Posts Tagged ‘Ron Strollo’

Eric Wolford Staying Home


Youngstown State University has confirmed that Head Football Coach, Eric Wolford, will remain in charge of the football program.  Wolford has compiled a 24-21 record since taking over for Jon Heacock four seasons ago.

Wolford, a tireless recruiter, has surrounded himself with good people to revitalize the Penguins football program.  He has often been quoted as saying that nothing except winning a championship is acceptable.  The Penguins inched closer to that goal in 2013, narrowly missing a playoff bid.

Trevor Parks, the Sports Information Director at YSU commented on the recent developments.

“Details by both sides will be worked out soon”, said Parks of the extension.  “Coach Wolford will be YSU’s football coach moving into the foreseeable future.”

Congratulations Coach Wolford!

YSU Football Winter Notes


Now that the 2013 season is well-behind, reflection and awards are handed out. Youngstown State University fell just short of the goal – making the playoffs, but there was plenty of positive that needs to be recognized.

For starters, the Penguins finished the season 8-4, winning two of every three games they played.  More impressively is that the Penguins four losses, in hindsight, were to the team that won the Rose Bowl (Michigan State), the team that won the FCS Championship (North Dakota State), a team that advanced past the first round of the FCS Playoffs (South Dakota State), and a team that lost three conference overtime games in a row setting a record (UNI).

If the UNI loss seems like the one that got away, we later learned that Kurt Hess played the entire second half hurt, forcing the Penguins into a one-dimensional attack of just running.  Coach Eric Wolford never pinned that loss on his quarterback, he took the blame for it, saying “This one is on me”.  It came to light almost a whole week later that Hess was indeed injured.


This group of seniors (above) will be a tough bunch to replace.  Hess started all four years he was here.  But some of the unheralded players – the limping DJ Moss, the banged-up Dom Rich, the falling out of grace, yet remaining a team player, Torrian Pace, and the versatile Carson Sharbaugh will all be missed.  Kyle Sirl ended up being one of my favorite all-time Penguins because he was fighting no matter what the score.

It was at East Lansing that I started developing such a respect for Sirl.  Trailing Michigan State 35-10, Sirl came toward the sidelines, winded, beat up, and looked at me saying something along the lines of “We are going to make a run”.  It would be understated to say he wasn’t giving it his all.  YSU ended up losing 55-17.  They did however, gain almost 100 yards more on the ground than Michigan would against a stingy Spartans defense.

On to the awards.  As recently as today, several Penguins have received postseason awards.  Hess was named to the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team.  Chris Elkins was named a Second-Team-All American by The Associated Press and Third Team by The Sports Network.  Kyle Bryant was selected to play in the prestigious East-West Shrine Game, Elkins would later be named to join Bryant.  Jelani Berassa was given another year of eligibility.  Martin Ruiz, who finished tied for third for the Jerry Rice Awardand Jameel Smith made it onto the MVFC All-Newcomer team.


The coaching staff for the Penguins, seems to remain in place, for now.  Ron Strollo has given Wolford a vote of confidence by publicly stating that he hopes Wolford is coaching the Penguins for a very long time.  Wolford’s biggest steps of growth as a head coach were made this season.  He seemed to be looser with the players, less vocal with the media, and was able to pinpoint his teams strengths from week-to-week with pretty good accuracy.  Injuries are a part of the game, and adverse injuries, like the Hess situation the last three weeks, cannot be the grounds for calling Wolford or any of his coaches unworthy.  Ride the horse that got you there.  Hess was the horse, he just had bad timing with an uncontrollable injury.

The four new coaches – Mangino, Gallon, Beathard, and Bryant did good work for Wolford.  Bricillo, Cochran, Stoops, Montgomery, Kopp, Davis, And Sims are a great supporting cast and the new guys enhanced the overall product.

2014 is right around the corner.  Shane Montgomery is going to have the hardest assignment as an offensive coordinator losing Kurt Hess.  As they recruit, they know what they need.  Best of luck signing the players to push it to the next level.  Oh, and 8-4 really wasn’t too bad!

One Woman Wrecking Crew: Brown Leads YSU Through Round One


Recently named Horizon League Player of The Year for the Horizon League Coach of The year, Brandi Brown put on a clinic.  Brown had 20 points at half and ended the game with 31, in leading Bob Boldon‘s YSU Lady Penguins to a first-round 69-62 victory over Cleveland State, but it wasn’t easy.

