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Feature Writing

John Harbaugh’s Ultimate Mission: Dynasty, July 19, 2013

John Harbaugh sat across the table from Ravens’ team executives and laid out a vision for the organization.

Harbaugh, then a little-known position coach and former special teams coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, talked about culture, and respect, and family and tradition. He discussed the values he wanted in his team, and shared the process it would take to get there.

In the meeting, he delivered a message that resonated with those in charge of the franchise. He talked directly and openly about winning championships. Multiple championships. Then he leaned forward and smiled.

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DeAngelo Tyson Overcomes Hardship To Reach NFL, June 15, 2012

DeAngelo Tyson will never forget his seventh-grade Christmas.

He wanted a CD player and a pair of black Air Force One tennis shoes.

Tyson put those two items on his Christmas list and handed it to Kim Lamb, his school teacher who gave him support while he was living in a boys group home.

“She got me what I wanted,” he said.

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Despite his past, Pete Rose wants a future in baseball

Las Vegas Sun, April 6, 2009

Two men in their mid-20s stand at the entrance of the Planet Hollywood restaurant inside Caesars Palace. With big eyes and boyish enthusiasm, they whisper back and forth before one musters the courage to approach the familiar face.

“Mr. Rose, can I get a picture with you?” one of them asks.

Pete Rose obliges.

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Ohio coach eats, sleeps, breathes baseball
Athens News, May 4, 2009

Nothing on Joe Carbone’s desk seems out of order. Everything has a place. The desk mirrors Carbone.

It is as tidy as he is.

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At Spelling Bee, Winning with Composure
Washington Post, March 9, 2008

As Santos DeBarros walked off the stage Thursday night at the 26th annual Loudoun County Spelling Bee, something happened for the first time in his life.

Somebody asked for his autograph.

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Ohio has top-notch point guard
Athens News, Feb. 18, 2010

John Groce knew the kid had talent.

He had the raw skills — shooting, ball handling, quickness — but his understanding of the game caught the attention of Ohio’s basketball coach. It took only a couple of quarters, but as Groce watched from the high-school bleachers of an Illinois gym, he saw something special in the smooth point guard from Seton Academy.

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OU junior steps up as big bat for Bobcats
Athens News, May 21, 2009

The sparse crowd chats during a Thursday afternoon ballgame at Ohio University’s Bob Wren Stadium. Late-afternoon sunshine and comfortable temperatures make it a great day to sit outside, and the fans put more interest into their side conversations than the actual game.

Baseball is just the backdrop.

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Investigative Pieces

Arm problems aren’t just a worry for old ballplayers
Athens News, Oct. 24, 2008

Brian Conway was tough to hit.

With a good fastball and pitching repertoire full of curveballs and sliders, Conway dazzled opposing hitters during his days in Little League Baseball.

As a teenager, he made the most of his talent. Conway played for two travel baseball teams and pitched almost every day in the summer before high school.

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Career sports bettors battle the betting lines
Las Vegas Sun, March 30, 2009

Joe D’Amico was already counting his winnings.

It was the fourth quarter of a football game a few years ago, and D’Amico, a professional sports gambler, appeared to have picked another winner.

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Did cutting track and field really save the university money?
Athens News, June 3, 2007

Over four months have passed since Ohio University decided to discontinue four varsity sports at the end of their 2007 campaigns, but those affected by the cuts continue to challenge the university’s rationale for the unpopular cuts.

“They say that contrary to the university’s position, cutting some of the sports came only because of the need to comply with the Title IX gender-equity legislation, and did not save the university any money,” assistant track coach Mitch Bentley said. “It all boils down to Title IX for this sport.”

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Sports News

Loss to Kentucky ends historic career for team’s seniors, March 26, 2011

The journey for the three seniors on Ohio State’s team was supposed to end with cutting down the nets in Houston. Instead, it came to a sudden halt in Newark, N.J. as Kentucky’s game-winning shot with 5.4 seconds left dashed the Buckeyes’ hopes of a national championship.

“You never think about it ending,” said David Lighty, a Villa-Angela St. Joseph’s graduate. “Especially the way that it did.
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Browns wide receiver looks primed for breakout season, Aug. 6, 2010

Twenty minutes after practice and Brian Robiskie is still on the field.

