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WRITER: John Vargo

Boardman teams sweep county meet

AUSTINTOWN — Frank Bero admits his teammate, Mitchel Dunham, stays a bit ahead of him on training runs in Mill Creek Park, along the sidewalks on Glenwood Avenue and throughout the grassy surfaces surrounding Boardman High School. Dunham kept the same pace ahead of his teammate as the two took a scenic jaunt around Austintown Township Park on Tuesday afternoon. A couple of Poland junior high runners were ...

Springfield’s Kosek gets a kick out of sport

NEW MIDDLETOWN — Justin Kosek looks around his huddle as he’s done so many times before. One face in the Springfield girls soccer gathering is more familiar than the rest, his daughter Kylee. Seeing her looking up in the huddle has changed like the line of sight between the father and daughter. Both are almost eye to eye, just as they are during the two 40-minute halves. Kylee was 5. Soccer in New ...

Boardman’s Dunham, Poland’s Sebest run well

BOARDMAN — Mitchel Dunham’s view was much different than the bulk of the 294 runners in Saturday’s Division I boys varsity race. The Boardman High School senior’s eyes have seen and his feet have traveled the sidewalks of Glenwood Avenue and the roads due south of U.S. Route 224. The expansive field across from the Boardman Library is lined with trees with a path winding inside and eventually popping ...

A course of their own

POLAND — One-way traffic on Saturdays, reserved for Poland’s youth soccer. That sign off of Cowden Road, a narrow, paved entrance embraced by a tree line, wasn’t relevant this day. Runners took yellow school buses. Parents followed. The path eventually opened to what was a quarry pit, having plenty of hills and valleys as far as the eye could see as you looked to your left. The other side opened up to ...

Trip to Virgin Islands was a benefit to Penguins

YOUNGSTOWN — Coach Jerrod Calhoun had some extra looks at his team. It comes once every four years for NCAA basketball teams. Youngstown State’s men’s basketball team had 10 extra practices this summer. The Penguins started to implement things offensively and defensively — something Calhoun and his staff started to see mature as the Penguins played three games during a mid-August trip to the Virgin ...

Poland overcomes young Liberty team

POLAND — Martina DiNello politely asked if she could do her post-game interview away from the scorer’s table inside Poland High School’s FieldHouse. The second-year volleyball coach made her way toward the net, where her Bulldogs held off a young, feisty Liberty team Monday, 3-1. DiNello admitted her mother and father made her nervous, not used to being interviewed by reporters. She said it’s about ...

Raiders have strong program

BEAVER TOWNSHIP — Rankings. Coaches around Ohio don’t just hand them out like candy on Halloween. There’s no trick to it. The treats reside in the hard work and dedication set forth in the offseason, building blocks for success. The South Range boys soccer labors are quite fruitful as a Division III team, making the state’s final four in 2014 and reaching the state title game in 2015. The Raiders ...

Talley’s big play sparks East in easy victory

YOUNGSTOWN — Reuben Talley is listed at 5-foot-5, 155 pounds — one of the smallest members of the East Golden Bears football team. His passion for the game makes him seem much larger than his stature. “Heart over anything,” Talley said. “Height don’t mean nothing. You got to go out there and do what you got to do.” Talley’s teammates felt the same after he was carried off of the Rayen ...

Fitch runs wild

AUSTINTOWN — Nate Leskovac had the ball in the Austintown Fitch backfield. He had the leather pigskin in his hands most of the first game of the season, dominating Erie (Pa.) for about 250 yards. The Falcons junior quarterback saw the openings in the Ursuline defense Friday during a 27-7 win over the Irish. The senior-laden offensive line has plenty of experience and leadership, making the necessary ...

Pacanowski returns to YSU, this time with women’s team

YOUNGSTOWN — Jason Pacanowski stepped onto the Youngstown State University campus more than a decade ago. His passion for being a Penguin never left him, despite leaving the physical buildings. He was the YSU men’s basketball director of basketball operations from 2008-13 for former coach Jerry Slocum. Pacanowski had young children in 2013. He left the Penguins to spend more time with them, taking the ...