Playing as a #2 seed and coming off of their best season in 15 years, the Penguins were ahead for most of the game.  Cleveland State, who only lost two games to the Penguins by a combined total of 13 points played their hearts out, but Brown and her teammates proved to be destined for bigger things in the victory.

The Penguins established a 37-31 lead after the first twenty minutes of play.  Brown had four three pointers in the opening half, seemingly stealing the momentum right out of the Cleveland State team.

Shar’Rae Davis chipped in nine in the first half.  Davis was doing an outstanding job of penetrating and drawing fouls while getting her shots to fall.


YSU coaching royalty, Ed DiGregorio, was honored at the half in front of a decent crowd. DiGregorio was surrounded with some of his best players from over the years. YSU Athletic Director, Ron Strollo and the former players surrounded DiGregorio for a jersey presentation (above).  He finished his coaching career with 319 victories.

“I wish I could have been out there at halftime”, said Boldon.  “My players probably wish I was out there at halftime too.  He set a standard here for women’s basketball. He put it on the map and it was nice to see him honored in such a nice atmosphere.”

When play resumed, the Penguins maintained their 7-10 point lead throughout the second half.  The YSU defense pressured the Vikings offense into 13 first half turnovers, a trend that would continue into the second.

With 6:25 remaining in the game, Karen Flagg made a nice spin move in the paint to increase the YSU lead to 52-43.  Flagg would twist her ankle and exit.

On the next possession, Brown drove, made a bucket, and got fouled.  The old-fashioned three-point play made it 55-43.  Brown then nabbed a rebound and started the play the other where where Davis hit a bucket and got fouled.  Davis nailed the charity toss to increase the lead to 58-43 with just over five to play.


Cleveland State was able to cut the lead to four but would get no closer.

“We are anxious to find out who we play next”, said Brown.  “As long as we focus on what we do we can win.”

The Penguins (22-8) will face the winner of the Loyola vs Milwaukee game.  Ultimately, YSU could be headed for a third shot at the Horizon League’s darling, Green Bay.  The Penguins lost both regular season meetings to Green Bay and will have their hands full against the only undefeated team in the Horizon League.  They would have to win one more game before that chance would occur.

The win against Cleveland State also serves as a measure of small revenge.  The Vikings eliminated YSU from last year’s conference tournament.  The win also marks YSU’s first postseason victory since the 2007-08 season.


Besides the Player of The Year type effort put forth by Brown who also had 13 rebounds, the Penguins got 18 points from Davis and eight more from Flagg, who eventually returned after the ankle scare.

“This ranks up there with with the accolades I have gotten this week”, said Brown.

This was obviously a nice thing because the whole team wins.  This ranks pretty high up there.  It is nice to not have to play in the first round Monday game, which we have every other year since I got here.”

Cleveland State got 19 from Shalonda Winton, 16 more from Cori Coleman, and Honesty King scored 11.

Tweet #5,000


In the Winter of 2008, I had to have a hip replacement.  The down time I had to endure meant a lot of sitting around with nothing to do except watch reruns of Two And A Half Men and a bunch of game shows.

A friend of mine, Ethan Jaynes, who operated a blog called NESW sports, asked me to write a couple of posts.  When those stories did well, Jaynes hooked me up with the knowledge I would need to run my own site,

In the time since, I have made a bunch of good friends and probably a few enemies too.

Fast forward to September of 2012.  I am working a 40-hour-a-week job, and still trying to keep up with this website.  Sometimes the posts seem scant, but that is because of the time constraints I have to deal with.

On of the biggest events I was lucky enough to cover was the dedication of Dave Grohl Boulevard in Warren.  I was interviewing Jen Campbell, the organizer of the event, in a side building as warm-up bands were wailing away outside.

Suddenly, on the third question of the interview, the door opens, and it is Dave Grohl.  He looks at us, the only two people in the room, and asks, “Am I early?”

Campbell had to run and gather some folks which left me solo with Grohl, who offered me a Budweiser.  We talked about everything from the steel industry to Wedgewood Pizza, to Kurt Cobain, to how often he sneaks back to this area to visit family.

It was the biggest, ‘right place at the right time’, moment in my life.


I have caught some good breaks to gain access.  My first real coverage was of the Youngstown Thunder Arena Football team.  Those games were a lot of fun and I was able to develop my first player profile interviews while I was there.  Thanks to Anthony Farris for a chance.

