Curbstone Coaches HOF Spotlight: Tim Joyce, Basketball Honoree

Curbstone Coaches HOF Spotlight: Tim Joyce, Basketball Honoree

Filipovich is one of three basketball honorees – he joins Mike Banks and Tim Joyce – set to be enshrined in this year’s class, bringing to 74 the number of local hardwood greats to be enshrined.

Born December 18, 1953, he is a 1971 graduate of Brookfield High School where he earned four letters in golf and another in football for the Warriors.

Upon graduation, he attended Bluffton College (1971-75) where he earned four letters in both football and golf for the Beavers.

He helped BC to the 1974 and 1975 NAIA District 22 golf championship and for his efforts was inducted to the BC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.

After earning his undergraduate degree in 1975 – he also did post-graduate work at YSU, graduating in 1983 – he began his teaching, coaching and administrative career with the Brookfield Schools, serving as the Warriors’ head golf and girls’ basketball coach, also serving as an assistant for both its football and boys basketball teams.

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He was an assistant coach for the BHS boys’ basketball regional championship team, also serving as an assistant on its state championship football squad in 1978. He became the girl’s head basketball coach in 1981 and directed the program for the next 22 seasons, posting a 328-162 (.669 winning percentage) overall mark.

On January 28, 1999, he earned his 300th overall victory to join an elite list of area coaches who have accomplish that feat.

During his time as the BHS girls’ head mentor, he guided the Warriors to four (1991-93 and 1995) league championships, seven district (1983, 1990-92 and 1995-97) crowns, two regional titles (1990-91), five regional finals (1990-91), a state semi-final (1991) appearance and the state finals, that coming in 1990.

While roaming the sidelines, he was honored as the Warren Tribune-Chronicle Division III “Coach of the Year” in 1988, earning Ohio High School Basketball Association Division III girl’s “Coach of the Year” laurels in 1991. A seven-time Trumbull County Coaches Association “Coach of the Year” honoree (1990-93 and 1995-97), he was named Mahoning Valley Coaches Association “Coach of the Year” on seven occasions (1990-93 and 1995-97) as well.

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He was selected to coach in the 1992 All-Ohio Division III and IV, North-South All-Star game, was honored with the YWCA “Outstanding Achievement Award” in Trumbull County for girls sports that same year and in 1994, earned IDS/American Express Division III “Coach of the Year” laurels.

For his efforts he was inducted into the Brookfield High School Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.

He has spent 45 years in education and currently serves as BHS Schools chief of accountability and assessment. He and his wife, Kari Rae, reside in Brookfield.

Individual tickets are $60 each, tables of eight $480 and further information can be obtained by calling 330-506-6774, or by visiting the organization’s website at www.thecurbstonecoaches.org.

This article is republished with permission of the Boardman News.

Gary Housteau: A Life Well-Lived (Part 3 of 3)

Gary Housteau: A Life Well-Lived (Part 3 of 3)

Gary Housteau: A Life Well-Lived (Part 3 of 3)

Special to #SpanningtheNeed (Part 3 of 3)

“Gary was one of the big supporters of all high school sports.  He was a dedicated person who wanted to see all high schools and individuals do well and succeed,” Balash noted.  “Although he might not have known everyone by name, he eventually did get to know them.  He was part of our high school football preview show, was a self-proclaimed ‘homer’ and always stood by what he called his favorites.  He never shied away from controversy, calling out coaches and teams when necessary.

“We’ve all heard of a players’ coach well, Gary was a players shill to a fault.  He wanted the best for all Mahoning Valley athletes and when a team lost in the finals, Gary lost, too.  When a team won a state championship, Gary won as well.  Anyone who knew Gary was in great company and although he might not have agreed with you, he respected what you had to say.  I’ll miss not having Gary on our football preview this season but know he’ll be listening to everything that we say.”

Gary Housteau: A Life Well-Lived (Part 1 of 3)

Josh Frketic is a sportscaster for WKBN-TV, Channel 27 who like Balash, appreciated Housteau’s presence at a game.

“Gary was one of the big supporters of all high school sports,” Frketic said.  “He was a dedicated person who wanted to see all high schools and individuals do well.”

Dan Pushcar captures area events as the chief sports videographer for Balash and their Channel 21 sports crew.

