Youngstown, OH (WYTV) – Youngstown had plenty to talk about right here at home in 2014. The Penguins won 7 games, but faltered once again in the month of November, leading to Eric Wolford’s firing after 5 seasons.
But with the overthrow, came a big catch…after much anticipation, Bo Pelini decided to come home to lead the Penguins.
“I don’t make bold predictions and say, we’re gonna win this, we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do that,” said Pelini. “But I can tell you this, the people here are gonna, when they walk into the stadium and sit their butts in the seats, they’re gonna like the type of football that our kids play.”
Speaking of coming home…Lebron James shocked the sports world by doing just that…trading South Beach for Cleveland….so why did he do it?
“I’mma do what makes my city and my state happy, and that’s why I came back,” said James. “I love you, I’m back.”
Of course, the Cavs added Kevin Love to make a new Big 3 with Kyrie Irving…but a slow start has already sparked its critics.
Oh ya, and how about the buzz of the NFL draft….Johnny Manziel taken in the first round by Browns, to hopefully be the answer. Well he was benched, then started, then injured…all while the Browns limped to a 7-9 season.
It was another big year of High School football…a total of 22 local teams punched their tickets to the postseason. Individually…Hubbard’s L.J. Scott and West Middlesex’s Eric Lucich stood out above the rest, and earned our Big 22 Players of the Year.
When it came high school hoops…Labrae’s Peyton Aldridge was king…earning 1st Team All State honors, along with our Starting 5 Player of the Year, and our Male Student Athlete of the Year.
Mathews’ Madeline Grimes took top honors on the girls side.
The New Castle boys proved that dreams really do come true…the Red Hurricanes capped off a perfect 31-0 season by defeating La Salle College for the Quad A State Title.
“I got to see my guys celebrating out there after years and years of hard work,” said head coach Ralph Blundo.
Speaking of State Titles, the McDonald girls brought home their first ever state title. Chad Zallow, Morgan Rice, and Bobby Johnson also topped the podium in Columbus.
The Valley saw plenty of champions, while others came painstakingly close…the Western Reserve baseball team won the school’s first ever Regional Title before falling in the State Semifinals.
The South Range boys soccer team also turned in an historic season, winning 17 games and advancing to the Final Four for the first time.
The Lakeview girls golf team finished second as a team in Division 2.
While the Canfield boys displayed their swimming prowess once again…finishing 7th as a team in Canton.
West Branch’s Logan Sharp also took State runner-up honors in his weight class at the State Wrestling tournament.
But the surprise of the year might have been the YSU baseball team…who captured an Horizon League championship, and won their first ever NCAA tournament game…after winning just 12 games in the regular season.
History was made when the great Ray Boom Boom Mancini was inducted to the Boxing Hall of Fame…
“The people of Youngstown have had a large part of my success, I know that,” said Mancini. “They’ve supported me, they followed me wherever I went. And they were wonderful man, and I just hope I was good representative for them.”
And some of the bright young faces of their sport emerged from here in the Valley…Bradley Zimmer joined the Scrappers as the Indians top pick, while Phantoms forward Maxim Letunov was drafted in the second round by the St. Louis Blues.
Oh, and that thing called Lord’s Stanley Cup also made a stop in Youngstown.
And we end with a team that’s shocked the college football world…Ohio State…down to its third quarterback, and still playing some of the best football in the country. Good enough for the 4th spot in the first ever playoff…against Alabama.