s a really good athlete. We expect big things out of him this year,” Coach Dom said.
“Tyler spent a lot of time in the off season with Coach Raver lifting weights and getting stronger. We have a lot of kids around those weights where Tyler is. It’s going to be real competitive. I see Tyler getting in the lineup at some weight,” Coach Dom said.
“Ashton is a dream wrestler because he’s just so aggressive all the time. He hasn’t been wrestling for a long period of time, but he just does not let up. Whoever is wrestling him is in for a battle every single day,” Coach Dom said.
Senior Jason Robinson and juniors Jake Powell and Sammy DeJoseph have been around the sport for many years and look for a breakout year. Daniel Fetty and Tawfiq Abuenaaj have the tools for a successful sophomore season.
Boardman will again be competing in the All-American Conference and the Eastern Ohio Wrestling League. The EOWL was the toughest league in the state last season with 19 state placers.
Boardman’s varsity will compete in the Beaver Local Hoppel Tournament, the 55th Kenston Invitational, the 44th EOWL Tournament, the 34th Alliance Top Gun Tournament and the 27th Josh Hephner Tournament.
The tournaments prepare the Spartans for the post season tournaments.
“Our sectional draw is pretty good so that will help. With so many freshman getting experience last year as an alternate or a qualifier, it’s going to help prepare them for the tournaments. I’m excited about that,” Coach Frank said.
Assistant coaches for this year’s team are Jack Raver, Kevin Powell, Jim Jones and Mike Trell.
The Spartans have been moved to the Kenston Sectional this year. The top four wrestlers in each weight class will qualify for the District Tournament that will be held in Mentor.
The State Tournament will be held in Columbus at the Schottenstein. For the first time, the state competition will be held over the course of three days---on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 13-15. More than 15,000 fans jam the Schottenstein each day.
The starting lineup for the 2019-2020 edition of the Spartans at the opening meet of the season will be determined in wrestle offs that will be held this week.
  Dan Lyons Steps Down As St. Charles Head Grid Coach  
  He And His Father, Jack, Led The Lions For 50 Years :   October 17, 2019  
Nick Julian (L) Dan Lyons (R)
Boardman News Sports
For Dan Lyons and his late father, Jack, it was never about the wins as much as it was about molding the young boys they coached into men, good husbands and fathers as well as society’s game-changers and future community leaders.
While Jack (he passed away in 2016) coached for 20 seasons (he coached over 450 players and won eight championships) beginning in the summer of 1968, he coached his five sons – the five Lyons boys include from oldest to youngest Jack, Mike, Dan, Terry and Brian – among the many players that he helped teach the game and mold before retiring after the 1988 campaign.
As divine intervention would have it, son Dan picked right up – albeit reluctantly at first – right where his father left off and beginning in 1989, the program never skipped a beat under his direction.
At age 54, Dan is finally calling it a coaching career so that he can take some time to now watch his sons play competitive sports.
“My father was a mild-mannered coach,” Lyons said. “He wasn’t a screamer, he was someone who knew the game and wanted to teach it to the young men from the area.”
His parents are Chicagoans as his father was working for Reynolds Aluminum in the ‘Windy City’ before being transferred to Youngstown, a city they could call home for the next six decades.
“My dad and mom, Rita, were Irish-Catholic and hailed from the south side of Chicago,” Lyons added. “He was voted the city’s ‘Most Outstanding Back’ his junior and senior years while attending St. Rita High School and that was like making all-state in Ohio.
“When my dad was transferred, my parents knew nothing about Youngstown and moved to South Shore Dr. in Boardman. They saw that Boardman was building a new school and as die-hard Catholics, chose St. Charles as their parish. My two older brothers, Jack and Mike, attended and graduated from Boardman High School while my other two brothers, Terry, Brian and myself, attended and graduated from Cardinal Mooney.”
Lyons noted that his father could have gone on to play in the Big-10, among some other schools in Power-5 conferences, learning the game from some ex-Chicago Bears players as well as legendary Bears head coach George Halas, who would attend St. Rita High School’s practices and help coach alongside his former players.
“My father got to know Coach Halas because many of his ex-players would retire, then go on to coach and many of them ended up at St. Rita’s,” he stated. “He played collegiately at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa and after we moved here, St. Charles was starting their football program, found out my father had a football background and they convinced him to become head coach.
“Coach Halas was always around when he played in high school and when he started at St. Charles, he ran the same offense as the Bears,” Lyons noted. “It was a variation of the three-back, Power-I and T-formation with a lot of pulling and trapping. It also included play action passes, just like the Bears.
“It was very successful and after I played for my dad, I moved over to Don Bucci at Cardinal Mooney. My dad’s offense was more complicated but both coaches, who were two different types of coaches, were very successful. Coach Bucci was a Vince Lombardi-type coach, an excellent motivator while my dad was a use your head type of coach.”
Jack Lyons drove over 50,000 miles each year as an over the road salesman, calling it quits when his sons grew older.
“My father traveled quite a bit because of his job, yet he was always here to coach us,” Lyons said. “I thought to myself; ‘How did he do it?’ but understood why he felt it was time to take a break.”
When his father decided that he had enough, Dan had just finished college – he earned his BA degree in economics from YSU in 1988 – so when St. Charles approached him about the opening, he originally said no because he was working as a night shift supervisor – his shift was from 4 a.m. to noon – for UPS and didn’t want to make a full-time commitment.
He reluctantly acquiesced and the rest, as they say, is history.
“My father always surrounded himself with good guys and while I tried to emulate him that first year, I didn’t exactly have that,” he noted. “I wanted someone who was going to stick around for the long term and that second season Nick Julian was that person.
“I knew that he was great with kids, so I called him to gauge his interest. While he coached many other sports, he told me that he had never coached football, to which I replied if you’ll help me, I’ll teach you what I know.
“Now 73 and a grandfather, he has been with me for 30 years and I owe him a lot. They just do not make guys like Nick anymore.”
Julian said he has enjoyed his time with Lyons.
“I used to golf with Jack and he and his wife, Rita, were great people,” Julian sated. “Without knowing them I probably would not have coached with Dan. I ran the defense, he ran the offense and we thought alike. Together, we won a lot of games and if I didn’t enjoy it and have fun, then I wouldn’t have done it for 30 years.
“It was fun working with Dan and the many kids over the years and I truly enjoyed it. We coached kids who later came back to help us, also coaching kids whose fathers played for us which is why it was so enjoyable.”
With Julian by his side, Lyons helped guide the Lions to 14 championships and 10 undefeated seasons while participating in the highly competitive Catholic Youth Football League.
In 31 years, he has coached over 700 kids from St. Charles in the Boardman and surrounding areas, many of whom moved on to play for either Cardinal Mooney or the Boardman Spartans.
Combined, over 50 players that he coached from CMHS or BHS later moved on to play in the collegiate ranks.
Last year alone, Cardinal Mooney alum John Murphy now dots the YSU roster while BHS alums Michael O’Horo (Saginaw Valley State) and Tino Arcuri (Army) are also making a difference at the next level.
Lyons has coached 11 former players on this year’s Cardinal Mooney roster and 14 former players that comprise the current Spartans’ squad.
Current Cardinals head football coach, P.J. Fecko, has had two sons play for Lyons and counts on him for developing future players.
“Dan Lyons has touched the lives of so many young people over the years in such a positive way,” Fecko stated. “The time and commitment over 30- plus years is to be commended. His efforts of not only teaching players the game of football, but teaching them life’s lessons at such an early age has helped mold so many outstanding young people. He will be sorely missed by the youth football community.”
“For me, I love the game of football and love kids which is why football is the best sport around,” he said. “The game teaches you to work hard and today, more than ever, boys need that. It teaches you to be strong mentally and physically, two things that you are going to need the rest of your life.
“You’re going to get a kick in your behind the rest of your life so you need to be mentally strong and learn to deal with that. At our level, teaching should be a positive experience.”
Before taking the job, Lyons made it known that his two goals were to make sure that everyone got to play while making sure that everyone played a lot if they were a member of his team.
“I tell the parents that this is not big-time football, so don’t get too excited or too disappointed in your child,” he stated. “Make it a positive experience and as long as he likes and enjoys it, then he’ll get better.
“I’ve seen some players that were superstars for me that later fizzled out,” he noted. “I’ve seen others who were not as good become three-year starters in high school, later moving on to play collegiately and be a difference-maker because of hard work.
“Take it for what it is, work hard, learn the game and make it a positive experience. It’s 80 degrees in August and 40 degrees in October so football isn’t easy and at times, isn’t fun, but it teaches you about life and life is a 40-year grind. It teaches you to cope with that grind and the fact that you have to work hard in order to succeed.”
Learning from three of the very best, his father, Don Bucci and the late Ron Stoops, was something Lyons wouldn’t trade for anything.
“I learned from three very good teachers in my father, Coach Bucci and Ron Stoops, Sr. That is to work hard no matter what,” he noted. I hope that I have instilled that in the players that I have coached.
“I teach them to get out of bed each day, be courteous, say ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir’ and know your manners because that teaches you to be good members of society. I tell them to always help their parents, do well in school and the best you can with your God-given ability.
“Do it on the football field, in school and at home. Do the best with the talent and ability that God has blessed you with.”
Two of the more notable players that Lyons has mentored include Kyle McCarthy, who starred at Cardinal Mooney, Notre Dame and later the Denver Broncos, and Ray Vinopal, who also starred for the Cardinals and collegiately at the University of Michigan and Pitt, then played with the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers.
McCarthy currently lives in Los Angeles and Vinopal in North Carolina.
Former Lions’ player Jon Italiano, who played at Mooney and YSU, has also assisted Lyons the last six years.
“Coach Lyons is an iconic figure, not just for St. Charles football but for youth football in the entire area,” said Vinopal, who currently serves as an investment banker for PNC Bank in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Many of my Cardinal Mooney teammates played for him and we can still hear him say ‘cut the chatter.’ He was my first experience with tackle football and a great all-around guy. He was the perfect guy for that job because we needed him and he enjoyed working with us. It was a great experience for all of us,” Vinopal said.
With participatory numbers down the past several years, St. Charles has had to merge with St. Christine’s, Holy Family and St. Nick’s. In addition to Lyons (31 years), Julian (30 years) and Ken Kollar (28 years) of St. Christine’s, the three coaches combined to impart nearly 100 years of coaching experience to their players, something hard to find at any level of play let alone the youth level.
“Dan is a fantastic coach and I must say we have had some battles over the years,” Kollar said. “You don’t think rivalry when you think of fourth, fifth and sixth graders, but it was every bit Michigan-Ohio State and Cleveland Browns-Pittsburgh Steelers on the youth level.
“I really got to know Dan and he is a great football mind whose first goal is always the kids. We agree with that philosophy. I have the utmost respect for him and wish him well.”
Like his father, Lyons drives over 50,000 miles a year while serving as a consultant for the Ford Motor Company in Cleveland
He currently resides in Canfield with his wife, Kelly, a teacher at St. Rose School in Girard and three children; Danny, a junior who is a member of the Cardinal Mooney football team, daughter Katie, a freshman cheerleader at CMHS and Brian, a sixth-grader at St. Charles who just completed the season playing for his father.
 NOTE---The Lions did send their head coach off on a positive note as they won their season finale, 24-7 over the Youngstown Chargers to finish 5-1 overall.
PICTURED:  ON THE SIDELINES DURING Dan Lyons’ 30-year tenure as head coach of the St. Charles Lions was Nick Julian, at left. “We coached kids who later came back to help us, and also coached kids whose fathers played for us. That is why it was so enjoyable,” Julian said of his partnership on the sidelines with Lyons.
  Tommy Fryda Moves Into Top Spot For Most Points Scored By A Boardman HS Placekicker  
  October 10, 2019  
Tommy Fryda
Boardman News Sports
The Boardman Spartans have a storied football history and along with its many on-field successes, they’ve found a way over the years to produce placekickers who have quietly stood out for their contributions and outstanding play.
Players like Chris Dennis, who would go on to kick collegiately for the Miami Hurricanes in the early 1970’s and was Boardman’s first ‘soccer-style kicker,’ to Mike Pollifrone in the mid-1980’s, to Mark Griffith in the 1990’s, to Andrew Good in the early 2000’s and Trevor Ragan from 2008-09, each contributed in their own way to Boardman’s football legacy.
Each of the above players can now move over and welcome Tommy Fryda to the top of the scoring list after his second of four placements during Friday’s 31-14 win at Garfield Heights made him the career kicking leader with 128 points.
That placed him ahead of Good on the all-time kick-scoring legend – Good scored 127 career points – and after adding two more placements and a field goal for a seven-point night, he now has 133 career points.
With four regular season games remaining and barring injury, Fryda, the son John and Marie Fryda, will undoubtedly add to his record.
“It is humbling when I see the other players on that list and I am now mentioned along with them,” Fryda said. “Some of my teachers have told me stories about them and they’ve all had outstanding careers. I consider myself very fortunate to be listed among them.”
Fryda carries a 3.65 cumulative grade point average academically and would like to become a chiropractor. His head coach, Joe Ignazio, calls him the ultimate student-athlete.
“Congratulations to Tommy for he is a model of what it means to be a student-athlete,” Ignazio stated. “He has experienced success in the classroom and across three sports. He’s able to maintain balance, all while participating in two fall sports.
“He has given us a solid foundation for the special teams phase of our game for the past four years. It is a testament to the support he has from his family, coaches and teammates.”
Fryda wasn’t always a football player for soccer was his first love. While in sixth grade, his teacher, Ryan Barrett, who is now an assistant football coach at Niles McKinley, talked him into pursing football in addition to soccer.
He credits the late Nick Liste, his gym teacher who kicked for Youngstown State, with helping to hone his game.
“Mr. Liste worked with me quite a bit and almost everything that I know and learned football-wise, I learned from him,” Fryda added.
Fryda entered the season as the career leader in extra points with 87, eight ahead of Good (79; 2000-02) and 22 in front of Ragan, who successfully converted 65.
With 16 extra points this season, he now has 103 PAT’s overall to become the only player in program history to reach the coveted century mark.
Of the six games which Boardman (2-4) has played this season, Fryda converted an extra point in their season lidlifter against Erie McDowell (a 41-7 win by the Trojans), had two field goals and three extra points in their 27-14 win at Poland in Week No. 2, added two placements in Week No. 3, a 49-14 loss at Massillon Jackson, registered a field goal and three extra points against Howland, a 27-24 win by the Tigers on September 20, made three extra points during a stinging 28-27 loss at home to Cardinal Mooney in Week No. 5 then added seven points on four extra points and a field goal last Friday against the Bulldogs.
With four field goals this season – he made four as a junior last year and two in 2017 as a sophomore but failed to convert as a freshman – Fryda now has 10 career field goals to tie Griffith for third overall, six behind Good’s 16 for second-place and nine behind all-time leader Ragan, who had 19 in his career.
He also ranks second with 35 extra points in a season – he is tied with Pollifrone, who also converted 35 in 1985 – one behind leader Phil Curl who converted 36 in 2007 while his six extra points in a game against Ashtabula Lakeside last year ties both Good – he did it twice, first against Woodrow Wilson in 2002 and then against Chaney in 2002 – and Pat Hughes – he made six against Austintown Fitch in 1997 – for tops in a game.
While he hopes to kick collegiately and is awaiting to see if any offers roll in, Fryda is also a four-year starter and letterwinner in soccer for head coach Eric Simione, has played basketball for head coach Pat Birch the past three years and while he isn’t currently on the baseball team, he did play his freshman and sophomore years.
He’s helped the Spartans’ soccer team to an 8-5-1 mark at press time as they prepare for “Senior Night” against Warren Harding, then get ready for tournament play.
He was voted a captain by his teammates this season and in four seasons under Simione’s tutelage, has registered 23 goals and 15 assists (his freshman year he had a goal and two assists, registered eight goals and an assist as a sophomore, during his junior campaign added nine goals and four assists and thus far as a senior, has five goals and eight assists.
“Tommy Fryda has played a significant role in our team finishing 12-4-3 last season, which was the best record for boys’ soccer in since 1998,” Simione noted. “Additionally, the team finished second in the All-American Conference, Red Tier and reached the district semi-finals in post-season play.
“This year, he has helped captain the team to an 8-5-1 mark and they will again finish second in the AAC Red Tier with a win over Warren Harding on Tuesday. He was selected Division I, first-team all-district last year and should do so once again this season, which we will find out on October 13.”
Fryda’s twin brothers, Brian and Zach, also played for Simione.
“Tommy’s older twin brothers also played soccer for me and they were both very good players,” Simione said. “They each used to privately ask me who was better, so as a joke when Tommy showed up, two years after they graduated, I would quip that Tommy is best Fryda which with all due respect to Brian and Zach, may very well have turned out to be true.
“Tommy has been such a central part of so much of what we have done, especially offensively for the past four seasons. He’s like our Shakespeare, he makes plays and it will be odd not having him out on the pitch next year.”
Fryda said he has enjoyed his time with Simione as a member of the school’s soccer team.
“I’ve had coach Simione in class for both U.S. History and the History of Rock and Roll and he’s a great guy,” Fryda stated. “He’s an excellent coach, knows the game and is fun to play for. Hopefully we can make another deep run this season in the tournament.”
In basketball, Fryda is looking forward to his senior season once the football and soccer seasons wrap up.
“It’s a big transition when you get to basketball season,” he added. “Coach Birch works us really hard and knows how to run a program. We’re looking to have another great year and to develop team chemistry, we eat lunch together every Friday.”
Birch admires Fryda’s work ethic, both in the classroom and on the field of play as he averaged 5.5 points and 2.1 assists as a junior a season ago.
“Tommy has been in our basketball program since he was a little kid and it has been fun to watch him grow and develop as both a player and a young man,” Birch said. “He was a significant member of our team last year, started some games early in the season then settled in as a key contributor off the bench.
“He provided great energy defensively with his constant motor as well as some scoring with his shooting. He plays with maximum effort, is easy to coach and heading into this season will once again be a big contributor to our team.
“He will be fighting for a starting guard position and if we have a successful year, Tommy will be a major reason why.”
Cardinal Mooney and Boardman staged a barn-burner at Spartan Stadium last Friday night, as the Cards outlasted the Spartans, 28-27, in overtime before 4500 fans. Mooney moved to 3-2 on the season, while Boardman dipped to 1-4.
Crimping Boardman’s efforts in the game were a missed field goal, and the penalty flag.
Boardman wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard when sophomore Terrance Thomas took Mike Scavina’s opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. A Tom Fryda PAT gave the Spartans a 7-0 lead just 15 seconds into the game.
Mooney answered, staging a 12-play drive that culminated with a Zyere Rodgers 8-yard run at 6:42 of the first frame. Brian Philibin’s PAT knotted things up. Rodgers carried the ball seven times on the drive.
Boardman’s first possession of the game began at their own 25 yard line and stalled on three, straight plays, as Cam Thompson couldn’t hold onto a second down Zach Ryan pass, and a third down pass by Ryan sailed high of its mark.
Connor Miller punted the ball away on fourth down and his 44-yard boot gave Mooney the ball on their own 28 yard line.
Facing second and eight, Rodgers, a sophomore, was belted by Isaac Land and Justin Wagner and fumbled. Wagner recovered to give Boardman the ball 35 yards from paydirt.
On this possession, Wrentie Martin stood at quarterback for the Spartans, who were promptly called for illegal procedure and faced a first and 15. Sophomore tailback Sean O’Horo got the call on a direct snap and darted ten yards before he was taken to the ground by Mooney’s Mike Pastella.
A Martin to Miller pass hook-up gave the Spartans a first down at the 13 yard line, and then Boardman got a break when the Cards were hit with an encroachment penalty and faced a third and 1. On that play, Martin fumbled the snap from center and recovered to force the Spartans into a fourth down, 26-yard field goal try. Fryda’s kick sailed wide left and Mooney escaped with 2:21 left in the first quarter.
With action moving into the second quarter, Mooney faced a third and 11 near midfield, but had to punt when Boardman’s Justin Wagner put Card quarterback Pat Guerrieri to the turf on a third down run.
The Spartans next possession ended when Ryan was stuffed by Cody Clegg and Guerrieri to force a Miller punt on fourth and 13.
First half play ended, 7-7.
Mooney’s had the ball first in the third quarter and staged an 80-yard drive that ended when Guerrieri connected with Scavina on a 35-yard scoring pass. A Philibin kick made it 14-7.
Using short bursts from O’Horo, and aided by passes from Ryan to Thomas and Cam Thompson, Boardman faced a third and 1, and converted when O’Horo picked-up five yards for a first down at the Mooney 22 yard line. Two plays later, Ryan hit Thompson, who broke a tackle by Clegg and scrambled 12 yards into the end zone. Fryda’s PAT tied the game again, 14-14, with 20 seconds left in the third quarter to cap a nine play drive.
Mooney took the ensuing kickoff out to the 45 yard line, but the nifty return by Al Pecchia was stymied when the Cards were hit with a holding call that moved the ball back to the 11 yard line.
Facing a third and 4, Mooney called on Rodgers, who was taken down by O’Horo to force a punt.
Scavina faced heavy pressure from the Spartans on the kick and Boardman got the ball back on the Mooney 38 yard line and surged downfield, keyed by five, straight runs from O’Horo. His fifth run put Boardman back in the lead with 8:24 left in the game.
Mooney’s next possession began on the 19 yard line and didn’t get very far. On first down, Guerrieri was taken down by Rashie Garner. Facing a second and 7, Colin Rushen’s snap from center sailed past Guerrieri, who fell on the loose ball for a 13 yard loss. The Cards couldn’t overcome the miscue and punted and Boardman got the ball back at the Mooney 44 yard line with 6:34 left in the game.
But the play was nullified when Boardman was hit with an illegal participation penalty that put the Cards into a fourth and 1 situation that they converted.
A Guerrieri pass hook-up with Pastella gave the Cards a first down at the Boardman 31 yard line. When Garner put Guerrieri to the turf two plays later, Mooney faced a fourth and 3 at the 25 yard line with 3:20 left in the game. On the play, Isaac Land stuck Guerrieri to stop the Mooney thrust and Boardman maintained its 21-14 lead with 3:01 remaining.
The Spartans took over and stayed on the ground, calling O’Horo’s number three straight plays. An Andrew Armile third down stop for the Cards forced a punt with 1:59 left.
From this point on, officiating helped to determine the outcome.
When Guerrieri tried a first down run, he was taken hard to the turf by Connor Miller. The play was flagged for a personal foul, moving the ball to the Boardman 40 yard line.
After two incomplete passes, Guerrieri hit Joe Kordupel, who made a great fingertip catch to give the Cards a first down, 20 yards from the end zone, and from there, the Cardinal signalcaller fired a strike over the middle to a wide open Scavina for a touchdown to tie the game, 21-21, with 57 seconds left.
Thompson’s kickoff return to the 33 yard line gave the Spartans a chance. Three plays later, Ryan hit Miller, who made a one-handed catch, with a lofty 41-yard aerial that gave Boardman a first down on the Mooney 11 yard line with 18 seconds left in the game.
Ryan got behind center and waited until five seconds were left on the clock and spiked the ball to apparently stop the clock and set the stage for a game-winning field goal try by Fryda. But the official, head lineman Ron Sinchak, ruled wide receiver Thomas walked over the line of scrimmage, and back, for an encroachment call, and instead of taking the penalty, Mooney took the play. Officials reset the ball, started the clock and time expired, sending the game into overtime.
Mooney got the first possession of the extra period and on their sixth play, Rodgers went over the goal line from three yards out. A Philibin PAT kick gave Mooney a seven point lead.
Boardman answered in three plays, when O’Horo scored from a yard out, and the Spartans decided to go for two points and win the game. On the play, Miller was dropped a yard short of the end zone as Mooney claimed a 28-27 victory. On the play, a trio of Cardinals, Dino D’Alesio, Patella and Andrew Armile, broke through Boardman’s line blocker, Joe Sferra, to take Miller down.
The officiating crew left the field under police escort.
Much of the game featured the sophomore running backs of Rodgers and O’Horo. O’Horo finished as the game’s leading ground gainer, picking-up 125 yards on 23 carries. He also played most of the game on the defensive side of the ball.
Spartan Head Coach Joe Ignazio noted “Sean ran the ball extremely well. He is a sophomore who has stepped up. He isn’t a big ‘rah-rah’ guy. He just gets it done. Our kids feed off of his toughness.
“Our offensive line played well all night,” Ignazio said, lauding the performances of Tyler Utsinger, Dave Merdich, Ryan Henry, Anthony Micco and Joe Sferra, who gave O’Horo room to run.”
Rodgers ended with 96 yards in 18 lugs, the first time this season he had been held to under 100 yards.
Card Head Coach P.J. Fecko noted that “Zyere has done great job for us all year. He’s a very talented individual, but most importantly he’s a great team player.” The head coach also lauded the play of his offensive line, including Rushen, Carl Farina, Will Skretta, Kerri Kewlett ansd Louise Gentile.
Mooney also used three tight ends in the game---Devon Jenkins, Pastella and Dino D’Alesio.
“I’m pleased with the way our guys competed all evening and did a great job of staying focused, being patient and making plays,” Fecko said.
Leading the defensive charges for Boardman was Garner with 11 solo takedowns, a pair of assists and a pair of sacks.
“He was all over the field, all night,” Ignazio said.
Also keying the Spartan defense was Miller with 9 hits and 6 assists, Zach Johnson with 7 hits and 3 assists, O’Horo with a takedown and 9 assists, and Wagner with 2 hits and 7 assists.
Boardman lost 67 yards on seven penalties, and Mooney as hit with the flag five times for 30 yards.
Guerrieri went 7 of 11 passing, good for 117 yards; while Ryan was 5 of 10 for 84 yards.
Mooney held a 19-15 advantage in first downs, and a 335-249 margin in total offense.
“We played well, just not well enough to win. Everyone wants to complain about referees, but that’s what happens when you put it in their hands. It never should have been. There were plays that could have been made prior to a few calls and we didn’t make them. We just kept giving them life. You let teams hang around long enough and eventually something falls their way,” Ignazio said.
Boardman moves on to face Garfield Heights (2-3) in an away game this weekend.
“They are a very athletic team. We need to be able to limit their skill in space. They have the ability to take it to the house on any given play,” Ignazio said.
Garfield lost to Maple Heights, 64-20, last week.
Mooney plays its first home game (at Stambaugh Stadium) this weekend, facing Youngstown East (3-2).
“It’s going to be nice to be back home for the back half of the schedule… First five games where a bear being on the road traveling out of town as much as we did but it’s now behind us and we get to enjoy being home
“East is a very dangerous football team ..they’re playing really good football right now and they can strike in so many different ways it makes them a very hard team to prepare for,” Fecko said.
 GAME NOTES: On the sidelines for the game was former Boardman High School, Miami University and Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar, who led the Spartans to their last unbeaten season in the 1980’s. Kosar, now 55, was a special guest during a pre-game social gathering honoring the newest inductees into the Boardman Booster Hall of Fame. Kosar gave a ‘thumbs-up’ when asked if current Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is ‘the real deal.’ He also touted his new holistic diet.....The officiating crew for the game---Ed Costello, referee; Vince Julian; umpire; Ron Sinchak, head lineman; and Gary Ditullio, line judge; and Gary Ditullio, back judge; left the field under police escort..... On Boardman’s final play in overtime, the Spartans tried an end sweep. One of Mooney’s starting defensive tackles, Carl Farina, had left the game with leg cramps.....

PICTURED: CONNOR MILLER, 13, MADE A SPECTACULAR ONE-HAND GRAB at the 11 yard line to give Boardman hopes to break a 21-21 tie with a field goal try with 18 seconds left in the game last week in action against Cardinal Mooney. With the clock still ticking, Spartan quarterback Zach Ryan spiked the ball with five seconds left on the clock. But officials made an encroachment call on the spike, that Mooney declined, and the clock wound down to zero, to force overtime. Defending on the play is Mooney’s Michael Santisi, 9.

  Boardman’s Butch Anderson: “Back In Those Days, Nobody Could Beat Him”  
  August 22, 2019  
Butch Anderson
associate editor
In 1950, the Boardman Spartans football team went onto the field as a member of Ohio elite, big school ‘Class A’ teams, abandoning the old Tri County Conference in favor of the rugged Steel Valley Conference that featured such teams as the Campbell Memorial Red Devils, Girard Indians, Hubbard Eagles, Struthers Wildcats and Austintown Fitch Falcons.
It was six years later that a Spartan grid team finally posted a winning record in the ‘A’ division, in 1956, when Boardman went 7-2 under second year Head Coach Jerry Thorpe.