“Seeing Gary on the sideline always meant one thing – the game that I was at was going to be a good one, not just because of the score but because ‘Captain Obvious’ would let fly what he thought of the play calling.  He was truly a celebrity behind the lens,” Pushcar added.  “Go Bucks!!!”

Robert Hayes is a sports correspondent for the Warren Tribune-Chronicle-The Vindicator and a freelance photographer who also contributes to YSU athletics.

”I saw Gary at least once a week, if not more often but most especially during football season,” stated Hayes.  “He always told me that I worked too much but I think he had me beat in that regard.  Despite everything he had going on off the field and in his personal life, he was always upbeat and completely prepared on the field.  Honestly, he didn’t let his diagnosis prevent him from doing what he loved and truly enjoyed and I think that is an admirable quality because he had a passion that he loved with every beat of his heart and did things his way.

“I ran into him at an Ohio State-Tulsa football game back in the fall and you could tell just by the look in his eyes that he felt at home but really, his work at the high school level shined and showed his true love for the game and for his community.  As many big college football games as he covered, I felt that games back home in the Mahoning Valley meant most to him.  Gary really embodied what being from Youngstown was all about.”

Gary Housteau: A Life Well-Lived (Part 2 of 3)

Dave Dermer is another freelance sports photographer who has multiple award winning shots to his credit.

“Gary was one of the first people I met when I started in photography,” Dermer noted.  “Anytime we would be covering the same game, we would get a chance to catch up and share some stories and laughs.  He always wanted to know what big events I had coming up and had some words of encouragement for me.  I will definitely miss our conversations on the sidelines.”

Housteau worked as a correspondent for The Vindicator when Rob Todor was at the helm of the department.

“Gary’s passion was high school, both YSU and Ohio State sports and specifically, the athletes,” Todor said.  “He worked tirelessly to make sure they got all the accolades that were possible and was a true, trusted friend and colleague who will be missed.”

Area scholastic and college coaches always appreciated Gary’s presence at their games.

“With Gary’s passing, the Mahoning Valley loses yet another great sports figure, reporter and photographer who was passionate about area athletics,” added Joe Conroy, former YSU women’s volleyball coach and is now retired as the school’s intramural director.  “Gary was known by all sports enthusiasts in Youngstown and was to me, a great friend who always listened to what I had on my mind.  RIP my friend.”

Tony Matisi is the longtime area girls’ basketball head coach who enjoyed success at Ursuline High School, Lowellville, South Range and last year, led the McDonald Blue Devils girls’ team to the state championship game in his first year at the helm.

“There was no one better in capturing area athletes with a lens, someone just as passionate about area teams as the coaches themselves,” Matisi stated.  “I just knew that when I saw him at our game it deserved his coverage.  We’d always kid because he was always all Ohio State Buckeyes and I am all Michigan Wolverines and I am going to miss that friendly banter between us when we were together.”

Housteau covered many Boardman High School basketball games and Spartans’ head boys’ basketball coach, Pat Birch, always appreciated his presence.

“Gary meant so much to local sports,” Birch noted.  “He captured memories for countless student-athletes and their families.”

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Carey Palermo, whose Cardinal Mooney boys’ hoopsters won the district championship last season, echoed Birch’s comments.

“Gary Housteau was truly one of the kindest people I have ever met,” Palermo added.  “He cared deeply about sports in this town and the young people that played them.  He always made my quotes make me sound a lot smarter than I am.”

Steve Leslie is the color analyst for YSU football and serves as general manager of YSN and the Astro Falcons Class B baseball team.

“I have known Gary and the Housteau family a very long time,” Leslie said.  “Ray’s son, Ryan, and my son, Daniel, played baseball together and it was Gary always there with that proud smile and camera taking great pictures of my son and Ryan when they were young.  Gary will truly be missed by many with special moments like the pictures he had taken for me a lasting treasure.  He was a great man, from a great family and my prayers go out to the to the Housteau family for their loss.”

Hope Foundation executive director, Tony Spano, said Gary was one of a kind and a Mahoning Valley sports treasure.

“Gary always had a smile on his face and welcomed you with open arms,” Spano noted.  “You were like family with him.  He never let anything get him down and always found the best of a given situation.”

