Friday, April 29, 2005

Interesting stories

In the news:

A player's battles to get to The Show
  • Washington Post

  • King Schill's views
  • ESPN

  • Grandpa Joe Table
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • A look to the past
  • Bill Plaschke - L.A. Times

  • The Cookie Monster lives!
    Boston Globe

    Wednesday, April 27, 2005

    Curbstone Coaches - 2005 Inductees

    Considered one of the greatest all-around backs to ever come out of the City, Gus Hlebovy was also one of a bevy of football players who upon graduation from Woodrow Wilson H.S. brought national recognition to the area with his exploits on the collegiate field of play.

    Born on October 28, 1928, Hlebovy this year joins Chaney H.S. stars Jim Calcagni and Matt Cavanaugh from a more recent grid era as one of three City Series stars to be so honored with enshrinement into the Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame.

    A 1947 graduate of W.W.H.S., he was a three-year letterwinner and an integral part of their undefeated 1946 squad, a team that many arguably still call one of the best high school teams from the area ever to lace up their spikes.

    He was an excellent underclassman, but his star never shone so brightly than during his senior season when he was named the “Outstanding Halfback” on the league’s First-Team, then topped off his accolades that year when he was named to both the All-County and All-State squads as well.

    Upon graduation he earned a scholarship to the University of Georgia where he played for famed head coach Wally Butts, a familiar face who heavily recruited players from the Mahoning Valley area.

    Butts compiled a 140-86-9 overall mark as the head coach of the Bulldogs from 1939-60, and during Hlebovy’s collegiate career (from 1947-50) the Bulldogs contributed a 26-15-5 ledger in 46 contests with three winning seasons, three trips to a post-season bowl game and just one losing campaign.

    As a freshman in 1947 the team posted a 7-4-1 mark with Hlebovy playing in the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Day, a 20-20 tie against the University of Maryland.

    As a sophomore the following year he helped the team to a 9-2-0 overall mark and the Southeastern Conference title. The team didn’t fare too well in the post-season, however, as they fell to the University of Texas, 41-20, in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day.

    His junior campaign was a forgettable one record-wise as the team posted a sub-average 4-6-1 mark, but in his final year of eligibility in 1950, the Bulldogs went 6-3-3 overall and earned a trip to the Presidential Cup Bowl, a 40-20 loss at the hands of Texas A&M University.

    He and his wife, the former Carolyn Premozich, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and they are the parents of a daughter, Kathy (Powell), and three sons, Terry, Gus, Jr. and James.

    His grandson, Gus, is currently a member of the Vermont Expos, a Class “A” minor league affiliate of the parent Washington Nationals (formerly the Montreal Expos) farm system. He and his wife currently reside in Coitsville.

    As one of three football inductees in this year’s Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame class, Jim Calcagni could very easily have been considered in the baseball category as well.

    Born August 2, 1952, he was a star Little Leaguer in the Uptown Kiwanis League (he was an All-Star as a 12 year-old), played for the Local 1330 entry in Pony League (he was an All-Star as a 14 year-old, leading the team in batting that post-season) where he helped the local squad to the state finals then after one year and an All-Star selection in the local Colt League, played for Curbstone Coaches Hall of Famer Al Boggia and his Falcon Foundry Class “B” entry.

    While injuries to both knees and shoulders took their toll when he played the diamond game, he was just getting tuned up as a scholastic grid star at nearby Chaney H.S., then collegiately at Adrian College.

    His grid career began when he attended St. Brendan’s Catholic School, his first year of organized competition coming as a seventh-grader for the school’s 105-lb. entry.

    He later played for the 125-lb. squad and as a running back/linebacker, helped both teams to their respective league titles.

    The following year he played for the 125-lb squad, and in the title contest helped his squad once again to the league crown as he ran for over 250 yards and four touchdowns in the championship game.

    He attended Volney Rogers Junior High School and had to settle for the hardwood game as the school fielded no football team. He served as a manager for the Cowboys’ varsity, but that would be the last time that he’d roam the sidelines as a non-participant for the next three years.

    In 1967, his sophomore season, he played on both sides of the football as he lettered for Head Coach Red Angelo by playing halfback, fullback and tight end on the offensive side of the ball, linebacker, cornerback and safety defensively while returning both punts and kick-offs as well.

    As a junior he led the team in fumble recoveries and was the second leading tackler, helping the team to the City Series title. For his efforts he was voted to the All-City Series squad.

