Every team needs “That Guy.”

That guy who can make any practice a party. That guy who can pick up a teammate when they’re down. That guy who can put a team on his back and take over a game. That guy who is quick to give the credit to his teammates and coaches.

In South Range: Hall of Famer, Luke Schuster is “That Guy.” Never at a loss for words or jokes, Schuster stopped by with YSN to discuss his roots, and where his sports background has led him.


By Scott Mincher’


If you currently attend, previously attended and played for Poland Seminary high school, Or you’re just a fan of the football program excitement is palpable throughout the village of Poland Ohio in 2019. That’s because of the great stretch of football the Bulldogs are currently in the middle of, Most recently the 35-0 shellacking of Indian Creek as they continue their march toward what players, coaches, and fans hope ends with a state championship celebration. Speaking of Poland Seminary and state championship celebrations, It only seems to fit that if we’re talking about Poland bringing home another title to the area, We remember the scary good 1999 Bulldogs during the twentieth anniversary of that dominant title team. On December 3rd, 1999 Poland Seminary beat Bishop Watterson 20-13 for the state championship finishing the season at 15-0. Not only did they go undefeated, but they did so in style. That season if you include the playoffs, Poland outscored their opponents 350-102 starting with a 42-0 week 1 smashing of Springfield. The closest game they played that season was to the tune of a 23-21 victory over Steubenville in the playoffs. You can view the full 1999 schedule and game results via joeeitel.com As far as records and achievements go in connection with 1999 Bulldogs football, halfback Peter Perry As a senior caption of the football team was named the team’s offensive player of the year and was chosen first-team All-MAC and All Quad County. As a junior, Pete had 2,500 total yards on offense and was the team’s offensive player of the year. The 1999 football team finished the season with the state of Ohio’s first 15-0 record and the school’s first and only state championship. Peter was the MVP of the state title game. He was also picked First Team All Ohio and All-Northeast Ohio. He played his final high school game representing Poland at the Penn-Ohio All-Star game.

Pete was also a four-year letterman in track and field and was a member of the 199 track and field state championship team.  Additionally, Pete played on the Poland High School club hockey team for three years.

In August 2005, Pete graduated from Youngstown State University with a BSBA in international marketing. He worked for Ball Corporation as a sales representative while earning his MBA in international business from Keller Graduate School of Business. he also worked for Ardagh Group, an international packaging company, as a technical sales manager. Peter played running back for the Bulldogs from 1998-2001. He also holds individual records for All-Purpose Yards 5067 (1998/1999/2000 rushing attempts with 326 (1999) total points 144 (1999) 228 from (1998/1999/2000) Touchdowns scored with 24 in 1999 and 38 for his career during the (1998/1999/2000) seasons, and yards rushing with 2449 during the championship season and 4004 yards rushing for his career during the (1998/1999/2000) seasons.

The second and last character we at YSN thought would make for a vital and important piece to the story is the quarterback of the 1999 champion Bulldogs, Ben Bair. Ben achieved First Team All Ohio honors while throwing his way into the Poland high school football record books with 2,345 passing yards and 22 touchdown passes. In the years after Bair and Perry’s playing days, it’s been debated by writers covering that time of the glory days of Poland football as to which player was more of a key piece to that team’s championship puzzle. For more on this, read the Letter To The Editor posted on July 15th, 2010 on towncrieronline.com.

It’s always fun to play the hypothetical game and in this case, it does make me wonder if Poland’s 2019 head coach Ryan Williams sees any similarities to Peter Perry in current running back Josh Alessi who finished with 143 yards and three scores on 25 carries in the victory over Indian Creek. Or if it feels at all like 1999 with current quarterback Jack Fulton and his knack for big playmaking that Ben Bair made a common theme in 99?

This current collection of dogs still have a lot of work to do. But they seem very confident that the big bite in these dogs is back as they look to party like it’s 1999!


