October 11, 2007

Dream comes true for Vanderink

Like most football-loving kids who spend autumn afternoons tossing around the pigskin in back yards throughout Ohio, Alan Vanderink grew up in scarlet and gray.

His parents, Steve and Dana, raised him to be a devoted member of Buckeye Nation. His older sister, Brittany, matriculated from small-town Hiram in Portage County to the capital city of Columbus on an Ohio State softball scholarship. The members of the Vanderink clan, including Alan, were among the throng of 105,539 fans at Ohio Stadium that witnessed the Buckeyes achieve one of their greatest victories ever, an unforgettable 14-9 triumph over Michigan during the national championship season of 2002.

When Vanderink returns to the familiar confines of the Horseshoe on Saturday for another Ohio State football contest, things will be different for him and his family. This time, instead of rooting for the Buckeyes from the bleachers, Vanderink will be aiming to help end their 24-game regular-season winning streak when he lines up as a freshman wide receiver and kickoff returner for visiting Kent State University.

"I'm a Kent State Golden Flash now," Vanderink said following Wednesday's practice at KSU. "I want to go out there to beat those guys."

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