    During his senior campaign the team won their second straight league title (they went 8-2 overall) as he played both halfback and linebacker, earning his third straight letter under Angelo’s tutelage. He led the team in tackles, was second in both rushing and scoring and was voted the first recipient of the Mike DeNiro Award, emblematic of the team’s top defensive player for the season.

    An All-City Series selection for the second straight year (this time at halfback), he was also voted to both the All-State and All-Northeastern Ohio squads as a linebacker.

    His junior year (1972) was the final season with Davis and the team responded by winning their third straight conference title. He was voted team “Most Valuable Player” as he led the squad in tackles for the third straight season, earning runner-up conference MVP plaudits as well. This time he was named to the All-M.I.A.A. First-Team defensive unit.
    As a senior he earned his fourth letter, playing for another local product, Tom Heckert who succeeded Davis as the head coach. In all, he played on nine football teams and seven won their respective league titles.

    Along with brothers Ron and Mark, the Calcagni name on the West Side is as recognizable as any sports’ family name in the entire Mahoning Valley.

    For the past 30 years he has been employed by Delphi Packard Electric Systems where he presently works as a manufacturing general supervisor. He also is the co-inventor and holder of a U.S. patent for a cable returnable container.

    He is married to the former Debbie Naples and they are the proud parents of a son, Chris, and daughter, Angie. They reside in Canfield.

    JOE FALGIANI - POSTHUMOUS AWARD - (Contribution to Sports)
    The Curbstone Coaches organization is currently in its sixth decade of existence, and between its weekly gatherings and hall of fame selection committee meetings that are held, many dedicated individuals have helped to make it one of the most formidable groups in the Mahoning Valley.

    During the 1980’s and well into the new millennium, a three-decade span, arguably no individual took to heart his assignment with both the weekly meetings and its glorious hall of fame banquet than Joe Falgiani.

    Born on October 12, 1937, Falgiani enters this year’s hall of fame as a posthumous selection in its contribution to sports category.

    A product of the Youngstown School System and a native of the city’s Brier Hill section, he graduated from The Rayen School in 1955. Although not an active sports participant, his enthusiasm for sports was second to none and he made sure that he helped to develop both young men and women academically and athletically.

    Upon graduation he was hired by the Youngstown School System to teach English and Latin at Hillman Jr. High School. He eventually moved to Volney Rogers in 1966 where he continued to teach his favorite subjects, leaving in 1982 when he was named Director of the Skills Training Center for the Youngstown Public Schools.

    He remained at that post until 1989 when health problems forced him into premature retirement, but during his time with the Skills Center he met then President of the Curbstone Coaches organization, Val Carano, and it was Val who he credited with bringing him into the organization, circa 1980.

    Falgiani held numerous positions within the organization and during his tenure was a longtime trustee who served as a chairperson for it numerous committees.

    A moving force behind membership drives, the Hall of Fame banquet and a number of other activities, there was no one more important or contributed more to the success of the high school football and basketball recognition banquets than Falgiani.

    During his tenure as the chairperson of the aforementioned events, most notably the hall of fame banquets, all achieved unparalleled success. His organizational skills, his unselfish dedication and devotion to today’s student-athletes and his contributions to the Curbstone Coaches organization as a whole will never be forgotten.

    On May 22nd, the day will mark two years since his passing.

    His contributions, most especially his affectionate smile and valuable input on key decisions that had to be made, are sadly missed to this day by the organization.

    King Schill needs to get crowned

    Curt Schilling needs to get taken down a few pegs . . . let’s face facts, the reason most sports fans deal with him and his inflated ego is because he has been a thorn in the side of the hated New York Yankees . . .

    Since winning the world over after his "tear jerking" performance in the ALCS and World Series last year, Schill has been running from the mouth as if God, or at least the ghost of Happy Chandler, made him "premier of baseball" . . .

    After a series of beanballs on Sunday between the Red Sox and Devil Rays, which have been on going for the last few years, his "royal highness" spoke about the atrocities committed by Tampa manager Lou Piniella . . . King Schill proclaimed,

    "The problem is when you're playing a team with a manager who somehow forgot how the game is played, there's problems. This should have been over a little bit ago. Lou's trying to make his team be a bunch of tough guys, and the telling sign is when the players on that team are saying, 'This is why we lose 100 games a year, because this idiot makes us do stuff like this.' They [Rays players] said that on the field."