A year before, Boardman went 3-5-1 in Thorpe’s first year at the helm and in that season, arguably one of the best running backs in Spartan grid history began to emerge in junior Ronald ‘Butch’ Anderson.
Butch didn’t play on the gridiron during his sophomore year. His parents didn’t want him to. As former Spartan end and All-Steel Valley teammate Dick LaLumia recalls, Butch was talked into playing football in 1955 by his teammates.
The Spartans dropped their first five games of the season, before getting into the win column, 32-20, over Hubbard. After a shutout loss to Struthers, the Spartans closed-out the season with 26-7 and 26-0 victories over Newton Falls and Fitch.
It was the win over Fitch that put fans on notice for the 1956 season, as Anderson tallied all four TDs for the winners.
However, Anderson had knee problems and in the spring of 1956 underwent surgery. He was given no more than a remote chance to ever play again.
By late summer and barely off crutches, Anderson vowed, “I’ll be ready to play.”
With hopes high for the ‘56 season, the Spartans opened on Sept. 14 with a 38-0 loss to the eventual Steel Valley champs that year, Memorial’s Red Devils, under the tutelage of legendary Johnny Knapic.
Coach Thorpe said his team “seemed to be lacking spirit.”
The Spartans came back in their next outing, besting Wilson High School’s Presidents, 20-2, as Anderson was the difference, scampering for a pair of touchdowns.
He came back the following week, running for 106 yards in 16 carries, to lead Boardman to a come from behind, 13-7 win over the Niles McKinley Red Dragons.
Next up for Boardman was the Girard Indians, a team the Spartans hadn’t defeated since 1927, and a team that featured legendary running back Bill Tripplet. But Anderson’s knees were bothering him and it was uncertain how long, or if he could play.
Butch put on an exhibition that left fans dazzled, and by the end of the game, the fans in the stands at Boardman Stadium gave him a standing ovation.
In a 34-13 win, Butch rambled for four TDs, including a pair on runs of 76 and 36 yards, and finished with 242 rushing.
Next up for the Spartans was Youngstown North, and Anderson saw limited action in a 26-2 Boardman win. Despite issues with his knees, he still scored a pair of TDs and also tossed a 28 yard scoring strike to LaLumia.
After carrying the ball twice and netting 40 yards in the following game against Hubbard, Anderson twisted a knee and left the field of play. The Spartans lost, 12-0.
The injury forced Anderson off the field for Boardman’s next game, although the Spartans claimed an 18-7 victory over the Salem Quakers. Anderson was in Cincinnati during the game, undergoing an operation.
Boardman faced Struthers in the next to the last game of the season, and Coach Thorpe kept his injured player on the bench.
But Anderson kept telling the head coach, “I’m okay coach, put me in coach.”
After the game, Coach Thorpe recalled, “More to please him that anything else, I put him in, and I kept my fingers crossed.”
On his first carry, Anderson darted 64 yards for a touchdown. On his second carry, he went 13 yards for a score.
Later in the game, with Anderson on the bench, the Wildcats stopped the Spartans three times on the one yard line.
Thorpe inserted Anderson back into the lineup on fourth down, and Butch went untouched into the end zone for another TD. Boardman came away with a 34-12 victory.
In the game, Butch carried the ball just five times, gained 95 yards and posted three touchdowns.
The Spartans dominated Fitch in the season finale, topping the Falcons, 32-0, as Anderson ran 15 times, finishing with 147 yards and scoring three touchdowns, including one on a 55 yard jaunt.
Playing on bad knees, and through two knee operations during his junior and senior seasons, Anderson finished his career with 23 touchdowns. During his senior season, he rushed for 797 yards in just eight games.
In addition to the big win over Girard in 1956, the Spartans won their first game over Niles in 27 years, their first win over Wilson since 1940 and only their second win ever over Struthers.
Anderson was named the SVC’s back of the year and in addition to All-SVC and All Northeastern Ohio laurels, he was named third-team All-Ohio running back.
“He set the pace that stamps him as one of the greatest gridders in Spartan history,” Coach Thorpe said, adding “He played the lead part in an episode that clearly exemplifies the rewards of deep-rooted determination and desire.”
Former Spartan assistant grid coach Ed Lugibihl echoed the head coach, noting “Back in those days, nobody could beat him. He had all the athletic ability.”
Butch Anderson was inducted into the Boardman High School Hall of Fame in 1985. He died Aug. 3, 2013 in Oregon after battling diabetes and other complicated medical issues.
His performance against the Girard Indians in 1956 still rates as one of the best showings ever in a game in Boardman High School history.

Top Five Single Game
Boardman HS Rushing Records
1) Larry Tracy, 1965 vs. Hubbard.......265 yards
2) Evan Beard,1999 vs. Pickerington....248 yards
3) Russ Spitz, 1977 vs. Wilson.........246 yards
4) Butch Anderson, 1956 vs. Girard.....242 yards
5) Evan Beard, 1999 vs. Brunswick......240 yards
  Boardman Eyes Unprecedented Third Straight Post-Season Appearance  
  The Journey Begins Fri., Aug. 30 With Season-Opener Against Erie McDowell:   August 22, 2019  
By Greg Gulas
Boardman News Sports Staff
The Boardman Spartans went 6-5 last season, losing four regular season games by a mere 21 points en-route to a program first – consecutive play-off appearances.
The goal this season is to once again play in Week No. 11, much like they have in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
“For us, it’s all about fundamentals and doing the little things that make you a good team,” said head coach Joe Ignazio, who begins his seventh season at the helm. “Last year, we had a group of players that played for three years and we took for granted their experience. This year, we don’t have a lot of experience so it’s back to the drawing board, teach the fundamentals and thus far it has been a lot of fun.”
Of the 57 players who dot this year’s roster, Ignazio and staff welcome back 18 seniors and 13 juniors, 31 upperclass members from which to draw on their leadership abilities.
There are 25 sophomores and one freshman also seeking playing time, players that will have to grow up fast if the Spartans expect to become as deep a unit as they were a season ago.
For Ignazio, it has always been about defense first, adding “if you cannot stop anybody, then you can’t win. We preach defense first and that first practice we have is always a defensive session.”
The saying outside his office and immediately inside their locker room at Door No. 13 of the high school capsulizes his entire defensive approach.
That sign reads: “A defensive players commitment to his teammates can be measured by his distance from the ball at the end of each play.”
Ignazio’s teams usually have a slogan, but they’ve gotten away from that this year and will adhere to the theme, “Chop Wood, Carry Water.”
“I read Joshua Medcalf’s book this year and it talks about falling in love with the process of becoming great,” Ignazio noted. “We try to find some nugget to motivate our players because we aren’t just coaching football, we’re educating kids. It goes hand in hand with character development and doing the little things that wake you a winner. It’s a bring your lunch pail to work mentality.”
The Spartans will run a spread offense this season with seniors Wrentie Martin and Zach Ryan vying for the starting signal-caller nod.
Martin is the more experienced of the two under center, having completed 14 of 21 passes last year for 183 yards and two touchdowns as a back-up. Ryan failed to complete his only attempt.
Senior Nate Thompson, who rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown on 20 totes (136 of those yards came against Ashtabula Lakeside in the regular season finale) a year ago, is the running back with Timmy Bowser (senior) and Sean O’Horo (sophomore) fighting for playing time.
Junior Aiden Slocum (eight catches for 99 yards) and sophomore Terrance Thomas are one set of receivers with junior Cam Thompson (two receptions for 38 yards and one touchdown) and sophomore Anthony Hightower comprising the other set.
Senior Connor Miller, who caught 19 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns a year ago, and junior Ty Ventresco are the tight end hopefuls.
Senior Isaac Land and junior Ryan Henry are the centers with both interchangeable at the left guard slot. Senior Dave Merdich and junior Anthony Micco are the right guards.
Sophomore Joe Sferra is the right tackle, senior Tyler Utsinger the left tackle with junior Nick Winsen set to back up both positions as he battles for playing time.
The Spartans are a 4-4 defensive unit with Merdich and Land the tackles up front.
Last year, they registered an impressive 74 minus yardage hits, which was second best all-time for a season while their 24 sacks were fifth all-time for a campaign as well.
Sophomore Cortland Love and Henry are the defensive ends with senior Rashie Gardner and junior Jake Powell back-ups pushing for playing time.
Miller (40 tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery) and sophomore Blaine Strines are the inside linebackers with junior Richy Evans and senior Justin Wagner the back-ups.
The outside linebackers are Nate Thompson (23 tackles, two pass break-ups, one sack for 6 yards and one fumble recovery) and senior Zach Johnson (three tackles) with O’Horo and junior Luke Huzicka battling form playing time.
Senior Tyler Peterson (23 tackles, interception, three pass break-ups, caused fumble) is the free safety, Slocum (three pass break-ups) and Hightower the corners with Ryan and Cam Thompson back-ups at all three positions.
Special Teams
Ignazio, like most head coaches, preaches sound special team play and this season is unfolding as something special in the kicking department.
Miller and Zach Johnson are the punters with record-setting Tommy Fryda the placekicker who will also handle kick-offs.
Fryda, a senior, is a three-year letterwinner who will only add to his records as he already holds the standard for career extra points (87), is third all-time with 105 total points (behind Andrew Good’s 127 and Trevor Ragan’s 122) and third with 35 extra points in a season (a sophomore in 2017, one behind Phil Curl, who set the mark with 36 in 2007).
Ventresco is the long and short snapper while Tyler Peterson and Slocum are the punt returners, and Slocum, Cam Thompson and Thomas the kick returners.
“Our schedule isn’t an easy one so there is no week off for us,” Ignazio said. “We’ll see athletes every week and must be ready. We must improve every week.”
After Erie McDowell, the Spartans travel to Poland (September 6) and Massillon Jackson (September 13), will entertain Howland (September 20) and Cardinal Mooney (September 27) then play three road games at Garfield Heights (October 4), Warren Harding (October 11) and Ursuline (October 18).
They’ll finish the regular season at home against Austintown Fitch (October 25) and Canfield (November 1).

Boadman Spartans
2019 Football Schedule
Fri., Au. 30: Erie McDowell........home
Fri., Sept. 6: Poland Seminary.....away
Fri., Sept. 13: Massillon Jackson..away
Fri., Sept. 20: Howland............home
Fri., Sept. 27: Cardinal Mooney*...home
Fri., Oct. 4: Garfield Heights.....away
Fri., Oct. 11: Warren Harding......away
Fri., Oct. 18: Ursuline............YSU
Fri., Oct. 25: Austintown..........home
Fri., Nov. 1: Canfield.............home
*Homecoming/Hall Of Fame
  Mooney Cardinals Look To Bounce Back From Disappointing 4-6 Mark  
  Play First Five Games On The Road and End With Five At Home:   August 22, 2019  
By Greg Gulas
Boardman News Sports Staff
Head coach P.J. Fecko enters his 20th season as mentor of the Cardinal Mooney Cardinals, cautiously optimistic that they can improve on their un-Mooney-like 4-6 finish of a season ago.
With four state titles (2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011) and three runner-up (2005, 2007 and 2013) finishes under his watch, the Cardinals will need to start strong as they open with five road contests before ending the year with five home games at YSU’s Stambaugh Stadium.
The schedule remains one of the most difficult of any area team, but Fecko believes that the early test, which includes four-time defending state champion Akron Archbishop Hoban (September 6), and first-time opponent Pittsburgh Carrick High School (September 14), will help his team as they move forward.
“It’s basically the same cast of characters with one newcomer,” Fecko said. “The bar is high, that’s for sure as there are play-off teams and a four-time state champion in Akron Archbishop Hoban that we must face. The guys understand the challenge ahead and are ready to get going.”
The Cardinals will open with the Chaney Cowboys at Rayen Stadium and most eyes will be on the lidlifter when Fecko goes up against former assistant Chris Amill, the Cowboys’ new head coach who spent 16 years on the Cardinals’ staff and is entrusted with bringing the team back to varsity status for the first time since the 2010 season when the program was disbanded.
“Chris and I played together, coached together and have been together a lot of years,” Fecko added. “We’ve had a lot of great times, but first you’ve got to worry about yourself, your game preparation and what we control. You can’t get caught up because it is what it is. You just prepare and hope to get better each week.
“We end the season with five home games and that’s a nice feeling. Hopefully you are in a rhythm by then. The weather gets nastier about that time and we have a great facility in YSU’s Stambaugh Stadium.
“We’ve had a great pre-season camp but need to replace a lot of players so there are no shoo-ins at any position. It’s been an enjoyable camp and the players have been eager to compete, so it has been easy to go out on the field each day.”
The Cardinals return 13 letterwinners, four of whom were starters on the offensive side of the ball.
Two juniors, Pat Guerrieri and A.J. Pecchia are locked in a battle for the starting signal callers’ job, each very capable and comfortable in Fecko’s multiple system.
Four players are fighting for the two running back slots, including seniors Dom Byrd and Michael Santisi, and sophomores Zyere Rodgers and Christian Colosimo.
Junior Michael Pastella, seniors Walt Sweeney, Cody Clegg, Joe Kordupel and Michael Scavina are the wide receiver candidates with Guerrieri and Pecchia also in the mix when one isn’t under center.
Seniors Dante D’Alesio and Jack McGlone, and junior Dan Lyons are the tight ends.
Senior Colin Rushen is the center, the two guards are juniors Will Skretta and Carl Farina with Kerri Hewlett (junior), Louie Gentile (senior) the two tackles, backed up by incoming freshman Adam Garloch.
The Cardinals are a 4-3 defensive unit and return three starters with Skretta and Farina the interior front, and Lyons and D’Alesio the ends.
McGlone and Colosimo are the middle linebackers, Santisi the sam linebacker and Pastella the will linebacker.
Pecchia, Scavina, Rodgers, junior Chris Marshall and Kordupel are the five cornerback hopefuls looking to fill two slots while all will see action as the season unfolds.
Four candidates looking to fill two safety slots include senior Andrew Armile, Guerrieri, Clegg and Sweeney.
Like most head coaches, Fecko appreciates his special teams’ play and realizes they can be difference-makers.
Scavina is the punter, junior Brian Philibin will handle both the kick-off and placekicking duties with D’Alesio serving as both the long and short snapper.
Pecchia and Santisi are the punt returners with Rodgers joining Santisi for kick-return duties.
After their opener with Chaney on August 29, the Cardinals will travel to Akron Archbishop Hoban (September 6), Pittsburgh Carrick (September 14), Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (September 20) and Boardman (September 27) before finishing at home against East (October 4), Louisville (October 11), Warren Harding (October 19), Ursuline (October 25) and Austintown Fitch (November 1).

Cardinal Mooney Cardinals
2019 Football Schedule
Thurs., Aug. 29: Chaney.................Rayen
Fri,., Sept. 6: Akron Hoban.............away
Sat., Sept. 14: Pittsburgh Carrick......away
Fri., Sept. 20: Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary..away
Fri., Sept. 27: Boardman................away
Fri., Oct. 4: Youngstown East...........YSU
Fri., Oct. 11: Louisville...............YSU
Sat., Oct. 19: Warren Harding...........YSU
Fri., Oct. 25: Ursuline.................YSU
Fri., Nov. 1: Austintown Fitch..........YSU
  Boardman All-Stars Top Hamilton, 5-4, To Claim State Championship  
  August 8, 2019  
CAMBRIDGE, OH.---Boardman Community Baseball’s 9-11 all-star team posted four straight wins and claimed the Ohio Little League title, topping Hamilton, 5-4, in the championship game last Sunday at Robert Wagstaff Field.
Boardman jumped on Hamilton early when Collin Resetar opened the second inning with an infield single. Cooper Martz came on to pinch run and Alex Battaglia executed a perfect bunt to put runners on first and third base with no outs. Cameron Ganser then singled to right field driving in Martz and moving Battaglia to third, and Ryan Mitchell followed with another single and that plated Battaglia to give the Boardman stars a 2-0 lead.
Chris Vass layed down a sacrifice bunt to move Mitchell and Ganser to second and third. Vincent Butto singled both runners home and the lead grew to 4-0. Ryan Smith added another hit, scoring Butto for what proved to be the winning run.
Resetar held Hamilton at bay the rest of the game on the mound, scattering six hits and allowing four earned runs. He struck out 11 batters.
Boardman threatened to break the game open in the fourth inning when Smith singled to center, but Gabe Hammerton was thrown out at home trying to score from second.
Hamilton tacked on three runs in the fifth to cut Boardman’s margin to 5-4 going into the bottom of the sixth inning when Resetar induced a fielders choice to Chris Vass at second base for the final out.
Boardman 17 - New Albany 0
Resetar pitched five innings of one-hit ball for the Spartans, and Smith came on and worked a perfect sixth frame to preserve the shutout.
Boardman’s offense was paced by Resetar and Smith who had three hits each and combined for 8 RBI’s. Butto and Dominick Gordon added two hits each. Smith, Butto and Gabe Hammerton each scored three runs on the night. The victory advanced Boardman to semifinal play against Cambridge.
Boardman 5 - Cambridge 3
Anthony Groner pitched a 5-hit complete game only surrendering three earned runs, and also was 2-3 at the plate with a pair of RBI’s.
The score was tied at 3-3 in the fifth with one out, when Hammerton doubled to left to start a rally. Smith followed with a double driving in Hammerton, and Groner followed with a single to drive in Smith. Vass, Gordon and Ryan Mitchell were also credited with hits.
Perfect In Tourney Play
BCB’s 9-11 all-stars posted a perfect record in tournament play. They went 4-0 in the Chuc Schafer Memorial Tournament, 3-0 in district play and 4-0 in the state tourney.
  Noah Calabrette, Applewood Tennis & Swim Club  
  August 1, 2019  
photo/Howard Reese
 NOAH CALABRETTE CHURNS through the pool en route to a win in the 11-12 boys division breaststroke last week when the Applewood Tennis and Swim Club’s swim team bested the Boardman Tennis and Swim Club’s swim team, 279-219. Calabrette, swimming for Applewood, also claimed a third place in the butterfly, and swam a leg on the winning freestyle relay team. Applewood won the meet, 279-213.
  August 1, 2019  
Boardman Community Baseball’s 12 and under Little League all-star team fell out of post-season play last week, falling to New Albany, 9-3, for their second loss in the state tournament.
Keyed by a pair of RBIs off the bat of Grayson Eicher, Boardman assumed a 3-1 lead in the top of the third stanza.
New Albany came right back in the bottom of the third, loading the bases twice and wrapped-up the inning putting six runs across the plate. to take a 7-3 lead that Boardman couldn’t overcome.
New Albany added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning for the final score.
The loss marked the second,straight season that a New Albany all-star team knocked Boardman out of the state tournament.
Eichinger got the mound win, working 4-1/3 innings.
Boardman used four pitchers in the game, Starter Ryan Neifer went 2-1/3 innings and took the mound loss. Working in relief for the local all-stars were Luke Kollar, Anthony Triveri and Mason Nawrocki. Boardman twirlers combined for 9 Ks in the game.
Notching Boardman’s other RBI was Kaden Mayhew, who had two of Boardman’s four hits in the game.
Boardman went into the New Albany game after posting big wins, 11-0 over Ashtabula, and 16-1, over Mt. Vernon.
Nawrocki and Mike Demetrios combined for a 4-0, mercy-rule no-hitter in the shutout win over ‘Bula, combining for 8 Ks.
Boardman had seven hits in the game, led by a pair of hits off the bat of Ty Kirlik, who had a pair of RBIs.
Adding one hit each were Kollar, Eicher, Kayden Mayhew, Neifer and a two-bagger by Triveri, who also finished with a pair of RBIs.
Neifer, Kollar, Mayhew, Kirlik and Eicher each logged stolen bases.
Boardman banged-out 13 hits in the large victory over Mt. Vernon, as Kirlik and Kollar combined for a one hitter on the mound, posting 6 Ks.
Kirlik, Kollar and Eicher all had doubles.
Kollar had thee hits, while Triveri and Neifer each had two hits. Adding one hit each were Kirlik, Mayhew, Donald Bagdassarian, Max Swtika and Demetrios.
Neifer and Mayhew each stole a base, while Ivan Rudiak reached first base when he was hit by a pitch.
  38-Year-Old Justin Coffin Takes Reigns As Boardman Lady Spartans Head Hoop Coach  
  July 25, 2019  
Justin Coffin
The Boardman Local School Board has named Justin Coffin, 38, as new head girls varsity basketball coach, replacing Jeff Hammerton, who resigned to accept a position as assistant athletic director at Boardman High School.
Coffin has ten years of coaching experience in the Boardman Local Schools, including the past four seasons as junior varsity head coach for the Lady Spartans, where his teams posted an overall mark of 36-42.
He is a 2005 graduate of The Ohio State University and earned his teaching certification in Feb., 2007 from Ashland University.
He has served since 2012 as a second grade teacher at West Blvd. Elementary School.
Boardman High School’s Lady Spartans went 11-12 last season, as one of their top players, Maria Torres went down with a knee injury.
The lady Spartans graduate five seniors and six letter winners will return for the 2019-20 season, including Torres, Raegan Burkey, Katie Stamp, Emma Tokarsky, Serene Khatib and Bailey Moore, who are all juniors.
“We have a lot of speed, so we will hang out hat on tough defense that will communicate and work as one unit,” Coffin said this week.
He added, “Offensively we will do our best to put our players in the best situations to succeed. We will play under control but with tempo on offense and will stress ball movement while trying to push in transition when we have opportunities.”
Hammereton led Lady Spartans hoop fortunes since Ohio Hall of Fame coach Ron Moschella resigned in 2012, after 31 years at the helm. Hammerton’s teams won district runners-up laurels in back-to-back seasons, 2015-16 and 2016-17, while compiling an overall 81-88 log during his tenure.
  Mike O’Horo Claims 5th Spot At Ohio Prep Mat Championships  
  March 14, 2019  
wrestling reporter
Borofan (Billy Schaefer) Ohio prep wrestling ratings had predicted Boardman High School’s Mike O’Horo would not qualify for state competition a couple of weeks ago at the district tournament. O’Horo made a fool of him.
For last week’s state tournament, Borofan doubled-down and predicted O’Horo would lose two matches on Thursday and be out of the tournament. The 170-lb., three-year letterman made Schaefer look like an even bigger fool.
In his first match at the state tournament O’Horo was up against Michael Garcar of powerhouse Lakewood St, Ed’s. Garcar scored a takedown and led 2-1 after the first period. Feeling confident, Garcar took down to start the second period. That was a mistake. O’Horo took advantage of the top position and tilted Garcar three times to lead 10-2.
Liking how he did in the second period, O’Horo chose top to start the third and again tilted Garcar three times to tech his foe, 19-2.
Great call Borofan!
“Very rarely do yet get in a situation where the St. Ed’s coaches made a wrong decision but they put their guy down and Mike got on top and just got on a roll and started turning him. We just stayed on top and ended up tech falling him. We were down 2-0 and turned it into a 19-2 victory,” Spartan mat coach Dom Mancini said.
“That definitely set the tone for the state tournament. It gave me a lot of confidence in my tilt. Being down early and then not even thinking about it, getting on top and getting to work on my turns, it definitely helped me confidence wise for the tournament and set the tone for it as well,” O’Horo said after the first match.
O’Horo had a tough draw in the bracket and in the second match of the tourney on Friday morning he was up against Nevan Snodgrass of Kettering Fairmont (44-2), a wrestler many considered the second best at 170#. Snodgrass won the match, 10-2.
In the next match, considered the blood round because if you win you are guaranteed a placement at state, O’Horo was up against Kamal Andawumi of Mason (42-9), who is headed to Ohio Univeristy next fall on a wrestling scholarship. After a scoreless first period, O’Horo took down and escaped to lead 1-0. Late in the third period still leading, O’Horo was called for stalling that tied the score 1-1. In overtime, O’Horo scored the winning takedown to win 3-1 and guarantee placing at the state meet.
“It was 1-0 with about two seconds left in the match and they hit me with a stalling to give him a point to go to OT. Going into OT there wasn’t any panic or worry. I just knew I was going to take him down. I just felt I had out wrestled him and just wore him down and out-conditioned him. It was definitely a huge match. The feeling that came over me after getting the takedown in sudden victory was a happy feeling and a relief knowing I finally placed and could go wrestle and let it all fly,” O’Horo said of his win over Anduwami.
In his Friday night match in front of a full house, O’Horo was up against Jon List of Wadsworth (35-12). He again used his tilts to perfection against List. O’Horo tilted him twice and added an escape point for a dominant 7-0 victory.
On Saturday morning, O’Horo was up against Jake Evans of Elyria (43-8) with the winner going for third place. After a scoreless first period, Evans took down and O’Horo was unable to turn him. Evans escaped for a 1-0 lead. In an effort to tie the match, O’Horo took down, but Evans caught him and pinned him.
In the match for fifth place, O’Horo was up against Cole Foor of Pataskala Watkins Memorial (22-9). After a scoreless first period, Foor took down and O’Horo tilted him for a 3-0 lead. O’Horo was then called for stalling giving Foor a point. The Spartan senior then tilted his foe again for a 6-1 lead. O’Horo took top to start the third period and Foor pulled Mike’s finger to escape. O’Horo then took Foor down for an 8-2 lead. Foor escaped and then O’Horo picked him up and drove Foor into the mat. Instead of getting a takedown, Foor was awarded a penalty point for a slam. There was concern that Watkins Memorial would pull a ‘Canfield’ and have their wrestler say he was injured and couldn’t continue but Foor said he could wrestle and O’Horo went on to win the match and place fifth in Ohio in the 170-lb. division. He ended his season with a 46-8 record.
“D-1, 170-lbs. was a really deep weight class this year with a lot of good guys. It’s definitely something I’m proud of. Top five in the state is never a bad thing, so I’m really proud of it. It lets me see that my hard work paid off,” O’Horo said.
“I thought it was a great weekend of wrestling. There were ups and down but finishing fifth in the state was a pretty good accomplishment,” Coach Mancini said.
More than 52,000 fans showed-up at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus to watch the tournament.
The state mat finals capped a stellar prep athletic career for O’Horo as he was a three-year starter for the Spartans at quarterback, earning two appearances in post-season tournament play; and posting a 134-29 mark on the mats, gaining All-Ohio status.
  Pesky Defense Sets Pace As Spartans Top Cards For 14th Win In A Row  
  February 21, 2019  
Boardman High School’s cage team celebrated senior night for Shay Eicher, Cam Kreps, Che Trevena and Nick Torres in spectacular fashion, thumping Canfield, 63-41.
The Spartans used a pesky defense to build a 16-2 lead after one quarter and never looked back, leading 36-16 at halftime.
Derrick Anderson led all scorers with 16 points to go with 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Daeone Martin had his best all around game of the season with 12 points and 7 rebounds, and Che Trevena had a very balanced game with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals.
Tommy Fryda ignited the Spartans in the second quarter with back to back 3’s on his way to 8 points. Cam Kreps dominated inside defensively while scoring 5 points and grabbing 8 rebounds to go with 3 assists. Torres and Ethan Andersen each had 5 points. Andersen also pulled in 9 rebounds and had 5 blocked shots. Shay Eicher rounded out the scoring with 1 free throw, while Zach Ryan, Connor Miller and Charlie Davis all had large contributions on both ends of the floor.
“Last Friday was a great night for our seniors, they have been great leaders all year and deserve to get a senior night win against Canfield. Defensively we were really happy with our overall effort.
“We really wore Canfield down in the first half. A couple key plays early in the game were charge attempts by Shay Eicher, Cam Kreps and Connor Miller. We did not get the calls but it shows we are willing to sacrifice for our team,” Boardman Head Coach Pat Birch said.
The win was Boardman’s 14th in a row, improving their record to 18-3 (9-0 AAC). The Spartans will finish out the regular season this Friday at Austintown.
PICTURED: DAEONE MARTIN SPLITS CANFIELD defenders Joe Bruno, 5, and Kyle Gamble, at right for two points in action last week. Martin finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds. At left is Boardman’s Shay Eicher, 20.
  Boardman High School Spartans basketball team wins the school’s first league title (All American Conference/Red Tier)  
  February 14, 2019  
PICTURED: UNDER THE DIRECTION OF HEAD COACH PAT BIRCH, pictured, the Boardman High School Spartans basketball team won the school’s first league title (All American Conference/Red Tier) with a big victory over Warren Harding last weekend. The school’s last league title came in the 1999-2000 season when the Spartans, under the direction of Dan Gorski, won a Steel Valley Conference title.