The next break to fall into my lap was the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.  Marc Means and Dave Smith, the GM at the time, were instrumental in getting me the trial year of credentials.  The Scrappers, now functioning on the watch of Jordan Taylor, are fun because of the themes, the wrestling, the fireworks, and the personalities you meet who deal with baseball as a way of life every day.

Youngstown State University is something I never thought I would want to cover.  Too much stuff going on.  I wanted to give football a shot, so for the 2009 season, Jon Heacocks’s last,  Trevor Parks gave me that chance.  Call it good timing because nobody but WFMJ and Pete Mollica cared about the football program which seemed to be spiraling negatively.

I took a real liking to the way that the YSU people do things.  There were not too many media people who bet Jerry Slocum would still be around.  I got to know Slocum a little better than some and am glad he has found his niche here.

Covering Cindy Martin was tough because when a team goes 0-30, it is hard to ask many questions with positive answers.  Bob Boldon and his staff have picked up the slack in a big way and made that program fun.


When Ron Strollo hired Eric Wolford for the 2010 season, he made the best possible choice for the university to rekindle a program known for its strong tradition.  Strollo has been fantastic and has seemed to make all of the right moves in the past couple of years.

Wolford is destined for bigger things.  I do not know how long he will be here, hopefully until he retires, but he makes no bones about being an SEC guy and by getting all of the good experience as a head coach here, Wolford will make a jump to a D-I school within the next few years.

Kelly Pavlik was getting recognition for beating Jermain Taylor a couple of times when I got to sit with him and chat.  Still active and back on the rise, The Ghost has provided some huge moments for this site.  Everything from title defenses to a bitter separation with Jack Loew, and no mention of foul play or substance abuse here.  No reason to.

Jake Giuriceo seems to be the next thing to emerge as a televised boxer from Youngstown.  This kid is so laid back, so spiritual, and so focused, that anyone who talks with him would be hard-pressed not to root for him.


As the website continues to progress, I remain focused on trying to be entertaining and informative without the demise factor.  There is enough positive in the Youngstown area to avoid all of the negative.

So to Larry Holmes, the Youngstown Phantoms, 38 Special, Ron Stevens, and Pete Rose.  Thanks for the roles you have played here at!

Fill The Ice Castle Saturday! YSU Offering Buy-One, Get- One Tickets, Labor Day Only!


The Youngstown State Athletic Department, in honor of Labor Day, is offering the fans of the Mahoning Valley a special FREE ticket offer on Monday, Sept. 3 only. For every reserved or general admission game ticket purchased on Monday each fan will receive a FREE ticket of equal value. The ticket office at Stambaugh Stadium will have special hours from Noon to 5 p.m. on Monday.

The Penguins, who grabbed the college football headlines with an impressive 31-17 win over Pittsburgh at Heinz Field last night, play host to the Valparaiso Crusaders this Saturday in the home opener at Stambaugh Stadium. Kickoff for the contest is 4 p.m.

Season tickets – including reserved, chair back seats and M-24 tailgate passes with a Penguin Club membership – for the six-game home slate, which features three games in September, are also on sale. Beginning on Tuesday, the ticket office will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. leading up to Saturday’s home opener.

“Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions, achievements and hard-work of American workers,” noted Eric Wolford, YSU Head Coach. “To honor the tireless effort of the workers and retirees in this Valley, we are offering this one-day special free ticket offer. Our team worked hard on opening night at Pitt and we want to reward our fans with a chance to fill the Ice Castle this Saturday.”

All fans attending YSU’s opener will receive a 2012 schedule magnet. A very limited number of individual game tailgate passes remain for the M-7 tailgate lot ($15). State Farm will sponsor the annual Kids Day Tailgate activities from 1-4 p.m. in the M-7 lot at the corner of Lincoln and Fifth Avenues.

Fans can call 330-941-1978 for more information or log onto

YSU Terminates Pasquale, Search For New Coach Begins


Youngstown State University has parted ways with Rich Pasquale.  Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Ron Strollo, said that the Penguins will begin to search for a new mentor immediately.  Pasquale coached from 2008 until this season.

“I want to thank Coach Pasquale for his service to our department, the university, and the community in his five seasons as our head baseball coach,”said Strollo.  “We experienced several successes under his direction, and we are looking forward to experiencing many successes in the future.”

The Penguins went 86-187 in Pasquale’s five seasons as the skipper.  In 2012, they finished with an 11-44 mark but did manage to pull together for a third-place finish at the Horizon League Tournament.


