Sports Columns

Committed players keep Reno going

STEUBENVILLE — When you think prep football in the Ohio Valley, Steubenville Big Red immediately pops into your mind. When you think Steubenville Big Red football, you immediately think of Reno Saccoccia. Big Red football and their ageless taskmaster are still basking in the glory of ...

Rataiczak records 1,900th consecutive game

During my high school days I had perfect attendance for all four years at Troy High School. Sure, there were some difficult times in achieving that honor, but I was the only one in my class of more than 300 to do so. Just think, roughly 180 days a year times four is 720 days of going to ...

Bell building on collegiate grid success

WHEELING -- Elijah Bell is not one to rest on his laurels. Rather, the former Wheeling Park standout continues to raise his game. Bell played a key role in the Patriots capturing their first state football championship in 2015. He landed 17 TD passes that fall, encompassing 1,124 ...

Wheeling Jesuit, West Liberty wrestlers set to square off

This is a big week of wrestling, both collegiately and scholastically. Bragging rights for Ohio County will be on the line Thursday when nationally ranked Wheeling Jesuit University travels up W.Va. 88 to meet West Liberty University in a Mountain East Conference dual meet. The first bout ...

Youthful WJU spikers primed for regional

WHEELING — It has become a rite of late fall: Wheeling Jesuit University winning the conference volleyball championship. The youthful Cardinals captured their fifth straight Mountain East Conference net title last weekend, downing rival West Liberty in the finals at the McDonough Center. ...

Mancini sees local boxing as key

CHESTER — A boxing legend doesn’t think fighters are as tough these days as they were during his career. Nor does he like the distance championship bouts are. “The bigger name fighters nowadays get paid a helluva lot more for doing a helluva lot less,” International Boxing Hall of ...

New lease on life

BELLAIRE — Larry Schmidli has a lot to say. It’s important, he believes. For, as he sits down today to enjoy Thanksgiving with his family, he’s thankful. Thankful for his new lease on life, one that came via an unexpected source. “I’m so thankful I have a family,” he said. ...

Linsly grad earns Ohio Athletic Conference hoop POW for Marietta

MARIETTA — Anthony Wallace is a pretty good basketball player. He was pretty good at Linsly School and he’s continued into his collegiate career. Just last season he played a major role in helping to lead Marietta College into the NCAA Tournament and he’s seemingly picked up right ...

Crutchfield’s second job off to solid start in Fla.

FORT LAUDERDALE — He won at a rate few, if any, coaches do. He also had his program on cruise control, winning 30 games per season and making annual national tournament runs. After rescuing the West Liberty University men’s program from the scrap heap and elevating it to magnificent ...

Local duo to run in D-II nationals

CALIFORNIA, Pa. — Both Megan Bateman and Shaye Beckett realized when they signed National Letter of Intents to continue their running careers at California University that they’d have the chance to compete for sports. But, both were also aware of how strong the Vulcans’ program was, ...

Former Linsly grid star now a Hall of Famer

CLEVELAND -- Being an offensive lineman is a thankless task. Often times the only notoriety coming their way is being targeted for a penalty. O-lineman toil in anonymity. Bryan Fialkowski was an offensive lineman. He plied his trade extremely well, be it at Linsly School or John Carroll ...

Ohio State rebounds in big way

COLUMBUS — In so many ways, the Ohio State Buckeyes performance Saturday was unbelievable. Obviously, their absolute domination and destruction of Michigan State, which had been tied with Ohio State atop the Big Ten East standings, was first and foremost. The immediate thought, though, as ...

Shank ending stellar 48-year collegiate career

NEW CONCORD -- Larry Shank is one of the good guys in the world of college athletics. Make that one of the best guys. The St. Clairsville High graduate has been immersed in college sports for most of his adult life - 48 years to be exact. During those five decades, Shank has experienced a ...

Marhefka’s wait pays off with first college TD catch

ATHENS -- Good things come to those who wait. It’s a cliche we’ve all heard for many years. Few, however, are willing — in today’s day and age of instant gratification — to often invest the time and effort to prove the adage to be true. St. Clairsville graduate Jerrid Marhefka ...

Bob Butts was a great gridder, even better man

BENWOOD -- He played fullback for Woody Hayes at Ohio State. That is all you need to know on how good a football player Bob Butts was. The Benwood Union High legend was not just a great gridder. He was also a successful coach, teacher and school administrator. Most of all, Butts was a ...

Barrett silences any, and all, of his critical fans

COLUMBUS — Urban Meyer probably said it best as he opened his post-game press conference Saturday evening. “Wow! What the heck just happened?” There are certainly a lot of people — both Ohio State and Penn State fans alike — still trying to figure that out. Quite simply, ...

Madonna grad primed for D-1 coaching encore

ALBANY -- Joanna Bernabei-McNamee and success are synonymous. Be it as a player or coach, the Weirton Madonna product is a proven winner. Bernabei-McNamee has quickly and impressively climbed the basketball coaching ladder to the Division I level. She took over the reins at the University ...

Bishop finishes third in MEC CC championship

The Mountain East Conference crowned its cross country champions last weekend at the Bridgeport Recreation Complex. Wheeling Jesuit finished fourth in the men’s team competition with 89 points. The Cardinals were led by former Martins Ferry standout Jacob Bishop. The multiple-sport and ...

Ferry takes aim at program’s 700th win

Martins Ferry, which has been playing football for 110 years, can join an elite group Saturday afternoon when it meets arch-rival Bellaire for the 111th time in the seventh longest rivalry in Ohio. A win over the Big Reds at Nelson Field would give the Purple Riders 700 high school football ...

Young volunteers playing key role in Stobbs race

WHEELING - Youth is being served with this year's edition of the Lois Stobbs Memorial Veterans Day 10K Run & Walk. The eighth annual event, set for Saturday Nov. 4, is dedicated to honoring local fallen heroes. Money received over and above race expenses is donated to the West Virginia ...