YOUNGSTOWN -- YSU senior wide receiver Kyle Smith has been invited to participate in the Hula Bowl on Jan. 21 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. Smith is the second Penguin to be invited to the game in its 60-year history.
Smith has 101 career receptions for 1,536 yards in 37 games. He's tied for ninth in all-time receptions and is 11th in receiving yards. He also returned 56 punts for 377 yards.
As a senior, Smith played just eight games due to injury but led YSU in receptions, yards and touchdowns. He caught 37 passes for 482 yards and five touchdowns. He had a season-high 111 yards on six grabs against Western Kentucky while catching a season-best seven passes against Illinois State. He had two touchdowns against the Hilltoppers.
"I am extremely honored and privileged to represent this school and the Youngstown community at the 2006 Hula Bowl," Smith said. "It is a great opportunity and I am very excited to be selected to participate in the game."
In 1999, free safety Dwyte Smiley became the first Penguin to play in the game. Also in 1999, Kawonza Swan played in the Florida vs. USA All-Star Game. Other YSU players in postseason all-star games include defensive tackle Harry Deligianis (1997 East-West Shrine Game), cornerback Dave Roberts (1992 Blue-Gray All-Star Classic), quarterback Ron Jaworski (1972 Senior Bowl) and guard Tony Rosselli (1944 Blue-Gray All-Star Classic).
The contest will be televised live on ESPN at 7 p.m. The head coaches are Auburn's Tommy Tuberville (East) and Washington's Tyrone Willingham (West).
NORTH LIMA -- Tickets for Friday's Division V state semifinal playoff football game between South Range and Hamler Patrick Henry will be on sale today at the high school and middle school. Tickets will also be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday at the high school only. Presale tickets are $7.
NILES -- The Warren Boxing Club is holding a 12-bout amateur boxing show at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Eastwood Expo Center.
The main event features WBC's Dan Ross in a 140-pound three-rounder. Stefan Gantt (WBC) will fight a 132-pound bout in the co-feature.
Those bouts, along with a heavyweight three-rounder with Josh Harris from Buckeye Elks in Youngstown, will be Open Division fights.
Kiez Smith (4-1), who trains at the Boardman Buckeye Elks, will fight a 147-pound three-rounder with Tommy Josephs of the Youngstown Boxing Club.
Nate Adams (WBC) will also fight an Open Division bout. Three Junior Olympic fighters -- Kaleem Vann (120 pounds), Jameel Vann (115) and Mark Givens (132), all of the WBC -- will fight three-rounders. Tickets are $15 for ringside seats and $10 for general admission.
PITTSBURGH -- Infielder Bobby Hill, acquired by Pittsburgh from the Cubs in the 2003 trade for third baseman Aramis Ramirez, was dealt Monday to the San Diego Padres for a player to be named.
The Pirates removed Hill from their 40-man roster over the weekend and had 10 days to trade or release him.
Hill hit .269 with 11 RBIs in 58 games last season before being sent to Triple-A Indianapolis on July 22. In 2004, Hill hit .266 with two homers and 27 RBIs as a spare infielder and pinch-hitter.
Pittsburgh has no players remaining from the Ramirez trade, which was made mostly to avoid paying Ramirez's $6 million salary. Ramirez has since developed into one of the NL's top power-hitting infielders, batting ,302 last season with 31 homers and 92 RBIs.
The Pirates also acquired infielder Jose Hernandez and minor league pitcher Matt Bruback in the trade, and neither player remains in Pittsburgh's organization.
LeBron gives back
CLEVELAND -- Away from the basketball court, LeBron James handed out a few assists from the heart.
The Cavaliers' All-Star forward donated bags of Thanksgiving groceries to needy families on Monday, personally giving out turkeys and meals at a downtown church in Cleveland and in his hometown of Akron.
"It's important to give back," James said while greeting people in the basement of Antioch Baptist Church on the city's east side. "I always promised myself that when I got into a position where I could help, I would."
James recently donated $180,000 worth of supplies to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort through The James Family Foundation, which also funded the holiday giveaway. James said he'll always help those less fortunate.
"Thanksgiving is a time when you give thanks for people who did good things for you," he said. "I had people that meant a lot to me. This is a way of thanking them."
After leading the Cavaliers to three wins last week, James was named the NBA's Eastern Conference player of the week. He averaged 29.7 points, nine rebounds and six assists in victories over Washington, Orlando and Philadelphia.
Vindicator staff/wire reports