    It’s funny how Schilling is all high and mighty and "knows how the game should be played" . . . it took him a while because for the early part of his career, Schilling was a screw up who never lived up to his potential . . . but I guess after beating the Yankees, King Schill feels he is the authority of the league . . .

    Sex habits of highly sexual women

    Below are the "supposed" six habits of highly sexual women . . . the article was written by Laura Snyder . . . she wrote, "Bedroom bliss can be yours - every time! - with this advice from women who regularly scale sexual peaks. Here, their mantras for a moan-worthy sex life:

    #1 - Know Your Rights
    Lusty ladies don't take a cross-your-fingers approach to climaxing. Men assume they'll reach their pleasure peak, so why shouldn't you? Call it self-fulfilling prophecy, but if you get under the covers believing sexual nirvana is inevitable, that faith - along with you actively doing what you need to do to make it happen - will get you there

    #2: Let Loose
    Relaaaaax. Sex is not rocket science. It won't cure cancer, or promote world peace, or change lives. So getting all worked up and stressed out about it makes about as much sense as worrying you're not eating your chocolate cake right. Just have fun!

    #3: Sharpen Your Mental Focus
    Have you ever caught yourself composing your grocery list or thinking back over your workday while you're in the act? That's a big no-no for highly sexual women. They've learned that to really achieve bedroom bliss, they must harness their biggest sexual organs: their minds. Clear your mind of nagging worries and distractions and you'll clear the way for mind-blowing sex.

    #4: Don't Wait for Lust to Strike
    Highly sexy people don't save their lascivious thoughts for the half-hour they're actually making love. Au contraire! Their sexiness rests on a foundation that encourages erotic thoughts, antasies and plans, all day long. It sure breaks a tedious board meeting, that's for sure.

    #5: Know Thyself
    She knows exactly what spot on her inner thigh makes her shudder with pleasure or what kind of kiss makes her swoon with delight. Just as important, she'll be happy to give polite directions to all bedroom visitors and can read her partner's own road signs to the promised land.

    #6: Don't Discriminate
    Highly sexual women are equal-opportunists; they don't discriminate against climaxes. Hey, a million bucks is a million bucks -- would you complain if it came in gold bars instead of bills? So don't worry if you can only achieve your peak one particular way... just keep on getting there.

    Tuesday, April 26, 2005

    Most depressed cities

    Men's Health compiled this list based on antidepressant sales, courtesy of NDC Health; suicide rates, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and the number of days inhabitants reported being depressed, based on the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, accessed through

    The 20 Most Depressed Cities
    1. Philadelphia, PA: F
    2. Detroit, MI: F
    3. St. Petersburg, FL: F
    4. St. Louis, MO: F
    5. Tampa, FL: F
    6. Indianapolis, IN: F
    7. (3-way tie) Mesa, AZ: F, Phoenix, AZ: F, and Scottsdale, AZ: F
    10. Cleveland, OH: F
    11. New York, NY: D-
    12. Salt Lake City, UT: D-
    13. Atlanta, GA: D
    14. (3-way tie) Yonkers, NY: D, Pittsburgh, PA: D, and Kansas City, MO: D
    17. (3-way tie) Long Beach, CA: D, Los Angeles, CA: D, Nashville, TN" D
    20. Portland, OR: D

    Monday, April 25, 2005

    Rundown on Browns draft picks

    Here are some snippets of what Mel Kiper wrote about the 8 players the Browns selected:

    Braylon Edwards, Michigan, wr - I compare his game to a big time homerun hitter in baseball; while you get the long ball, there are also a few strikeouts that come with them . . . in Edwards case you sacrifice a drop every now and then for his overall talent and tremendouse big play. game-changing ability

    Brodney Pool, Oklahoma, s - Pool has the overall package of skills you look for in a free safety . . . last year Pool wasn't able to deliver the big play type of performances . . . qualifies as a good, not a great pro prospect

    Charlie Frye, Akron, qb - Frye has a knack for making the best of whatever situation he's thrust in to . . . while he won't necessarily turn heads in practice, when you combine his skill level with his tremendous desire and competitive spirit, it's easy to see why he almost singlehandedly elevated the Zips to a bowl game . . .