Most of his teammates have headed to the locker room, but Robiskie is busy signing autographs. As Robiskie casually jogs over to the sidelines, fans cheer, clap and shout.
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OU star receiver boosts draft stock during bowl practices
Athens News, Jan. 31, 2010

As he traveled to the Senior Bowl last week in Mobile, Ala., the former Bobcat wide receiver had his future job on the line. The week of practice worked somewhat like a job interview, but instead of sitting behind a desk answering questions, Price had to prove himself to legions of NFL scouts who wanted to see if he could make it at the next level.

“It’s an opportunity I was hoping for,” Price said last Thursday. “I finally got it, and I’m finally meeting those expectations, and showing these scouts what I actually have to offer.”

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Former pro Vargas sees a future in combined boxing-MMA events
Las Vegas Sun, Feb. 11, 2009

For years as a boxer, Fernando Vargas never really liked doing interviews. He preferred to leave the talking to the promoters while he stuck to performing in the ring.

Vargas (26-5, 22 KO), a two-time world champion, only wanted to fight and cut out everything else.

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Buckeyes feel like winners with Wii
Columbus Dispatch, Dec. 27, 2007

When the Ohio State University football team earned a bid to the national championship game, the players could cross some items off their Christmas wish lists.

In addition to a chance at the national title, the Buckeyes took home another coveted prize — a Nintendo Wii video-game system.

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Game Coverage

Cavs gives fans what they always wanted, March 30, 2011

This was what Cleveland fans wanted all along.

Hustle. Energy. Hard fouls.

It all showed something that Cavs fans didn’t see during that first game against LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Heart.
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Utah escapes with win over TCU
Las Vegas Sun, March 13, 2009

Lawrence Borha could do nothing but watch and wait. With his Utah Utes tied against TCU in the final seconds of the Mountain West Conference tournament quarterfinals, Borha camped out in the corner and waited for a chance.

The Utes’ Luka Drca dribbled at the top of the key, letting the clock tick down to about 10 seconds, then started his drive to the hoop. As Drca made his move to the basket, everyone collapsed on the ball.

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Cats try, but can’t overcome epidemic of miscues
Athens News, Oct. 29, 2008

On a day when Ohio had seven fumbles, two unsuccessful field-goal attempts, two botched extra points, two personal-foul penalties and one interception, the Bobcats still only trailed Buffalo by seven points in the fourth quarter.

Despite the mistakes, the Bobcats looked like they might have a chance at the victory.

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Albritton nails last second 3-pointer for win, Jan. 25, 2008

Dominion’s Deandre Albritton proved why he is one of the top players in the area on Thursday night.

Trailing Freedom by one with 2.2 seconds left, Dominion had enough time for one more play. Everybody in the gym knew who was taking the last shot.

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Heritage wins third straight district title, Feb. 15, 2008

As the final buzzer sounded in Heritage’s 68-57 victory over Dominion Thursday night, the Pride briefly celebrated their accomplishment as home fans began chanting “district champs.”

Winning the AA Dulles District championship is nothing new to Heritage, which has captured the crown for three consecutive seasons. But Thursday’s win makes the Pride the first team to three-peat in the history of the district.

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Coach Solich delivers on promise
Athens News, Nov. 29, 2009

As time winded down during Ohio’s 35-17 victory over Temple Friday afternoon, some players snuck back to the Gatorade coolers to engage in the all-too familiar football tradition. They grabbed the bucket and waited for just the right moment.

Everybody knew what was coming.

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‘Cats need to deliver for Solich this year
Athens News, Sep. 3, 2009

Five years ago, Ohio surprised the college football world when it brought prestige — a coach named Frank Solich — to the mid-major program toiling in the cellar of the Mid-American Conference.

The highly touted former Nebraska coach came to Athens with expectations greater than any of his predecessors, and Solich was supposed to be the man who finally changed the losing culture of Ohio football.

Hard News

Hard to solve, hit-and-run cases leave families in a pain
Columbus Dispatch, Dec. 30, 2007

For her parents, nothing has been the same since Veronica Gantt was killed by a hit-and-run driver seven weeks ago.

“This whole situation has been devastating to us,” said her father, Paul Gantt. “She was our only child.”

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Despite troubles, Marines press to meet quota for toys program
Columbus Dispatch, Dec. 8, 2008

Two Marines celebrate as an arcade game at Magic Mountain spews out 200 tickets. They stuff them into a tall cardboard box already overflowing with thousands of tickets.

“I want to win that guitar,” Staff Sgt. Cary Anderson says, pointing to the wall of prizes. “Think I have enough tickets?

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