United graduate Corey Manfull will carry the ball for Slippery Rock.
ALLIANCE -- Tom Manning, an Ursuline High graduate, is a preseason first-team All-American selection on Mount Union College's football squad.
A 6-foot, 269-pound offensive tackle, Manning, who was a first team Ohio Athletic Conference selection last season after making 13 starts, will lead an offensive line that returns nearly intact.
The two-year letterman is a member of Mount Union's 1,400-pound club.
The Purple Raiders are preparing for their season opener at home against Washington (Mo.) on Sept. 3.
Mount Union returns 49 lettermen, including six starters on both sides of the ball.
Last year's backup quarterback, Randy Mason (6-1, 172 senior), a Girard High graduate, is competing for the starting role.
Tom Reesh (6-1, 284) of Columbiana is expected to compete for a starting role at offensive guard, a position he saw time last year as a backup. He's a good run blocker.
The Purple Raiders (12-1) lost 38-35 in a NCAA Division III semifinal game a year ago as Texas' Mary Hardin-Baylor rallied in the fourth quarter with 17 unanswered points.
Coach Larry Kehres (217-9-3/.914) has led Mount Union to 15 OAC crowns since 1986. During the last 13 seasons, the Purple Raiders have posted a 129-1 record and will enter 2005 with a 104 game regular-season winning streak.
More at Mount Union
Seniors Ashley Lemke and Jess DeCarlo, both letterwinners, will complete their volleyball careers for the Purple Raiders this season.
Both are outside hitters and graduates of Fitch High. Lemke will be co-captain for Mount Union, which posted a 17-15 record a year ago.
DeCarlo set a single-season school record with 498 kills in 2003.
The Purple Raiders open the season with the Mount Union Invitational on Sept. 2-3.
Senior midfielder Laura Bandy (West Branch), a second-team 2003 All-OAC pick and two-time honorable mention Academic All-OAC choice, is one of seven starters back for Mount Union's (4-12, 3-11 OAC) women's soccer team. She was among the leaders in assists last year.
Kristy Croysdale (Fitch) is a veteran defender returning for the Purple Raiders, who open the season at the College of Wooster Invitation on Sept. 3-4.
Jamie Musick and Heromi Takahashi, seniors, are veteran distance runners as Mount Union defends its 2004 OAC cross country championship.
A Warren JFK graduate, Musick placed fourth in the OAC 10,000 run in 23 minutes, 36 seconds and she finished 12th (22:16) at the Great Lakes Regional.
Takahashi, a Fitch High graduate, placed 14th (24:09) at the OAC championships.
The Raiders open the season at the Case-Western Reserve Invitational on Sept. 4.
Brennan Meenachan and Kevin Lee will continue their baseball careers at Mount Union.
Meenachan, a Mooney High graduate, was a two-year letterman and starting catcher for the Cardinals. He was named second team all-conference twice and All-Mahoning/Trumbull County all-star.
He plans to major in athletic training.
Lee, a infielder and Warren JFK graduate, was a first team all conference and All-Ohio selection last season.
Co-captain of the Eagles, he participated in both the Mizuno All-Ohio and NEOBCA All Star games. He plans to major in athletic training.
Erin Hawkins, a senior basketball standout at Poland High, will continue her athletic career at Mount Union.
A three-year letterwinner as a forward, she earned second-team All-MAC honors her senior year. She also won three letters in track and field and set a school record in the shot put (36-5 3/4).
She plans to major in sport management.
When Youngstown State opens its football season at home Sept. 1 against Slippery Rock, sophomore running back Corey Manfull, a United High graduate, will be in a backup role in The Rock's one back offense.
In his first college game against YSU last season, a contest The Rock (4-7) led 6-0 at halftime, Manfull rushed 12 times for 53 yards and scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit 21-13. But the Penguins went on to post a 35-13 victory.
Manfull completed his first season with 390 rushing yards and two TDs, four receptions for 61 yards and a TD. He had a season-high 129 yards and a TD in a 35-17 loss to Shippensburg.
Senior Matt Martig, a West Branch high graduate, is one of three area football players on the Yellow Jackets' roster.
A three-year letterman, Martig ( 6-0, 195), an outside linebacker, started as B-W (6-4) won its first six games last year. He was sidelined with an injury the final three games.
Martig had 10 solo tackles, assisted on 10, broke up a pass and forced a fumble.
Matt Davis (5-11, 250 senior), an defensive tackle from Mineral Ridge, saw considerable action last year for B-W and contributed on special teams. He is expected to see more playing time this season.
Mike Finamore (5-9, 180 senior), a defensive back, saw limited action for the Yellow Jackets in 2004. One of the hardest workers on the squad, he'll see more playing time at defensive back and with special teams. He is an outstanding student who carries a 3.8 grade point average.