    Antonio Perkins, Oklahoma, cb - Perkins has ability in the secondary, but it's on special teams where he presents outstanding value with his superior punt return ability

    David McMillan, Kansas, de - If he can align his football skills with his athletic ability, McMillan has a chance to be a nice prospect at the next level

    Nick Speegle, New Mexico, olb - no data written about him - was ranked 34th best at his position

    Andrew Hoffman, Virginia, dt - no data written about him - was ranked 20th best at his position

    Jon Dunn, Virginia Tech, ot - no data written about him - was ranked 24th best at his position

    Sunday, April 24, 2005

    Curbstone Coaches - Class of 2005

    Sunday, May 1st at 6:00 p.m. is the annual Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame Induction ceremony at Mr. Anthony's Banquet Center . . . throughout the week I will be posting profiles of this year's inductees:

    For 38 years, Dom Rosselli roamed the sidelines as the most successful coach in YSU basketball (and baseball) history.
    He posted 589 wins in the cage sport and another 418 on the diamond, coaching All-Americans and All-League performers in each sport along the way.
    He refuses to pick an all-time team in either sport for fear that he might overlook someone or not afford them the due of which they have coming.
    Deep down though, if he were pressed hard enough, one can almost be assured that he would tell you that former guard Billy Johnson, of all the former players he had the good fortune to coach, has held to this day a very special place in both his and his family’s hearts.
    Born on August 27, 1949, this Canton, OH native is a 1967 graduate of Canton Lincoln H.S. where he earned All-City Second-Team laurels, led the team in assists and free throw shooting his final two seasons while helping them to a state semi-final appearance his senior campaign.
    He earned a scholarship to Youngstown State University and from the moment he stepped foot on the YSU campus, the Rosselli-Johnson combination seemed to click.
    That combination produced an 82-25 overall mark resulting in two NCAA/Division II post-season appearances in the Mideast Regional, those coming during his sophomore and senior seasons.
    He scored just 148 points his freshman year as the Penguins posted a 19-7 overall mark. His acclimation to the college game, however, was now complete and opponents the next three seasons would pay when they faced the Johnson-led Penguins.
    As a sophomore during the 1969-70 season, his 582 total points (23.3. ppg) set the all-time sophomore scoring standard as the team posted a 22-5 overall mark en-route to post-season play at the Mideast Regional in Reading, PA. He led the team in assists, was named to the NCAA Tournament First-Team, earned The Pittsburgh Press’ First-Team All-District “Player of the Year” honors while their 18 consecutive wins that season is still the most ever recorded by any Penguin cage team.
    He earned Associated Press Little All-America honors his junior season, led the team in scoring with 474 total points (an average of 19.8 per game), was tops in assists (7.1 per outing), once again earned First-Team All-District honors from The Pittsburgh Press while his 20 consecutive free throws set the standard in that category.
    As a senior in 1971-72 he led the team with 522 (18.0 ppg) points while his nine assists per outing was tops on the squad for the third consecutive season. His 239 assists that year set the all-time mark (the record still stands today) while the Penguins returned to tournament action, this time competing in the Mideast Regional which was held on the campus of the University of Akron.
    For his efforts he was once again named by The Pittsburgh Press’ as its “Player of the Year” (the only player to win the award twice), earning First-Team All-District honors and United Press International All-America honors as well.
    He scored 1,726 career points (still seventh all-time) and was selected to play in both the North-South Basketball Classic in Erie, PA, and the first-ever NCAA-NAIA All-Star Game.
    His 20 consecutive free throws is still fifth on the all-time YSU legend while his 706 career field goals and 314 career free throws made are sixth all-time in those respective categories. His 408 free throws attempted are seventh most all-time while his 392 assists is fourth overall in that category.
    Upon his graduation from YSU (he earned his BS in Elementary Education in 1972) he underwent a serious lung operation as many YSU fans and family members donated monies necessary to help defray the cost of the operation, a gesture to this day that still brings tears to his eyes when he thinks about their love, prayers and generous, giving ways.
    Retired after 30 years of service as the Canton Recreation Director, his versatility extended way beyond the boundaries of the basketball court since his graduation.
    In 1979, he won an Emmy for comedy material that he had written for a Cleveland television show while from 1978-81, he wrote and produced a comedy service for radio disc jockeys throughout America and in several foreign countries.
    He teamed with legendary Cleveland radio personality John Lanigan from 1980-84 to produce a radio show called “Sports Shorts” and in 1992 he began writing and drawing cartoons that were published in many national magazines.
    Always the entrepreneur, he invented a product called “Wheel Easy” in 1998, a cleaning stand for motorcycles that was picked up by Harley-Davidson and is sold worldwide.
    In 2000, the tennis complex in his hometown of Canton was named after him (he teamed with wife Karen to win the national mixed doubles tennis tournament, played at Flushing Meadows, NY during the U.S. Open) while in 2004 he won the Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, Lincoln, H.S.
    He and his wife of 35 years, Karen, are the parents of a daughter, Tiffany (Justin) Atkinson. They have one grandson, Troy, and they reside in Canton.