“I appreciate the opportunity that Youngstown State gave me to coach at the Division I level,” said Pasquale.  “I was fortunate to coach and develop some great young men both on and off the field, and I thoroughly enjoyed who I worked with.”

Three YSU players were drafted to the Major League system under Pasquale’s tenure, including two in one year – a program first.  Seven players earned all-conference first team honors during the five seasons he coached.

Pasquale was the Horizon League’s Co-Coach of The Year in 2008 when the Penguins posted 23 wins and had a 13-12 record in league play, which were both his best marks over the span.

Getting To The Other Side Of The Fence


Over the past few years, the facilities have improved, some coaching changes have been made, and school spirit is as high as it has been in about twenty years.  Ron Strollo (above) is finally getting to see the benefits of his hard work.  The athletic director at Youngstown State had come under fire three years ago.  When Jon Heacock was failing, both basketball programs were declining, and all the other sports we had to have for scholarship and conference alignment purposes, no one was sure if Strollo could survive.

Not only has he survived, he has prospered.  The whole athletic community has prospered.

Ask Eric Wolford.  Wolford was appointed to be the savior of a football program that seemed to cater to individuals instead of team.  All Wolford has done in two years is put a program in place, recruited like it is his last day on Earth, surrounded himself with good coaches, and worked on good character and life skills tirelessly for his players.  The expectation on Wolford’s 2012 Penguins is to win.  With a victory over FCS Champion North Dakota State last season, expectations on the coming season are very high.


Perhaps no coach is more misunderstood than Jerry Slocum.  Recently completing his seventh season at the helm, the reserved, but opinionated, coach proved he can win. Strollo rewarded Slocum with a contract extension, and Slocum paid back when he put the best product of his tenure on the court last season.  Slocum is in the Top-10 list for wins of active coaches and knows the game of basketball.  People are sometimes critical of his personality, but no one should ever question his ability to coach.  Strollo made the right decision in rewarding Slocum a few more years as the program continues to move forward.

Bob Boldon probably couldn’t get the pen out of his pocket soon enough to sign a contract to coach women’s basketball at YSU.  It is a nice place to start, following a departed coach who went 0-30 the year before.  Boldon has had good success in installing a three-point shooting offense and is always preaching defense, he is a good choice, another feather in Strollo’s cap.

Rich Pasquale will endure some growing pains with his 2012 YSU baseball squad. Pasquale has a very young team with only two seniors and is another tireless recruiter.  Don’t be surprised to see this team in the hunt next season as they get their bearings and learn to play together.  Coach Campbell is at that point now with the Lady Penguins softball team.  These girls can flat out play.  He has pitching, he has hitting, and he is proving very proficient at managing both.


Recently, the Penguins hosted the Horizon League Indoor Track Meet.  The WATTS proved to be a terrific venue for the event and Strollo reflected on the feedback.

“The feedback has been positive.  Obviously there are a few things, as we will go through growing pains, that need fixed.  We will address those minor issues. Fortunately, we ran college and high school meets a month and a half prior to tune up for that event.”

The weekend of the Horizon Meet, there were also basketball home games and the swimming home finale.

“There is no question we don’t mind being busy if that is what it takes.”

Strollo has surrounded himself with outstanding personnel.  This department has evolved into a prototype of how a collegiate athletic department should be run.  The marketing and sports information departments have exemplified consistency, which can be tough with subpar products.  Fortunately, the products are ‘new and improved’ and will continue to draw bigger crowds.  Keep up the good work Ron Strollo, and thanks for what you have done so far.

YSU Basketball Profiles: DuShawn Brooks


Nobody knew how much of a contributor DuShawn Brooks could be this season.  Last year, Brooks played sparingly as a sixth man and showed flashes of the potential he has stabilized as a senior starter for the 2011-12 Youngstown State Penguins team. Brooks, or DB as he is called by friends, has already been named a Horizon League Conference Player of The Week this season and has really worked hard to get better. The most impressive part about Brooks’ role as a senior is that he puts the team first. The Chicago-area native had plenty to say in our recent interview.

Paneech: You have been called DuShawn, Terrell, and DB.  What should I refer to you as?

Brooks: My name on my birth certificate is DuShawn Terrell Brooks, my sister gave me my name.  On Facebook, I am listed as Terrell, it is what I go by.  Most people call me Shawn or DB.

Paneech: Being raised in a big city presents problems such as pressure to do drugs and join a gang.  Were you able to steer clear of that activity?