  Still Pursuing His Dream, Boardman Native Mike Mannozzi Qualifies For A Third Time For U.S. Olympic Racewalking Trials  
  February 7, 2019  
 SANTEE, CALIF.---“In third place, winning the bronze medal is Michael Mannozzi, The Italian Stallion, a footwear advisor and father of two. The favorite son of Notre Dame College and Boardman, Ohio.”
Those words of race director and Rock’ n’ Roll Marathon Series co-founder, Tracy Sundlun echoed throughout Santee Trolley Square during the awards presentation for the USA Track and Field 50k race walk national championships.
Perhaps more impressive is the 2005 Boardman High School graduate had relocated three times in the past two years while rehabbing a lingering injury, on top of working and supporting a young family in Toronto, Canada.
His return to national level competition was aided by the mentorship of Marc Mundell, a two- time Olympian and 50k record holder for the continent of Africa.
Mundell helped create a training plan that began with manageable training and consistency that increased in volume to withstand the 31.1 mile event. This method resulted in Mannozzi winning three of his four previous championship events. Also playing a vital role in getting Mannozzi back to race form is Muscle Activation Therapy (MAT) specialist, Sue-Anne Watkins of Toronto, who began helping rehab his injury in fall 2017.
“Getting to the start line of this race symbolized much more for my family and I as nothing in life seems impossible after one completes a 50k. Maintaining a consistent training regimen in Canada’s winter with my other responsibilities was a success even before the championship race,” Mannozzi said..
The goal for Mannozzi was to finish and better the 5:15 needed to qualify for the 2020 Olympic trials. Many international and domestic athletes, including numerous Olympians registered with hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, race day temps rose to 82-degrees before the finish. It was full sun with a hot wind gusting on and off. This took a considerable toll as only 21 of the 36 starters completed the 31.1 mile race, an attrition rate of 31 per cent.
“Recalling my consistent training and trust in the race plan my coach and I agreed to, based off heart rate in training and ‘hold’ until 45km, paid off,” Mannozzi said.
At the marathon mark, Mannozzi found himself in fourth place and began to cut the two minute lead (roughly 400 meters) with each lap on Ian Whatley, who encouraged Mannozzi when he passed him.
Whatley is a major proponent of race walking and possesses the only race walk training center in the United States.
“Despite pain in my right hamstring, and fatigue at this point I calmly accepted the pressure and focused on my technique to take third place.
“This achievement symbolized overcoming all my family has been through with my son Matthew being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and for me to be an example to my sons through consistent work towards your goals paying off. I am proud to successfully represent our home.
“Making the podium with an Olympic Trials qualifying time of 5:07.56, Mannocci said he is incredibly proud to be the first man from the greater Youngstown area to qualify for a third Olympic trials in track and field.
His persistence is his sport has resulted in local and national support for his career, including national sponsors---Shore Athletic Club of New Jersey, Reshod Walking Shoes, Team IBB and XX2i Optics; and local sponsors Boardman Pizza Joes (Mario LaMacra), Second Sole, Cirelli Jewelers, Classic Tent and Party Rental, ORE (Outdoor Equipment), Youngstown Road Runners and Knuckle Busters of Struthers.
Winning the 50k national championship was Matthew Forgues with a time of 4:27.28, while Pabol Gomez was second at 5:01.51 and Mannozzi took third at 5:07.51. Whatley finished fourth at 5:10.45.
Mannozzi’s third place finish earned the racewalker $4000.
He frequently says, “I am thankful for the ability to walk faster than most people in the world can run! The race is always in front of you, never behind you.”
Mannozzi’s racewalking career began at Notre Dame College in Cleveland, Oh. where he came from a lap behind to stage a miracle finish and win the 2010 NAIA 3000 meter race walk.
He qualified for the Olympic Trials in 2012 where he placed ninth in ther 50k race walk and fifth in the 20k race walk; and also qualified in 2016 where he placed third in the 50k (but did not post a qualifying time) and also took seventh in the 20k.
  Boardman Wrestlers Host Season-Opening Tournament  
  Six Teams Take To Mats Saturday, Dec. 1 At 10:00 A.M. At Spartan Gym:   November 29, 2018  
wrestling reporter
Boardman High School’s wrestling team starts this season with two co-head coaches. Coach Dom Mancini is starting his 18th year as head coach and is joined by his brother Frank Mancini.
The Spartans did not have a state qualifier in the last two years, but they start this season with two state-ranked wrestlers and they are brothers. Senior Mike O’Horo is ranked 5th at 182# and Freshman Sean O’Horo is ranked 11th at 132#.
Mike O’Horo is coming off a team leading 38-win season last year and Sean O’Horo is coming off a 50-win Junior High season, including a state runner-up finish at the Covelli Center.
Boardman also has three District Qualifiers returning this season---Anthony Baglama, Nick Esmail and Kareem Hamden.
The Spartans have a large (16) and talented freshman class coming in, that are led by Sean O’Horo and Junior High State Qualifiers Dominic Vennetti, Daniel Ferry, Christian Odom, Tyler Rea and Blaine Strines.
The Sparans open the season hosting the Boardman Subaru Duals on Saturday, Dec. 1. Competing in the dual match tournament are Boardman, Alliance, Fitch, GlenOak, Cuyahoga Falls and Jefferson.
The Spartans only have two home dual matches this season and they are against two of the top teams in the state. On January 9, Boardman hosts the Canfield Cardinals ranked third in the state with seven, state-ranked wrestlers. On February 13, they host the Beaver Local Beavers ranked seventh in the state with seven state-ranked wrestlers.
“We’re going to have a young team. We have a lot of really good freshmen this year. I think we’re going to be competitive. It’s a big challenge when you are going up against teams like Beaver Local and Canfield. There are going to be some challenging dual meets but overall I think we’ll do well,” Coach Dom Mancini said.
Boardman’s top away dual meet will be on December 22 at Louisville where they will wrestle West Branch with three state-ranked wrestlers and Louisville, ranked fourth in the state with six state-ranked wrestlers.
The Spartans will be competing in both the Eastern Ohio Wrestling League and the All-American Conference this year. Canfield is the favorite in both.
Boardman’s varsity will compete in the Beaver Local Everett Hoppel Tournament Dec. 15, the 54th Kenston Invitational Dec. 28 and 29, the 43rd EOWL Tournament Jan. 11 and 12 at Fitch, the 33rd Alliance Top Gun Tournament Jan. 18 and 19 and the 26th Josh Hephner Tournament Jan. 25 and 26.
“I think we’re going to have a pretty good tournament team. We have some upperclassmen who hopefully are going to lead the way and hopefully that some of these younger guys can perform well too, seeing that these older guys are placing and winning tournaments, Coach Dom said.
Assistant coaches for this year’s team are Jack Raver, Kevin Powell and Nick Mancini.
Boardman warmed-up for the season with scrimmages at Fitch and Canfield where many of the varsity wrestlers wrestled tough against good competition.
“I would say our seniors Mike O’Horo and Kareem Hamden have impressed me the most so far, but I think we have had some freshmen working hard as well. I give that credit to the seniors for pushing those kids,” Coach Frank said.
The Spartans will again be competing in the North Canton Hoover District. At this time it is not known whether the Wadsworth Sectional or the Willoughby South Sectional will be competing at Hoover. It has also not been determined what sectional Boardman will be participating in. Politics is not limited to Washington D.C. It has raised it’s ugly head in high school wrestling this year!
The State Tournament will be held in the Schottenstein at The Ohio State University on March 7-9, 2019.
“The goal is to get three kids to state. They have to wrestle well and improve but I think they are the kind of kids to will do that. I don’t want to say their names yet because that will put too much pressure on them, but I think we’ll get three,” Coach Frank said.
The starting lineup for the 2018-2019 edition of the Spartans at the opening meet of the season will be determined in wrestle offs that will be held this week.
  Six Spartans Land Spots On AAC Gold Tier First Team  
  November 15, 2018  
Six Boardman High School gridders have earned All American Conference Gold Tier first team all-star honors, the league announced this week. Left off that top list was the Spartans leading defensive player of the season, inside linebacker Zach Hillard, who gained honorable mention laurels.
Tapped as first team offensive picks were three-year starting quarterback Mike O’Horo, tailback Joe Ieraci and wide receiver Che Trevena.
First team defensive picks were three-year starter and tackle Tino Arcuri, linebacker Kareem Hamden and end Alex Huzicka.
Joining Hillard as an honorable mention pick was center Jimmy Hoffman.
O’Horo, 6-1, 200 lbs., connected on 101 of 190 passes this season good for 1314 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also rushed for 324 yards and 8 touchdowns. On his career with the Spartans, O’Horo passed for more than 3500 yards and rushed for another 1500. Combining his passing and rushing stats, he accounted for some 50 career touchdowns.
Ieraci, 5-9, 170 lbs., served as a hard-nosed tailback for the Spartans, rushing for 600 yards this season on 128 carries for a 4.6 yard per carry average and three touchdowns. A sparkplug on the defensive side of the ball, Ieraci had eight tackles in playoff action against Maple Heights.
Trevena, 6-1, 165 lbs., paced the Spartans receiving corps this season with 33 grabs, good for 444 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Arcuri, 6-3, 265 lbs., was an anchor the past three seasons for Boardman on both sides of the ball. This year he finished with 49 tackles, including a team-high six sacks, as well as seven tackles for a loss and two hits that caused fumbles. He had his best game in playoff action against Maple Heights with eight takedowns.
Hamden, 5-7, 190 lbs., rated second for the Spartans on defense with 85 tackles on the season. He spiced his play with one interception, four pass break-ups, three hits that caused fumbles, three fumble recoveries, four sacks and nine hits for losses.
Huzicka, 6-3, 240 lbs., who set a new school mark for defensive ends in career hits for minus yards (33), finished the season with 62 tackles, (16 resulting in minus yardage). He had a pair of pass break-ups, two hits that caused fumbles and a pair of sacks. He also made a contribution on the offensive side of the ball, with 17 pass receptions good for 217 yards and a TD.
Hillard, a 5-9, 175 lbs. linebacker, keyed the Spartans defense since last year’s playoff game against Massillon Jackson when he finished as the game’s leading tackler.
This season, Hillard led Boardman with 96 takedowns, including a team-high 59 solo tackles, He posted eight hits for minus yards, had three sacks, as well as a fumble recovery, a pass break-up and a hit that caused a fumble.
Hoffman, a 6-0, 240 lb. lineman, started at center for the Spartans this year.
“Jimmy Hoffman took over the reigns at Center as a senior. He worked extremely hard. He is a kid that suffered from asthma. Couldn’t get through sprints. Kept working to the point where he didn’t even need his inhaler and could finish every workout. He is a fierce competitor,” said Head Coach Joe Ignazio.
Arcuri and Huzicka also earned first team Northeast Ohio Inland District laurels, while Hamden was a second team pick. Honorable mention went to O’Horo, Hillard and Trevena. Arcuri was selected to the Inland all-star team as an offensive lineman, while Huzicka was picked for his play at defensive end.
The Spartans, under Ignazio, finished the season with a 6-5 mark and made it to the Div. II playoffs for the second year in a row.
All American Conference
2018 All-Star Picks
Player of the Year
Kay’ Ron Adams, Warren Harding
1st Team Offense
Maurice Moore, Warren Harding, OL
Jaquahn McIntosh, Warren Harding, OL
Tommy Leskovac, Austintown Fitch, OL
Jarrett Lenney, Warren Harding, OL
Collin Smith, Austintown Fitch, OL
Che Trevena, Boardman, TE
Ralph Fitzgerald, Austintown Fitch, WR
Jakari Salter, Warren Harding, WR
Michael O’Horo, Boardman, QB
Kay’Ron Adams, Warren Harding, RB
Joe Ieraci Boardman, RB
1st Team Defense
Tino Arcuri, Boardman, DL
Alex Huzicka, Boardman, DL
Jared Zilinger, Warren Harding, DL
Simahjay Warfield, Warren Harding, DL
Jose Reynoso, Lakeside, LB
Alex Payavlas, Warren Harding, LB
Kareem Hamdan, Boardman, LB
Dom Montalbano, Austintown Fitch, LB
Maleek Cheatham, Austintown Fitch, LB
Gavin Bish, Lakeside, DB
Troy Jakubec, Warren Harding, DB
Cory Vernon, Austintown Fitch, DB
Mike Clauss, Warren Harding K,
Bobby Cavalier, Austintown Fitch, K
Honorable Mention
Deondre’ McKeever, Austintown Fitch
Roddell Bebbs, Austintown Fitch
Zach Hillard, Boardman
Jimmy Hoffman, Boardman
Johny Anservitz, Lakeside
Isaiah Fleming, Lakeside
Jeremy Wilson ,Warren Harding
Chris Chew, Warren Harding
  Spartans Move Into Post-Season Play On Wings Of 55-6 Blitz Over Ashtabula Lakeside  
  Boardman Faces Unbeaten Maple Heights In Opening Round Div. II Playoff Action:   November 1, 2018  
Joe Ignazio’s Boardman High School football team secured their second, straight Ohio Div. II playoff berth last Friday night, pinning a 55-6 loss on the Lakeside Dragons, as the Spartans ended with their best offensive output of the season to finish at 6-4. Lakeside ended at 2-8.
Boardman moves into playoff action this Friday night at unbeaten Maple Heights, 10-0.
The Spartans ended the regular season rated in Region 5 - Division II ratings of the Ohio High School Athletic Association at #7, while Maple Heights comes into the game rated #2 behind defending state champ and unbeaten Akron Hoban.
Three of Boardman’s losses this season were by a total of 11 points.
Spartan quarterback Mike O’Horo tossed for a pair of first quarter touchdowns, while Joe Iearci and Nate Thompson each broke the end zone on the ground as Boardman charged-out to a 27-0 first quarter lead.
The Spartans continued the assault in the second stanza, as Ieraci scored again, O’Horo hit Connor Miller for a 17-yard TD, and Josh Rodriguez scored from a yard out on his only carry of the game and Boardman was in command, 48-0, at the half.
Lakeside notched the only score of the third quarter, when Gavin Bish tallied from 4 yards out.
Boardman got its final TD of the game with 1:36 left on the clock when freshman Sean O’Horo went over the goal line on a 5-yard carry. The fleet freshman ended as the Spartans third-leading rusher in the game, averaging nearly 8 yards a carry in six runs.
Thompson led all rushers with a game-high 136 yards in 15 carries, while Ieraci averaged more than 9 yards a carry, finishing with 66 yards in seven totes.
Mike O’Horo went 6 of 8 through the air, good for 131 yards and three touchdowns, and also carried the ball three times for 27 yards,
Miller gobbled-up four aerials for 117 yards and a pair of TDs, while Karem Hamden grabbed a 10-yard scoring toss.
On the game, Boardman piled-up 301 yards on the ground, while limiting the Dragons rushing game to a minus-51 yards. Lakeside quarterback Johnny Anservitz hit of 14 of 25 passes, good for 58 yards.
Boardman’s defense was stout, as Mike Fetsko, Hamden, Zach Hillard, Ieraci, Miller, Alex Huzicka, Brandon Zagotti and Nikitas Missos all had tackles for losses. Fetsko spiced play with an interception, while Rasheed Garner, Tino Arcuri and Hillard logged sacks, and Hamden recovered a fumble.
Huzicka’s TFL made him the all-time leader in that category in Spartan history with 31 takedowns, surpassing Ryan Holmes, who logged 30 tackles for losses playing for the Spartans in 2006 and 2007.
Region 5 - Div. II Playoff Notes
Boardman vs. Maple Heights
The Maple Heights Mustangs came-from-behind to cap an unbeaten season with a 28-21 win over Cleveland Heights last weekend under first-year head coach Shaq Washington.
The Mustangs are averaging more than 42 points a game, while holding opponents to 12 points a game.
Maple Heights quarterback Devin Dial tossed for three touchdowns, including a pair to Bernard Bates, as the Mustangs captured the Lake Erie League championship. Bates also had a 77 yard kickoff return.
Last year, the Spartans traveled to Paul Brown Stadium as underdogs against the famed Massillon Tigers in first round playoff action. The Spartans gave-up a long kickoff return for a TD in the game on the opening play of the contest, and the return made the difference in the final tally, as the Spartans fell, 28-23. Boardman held a 23-14 lead with 9:19 left in the game.
Maple Heights Head Coach Washington was hired in March at the age of 24. He replaced former Cardinal Mooney grid star, Devlin Culliver, at the helm of Mustang grid fortunes. Eight years ago, Coach Washington led Maple Heights to the school’s only state grid title, playing at quarterback. He went on to play for the Cincinnati Bearcats, ending his collegiate career with a school record 240 receptions.
Only two teams on Maple Heights schedule finished the season with winning records, including Cleveland Heights (7-3) and Lorain (6-4), while Mansfield ended at 5-5, and Rhodes, South, North, University School, Bedford, Cleveland Shaw and Warrensville Heights finished with losing ledgers.
Six teams on Boardman’s schedule had winning records, including East (7-3), Massillon Jackson (6-4), Canfield (9-1), Warren G. Harding (8-2), and Austintown (8-2), all of whom except the Polar Bears have earned a spot in post-season play. The Spartans schedule also included Erie McDowell, Pa. (6-4).
Boardman High School has earned a playoff berth for the second year in a row for the first time in school history, and will take the field in playoff action under Head Coach Ignazio for the third time in his six years at the helm.
The Spartans will take the field averaging about 21 points a game while the defense has held opponents to about 11 points a game. 21-point outputs by Canfield and Austintown were the most points Boardman gave-up in a game during the regular season, holding all other foes to less than 20 points a game.
“We must contain their speed. They are athletic all over the place. They have a wide receiver who also plays corner, going to Kent State. We need to stay focused and win on the road,” Coach Ignazio said about this week’s playoff game with Maple Heights.
Boardman enters the game led by three-year starting quarterback O’Horo who has accounted for 16 touchdowns on the season, passing for 8 TDs and running for 8 TDs in nine games, missing the second game of the year against Howland with a leg injury.
O’Horo has connected on 94 of 176 passes good for 1224 yards. He has also carried the ball 84 times for 267 yards.
Leading the Boardman ground game are Rodriguez, averaging 4.6 yards a carry; and Ieraci, who averages 4.5 yards a carry.
On the season Rodriguez carried the ball 123 times for 572 yards and six TDs; while Ieraci ran 101 times, good for 457 yards and 3 TDs.
O’Horo has used no less than 10 different receivers this year, led by Che Trevena who has 33 catches for 44 yards and a pair of TDs. Miller has 16 catches for 275 yards and a pair of scores. Huzicka has 14 catches for 189 yards and a TD, while Cam Kreps has a dozen grabs for 166 yards and a pair of TDs.
Spartan placekicker, Tommy Fryda is in his third season, and this year converted 29 of 32 point-after-touchdown kicks, and 3 of 6 field goals, with a long boot of 33 yards.
Maple Heights boasts speed and offense. Senior quarterback Dial has peeked over defenses with his 5-8 frame to find Kent State commit De’Von Fox and Bates on a torrid pace.
Defensive end Charles Medley and linebacker Sha’Marr Simmons are veterans for this group, while Fox is one of the top cornerbacks in the state.
  Spartans Feature Some Experienced Players This Season  
  August 24, 2018  
Despite earning a spot in the Ohio Div. II playoffs last season, the Boardman Spartans left the field with a very sour taste in their mouth, and a 6-5 record.
Boardman held a 23-14 lead against the Massillon Tigers at Paul Brown Stadium with 9:19 left in opening round playoff action. But the Spartans defense couldn’t stop the combination of quarterback Aidan Longwell and wide receiver Austin Kuscher down the stretch and dropped a 28-23 contest that may have gone the other way, if the Spartans didn’t give-up a 91-yard kickoff return by Tyree Broyles on the opening play of the game.
If Boardman opens strong this year, and plays well in the final half of the season, the Tigers and Spartans may see each other again this post season, but not if three-time defending state champ Akron Hoban has anything to say about it.
With the competitive balance realignment mandated by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, Hoban is now in region 5, same as the Spartans.
“We return key players coming off of a playoff year. We will compete in a tougher region this year. We need to be better at home from a year ago. The expectations are high,” Boardman Head Coach Joe Ignazio said.
“Everyone is talking how good we should be. Right now it is all talk. We need to go out and compete. Our goal is to be back-to-back state playoff qualifiers. We need to develop some depth to do that,” he added.
The Spartans open the season Fri., Aug. 24 with a home game against Youngstown East, and with a lot of experience, led by four seniors--- three-year starting quarterback Mike O’Horo, highly-recruited left tackle Tino Acuri, tight end Alex Huzicka and linebacker Kareen Hamden; and junior h-back and cornerback, Connor Miller.
O’Horo, who gained All-AAC, All-District and All-Inland NE Ohio laurels last season, has been a starting varsity quarterback during his freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year. In three seasons under center he has passed for some 3,100 yards, rushed for 1,545 yards, and accounted for 46 touchdowns on the ground and in the air. On his career he has connected on 272 of 508 passes.
Joining him in the backfield will be fleet tailback Joe Ieraci, who played well last season until he was injured against Steubenville’s famed Big Red; and Miller, who lettered last season as a sophomore playing tough on both sides of the ball.
Josh Rodriguez and junior Nate Thomspon also figure to see plenty of action in the Boardman backfield this year, based upon their pre-season play.
The Boardman offensive front has experience, led by the 6-3, 265-lb. Tino Acuri at left tackle. Acuri, who carres a 3.9-plus gpa, will be a starter for a third, straight season. Last year he earned All-AAC honors and has been highly recruited this summer by such schools as the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy, Holy Cross, Eastern Kentucky, Colgate, Fordham and Bowling Green.
Candidates for the center position appear to be 5-11, 250 lb. Isaac ‘The Cheese’ Land, or Dave Merdich, 6-2, 260 lbs., who started at the position last season.
If Land plays at center, Merdich will move to the guard spot, along with letterman Nik Missos, 6-0 and 250 lbs. and Lou Craven, 6-1, 265 lbs. could also fit into the position. At right tackle will be Jimmy Hoffman, 6-0, 240 lbs.
Acuri, Merdich, Missos and Hoffman were all on the field in the Spartans playoff loss to Massillon.
O’Horo should have a bevy of receivers this season. In addition to Miller and Huzicka, he has a host of players who can catch the ball, including Cam Kreps, and Che Trevena (who can also serve as a back-up to Ieraci), as well as sophomore Aiden Slocum on the outside. Nate Cuttica was set to return for his senior year, but suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Huzicka was an honorable mention All-Ohio selection last season, and an All-AAC second team pick. He has added about 40 lbs. to his weight, when compared to last season.
Look for Boardman to use its offensive experience with a lot of ‘up-tempo’ play.
The Spartan defense boasts third-team All-Ohio pick Kareem Hamden at linebacker, who was all over the field in Boardman pre-season scrimmages against Poland and Perry. In addition to All-Ohio mention, Hamden was an All-AAC and All-Inland all-star a season ago.
Joining him on the inside will be Zach Hillard, who got his chance in the playoff game against Massillon and finished as the leading tackler of the game for the Spartans.
Miller and Ieraci round-out the linebacker corps.
Defensive tackles include Land and Missos, while Brandon Zagotti also figures to see some action.
O’Horo and Trevena will open at the corners, while Huzicka and Acuri will key the defensive end slots.
Mike Fetsko, O’Horo and Ty Peterson will see action at safety.
Sophomore Tom Fryda returns as placekicker, backed-up by freshman Cole Congson, while Huzicka will handle the punting chores.
With several players going on both sides of the ball for the Spartans, bench strength could be a factor down the stretch.
Justin Cina could provide relief on the offensive line, while Ceaonni Jones, Thompson, Trevena, Kreps, Rasheed Garner and Mike Morris could help on the corners and linebacker spots.
Boardman opens against Youngstown East. The Golden Bears figure to be improved from a season ago with the addition of three transfers from Warren Harding, and a strong running game.
The Spartans go on the road for the second game, against the Howland Tigers, then return home for games against Massillon Jackson and Erie (Pa.) McDowell, that returns plenty of starters after a 5-5 season last year.
If the Spartans are to make a playoff run this year, their next five games will tell the tale of the tape, opening with a Sept. 21 date against Mooney at Stambaugh Stadium, an away game at Canfield, two home games against Warren Harding and Ursuline, and an away game at Austintown Fitch.
The Falcons came to Boardman Stadium last season drubbed the Spartans, 28-7, Boardman didn’t manage a first down in the second half of that game until late in the fourth quarter, and O’Horo was intercepted three times.
The Spartans end the regular season on Fri., Oct. 26 at Ashtabula Lakeside.
  Notes: Spartan junior Nate Thompson is the brother of Wes Thompson, a 290-lb. defensive tackle with the Youngstown State football team. His younger brother, Cam, is a member of the Spartan freshman football team as a wideout.....Boardman quarterback Mike O’Horo’s younger brother, Sean, is a running back with the Spartan freshman football team. Both are stellar wrestlers. Mike is ranked fifth in the state in Div. 1 at 182 lbs.; and Sean is ranked 12th in the state in 138 lbs, despite never having wrestled in a varsity meet......Boardman Head Coach Joe Ignazio enters his sixth season at the helm of Spartan grid fortunes. His teams have landed two post-season playoff appearances.....On the grid staff at the University of Maryland is former Boardman Head Coach Dan Pallante.....And, former Boardman Head Coach D.J. Ogilvie, who left his post to land a head coaching job at Lemon Bay in Florida, is back in the area as athletic director at United Local.....83-year-old Bill Bohren, who led Boardman to its only appearance in a state title game (in 1987 against Cincinnati Princeton), is an assistant coach with the Niles McKinley Red Dragons.....In a pre-season, all-out scrimmage, Boardman’s first team put 10 points on the scoreboard while holding Massillon Perry scoreless in the first quarter. Junior placekicker Tom Fryda had a 23-yard field goal in the scrimmage.....If Boardman reaches the Div. II playoffs this season, their newly-revised 26-team region 5 includes some top Ohio teams, like Akron Hoban (three-time state champ), Cleveland Benedictine,Warren Harding and Walsh Jesuit.
  Will Notre Dame Transfer Be On The Field At QB For The Penguins?  
  Montgomery VanGorder Comes To Youngstown:   August 24, 2018  
After making it all the way to the FCS national championship game two seasons ago, the Youngstown State Penguins fizzled last year, dropping every game the Penguins played in October and falling out of the top-20. The skid ended with an embarrassing 35-0 home loss at the hands of Illinois State.
The Pens bounced back with three, straight wins to finish the season and open the 2018 campaign on Sat., Sept. 1 at 2:00 p.m. at home against Butler. After a Sept. 8 date with the West Virginia Mountaineers at Milan Puskar Stadium. The Pens come back home on Sept. 15 for a 2:00 p.m. game with Valparaiso.
Then its on to the meat of the Pens slate in the rugged Missouri Valley Conference. Should YSU fare well early-on in league play, real big contests will be Sat., Nov. 3 when the defending national champ North Dakota State Bison invade Stambaugh Stadium, followed by a Nov. 10 home date against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers.
Four Penguins have earned pre-season STATS All-American laurels. Tailback Tevin McCaster was a second-team pick while linbacker Armand Dellovade, guard Gavin Wiggins and long snapper Steven Wethli were named to the third team.
McCaster was a first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection last year while Dellovade and Wiggins earned second-team honors. In 2017, Wethli was an honorable-mention selection. McCaster is also on the Walter Peyton watch list for the 2018 campaign.
‘Monty’s Story’
The Pens open this season with a bit of intrigue. Their starting quarterback for much of the past two season, Hunter Wells, has graduated. Nate Mays, now a junior, has started for YSU as a freshman and sophomore.
But YSU Head Coach Bo Pelini landed a Notre Dame graduate, and former Georgia All-State prep quarterback Montgomery Van Gorder during the off-season.
VanGorder spent all four years with the Irish as a backup QB, and as the team’s holder for field goals and extra points for his final 23 games.
In high school, he helped win back-to-back Georgia Class 3A State Championships as a junior (2012) and senior (2013) when Buford HS went a combined 29-1 over the span, including 15-0 in 2013 and ended the season ranked No. 24 in the nation by USA Today.
In 2016, VanGorder was tapped in a question about “Name five Notre Dame players you’d want in your traveling band when it all goes down?”
The #5 pick was VanGorder: “Montgomery VanGorder---Monty, or ‘Gummy’ as he is known to his teammates, does all the little things to help the team. He’s the holder for field goals, helps call in plays from the sideline with the other backup QBs, and is constantly mentioned by teammates as the guy most likely to end up as a coach someday. We need that kind of attention to detail and strategic thinking in our group if we are going to survive. Plus, Montgomery VanGorder is a solid name.
