Tag Archive for: Sports


AUSTINTOWN, OH-  In this latest episode, hosts DJ Yokley and Sam Torres sit down with Tom Brode, the man behind Five Star Sports and Collectibles. As a central figure in the fast-paced world of sports memorabilia, Brode shares intriguing insights about his journey, unique experiences, and the intricacies of his business.

Tom Brode is no stranger to the challenges and excitement of bringing athletes into the spotlight. From organizing autograph signings to managing unexpected hiccups, Brode has seen it all. “Well, it’s a lot of years of knowledge and getting to make connections,” Brode explains when asked how he began his venture. “A lot of the players, we go right to their agents… Once you do good business with somebody, they refer you to another player, and then you do good business with them, and then the doors start opening up.”
However, dealing with star athletes is not always a smooth affair. Brode offers an anecdote about an upcoming event featuring Terrell Owens, known for his unpredictable nature. “I will tell you, I got my hands full. August 3. Okay, I’m bringing Taro Owens in, and that guy has been known to walk out of signings. No one believes he’s actually coming, but we do have a signed contract,” Brode reveals.

Despite the glamour associated with sports memorabilia, the business has its fair share of challenges. Brode recounts one of his most difficult experiences involving JR Smith from the Cleveland Cavaliers. “I had done previous signings with JR Smith… He showed up 4 hours late. The mall had already closed. Everybody’s trying to get a refund. He’s in the golf course, forgotten that he was supposed to come to a signing, and shows up with glasses on. Blaze. He had a good time, let’s put it that way,” Brode narrates with a mix of frustration and humor.

Tom Brode’s passion for sports memorabilia is evident not just in his professional life but also in his personal collection. “I collect three-foot bobbleheads. I like life-size bobbleheads. I have 150 of them in my basement,” he shares. Among his prized possessions is an original contract signed by Art Modell, Ernie Davis, and Paul Brown for “The Express,” showcasing Brode’s deep appreciation for sports history.

Interestingly, Brode’s love for sports extends to his family, specifically his son, who has made a name for himself in local sports. “My son was a pretty good athlete… He won two state titles at Archbishop as a player, and then he won three state titles as a coach… My son’s only 24. He’s a stud,” Brode proudly states.

As Five Star Sports and Collectibles continues to grow, Brode is eager to expand further into the community. “We’re custom frame shop. So we can do all your custom framing needs,” he mentions, extending an invitation to high schools and colleges to get their jerseys and plays framed professionally.
For those looking to explore or purchase sports memorabilia, Brode’s website, primetime12.com, serves as a portal to a treasure trove of sports history. “If you go to our website, you can purchase memorabilia. You get our contact and any. In a little secret, every flyer you see for any of my signings, there’s a foot. There’s a phone number in the bottom corner. It’s my personal cell phone number,” Brode adds.

Through sheer dedication and an unwavering passion for sports, Tom Brode has carved out a significant niche in the world of sports memorabilia. Whether you’re a collector, a fan, or just someone intrigued by the behind-the-scenes of athlete signings, Brode’s experiences offer a fascinating glimpse into this unique industry.


MINERAL RIDGE, OH- At YSN, we shine the spotlight on young athletes who redefine commitment and passion. Today, we delve into the remarkable world of Kylee Molnar, a Mineral Ridge rising star whose dedication to sports is as inspiring as it is intense. DJ Yokley, host of YSN, sat down with Kylee to discuss her love for athletics, her punishing schedule, and the drive that catapults her towards success.

Since her early feature on YSN, Kylee has become a familiar name, not just for her prowess in multiple sports but for her genuine outlook towards her future. When asked about her motivation, Kylee shared, “I want to go to college for playing sports. Of course, I have a scholarship so my parents don’t have to pay for it.” Displaying maturity beyond her years, Kylee’s focus on securing a sports scholarship reflects her considerate nature and long-term vision.

A testament to her athletic versatility and enthusiasm, Kylee doesn’t restrict herself to a single sport – or even two. She juggles an astounding array of activities, including basketball, volleyball, cross country, track, and club sports. With such a packed routine, one might wonder how she manages it all. Yes, Kylee keeps a meticulous schedule. “I used to get up at like 05:00 a.m. before school started… Then I went to volleyball practice after, for 2 hours and, and then after volleyball I went to lifting and then I had to get a jump stretch after that,” she says, outlining a day that would exhaust even seasoned athletes.

The rigors of her routine are palpable when she discusses her workouts. “It could be hills some days. Linda loops, 400 repeats, mile repeats, six-mile runs. Just crazy stuff,” Kylee explains, revealing the extent of her training. These early morning workouts set the tone for the rest of her day which includes a full slate of school, sports, and study.

