Area has top playersat some major colleges
The Mahoning Valley has an array of talent on many of the big time college rosters. Starting with Ohio State's Maurice Clarett from Warren Harding, last year's USA Today offensive player of the year, started his freshman campaign by running for 175 yards and three touchdowns.
Almost as impressive was Missouri QB Brad Smith who starred at Youngstown Chaney, He led the Tigers to a win over Illinois by rushing and passing for over a hundred yards.
Another Chaney graduate Anthony Floyd is a DB for Louisville and led the nation in interceptions last year.
Walter Reyes from Struthers was the starting tailback against BYU on a nationally televised game on ESPN. Marlin Jackson from Sharon an All American last year was all over the field with the help of Harding graduate Carl Diggs as Michigan outlasted Washington.
P.J. Mays, a graduate from Youngstown East, is a candidate at YSU for the Payton Award given to the best running back in I-AA.
The Youngstown-Warren area is loaded with talent year in and year out and this year is no exception. College recruiters have already lured Louis Irizzary of Ursuline to Ohio State, and Prescott Burgess is high on the Buckeye wish list. West Virginia landed Mike Villagrana and Davanzo Tate. Keilen Dykes will also make some college happy. Ursuline has Terrence Graves and the best junior in the midwest in Delbert Ferguson. This is the place for high school football.
Rayen appreciatesStruthers' kindness
On Friday, September 13th, the Rayen football team traveled to Struthers for what was one of the most exciting high school football games witnessed by the fans from both teams. Those in attendance saw two well coached football teams battle to the last second of the game in which the lead changed hands no less than eight times. But, what was just as remarkable as the players and coaches involved in the contest were the Struthers fans who, with Rayen victorious, exhibited unequaled acts of sportsmanship and class. Forgotten was partisan support for their school and team, and in its place were applause, comments of support and, in more than one instance, Struthers fans, in their school colors, embracing Rayen players as they left the field.
Some may view this as a minor event, but to our young people who, on a regular basis, overcome barriers than one can ever hope to imagine in order to just have the opportunity to play the game, these acts of kindness will always be remembered.
We thank you, the Struthers fans, for your kindness and appreciation of a game well played.
XThe writer is director of athletics at The Rayen School.