The Observer, a student-run, daily print and online newspaper serving Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s ran a story about VanGoder in Nov., 2017---
Although he hasn’t been on the field for many offensive plays during his career, senior quarterback Montgomery VanGorder still plays an important role for Notre Dame. As the main signaler for the offense, VanGorder has been relaying plays in his red visor to the Irish over the past four years.
When VanGorder first entered Notre Dame in 2014, he was a walk-on quarterback with aspirations of seeing the field in any capacity that he could. Aside from being a signal caller on the sideline, VanGorder has earned his way onto the field as a holder for the Irish. Although it’s been in a smaller role compared to his initial dream of being a starting quarterback for the Irish, VanGorder’s team-first mindset is the reason Brian Kelly has entrusted him with the responsibility of being the team signaler.
“… [I wanted to] help the football team any way I could as a scout team quarterback, and I worked my way up to be a holder,“ the senior said. ”Obviously, you want to be a starting quarterback, but I mean I came in as a walk-on originally. I always work as hard as I can to get as high on the depth chart as I can. At the same time, I just what to do whatever I can to help us win.
“[Holding] is something I had set my sights on when I first got here, and getting to do it just gives me another job, and it helps me have a bigger role in victories. I know it gets overlooked every now and then, but every time I get on the field we have the opportunity to put points on the board.”
VanGorder’s current role as a holder for the Irish is a transition from his freshman year as a scout team quarterback for the Irish. His promotion for the Irish comes with newfound privileges that VanGorder believes has further expanded his mentality of always helping the team.
“My freshman year when I was on the scout team I didn’t really get to sit in on the meetings like with the game plan … that was something I missed out on,“ VanGorder said. ”As a signaler, you have to be in there because you have to know everyone’s job. You have to know if that’s a motion on this play or if the quarterback needs to be under center or in the shotgun for one play … or just another set of eyes for Brandon [Wimbush], or whoever might be in, to see what the coverage is, things like that. So I get to sit in on the meetings now and see the game plan and sometimes I give input and help the guys when they get on the field.”
While reflecting on his career at Notre Dame, VanGorder believes that the best part of being a part of the Irish football team is the tradition and legacy that comes with putting on the jersey, in addition to the camaraderie with his teammates.
“The most important thing to me is my teammates,“ VanGorder said. ”I’ve created a lot of good relationships with those guys in the locker room, and those are some relationships I will carry out in my entire life — just the guys the culture and the atmosphere that we’ve created here its second to none.”
As a senior signal caller for the Irish, VanGorder has used the lessons he’s learned from previous Notre Dame quarterbacks to take underclassmen under his wing, especially sophomore Ian Book and freshman Avery Davis.
“When I first got here I was with Everett Golson, and I got to see a lot of quarterbacks come through in my time — him, Malik [Zaire], then DeShone [Kizer]. So I got to pick up on their tendencies, good and bad,“ he said. ”So when you have a guy like Ian come in and a guy like Avery come in, you try to take them under your wing and teach them as much as you know and as much as you can. And you get to see those guys come a long way. Both Ian and Avery have come a long way since they’ve come on campus, and I’m excited to see what they do once I’m gone.“
“Obviously when I first got here my dad was the defensive coordinator, but I think I was able to build my own path and friendships and being involved things around campus just trying to create a work ethic with the team,” he said.
The next path for VanGorder isn’t clear yet, but he is determined to continue to make a name for himself. VanGorder will graduate in the spring with a degree in management consulting, but doesn’t envision his future working for a management consulting firm or primarily using his degree for that matter.
“I wanted to have my major as a fallback plan because it teaches you good leadership skills,” he said. “But I [have] always wanted to be a coach.”
Whether his first coaching job is a graduate assistant coaching job at Notre Dame or a coaching job in his native state of Georgia, VanGorder will be happy for the opportunity.
As his final season for the Irish comes to a close, VanGorder is simply grateful for all of his opportunities
“I just want to say thank you to my teammates, my family, my friends — everyone who’s helped me be successful here and get to where I am today,” VanGorder said.
“To the freshman coming in and to the freshman now, I just want to say cherish it and embrace it,” he added. “Always work hard and don’t leave anything out there or have any regrets. You never want to look back and think, ‘I could’ve done this or that.’ You just want to give it all you got, and everything will work out for you.”
At the time, little did VanGorder know he would end up at Youngstown State with one more chance to play college football!
Grid fans at Notre Dame used social media to proclaim VanGorder was #4 on the bench, but “number one in our hearts.”
He just could be a big wild card in the Penguins grid fortunes this year.
What They Say In West Virginia
The Penguins play Div. I West Virginia in the second game of the season. Two years ago, YSU stayed in the game on a field that measured over 100-degrees, until its secondary caved in during the second half, as the Mountaineers, tied at 14-14, at halftime, pulled away for a 38-21 victory.
Following is the way WVU sizes-up the Penguins this year (Take it for what it is worth)..
An upset of the West Virginia Mountaineers didn’t happen but the 2016 YSU Penguins were pretty damn good considering they parlayed their season into a national title run before they lost to #5 James Madison 28-14 in the title game. For the season they beat #23 Illinois State, #21 Northern Iowa, #23 Samford, #2 Jacksonville State, #19 Wofford and #3 Eastern Illinois. But that was 2016. The 2017 Penguins finished 6-5 and didn’t make the playoffs. They did put a helluva scare into Pitt, coming back from a 21-point deficit to force overtime.
 •Ball Throwers: The Penguins are likely to be led by junior quarterback Nathan Mays. Mays played in a total of eight games last year, starting in five of the contests but relinquished the starting position in the last three games after a 35-0 shellacking to #16 Illinois State. Mays threw four touchdowns in those eight games he played in and totaled 905 yards on 66% passing. Mays finished the 2017 season as the leading passer for the Penguins for a team that threw the ball for a grand total of 2,000 yards, after Hunter Wells suffered a shoulder separation that limited him to four starts and six total games.
 •Ball Runners: Tevin McCaster is a workhorse for Bo Pelini and the Penguins. McCaster finished the year with 1,066 yards rushing on only 221 carries for a healthy 4.8 YPC while scoring 13 times. McCaster showed enough in the passing game, catching all of eight passes.
When the Penguins were able to give McCaster the ball at least 22 times, they were 5-1 in 2017.
Behind McCaster is another all-purpose threat in Christian Turner (sophomore). Turner combined 997 total yards which means he and McCaster combined for over 2,000 all purpose yards last year. Turner, a freshman in 2017, put up 189 all purpose yards against the Pitt Panthers.
Running the ball is where Bo Pelini wants to make his money. The Penguins totaled 2700 yards rushing last year behind McCaster, Turner and quarterback Mays. Mays himself proved to be adept at running the ball with 443 yards and five touchdowns. Combined, the Penguins have three guys who scored 18 times on the ground.
 •Pass Catchers: As is almost always the case, a mobile quarterback is not the best passer. Since no quarterback broke 1,000 yards last year, expecting to have a receiver break 1,000 is a pipe dream. Add in that the Penguins have been and are a run-first team under Pelini, seeing the receivers stats isn’t that surprising, however seeing no one break 600 yards is a bit underwhelming. Now comes the scary news for YSU, they lose four of their top five receivers from last year. Receivers Damoun Patterson (now with Pittsbrgh Steelers) and Alvin Bailey, along with tight end Kevin Rader (now with Green Bay Packers) all graduated. Junior Stefan Derrick tried his hand at the NFL. That leaves running back Christian Turner’s 272 yards as the leading returning receiver. Redshirt sophomore Samuel St. Surin and Ryan Emans will be asked to provide production at a young age. We will know rather quickly if they are up to the challenge or if they will waddle their way out.
 •Hog Mollies: Unfortunately, Youngstown State is a FCS program and as such, does not receive the same coverage as the FBS teams. Therefore I have absolutely no data to really delve deep into and let you know about the offensive line. I can’t tell if they were good, bad or indifferent last year. I can’t tell you who returns and who graduated. So assume I said something funny sarcastic comments and move to the next section.
 •Trench Monsters: Senior Johnson Louigene returns at end for the Penguins after collecting 39 tackles and a pair of sacks last year, but his partner-in-crime Faszon Chapman, who led the team with five sacks along with Donald Mesier, who added three sacks, graduated leaving Sherif Bynum, who only played in five games last year to step up and improve on his four tackles.
On the interior senior Savon Smith’s 27 tackles but no sacks will help man the run defense along with senior Lamont Ragland’s 18 tackles but sophomore Justin Metzel (Boardman HS) who only appeared in two games last year will have to help produce or the Penguins could be in trouble along the interior. Depth along the defensive line is thin with experience; like the Mountaineers the front line starters are solid but behind them could be trouble.
 •Tackle Makers: Senior Armand Dellovade returns to help man the middle of the field for the Penguins. Dellovade is the leading returning tackler after making 76 stops and collecting three sacks along the way. The Penguins will be without Lee Wright who brought down ball carriers 74 times last year. Junior Cash Mitchell appeared in all 11 games last year starting 3. In those 11 games he had 19 tackles and should be in line for a starting spot. Defensively, the Penguins allowed 173 yards per game on the ground on a 4.5 YPC average.
The problem for the Penguins was once teams got inside the redzone they almost always scored, converting 28 of 32 chances (88%) into scores. Pelini’s group however only scored 33 times in 41 chances (80%) when they got inside the redzone.
 •Pass Defenders: Partly because teams were able to run the ball effectively, partly because of personnel, and partly because they played the Pitt Panthers, the Penguins pass defense last year was very good. YSU allowed only 143 yards per game and held opponents to under 50% completion as a group. The leader for the Penguins was free safety Jalyn Powell who graduated last year. Powell led the team in stops both total and solo. Powell also had the lone interception return last year, taking his pick for 33 yards. The other four interceptions were stopped where they were picked.
Junior free safety Kyle Hegedus will be tasked with leading the secondary and should be up to the task as he was third on the team with 74 tackles last year along with an interception, forced fumble, blocked kick and fumble recovery. The Penguins best cover corner Billy Nicoe-Hurst leaves the team after defending nine passes but cornerback Bryce Gibson defending seven passes in his freshman season last year returns to help lock down receivers in the back end of the field.
 •Specialty Teams: Senior placekicker Zak Kennedy (Cardinal Mooney) returns after making 8 of his 13 attempts last year and missing every kick over 40 yards.
Junior punter Mark Schuler also returns after punting 41 times last year. Teams averaged almost 12 yards per punt return against the Penguins last year but never broke one for a touchdown. On the return side, sophomore Jake Coates is set to return punts after returning 19 last year for almost five yards per punt. He and teammate Christian Turner will return kicks and hopefully will be able to do better than the 20 yards per kick return they averaged last year.
Source: 2018 West Virginia Football Preview, by WVUnite
  Playing For New Zealand 33-Year-Old Jen Feret Chasing Olympic Dreams  
  ‘Fire Back In My Belly’:   August 2, 2018  
Jen Feret
33-year-old Jen Feret, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Feret, of Boardman, is still chasing her dream---to compete at the highest levels in women’s world softball
Beginning this week, she will compete as a member of the New Zealand White Sox national team at the 2018 World Women’s Softball Championships in Chiba, Japan. The winner of the tournament gets an automatic bid to play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a dream of Feret’s since she began playing organized baseball.
Feret is back on the diamond after a year off due to two, ACL injuries that culminated in surgery in May, 2017. Feret, who has lived in Aukland, New Zealand for a decade, didn’t let the injuries prevent her from pursuing her dreams.
“The road to recovery was nothing more than a blessing in disguise. I knew I had the choice to feel sorry for myself and retire or take the time to rebuild myself both physically and mentally. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you I like a challenge. I accepted this one for what it was and it helped put the fire back in my belly.”
Feret is a 2003 graduate of Boardman High School where she was a member of the Lady Spartans Division I state championship team in 2001.
Following high school, she accepted a scholarship to Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. where she was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2016. Feret ended her collegiate career as a four time, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference all-star, and where she holds all-time career records for most innings pitched, strikeouts (499), complete games (50), and single season strikeouts (175). When she wasn’t pitching, she played on the infield and earned quite a reputation as a hitter, belting 25 career home runs, second-best in school history; and where she also ranks fourth in all-time total bases, 217.
Coming back from the ACL injuries, Feret was with the White Sox last week, competing in the Canada Cup where New Zealand picked up the bronze medal, and Feret got a mound win in a 3-0 shutout at the tourney, where she also clouted five home runs.
Now its on to Japan and a chance at an Olympic berth.
“Chasing this dream has earned me a university degree; experiences living, playing and coaching around the world; friends from around the globe; a very supportive, handsome, kiwi husband, and some unforgettable memories.
“However, It hasn’t always been rainbows and sunshine. In chasing my dream to the other side of the world I’ve had to make many sacrifices and overcome countless challenges. Through the support of my softball community I have been able to a create a life for myself in my adopted country and ultimately obtain New Zealand citizenship. This allowed me the honor of joining the White Sox in the 2014 Softball World Championships in Haarlem, Netherlands and again in 2016 in Surrey, Canada,” Feret says.
Feret will have a busy role in Japan as a pitcher who also hits. She is likely to be in the batting lineup as DP when not on the mound.
She said she has been both pitching and hitting for so long, “that it’s nothing new”.
“I feel my best when I’m hitting and pitching. I’m fully involved in the game and can help my team in multiple facets.”
Feret On Feret:
In Her Own Words
“My dream was to play softball at the highest level. This aspiration lead to me places I thought I’d only visit in my dreams; however, this goal has also come at a cost. As any amateur athlete would know, these experiences come with sacrifice. Holidays are spent training, special events are missed, earnings go towards gym and doctors fees, new gear, tournament entries, travel costs, etc. As Dame Valeria Adams explains, this isn’t a sacrifice, but a choice. We know what we are signing up for; and in my case, I had something to prove... to myself!
“My journey has, no doubt, been a roller coaster ride. In a game of failure I’ve always seemed to find extra challenges along the way. From the very beginning I was challenged by a high school coach that never gave me an opportunity to show my stuff as a pitcher/shortstop. But I didn’t quit, I stuck it out and played all four years at first base. Not many players can say they were a four year varsity player, and even fewer can say they were part of an Ohio State Championship team.
“The challenges didn’t stop there. I pitched and played shortstop in summer-ball coached by our dads. My parents didn’t have the ability to fork out lots of dollars to get me on some hotshot travel ball team with all the best coaches that could share their knowledge and help get me recruited into top level universities. But playing at the highest level was still my dream and was hoping my athleticism, passion, eagerness to learn, and competitive drive would get me there.
At a D-I [college] trial not far from home, I received a massive slap in the face. The coach asked me (what seems now) a simple question. “What are your contact points when batting?” My WHAT? I was a small town kid on a small town team coached by dads. (Thinking back to that, I couldn’t be more grateful because they did a dang good job!!!) But in that moment, the girls working with me turned to one another and chuckled. The coach, trying not to laugh, told the girls to let me continue hitting as she walked away to recruit “more knowledgeable” players. OUCH!
“I ended up going to an Mercyhurst University, a D-II school. I can’t express enough love for this school and the people there, especially my coaches! Coach Moats taught me the absolute essentials of pitching while Head Coach Sara Headley put the ball in my hand as a freshman. This would change my softball destiny.
“Again, I had my challenges ahead of me. As a freshman pitcher, I was only allowed to do just that. No batting for me. But deep down I knew I could perform and help my team. After over a year of begging, and working hard with Coach Headley on my batting, the opportunity finally presented itself.
“In a spring training game in Florida our team wasn’t performing so I guess coach had nothing to lose. I was given the chance to step in for a pinch hit. The result---I hit the ball over the fence. Home run! The next game, in nearly an identical scenario I got another pinch hit. Result---Another home run. I never left the lineup after that point.
“My senior year at Mercyhurst, I spent most of the season ranked second in the nation in home runs but was surpassed after our team didn’t make it past our conference games.
“As a pitcher, we only had Coach Moats for two seasons, then we were on our own the last two years. Even with these challenges, I went on to set new school records as a pitcher and a batter and was inducted into the Mercyhurst University Athletics Hall of Fame.
“After a successful stint at Mercyhurst, I was told to ‘hang up my cleats.’ It was time to become an adult. I was absolutely heart-broken. I still hadn’t reached the ‘‘top’ level.
“Then an opportunity arose that I didn’t even knew existed. I was contacted to play and coach in Europe!!!! However, I had to finish my student teaching so was unable to go. Absolutely devastated, I went on to coach two years as a grad assistant. After obtaining my second diploma and still having the craving to play overseas, I reached out to a European softball recruiter. The next thing you know I was on a plane across the Atlantic.
“The next three years were a whirlwind between Switzerland, America, back to Switzerland, off to New Zealand, back to Germany, returning to set my roots in New Zealand with another trip to Italy with a Czech team (just for fun).
“Through my international experience I have been lucky enough to claim four national titles: Switzerland, Germany, two with New Zealand, and yet I still crave to play with the best, against the best!!!
“I’ve spent the past nine years making a new life for myself in New Zealand. I busted my butt to obtain residency and citizenship. I married my softball obsessed husband, Jamie Brear. We, of course, had a subtle(ish) softball-themed wedding. And I have had the absolute honour of representing my adopted country at the international level. I first took the field with the White Sox in January, 2011 in a Test Series against Australia. I officially received my citizenship in 2014 allowing me to participate in the 2014 Softball World Champs in Haarlem, Netherlands and again in 2016 in Surrey, Canada.
“What most people don’t know is that I was injured just before both of those tournament. Thus, feeling that I could not play to the best of my ability. The hard work and sacrifices have all been worth the journey. And with this tour’s seemingly required injury out of the way, I am ready to hit the 2018 world championships with everything I’ve got. Again, striving to play against the very best, alongside the very best!”
The Olympic Dream
So, while the world championships were Feret-Brear’s first focus after her 2017 injury-riddled year, the Olympics are also a major career goal.
“What high performance athlete hasn’t dreamt of going to the Olympics? I’ve given my life to this sport and there is no higher level than the Olympics.
“Every time I watch the opening ceremony I imagine what it would be like to walk in knowing you are among the finest athletes in the world. Then I proceed to cry like a baby.”
New Zealand enters the world championship this week ranked as the #11 team in the world. Defending champs, the United States, are #1 ranked.
  Boardman All-Stars Crush Foes To Open State Tourney  
  July 26, 2018  
Boardman Community Baseball’s 12 and under Little League all-star team put 30 runs on the scoreboard in two games, and yielded just three hits to its foes over that span to open state championship play in North Canton with wins over Galion and Ironton. The victories move Boardman into the winners bracket where they next face New Albany.
Playing on Sunday, Boardman opened state title play blasting Galion, 12-0, as starting pitcher Gavin Hyde allowed just two hits and sent a dozen batters back to the dugout via the K in 5-1/3 innings on the mound. He didn’t walk a batter.
Jack Ericson paced Boardman’s 12-hit offense, finishing with four hits, including a triple and double. Ryan Conti added a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs, while Tyler Kirlik, Evan Sweder and Matt Kay each had two RBIs.
Ericson relieved Hyde to, posting the final two outs of the game.
Boardman moved on to face Ironton on Tuesday and posted an unbelievable 18 runs in the first inning of play, in a game that was called by the mercy rule after just three innings. Boardman won, 18-0, and sent 28 batters to the plate in the mercy rule shortened contest. The first inning lasted 50 minutes, as Boardman put run after run on the scoreboard.
Anthony Triveri was on the mound as the starting pitcher, and he posted two strikeouts in 2-1/3 innings of work, while Ryan Conti worked the final two outs of the game.
Everyone for Boardman contributed in the rout over Ironton, as Ercison paced the potent offensive attack going 3 for 3 with 4 RBIs and a pair of runs scored, while Caleb Satterfield went 2 for 2 with a pair of RBIs and three runs scored. Evan Sweder notched a pair of stolen bases.
Here’s the rundown on the rest of the Boardman offensive against Ironton:
 •Tyler Kirlik had a double and a pair of RBIs.
 •Cal Huston had a single and an RBI.
 •Gavin Hyde had a single and an RBI.
 •Dylan Barrett had a single and an RBI.
 •Marty Stachowicz scored a run.
 •Anthony Triveri had a hit, a pair of RBIs and scored a run.
 •Evan Sweder scored to runs.
 •Charlie Young had a hit and an RBI.
 •Zach Gasner had a hit and a pair of RBIs.
PICTURED: KEEP IT GOING: Boardman Community Baseball all-star coaches greet their players coming off the field in opening round play against Galion on Sunday. From left, Coach Jim Huston and Manager Ron Hyde, and Jack Ericson, Gavin Hyde, May Kay, Dylan Barrett and Cal Huston.
  Twice Tapped As An All-American, Sean O’Horo Competes At National Mat Meet In Fargo, North Dakota  
  July 12, 2018  
Sean O'Horo
Last school year, 14-year-old Sean O’Horo put up impressive numbers as a member of the Glenwood Jr. High School wrestling team, finishing the season with an overall record of 56-4, and gaining a second place finish in the state championships in the 132 lb. class.
The end of the school year has not been the end of O’Horo’s wrestling season, as he has competed in several state and national events, twice gaining All-American laurels.
On Wednesday, he departed by bus for Fargo, North Dakota where he is competing as a member of the Ohio National Cadet Wrestling Team in the top junior wrestling event in America.
O’Horo is the younger brother of Boardman High School’s starting grid quarterback, Mike O’Horo, who is also a wrestler and is top-five, state-ranked in the 182 lb. class.
Following the regular season, O’Horo competed in the Ohio AAU cadet freestyle championships as a member of the Green Machine and earned a second place finish, qualifying him for the Fargo Nationals. At the AAU meet, O’Horo posted a 6-1 log.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, O’Horo competed in a national meet in Virginia Beach as a member of a team coached by Tom Tomeo, former USA Olympic mat coach, and Caleb Kolb, a former Nebraska mat standout and son of Pittsburgh Steelers lineman John Kolb. At the Virginia Beach event, O’Horo went unbeaten, posting victories in eight matches.
Then, in late June, O’Horo was in Orlando, Fla. to compete in the Disney Nationals where he went on a terror, competing against a field of wrestlers as many as four years older than himself. But none were better, as O’Horo again posted an unbeaten mark, this time winning eleven straight matches and earning gold medal status and his second All-American laurels of the summer.
This week O’Horo and the Ohio National Team departed via bus from Ohio Northern University to Fargo Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota, a 17 hour bus trip.
“This will definitely be O’Horo’s greatest test of the year due to the stiff competition of all state champions and runner-ups he will go head to head with all week,” Coach Dom Mancini said.
Mancini is O’Horo’s primary coach, however he also receives instruction from Frank Mancini, his junior high school coach; and Nick Mancini, All-American wrestler from Mount Union who has taken O’Horo take to an entirely different level.
Also helping to prep O’Horo are former Boardman mat standout John Dillon, Coach John Burd from Austintown Fitch and Tomeo, of Pennsylvania.
“I try to take something from each coach, as well as my brother, and make it my own,” O’Horo said before departing for Fargo.
  Raegan Burkey To Compete At Ohio Track & Field Championships  
  May 31, 2018  
Raegan Burkey
Boardman High School freshman Raegan Burkey punched her ticket to Columbus for the OHSAA State Track and Field Championships in a time of 2:15.66, finishing fourth at last week’s regional meet. Her time makes her the third fastest 800 runner in the class of 2021.
Lady Spartan senior, Casey Zaitzew, capped-off her impressive career at the regional meet with an 11th place finish in the 1600 (5:25.44) and a 10th place finish in the 3200 (11:55.52). Casey finishes her Lady Spartan career as one of the most decorated distance runners in school history. She will continue her running career at Youngstown State University next fall.
Boardman’s 4x400 relay team of Burkey, Alayna Cuevas, Julia Schrembeck and MaKayla D’Eramo finished eighth at the regionals in a time of 4:02.62. This time was their fastest of the season.
Burkey will compete in the timed 800 final at Jessie Owens Stadium at The Ohio State University on June 2 at 6:05 p.m.
In the preliminaries at the regional meet, D’Eramo ran a 1:01.61 to finish 11th in the 400 run, and the 4x800 relay of Burkey, Cuevas, Zaitzew and Cassie Stitt ran a season best 9:36.55 to finish seventh.
  All Smiles!  
  May 17, 2018  
Rick Sypert, Track & Field Coach
BOARDMAN LADY SPARTANS head track and field coach, Rick Sypert, is pumped after his 1600 meter relay team captured the final event of the All American Conference championships to give his team the meet title. Sypert’s Lady Spartans have won the AAC Meet two years in a row.
  Nine Sign Letters Of Intent To Continue Their Athletic Careers  
  April 26, 2018  
Nine Boardman High School student-athletes signed national letters of intent last week to continue their academic and athletic careers in college.
1000-point hoop scorer, Holden Lipke will attend Case Western Reserve to play basketball. Holden was a first team All American Conference Selection, first team district 1 selection and was the first varsity hoop performer to reach that milestone in 27 years.
Mike Melewski is headed to Geneva College to play basketball. Melewski was a second team AAC Selection, and first team District 1 selection. He is a three-sport athlete, also playing football and baseball.
Sarah Murray will attend Clarion University to continue her swimming career. She earned first team AAC honors and was selected to the Northeast Aquatic Conference All-Star Team in 2016 and 2017.
Callen Aulizia will attend the U.S. Naval Academy to pursue his swimming career. He is a three-time All American and is on the Boardman school record board in four different events. He qualified for the state championship swim meet the past three years, placing in the top-8 in four individual and three relay events.
Abby Ankrom will continue playing soccer at the College of St. Joseph in Vermont. She played on the girls soccer team for four years, lettering three of those years.
Keyshawn Colmon will attend John Carroll University to play football. He was a starting wide receiver for the Spartans 2018 post-season qualifying team and also played basketball for Boardman.
Bob Toth will also attend John Carroll University to play football. He was a three-year starter at center, named captain this year, and earned first team AAC honors.
Casey Zaitzew is headed for Youngstown State University to run track and cross country. She is a three time Mahoning County champion and three time regional qualifier in the 3200 meter run. She has also qualified to the Regional CC meet the past three years.
Paige Dill has been the starting catcher for the Spartans for four years and earned second team All-AAC Honors last year. She has caught nearly 100 games in the four years she has lettered as a Spartan. She will attend Geneva College.
  Boardman’s Best-Ever Distance Runner Laurie Gomez-Henes Curbstone Honoree  
  April 19, 2018  
Laurie Gomez-Henes
The 51st Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will take place on Sun., May 6 at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center, 7440 South Ave., with 12 new members set for enshrinement.
Former NFL and YSU placekicker Paul McFadden is set to serve as guest speaker.
The 2018 class includes Don Andres (basketball, coach), Arthur Berquist (bowling), Dr. Raymond Duffett (contribution to sports), Jim Fox (track and field/cross country), Joseph J. “Blackie” Gennaro (posthumous, boxing), Laurie Gomez-Henes (track and field/cross country), Steve Jones (football), Michael Kernan (football), Todd Marian (golf), Ann Marie Martin (basketball), Ed Moore (special award) and sports editor Ed Puskas (sports media).
One of two track and field/cross country inductees in this year’ class, Gomez-Henes, perhaps the top distance runner ever to come out of Boardman High School.
Born on April 16, 1970, she is a 1988 graduate of Boardman High School and a 1992 graduate of North Carolina State University.
She competed in both sports for the Spartans from 1985-88 and is a three-time state track and field champion, winning the 1600 meter run (4:54.9) in 1987 and both the 1600 meter (4:53.9) and 3200 meter (10:48.58) run in 1988.
In 1988, she set new state track and field records (since broken) in the 1600 meter run (4:48.59) and 1500 meter indoor race (4:37.0), also setting new school marks in the 1600 meter run (4:48.59) and 3200 meter run (10:28.80) that same season.
Her other accomplishments in 1988 include National High School Indoor 2-mile champion (1:22.82), was the No. 1 ranked High School Female Distance runner in the country in the 1600 meter run (4:48.59) and 3000 meter run (9:33.3), won the 1600 (4:50.78) Midwest Meet of Champions and was the Gatorade Ohio Track and Field “Athlete of the Year” as well as its Midwest Regional “Athlete of the Year.”
In 1987, she was the National Junior champion in the 3000 meter run (9:53.0) and was invited to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado for one week to take part in a camp for the nation’s top distance runners.
In both 1987 and again in 1988 (her junior and senior seasons), she was invited to compete in the Millrose Games in the 1500 meter run, held in Madison Square Garden and featuring the Top-10 female distance runners in the country.
In cross country, she was also a three-time state champion (1985, 18:46.2; 1986, 18:20 and 1987, 17:58), earning District and Regional cross country championships all three years.