Balancing a high-octane sports regimen with schoolwork and family time isn’t easy, but Kylee does it with poise and discipline. When DJ Yokley asked what she enjoys outside of sports, her response was heartwarming, “I spend time with my family, but I also volunteer. My mom’s the booster, so I have to volunteer at the concession stand and on the field.”

Despite her disciplined diet, Kylee confesses her love for ‘pop’, or as some may call it, soda. “My cross country coach, he says it’s poison for me, but I really like some pop.” She proclaims root beer as her favorite, painting a picture of a regular teenager beneath the elite athlete.

When it comes to leadership, Kylee envisions her role as one of guidance and support: “Just speaking up, like helping people who don’t know what they’re doing, like trying to get them to the best of their abilities.” Kylee’s understanding of leadership extends beyond mere performance; it’s about empowering her teammates to reach their peak potential.

Kylee’s achievements are indeed impressive. DJ Yokley pointed out her accomplishments in junior high cross country, noting she “finished third at the league meet, making first team all MVAC finished 7th at the state meet out of 132 other runners.” Not just a talented runner, Kylee simultaneously excelled as a key player on the 8th-grade volleyball team.

As the interview came to a close, it became clear that Kylee thrives under pressure. Relishing the adrenaline rush, she shared, “That’s incredible… You’re at your best when the stage is biggest.” This sentiment embodies the spirit of a true competitor, one who consistently chases excellence with boundless energy and unwavering commitment.

From YSN, we salute Kylee Molnar for her exceptional prowess as an athlete and commend her efforts both on and off the field. Keep an eye on this outstanding Mineral Ridge player as she heads into high school. There’s no telling the heights she’ll reach, and we can’t wait to chronicle her journey.



YOUNGSTOWN, OH- Local legend and former football quarterback Bernie Kosar, known for his career with the Cleveland Browns and the University of Miami, shared valuable insights and experiences during a special interview for the YSN podcast. The interview was part of the lead-up to the YSN slam dunk contest taking place at Boardman High School.

Kosar expressed gratitude for being able to contribute to the YSN event and outlined the importance of community involvement and giving back. He emphasized the challenges that young athletes face today, particularly in dealing with pressures and anxieties, and highlighted the need for holistic approaches to mental well-being.

During the interview, Kosar also touched on the lessons he learned through sports, emphasizing discipline, respect, and the value of competing on and off the field. He discussed the impact of sports on young athletes, emphasizing the importance of nurturing life skills and holistic development.
Additionally, Kosar shared his personal journey in dealing with health challenges and the importance of seeking natural and holistic approaches to well-being. He spoke openly about the adverse effects of certain medications and the responsibility he feels in sharing his experiences to support others in making informed decisions regarding their health.

Kosar’s heartfelt and candid reflections were a source of inspiration for many, and his commitment to giving back to his community and supporting the next generation of athletes was evident throughout the interview.

The YSN event, set to take place, promises to not only showcase athletic talent but also underscore the importance of community involvement and support. Kosar’s participation has added an extra layer of significance to the event, and his message of resilience, self-improvement, and community engagement is sure to resonate with attendees.

As the YSN event approaches, the community eagerly anticipates the positive impact that Kosar’s insights and the overall event will bring to local sports and the community at large.



MINERAL RIDGE, OH- Sophomore sensation Gianna Gilbert of the Mineral Ridge Lady Ram basketball team recently sat down with YSN for an exclusive interview at the Post Office Pub. The talented young athlete opened up about her proudest moments, dedication to the sport, and her pre-game routines that have contributed to her success on the court.

When asked about her proudest achievement, Gilbert emphasized the dedication and hard work that she and her teammates put into the game. Reflecting on their victories in the MVAC and the strong team connection, she acknowledged the challenges they overcame, including injuries, and the unwavering commitment from the entire team.

Gilbert also provided insight into the rigorous behind-the-scenes work required for success, emphasizing the long hours of practice, drills, film sessions, and summer leagues that lay the foundation for their on-court performances.

One surprising reveal during the interview was Gilbert’s pre-game rituals and superstitions. From selecting a specific song for each season to wearing the same spandex for different games, tying her shoes a certain way, and even holding on to specific pregame routines, Gilbert highlighted the importance of maintaining a consistent mindset and preparation for each game.

Amidst these revelations, it was evident that basketball holds a special place in Gilbert’s heart, with the sport providing her with a constant source of joy, motivation, and a means to connect with others.

As a rising star in Mineral Ridge’s basketball scene, Gianna Gilbert’s future looks bright, and her dedication to the sport is sure to inspire many aspiring athletes.