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Curbstone Coaches HOF Spotlight: Sandra DePizzo, Bowler Honoree

Curbstone Coaches HOF Spotlight: Sandra DePizzo, Bowler Honoree

DePizzo was born October 5, 1949, never started bowling until the age of 29 and has been arguably one of the very best area keglers to ever roll a ball down the lane.

A 1968 graduate of the former North Lima High School (now South Range H.S.), she began her career with a 117 average and with inspiration from Joe Tripoti, began to take the game more seriously.

Exactly seven years later, with help from Peggy DiBattista, Rose Smith, the sponsorship of Youngstowner’s Jay and Mary Marshall, and the support and education of Larry Miller, she realized her dream by becoming a pro bowler on the Ladies Professional Bowling Tour.

Curbstone Coaches HOF Spotlight: Joe McHenry, All-Sports Honoree

She was a member of the tour for the next seven years, placing 19th at an event in Tempe, Arizona and 23rd in Syracuse, New York.

A member of the YWBA (Youngstown Women’s Bowling Association) for 23 years, she finished in the top-10 in average multiple times, achieving a career high 196 average

In 1983, she posted her highest series (782) and high game (279), achieving that at the Youngstown Women’s Annual City Tournament.

Her resume includes numerous 250+ games and multiple 700+ series.

During the 1982-83 season, her team (Bowl-aholics), which also included Helen Moore, DeCinda Shattuck Taylor, Anne Splain and Peggy DiBattista, won the Youngstown Women’s Bowling Association City Tournament team actual with a score of 3061.

A year later, her Youngstown’s Finest Five team included teammates Laurie Tate Millerleile, Shattuck Taylor, Roselyn Bettura and Smith and they won the City Tournament team handicap with a score of 3152, winning the team actual with a 2891 effort.

In 1985-86, her Youngstown’s Finest Five team which was now comprised of teammates Shirley Gomori, Shattuck Taylor, Smith and Bettura won the City Tournament team actual with a score of 2985 and in 1989, along with Bettura, Shattuck Taylor, Maria Bachinger and Donna Lorenzi Mraz, won the team actual with a 2634 score.

In 1995-96, her Canfield Colonial Lanes #2 team, which was made up of Smith, Shattuck Taylor, Melissa Murphy and Ethel Smith, took City Tournament team actual top laurels with a score of 3168, also winning the team handicap with a score of 3247. In 1991-92, she partnered with Shattuck Taylor to win the City Tournament doubles actual with a 1202 roll while her Marhill-Wedgewood #1 team, which consisted of Smith, Shattuck-Taylor, Nancy Davidson and Sherrie Skelton, won the City Tournament team actual with a score of 2883.

For her efforts she was inducted into the Youngstown-Salem Women’s Bowling Association Hall of Fame, that coming on October 2, 2011. She gave back to the game and thought of the future while serving as a junior coach at Holiday Bowl in Struthers, an effort she put forth for three years.

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Her love for the game has never ceased as she continues to bowl with friends, noting her bowling experience and support of the many bowling proprietors is something that she will always cherish. She enjoys traveling and has expanded her career by being on the administration team, and as an educator at Avada Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A 1971 graduate of the Boardman Beauty Academy, she notes that her support system in bowling, as well as in life, has come from her husband, Ralph and good friend, Shattuck Taylor. Along with her husband, she resides in Henderson, Nevada and is the mother of a son, Scott Swank, and daughter, Wendy Swank. She also has a stepdaughter, Amanda Austin.

Individual tickets are $60 each, tables of eight $480 and further information can be obtained by calling 330-506-6774, or by visiting the organization’s website at www.thecurbstonecoaches.org.

This article is republished with permission of the Boardman News.

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Gary Housteau: A Life Well-Lived (Part 2 of 3)

Gary Housteau: A Life Well-Lived (Part 2 of 3)

Special to #SpanningtheNeed (Part 2 of 3)

“I can recall Ray and Gary speaking to a guy named Nelson, a diehard Atlanta Falcons fan as to who his team needed to draft if he expected to win.  There were Saints fans, Eagles, Redskins, Dolphins, Cowboys, Colts, Jets, Chargers, Vikings, Lions, Bears, Falcons, Bronco’s, Raiders, Chiefs, 49ers, Rams, Giants, Bengals and of course Browns and Steelers fans and you quickly realized Youngstown was a melting pot of NFL fans from all over the nation.  It was better than any Draft Show on television and quite frankly, more accurate because Chuck, Ray, and of course, Gary, made sure of it.