    When you look at the list of area golf notables over the years, one name surely to come up is that of Dave Coller.
    A native of Hubbard and a 1965 graduate of Hubbard High School, Coller has been a golf professional for the past 35 years, winning numerous sanctioned professional tournaments in both California and Ohio during that span.
    Born on September 7, 1947, he was a four-year letterwinner for the Eagles from 1961-65, playing his first varsity match as a ninth-grader during the 1962 season.
    He helped the Eagles to a third-place finish in the state of Ohio during his sophomore campaign in 1963 and was District medallist his senior year in 1965, shooting a District record 67 to claim top honors.
    He was an integral part of Ohio State University’s links team from 1965-69, majoring in Turf Management during his four-year stay on the Columbus, OH campus.
    He later coached the golf team at his high school alma mater from 1969-71, leading the Eagles to the 1971 O.H.S.A.A. (Ohio State High School Athletic Association) golf title.
    From 1973-74 he served as the head golf professional at the Escondido Country Club in Escondido, CA, returning to the area as the head golf professional at the Henry Stambaugh Golf Course in 1974, a post that he held until 1978.
    In 1978 he became the head golf professional at the Hubbard Golf Course, remaining in that capacity until 1995 when he accepted the head golf professional post at Oak Tree Country Club in West Middlesex, PA.
    Since 2000, he has served as the Director of Golf at the Pine Lakes Golf Club in Hubbard.
    He was named the 1971 Ohio “Coach of the Year” when the Eagles won the state title and in 1985, was recognized by the Northern Ohio PGA for his contributions to Junior Golf.
    He and his wife, Beverly, reside in Hubbard and they are the parents of two daughters; Christine (Windt) and Lori. They have two grandchildren.

    As one of two posthumous selections in this year’s Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame class, Donald F. Leonhart had the unique distinction of being an excellent bowler and masterful linksman.
    A Youngstown native, he was born on February 7, 1919 and passed away on October 5, 1999. During his athletic heyday, however, he commanded the respect of his peers at both the alley’s and on the golf course, a claim that not many from the two sports can make.
    He attended Chaney and graduated from Austintown Fitch H.S. in 1937. It was upon his graduation from Fitch that he had posted the highest grade point average in the school system up to that time.
    He entered The Ohio State University School of Engineering and later attended the Alexander Hamilton Business School in Philadelphia, PA.
    A Navy veteran who was stationed in Guam during World War II, he worked for 33 years at the Youngstown Steel Door Co., retiring as the vice-president of manufacturing in 1972.
    He also served as office manager for Powell Systems for 20 years upon his retirement.
    A charter member of the Church League, he bowled in that league for over 60 years and was the last remaining member of that famed local aggregation. Over the years he bowled in many leagues, was a part of 32 City Tournaments, 14 ABC Tournaments and 10 Ohio State Tourneys.
    He maintained a 180+ average for most of his 60 participatory years, including a personal high 206 mark in the mid-1950’s.
    In 1965 he won the Youngstown City Tournament Singles crown and on April 1, 1969, his 786 set at Gran Lanes in the Suburban Scratch League set the standard at the time for highest set at that particular alley.
    On April 5, 1975, he was enshrined in the Y.M.B.A. (Youngstown Men’s Bowling Association) Hall of Fame then on September 9, 1979, recorded the first of his two holes-in-one, that coming on the #18 hole at the Tippecanoe Country Club.
    He recorded his second “ace” on October 9, 1988, also at the Tippecanoe Country Club only this time on the #3 hole.
    He both bowled and golfed in many charity events over the years and in 1994, captured the Senior Golf Championship (for 70 and over entries), again at the Tippecanoe C.C.
    He won many medals for bowling while competing in the local Senior Olympics, continuing to bowl and golf up until the last three months of his life despite losing his sight in his right eye some six years prior to his death.
    He and his wife Lucille were the proud parents of two sons, Al and Dale, and daughter Donna.

    Albom disciplined

    Mitch Albom, 3 others disciplined
  • Albom Article
  • Talk on Clarett

    Here is what the Denver media is saying about the Broncos selecting Maurice Clarett:
  • Denver Post
  • Jim Armstrong - Denver Post