The YSN interview shed light on both the hard work and passion that drive Gianna Gilbert’s success, offering an inspiring glimpse into the life and mindset of this young basketball phenom.



YOUNGSTOWN, OH-  In a recent interview on the YSN podcast, local meteorologist Andrew DiPaolo provided a behind-the-scenes look at his career, his dedication to the local community, and his love for sports

DiPaolo, known for his work at Channel 21, and StormTracker 21, shared insights into the competitive nature of the meteorology industry. He emphasized the importance of hard work and continuous learning, stressing that people respect those who put in the effort.

The conversation delved into his journey, from participating in speech and debate at Cardinal Mooney to honing his skills in meteorology at Ohio University. DiPaolo also reflected on the influence of his role models, crediting his chief at Channel 21 and a former speech and debate coach for their impact on his career.

The discussion also highlighted DiPaolo’s commitment to the local community, including his support for small businesses and non-profit organizations. The meteorologist, known for his involvement across various community initiatives, spoke about his efforts to use his platform to assist others. Furthermore, as an Eagle Scout, he emphasized the significance of giving back to the community as a core value.

Aside from his meteorological endeavors, DiPaolo’s love for sports shone through during the interview. As a self-proclaimed “huge Browns fan,” he expressed his enthusiasm for the world of sports and his upcoming role as a slam dunk judge at the YSN All-Star Game.

The interview concluded with DiPaolo providing a glimpse into his personal life, touching on the joys and challenges of fatherhood and his wife’s unwavering support. He candidly addressed the privilege and honor he feels in sharing his life with the Mahoning Valley community.

As the conversation wrapped up, it became evident that Andrew DiPaolo’s dedication to his craft and his community has made him a cherished figure in the local spotlight, exemplifying hard work, commitment, and humility.



MINERAL RIDGE, OH- Mineral Ridge’s own rising basketball star, 8th grader Kadence Conaway, sat down with YSN’s DJ Yokley at the Post Office Pub to discuss her impressive athletic achievements and aspirations for the future.

Conaway boasts an outstanding record of 18 wins and 14 undefeated games in the league, with a back-to-back championship under her belt from 7th grade. Looking toward high school, she candidly expresses excitement and nerves about the heightened competition but is committed to working hard to elevate her game.

When asked about her strengths and areas of improvement, Conaway highlighted her proficiency in driving to the hoop and emphasized the need for more confidence and skill in ball handling. With a strong sense of teamwork and a deep understanding of her teammates’ playing styles, this young athlete prides herself on her ability to read the court and anticipate her teammates’ movements.

Expressing her love for the sport, Conaway revealed her dreams of playing college basketball, inspired by her favorite player, Caitlin Clark. Her cherished memories of celebrating victories with her team and family display her passion for the sport and the close bonds formed through their shared success.

With family at the core of her support system, Conaway acknowledges her dad’s coaching influence and her mom’s mentorship in perfecting plays. As she looks ahead to the future, this determined athlete is focused on making further strides in high school and continuing to chase her basketball dreams.

As the interview concluded, Conaway expressed her enthusiasm for the upcoming summer ball and future endeavors, leaving the Mineral Ridge community eager to witness her continued growth on the court.

Kadence Conaway’s unwavering dedication and talent undoubtedly position her as a standout prospect for future basketball success.



YOUNGSTOWN, OH-  Madison Tromler, an esteemed journalist and news anchor from Channel 21, WFMJ, is no stranger to making waves in Mahoning Valley with her exceptional reporting skills. In a candid and engaging interview with YSN’s DJ Yokley, Madison shared insights into her career, personal life, and her excitement about participating as a guest judge at the upcoming March 24 all-star game.

Since joining the news industry, Madison has continuously set the bar for journalistic excellence, bringing her extensive experience and dedicated work ethic to cover a wide range of pivotal local and national stories. Known for her compassionate and thorough approach, she has earned accolades for her extensive reporting on both tragic and triumphant events, bringing impactful stories to viewers with empathy and professionalism.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of the interview was Madison’s candid discussion about her life outside of the newsroom. Despite her high-profile role, Madison described herself as a down-to-earth individual who enjoys simple pleasures such as spending time with family, savoring delicious seafood, and incorporating wellness activities into her routine. Her commitment to maintaining a balanced life while excelling in her career is a testament to her resilience and determination.

Madison’s unique perspective as a journalist was evident as she shared anecdotes about her experiences covering major events, from interviewing iconic figures like Erin Brockovich to confronting important issues with political figures. Her dedication to keeping the public informed and holding public figures accountable underscores her deep commitment to serving the community through her work.