Brooks: Growing up, I lived with my grandmother until seventh grade, then I moved back with my mom in the suburbs.  As soon as I got back, she got me involved with a mentor and I started playing basketball around that time.  I really didn’t even have the time to get involved with anything that was bad.  I was either at basketball, in church, or in school.  I never got involved with any of those bad things, I was a pretty good kid.

Paneech: What was it like growing up in Chicago with Michael Jordan images and mentions everywhere?

Brooks: I never wanted to ‘be like Mike‘, I always wanted to play like him though.  You get sucked into it and you want to wear his shoes, you want to dunk over somebody like he used to.  You want to do the stuff he did to accomplish what he has — six rings, MVP awards, scoring titles.  It was fun watching him play.  Michael Jordan was like Batman, and Scottie Pippen was his Robin. It wasn’t always Michael.  If Jordan was having a bad night, Pippen stepped up many times to provide the win.


Paneech: Is the basketball at the high school level in Chicago better than the product the Youngstown area schools put on the courts?

Brooks: I notice a difference when I come up to watch some of the high school games here.  I think to myself ‘this kid wouldn’t get any playing time on my old team’ when I watch.  That isn’t an insult to the area, but Chicago is a much bigger area with many more athletes that are bigger, faster, and stronger.  Everybody plays basketball in Chicago.  Here it is much smoother and a second sport to a lot of the student athletes. In high school, I was the last guy on the bench, never got any praise, and was relied upon to do all of the dirty work.

Paneech: How did you end up at Youngstown State?

Brooks: I started out at a prep school in Cincinnati.  After that, I went to a junior college in Kansas for two years.  We won our conference and regional championships there.  Coach Wernicki showed up down there and told me that Youngstown was interested in me and invited me on a visit.  I liked it here because it was not too big.  A big part of me signing on was that I get to go home and play two games in Chicago.  I never really got to play ball in front of my family until last year, and I really enjoyed it.

Paneech: When you get to Youngstown State, you meet Jerry Slocum.  How is your relationship with him?

Brooks: I came in with an open mind.  I won’t lie, it was very hard sometimes.  Last year, I understood that I had to learn things before I could be given a lot of playing time.  Coach Slocum was very supportive and would tell me not to get frustrated and that my time will come.  He always let me know what I needed to do to get better, and I learned to just go out there and listen to him.  Coming into this season, it has been better in the sense that I knew what to expect from him.  I think he is a great coach and openly lets you know where you are excelling or falling short.


Paneech: What kind of a role do you think you play on this team?

Brooks: Probably doing whatever I have to do to help the team get a win.  I have been scoring a lot lately, but that doesn’t mean it is going to continue.  Sometimes I have to concentrate harder on grabbing rebounds, sometimes I have to dive after a loose ball.  I have to worry about blocking a shot, going for a steal, — really, anything I can do to contribute to the success of this team.  As a senior, I have to step up and do some of the things others may not want to do.  Ash [Ashen Ward] is the leader, and I am going to do whatever I can to help him be a good leader.

Paneech: Coach Slocum has had bad luck taking junior college guys who sometimes put their personal statistics in front of the team.  For him to be as positive as he is this season, he obviously believes in this team.  What is different?

Slocum: None of us like to lose.  Earlier this season, we lost to Wright State by one, and in the locker room after the game, everyone was really mad.  We think we have the best team in the league and want to win the Horizon League.  Everyone has been working hard and when we practice sluggish, coach [Slocum] lets us know we are practicing badly.

Paneech: You are dating a YSU women’s basketball player, Melissa Thompson.  How in the world – between school, travel, and practice schedules do you two ever see each other?

Brooks: (laughs)  She lives in the same building as me, so as soon as I get done or she gets done, we text each other.  Then we can meet up and hang out.  I have been with her for a year now, it has been really fun.


One Word Answers

Favorite Fast Food Order: 10 Honey Barbecue Wings at Sharks in Chicago.

Favorite Drink: Kool-Aid, Any Flavor.

Favorite TV Show: Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, And ESPN.

Closest Thing To Jordan In The NBA: Lebron James.

Best Friend On The Team: Everybody.

Who Would Win On Jeopardy Out of Damian Eargle, Coach Slocum, and Ron Strollo? Probably Damian Eargle because he is very smart.

How Far Can This Team Go? As far as we want to.

One Word Describing Coach Slocum: Tough.

Worst Class You Have Taken At YSU: Child Development.

Best Class Taken At YSU: Deviant Behavior.

Stores You Have To Go To: Foot Locker and Macy’s.

