Tag Archive for: Youngstown State


KANSAS CITY MO- In the heart of Youngstown, Ohio, where football is more than just a game but a way of life, Donald D’Alesio first fell in love with the sport playing flag football for the YMCA. Surrounded by a community bursting with talented athletes striving to turn dreams into reality, Youngstown was the perfect breeding ground for D’Alesio’s passion for the game.

As he progressed through his high school years at Cardinal Mooney, D’Alesio honed not only his skills on the field but also his championship mindset. At Mooney, football isn’t just a sport; it’s a way of life ingrained with a winning culture that shapes players into champions.

By his junior year, D’Alesio’s talent had begun to catch the eye of recruiters, signaling the start of a journey focused on football like never before. However, even as his career gained momentum, D’Alesio remained rooted in the values instilled by his upbringing in Youngstown—a city known for its resilience and grit, earning it the moniker “Grit City.”

After a stellar collegiate career at Youngstown State University (YSU), where he continued to impress both on and off the field, D’Alesio caught the attention of coaches who saw not just a player, but a potential coach in the making. With an offer to join the coaching staff while pursuing his master’s degree, D’Alesio embraced the opportunity to transition from player to mentor.

D’Alesio’s coaching journey took off like a whirlwind, with stints at prominent programs such as LSU before ultimately finding his place with the Kansas City Chiefs. Joining a franchise synonymous with success and crowned with the title of a dynasty, D’Alesio’s impact was felt immediately.

Amidst the glitz and glamour of Super Bowl victories and the accolades of a powerhouse franchise, D’Alesio has remained grounded in his Youngstown roots. He brings with him the grit and determination of his hometown—a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence both on and off the field.

In Donald D’Alesio, the Kansas City Chiefs have found more than just a safeties coach; they’ve found a leader who embodies the spirit of Youngstown—a spirit defined by resilience, hard work, and an unyielding pursuit of greatness. As he continues to leave his mark on the NFL landscape, D’Alesio serves as a shining example of how a small-town upbringing can shape a football dynasty.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Despite a hard-fought effort, Youngstown State showcased resilience and determination in their baseball matchup against the University of Louisville on Saturday at Jim Patterson Stadium.

In a game where every play mattered, Youngstown State (0-8) demonstrated their ability to compete at a high level, pushing Louisville (6-4) to their limits throughout the matchup.

Despite falling short on the scoreboard, the Penguins displayed flashes of brilliance, highlighting their potential as a competitive force in collegiate baseball. Facing off against a formidable opponent, the Penguins showcased their tenacity and spirit, refusing to back down even in the face of adversity.

Louisville’s dominance notwithstanding, Youngstown State’s pitchers exhibited commendable effort, with Evan Webster (1-0) delivering a solid performance in his third start of the season. Webster’s career-long six innings and career-best six strikeouts demonstrated the depth of talent within the Youngstown State roster.

At the plate, although Youngstown State faced challenges, they managed to make their mark, with players like Michael Lippe and Brandon Anderson leading the charge. Lippe’s impactful hits and Anderson’s contributions underscored Youngstown State’s offensive capabilities, showcasing their ability to compete against top-tier competition.

Sloan Ulrich endured a challenging outing for YSU, falling to 0-2 for the season despite a resilient effort. In a 95-pitch performance, Ulrich yielded 9 hits over 5 innings, resulting in four earned runs. However, amidst the struggle, Ulrich managed to tally 6 strikeouts while issuing just one walk. Niall Todd entered in relief, pitching two-thirds of an inning but struggled with control, walking 3 batters. Freshman Chris Domke stepped up, pitching 1.1 innings and conceding two runs on two hits, with one strikeout. Gavin Wilm, a Salem product now with YSU, showcased his prowess in a strong, clean inning against Louisville.