In 1988, she was Mideast cross country champion and National Junior Olympic Intermediate champion (18:32), earning Harrier Magazine All-American laurels in both 1986 and 1987 and Scholastic Coach All-American honors in 1987 as well.
Her high school head coach, the legendary Denise Gorski, recalls that Gomez-Henes was “so good, I had to go back and learn a lot just to coach her.”
Gomez-Henes is a 1988 inductee into the Boardman High School Hall of Fame, and in 2003, she and her husband Bob, were inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Officials Hall of Fame.
She accepted a full scholarship to North Carolina State University upon graduation and was an eight-time All-American in both cross country and track & field.
She was an all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection four straight years, capturing the ACC cross country title her senior year.
In cross country for the Wolfpack, she placed fourth overall at the NCAA Cross Country Championships as a senior, competing in the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships in the 5,000 meter race, also her senior season.
She finished third at the NCAA Indoor Track Championships and during her final two collegiate seasons, earned the H.C. Kennett Award, presented by the school to Wolfpack’s “Outstanding Female Athlete.”
She ran professionally for Adidas from 1993-99, finishing fifth at the USATF Nationals in the 10,000 meters in 1993 to earn a spot on the World University Games team.
Also in 1993, she was ranked No. 6 in the nation in the 10k race.
In 1995 she earned a spot on the USA National Team and competed at the World Championships in Sweden. Her best time was 15:31.4 in the 5,000 meters and 32:05.20 in the 10,000 meters.
In 1996, she finished fifth at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 10,000 meter run, missing qualifying by two places. In that race. Gomez-Henes stayed in the top-three for much of the event, but decided to make a move to the top, and ran out of gas by the finish line.
She began her coaching career at her alma mater, N.C. State and from 1992-94, served as a graduate assistant coach.
From 1994-97, she was the Wolfpack’s assistant women’s cross country coach and from 1998-2005, served as associate head coach.
From 2006-17, she has served as head women’s cross country coach, earning ACC “Coach of the Year” honors in both 2006 and again in 2016.
She was the NCAA Southeast Region “coach of the Year” on two separate occasions (2007 and 2016) and has produced 27 All-ACC performers, eight All-Americans and two ACC individual champions.
In 2016, she led the team to an historic season for the school as they won the ACC title, the NCAA Southeast Regional crown and earned its highest NCAA national ranking (fourth overall) since 2001.
She and her husband, Bob, are the parents of two daughters; Elly and Jordan, and reside in Morrisville, North Carolina.
Individual tickets are $60 each, a table of eight is $480 and each are available by calling Mariel Sallee at 330-519-6819.
  April 12, 2018  
The first seated student athletes in Mahoning County history competed against each other in a track and field meet held last week at Boardman High School. Both raced in the seated 100 meter. At left is Boardman freshman, Micah Beckwith, and on right of Canfield sophomore, Jake Hostetter. Beckwith also raced in the 200 and 400 dashes. The student-athletes are able to qualify to the OHSAA state championship in June. They are selected based on time at meets and invitationals with computerized timing. The first opportunity for Beckwith to race with computer timing will be on Apr. 14 at Canton GlenOak.
  Dr. Ray Duffett Contribution To Sports Honoree At May 6 Curbstone HOF Event  
  March 8, 2018  
The 51st Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are set for Sunday, May 6 at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center, 7440 South Ave, with 12 new members set for enshrinement.
The lone contributor in this year’s class is Canfield native and area orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Raymond S. Duffett.
Born on August 31, 1956, he is a 1965 graduate of Canfield High School where he was a three-sport athlete for the Cardinals.
In football, he earned three letters, was a three-year starter and from his familiar position under center earned All-Mahoning Valley Conference First-team laurels as a senior, also earning Honorable Mention All-State honors according to the United Press International wire service.
He also earned three letters in baseball, was a three-year starter and also earned another letter as a member of the school’s basketball squad.
Upon graduation he earned a scholarship to Virginia Military Institute, quarterbacking the Keydets from 1975-78. He graduated No. 2 in his class, earning his undergraduate degree in biology.
After his junior year he was accepted into the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine, earning his Medical degree in 1982.
Ranked in the upper-third of his graduating class, he did his surgical internship (July 1, 1982 to June 30, 1983) at the University of Cleveland and his orthopaedic surgery residency (July 1, 1983 to June 30, 1987) at University Hospitals of Cleveland.
From July 1, 1987 to June 30, 1988, he was a Sports Medicine Fellow with Orthopaedic Consultants of Cincinnati, Inc. (Christ Hospital, Bone and Joint Institute located in Cincinnati), assisting with the care of both Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals’ athletes.
He is an adjunct faculty member at Youngstown State University where he has served as the school’s team physician since 1989.
From 1988 to 2005, he was the team physician for Austintown Fitch High School and from 1983-86, served in the same capacity for Shaker Heights High School.
A past member of the Board of Trustees of the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, he was Medical School representative to the University of Cincinnati Athletic Council (1981-82), served as instructor for the National Orthopaedic Residents Program-Total Knee Replacements (1995) and in 1985, was named team physician for the OHSAA sectional and regional football playoff games, played at both Finney Stadium in Berea and at the Akron Rubber Bowl.
A noted researcher with a reputation as ‘cutting edge’ when it comes to knee and ligament care, he remains in demand as a presenter at clinics as he continues to share his new ideas and research findings.
Among the many awards he has received, he was named Ohio’s Outstanding Team Physician by the Ohio State Medical Association/Ohio High School Athletic Association in 2007.
From 2007-09, he served as President of the Ohio Orthopaedic Society (a statewide position) and from 2009-15, was on the Board of Councilors for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, a national post.
He and his wife, Michele, are the parents of three children; sons Andrew and Ross, and daughter Dane.
Individual tickets are $60 each, a table of eight is $480 and each are available by calling Mariel Sallee at 330-519-6819, or by visiting the organization’s website at Former NFL and YSU placekicker Paul McFadden (barefoot) will serve as guest speaker.
  Coach Mancini Reaches Century Mark Milestone  
  by Al Miller, Wrestling Reporter   February 15, 2018  
Dom Mancini
The Boardman High School Spartan wrestling team defeated Lakeside on Monday to give Head Coach Dom Mancini his 100th Dual Match victory.
“I think it’s a milestone of longevity, that’s probably what I’m most proud of, that I’ve stayed with the program this long,” Mancni said.
Sam DeJoseph started the dual match for the Spartans in the 106# bout and was pinned by Ethan Wannett. The 113# bout was a double forfeit. Spartan Derek Slipkovich jumped out to a 7-2 lead after the first period in his 120# bout against Darian Cowles. In the second period Slip scored a takedown before decking Cowles with a nearside cradle in 3:08. This victory tied the score at 6-6.
Jason Robinson had a forfeit victory in his 126# bout. Anthony ‘Bagz’ Baglama had a scoreless first period in his 132# bout against Luis Guevara and took control in the second period with two takedown before sticking him in 3:59. Boardman’s lead was now 18-6.
Nate Thompson scored a takedown in his 138# bout before decking Adrianna Hutson. Devon Blazek followed up with a takedown of Brendan Chess before sticking him in 1:47. The Spartan lead was now 30-6.
John Fleet and Jake Powell had forfeit victories in their 152# and 160# bouts increasing Boardman’s lead to 42-6.
In the 170# bout, Kareem Hamden scored two takedowns before decking Kevin Pettit in 1:02.
“Kareem looked really good. He’s starting to pick up more moves and because he’s so aggressive to begin with, he’s just going to keep getting better and better,” Mancini said.
Boardman’s state-ranked Mike O’Horo had a forfeit victory in the 182# bout. The Spartans now led 54-6.
Boardman forfeited the 195# bout. Nick Caraballo had a forfeit victory in the 220# bout and Boardman forfeited the heavyweight bout to gain the 60-18 victory.
Mancini said, “I think our guys are clicking since the EOWL Tournament I’m happy where we are at.”
  Holden Lipke Leads Winners With 27 Points, And Nets 1000 Career Points:   February 15, 2018  
Boardman defeated Cardinal Mooney, 61-43, last Friday night, as Spartan senior Holden Lipke notched 27 points. His output placed him at exactly 1000 points during his prep, hoop career.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Holden’s accomplishment. He has gotten better each season and has really been consistent for us the past two years. We know each night what Holden will bring for our team. Reaching the 1,000 point milestone is not an easy accomplishment, Credit goes to Holden’s ability and consistency, along with his teammates of the past four years for helping contribute, whether it’s a pass or a screen to get him open, a lot of guys contributed along the way.
“As a coach, I have been fortunate to have a player like Holden, who I have been able to rely on for the past four seasons,” Boardman Head Coach Pat Birch said.
As Lipke scored his 1000 point on a layup, tempers flared when Mooney’s top scorer in the game, Pete Haas, appeared to shove Boardman’s Dom Stilliana. Haas and teammate Terrell Brown were benched for what was left in the contest, as was Stilliana.
It wasn’t the only conflagration as tempers reportedly flared between some parents and students outside of gym after the game.
If that wasn’t enough for the night, Boardman’s Ryan Archey reportedly quit the team, walking off the bench while the game was in play.
Asked if Archey quit, Coach Birch replied, “Unfortunately, yes he did. I have not spoken with him since he left our game the other night. No official reason why.”
Mooney came out of the gates strong and built a 20-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
But the Cards couldn’t sustain their momentum, as Boardman limited Mooney to just two points in the second quarter and the Spartans held a 28-22 lead at the half.
The third quarter wasn’t much better for Mooney, as they managed just eight points in the stanza.
Lipke ended his ‘1000-point night’ with 27 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Behind him was a strong team effort as Derrick Anderson contributed 9 points, Cam Kreps posted 6 points and snared 5 rebounds. Mike Melewski added 5 points and 4 assists. JaJuantae Young, Che Trevena and Ryan Archey each chipped-in with 4 points. Connor Miller rounded-off the scoring with 2 points.
Mooney, now 4-10, was led by Haas’s 17 points. The Cards played the final three quarters of the game without starter Vinny Gentile, who left the contest late in the first priod with a leg injury.
Rounding out the scoring for Mooney were Tony Fire, 9 points; Brown with 8 markers, Johnnie Mikos, 3 points, and Brandon Mikos and John Murphy, 2 points each.
Boardman is now 7-11 on the season, coming off a 20-5 log a season ago.
With their record, the Spartans have received a #13 seed in upcoming tournament competition and open play against Wooster on Feb. 27.
“While I was a little disappointed in the seeding, I thought we would be a few spots higher, we have no one to blame because we were not able to win some close games which would have affected our positioning. Traveling to Wooster is not ideal, however I like our chances against any team. As long as we play hard and unselfish, we will compete with anyone in the district,” Coach Birch said.
“As we have seen all year, we are capable of playing at a very high level. Our goal over the next two weeks is to be more consistent and be prepared to make a postseason run,” he added.
  Steve Jones Curbstone Hall Of Fame Football Selection  
  February 8, 2018  
Ceremonies for the 51st Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame class are slated for Sunday, May 6 at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center, 7440 South Ave, Boardman.
The organization will enshrine 12 new members with former NFL and YSU placekicker Paul McFadden set to serve as guest speaker. The 2018 class includes fotball honoree, Steve Jones. A 1985 graduate of South High School, Jones joins Mike Kernan as the two football inductees in this year’s Hall of Fame class.
Born on March 11, 1967, he was one of the leaders of the Warriors’ football teams where he was an All-City Series first-team selection at fullback and linebacker during both his junior and senior campaigns.
He earned Northeastern Ohio Honorable Mention accolades his final two scholastic seasons as well.
As a freshman and sophomore he attended Cardinal Mooney High School and played football for the Cardinals, the team going undefeated his freshman campaign and winning the state title his sophomore year.
Upon graduation he earned a scholarship to YSU, earning four letters (1986-89) while finishing his career as one of the finest fullbacks ever to lace up a pair of spikes for the Penguins.
Over his four collegiate seasons, he helped the Penguins to a 23-24 overall mark and two playoff appearances.
In head coach Jim Tressel’s first season at the helm (1986), the Penguins were just 2-9 but defeated arch-rival Akron in the final game of the season at Stambaugh Stadium, 40-39, the springboard and impetus for 1987 and the program’s first ever Division I-AA playoff appearance.
His sophomore year the team went 8-4 overall, suffering a disappointing 31-28 loss to Northern Iowa in the first round of the play-offs.
As a junior in 1988, the team was rebuilding and finished 4-7 overall, but his final season (1989) he was elected captain (along with Andre Peterson, Mike Cochran and Tony Dunn) and helped the team to a 9-4 overall mark and their second Division I-AA play-off appearance in three seasons.
YSU beat Eastern Kentucky in the not-so-friendly confines of Hanger Field, 28-24, but were eliminated in the second-round the following week at Furman, 42-23.
For his efforts he was named the team’s John Delserone “Most Valuable Player” as a senior, also earning the team’s “Outstanding Offensive Player Award” that same year.
A steady blocker and hard-nosed runner, he was ‘money’ when the ball was thrown his way as he graduated with 101 total receptions; one of just 15 Penguins’ players all-time with 100-plus receptions.
He earned his BA in sports administration and management from YSU in 1990 and in 2006, earned his executive MBA with a concentration on marketing from American InterContinental University.
A noted insurance agent in the area, he has been the CEO of the Steven C. Jones Agency since 2005 where he represents State Farm Insurance Companies.
Well-rounded in the insurance industry, he has served as a claim specialist (1992-96), an agency marketing specialist/agency field specialist (1998-99) and was a developmental agency field consultant prior to his current position as CEO.
He also served as assistant marketing director for the Youngstown Pride (1990-92) of the now defunct World Basketball League.
Individual tickets are $60 each, a table of eight is $480 and each are available by calling Mariel Sallee at 330-519-6819, or by visiting the organization’s website at Also set for enshrinement on May 6 are Don Andres (basketball, coach), Arthur Berquist (bowling), Dr. Raymond Duffett (contribution to sports), Jim Fox (track and field/cross country), Joseph J. ‘Blackie’ Gennaro (posthumous, boxing), Laurie Gomez-Henes (track and field/cross country), Michael Kernan (football), Todd Marian (golf), Ann Marie Martin (basketball), Ed Moore (special award) and sports editor Ed Puskas (sports media).
  Boardman’s Mike Mannozzi Keeps His Olympic Race Walking Hopes Alive  
  February 8, 2018  
Coming back from a year-long lingering injury, race-walker Mike Mannozzi, of Boardman, was disqualified in the 1-mile race-walk at last weekend’s 111th Millrose Games at the New Balance Track and Field Centre at the Armory in Manhattan, New York.
Mannozzi got the DSQ for loss of contact on the oval called by three different judges.
“This experience is progress for me because I learned that I after a lingering injury for nine months and only 28 days of race walk training leading up to the race I pushed hard, as we all do at the big meets but I went too hard and fast for my fitness level and ability to maintain form,” Mannozzi, the underdog champion in 2012 Millrose Games said.
“I took a hit on the chin, but redeemed myself,” Mannozzi said, noting he competed in the USATF Connecticut Association Indoor Championships in New Haven, Conn. less than 24 hours after the Millrose race.
“Millrose champion, Nick Christie (current best time in the US for the 50k in 2018) had encouraged me a week prior to join he and two other USA team athletes in Connecticut. I did and was the third male finisher behind Christie and Emmanuel Corvera, the Millrose runner-up). I had no red cards and what is significant about this is that two of the three judges who carded me less than one day prior were judging this event as well,” he added.
Aiding the local race-walker were Nick and Katie Burnett ( The US record holder in the women’s 50k race walk).
“Both pointed out tightness in my left quad while we warmed-up. I had help to immediately address it and it changed my entire race. Their sportsmanship was most commendable,” Mannozzi said.
On Fri. January 27, Mannozzi finished 6th in a field of 14 competitors, walking 13.52 for 3,000 meters at the Findlay Classic in Findlay, Oh.
  Boardman High School Quarterback Mike O'Horo  
  September 7, 2017  
 BOARDMAN HIGH SCHOOL QUARTERBACK MIKE O’HORO, 8, set a school record, connecting on his first ten passes of the game last week in a 35-17 victory over Howland High School. O’Horo went 17 of 23 in the first half of play, and finished 19 of 27, good for 238 yards and three touchdowns before 4,000 fans at Spartan Stadium. He also tallied a TD on the ground. Boardman travels to Massillon Jackson this week to take on the 2-0 Polar Bears, a 38-20 winner over Mayfield last week. Last year Jackson beat the Spartans, 21-14.
  Mike O’Horo Wins Ohio Cadet Wrestling Crown  
  May 18, 2017  
Boardman High School sophomore Mike O’Horo notched a first round bye, then bested three wrestlers to capture the 182-lb. Ohio Cadet freestyle wrestling championship last weekend at Otterbein College.
In the finals, O’Horo faced Canfield High School’s highly-touted Anthony Dalisio. The pair have been sparring partners since youth and junior high wrestling.
O’Horo moved to a 7-6 lead at the end of the first period; then ;pinned his foe at the midpoint of the second stanza to claim the 182-lb. title.
With the win, O’Horo gained an automatic berth to ‘Fargo,’ the summer’s biggest mat event in the country that invites state champs from across the United States to the competition. O’Horo has also been invited to wrestle for Team Ohio’s all-star team.
“Michael wrestled strategically and was really ready for every match at the Cadet championships,’ his coach, Dom Mancini, said.
Also winning a state title at Otterbein was Gus Sutton, of the Green machine, from Austintown Fitch.
Also wrestling in the Cadet Tournament were Boardman’s Kelly Williams and Anthony Baglama.
Williams earned a second place finish in the Greco-style competition at the event.
  Jr. Tourney Will Be July 26 At Mill Creek  
  May 18, 2017  
Independent Insurance Agents of Mahoning County will sponsor their annual Jr. Classic Golf Tournament Wed., July 26 at Mill Creek Golf Course. The event is open to any boy or girl not yet attending college and who will not be 19-years-old by July 26. Cost for the 18-hole event is $15/person and is open to golfers ages 14 and up. A 9-hole event will be held for golfer ages 13 and under. Additional information can be obtained by contacting Mark Daprile, chairman, at 330-757-7757.
  Former Local Softball Standout Leads Team To New Zealand Title  
  March 23, 2017  
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND---Western Magpies White Sox hurler Jennifer Feret-Brear threw her second no-hitter against the Hutt Valley Dodgers to lead Auckland’s Western Magpies to a 2-0 win and their first national women’s interclub softball title.
Magpies coach Tua Raroa said Feret was “inspirational” all week, throwing two no-hitters against the Dodgers on her way to dual individual honors as the top pitcher and most valuable player of the tournament.
The 31-year-old former Boardman High School star under Head Coach Bill Amero, who will pitch for New Zealand at a second world championships, was also a star with the bat.
Feret hammered a bases loaded grand slam home run in an 8-2 win over Te Aroha and drove in the winning run in a tiebreaker victory over the Dodgers to underline her value to Magpies.
“The whole team got in behind her,” Raroa said.
Feret was too good for the Dodgers hitters in the final, exhibiting masterly control of her dropball and change-up, which had many Hutt Valley hitters swinging at fresh air.
Feret, a member of Boardman High School’s 2001 state title team, is the daughter of Jim and Francine Feret, 13 Midwood Circle. She was a member of the Mercyhurst softball team as she competed for the Lakers from 2004-07. She is the most decorated pitcher in Mercyhurst softball history.
Feret is Mercyhurst’s all-time leader in innings pitched, strikeouts, complete games and shutouts. She also held opposing hitters to a lower batting average than any other hurler in Laker history. Feret ranks second all-time in wins and third in earned-run average. She was no slouch with the bat, either. She ranks second all-time in home runs, fourth in runs batted in and fourth in total bases.
Feret holds several season records. As a pitcher, she owns the record for strikeouts, shutouts and opponents’ batting average. As a hitter, she holds Mercyhurst’s single-season record for home runs.
  Mannozzi Qualifies For Pan-Am Games  
  February 9, 2017  
Michael Mannozzi
SANTEE, CALIF.---On Sat., Jan. 28, one of the largest fields in recent times toed the line for the USA Track and Field Men’s and Women’s 50 km National Racewalk Championships. Equal prize money and world records now available to both men and women resulted in a much larger field on the women’s side. Paired with the event was the inaugural Santee Healthy Living Expo, that exposed attendees to racewalking.
Michael Mannozzi, who grew up in Boardman, started the race very conservatively and ended-up working as part a group of four walkers that included two-time Olympian Allen James, fellow USA teammates Matt Forgues and the prolific Ray Sharp.
The four worked together until about 25km (15 1/2 miles) when slowly the pack broke up.
Mannozzi and Forgues worked together until about 32km when Mannozzi made a small increase in speed. Briefly hitting a rough patch, he worked through to finish strong with a new personal best time of 4:26.46, less than eight minutes behind the winner, three-time Olympian John Nunn.
The second place finish is Mannozzi’s best placing at an Olympic distance national championship and moves him five minutes closer to the 50k Olympic standard.
His finish also qualified him for the USA team at the Pan Am Cup Championships in Peru in May.
The Pan Am will be Mannozzi’s sixth appearance representing the United States in international competition.
In pursuit of an Olympic dream for the past decade, Mannozzi would like to thank the City of Santee and race director Tracy Sundlun for organizing a top-notch event.
He expressed thanks his cousins, Cheryl Van Cleave, Joel and Jennifer Ramirez, Dan and Tiffany Ernest, Ryan Toth,) who are from the Youngstown area for hosting him in California; his Toronto-based coach Stafford Whalen for his guidance during preparation and the race; two-time Olympian Tim Seaman, for his assistance with travel; as well as his wife, Jemma, and son, Matthew, for being there day in and day out.
During the 50K race, Mannozzi wore his Shore Athletic Club singlet, a sports watch donated by Cirelli Jewelers of Boardman, and a hat with long-time sponsor Pizza Joe’s logo on it.
Hearing “Go Youngstown” during the race, Mannozzi investigated afterward and discovering that the unknown supporter was a California resident who had lived in Ohio.
The Olympic hopeful seeks support by contacting the Boardman Boosters and donating to “Mannozzi’s Olympic Dream” or by visiting his GoFund me account at the link:
Slowly, but surely, Mannozzi is gaining a reputation as “The Italian Stallion of the USA Track & Field.”
  Mannozzi Will Compete In USA 50k National Championships  
  Still Pursuing His Olympic Dream:   January 19, 2017  
Michael Mannozzi, Miranda Melville
Michael Mannozzi, a Boardman native, closed out 2016 winning the 5,000 meter Indoor National Racewalk Championship and the 10,000 meters simultaneously at the Upstate Holiday Classic, setting his third personal best time of the year. The event was held within the University of Rochester’s Gordon Field House.
Mannozzi and training partner, Jon Hallman, finished first and second while A.J. Gruttadauro, of Brockport, NY finished third for the men. All three race for the Shore Athletic Club of New Jersey and they claimed the team title.
During the awards ceremony, both Mannozzi and Rio Olympian, Miranda Melville, were presented with custom shirts recognizing their performances as champions the past six and five years respectively.
Mannozzi has won four of his last five races. Two of them were national championships. He also won The Weinacker Cup 10k race, a Michigan vs. Ontario event held last summer in Port Huron, Mich.
On Sept. 11, he won the New Albany, Oh. Walking Classic half-marathon, dubbed ‘America’s Premier Walking Classic,’ and now co-owns the all-time number of wins for men.
Mannozzi considers taking second at the USA 30k national championships on Nov. 6 as the turning point for him in the second half of 2016.
“Having Olympians from Ecuador and prospective US Olympian, Nick Christie, in the same event was a boost.
Working with Maria Michta, a two-time Olympian, and Katie Burnett, another Olympic hopeful, helped pull me to a higher level,” Mannozzi said. He improved a whopping 3 minutes and 44 seconds from the same event in 2015.
Mannozzi recently moved from Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Liberty, South Carolina (home of the NCAA national champion Clemson football team) where he is training with USA teammate, Jon Hallman. The two have represented the USA internationally eight times.
When asked, Mannozzi stated that, “The conditions and timing were right to make the transition.” He is working at Gotta Run Clemson, which he balances with his training for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Next on the agenda is the USA 50k national championships in San Diego, Calif, where Mannozzi will attempt to move his personal best closer to the Olympic standard.
“Training for the Olympics is a multi year process and I am working hard every day to make that happen,” he said.
Contributions to help Mannozzi reach the Olympics can be made through his GoFundMe account at:

PICTURED: Michael Mannozzi, who grew up in Boardman, and 2016 Olympian Miranda Melville show off the shirts that were awarded for winning the 5,000 meter indoor Racewalking National Championship at the Upstate Holiday Classic in Rochester, NY in December.
  Former Wilson HS And YSU Standout Tony DelBene Set For Curbstone HOF  
  January 19, 2017  
Ceremonies for the 50th Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame Banquet are set for Sunday, May 7 at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center in Boardman with 13 new members set for enshrinement.
Former Cardinal Mooney and University of Michigan football standout, NFL Super Bowl champion and local business entrepreneur Ed Muransky will serve as guest speaker.
The 2017 class includes Jeff Bayuk (football, coach), Mark Brungard (football), Jim Bryant (bowling), Bruce Burge (contribution to sports), John Cullen (basketball, coach), Tony DelBene (baseball), Wally Ford, Jr. (all-sports award), Jim O’Malley (football), Anthony Montana (special award), Henry Nemenz (posthumous award), Craig Snyder (boxing), Tammy Swearingen (volleyball, coach) and Dave Veitz (special award).
A retired educator, DelBene is this year’s baseball inductee who also participated in football, baseball and track and field at Woodrow Wilson High School.
A 1964 WWHS graduate, he was selected All-City Series in both football (running back) and basketball (guard) as a senior, averaging 17.0 points over his career for the Redmen hardwood team as they became the only team in school history to win the District title and play in the Regionals.
For his stellar scholastic career, he was inducted into the WWHS Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982.
Upon graduation, he enrolled at Youngstown State University where he was a four-year letterman for legendary Dom Rosselli’s diamond team. He was instrumental in leading YSU to an NCAA appearance, leading the team in batting during both is junior and senior seasons.
He batted .419 his senior campaign and was selected to the NCAA College All-American team. He batted .369 during a stellar four-year career and for his efforts, was inducted into the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.
DelBene earned his undergraduate degree from YSU in 1968 (later earning his MA from Kent State University in 1972) and upon graduation, became a teacher/coach (he coached eighth grade football, basketball and track and field) in the Austintown City School System.
After three years at Frank Ohl Middle School, he made the leap in 1971 to Girard High School where he became the Indians’ head basketball coach. He led the program for seven seasons and in 1976, proceeded to lead the school to its first league title since 1952.
He coached in both the 1976 and 1977 Mahoning Valley Coaches Association’s School Boy Basketball Classic.
Selected as the MVCA boys’ basketball “Coach of the Year” in 1977, he then moved over to his alma mater where he accepted an assistant’s position to his old junior varsity coach, Dick Franko, who was now the Redmen head hoop coach.
He stayed at WWHS for two years before moving over to Western Reserve High School where he became a varsity assistant to heralded Raiders coach, Bob Laricca.
Under Laricca’s tutelage, he helped Western Reserve High School to the Associated Press and United Press International wire service #1 ranking in 1982, and a runner-up ranking in both polls in 1981.
A member of the MVCA for over 30 years and coaching after football, basketball, track & field or golf, he still found time to serve as a volleyball official and over a 16 year local career, worked 12 regionals while earning four state tourney assignments.
Retired after 35 years as an educator and coach, he and his wife, Teri, reside in Las Vegas where he still officiates volleyball and tries to spend several days a week working on his golf game. They are the parents of two sons, Tony and John.
Tickets for the Hall of Fame event are $60 each and will be available in mid-January.
Further information can be obtained by visiting the organization’s website at
  O’Horo Earns Sixth Place At Top Gun Mat Tournament  
  January 19, 2017  
wrestling reporter
The Boardman Spartans wrestling team competed in the 31st Alliance Top Gun Tournament last weekend. The Top Gun is a brutal mid-season tournament that gives wrestlers the opportunity to see how they stack up against state ranked wrestlers. The Spartans finished 28th with 59 points out of 47 teams from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Massillon Perry won the tournament with 208 points.
“A couple guys got really hot right in the middle of the tournament. Anthony Baglama, I thought wrestled outstanding. Kelley Williams wrestled tough. Those were a couple guys that I thought stepped up and really competed well. It was a tough tournament. Overall I think we’re still marching in the right direction,” Head Coach Dom Mancini said.