Video Copyright: YouTube


By Scott Mincher


The high school playoffs are in full swing, The college season’s getting interesting and the playoff picture is taking shape in the pros. Depending on how you view life, It’s either fun or agonizing to be a football fan during November. It can be less gut-wrenching through, for a person or people to still be a fan of the game while rooting exclusively for players. This brings us to our first 2019 player profile. It brings me great delight to write about a guy that’s a legend with Boardman high school and with the Cleveland Browns, You probably guessed it, That man is Bernie Kosar. Depending on who you ask. He’ll go down as a local football favorite as well as a great pro quarterback who is the definition of veneration in Youngstown and Cleveland. Or one of the many really good quarterbacks who weren’t great or elite because he lost three AFC championship games to Hall Of Famer John Elway. Because of my age what I respect Bernie most for is his football mind and his ability to see a play and know what’s gonna happen before the play unfolds, So from my perspective, it’s all relative. One thing I think all fans that know anything about Bernie’s playing days agree he was a very smart and accurate quarterback. As a senior at Boardman high school, he earned Parade magazine All-American honors for the 1981 season. During his career at Boardman, his teams were 6-0 (during a strike-shortened season) and 8-2 his senior year, when he threw for 2,022 yards and 19 touchdowns and was named Ohio Player of the Year. In his junior year, the fall of 1980, Kosar claimed the starting quarterback job, despite the coaching staff’s trepidation about his throwing motion — a critique that would stay with him for years. “He doesn’t throw the ball, he lets go of it like a guy losing a bar of soap in the shower,” legendary sports columnist Jim Murray once wrote. “The first look you get at Kosar’s delivery you think it’s a gag. “I’ve seen bridal bouquets thrown with more velocity.” His mobility was another issue or lack thereof. Kosar’s cumbersome gait, his sidesaddle way of standing at the line to get his feet out of the way of his center at the snap, his arm slot, throwing motion, release point — it was all a hot mess. But inside that package was some special stuff, too — something virtually every coach at every level had to learn for himself Kosar had an elite football IQ and was frequently able to decipher a defense quicker than his coaches. He was also a pinpoint passer and had the toughness and moxie to move an offense against a superior foe. His penchant for delivering in the clutch would become another key trait, to the point he was described as a pressure junkie. “The ultimate way of how a quarterback is judged is on the end results. How I look is of no consequence to me,” Kosar said. “Sometimes I throw underhanded, side-armed, off the wrong foot, all the good stuff. But I’ve been doing that my whole life.”

The Boardman staff learned not to tamper with success and watched Bernie guide their squad to a 6-0 record. The season was sidetracked only by a teacher’s strike in the district that cost the Spartans a conference title and a playoff spot. But Bernie showed enough that coach Gene Pushic scrapped the program’s power-oriented attack to take advantage of their budding star’s arm talent. In 1981, Boardman finished 8-2 and just missed the playoffs. Kosar earned first-team All-Ohio recognition and was the state’s Division I offensive player of the year. He longed to attend Ohio State, but Earle Bruce couldn’t get past those mechanical flaws. Instead, Howard Schnellenberger was convinced of Kosar’s talent and wooed him to Miami, Fla. But before that, while he was still at Boardman, He was a basketball starter as a sophomore and eventually became Boardman’s leading scorer and rebounder. An excellent third baseman and pitcher in baseball, his father and one of his coaches figured that was his best sport. But Bernie’s passion was football. And, despite his unorthodox style, it was his future, too. You can find this and more on Bernie’s high school career as well as other stories about him on richlandsource.com As far as his college career goes, Bernie had a magical clutch performance against the Nebraska CornHuskers. He passed for 300 yards and two touchdowns, all while ending Nebraska’s 22 game winning streak and leading Miami to their first National Championship and winning 1983 Orange Bowl MVP honors, Arguably his greatest accomplishment at Miami. In 1984, he set Hurricane season records with 3,642 yards and 25 touchdowns, was a second-team All-American and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting. Kosar’s career completion percentage of 62.3 percent is still a Hurricanes record. In 1985 underclassmen had until April 15 to notify the league about their eligibility for the April 30 regular draft. In January 1985, a Florida television report stated that Kosar had decided to forgo his two years of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft. Kosar denied the report at the time but added that he would keep his options open. At a March 15 news conference, Kosar announced that he would make himself available for the 1985 NFL Draft and that he would like to play for the Cleveland Browns in his native Ohio. After the announcement, both NFL and United States Football League teams were interested and Kosar’s agent, John Geletka, even met with the USFL’s commissioner, Harry Usher to confirm the USFL’s interest level.

After a prolonged NFL draft controversy. On June 25, 1985, Kosar became officially eligible for the supplemental draft when he took his exam finals and the university notified the NFL front office that he had graduated. On July 3, 1985, the Browns selected Kosar and signed him to a five-year contract.

Some of his biggest career highlights with the Browns are when he had his most productive year statistically in 1987. During that strike-shortened season, he completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,033 yards and 22 touchdowns and led the AFC in quarterback rating. He’d also go on to set a record for consecutive playoff games with at least three touchdown passes (3 games) having thrown three scores against both Indianapolis and Denver in 1987, and three against Buffalo in 1989. Some other career accolades include setting an NFL record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception with 286. In 1990 and 1991, Kosar set a league record by throwing 308 consecutive passes without an interception, which stood for almost two decades. Being a two time Pro Bowler in 1987 and 1989, and helping the Cowboys get to Super Bowl XXVIII by filling in for Troy Aikman and passing for a touchdown in a victory. He would end up taking the last snap in Super Bowl XXVIII getting a ring as the Cowboys backup quarterback. For as many great accomplishments that Kosar achieved in his career, Our team at YSN was able to find a quote from Bernie stating that he had only one regret. “My goal was to win a Super Bowl for Cleveland,” Kosar said. “It’s why I wanted to play here in the first place. It’s home.” (Quote via richlandsource.com)

It’s quotes like that that make Bernie Kosar an idol in Youngstown and Cleveland even to this day. and even more, the reason why I like to think of him as Bernie The Wonderful Brown from Youngstown!!