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WRITER: John Vargo

Northeast-8 runners to illuminate the night

Kim Grisdale noticed the excitement a few of her runners had last season, returning from a cross country race in southern Ohio. It wasn’t an ordinary race. Those runners decided to race in a night race instead of going to Poland’s High School homecoming. This year, in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, they don’t have a choice. No in-person homecoming. The Northeast-8 Conference meet would’ve been ...

Boardman senior runner Bero makes adjustments

BOARDMAN — Frank Bero has made adjustments as we all have in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Boardman High School senior distance runner spent most of his junior season running alongside current Walsh University freshman Mitchel Dunham. The pair wore headbands and you could easily spot them in their white running uniforms with a crimson spartan logo embossed on the chests of their outfits. Bero ...

Traw carves out unique path to lead Rams

BAZETTA — Sylvia Traw had on her white wraparound sunglasses, giving the Mineral Ridge High School runner and aerodynamic look on a Trumbull County Fairgrounds course built for speed. The look might be stylish, but not always what it appears to be. “I got these because I have tension headaches and I’m squinting,” she said. “It would make my head hurt really bad. It’s so much nicer, honestly. This ...

Spartan Invitational is still happening

Some upbeat music is blaring from the speakers near the finish line. People are walking the grounds north of Boardman High School. There’s a touch of humidity and plenty of sun as the temperature reaches 80 degrees. Fans line parallel to the parking lot as runners start to make their way through the final mile of the Spartan Invitational, one of the biggest cross country races in Ohio — drawing teams ...

Weird start to 2020

It was weird. I guess I should be grateful for fall sports to be back, more so for a sport I’ve covered for almost two decades — cross country. Nothing has made sense in 2020. That includes the distance runners in this area. A 3.1-mile run starts. Normally, a word sparsely used nowadays, runners start on a line with their teammates and bottleneck toward the course on the noise of a starter’s ...

Canfield’s Plant perseveres in 2020

BAZETTA — Wear the mask, socially distance, follow the new set of guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Canfield High School junior Nick Plant is like any other high school cross country runner. All he wants to do is go through a normal routine and run 3.1 miles around a course. Saturday, it was at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds. Plant has been here before. He ran a 16:18.70 at last year’s The ...

Hubbard on top

GIRARD — The humidity started to fade as game time neared Wednesday at Arrowhead Stadium. The Hubbard and Girard girls soccer teams had their starters on the field, announcing them all as the hue of the sky above started to shade with pink and purple colors near twilight. Hubbard coach Josh MacMillian enjoyed the view from field level, watching his Eagles started to provide some pressure of their own ...

Cards clobber Quakers

CANFIELD — It took less than 20 minutes as Canfield dominated Salem with quick strikes in Wednesday’s 6-0 win by Cardinals at Bob Dove Field. Don Palma made his second goal with 24:50 left in the first half, but playing with a lead is the lesson the Cardinals didn’t experience from last season. The Cardinals went 2-10-3 in 2019. This year, Canfield has outscored West Branch and Salem 13-2 in the first ...

Rivals Fitch, Boardman battle to 1-1 tie

BOARDMAN — The Fitch High School girls soccer team had a free kick attempt sail over the cross bar with 21 minutes left in the first half. Frustration could be heard from the Boardman bench, from some of its vocal players. The Spartans felt they were being outplayed by the rival Falcons in this All-American Conference matchup, which ended in a 1-1 tie. It was the opener for both teams. Boardman responded ...

Back to the pitch

BOARDMAN — Adjusting. That’s something all soccer teams are doing this time of the year. No preseason tournament. No scrimmages. Saturday was the first live look at competition for Boardman and Ursuline High School boys soccer teams. Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that football, soccer and field hockey could play competition in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Masks. Social distancing. Reminders ...