Sophomore Mike ‘Black Knight’ O’Horo continues to be the individual team leader in tournaments, this week by placing sixth in the 170# weight class.
O’Horo won his first three matches. In the quarterfinals, he was up against Chase Morgan of Ripley (W.Va.), the #1 seed with a fifth place finish at state last year. O’Horo easily handled him in winning the 13-5 decision. In the semis, he lost to state ranked (8th, Div.1) Mike Baker of LaSalle 17-2. In the consies, Mike lost a 6-1 decision to state ranked (5th, Div. 2) David Heath of Akron St. Vincent. In the fifth place match, Mike lost a 3-2 decision to state ranked (6th, Div. 2) Tann Roush of Claymont. When Roush took down, Mike got him turned for potential back points but Roush’s shoulders were out of bounds. O’Horo’s record is now 20-4 this season.
“It was a really tough weight class. I think the top four guys were really, really tough, maybe too tough to beat. I knew it would be hard to get in the top four but I think Mike did a great job in getting in the top six,” Coach Mancini said.
The two other wrestlers that had solid performances were Freshman Anthony ‘Bagz’ Baglama and Senior Kelley Williams.
‘Bagz’ went 3-2, in the 113# weight class with a pin and two major decisions. “Bagz” improves to 8-6 on the season.
Kelley went 3-2, in the 152# weight class with 3 pins. In one of the most exciting matches of the tournament, Kelley was trailing AJ Stehura 9-5 with 30 seconds to go in the match when he hit a throw and put Stehura on his back for a 5 point move. In a highly questionable scissors call against Kelley, the match ended up tied in regulation but in overtime Kelley stuck him without needing the scissors. Kelley improves to 12-10 on the season.
Other wrestlers contributing team points were Derek “Slip” Slipkovich (2-2) at 120#, John Fleet (1-2) at 138#, Brandon “Ziggy” Zagatti (1-2) at 145#, Carlo DeNiro (2-2) at 182#, Alex King (2-2) at 195# and Nick Caraballo (1-2) at 220#.
The Spartans compete next in the 24th Josh Hephner Memorial Tournament. The Hephner is an endurance tournament that starts out as a pool tournament with the top two wrestlers from each pool advancing to the placement rounds.
In preparing for the Hephner, Coach Mancini said, “I still we think we have to improve in the down position. Everybody does. That’s our downfall. That’s usually what the downfall is when you go up against the really good competition. You have to get out from the bottom and we just don’t do it when we go up against the tougher opponents.”

PICTURED: EN ROUTE TO A 13-5 DECISION, BOARDMAN HIGH SCHOOL’S MIKE O’HORO, on top, puts Chase Morgan on the mat during action at last week’s Top Gun Wrestling tournament in Alliance, Oh. O’Horo went 3-3 in the tourney and has a 204 record on the season.
  Youngstown State vs. James Madison:   January 5, 2017  
The Youngstown State football team will appear in the 2017 NCAA Division I football championship game against James Madison this Sat., Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas. Kickoff for the contest between the Penguins and the Dukes is set for 12:05 p.m. (eastern time) at Toyota Stadium. The game will be available on ESPN2 and on the radio on WKBN 570 AM.
YSU (12-3) continued its postseason to remember with a final-second 40-38 win at Eastern Washington on a frigid, 5-degree afternoon at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. on Dec. 17. The Penguins scored 20 fourth-quarter points in the come-from-behind win after trailing 31-20 at the start of the period.
Down 11 points, an interception in the end zone by Billy Nicoe Hurst late in the third quarter helped turned the momentum YSU’s way.
The Penguins pulled within 31-27 on an 11-yard pass from Hunter Wells to Alvin Bailey with 12:14 left in the game.
After forcing an EWU punt, Tevin McCaster’s third touchdown of the day, a 12-yard run with 6:30 left, gave YSU a 34-31 lead. The quick-strike Eagles offense answered just over two minutes later as Shaq Hill scored on a one-yard run with 4:24 left.
The Penguins took over with 4:20 remaining and with six seconds left faced a second-and-goal at the EWU five-yard line. Hunter Wells’ pass attempt in the end zone was somehow pinned on the back shoulder of EWU’s Kenter Kupp by tight end Kevin Rader, who held on for the game-winning score with just one second left.
James Madison (13-1) snapped the five-year championship run by North Dakota State with a 27-17 win over the Bison at the Fargodomein North Dakota on Dec. 16. That contest was tied 17-all in the fourth quarter before the Dukes scored the final 10 points to cap off the victory.
Saturday’s NCAA title game is the fifth all-time meeting between the Penguins and the Dukes, the last of which was also in the postseason. YSU won a memorable 35-31 nationally-televised contest in the first round of the 2006 FCS Playoffs at Stambaugh Stadium.
The Penguins enter the game with four players under suspension, while James Madison has suspended seven players from its program.
YSU ranks third all time in FCS national championships with four after winning titles in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1997. The Penguins also appeared in the title game in 1992 and 1999 as well as playing for the Division II national title in 1979.
Rader’s unlikely game-wining catch against Eastern Washington, is not the only ‘Catch’ logged into the memory of Youngstown State grid history.
Boardman High School product Herb Williams had two of the biggest receptions in school history during the 1991 playoffs. His two key receptions in 1991 helped propel the Penguins football program to its first national championship.
Against Villanova in the first round of the playoffs, YSU began its final possession on its own 42-yard line with 2:16 remaining. After three plays lost one yard, the Penguins faced a fourth-and-11 from their 41. Quarterback Ray Isaac heaved a desperation pass downfield that was deflected but somehow was caught by Williams as he was falling to the ground at the Villanova 18-yard line. The 41-yard gain set up the game-winning field goal with six seconds left to help the Penguins advance to the second round.
In the national championship game, YSU trailed Marshall 17-6 early in the fourth quarter. Williams began the comeback with a 33-yard touchdown reception with 13:38 left to cut the deficit to 17-13. YSU went on to beat the Thundering Herd 25-17 and earn the first national title in school history.
A native of Boardman, he was a standout football and basketball player for the Spartans. Williams helped lead the Spartans grid team to a Division I state championship game appearance in 1987. He was inducted into the Boardman High School Hall of Fame in 2006.
Championship Game Notes
 •YSU is bidding to become the first three-loss team to win the FCS title since Richmond in 2008.
 •At the outset of the 2016 season, the YSU picked to finish fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference and were unranked in preseason polls. The highest YSU in-season ranking was 11th prior to the contest vs. UNI.
 •The 2016 Penguins join the 2013 Towson Tigers and the 2014 North Dakota State Bison as teams to play 16 games in a season. However, YSU is the first team to play five FCS playoff games since the field expanded in 2010.
 •YSU has won 21 consecutive games against FCS non-conference opponents dating back to a 2009 loss to Liberty.
 •This season, the Penguins have set school records for sacks (47), field goals (20) and field-goal attempts (33).
 •Tailback Tevin McCaster has scored a touchdown in a team-high nine games this season. YSU is 8-1 when he scores a touchdown. He had a career-high three TDs at EWU.
 •YSU has not allowed a rushing touchdown in the second quarter this season.
 •YSU tailback Jody Webb has had more than 200 all-purpose yards in six consecutive games. He had accomplished the feat three times in his first 40 games before his recent hot streak. In his last six games, Webb has rushed for 961 yards (160.1 per game average) on 137 carries and scored six touchdowns.
Sack Time
YSU has set a new school record for sacks in a season with 47. The previous mark was 44 set back in 1982.
While defensive end Derek Rivers continues to lead the team in sacks with 14, plenty of Penguins have been involved in a strong pass-rushing attack.
Defensive end Avery Moss is second on the squad with 10 sacks while defensive tackle Savon Smith is third with five and tackle Donald Mesier has three.
Linebackers Armand Dellovade and Jamar Pinnock, strong safety Jameel Smith and cornerback Kenny Bishop each have two. The combination of Moss, Rivers, Smith and Mesier have combined for 32 of the 47 sacks.
YSU Defense Ranks Highly
The Penguins’ defensive unit ranks highly in the FCS in numerous categories entering the James Madison contest.
YSU ranks ninth in scoring defense (19.4 points per game), ninth in sacks per game (3.17), 19th in total defense (324.4 yards per game), 24th in rushing defense (128.1 yards per game) and 25th in third-down percentage defense (33.8 percent).
YSU’s defense has allowed just 27 touchdowns in the last 48 quarters. The Guins did not allow an offensive touchdown against Illinois State and UNI.
The YSU defense has surrendered just 10 rushing touchdowns this year. It’s the fewest rushing touchdowns since 1996 (nine in 11 games). In the regular season, YSU allowed just three rushing scores.
Only six teams have a rushing score against YSU. The Penguins have allowed 10 rushing TDs in 60 quarters (and two OTs).
Dellovade a Key Stopper
Sophomore LB Armand Dellovade, a second-team all-league selection, leads the Penguins with 98 tackles this year, including 65 solo stops. He is third with 11.5 TFLs, which includes a pair of sacks.
In conference play he had 60 total tackles, highlighted by a career-high 11 stops against South Dakota State on Oct. 22. He had 39 solo tackles in MVFC play. Dellovade has had five-or-more tackles in 12 of the last 13 games.
Going with Wells
A familiar face has started for the Penguins the past eight games in junior quarterback Hunter Wells.
Wells, who made his season debut on Oct. 29 against Indiana State, has led the Penguins to a 7-1 record, including six straight wins, since being inserted into the lineup.
He had a season-best three touchdown passes in the double-overtime win over Wofford. At Eastern Washington he completed 16-of-24 passes for 244 yards and a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns.
At Jacksonville State he threw for 290 yards completing 10-of-18 attempts (29 per completion average). At JSU he had four passes of 35-or-more yards with completions of 85, 70, 50 and 38 yards in the contest.
A veteran with 26 career starts, he has thrown for 5,190 yards and 36 touchdowns while completing 387-of-662 passes. Last year he started all 11 games for YSU completing 159-of-291 passes for 1,975 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Three QBs Not By Design
Because of injuries, the Penguins were forced to use three quarterbacks in the come-from-behind win over UNI on Oct. 15.
Starting QB Ricky Davis played the first quarter and two drives in the second quarter before leaving the game with a lower-body injury. Second-string QB Trent Hosick played four snaps of the next drive before exiting. On a 28-yard run Hosick broke his collarbone when he was pushed to the ground out of bounds.
That forced third-string QB and scout-teamer Nathan Mays into the mix. Mays played the final possession of the first half and all of the second-half in the come-from-behind win.
Then, enter Wells!
Kennedy With 19 FGs Again
Sophomore placekicker Zak Kennedy (Boardman/Cardinal Mooney) has made 19 field goals in back-to-back seasons.
In 2015, he had an outstanding first year making 19-of-23 attempts to earn first-team All-MVFC honors.
Kennedy is 19-of-29 this season despite missing two games with an injury. He was 11-of-17 before his injury and since returning to the lineup is 8-of-12. Three of those misses were against Wofford.
At Jacksonville State he had one of the best games of his career making 4-of-5 attempts. On a freezing cold day at EWU he was 2-of-2, making a 42-yarder in the contest.
With his 19 and Connor McFadden’s field goal against Missouri State, the Penguins have set a school mark with 20 made field goals this year. The 33 attempts are also the most in school history.
PICTURED: IN HIS SECOND YEAR AT THE HELM, YOUNGSTOWN STATE Head Coach Bo Pelini will lead the Penguins (12-3) into the NCAA/FCS national title game against James Madison (13-1). Pelini has won a career-high 12 games this season hat marks the eighth time in his nine years as a collegiate head coach that Pelini has coached a team to at least nine wins. In seven full seasons at Nebraska from 2008-14 he won at least nine games each year, including 10-win seasons in 2009, 2010 and 2012. The Penguins are appearing in their seventh national championship game on the FCS level and eighth all-time when they take on the Dukes. YSU is 4-3 all-time in title tilts, with wins coming in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1997. In 1991, YSU scored 19 fourth-quarter points to beat Marshall 25-17 in Statesboro, Ga. In 1993, the Pens beat Marshall 17-5 on its home field in Huntington, West Va. In 1994, the Penguins capped off a 14-0-1 season with a 28-14 win over Boise State in Huntington. In 1997, YSU claimed its fourth national championship with a late touchdown to beat McNeese State, 10-9, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The last time Youngstown State faced James Madison, a career night from quarterback Tom Zetts helped lead the Penguins to a come-from-behind 35-31 victory over the Dukes in the FCS playoffs at Stambaugh Stadium on Nov. 25, 2006.
  Career In Softball Has Taken Jen Feret Around The World  
  August 25, 2016  
Jen Feret
Jennifer Feret, daughter of Jim and Francine Feret, of Midwood Circle, a member of the Mercyhurst Lakers softball teams from 2004-2007, has been inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. The Boardman-native is the most decorated pitcher in Mercyhurst softball history.
She is now a naturalized citizen of New Zealand, where she has continued her softball career as a star pitcher with the Western Magpies, the country’s nation, interclub champions.
Feret is the Mercyhurst program’s all-time leader in innings pitched, strikeouts, complete games and shutouts. She also held opposing hitters to a lower batting average than any other hurler in Laker history. Feret ranks second all-time in wins and third in earned-run average.
Feret was no slouch with the bat at Mercyhurst where she ranks second all-time in home runs, fourth in runs batted in and fourth in total bases.
Feret holds several season records. As a pitcher, she owns the record for strikeouts, shutouts and opponents’ batting average. As a hitter, she holds Mercyhurst’s single-season record for home runs (16).
While in college, Feret was recognized on the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Conference team in each of our four seasons: once on the first team, twice on the second team and once as an honorable mention.
After graduating from Mercyhurst, Feret spent two summers in Switzerland as a member of the Therwil Flyers that won the Swiss national title. The Flyers advanced to the European Cup, where Feret was voted tournament MVP.
She then spent a summer in Germany, and as a member of the German national title team, she again gained Europena Cup MVP laurels.
She then found a home in New Zealand.
In March, the Western Magpies won the national title and Feret gained MVP honors again. She played this summer at the World Cup for New Zealand, then lost in quarterfinal play, 8-2, to the Netherlands.
“I’ve won national championships in Switzerland, Germany, and New Zealand but nothing beats putting on the New Zealand uniform for the first time and singing the national anthem with my teammates before our Test Series against the Australians in Perth 2011,” Feret says of her softball career.
Earlier this year, she led the Aukland’s Western Magpies to a national title, tossing a pair of no-hitters against the Hutt Valley Dodgers.
“Feret was too good for the Dodgers hitters in the final, exhibiting masterly control of her dropball and change-up, which had many Hutt Valley hitters swinging at fresh air,” A New Zealand scribe reported on the national championship game.
“As a small town Boardman kid, I never thought my dreams of playing international softball at the highest level would ever come true! Moreover, I never foresaw the opportunity to be a part of something so much bigger than myself!
“Softball has taken me on a whirlwind journey across the world where I have made lifelong friends and memories. I’ve had the privilege to help grow the game and the passion for softball all around the world!
“Because of softball I have found a home, a husband, and a life for myself here in New Zealand. I am ever so grateful to be taken in by New Zealand and given the opportunity to be apart of its national representative softball team, the New Zealand White Sox,” Feret says.
As a sophomore at Boardman High School, Feret was a member of the Lady Spartans 2001 state championship softball team under Head Coach Bill Amero.
Her name is a glaring omission from the BHS athletic Hall of Fame.
  Youngstown State Penguins Projected To Win Just Six Games This Season  
  August 25, 2016  
Arguably the most dominant conference in FCS football, the Missouri Valley Conference touts the most dominant FCS program ever in five-time defending national champion North Dakota State.
This year, the Bison could be slightly more vulnerable without quarterback Carson Wentz, but do not count on it. NDSU will be bringing the big guns out once again.
Here is the Missouri Valley Conference 2016 preview:
Projected Order of Finish
1. North Dakota State
2. Northern Iowa
3. South Dakota State
4. Illinois State
5. Western Illinois
6. Youngstown State
7. Indiana State
8. South Dakota
9. Southern Illinois
10. Missouri State
North Dakota State Bison
There has never been anything like Bison football. NDSU has won 10 national titles between D2 and FCS since 1983, and they have won five straight currently. If by some act of the cosmos they win again, they get their 11th. Nobody has ever had this kind of run before.
Even with Carson Wentz gone (#2 pick of the Philadelphia Eagles), there is no reason to be concerned. Easton Stick is the starter now, and he is ready to handle this job (like he did last year when the Bison played Youngstown State and Wentz was out with an injury). The line is loaded, and will be led by Zack Johnson at OG. The RB stable is as deep as it has ever been with King Frazier, Chase Morlock and Bruce Anderson all returning.
Nick DeLuca became a star in the Montana loss last season, and is back to lead the defense from the middle at LB, and Nate Tanguay joins Greg Menard up front to give the Bison one of the most formidable fronts in the nation. If the Bison can plug holes in the secondary, there is no reason to see why they will not be in the thick of title chase number six this fall.
Projected Win Total: 9
Northern Iowa Panthers
The Panthers are giving chase to NDSU, but they may fall just short in the conference race. That being said, UNI is plenty stocked to head into the FCS playoffs this fall.
Aaron Bailey is set at QB, and came on strong late in the year in 2015. He will be a huge dual threat to stop in conference play. He will be joined by the massive Tyvis Smith, who may be the best single back in the league. The line will be loaded as well, so the UNI ground game will be alive and well as it carries UNI to the playoffs.
UNI is also loaded on the defensive front. Karter Schult is a sack machine, and will be teamed with Preston Woods who will collapse the pocket from the inside. Like NDSU, UNI is looking for help in the secondary, where they need to replace every piece. Youngstown State and the Panthers engage in a big one set for Sat., Oct. 15 at Stambaugh Stadium.
Projected Win Total: 8
South Dakota State Jack Rabbits
If not for NDSU and UNI in front of them, SDSU may very well be the kind of team that could win a conference like this. As that is said, the Rabbits will likely push the top two teams this season.
Whomever wins the outright QB job between Zach Lujan and Taryn Christion will have a premier receiver to work with in Jake Wieneke, who is right up there with Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington as being the best receivers in the nation. The top four rushers from 2015 all return as well.
Cole Langer is a beast in the middle of the line for SDSU, and will be the leader of the defense heading into fall camp. There are missing pieces at LB and at CB, but if those problems can be solved early, the Jack Rabbits are heading to the playoffs once again.
Projected Win Total: 8
Illinois State RedBirds
The Birds have been flying high as of late, but they are heading into 2016 missing some pieces that got them to the top over the last few years.
There will be a new QB, and that should be sophomore Jake Kolbe, who must learn how to lead this team early on. There will also be a new RB this fall. Diminutive Jamal Towns should share the load there with George Moreira, but there is no one back that will carry the load as Marshaun Coprich did.
Kolbe will get familiar with WR Anthony Warrum early on, and if a stable can form behind him, the offense should be just fine, as the line returns with solid talent.
DT Dalton Keene and LB Alejandro Rivera are the lone pieces coming back in the front seven, so starters and depth must be found. The secondary was young last season, so there should be more experience and depth to be found there this fall.
Projected Win Total: 7
Western Illinois Leathernecks
Bob Nielson left WIU as a state budget crisis prevented him from receiving a contract extension in a timely manner, and so Richmond OC Charlie Fisher takes over. Trenton Norvell returns at QB, but must increase his TD to INT ratio (13/8) to keep the Leathernecks moving towards another playoff birth. Lance Lenoir is his top returning receiver, and the top eight receivers from last year all return in total.
Nikko Watson is gone at RB, so look for Steve McShane and Devon Moore to battle for the job heading into the fall.
The LB corps is solid, and will be led by Brett Taylor. This unit should be the heart of a deep and talented defense this fall.
The only thing standing in the way of another playoff birth? The schedule is daunting to say the least.
Projected Win Total: 6
Youngstown State Penguins
Things have not been the same since the Penguins were the best team in this division in the 90s. Head coach Bo Pelini was brought on with much fanfare to get the tide turned, and he found it tough going last fall in his first season. He will still need a little more time before the program is back on track and playoff bound.
Hunter Wells has the number one job at QB, for now. JC transfer Trent Hosick, a former Missouri commit, will push him, and could supplant Wells for the job.
Martin Ruiz and Jody Webb share the RB job, and will likely carry the offense until the passing game gets sorted out.
The defense is led by bull rush DE Derek Rivers, an NFL prospect, and by the best secondary in the nation; and the best boast one of the top placekickers in FCS football in Zak Kennedy.
Projected Win Total: 6
Indiana State Sycamores
There are few programs that have shown the kinds of inconsistency this program has had over the last decade. They have been great, and they have been flat out awful. There has been very little gray area when it comes to this.
It looks like bad news out the gate, as QB Matt Adam has fallen short of academic qualification, and will miss the entire 2016 season while getting his grades straight. That is a huge hit for a team that is not very loaded on offense to start out. The other four QBs returning this fall had 20 attempts between them last season.
The five top rushers from last season (minus Adam) all return, so the running game, led by Roland Genesy, will have to move the ball while the QB issues get right in camp.
Robert Tanyan will return at WR, and he is a good one.
The defense could not stop the pass last season, but they do have one of the best LBs in FCS football in Jameer Thurmon.
Projected Win Total: 5
South Dakota Coyotes
Coaching legend Joe Glenn has retired at USD, and his career ended with more of a thud at USD than many had hoped for. Former Western Illinois coach Bob Nielson is now on board after taking the Leathernecks to the playoffs last fall.
QB Ryan Seager returns and is looking for a breakout season. Trevor Bouma is back at RB, and led the backs with 6 rushing TDs, but the yardage guy is sophomore Michael Fredrick.
Riley Donovan is expected to have a huge role at WR after playing in just one game last fall. Only two of the other four top WRs return this fall, led by Brandt Van Roekel.
The defense will be full of holes as the Coyotes head into camp, and will be a primary reason why USD will not be among the competitors for a playoff birth clubs for the league this fall.
Projected Win Total: 2
Southern Illinois Salukis
SIU is yet another formerly proud program fallen on hard times in recent years in the MVC.
The Salukis had a quality QB in Mark Ianotti last season, and still they failed to win more than three games. Now he is gone. Former Saluki player Nick Hill is back as head coach, and his first order of business will be to find a QB that can help this team win some football games.
Daquan Isom is back at RB, and will start. The problem is that Ianotti was also the leading rusher. There is some depth and experience behind Isom, but he should be the guy carrying the load of the carries. Billy Reed and Jimmy Jones are back at WR to take some pressure off of the new QB.
Chase Allen is the heart of the defense at MLB as the Salukis transition back to a 4-3 defense. Minnesota transfer Craig James should add support at CB. In any eventuality, the defense must simply improve.
Projected Win Total: 2
Missouri State Bears
The Bears have fallen on some seriously hard times as of late, and the hurt looks to continue in 2016.
The Bears scored a miserable 9.1 points per game in MVC play last fall, a number that is just unacceptable. Former Missouri assistant Dave Steckel must find some pieces to help turn the ship around, but as of now, there is no rudder to work with.
Look for Steckel to build his offense around RB Calan Crowder, but Jason Randall could even push him. Either way, neither back could start for one of the better teams in this conference.
Brodie Lambert is back at QB, but he was terrible last fall, with a TD to INT ratio of 3/11. Breck Ruddick could push him, but he didn’t fare much better last fall, completing barely 50% of his pass attempts.
Malik Earl is the leading receiver from last fall, but he caught just 31 passes in a season where the offense was in complete implosion.
Defensively, the Bears gave up 48.9 points per game in league play, and is every bit the mess that the offense is. Look for LB Dylan Cole to be a leader on that unit once again, but as good as he can be, he cannot play all 11 positions on the field. Help is needed, which is the understatement of all time.
Projected Win Total: 1
  Boardman 10-Year-Old All-Stars Capture State Tournament Crown  
  August 4, 2016  
 DOVER, OH.---Boardman Community Baseball’s 10-year-old all-star team played eight games in seven days, winning seven, straight games to claim the State Tournament last Saturday with a 10-4 win over Dover.
Boardman gained the title game with a dramatic, sixth inning rally over the same Dover team on Saturday morning to force a second title game in the afternoon in the double elimination tournament.
Boardman held a 4-3 advantage in the first game, going into the sixth and final inning. Dover tied things up in the top half of the sixth, and Boardman answered in the bottom of the inning when Zach Ganser doubled to score Jack Ericson.
Ganser finished 2 for 2 in the game that saw five lead changes.
Gavin Hyde got the complete game mound win, allowing just four hits, yielding no walks and posting 5 Ks.
The win forced the second game and Boardman came out on fire in the top of the first inning. Satterfield reached first on a bunt single, followed by a Ryan Conti two-bagger. A Hyde sacrifice fly to deep right centerfield plated both runners.
Boardman got all the runs it needed in the third stanza, crossing the plate three times.
Cal Huston led-off with a single, and came home when Satterfield homered. Hyde then singled, reached third on two passed ball and tallied the winning run on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Ericson.
Boardman added insurance in the fifth, posting three runs.
T.J. Richey led-off with single a,d came around to score on a Ryan Kalmer ground out. Ganser reached on a single, Even Sweden took first when he was hit by a pitch and then Ganser scored on a Satterfield double. Huston was inserted as a pinch-runner and scored on a passed ball.
The game finished after an hour-long rain delay.
Charlie Young got the mound win in 2-2/3 innings of work, posting three strikeouts. Ericson finished things off in relief, allowing just one run.
Defensive standouts included Richey behind the plate and Satterfield, who made an outstanding catch in centerfield.
Boardman dropped their first tournament game to New Albany, 8-4, then reeled-off seven straight wins for the state title, topping Washington Courthouse, 12-1; Kingsville, 9-0; New Albany, 10-2; Ironton, 10-8; Loveland, 6-5; and the pair of wins over Dover.
Members of the title team were Charlie Young, Marty Stachowicz, Ryan Kalmer, Evan Sweeder, Dylan Barrett, Ryan Conti, Gavin Hyde, Matt Kay, Cal Huston, Jack Ericson, Zach Ganser, T.J, Richey, Caleb Satterfield and coaches Dom Conti, Robert Hyde, Jim Huston, and Steve Satterfield
  Michael Mannozzi’s 20K Race In Salem, Oregon  
  His Final Chance To Make 2016 Olympic Team:   June 30, 2016  
Michael Mannozzi
Boardman native Michael Mannozzi, five-time U.S.A. Track and Field team member, will get his last chance to qualify for the 2016 World Olympic Games this week when the 20K Trials begin in Salem, Ore. on Thursday.
Mannozzi, who grew-up on Erskine Ave., is seeded eighth in a 15-man field in the trials that open at the steps to the Oregon state capitol where race walkers will complete 19 one-kilometer loops.
Mannozzi, 30, will be shooting for the Olympic qualifying standard of 1 hour, 24 minutes.
To date his best time in the 20K is 1:31.11, about eight minutes behind the standard.
Besides a spot on the Olympic team, athletes can also win prize money for top performances. First place gets $10,000 and the money is awarded down to $1,000 for seventh place.
Favorite in the race is U.S Olympic 50K qualifier John Nunn. The field also incudes U.S. collegiate champ Anthony Peters whose best time to date is 1:31.19. He is seeded fifth in the race.
For those who make the team, it’s a fairly fast turnaround until they leave for Brazil. The opening ceremonies are on Aug. 5. Track events begin Aug. 12.
“I know I’m a long shot, but anything can happen,” Mannozzi said on Tuesday.
Mannozzi won the College NAIA title for the 3K distance in 2010, after being in the sport for only a year.
On Apr. 10, 2011, Mannozzi landed the qualifying time for the 2012 USA Olympic 50K trials with his performance at the Ohio 50K Race Walk Championship. His qualification for the championship also made him the youngest entrant at the 2012 trials.
  A.H.Davis Inducted Into Thiel College Hall Of Fame  
  June 9, 2016  
A. H. Davis
GREENVILLE, PA.---Thiel College Athletics Reunion Weekend concluded last Saturday with the 36th Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony that took place at the Lutheran Heritage Room in the Howard Miller Student Center.
Among seven inductees was Boardman native A.H. Davis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Davis, of Spartan Dr.
Davis, a 2003 graduate of Thiel, played basketball for the Tomcats
A Boardman High School graduate, Davis is Thiel’s career leader in points (1,683). He was a four-time All-PAC selection, earning three first team nods (2001-03) and a second team honor as a freshman in 2000.
A member of the PAC 60th anniversary team, Davis helped lead the Tomcats to the PAC title in 2000.
In addition to being the program’s leader in points, Davis is also the career leader in field goals (684). He ranks third in program history in free-throws (295), fifth in blocks (79) and eighth in steals (128).
