Golden Bear football players turn a vacant lot into a victory park


Members of the Golden Bears football team weathered today’s heat and humidity to help clear a lot across from East High that will become Victory Park for the schools’ teams.

The property, at 1625 E. High St., is owned by the Mahoning County Land Bank and a dilapidated house was recently demolished there. But rocks, garbage, tires, old furniture and carpeting and other debris littered the site.

Keland Logan, executive director of The Colony Youngstown and co-owner of The Red Zone Helping Homes, is leading the project which includes many other partners.

“What we’re doing here today is working with the future leaders, specifically the football team,” he said.

They’re laying the groundwork for what will become Victory Park. The first phase will include a split-rail fence, seating area and a banner, but Logan hopes more amenities will be added.

“What that will be is a space where students, athletes, faculty and the community can all come together and celebrate and support one another and to help build a rich winning and positive tradition here in Youngstown City Schools and in Youngstown City overall,” Logan said.

CEO Krish Mohip applauds the work of the community groups and organizations as well as the students in the project.

“We’ve put a lot of effort into revitalizing our athletic teams and it’s great to see another example of the community’s support of that,” he said.

Logan expects the first phase to be completed later this summer.

Sophomore Malcolm Lambert and senior Patrick Allen look forward to having a Victory Park.

It’s for “whenever we win we can come and celebrate the win,” said Malcolm who’s a receiver on the East Golden Bear football team.

But it’s also an effort to clean up the neighborhood, he said.

It’s a way “to make a better community -- to make the community look better,” added Patrick, a middle linebacker. “And to try to bring all the love for the football team back together and help everyone come out here to celebrate.”

After the initial phase, organizers will seek donations and sponsorships to improve the park.

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