GIRARD -- Scooter Hargate's high school season was cut short. His football career wasn't.
The 6-foot-2, 217-pound quarterback verbally committed to YSU this week, just a few months after a broken ankle ended his senior season at Girard High after four games.
"It's all healed up," said Hargate, who originally injured the ankle in week three against Warren JFK, then re-injured it the next week against Brookfield. "I feel good and I've been working out."
Hargate, whose junior season with the Indians was cut short due to a shoulder injury, visited YSU's campus on the first recruiting weekend after the season and was offered a scholarship by Coach Jon Heacock.
"I was a little concerned [about getting a scholarship] because my senior season got cut short," he said. "But I played three games and the coaches saw what I could do. So, in a way, it worked out."
Hargate plans to major in either business or exercise science. He had also been talking with coaches at Dayton, Holy Cross and Akron, but said his decision was pretty easy.
"I liked it down there [at YSU] and I got along with the players," he said. "They offered me the scholarship and I said, 'Hey, I'll take it.'
"It's close to home, the football program is on the rise and it's doing great and it's a good opportunity to play in front of the home crowd. It's YSU, you know? I've grown up around here and I'm excited about it."
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Curbstone Coaches All-League Recognition Banquet is Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Hall.
The banquet honors the football all-conference teams of the Steel Valley Conference, Metro Athletic Conference, Inter Tri-County Conference and All-City.
Youngstown State football coach Jon Heacock will be the guest speaker while Dana Balash, sports director of WFMJ Channel 21, will serve as toastmaster.
Tickets cost 15 each and may be obtained by calling (330)-793-1993.
Poland's Larubbiosigns for baseball
POLAND -- Poland High senior Frank Larubbio signed a national letter of intent to attend Frederick (Md.) College where he will play baseball.
Frederick was the Div. II national runner-up in 2005 and is ranked eighth this season in the preseason poll.
Larubbio is a two-year starter at second base for Poland where he hit .337 as a sophomore and .368 as a junior.
"Frank is one of the most dedicated, hard-working kids we've had here at Poland," Bulldogs coach Rich Murray said. "He loves baseball and it shows on the field."
He committed only six errors in the field in his two-year career with the Bulldogs.
Larubbio plays for Mink Financial in the Class B League where he hit .375 with 20 stolen bases last summer.
*CLEVELAND -- Alfredo Roberts has been hired as Cleveland's new tight ends coach, replacing Ben Coates who was not retained by coach Romeo Crennel following the Browns' 4-12 season.
Roberts spent the past four seasons as Jacksonville's tight ends coach. With the Browns, he'll work with Kellen Winslow, who tied the Browns' single-season receptions record (89) this season.
Also Tuesday, the Browns lost assistant head coach Jeff Davidson, who was named Carolina's new offensive coordinator.
*PHOENIX -- Russ Grimm was hired as the Arizona Cardinals' assistant head coach and offensive line coach Tuesday, two weeks after he interviewed for the head coaching position.
Earnhardt defends stepmother
CONCORD, N.C. -- After a rival driver called Teresa Earnhardt a "deadbeat owner," Dale Earnhardt Jr. was put in the uncomfortable position of sticking up for the stepmother he's often at odds with.
At a Tuesday night media session designed to outline Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s 2007 season goals, Junior was pointedly asked to respond to comments Kevin Harvick made earlier in the day about the perception that Teresa Earnhardt is an absentee team owner.
"It's hard when you have what I call a deadbeat owner that doesn't come to the racetrack," Harvick told reporters during a stop at Richard Childress Racing.
Earnhardt, who is in the final year of his contract at DEI and currently participating in tense negotiations for a new deal, squirmed on the podium as he was asked to respond.
"You're killing me," Junior grumbled. "That's ridiculous. I don't think there is a comment for that remark."
But instead of letting the moment pass, Earnhardt -- often too open and honest for his own good -- attempted to defend Teresa, who took over Dale Earnhardt's company after his 2001 fatal accident on the last lap of Daytona 500.
"Like I said in the past, with everything that's happened, not just to the company but to the family over the past five years, she's had a full plate," he said. "The things that she's responsible for, willingly and unwillingly, are very important. For a long time, the battle with (Earnhardt's) autopsy photos, all those things, that's just the tip of the iceberg of things that she's been responsible for.
Vindicator staff/wire reports