Barnes completes staff for YSU women’s hoops

Barnes completes staff for YSU women’s hoops


Youngstown State women’s basketball coach John Barnes has completed his staff with the hiring of John Nicolais, who comes to Youngstown after helping Drury University to 101 wins over the past five seasons. He also spent five years at Glenville State when the Lady Pioneers went 145-22.

“John is a very hard worker who knows this area having grown up a couple hours from here,” Barnes said. “He coached collegiately in West Virginia and has been to the Sweet 16 a couple times and many NCAA tournaments. That kind of experience is invaluable.”

Nicolais joins Brenna Banktson, Andrew Crane and Courtney Davidson on Barnes’ staff.

Champion grad Saluga All-Region at The Rock


Slippery Rock University senior catcher Katie Saluga was named to first team All-Region softball honors in the Atlantic Region by Daktronics, Inc.

Saluga, who played scholastically at Champion, also earned Player of the Year honors in the PSAC. She led the league in batting average at a career-high .434, slugged .736 and had an on base percentage of .464. Saluga finished the year with career-highs of 56 hits, 12 doubles, nine home runs, 32 RBI and 25 runs.

She finishes her three-year Slippery Rock career with 110 hits and a .372 batting average, the fourth-best in the history of The Rock softball program.

Champion names Fitch boys basketball coach


Ryan Fitch was named the varsity boys basketball coach for Champion High Monday at the Board of Education meeting. He is replacing Doug Foster, who coached the previous two years.

Fitch starred at Champion in the 1990s and at Roberts Wesleyan College — he is a member of the athletic hall of fame at both schools — and has been head coach at Pymatuning Valley for the past several seasons. He also was head coach at Badger.

Sharon Speedway gets races in on weekend


While just about every race track in the region cancelled due to the inclement weather on Saturday, Sharon Speedway forged on with the Steel Valley Thunder program on Speed Energy Drink Night.

Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Brian Swartzlander in the Governor Insurance DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Josh Double in the Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Joel Watson in the Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Paul Davis in the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Ryan Fraley in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Scott Gilliland in the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.

Poland players make college choices known


Poland seniors Alex Hubbell and A.J. Herdman plan to continue their football careers at Mount Union College and Baldwin-Wallace College, respectively.

The two are scheduled to sign letters of intent Friday at 9 a.m. in the high school library.

Tri-T Colt meeting


A Tri-T League meeting of all Colt team managers and coaches is scheduled Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Poland’s baseball building on Sheridan Road.

Soccer skills clinics

Upper 90 Skills Academy, led by Lakeview coach Nate Mailach, will once again be holding a series of youth soccer skills clinics this summer. The clinics are for youth soccer players (boys and girls) of any experience level.

Players entering first through eighth grade are eligible to attend any or all of the following sessions: June 17-20 at Champion Elementary School, June 24-27 at Bristol High School, and July 29-Aug. 1 at Lakeview High School.

All three sessions will run from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information or to register for the clinics, please go to or email

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