On the offensive front, YSU found their rhythm in the top of the ninth, ignited by Trey Pancake’s leadership. Despite being down to their final out, YSU scored all five runs, with Pancake going 2 for 4 and scoring a run. Ian Francis contributed significantly, going 3 for 5 with 2 RBI, while Trey Law added two hits, a run, and an RBI to the scoreboard. Teddy Ruffner also chipped in with a pair of hits and a run scored, demonstrating YSU’s offensive depth and resilience in the face of adversity.

Despite the final score, Youngstown State’s performance was marked by resilience and determination. As they regroup and prepare for future matchups, they will undoubtedly draw upon the lessons learned from this intense showdown, using it as motivation to continue their pursuit of excellence on the baseball diamond.

As the series concludes on Sunday, Youngstown State remains focused on putting forth their best effort, determined to leave a lasting impression and showcase the strength of their program to the collegiate baseball community.



YOUNGSTOWN, OH-  In a recent episode of YSN’s “Youngstown State University Baseball Coach’s Corner,” Coach Dan Bertolini provided insights into the Youngstown State University (YSU) baseball penguins’ recent road trip to Texas State. Despite coming up short in the three-game series, Coach Bertolini emphasized the valuable experience gained by the team, particularly for the younger and newer players.

Reflecting on the Texas trip, Coach Bertolini highlighted the significance of the opening weekend as a learning experience for the team. He noted the challenges faced by the players, including nerves and adapting to the Division One level, while also acknowledging the positive aspects of the games, such as the performance of some of the younger pitchers and defensive plays.

When discussing the team’s offensive performance, Coach Bertolini acknowledged the need for improvement and emphasized the importance of gaining experience and making adjustments as the season progresses. He pointed out areas for growth, including being more aggressive in scoring positions and refining the team’s offensive approach.

Looking ahead to the upcoming series against the College of Charleston, Coach Bertolini expressed expectations of a challenging matchup against a well-coached and competitive team. He emphasized the team’s focus on utilizing the information gathered from each series to continually improve and prepare for competition in the conference.

Beyond the discussion of baseball, Coach Bertolini also shared insights into his personal routine and reflected on passages from the Bible that hold special meaning for him.

As the YSU baseball penguins gear up for the next series, Coach Bertolini’s reflections provide a glimpse into the team’s mindset and the ongoing commitment to growth and improvement as they navigate the season.

Overall, Coach Bertolini’s insights offer a valuable perspective on the team’s journey, revealing the dedication and determination guiding the YSU baseball penguins as they continue their season.



YOUNGSTOWN, OH-  YSN recently featured Youngstown State University (YSU) baseball coach, Danny Bertolini, discussing the upcoming season and the team’s preparations. Host DJ Yokley spoke with Bertolini about the team’s prospects and some key players to watch out for in the upcoming season.
In the episode, Bertolini emphasized the team’s focus on health and preparation, especially after the challenges faced due to injuries in the previous season. He highlighted the efforts put into strength training and conditioning by the team’s new strength coach, Drew Davies, which has contributed to the team’s improved health and readiness for the upcoming season.

The discussion also covered the team’s preparations, including their outdoor training sessions at Eastwood and Kafaro Field, taking advantage of the milder winter weather this year.

Regarding the team’s upcoming trip to Texas for the season opener against Texas State, Bertolini expressed the importance of these trips for team bonding and providing valuable experiences, particularly for players who have not previously traveled extensively.

Bertolini also offered insights into the recruitment process, emphasizing the importance of academic excellence and playing the game the right way as key factors in identifying potential recruits for the team. He also stressed the team’s relentless and versatile playing style, with an emphasis on speed, strategy, and team bonding.

The episode concluded with lighthearted banter and Bertolini sharing personal insights about his family, including his excitement about welcoming a new addition in July.



CANFIELD, OH-  In this episode, we have the pleasure of sitting down with the talented senior player from South Range, Blake Ewert.

Known as the “E Train” and “Spike”, Blake has been a standout on the field for years, gaining the admiration of his teammates and younger brothers alike.

