Trials In Youngstown, Ohio is the story of Matt Burns, a young man who has a difficult time living up to lofty expectations that have been set for him by family and friends. Matts junior and senior years at Howland High School are filled with the frustration of performing poorly both in sports and academics. Matt takes a crack at just about everything. He tries out for the swim team, the baseball team, and the tennis squad. He fails to make any of them. Realizing his fathers love of football, Matt occasionally dreams of heroic exploits on the gridiron, but is intimidated because of his past failures. Matt is also having trouble scholastically. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot seem to pull anything better than Cs and Ds. Matts failures are compounded by the fact that his brother and sister, both students at Ohio State University, and both borderline ego-maniacs, are extremely successful at sports and academics. For Matts mother, Carol, daughter Sherri and son Randy are the apples of her eye, while at best youngest son Matt is the enigmatic ugly-duckling of the family. Matt does have one thing going for him - he is a gifted artist. Although not an athlete, he has an uncanny knack for rendering the exploits of the playing field almost as well as the world-renowned sports artist, Leroy Nieman. A few of his close friends encourage his efforts, as does his father, Roger, who is a likeable fellow whose only real concern is trying to keep his family together. Matt appears to have a new lease on life as he begins his freshman year of college at Youngstown State, but the smooth sailing only ends up being the calm before the storm. Out of the blue, Matt is hit with a paternity suit from a conniving old girlfriend. To compound this problem, Matts father has quit his secure job with General Motors and has started his own architecture firm. Although business looked good at the outset, Roger Burns & Associates is floundering financially. Within months, Matts entire world is turned upside down. He is suddenly faced with major legal costs. He is kicked out of the house by his mother. He faces the very real possibility of having to quit college because of his fathers financial difficulties. He loses his job as a designer for the college sports magazine. The toughest pill to swallow is the loss of close friends when the going gets tough. Through all of this turmoil, Matt and his father eventually grow much closer. Roger Burns is unexpectedly receiving a taste of what Matt has been going through for years, that being a kick-in-the-ribs instead of a helping hand. In a story that is a wonderful combination of Rocky, Rudy, and All The Right Moves, Matt bounces back and fights his way through numerous life challenges, proving to adversaries and fickle friends that he is a WINNER.