|Last updated: 6/24/04 3:33 PM|
|Last updated: 6/24/04 3:33 PM|
Published: Mon, Jun 21, 2004
YOUNGSTOWN Several months ago, the Youngstown State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics in conjunction with Forum Health sponsored a Penguins for Kids program to produce the design that will be featured on the 2004 YSU football season tickets.
The competition was open to all children in grades first through sixth.
The competition was an obvious success as the selection committee received more than 2,000 entries from area youth.
One winner was selected from each grade, and all the winners will have their colored pictures represented on each of YSU's six home game tickets, which are distributed to more than 6,000 season-ticket holders.
The winning entries also will be featured in the YSU's award-winning Penguin Power Gameday Football Program.
The six winning youngsters are: (first grade) Stephanie Quinn of Leetonia; (second grade) Courtney Lukac of Hubbard; (third grade) Alan Olson of Boardman; (fourth grade) Joseph Stana of Youngstown; (fifth grade) Evan Acri of North Jackson; and (sixth grade) Rachel Toth of Niles.
If you would like to get a preview of just what an outstanding job these youngsters did with their ticket design, check YSU's web site, www.ysu.edu/sports, and you can get a look of each of the winning entries.
YSU head football coach Jon Heacock was excited about the competition and pleased with the results.
"We are excited at the number of replies and the quality of the drawings from the youth of our valley," Heacock said. "It is a testament to our local children, parents, and educators.
"We at YSU, had a tremendous amount of fun with this contest and I know the children were very, very creative in their drawings. Our tickets will be very unique and special for the ticket holders."
The YSU Athletic Department and Forum Health will provide each of the six winners with a Penguin Prize package.
In addition, all 2,000 entries will receive a pair of YSU football game tickets for a 2004 home game at Stambaugh Stadium compliments of Forum Health and the Penguin for Kids Program.
"Forum Health is proud to partner on this special community project," said John Gonda, Forum Health spokesman. "YSU is certainly the heart of this valley on game days in the fall and all of the participating students will be able to enjoy the Penguin football experience."
Workouts to begin
Heacock and the Penguins will be getting preparations under way shortly, with summer workouts scheduled to begin July 1.
These workouts are unsupervised, but Heacock indicated that he expects anywhere from 60 to 65 returning players to be taking part on a daily basis.
Much of the workouts will involve weight training and conditioning which will be under the guidance of Todd Burkey, the university's strength and conditioning coach who is in his third season.
When the players go outside the training room they will be on their own, and they again will take part in some seven-on-seven game situations, a couple that probably will include match-ups with players from the University of Akron, such as they did a year ago.
The summer workouts have become a big part of the YSU football program, and have continued to grow in attendance each year.
Heacock said that all of the incoming freshmen and transfers will report on Aug. 6, while the first workout for the newcomers is slated for Aug. 7.
All of the veteran players will be reporting on Aug. 8, while the first workout for the complete team will be held on Aug. 9.
Heacock and a couple of players will attend the Gateway Conference Media Day on July 27 in St. Louis, when the Penguins will get an indication of just how much the opposing coaches and media feel they have improved over the year.
Don't look for the Penguins to be picked any higher than third, but more likely it will be fourth. Southern Illinois and Northern Iowa should be selected one-two.
YSU will open the 2004 season on Sept. 2 when they play host to Division II Slippery Rock University in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Stambaugh Stadium.