Davis is the second Boardman native to be inducted into the Thiel Hall of Fame.
John Gibson was a four-time, first team All-PAC honoree and a four-time All-Lutheran team selection during his football playing days at Thiel. By the time Gibson graduated, he had held career marks in receptions (150), receiving yards (2,054), points (208) and touchdown receptions (27). He capped his career by earning Little All-American Honorable Mention status in 1970.
Upon graduation, Gibson signed a free agent deal with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1971. He is one of just two players in Thiel football history to have their number retired. He was inducted into the Thiel College Hall of Fame in 1982.
Pictured: A.H. DAVIS, 40, leading scorer in Thiel College basketball history, was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame during ceremonies last Saturday.
  Jenna Vivo Wins Jr. Golf Tournament  
  June 9, 2016  
Jenna Vivo
Boardman High School golfer Jenna Vivo shot a 73 to win the NOPGA Jr. Tournament held at Mill Creek Golf Course last Saturday. This win qualifies her to play in the Junior Sectional Championship to be played at Shady Hollow Golf Course in Massillon on June 20-21 and the NOPGA Jr. Kenny Novak Championship at Club Walden in Aurora on Aug. 11 - 12.
  Brendon Lucas Sets School Record In 400, Qualifies For State Meet  
  June 2, 2016  
AUSTINTOWN---Boardman High School senior Brendon Lucas will compete at the 2016 OHSAA State Championship this weekend at Jesse Owens Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University in the 400 meter dash.
Lucas led the Spartans to a 9th place finish in a field of 44 schools at the OHSAA Regional Championship last week. Regional champ was Canton GlenOak.
Lucas earned his first trip to the state meet in the 400 with a personal best and new BHS record time of 48.46 seconds.
“I am absolutely thrilled for Brendon,” said Boardman Head Coach John Phillips. “He has been asked to do a lot for our team this year and has battled back from a season ending injury a year ago. He is proof that working hard and following a training plan pays off.”
Lucas also just missed qualifying for state meet in the 200, placing fifth overall in a personal best time of 22.16 seconds and he was sixth overall in the 100 with a time of 11.11 seconds.
Boardman junior George Wallace also just missed qualifying to Columbus with a fifth place finish in the discus with a throw of 156’, and junior Chris Butler was sixth overall in the 1600 in a career best time of 4:23.
Lucas will run in the Ohio semifinals Friday afternoon, if he is in the top 9 of 16 he will run Saturday evening for the state championship.
Lucas is currently seeded fifth in the event.
  Curbstone Hall Of Fame Will Induct Diamond Star Jamie Palumbo, Local Boxer Craig Kikta On May 1  
  March 31, 2016  
The 49th Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame Banquet is set for Sun., May 1 with 12 new members set for enshrinement during ceremonies at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center, Boardman.
Former Champion High School, Ohio State and Denver Broncos standout Randy Gradishar will serve as guest speaker.
The 2016 class includes Chester Cooper (contribution to sports), Don Feren (contribution to sports), Rick Havrilla (bowling), John Hritz (coach, basketball), Craig Kikta (boxing), Jamie Palumbo (baseball), Rose Smith (bowling), Tamron Smith (football), Jim Tressel (coach, football), Bill Triplett (football), Herb Williams (football) and Bruce Zoldan (hockey).
The only pugilist honored in this year’s class, Kikta was born on June 22, 1976 and is a 1994 graduate of Austintown Fitch High School.
Boxing was his first love and he entered the 1991 K.O. Drugs High School Boxing Tournament, where he was runner-up in his weight class.
At age 14, he was a Jr. Olympic champion in the 147 pound weight class in competition held in Cleveland.
In 1993 while a junior in high school, he took first-place in the Youngstown Golden Gloves 139 pound Novice Division, also earning the Novice Division’s “Outstanding Fighter Award.”
The following year as a senior, he earned the Youngstown Golden Gloves’ “Outstanding Fighter Award” once again, this time in the Open Division.
He graduated high school in June and in July, 1994, turned pro.
Known as “The Kid,” he had 18 professional fights and went 16-2 overall with eight KO’s.
He won his first 14 pairings, making it 15 in a row on April 10, 1996 when he defeated Dwayne Swift on points at the Youngstown Metro Plex Center to claim the vacant IBC (International Boxing Council) welterweight title.
On August 8, 1996, almost four months to the day, Verdell Smith scored a TKO over Kikta in Columbus (his first professional loss) to wrest the IBC title from the Austintown native.
He moved to 16-1 with a unanimous decision over Deltonia Clary at the Packard Music Hall on October 31, 1997 and in his last professional match-up, lost to Rodney Jones (December 8, 1997) at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California for the WBO, NABO super welterweight title.
In all, his professional career was well-documented with fights that were televised to national audiences on ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Sports.
He is the owner of Craig Kikta Distributing, L.L.C. and currently resides in Austintown.

Born on November 26, 1973, Palumbo is a Hubbard native and 1992 Hubbard HS graduate.
He starred on both the gridiron and baseball diamond for the Eagles, earning the Ron Stoops Memorial Award in baseball as a sophomore.
As a junior, he was an All-League, All-County, All-NEO, Second-Team All-State and was a Trumbull County “Player of the Year” nominee in football, earning All-League All-County and All-NEO laurels in baseball.
As a senior he was All-League, All-District, defensive “Player of the Year” and team M.V.P., earning a baseball scholarship to YSU upon graduation.
He played for the Penguins from 1993-96, earning four letters while helping to re-write several categories in their all-time record book.
As a freshman in 1993, he led the team in triples with three then during his junior campaign (1995), was part of the school’s record-setting 37-win season.
That season, he led the team in batting (.340), hits (64), doubles (17, which was then a new school standard), triples (3) and walks (31), also hitting for the cycle.
In his final season the team posted the second most wins ever in a single season, leading the team once again in hits while also leading the Penguins in home runs (6) and runs (29).
He had four career grand slams, was the team’s “Defensive M.V.P.” his final two seasons while adding team “Most Valuable Player” honors his senior campaign.
He was the first Penguin baseball player to be named Mid-Continent Conference, First-Team (1995, 1996) two consecutive years, closing out a stellar collegiate career still ranked third overall in triples (8) for a career, 10th overall with 31 walks (1995) for a season and 10th overall with 17 doubles (1995) in a campaign.
He would later play for the Chillicothe Paints (Frontier League runners-up in 1996 and a team that was named the “Most Talented” in franchise history) and Canton Crocodiles (1997).
A member of the Giachetta’s local touch football entry, he helped lead the team to the USTFL (United State Touch Football League) national championship three consecutive years (1995-97).
For his efforts he was named Special Teams “Most valuable Player” in both 1995 and 1997, also earning Offensive “M.V.P.” laurels in 1996.
On the local sandlot, he was a member of the 1998 NABF World Series champions (he was named to the All-Tournament team) while in 2010 and 2011, as a member of the Canton Stallions, helped them to the Stan Musial World Series crown (he earned All-Tournament honors in 2010).
He was a 2014 inductee into the National Semi-Pro Baseball Hall of Fame during ceremonies in Evansville, Indiana.
The father of three sons, he currently serves as a real estate broker and resides in Warren.
Tickets are $60 each.
Further information can be obtained by calling 330-792-2272 or 330-506-6774, or by visiting the organization’s website at
  Banquet Heralds End To 56th Season Of Boardman High School Wrestling Program  
  March 31, 2016  
wrestling reporter
The 56th year of the Boardman High School wrestling program culminated with the annual Awards Banquet sponsored by the Boardman Mat Club last Monday at Café 422.
During this season the Spartan wrestlers won seven individual championships and five runners-up.
Assistant coach Bob ‘Bubber’ Foster gave the welcome and recognized the Youth State Qualifiers---Sean O’Horo and Raymond Cmil. They are the future of Boardman wrestling.
“I got to work with these two a little bit this year and the future is bright. I feed and the other coaches feed off of passion and that’s what takes you the furthest in this sport and these two guys have an unbelievable amount of passion for the sport of wrestling. They put in a lot of time and it’s good to have them in the program,” Head Coach Dom Mancini said.
Christl DeNiro introduced Mat Club officers: Roger Carlile-President, Lisa Slipkovich-Secretary and Kimo DeNiro-Treasurer.
“We hope we’ll have more underclass parents involved next year. Something we did this year was we paid for bags for the boys. The Mat Club is the only Boardman sports booster club to support a sport on three levels---Youth, Middle School and High School,” DeNiro said.
Special guests at the banquet were Mrs. Cynthia Fernback, Principal and Mrs. Denise Gorske, Athletic Director.
Wreslette Advisors Lisa Graziani and Christl DeNiro awarded letters to the wrestlettes.
First year letter winners are Abbey Fryda, Madeline Hubert, Maddy Perez, Nadia Shrilla and Allisa Sipus.
Second year letter winners are Kristen Fernberg and Sarah Pavalko.
Third year letter winners are Morgan Wessling and Nina Yurcisin.
Fourth year letter winners are Tori Augustine, Morgan Bindas, Caitlynn Connor and Kathrin Ritz.
The wrestlettes handle the stat books for all of the matches, create the Senior scrapbooks, make signs and help out at fundraising tournaments at the school.
Head Coach Mancini introduced his assistants, including Foster, Jerry Pasquale, Frank Mancini, Luke Graziani and Jack Raver.
“I remember when these guys, the seniors we have here, were freshmen. We called them ‘the Dream Team’ because it was a good solid group of guys and we knew we could build a team around them. Over the years we are not really known much for our dual meet victories, so when we get a winning season, I’m pretty excited about it. These guys were able to come out of the year 7-6 which was outstanding for the type of opponents we are wrestling. Canfield was state runner-up. Fitch put three guys in the state tournament. I texted Coach Burd from Austintown because we lost to Fitch in the dual match. We lost to them at Top Gun, we lost to them at the EOWL Tournament, we lost to them at sectionals and we lost to them at districts, but we beat them at the state meet, thanks to Mario Graziani. I texted Coach Burd and said I told you we’d get ya,” Mancini said.
Coach Mancini presented the major individual awards:
 •Most Outstanding Wrestler- Mario Graziani
 •Most Improved- Cannon “Tex” Carlile
 •Coach’s Award- Jimmy Sferra
 •Jon Green Hammer Award- Kelley Williams Jr.
 •Captain Awards- Tyler Dempsey, Jimmy Sferra and Nick Patoray
 •Commitment Award- Wes Thompson
Team records for the season:
 •Tyler Dempsey: Most Takedowns, 78; Most Team Points, 307
 •Jimmy Sferra: Most Wins, 32; Most Reversals, 15; Most Escapes, 43
 •Carlo DeNiro: Most Pins, 17
 •Mario Graziani: Most Near Falls, 32
 •Graziani and Cannon ‘Tex’ Carlile: Most Tech Falls, 2
 •Dempsey and Carlile: Most Major Decisions, 5
Varsity letters were presented by Coaches Bob Foster, Jerry Pasquale, Jack Raver and Frank Mancini.
First year letter winners:
 •Nick Leonardo, Dan Sabelli, Troy Stack, Tyler Storey, Jermaine Wilburne, Kelley Williams and Wes Thompson.
Second year letter winners:
 •Nick Caraballo, John Fleet, Derek Slipkovich and Jimmy Vaughn.
Third year letter winners:
 •Kyle Berardi, Carlo DeNiro, Nick Patoray and Jimmy Sferra.
Fourth year letter winners:
 •Cannon ‘Tex’ Carlile, Tyler Dempsey and Mario Graziani.
Coach Mancini recognized first team American Athletic Conference selections: Mario Graziani (160), second team Jimmy Sferra (138);
first team EOWL selections: Mario Graziani (160), second team Jimmy Sferra (126), honorable mention Derek Slipkovich (120), John Fleet (145), Kelley Williams (152), Tyler Dempsey (170) and Cannon ‘Tex’ Carlile (182).
Coach Mancini pointed out, “With Mario Graziani placing seventh at state, Boardman has placed a wrestler at the state tournament eleven straight years.”
As has been the custom at the wrestling banquet, each senior gave a talk. 95 wrestlers, wrestlettes, parents and guests enjoyed the evening.
PICTURED: Major award winners at the Boardman High School Wrestling Banquet were (L to R) Wes Thompson, Jimmy Sferra, Kelley Williams, Mario Graziani, Tyler Dempsey, Cannon ‘Tex’ Carlile and Nick Patoray
  Tamron Smith, Curbstone HOF Inductee  
  Set The Standard For Youngstown State Fullbacks:   March 10, 2016  
The 49th Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame Banquet is set for Sun., May 1 with 12 new members set for enshrinement during ceremonies at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center, Boardman.
Born on Nov. 22, 1970, one of this year’s football inductees, Tamron Smith, is considered one of the very best gridders ever to come out of the former Youngstown South High School.
An 1989 South High graduate, he was an All-City Series selection during both his junior and senior years, and he also earned All-Northeastern Ohio laurels in his senior season.
As a sophomore, he was a member of the Warriors 1986 playoff team, the only football team in the history of the school to make it to post-season play.
He set the South High single season rushing record and served as captain his senior season when he was named to the Northeast Ohio All-Star game.
His 180-yard, two-touchdown effort against Woodrow Wilson as a junior earned him Channel 33 ‘Player off the Week’ honors.
Smith accepted a scholarship to Youngstown State and red-shirted his freshman season.
From 1990-93, he pieced together arguably the best four seasons of any Penguin running back, as he led YSU to four consecutive play-off appearances, a perfect regular season (1990), two I-AA national championships and a runner up-spot.
Smith was a real force for whom opponents had to prepare, however, come post-season time.
In 13 career playoff games, he rushed for 1,361 yards (304 carries) and scored 15 touchdowns.
He graduated as Youngstown State’s all-time leading rusher, amassing a school record 4,866 yards on 987 totes (also a school mark).
Smith’s 52 touchdowns rank second to Adrian Brown (55) while at the time of his graduation, he held school marks with 22, 100-yard rushing games and 5,128 all-purpose yards.
During the regular season he chalked up 3,505 rushing yards, carrying the ball 583 times while crossing the goal line on 38 occasions.
As a senior he served as captain and went out on top of Division I-AA as he led YSU to a thrilling, 17-5 victory over the Marshall Thundering Herd in the I-AA title tilt, a game in which he rushed for 142 yards and scored a touchdown.
During his senior season, he rushed for 1,433 yards on 287 carries, averaging 4.99 yards per rush with a team-best 20 touchdowns, including scores in each post-season contest.
He earned AFCA and Kodak All-American honors and was named the team’s John Delserone ‘Most Valuable Player.’
As a junior, Smith led the Penguins to the national title game (they came up short, losing to the Marshall, 31-28), scoring three touchdowns, including the tally that knotted the score in the fourth quarter.
He rushed for 1,403 yards (322 carries) and scored 21 touchdowns as a junior, scoring four touchdowns twice; first against James Madison and then against Delaware State.
Seven of his scores came during post-season play.
During his sophomore year, he rushed for a career-best 1,545 yards (301 carries), an average of 5.1 yards per carry. The team’s 15-game season yielded a school, record-tying nine, 100-yard games and a total of 10 for the year.
His biggest score came in the national championship game against Marshall. With the Penguins leading 18-17 in the fourth quarter, he scored on a five-yard dash to cap a 19-point final frame as the Penguins rallied from an 11-point deficit for an eight-point victory.
In YSU’s semifinal win over Samford, he rushed for 246 yards on a school-record 46 carries, those 246 yards total still ranking fourth most all-time for a single game.
His freshman campaign produced 485 yards on 77 totes, resulting in an impressive 6.3 yards per carry. He also scored two touchdowns during his initial college season.
He earned his undergraduate degree in social work from YSU in 1993 and has coached scholastically at Woodrow Wilson, Girard, Campbell Memorial high schools locally, and Cleveland Glenville High School.
Smith currently works with the Clayton County (Ga.) Department of Family and Children Services and resides in Morrow, Georgia.
Former Champion High School, Ohio State and Denver Broncos standout, Randy Gradishar, will serve as guest speaker at this year’s Curbstone banquet.
A Trumbull County native, he was born Mar. 3, 1952 and was a two-sport star for the Golden Flashes, graduating in 1970 but not before earning six overall letters (three in each sport) as a star football and basketball player.
Scholastically, he earned All-League and All-County honors and was a Star Helmet Award honoree.
In basketball, he was the Golden Flashes leading rebounder all three years and the second leading scorer twice, earning All-League and All-County honors.
He holds Champion hoop records for most blocked shots in a career (44), top single game rebounder (26) and career rebounding leader as well (817).
For his efforts, he was inducted into the Champion High School Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.
Upon graduation, he accepted a scholarship to play for The Ohio State University and legendary head football coach, Woody Hayes.
A two-time consensus All-American for the Bucks, he finished sixth overall in the 1973 Heisman Trophy balloting and was called by Hayes “the best linebacker I ever coached.”
He was a three-year starter for OSU (from 1971-73), helping the team to a 25-6-1 overall mark, two Big Ten titles and a 42-21 victory over the University of Southern California in the 1974 Rose Bowl, which capped a 10-0-1 senior campaign in which the Buckeyes allowed just 64 total points while posting four shutouts.
Gradishar registered 134 total tackles, including 60 solo stops as a senior when he was chosen to play in the 1974 Hula Bowl and Coaches’ All-American game.
An Academic All-American in 1973 (he graduated with a degree in Distributive Education), he was inducted into the Ohio State Varsity ‘O’ Hall of Fame in 1983 and named to the GTE Academic Hall of Fame in 1992.
He was also inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (1987), College Football Hall of Fame (1998) and received the Dick Butkus Silver Anniversary Award, recognizing his achievements 25 years after his graduation from Ohio State.
Selected to the OSU Football All-Century Team in 2000, the Buckeyes’ end-of-season award for Most Outstanding Linebacker is now known as the ‘Randy Gradishar Award.’
Most recently, he was named as the eighth-best Ohio State player of all-time and made the list of Top-100 college football players of all-time as well.
In 2000, he was named to ABC Sports’ All-Century team at inside linebacker.
Drafted 14th overall in the 1974 NFL Draft, he played ten seasons for the Denver Broncos and was considered the centerpiece of its Orange Crush defense.
Considered one of the greatest defensive players in Broncos’ history, he became a starter midway through his rookie season and was named to his first Pro Bowl after the 1975 season; his second in the NFL.
From that 1975 campaign through his last in 1983, the Broncos defense allowed the third fewest rushing yards in the NFL, behind only the Pittsburgh Steel Curtain defense and the Cowboys’ Doomsday defense.
He was voted second-team All-AFC by United Press International in 1976 and in 1977, helped the Broncos to Super Bowl XII.
He then made the Pro Bowl for the second time, which began a string of six straight appearances (1977 to 1983).
A multiple all-pro selection, he was also voted the AFC Defensive Player of the Year by the Columbus Touchdown Club, was a consensus NFL ‘Defensive Player of the Year,’ was named defensive player of the year by both the Associated Press and UPI and received the George S. Halas Trophy as well.
The late Steve Sabol of NFL Films said of Gradishar, “His range separated him from others at his position. A sure and determined tackler, he was also an excellent pass defender. He had special qualities in terms of intelligence, preparation and athletic ability. His ‘play anticipation’ was the best in football. He had a great ability to square his body into the ball carrier at the moment of impact; which made him an incredible performer on third or fourth and short.”
In Jan., 2008, he was voted by a panel of former NFL players and coaches to Pro Football Weekly’s all-time 3-4 Defensive Team, joining Harry Carson, Lawrence Taylor, Andre Tippett, Howie Long, Lee Roy Selmon and Curley Culp.
Gradishar retired after the 1983 season and finished his career with an NFL record for most tackles all-time with 2,049 takedowns. He had 20 interceptions, which he returned for 335 yards and three touchdowns, also recovering 13 fumbles, which he returned for 72 yards and one touchdown.
His post-NFL career has been just as busy as he was on the field as he has made several trips to the Middle East in order to visit our troops, was president of the Denver Broncos Youth Foundation (1982–92), has served on the NFL Players Special Advisory Council (1992-95) and is the director of corporate communications for Phil Long car dealerships in Colorado.
Gradishar has worked with Promise Keepers in Denver (1994-97), participated in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure celebrity race to raise awareness and funds for research into curing breast cancer and serves as honorary chair for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.
He is also president of the Phil Long Community Fund, a non-profit organization that provides financial resources to help champion self-esteem and the leadership of young people through excellence in education, sports and recreation.
Tickets for the Curbstone event are $60 each and can be obtained by calling 330-792-2272 or 330-506-6774, or by visiting the organization’s website at
Other inductees this year are Chester Cooper (contribution to sports), Don Feren (contribution to sports), Rick Havrilla (bowling), John Hritz (coach, basketball), Craig Kikta (boxing), Jamie Palumbo (baseball), Rose Smith (bowling), Jim Tressel (coach, football), Bill Triplett (football), Herb Williams (football) and Bruce Zoldan (hockey).
  Mannozzi Third In 50km Olympic Trials Race Walk  
  March 3, 2016  
 SANTEE-CALIF.---Michael Mannozzi, 29, of Erskine Ave. Boardman, (now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada awaiting the birth of his first child) captured third place at the USA Track and Field 50 km Olympic Trials Race Walk with a personal best time of 4:31.46.
Winning the trials race was 38-year-old John Nunn of Bonsall, Calif., whose personal best time of 4:03.21 uniquely qualified him to compete in this summer’s Rio Olympic Games, that will be his third Olympic appearance. Capturing silver was rising star Nick Christie, of El Cajon, Calif. in a time of 4:22.30.
Both Christie and Mannozzi have until May 8 to chase the standard qualifying time (4:06) for the 2016 Olympic Games. The 50k Race Walk is the longest foot race contested in the Olympic Games, at 31.1 miles, it is almost five miles longer than the marathon. The trials race was 40 laps of a 1.25k (roughly three-fourths of a mile) circuit. Weather conditions were unseasonably warm with temperatures rising into the 80’s with bright sunshine.
The top three finishers and Matt Forgues, who finished fourth at the Trials, two minutes behind Mannozzi, met the standards to earn them a spot on the USA Team for World Race Walking Team Championships. The event will be contested in Rome, Italy on May 7-8.
Nunn and Christie were shoulder-to-shoulder through the first 28 laps of the race, when Christie surged into first for a lap, before falling back again.
At the time, both runners were meeting the qualifying time.
Christie said after the race that he crashed after 31 laps and had to fight through a lot of pain to claim second.
“Racing in these conditions just two and a half days after training in 10 degree weather was a huge challenge. Having the opportunity to stand on the podium for capturing third place was a dream come true and an enormous improvement over my ninth place finish four years ago,” Mannozzi said.
“This is quite a breakthrough for me, but I know that I can’t get too proud because I haven’t met the standard and that’s the name of the game. I congratulate John (Nunn) and Nick (Christie) for a valiant effort, he added.
Christie lapped Mannozzi three times during the race. In the final 10k, Mannozzi had un-lapped himself twice. Christie said after the race he thought Mannozzi was going to catch him.
Mannozzi began race walking while at Notre Dame College in Euclid, Oh, and staged a stunning win in 2010 in the 3,000-meter NAIA championship, coming from a lap behind late in the race to claim the title. Since that time he has amassed ten national race walking titles.
Mannozzi is one of the few elite athletes listed in two events in this year’s Olympic Trials.
He is ranked eighth in the United States in the 20 km racewalk and will compete June 30 in Salem, Ore. in the Olympic Trials at that distance. The qualifying time is set at 1:23. Mannozzi best time to date in the 20k is about ten minutes off the standard, at 1:31.11.
One of his major sponsors is Pizza Joe’s, Market St. in Boardman, operated by Mario LaMarca. Others include Advanced Chiropractic and ORE, both of Boardman; the Achilles Run Shop in Mentor, Oh., and Power Bar
photo/Ken Stone
 Pictured: MICHAEL MANNOZZI, CROSSES THE finish line in third place at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Santee, Calif. in the 50k race walking championships. Mannozzi, dubbed ‘The Italian Stallion of USA Track and Field,’ looks forward to improving his time when he competes on the USA team at the World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome, Italy May 7-8.
  YSU Penguins Sign Highly-Touted QB  
  February 11, 2016  
Youngstown State Head Football Coach Bo Pelini announced last week that 11 student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Penguins program. Eight signed with YSU last week, while three are currently enrolled for the spring semester.
Joining the YSU program were WR Stefan Derrick II, OL Norman Fox, CB Darius Hall, LB/RB Devon McNutt, P/PK Nate Needham, LB Malachi Newell, RB London Pearson and DL Jamal Smith.
The three junior college players who are currently with the program are QB Trent Hosick, C Vitas Hrynkiewicz and CB Billy Nicoe Hurst.
The Penguins open spring drills in mid-March with the annual Red-White Spring Game set for Fri., Apr. 15.
Perhaps the big catch for the Penguins is quarterback Hosick. He was recruited to play at Missouri, but left the program after his freshmen year for Arizona Western, a junior college, where he played for two years.
Hosick drew the interest of YSU Head Coach Bo Pelini while the coach was at Nebraksa. A variety of reports said the Hosick was planning to attend Brigham Young or San Diego State.
After speaking with Pelini, Hosick made the move to Youngstown State, where he will be a junior and is expected to battle with two-year starting quarterback for the Pens, Hunter Wells, who displayed some timidness on running plays last season.
Hosick is a thickly built QB with great athleticism and strength.
In two seasons at Arizona Western, Hosick tossed for 2017 yards and 18 TDs and rushed for 855 yards and 14 TDs, despite injuries during his senior season, and taking over the quarterback duties as a freshman in mid-season.
As a senior at Staley HS in Missouri, Hosick was one of 12 finalists for the Wendy’s High School Heisman award.
His high school football coach, Fred Bouchard, said that Hosick is one of the most competitive players he’s ever coached, a player who loves winning.
Hrynkiewicz is a 6-4, 304-lb. offensive lineman who comes to YSU after playing as Independence Community College in Kansas.
Hurst is a 6-0, 190-lb. defensive back who comes to YSU from Contra Costa Community College in California, where he was an all-league pick as a sophomore, posting 44 tackles and three interception.
Coach Pelini said he hopes to sign at least two more players to the Penguin roster this spring.
  Stoops Scholarship Event Set For Feb. 14  
  February 4, 2016  
Cardinal Mooney High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Ron Stoops Scholarship Dinner, will be held at Mr. Anthony’s in Boardman on Sun., Feb. 14.
A buffet dinner and open bar are scheduled between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., with the induction ceremony to start promptly at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $75, or $600 for a table of eight.
Proceeds will benefit the Ron Stoops Scholarship Fund. For reservations, call (330) 788-5007, or purchase tickets online through the Cardinal’s Nest at
Inductees include:
Josh Allegretto, 1998, basketball; Chris Amill, 1994, football; Erin Barnett Loesch, 1999, softball; Colleen Carney Duchon, 1998, soccer; Kristin Demidovich, 2000, tennis; Matt Finnerty, 2000, cross country; Mike Handel, 2000, football; Katie Hardie, 2000, basketball; Mike Lodyn, 1974, football; Walter Madison, 1990, track; Joe Marzano, 1998,baseball; Robert Shepas, 1969, football; Robert Sheridan, 2000, cross country; and Eddie Thomas, 1988, football.
  Ignazio Gets Coach Of Year Recognition  
  February 4, 2016  
Curbstone Coaches held their annual Football Recognition Banquet on Sun., Jan. 31 at The Georgetown.
Boardman Spartan Head Football Coach Joe Ignazio earned Region 8 Coach of the Year honors, and was selected as the Big 22 Coach of the Year. He will be an assistant coach for the North team in the annual North-South football game to be played in April.
Spartan Assistant Grid Coach Mike Popio Sr. was tapped as the Region 8 Assistant Coach of the Year.
Eight Spartans were recognized as first team All-AAC selections in the Gold Tier including seniors Adam Deeley, Alex Duda, Mario Graziani, Nick Patoray, Erick Ritz, and Wes Thompson; junior Travis Koontz and sophomore Mike Melewski.
Graziani was honored as the AAC Gold Tier Defensive Player of the Year and both he and Thompson were honored as Northeastern Ohio Inland First Team selections.
Duda was introduced as a finalist for the Bryd Giampetro Award, the highest award the Curbstone Coaches give to a football player in the Tri-County area.
  Graziani Claims Third Spot At The Hephner  
  by Al Miller, Wrestling Reporter   January 28, 2016  
The Boardman High School wrestling team competed in the 23rd Annual Josh Hephner Memorial Tournament at Fitch High School last weekend. The Hephner is an endurance test that prepares wrestlers for the post season. The first part of the tournament is a pool tournament with four pools. 28 teams competed. The top two wrestlers in each pool then go into a bracket tournament to determine placing.
