27 earnperfect grades
YOUNGSTOWN -- Twenty-seven Youngstown State University student-athletes earned a 4.0 grade-point average during the fall semester.
As a group, an all-time high 54 percent of all Penguin student-athletes posted at least a 3.0 GPA, the Athletic Department announced on Wednesday.
Also, of the 16 sponsored athletic teams, a record 13 squads maintained grade-point averages above 3.0 for the semester. The women's tennis team led the way with an impressive 3.61 GPA as a group. The highest men's team was the baseball squad which owned a cumulative GPA of 3.10.
Of YSU's 333 student-athletes, 54 percent (181) posted a semester grade-point average above 3.0.
The following 11 student-athletes own a cumulative grade-point average of 4.0: Stephen Blose (football), Jodi Bowlen (soccer), Kelly Culbertson (tennis), Justin Dickman (track/cross country), Adam Kagarise (track and field), Irena Lanc (tennis), Tiffany Leszunov (swimming), Tim Morrow (golf), Kelly Reese (diving), Todd Rowan (football) and Erin Schindler (softball).
Along with the student-athletes listed previously, the following 16 athletes received a 4.0 grade-point average during the fall semester: Becky Bertuzzi (swimming), Lauren Branson (basketball), Sarah Crafton (soccer), Jacquline Clonch (track and field), Julia Darling (swimming), Jessica Fraley (volleyball), Darcelle Formby (track and field), Bryan Hamrick (baseball), Nicole Haralambopoulos (tennis), Brittany Jones (women's golf), Nikita LaFleur (basketball), Brian Mellott (football), Josh Page (baseball), Keeley Rice (soccer), Carrie Wack (soccer) and Andrew Weizer (track and field).
BOARDMAN -- Quarterback Niel Loebig and veteran arena football kicker Derek Schorejs have been assigned by the arenafootball2 league office to the Mahoning Valley Thunder.
Loebig joins the Thunder as an arena football rookie, but with collegiate credentials from Duquesne University.
Loebig boasts honors as 2003 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and 2001-03 First Team All-MAAC. Loebig went 27-7 as a starter, with a 19-0 mark in conference play and led the Dukes to three consecutive MAAC titles.
Schorejs enters his first season in the af2. Schorejs played three seasons in the AFL (1998, 2000 and 2005) with the Florida Bobcats, New Jersey Red Dogs, Philadelphia Soul and San Jose Sabercats, respectively.
During his career, Schorejs has 14 field goals and 124 extra points on offense, along with 10 solo tackles and five assisted tackles on defense.
"We are pleased to have these high-caliber players on our roster for training camp," Thunder Coach Mike Hold said. "These positions are key to our success and having veteran talent like Derek at kicker is a great thing."
The Thunder's inaugural season kicks off on March 31 against the Fever from Tri-Cities, Wash. For ticket information, call (330) 758-4232 or visit www.mahoningvalleythunder.com & lt;http://www.mahoningvalleythunder.com/ & gt; .
Sharon's Harriscommits to Marshall
SHARON, Pa. -- Sharon High senior football player Kellen Harris has verbally committed to play football next season for Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.
Sharon coach Bob Fromm says Harris was a varsity starter since his freshmen year. In 2006, Harris started every game at middle linebacker and was a First Team All Section honoree, an honor he also earned in 2005.
Harris also was honored with a Third Team All State selection in 2005. Harris plans to major in either criminal justice or business economics. He also is the reigning 189-pound Pennsylvania State Wrestling Champion. The son of Kevin and Denita Harris, he has an older brother, Kevin, who played collegiate football at Pittsburgh.
Hernandez returns to Pirates
PITTSBURGH -- Utility infielder Jose Hernandez, who has played twice previously for Pirates manager Jim Tracy, agreed Wednesday to a minor league contract with Pittsburgh.
Hernandez would get a 900,000, one-year contract if he is added to the 40-man roster, a 50,000 raise from last season. He split 2006 between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, batting .263 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 85 games.
The 37-year-old Hernandez was batting only .146 on May 22. He raised his average to .267 before being dealt to the Phillies for cash on Aug. 22.
Hernandez also played in 58 games for Pittsburgh in 2003, following the trade that sent third baseman Aramis Ramirez to the Chicago Cubs. He played for Tracy's Dodgers a season later, batting .289 with 13 homers and 29 RBIs in 95 games.
Hernandez has played for nine teams since breaking into the majors with the Texas Rangers in 1991, including multiple stops with the Pirates, Indians and Cubs.
Vindicator staff/wire reports