Breakfast Food: I love to cook.  Probably Bacon, Sausage, and Eggs.

YSU Athletic Director Ron Strollo On The State of YSU’s Facilities


At halftime of last week’s Youngstown State football game, the 1991 Penguins National Championship team was honored.  It was nice to see about 25 members of the team on-hand to be introduced to the crowd.  One of the 25 members in attendance was current YSU Athletic Director, Ron Strollo.  Anyone who has been around YSU’s campus in the last few years will notice dramatic changes for the better.

Before every home football game,there are a million calories sitting on three long tables. It is fun to hear the visiting team’s media and sports department boast that YSU puts out the best spread in the conference.  Comparatively, on a recent visit to Michigan State, the only food offered to media was a boiled hot dog and a fountain soda.  Not even a bag of chips.  Big 10, shame on you.

It is also fun to hear coaches and players who travel in to face the Penguins rant about the facilities.   When Illinois State was in town, the boosters commented that they had preconceived notions of not knowing what to expect on their first trip to Youngstown State.  I ran into the same couple after the game, and even though their Redbirds came out on the short end of the stick, they went out of their way to come near me to say that they really enjoyed everything about the visit and thanked several people more important than I for the hospitality.

Back to Strollo…  People have this thing in their minds that an athletic program of a college should strictly be based on wins and losses. There is some truth in the statement, but there are other ways a university will flourish as a direct result of sports.  The WATTS is a great example of how a facility enhances an already beautiful campus, draws recruiting interest for all competitive sports, and can be utilized by more than one group or team at any given time.

“We have really made an investment over the past four or five years in our facilities and the community has really jumped on board”, said Strollo.  “Construction companies, plumbers, and electricians have donated to the improvements that will ensure our facilities continue to stay at the top of the line”.


Surrounded by a great staff, Strollo is always accessible and genuine with an answer to a question.  He attends many sporting events and the thing I admire the most about him is that he can talk on any level with anyone.

“We try to compare what we have here to major Division-I schools”, commented Strollo.  “My role is to keep things running as smoothly as possible.  I can’t go recruit and I can’t coach, so I manage what my role is.  Everything we do is to the best of our ability.  Our goal is to make sure that these coaches and student athletes have everything at their disposal they need to be successful.”

If you havent been on campus for the last three years, go check things out.  Start with the new turf on the football field and walk toward the WATTS.  If you can get access, check out the updated training facilities inside Stambaugh Stadium.  Make your way to Beeghly Center and look at the weight room additions, coaches corner, and upgraded locker rooms.  Visits to the campus, especially by recruits, will reveal a very favorable environment to continue excelling in athletics, but also getting a quality college education.

We have a gift in this valley people.  Rather than focus on the negatives of the “tired steel town” or “mafia ties everywhere” versions, go intake the beauty that lies within.  Keep up the good work, Mr. Strollo!

Youngstown State Getting New Turf!


Crews from the Sports Construction Group L.L.C. of Brecksville, Ohio, began synthetic turf replacement at Youngstown State’s Beede Field/Stambaugh Stadium on Monday. The project will move quickly and is expected to be completed in early June.

SCG will install a Shaw Sportexe PowerBlade HP+ synthetic turf system, which combines the appearance of natural grass with the engineered performance of modern synthetic turf. It is specially designed to enhance player speed and performance while providing for maximum player safety.

In addition, SCG recently installed Shaw Sportexe PowerBlade HP+ synthetic turf in YSU’s Watson and Tressel Training Site, an indoor practice facility for several YSU athletics teams.

The Penguins will be one of four Division I football programs to play on the surface. Arkansas’s Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Middle Tennessee State’s Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium and UC Davis’ Aggie Stadium are the only other PowerBlade HP+ Division I fields.

Youngstown State Athletic Director Ron Strollo said he is impressed by the Candy and Eddie DeBartolo and Family Field in the WATTS, and the surface in Stambaugh Stadium will be just as immaculate.

“Nobody builds quality athletic fields like Sports Construction Group. Their experience at the pro, collegiate and high school levels is unparalleled,” Strollo said. “We saw this first hand with their work on our new Watson and Tressel Training Site. It made SCG the obvious choice for the field construction at Stambaugh Stadium.”

Stambaugh Stadium is home to the YSU football and soccer programs and plays host to high school footballgames, numerous intramural events and Health and Physical Education classes.

Through careful planning, the funding for the project comes from a reserve plant fund dedicated solely for the replacement of the stadium’s turf.