Boardman finished 11th with four placers in a field of 28 teams.
“Not too bad. Everybody won at least a match and everybody was trying to score points, even the guys that didn’t make it into the bracket tournaments and that helped. Anytime we finish in the top half at that tournament, it is a good showing,” said Boardman Head Mat Coach Dom Mancini.
Leading the Spartans in his first competition of the season was Mario Graziani in the 160# weight class. Graziani, coming back from a foot injury suffered in the last game of the football season, was in a pool of seven competitors and wrestled five matches on Friday, his first day back. He went 4-1, losing to the second seed Jake Sawyer of North Royalton in the last match of the day.
In the first round of the brackets, Graziani defeated state ranked (13th) David Heath of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 4-3. In the next round Graziani jumped-out 2-0 on Braxton Freeman of Massillon Jackson. In the second period Graziani took down and got caught on an escape move and pinned. In the consolation final he avenged his earlier loss to Jake Sawyer with a 4-2 victory to place third.
“Mario definitely battled. There is definitely a little rust there as far as technique goes and also with conditioning. He hasn’t really wrestled in almost a year. It’s not a bad showing for his first tournament back,” Mancini said.
Boardman’s Jimmy Sferra in the pool tournament was 5-0 with three decisions, a major and a pin in the 138# weight class to advance to the brackets.
In the first round of brackets Sferra pinned Gavin Chew of Mogadore. In the next round he lost a 7-3 decision to state ranked (2nd) Brett Bailey of Southeast, the eventual champion. In the consolation final, Sferra lost a 3-1 decision to state ranked (8th) Seth Whitehead of Massillon Jackson to place fourth.
“Jimmy wrestled a great tournament. Tough weight class. A lot of hard fought wins. He’s a battler and he showed that this weekend,” Mancini said.
Spartan Tyler Dempsey in the toughest weight class in the tournament was 5-0 in the pool tournament with three pins, a tech fall and a decision over state ranked (14th) Zach Defraine of Medina.
In the first round of brackets Dempsey won an 8-6 decision over state ranked (20th) Isaiah Jackson of Fitch. In the next round he lost an 8-4 decision to state ranked (2nd) Victor Marcelli of Massillon Jackson. In the consolation final Dempsey was pinned by Zach Defraine of Jackson to place fourth.
“Tyler Dempsey is one tough wrestler and he just keeps getting better and better. He can compete with anybody in the state. He has already proved that. It is just going to be a matter of how much he accelerates his improvement between now and the state tournament as far as how good he’ll end up,” Mancini said.
Boardman’s Nick Patoray was 3-1 in the pool tournament in the 195# weight class with two decisions and a pin to advance to the brackets.
In the first round, Patoray lost a 6-1 decision to Paul Skye of Mogadore. In the second round Patoray pinned Brad Powloski of Southeast. In the fifth place match, Patoray lost a 7-6 decision to Heath Snyder of Loudonville. He scored a late takedown with a headlock but couldn’t get him turned for the back points and placed sixth.
Other Boardman wrestlers that competed were: Danny Sabelli (1-3 at 113#), Derek Slipkovich (3-2 at 120#), Jimmy Vaughn (1-4 at 126#), John Fleet (3-3 at 145#), Kelley Williams (2-3 at 152#), Cannon ‘Tex’ Carlile (3-2 at 182#), Nick Caraballo (1-3 at 220#) and Wes Thompson (2-2 at 285#).
The Spartans compete next in the Division 1 Regional team tournament at Fitch.
PICTURED: photo/Al Miller
 TAKING TO THE MAT FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS SEASON, Boardman’s Mario Graziani, on top, uses a half nelson to turn Sam Parri of Akron Hoban at last week’s Hephner tournament. Graziani won the match by a pin. Graziani was out of action due to an ankle injury he suffered during the football season
  YSU Scholarship Ring Banquet  
  Honors David Deibel :   January 28, 2016  
David Deibel
The Youngstown State University Penguin Club and Covelli Enterprise will hold the 26th Annual Penguin Club Scholarship Ring Banquet on Tues., Feb. 23, at 6:00 p.m. at Mr. Anthony’s in Boardman.
Each year the Ring Banquet celebration highlights the tremendous accomplishments of the Penguin student athletes, coaches and contributors.
This year, David C. Deibel, president of Boardman Steel, will be honored as the 2016 Penguin of the Year. As a graduate of Youngstown Sate University and a current member of the Board of Trustees, Deibel’s passion for YSU is unquestioned.
“He is constantly trumpeting the cause for Youngstown State and our valley, and we are extremely grateful for his unwavering commitment and dedication.” Ronald Strollo, executive director, of athletics said.
“He epitomizes what it means to be ‘Penguin Proud’ and we are very happy that he is part of our Penguin family,” Strollo added.
Deibel graduated from Ursuline High School and earned his engineering degree at YSU. His father, Jerry, founded Boardman Steel in 1963. David assumed the position as owner and president in 1999.
Deibel was an integral part of the YSU Stadium campaign, is a past president of the YSU Penguin Club, and a member of the YSU Ice Castle Scholarship Fund, and a major supporter of the YSU Philosophy Society.
For more information on: table reservations, individual tickets, to sponsor a student-athlete dinner, to purchase an autographed football, or place an advertisement in the program, visit
Reservations are due by Wed., Feb. 10 and can be made by calling 330-941-2351.
  Mannozzi Claims 30K National Title  
  November 19, 2015  
Mike Mannozzi
Boardman native Mike Mannozzi captured his second United States Track and Field 30K race-walking championship in October at Rockland Valley State Park, New York with his personal-best 2:31:13 clocking over the 18.6 miles.
Mannozzi both regained the 30K national title he held in 2013 and clinched the overall USATF Racewalking Grand Prix crown. It was the 11th national title of his career.
Mannozzi took the lead after 23km and never relinquished it, though he was challenged for the overall win. He credits the field of international athletes including multiple Olympians from other nations, particularly from Central and South America who were also racing various distances at the same event.
Mannozzi set his first personal best performance of 2015 at the USA Track and Field’s 1 Hour event on Aug. 2nd, in Gloucester, Mass., and followed that showing winning the USA 40k championship on Sept. 12, in Ocean Township, New Jersey.
Next up for the ‘Italian Stallion’ of USA Track and Field, as he is often called is the USATF 50k national championships this weekend in Santee, Calif.
  Dresden Rolls Over Boardman In Opening Round Playoff Game  
  November 12, 2015  
Boardman lost four players due to injury, including its leading rusher, in the first half of play and fell to Dresden Tri-Valley, 27-2, in opening round, Div. I grid playoff action last Friday night at Boardman Stadium before some 4000 fans.
The Spartans bowed out with a 6-5 log on the season, while Tri-Valley advanced to second round play to face Massillon Perry, 9-2, this Friday night at Dover’s Don Crater Stadium. Perry edged the Spartans, 13-10, in the fourth week of the regular season.
Tri-Valley was making its eighth appearance in the last nine seasons in playoff action under head coach Justin Buttermore.
The Scotties won the coin toss and elected to kick off to the Spartans to open the game.
The Spartans went three and out on their first series and Tri-Valley got the ball back on their own 37 yard line for their first possession of the game.
Their first play from scrimmage was a Ty McGee pass completion to Matt Lawler that went 14 yards.
On their second play from scrimmage, tailback Cody Collins romped 14 yards for another first down, this one to the Spartans 35 yard line.
Two more plays, both on the ground, gave the Scotties another first down when Collins was tackled at the 20 yard line by Wes Thompson.
After a short pass completion moved the ball four yards, the Scotties went back to Lawler on a run that was stuffed by Thompson after a three yard gain. But Thompson, a key to the Spartans defense, went down and out on the play with a leg injury.
Tri-Valley stayed on the ground on third and fourth downs. Both plays were stopped by Erick Ritz and Boardman got the ball back on their own 16 yard line.
The Spartans staged three straight running plays, all by their leading rusher on the season, Mario Graziani, who lugged the ball on a 17 yard run on a third and 9, to give the Spartans a first down at the 44 yard line. The play was costly to Boardman, as Graziani left the game with an ankle injury. He would not return.
Boardman moved into Tri-Valley territory when quarterback J.R. Ryan hit Austin Barone for a first down. But a holding penalty and two short runs forced the Spartans to punt, facing a fourth and 24.
The Scotties got the ball back with 1:17 left in the first stanza. A first down run by McGee and a second down, 38 yard pass to Lawler gave the Scotties a first down at the Boardman 33 yard line. Tri-Valley went back to the ground game on first down and on the play, the referees called Boardman for a late hit, giving the Scotties a first down at the 7 yard line.
Boardman’s defense stiffened, when Jordan Acevedo stopped a run on second down and Gaven Strines and Ritz stuffed a third down run.
Tri-Valley had to settle for a 19-yard Chase Dinan field goal to assume a 3-0 lead at 10:13 of the second quarter.
The Spartans gave the ball back to Tri-Valley on the third play of the next series when J.R. Ryan’s fumble was recovered by the Scotties at the 33 yard line.
It took Tri-Valley just four plays to find paydirt as Cody Collins tallied from three yards out with 6:29 left in the first half.
Another Dinan field goal, this one from 20 yards out, made it 13-0 at the half.
Tri-Valley’s Colin Slaboden opened third quarter play with a 66 yard kickoff return to the Boardman 16 yard line. Three plays later, Collins tallied from a yard out and Boardman faced a 20-0 deficit.
The Spartans opened third quarter play with a new quarterback, sophomore Noah Falleti. His first play from scrimmage began with a bobbled snap from center that moved Boardman back to its one yard line. But face mask and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties gave the Spartans some hope, moving the ball out to the 38 yard line.
The Spartans could manage just seven yards in three plays and punted, giving the Scotties the ball back on the 14 yard line.
Two plays later, Andrew Newson, said to be recovering from a broken leg suffered during the regular season, scampered 88 yards into the end zone to take the air out of any Spartan hopes.
The Spartans failed to score on four possessions in Tri-Valley territory in the second half, three because of turnovers, and got their only points of the game in the final stanza when a Tri-Valley punt snap went into the end zone.
Tri-Valley ended the game with a 356-183 bulge in total offense, including 238 yards on the ground.
“Tri-Valley is a good football team that beat us up front. Their community is a football community
“We lost Mario Graziani on our second series on offense and I think it took the wind out of our sails. I hated to see a kid like that go out the way he did. I told him it was only fitting that his final run was a 17 yard gain where he was weaving in and out of the defense before being brought down. We had not had to deal with the injury bug all year and it seemed to hit us all at once. We had three other two-way starters go out the first half as well. But, Tri-Valley was the better football team. Hats off to them,” Spartan head coach Joe Ignazio said.
The Coach lauded his seniors.
“Our 14 seniors are special group of student-athletes. I am proud that the 2015 year gets to go up on our wall forever as being a team to make the playoffs. This group endured more adversity than anyone could ever imagine and they always kept coming back and battling. They are everything you want in a group of seniors,” Ignazio said.
“We preached all week that we had to be a physical team, and our kids rose to the occasion,” Tri-Valley head coach Buttermore said. “I would not have thought, quite honestly, that we could have controlled the game as well as we controlled the game. But our kids, to their credit, never had any doubt. They came out and played very well from the start on both sides of the ball.”
PICTURED:  Quarterback Andrew Newsom, 10, playing on a broken leg suffered earlier in the season against Sheridan, put the game away with an 88-yard scoring run with 6:24 left in the third quarter against Boardman last weekend. Attempting to chase him down is Boardman’s Alex Duda, 8.
  Playoff Bound Boardman Tops Ashtabula Lakeside, 31-0  
  6-4 Spartans Face 9-1 Tri-Valley:   November 5, 2015  
Boardman High School sealed an Ohio Div. II playoff berth last Friday with a 31-0 win over Ashtabula Lakeside to move into playoff action for the first time since 2011.
The Spartans finished regular season play with a 6-4 record under third year head coach Joe Ignazio and as champions of the All America Conference Gold Division.
Boardman moves into playoff action on Friday night against the 9-1 Dresden Tri-Valley Scotties that have won five-straight Muskingum Valley League titles. The Scotties have earned eight post-season playoff berths in nine seasons under head coach Justin Buttermore.
The opening round playoff game will be played at Boardman Stadium with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.
The Spartans opened play against Lakeside when Adam Deeley’s kickoff looked like it was going out of bounds. But the ball stayed in-bounds and the Dragons just watched the ball bounce. Boardman’s Sheldon Broyles alertly fell on the loose ball and the Spartans took over at the 2-yard line.
On the first play from scrimmage, tailback Mario Graziani scampered to the right, untouched into the end zone just seven seconds into the game. A Deeley PAT boot gave the Spartans a 7-0 lead.
On its next possession, Lakeside endured four, straight penalties, then stung the Spartans on a second and 30 pass for a first down on a play that covered 33 yards.
On two of its next three plays, Lakeside was called for a pair of false start penalties and on third and 21, Gavin Strines intercepted a Dragons aerial and the Spartans got the ball back near midfield at the 8:58 mark.
With a half-minute remaining in the first stanza, Lakeside again was hit with a false start penalty on a third down play and had to punt. Boardman got the ball back on their own 43 yard line.
Boardman went backwards when offensive lineman Jesus Cordero was called for holding on first down, and quarterback J.R. Ryan fumbled a snap from center to put the Spartans into a second and 26.
Graziani picked-up a dozen yards on a run, and a Ryan to Austin Barone pass covered 15 yards to give Boardman a first down at the Lakeside 31 yard line. A Graziani fourth down run gave the Spartans a first down at the 18 yard line, but the drive stalled and Deeley entered the game and kicked a 35 yard field goal to lift the Spartans to a 10-0 lead with 5:57 left in the first half.
Boardman made it 17-0 at the half, courtesy of a Broyles pick six that covered 42 yards.
Following a scoreless third frame, Boardman tacked on two TDs in the final stanza, one on a 57 yard Strines punt return and a Deeley PAT kick, and another when Noah Falleti hit Travis Koontz for a 23 yard scoring play, followed by an extra point kick off the toe of  William McCarthy.
Final stats in the game showed Boardman with a 6-2 margin in first downs, and the Spartans held a 121-107 margin in total offense, an improbable performance to seal a playoff berth.
The Spartans ended the regular season winning five of their last six games, three of those wins coming on shutouts on their home field.
Going into playoff action, Boardman has outscored its foes, 154-132, allowing opponents 13.2 points a game.
Tri Valley has outscored its opponents 382-54, and despite its 9-1 mark goes into post-season play as the #5 seed in Region 5, Div. II ratings, while Boardman enters the playoffs ranked #4 in the Region 5. The better rating enabled the Spartans to host the opening round tournament game.
Tri Valley has won 42 straight Muskingham Valley conference games, and the Scotties come to Boardman Stadium on a six game win streak, last losing to Zanesville, 10-7, in the fourth week of the season.
Boardman enters the playoffs averaging 130 yards a game on the ground and 71 yards a game passing.
  Boardman’s Jacinta Pikunas Second At Ohio Prep Golf Championships  
  October 29, 2015  
Boardman High School junior Jacinta Pikunas claimed second place at the OHSAA State Golf Championships last weekend in Columbus, tying for runner-up honors with junior Katie Halliman from Cincinnati Walnut Hills.
Pikunas shot 74-75-149, two strokes behind state champion, senior Kellen Alsip from Cincinnati Sycamore, who shot a 147. This was Jacinta’s third trip to the State Meet.
Her teammate, sophomore Jenna Vivo, placed 13th in her first trip to the state meet. She shot 78-77 for a total of 155. The girls state competition was played on the Gray Course at Ohio State University. The girls are coached by Brian Terlesky.
The Boardman boys golf team placed seventh at the state golf tournament playing on the Scarlet Course at OSU. They shot a 651 total for the two-day competition shooting 320 on the first day of competition and 331 on Saturday. Spartan sophomore Brian Terlesky placed 14th overall shooting a 157 with rounds of 78 and 79. This was Terlesky’s second trip to the state meet.
BHS freshmen Cole Christman placed 18th overall shooting a 158 with scores of 77 and 81, while sophomore Cade Kreps placed 23rd with a total score of 159, shooting 79 and 80. Senior Ethan Thomas placed 64th shooting a 177 with rounds of 86 and 91; and sophomore Bobby Jonda placed 71st shooting 191 with rounds of 97 and 94.
The Spartan boys are coached by Ron Moschella.
  Mannozzi Earns USATF Athlete Of Week Honor After Third Straight National 40k Crown  
  October 22, 2015  
INDIANAPOLIS---Boardman native Michael Mannozzi (Erskine Ave.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after winning the 40k Race Walk Championships held Sun., Oct. 13 at Joe Palaia Park, Ocean Township, New Jersey..
“I went into this race with a plan of negative splitting, as my coach, Michael Rohl, and I planned in the weeks prior preparing for the race,” said Mannozzi. “I had executed a similar plan en route to winning the 30k national title last month. Both races were used to help me develop and race effectively for an optimal performance for the upcoming USA 50k National Championships next month in Coconut Creek, Fla.”
Mannozzi led the men’s field over the distance (24.8-mile) route with a clocking of three hours, 28 minutes and 49 seconds.
This was Michael Mannozzi’s third consecutive 40k national title and his 10th career national title. He took the lead at the 18k mark and never looked back.
His next race will be the USA 30k national championships in Nyack, New York on Sun., Oct. 25 where he will be toeing the line with Olympians from three nations.
PICTURED: Shore AC teammates Michael Mannozzi (3:31:05) and Susan Randall (3:59:21) cruised to decisive victories in the 77th annual USATF National 40-Kilometer Racewalking Championship held at Joe Palaia Park, New Jersey. For Mannozzi, it was his third straight 40K crown and 10th national title. For Randall, it was her first national walk victory.
  Boardman Boys Vie For Ohio Links Crown  
  Jenna Vivo, Jacinta Pikunas Set For Girls Championship Tournament:   October 22, 2015  
Boardman High School will send its entire boys golf team and two Lady Spartans golfers to the Ohio prep links championships this weekend in Columbus.
The boys team, under the direction of Ron Moschella, earned its berth in the championships with a second place district finish with a 303 stroke total, just one stroke behind district champ Medina.
Dublin Jerome High School figures to be the favorite, entering the state meet as Central District champs with a 292 total, and fielding a senior-laden team that includes one junior. The 292 total was the best at any Div. I district championship.
Boardman enters with one senior, captain Ethan Thomas; three sophomores, Brian Terlesky, Cade Kreps and Bobby Jonda, and freshman Cole Christman.
Thomas saved his best round of the season for the district championships at Pine Hill GC, shooting an even par 36-36-72, that included a 23-ft. birdie putt on the 426-yard 18th hole.
“Ethan played his best round ever and that saved us,” Moschella said, adding his captain “practices hitting the ball all the time.”
Terlesky went into the clubhouse at 39-35-74. His drive on the 18th hole landed somewhat behind a tree and Terlesky hooked his second shot to the green, and two-putted to save par.
Kreps finished 41-37-78, including a back nine that included two birdies, while Christmas posted a 42 on the front side and went one-over-par 37 on the back for a 79.
Rounding out Boardman’s tourney team is Jonda, who finished with an 85 at the district event.
Boardman opens play in the 36-hole state event Friday on Ohio State’s Scarlet Course, where pin placements leave little room for error, with the final round on Saturday.
Terlesky will see play in his second state championship. Last year as a freshman, he finished fourth. The top three finishers in last year’s event have all graduated.
“We’re not going there to say ‘we’re glad we are here.’ We going there to compete at our best,” Moschella said this week.
He added, “The kids all thought they could have played a little better at the district meet, and we hope to carry that kind of momentum in the state championships.
The Ohio high school girls’ championship gets underway at OSU’s Gray Course where Boardman sophomore and sectional and district champ Jenna Vivo; and junior Jacinta Pikunas, a two-time state qualifier, are set to compete.
Vivo earned tourney titles at each event with an 18-hole score of 73; while Pikunas earned her berth in a one-hole playoff after finishing 18 holes at the district meet at 74 strokes.
Pikunas’ best finish at the state meet was seventh.
“We have two, quality student-athletes representing us in Columbus,” Boardman head girls golf coach Brian Terlesky said, adding “When they get to the golf course, they are all business.”
Both Lady Spartans are steady golfers, as Pikunas finished the regular season with a 9-hole average of 34 strokes; and Vivo ended averaging 37 stroke a nine, until she got red-hot at sectional and district play as the medalist in both tournaments.
  Boardman Golf Teams Capture Sectional Titles  
  Christman, Terlesky Co-Medalists; Vivo’s 75 Leads Lady Spartans:   October 8, 2015  
Boardman High School golf teams each won sectional golf title, advancing to district competition set for this weekend.
The Boardman boys team scorched Tanenhauf GC in Alliance, setting a sectional tourney record of 302 strokes, as freshman Cole Christman and sophomore Brian Terlesky shared medalist honors with two-over par totals of 74 strokes. Sophomore Cade Kreps and senior Ethan Thomas both came in at 77 strokes to put the accent on the record-setting total.
In girls play at the par-71 Tamer Win GC in Cortland, Boardman sophomore Jenna Vivo set the pace with a 75, finishing in a second place tie against the rest of the field, as the Lady Spartans posted a championship total of 328 strokes.
Junior Jacinta Pikunas finished at 82, while sophomore Britney Jonda finished at a season-best 83, and senior Tori Augustine came in at 88 strokes.
The Boardman boys, under the direction of legendary coach Ron Moschella, finished the regular season with an unbeaten, 18-0 log, including the All American Conference championship, as well as taking the top spot in Canfield and Ursuline Invitational events.
“We opened the season in the Canfield event that was held at Tippecanoe Country Club. Our team finished in first and at 8-under-par 282 on a very hard course. That is one of the best scores ever in Ohio in high school boys golf, and I think it really got us off on the right foot,” Moschella said on Tuesday.
Moschella said his team wasn’t ‘really’ happy with their 302 winning total at Tannehauf, “because they know they can do better, but they were very happy as a team.”
Reflecting on the season, Moschella said his charges “got more confidence as they went along. They are a good 18-hole golf team and they expect to score well.
“They are a unique group. They know how they want to miss, if they don’t hit their shot. They are pretty amazing, and that is the mark of a good group of players,” Moschella said.
Finishing second at the sectional meet was Massillon Jackson at 318, Massillon Perry, 328; and Lakeview, 330. Top four teams move on to the district where Hudson, Walsh, Cleveland St. Ignatius and Lakewood St. Ed all bring good teams to the competition.
The district event will be held at Pine Hills in Cleveland, where Boardman was has already played several practice rounds.
The top four teams at the district event advance to the state tournament at the Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University.
Lady Spartan golfers easily swept to the sectional crown, well ahead of second place Notre Dame Cathedral Latin, that came in at 346. Kent Roosevelt was third at 352, and Canfield ended in fourth at 358.
Boardman’s Lady Spartan links team ended the regular season with a 17-1 mark (losing to Lakeview), and also claimed the All American Conference title.
The Lady Spartans move on to district play at the Legends in Massillon, where Jackson, GlenOak and Hoover are all expected to field contending teams.
  Honored during the Spartans vs. Lorain contest:   October 8, 2015  
MEMBERS OF BOARDMAN HIGH SCHOOL 1970 STEEL VALLEY CONFERENCE championship football team were honored during the Spartans vs. Lorain contest. The Spartan posted an 8-1 log that year. Members of the team pictured, are in front, from left, Jerry Strong, Bill Cipperly, Ron Anderson, Greg Giannois, Steve Glade and Gary Haug. In back, from left, John Kovach, Chuck Burke, Tim Storm, Jim Ellashek and Rusty Preston.
  YSU Homecoming Court  
  Parade, Game, Crowning of King & Queen Sat, Oct 17:   October 8, 2015  
Members of the 2015 Homecoming Court at Youngstown State University include the following local students:
Gianna Marinucci of Boardman, Ohio, a graduate of Boardman High School. Marinucci is a Senior majoring in Integrated Math Education at YSU.
Jordan Wolfe of Boardman, Ohio, a graduate of Boardman High School. Wolfe is a Senior majoring in Political Science at YSU.
Ashley Milligan of Canfield, Ohio, a graduate of Canfield High School. Milligan is a Senior majoring in Nursing at YSU.
The theme of this year’s 75th annual homecoming is Penguins are Forever. Festivities begin Mon., Oct. 12 and run through Sat., Oct. 17, with the Homecoming parade, football game and crowning of the King and Queen.
  BOARDMAN HIGH SCHOOL GRID GREATS quarterbacks John Ryan, at left, and Bernie Kosar  
  On Hand For First Game At New Boardman Stadium:   September 10, 2015  
John Ryan - Bernie Kosar
BOARDMAN HIGH SCHOOL GRID GREATS quarterbacks John Ryan, at left, and Bernie Kosar, at right, were on hand for the first game ever at the new Boardman Stadium last Friday night. Ryan’s son, J.R. started at quarterback for the Spartans, while Kosar led the coin toss to open the game. After a stellar career at Boardman, Ryan went on to play for the University of Pittsburgh Panthers where he passed for 4,337 yards and 32 touchdowns from 1992-95. Kosar went on to the University of Maimi Hurricanes where he played two seasons, 1983 and 1984, leading the Canes to a mythical national title and passing for 5,971 yards and 40 touchdowns. Kosar then went on to a 13-year career in the NFL where he passed for 23,301 yards and 124 touchdowns. photo/John Darnell
  CM Andrew Armstrong (12) - Boardman Koby Adu-Poku  
  September 10, 2015  
Andrew Armstrong - Koby Adu-Poku
 CARDINAL MOONEY’S ANDREW ARMSTRONG, 12, PUTS THE WRAP on Boardman runner Koby Adu-Poku during action last Friday night in the first game ever played at the new Boardman Stadium. Mooney posted a 31-6 win as Armstrong finished the game with three pass receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown, and on the defensive side of the ledger had an interception and a tipped pass. photo/Howard Reese
  Jacinta Pikunas Scorches The Front Nine At Mill Creek GC  
  September 10, 2015  
Jacinta Pikunas
The Boardman Lady Spartans golf team continued their winning ways last week with a 146-247 victory over Struthers in a match played on the front nine (North Course) at Mill Creek GC.
Junior Jacinta Pikunas fired a five-under-par total of 31 to pace Boardman, while teammate Jenna Vivo finished at one-over-par 37.
Britney Jonda and Tori Augustine rounded out the scoring for the Lady Spartans with 44 and 45 strokes respectively.
Tara Wingold led Struthers with a 55.
Pikunas posted a nine-hole total of 33 in Boardman’s 162-172 victory over Canfield last week, also played at Mill Creek GC.
Vivo finished at 42, while Augustine had a 43 and Jonda finished at 44.
Hannah Keffler paced Canfield with a 40, while Gilliam Cerimele had a 42, Jaci Carpenter finished as 44 and Carmel Cerimele had a 46.
The Lady Spartan golfers dropped their first match of the season in a scorecard playoff with Lakeview, after both teams ended nine holes on the front nine at Tamer win at 160-160. Pikunas earned medalist honors at two-under-par 34, while Vivo posted a 39, and Jonda and Augustine rounded out the scoring at 43-44 respectively. Horn’s 42 total in the third sport for Lakeview was the difference in the match.
In another match-up with Canfield, Boardman bested the Lady Cards, 155-160, on the front nine at Mill Creek. Pikunas and Vivo set the pace at 36 and 37, while Augustine had a 40 and Jonda finished at 42. Keffler’s 38 paced Canfield.
Boardman now stands at 8-1 on the season (6-1 in the AAC).
PICTURED: BOARDMAN HIGH SCHOOL junior Jacinta Pikunas, a two-time state qualifier, fired a red-hot nine hole round of 31, five under par, to pace the Lady Spartans to a win over Struthers on the front nine at Mil Creek GC last week.
  Minor AA Div League Championship  
  Paul Gillern State Farm Winner:   July 2, 2015  
THE Paul Gillern State Farm team won the league championship in the Minor AA division of Boardman Community Baseball with a 9-1 victory over DRS last week at the Fields of Dreams. Led by an 11 strike out, four-hit, complete game pitching gem by Jim Campbell, Gillern jumped out to a 4-0 first inning lead and never looked back. A stellar catching performance by Tommy Groner was highlighted as he gunned down two potential base stealers at critical points in the game. Key defensive plays were made by Carson Dota, Chase Caroline and Demayne Earvin. Contributing timely hits were Caleb Satterfield, Antonio Alar