It is clear that Madison’s contributions to the field of journalism extend far beyond her on-screen presence. Her impressive journey in the industry is a testament to her passion for storytelling and her unwavering dedication to delivering impactful news to the Mahoning Valley. As she takes on her new role as a guest judge, it is evident that Madison Tromler’s multifaceted expertise and genuine demeanor will continue to inspire and captivate audiences for years to come.



COLUMBUS, OH- The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors and staff have been discussing expanding tournament divisions in several sports, Executive Director Doug Ute has announced. The OHSAA will hold statewide meetings in January to present data and gather feedback on the topic, which seeks to address the wide enrollment differences from the top to bottom of the current divisional structure. Changes could mirror the OHSAA’s current football model, which puts a smaller number of the state’s largest schools in Division I.

Of note, the proposal does not add any additional tournament games and would be expected to be a revenue neutral expansion. The Board of Directors could act on a proposal as soon as early 2024. The sports currently being discussed include the sports of girls volleyball, girls and boys soccer, girls and boys basketball, softball and baseball.

Currently, more than 200 schools enter the postseason tournament in some divisions to compete for a state championship.

“Almost since day one when I became executive director (in September 2020), many administrators and coaches have expressed interest in expanding tournament divisions in several of our sports,” Ute said. “As everyone knows, we have seven tournament divisions in the sport of football, so why not give student-athletes, schools and their communities the same, or at least comparable, opportunities to compete for a state championship in some of our other sports.

“The Board of Directors has been very supportive when discussing this, and I have been pleased that we seem to be on the same page and could possibly have a proposal in front of the Board in the very near future,” Ute said. He added that the OHSAA will discuss adding tournament divisions in other sports in the future.

While the OHSAA Board of Directors has not recently been asked to act on formal proposals specifically on expansion, the Board has heard proposals that addressed the enrollment disparity between the schools at the top to the bottom of Division I in both 2006 and 2019. The only modification the OHSAA currently has in place addressing that issue is in football, where Division I is comprised of the top 10 percent of schools based on enrollment and the other six divisions are divided as evenly as possible. Currently in the sports of baseball, basketball, soccer, softball and girls volleyball, the enrollment difference from the top to the bottom of schools in Division I is an average of 939 students, with highs of 955 in boys soccer (an enrollment range of 346 to 1,301); 954 in boys basketball (346 to 1,300); 944 in baseball (356 to 1,300) and 940 in girls volleyball (319 to 1,249).

The OHSAA has studied the number of tournament divisions and formats in other states and has found that several states, including many that have fewer schools, have more tournament divisions than Ohio. Other than football, the OHSAA has not expanded divisions in team sports since the 1980s. Ute also said that as many schools throughout the state have lost enrollment, the trend has been for those schools to leave their conferences or leagues and join ones that more closely resemble them from an enrollment standpoint. Placing schools into tournament divisions with those that have similar enrollments is one of the key elements that would be addressed by expansion.

“Our No. 1 goal is to do what’s best for the student-athletes,” Ute said. “We believe our member schools and their participants would support this. From a financial standpoint, we would not be playing more contests overall, we simply would be putting the same number of teams into more divisions. So, our initial thought is this would not have an impact on the OHSAA financially one way or the other.”

School administrators will be sent information on the statewide meetings in January, and the OHSAA will also continue to collect input from the various state coaches associations.

Any proposed changes in the number of tournament divisions would need to be approved by the OHSAA Board of Directors, as those guidelines are part of the OHSAA General Sports Regulations, not the OHSAA Constitution or Bylaws. Any changes to the OHSAA Constitution or Bylaws would require a vote of the membership.


CANFIELD, OH- Welcome back to another episode of South Range Player Profile, the podcast that brings you all the latest updates on South Range Raiders sports.

In this week’s episode, we have a special player profile segment featuring freshman volleyball player, Anna Toy. Get ready to hear about Anna’s journey into the sport of volleyball, her dedication to the game, and how she has become an integral part of the South Range Raider team.

Join us as we dive into Anna’s story and discover what makes her such a talented and promising athlete. Stay tuned, because this is an episode you won’t want to miss.




BOARDMAN, OH- In this episode, we have a special guest joining us – the talented Gabe Hammerton, who has been a fixture of our coverage since his early days. Gabe comes from a sports-heavy family, with his father serving as the assistant athletic director and head girls basketball coach.

While he used to play baseball, Gabe decided to focus on tennis and soccer, ranking tennis as his best sport.

We dive into Gabe’s journey, including his team’s challenging start to the season, his leadership style learned from his dad, and his aspirations to go pro in basketball.

Get ready for an exciting conversation as we learn more about Gabe Hammerton’s player profile.