“Chuck had us attend all of Gary’s games when he played for Woodrow Wilson and you quickly realized that every fall Friday was Redmen Gameday.  We saw Gary’s entire senior year, which included a 7-0 win over the Mike Zordich-led, City Series champion Chaney Cowboys.  Gary not only starred at his defensive line position that game but also joined the Redmen backfield as the blocking back who paved the way for the game-winning touchdown.

Gary Housteau: A Life Well-Lived (Part 1 of 3)

“We remained close and one day it was Chuck who called me saying that he had an idea.  The four of us met at a restaurant where Chuck unveiled his plans for a monthly sports newspaper.  After debating the name, we all agreed that it would be called ‘The Valley’s Playbook and the four of us would have an equal share in the paper.  The first issue would be a “Football Kick-off” preview like no other ever seen in the Mahoning Valley.  Every high school team in the Mahoning Valley would be featured and receive a one-page preview, along with YSU, Ohio State, the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers.  Each month we would meet to decide what stories we should pursue for the upcoming edition with Chuck usually having a list of assignments.  Publishing day was always the longest day of the month and we would meet at a house that Ray had rented, beginning at 4 p.m. and usually putting the edition to sleep before dropping it off at the printer at nearly 4 a.m.

“The four of us would go home and get what sleep we could, go to work and then meet at the office at 4:00 p.m. the next day to distribute the publication to area retail locations and radio-TV outlets.  Ray was always the idea guy, Chuck kept us all in line and Gary was the ‘ice breaker,’ so to speak.  When Ray had a new idea that Chuck was not in favor of, the room would get completely quiet, Chuck would give Ray his ‘no way’ facial expression that the three of us witnessed many, many times.  It was Gary who would always say something to lighten the moment as he was the mediator of the group.  When Ray presented his idea of a Playbook Swimsuit issue, Chuck just looked at him, no one said a word then Gary spoke up and said, ‘Well guys, you have to admit that it will be different’ and that edition turned out being one of our more popular publications – I must point out that Ray’s ideas usually turned out being good ideas.

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“Throughout the years and following the Playbook, we always kept in touch.  I remember talking to Ray and Gary while I was with the Detroit Pistons about Ray being on the CBS Great Race.  We wanted Ray to wear a Valley Playbook T-shirt (another Ray idea) on the show. But Chuck passed away, unexpectedly, of a heart attack and it shook us all, to say the least.  It was a dreaded feeling of the loss of a brother.  I had taken every class at YSU with Chuck, joined him at the student newspaper, The Jambar, as one of his writers when he was sports editor and been business partners with him in the Playbook.  As Ray, Gary and I stood next to Chuck’s casket at the funeral home, we vowed to stay close.  When Gary was diagnosed with cancer, we were all confident that he would beat it.  When Ray suffered a heart attack, Gary and I sat in his hospital room while he slept.  We turned the lights out so the nurse thought we had left because neither of us wanted to leave his room.  We did not want to lose another brother.

During Gary’s ‘Birthday Bash’ last September, which included many celebrity coaches and athletes from the Mahoning Valley, Gary and I took a walk.  He was told by his doctors that he had six months to live so we talked and reminisced about Ray’s idea to resurrect the Playbook.  I told him it would be impossible to do without him.  Gary said he was working out and did not feel sick and would not give up hope.  A couple months later he said he was trying new, experimental drugs and there were signs of improvement when the cancer seemingly slowed down.  He continued to work, posting photos of Ohio State and area high school sports on Facebook like there was no cancer hindering him. In his final week on this earth, he was doing what he loved – working, writing about the Buckeyes and local athletes.  He continued to do what he always did since the day I met him – moving forward like he always did with a sense of purpose.

“We lost a brother but Heaven gained an angel.  He never liked pity because he was always grateful for everything in his life.  His friends and family meant everything to him and he was a winner in every sense in the word.  He figured out life, lived it to the fullest and to paraphrase the popular Frank Sinatra song, ‘He did it his way.’ “We should all be so lucky!”

Over the years, Gary also became involved on OSU’s The Buckeye Sports Bulletin, which led to a position at Bucknuts, the largest Ohio State sports website in the nation and a post that he held for 18 ½ years.

