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WRITER: John Vargo

Kirtland tall task for South Range

Four state championships and three state runners-up — all since 2011. Kirtland Hornets football is one of the dominant small-school teams around Ohio. This year, it is no different as the Hornets play in Saturday’s Division V, Region 17 semifinal against South Range. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Bo Rein Stadium in Niles. Kirtland is the No. 1-ranked team in Division V. The 11-0 Hornets have shut out seven ...

Beautiful game boost?

Little eyes peering over the metal railing. They see so much, curious about their surroundings. This day, those youthful stares are meant for those older boys on the grassy, sometimes field-turf, pitch. Soccer balls bounce off their feet and heads — maintaining control and dribbling forward. This sport is referred to worldwide as the beautiful game. The success the Howland and South Range high school ...

Struthers looks forward to another chance at Bulldogs

Curt Kuntz knows his Struthers High School football team all too well. The Wildcats knew their opportunities in Week 10 at Dave Pavlansky Stadium in Poland and were very salty at the outcome — a two-point defeat to nearby rival Poland. Struthers players, coaches and fans quickly searched joeeitel.com after the game and the official Ohio High School Athletic Association computer rankings Sunday. Redemption ...

One step short

DOYLESTOWN — Mike Bailey gathered his eight seniors in a tight-knit circle. He addressed them as visible tears flowed following a 2-1 double-overtime loss to Bluffton on a new field turf field in the midst of a neighborhood in the Chippewa school district. “I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Bailey after his team ended its season in this Division III state semifinal with a 19-3 record. ...

A good start

YOUNGSTOWN — Tuesday’s result was a 101-53 dominating win against Thiel College, a Division III program in Western Pennsylvania. There’s more to see of the Youngstown State University men’s basketball than a final score in its season opener. It started as 6-foot-8 junior forward Michael Akuchie made a 3-pointer in the first minute of the game and then took a charge soon after his shot behind the ...

YSU defense stands out in opening win

YOUNGSTOWN — Only three players — McKenah Peters, Mary Dunn and Chelsea Olson — were listed as starters on the pregame press packet. Taylor Petit and Ny’Dajah Jackson, who both sat out last season due to injury and transfer, were the other two players to be named. This is not the same Youngstown State University women’s basketball team which won 22 games and went to the WNIT last season. It’s ...

Penguin men look for breakout season

YOUNGSTOWN — Darius Quisenberry came in to see Youngstown State University men’s basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun the other day, as do most of the Penguins. Open lines of communication are there between coaches and players. Quisenberry, a 6-foot-1, 188-pound sophomore point guard from Springfield, Ohio, had a handful of freshman accolades last season — including being named to the second team on the ...

More depth for YSU women

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown State women’s basketball team returns after last year’s 22-win season and WNIT berth. However, the Penguins have to overcome the losses of Lordstown native Sarah Cash, Alison Smolinski, the team’s leading 3-point scorer, and Melinda Trimmer — all key components to last year’s success. “It’s going be a process to see who we are, team chemistry, lineups, who plays ...

Boardman, Poland runners shine at state meet

HEBRON — There are groups of runners which cluster together — called packs — in the sport of cross country running. On Saturday, during the Division I boys state cross country race, a pack seemingly of all 186 runners blobbed together and came down the straightaway parallel to the dragstrip area at National Trail Raceway and sounded like a thunderous herd. The start was tricky to maneuver through in ...

Poland girls at state after near misses

BOARDMAN — Kim Grisdale closed her eyes as she was being interviewed. The excitement overwhelmed the Poland girls cross country coach. Her team has been so close in the past two years to make it to state. This time there was no denying the Bulldogs’ distance runners. They are heading to state in Division II. “Trying to think through the excitement,” Grisdale said. “It’s hard to calm myself down ...