AREA



AREA
Schools changegame times
Because of Monday's Ohio State/Florida college football game at 8:15 p.m., area high schools are adjusting their basketball schedules.
The starting time of Monday's Hubbard at Liberty game will be approximately 6:30 p.m. following the junior varsity game at 5 p.m.
Due to busing problems, the Western Reserve/Southern girls games have been moved to Western Reserve, with the junior varsity game tipping off at 5 p.m.
Ursuline's Yarabnominated for award
YOUNGSTOWN -- Matt Yarab of Ursuline High School has been nominated as an Old Spice Red Zone Player of the Year.
He is among a group of players who are eligible to be selected as a national Red Zone Player of the Year and be honored in a full-page feature in USA Today in February.
Bowling tourneybegins Jan. 19
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Greater Youngstown Bowling Association is accepting entries for its 75th annual city bowling tournament, which runs from Jan. 19-28.
The team championships again will include two divisions: Upper (1,000 average and higher) and lower (999 average and below). The ranges for the doubles event are 400-up and 399-under, while singles and all-events are divided into 200-up and 199-under.
Entry fee is 17 per event per bowler with all-events 2 optional.
Forms may be obtained at all area centers or by calling the GYBA at (330) 758-8367.
Entries close Jan. 12.
SRU baseball teampicked as 39th
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- The Slippery Rock University baseball team is tied for 39th in the College Baseball Newspaper's NCAA Division II preseason national poll.
SRU returns nine regular performers from its 2006 squad, which posted a 34-22 record and finished third in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference playoffs.
Senior shortstop Phil Butch, a Lakeview High graduate, returns. He earned 2006 all-region honor from both the American Baseball Coaches Association and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Butch was second on the team in hitting with a .379 average. He hit 12 doubles, eight triples and was 34-for-40 in stolen base attempts.
Senior designated hitter-outfielder Ryan Dillon, a Howland High graduate, and sophomore third baseball Billy Herman of Grove City also are returning.
Dillon batted .227 with 13 doubles, four home runs and 34 RBIs last spring, while Herman hit .318 with 14 doubles and 32 RBIs.
Phantoms hostAlpena this weekend
BOARDMAN -- After splitting a pair of international exhibition games over the holiday season, the Mahoning Valley Phantoms return to North American Hockey League action this weekend when they host the Alpena (Mich.) Ice Diggers at the Ice Zone in Boardman. Face-off tonight and Saturday is at 7.
The Phantoms look to continue a new winning streak as their 19-game winning streak was snapped in Marquette (Mich.) against the Rangers, 3-2, on Dec. 22. Mahoning Valley bounced back for a 5-1 win on Dec. 23.
"It won't take much to fire up either team this weekend," Coach Bob Mainhardt said. "Considering where we both are in the standings, it will certainly be a playoff atmosphere."
The Ice Diggers are coming off a home-and-home series with the Traverse City (Mich.) North Stars on Dec. 30-31, where both teams won on home ice by identical scores (5-4).
By winning 20 of their last 21 games, the Phantoms (26-8-1, 53 points), have jumped into first place in the North Division, building a five-point lead over Alpena (23-8-2, 48 points).
"For us, Alpena has become our biggest rival," left wing Brent Dexter said. "We still play them 12 more times this year, but we're very familiar with each other and that will only make us work harder."
Tickets are available at the Ice Zone ticket booth, located at 360 McClurg Road in Boardman, or by calling (330) 965-1423. Prices range from 6-9.
NATION
Verba arrested
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -- Detroit Lions guard Ross Verba has been arrested on a felony warrant for writing bad checks in Nevada.
A state trooper made the arrest Tuesday after pulling over a vehicle on Interstate 94 near Foster for speeding. Authorities said Verba, 33, was a passenger in the vehicle.
Capt. Doug Notbohm, commander of the Wisconsin State Patrol in Eau Claire, said Verba was cooperative throughout the process.
"The officer recognized the name, and [Verba] voluntarily identified himself as an NFL football player," Notbohm said Thursday.
The trooper discovered that Verba had a felony arrest warrant from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the bad check unit of the Clark County, Nev., district attorney's office.
Vindicator staff/wire reports

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