We dive deep as we discuss Blake’s last ride as a senior, the electrifying moments on the football field, and the goals he has set for himself.

Join us as we get to know Blake Ewert, the running back sensation. Tune in to this captivating episode of YSN!



AUSTINTOWN OH- Ayla Ray was one of the most electric softball players in the area in 2021. After following that up with an impressive summer travel season, Ayla has found a home to end her recruitment. Ray has officially made the decision to continue her academic and athletic career at Youngstown State University.

In 26 games played in the 2022 softball season for Fitch, Ray hit .591.  She had 52 hits in 88 at bats and also gathered 18 RBI.  She was almost an automatic run when on the base paths scoring 48 times on the season.  Ray also was an elite defender surrendering only 2 errors at shortstop and ending with a fielding percentage of .944.  Ray is going into her junior year at Fitch with a lot of momentum, and softball fans everywhere can’t wait to see what she does next.


ALLIANCE, OH- Former Salem standout and current Youngstown State University Lady Penguin Golfer Kelly Hutton finished 5th today at the PGA junior invitational at Tannenhauf Golf Club. Hutton recorded an 82 including a 38 on the back 9.

Congratulations to Kelly on a great round!


JACKSONVILLE FL- Youngstown State Mens Basketball fans will have fond memories of Naz Bohannon. His 6’5 232 pound body dominated the paint inside the Beeghly Center. From bullying his way past defenses, to hitting game winning shots, Bohannon left his mark on Youngstown.

Grit City taught Naz plenty of life lessons during his time with the Penguins. His biggest lesson though was the relentless work ethic he developed. They call it Grit City for a reason after all. Naz was always putting g in the work to better his craft. And because of that, it was constantly opening doors for him to further his career. He spent his 4 years at YSU accumulating over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his career. After his fourth season with the Penguins, Bohannon took his fifth year of eligibility at Clemson to expose himself to even greater competition. The Tiger program had the same grit and hard work first type of feeling that Youngstown State did.

After going through his season with the Tigers, Naz was approached with an opportunity to return to the sport of football. Bohannon was a tight end in high school in Lorain.  There was no way he could pass up the opportunity to put himself in front of teams and give football a shot. Especially since it wouldn’t effect his ability to go back to basketball if it didn’t work out. But it did indeed work out as the Jacksonville Jaguars came knocking. Last week the Jaguars signed Bohannon as a tight end as well as three other receivers.

Youngstown could not be more proud of all Naz has accomplished and will continue to accomplish in his career. He left a legacy on the Penguins basketball program that echoes in the locker room to this day. A lot of Penguins might just have to lean towards the Jaguars this fall. Bohannon joined YSN’s Running Point this week to talk about his journey. You won’t want to miss this exclusive interview with Naz Bohannon.

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3/7/2021 at 6:45pm


Additional sponsors:

Financial Security Management- Glen Oaks, Agent

Jones Wealth Management

American Portfolios – Mike Lytle, Managing Director

Becky and Bob Spratt

Denise DeBartolo York

Church of Warren




Jericho Center, Cortland, OH 
New Life Church, Poland, OH
Common Ground / Connecting Life Church, North Lima, OH
Abundant Life Church, New Waterford, OH 



POLAND, OH- There’s game managers, and there are game-wreckers, and for the past few years in Poland, the leader of the wrecking crew was found in the trenches.  Defensively, Mike Voitus was able to lead the Bulldogs well into the playoffs while at the same time collecting accolades for the trophy case which included All-Ohio, NE8 Player of the Year, and YSN Big Dog of the Valley among many others.

With all the dust settled, Voitus was part of the spring signing class for Poland, where he along with 3 other classmates put pen to paper.  You won’t have to look very far to keep up with Mike, as he will join the regime of Head Coach Doug Phillips and the YSU Penguins in 2020.

We caught up with the standout D-Lineman and student-athlete, Mike Voitus for this week’s Poland Player Profile: BE LIKE MIKE.

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