He was a renowned sports columnist and photographer for OSU football and proudly wore his press pass when roaming the sidelines of Buckeyes football games, a stint that lasted some 22 years.

He also developed a successful freelance photography business and was considered an area sports historian and expert, traveling many miles to document event and players with his camera in tow. He detailed his cancer battle and, in the process, built quite a following while doing so.

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“I had the privilege to know and work with Gary for over 30-plus years and his passion for Mahoning Valley and Ohio sports was shared with thousands through his photography and writing talents,” added Rick Love, current YSU associate athletic director for marketing.  “I remember sharing conversations with him on the sidelines of Stambaugh Stadium during numerous football games and courtside at both YSU and Youngstown Pride basketball games.  There was never a bigger fan of Mahoning Valley sports – from Little League all the way to area athletes that made it to the professional level.  Certainly, his time was too short on this earth, but he did touch many fans through his life’s work and my thoughts go out to his family and friends as we remember such a special man.”

Jamie Hall, YSU assistant sports information director, echoed Love’s sentiments. “Gary always showed great passion for our Mahoning Valley sports teams and loved to publicize our athletes.  He did so with professionalism and grace,” Hall stated.

Dana Balash, sports director at WFMJ-TV, Channel 21 and the Dean of area sportscasters, called Housteau a welcome presence at area games and events.

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Curbstone Coaches HOF Spotlight: Tim Filipovich, Basketball Honoree

Curbstone Coaches HOF Spotlight: Tim Filipovich, Basketball Honoree

Filipovich is one of three basketball honorees – he joins Mike Banks and Tim Joyce – set to be enshrined in this year’s class, bringing to 74 the number of local hardwood greats to be enshrined.

Born December 18, 1953, he is a 1971 graduate of Brookfield High School where he earned four letters in golf and another in football for the Warriors.

Upon graduation, he attended Bluffton College (1971-75) where he earned four letters in both football and golf for the Beavers.

Curbstone Coaches HOF Spotlight: Joe McHenry, All-Sports Honoree

He helped BC to the 1974 and 1975 NAIA District 22 golf championship and for his efforts was inducted to the BC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.

After earning his undergraduate degree in 1975 – he also did post-graduate work at YSU, graduating in 1983 – he began his teaching, coaching and administrative career with the Brookfield Schools, serving as the Warriors’ head golf and girls’ basketball coach, also serving as an assistant for both its football and boys basketball teams.

He was an assistant coach for the BHS boys’ basketball regional championship team, also serving as an assistant on its state championship football squad in 1978. He became the girl’s head basketball coach in 1981 and directed the program for the next 22 seasons, posting a 328-162 (.669 winning percentage) overall mark.

On January 28, 1999, he earned his 300th overall victory to join an elite list of area coaches who have accomplish that feat.

During his time as the BHS girls’ head mentor, he guided the Warriors to four (1991-93 and 1995) league championships, seven district (1983, 1990-92 and 1995-97) crowns, two regional titles (1990-91), five regional finals (1990-91), a state semi-final (1991) appearance and the state finals, that coming in 1990.

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While roaming the sidelines, he was honored as the Warren Tribune-Chronicle Division III “Coach of the Year” in 1988, earning Ohio High School Basketball Association Division III girl’s “Coach of the Year” laurels in 1991. A seven-time Trumbull County Coaches Association “Coach of the Year” honoree (1990-93 and 1995-97), he was named Mahoning Valley Coaches Association “Coach of the Year” on seven occasions (1990-93 and 1995-97) as well.

He was selected to coach in the 1992 All-Ohio Division III and IV, North-South All-Star game, was honored with the YWCA “Outstanding Achievement Award” in Trumbull County for girls sports that same year and in 1994, earned IDS/American Express Division III “Coach of the Year” laurels.

For his efforts he was inducted into the Brookfield High School Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.

He has spent 45 years in education and currently serves as BHS Schools chief of accountability and assessment. He and his wife, Kari Rae, reside in Brookfield.

Individual tickets are $60 each, tables of eight $480 and further information can be obtained by calling 330-506-6774, or by visiting the organization’s website at www.thecurbstonecoaches.org.

This article is republished with permission of the Boardman News.