A Page -- April 8, 2011

Former US state hockey champion Curt 

Kassigkeit takes over boys’ LAX 

program in the Heights; Tigers hoping to 

turn it around with new staff and 

experienced core group

April 8, 2011

By Norm Weber
Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS – With an entirely new coaching staff, Cleveland Heights High’s boys’ lacrosse program is heading into a new direction starting this season with the obvious expectations of an upward shift, but also with a coaching overall often also comes a cluster of new and sometimes inexperienced players as well.

Coming in as the new head coach is Curt Kassigkeit, who is a former assistant coach at Gilmour Academy and the former head coach of Shaker Heights Middle School.
Coach Kassigkeit, 

Kassigkeit comes in with a winning mindset already. High school sports fans should remember Kassigkeit was one of the captains of the University School ice hockey team that won the first of Coach Bill Beard’s two state championships, as he led the Preppers to the 2003 state title-game win over St. Edward in Nationwide Arena.

He also played Preppers lacrosse when he was a Student/Athlete down Cedar Road from here. In addition to his local lacrosse coaching stints, Kassigkeit has gained valuable experience coaching at University of Notre Dame and University of Michigan summer lacrosse camps.

Joining him on staff are new assistant coaches Bill Stark, Ireland Murphy, and Jon Romanin, who played lacrosse as a Student/Athlete here, coming from the Heights class of ’09.

Kassigkeit and company will have back six veteran S/As from last year’s 6-11 Tiger team. Among those to form the nucleus and serve as team leaders: Sam Brown (2011 graduating class, 4th year potential letter winner, coaches’ comments “Backbone of Defense”); Mike Arnold (2011, 3rd year letter, “strong goaltender”); Mac Jones (2011, 3rd year letter, “strong midfielder with goal scoring ability”);
Mike Bryant (2011, 3rd year letter, “best attack, knack for scoring goals”); Ian Kraus (2013, 2nd year letter, “strong and shifty midfielder, hard worker”); and Denis Bertrand (2013, 2nd year letter, “good skill, midfielder”).

Grouped in the trio of newcomers who have the tools to make an immediate impact are incoming S/As (transfers, freshmen, returners) Steadman Smith (2012, “strong defensive presence”), Issac Brown (2014, “strong young player with good potential”), and David Steele (2014, “great potential at midfield”).

“We do have some experience, and we have a group of guys who are quick, fast and hard working,” Kassigkeit said. “However, we still need to focus on fundamental skill development, defensive tactics, offensive ball movement.”

The Tigers also still need to overcome some inexperience and lack of numbers.

’Berg Baseball Streaks to 20-Win Plateau

By Morgan Hawley

University Heights, Ohio – April 7, 2011 – An Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep of host John Carroll University extended the Heidelberg University baseball team’s overall record to 20-4, marking the 12th consecutive season the program has reached the 20-win plateau. Heidelberg kept its streak alive with a 2-0 win in game one and followed it with an 11-2 win in the night cap. 

Against OAC foes the Berg improves to 4-0. The two setbacks drop the Blue Streaks to 7-12 and 1-3.

Guiding the Berg to the 20-win mark every year has been veteran head coach Matt Palm. The five-time OAC Coach of the Year and the reigning Mideast Region Coach of the Year has produced an overall record of 365-150-2 since taking over the program in 2000.

Aggressive base running by Andrew Buelow (Marysville, Mich. / Marysville) and Zach Colatruglio (Brunswick, Ohio / Brunswick) in the fifth inning helped set the stage for Heidelberg’s game one victory.

With one out, Buelow drew a walk. Colatruglio followed with a single to left field and Buelow took two bases with a head first slide into third. On the throw to third Colatruglio claimed second base forcing a throw from JCU’s third baseman. An errant throw to second sent Buelow home for the first run of the game.
Zach Colatruglio
Brunswick alum Zach Colatruglio 

Jordan Martin (Powell, Ohio / Olentangy Liberty) made it two hits in a row and Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo, Ohio / Roy C. Start) loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch. Alex Monroe (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston) got credit with the second RBI of the game after being hit by a pitch.
In the bottom half of the fifth the host Blue Streaks threatened.

 Heidelberg starter Nathan James (Rockport, Ind. / South Spencer) got two strike outs but left two on base for closer Andy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll). Lowe walked his first batter to load the bases for JCU, but a diving stop by short stop Jason Lash (Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville) got a force out at second on the next batter to stop a potential scoring streak by John Carroll.
Jason Lash
Strongsville's Jason Lash

Heidelberg’s defense and Lowe worked together for two strike outs and a double play to assist with keeping JCU scoreless in the last two innings.

James got the win on the mound to improve to 3-1 on the year. He went 4.2 innings and allowed just four hits, while striking out four. Lowe went the final 2.1 innings and preserved his seventh win on the year. The career saves leader at the Berg gave up just one hit and struck out two.
At the plate, finishing with two of Heidelberg’s four hits was Martin.

In game two, Heidelberg led off with an out, but answered with five consecutive hits to build a 2-0 lead after a half inning of play. Monroe and Gar Keen (Sparta, Ohio / Highland) had back-to-back doubles to trade places on the base paths. Brechun followed with a single to put runners on the corners for a RBI single from Lash.

John Carroll tied the ballgame with some uncharacteristic miscues by the Berg in the bottom of the second. With one out, a sacrifice bunt ended with an overthrow to first base to put two JCU runners in scoring position. Both base runners would score on wild pitches to tie the game. John Carroll went on to gain another base runner on a Berg error, but Martin caught him stealing second before Sylvester Nino (Willard, Ohio / Willard) settled in on the mound to get a strike out to end the threat.

After three scoreless innings on both sides, a RBI single by Lizcano in the sixth proved to be the eventual game-winning run. Lizcano’s RBI was the first of four straight scoring innings for the Berg to close out the contest in the winner’s column.

Heidelberg broke things open with a five-run seventh. Four straight hits resulted in four runs, while another was plated on a wild pitch. Leading the charge was a two-RBI double from Lash. Also knocking in a run was Brechun and Arneal Squibb (Mishawaka, Ind. / Mishawaka).

Another ’Berg run scored in the eighth off a sacrifice fly from Brechun and the final two runs came home in the ninth courtesy of Martin and Lizcano.

For the game the Berg hitters pounded 19 hits. Lash went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI and a run scored. Lizcano and Squibb each had three hits apiece. Lizcano knocked in two runs and Squibb scored twice. Also finishing with multiple hits was Monroe, Keen, Brechun and Buelow.

On the mound, Nino overcame a rough start to get the win. He went 5.2 innings and gave up three hits. Nino gave up two runs, with just one earned. En route to the win he struck out seven. Lowe got his eighth save of the year, which is one shy of tying his own single season record that he has set in each of the previous three years. He threw the final 3.1 innings and did not give up a run and allowed just three hits.

Oberlin tennis opens up NCAC season 

with win over Scots

By Wes Davis

Wooster, Ohio - Playing their first North Coast Athletic Conference match of the season on the road proved not to be too difficult as the Oberlin College women's tennis team defeated the College of Wooster 7-2 tonight.

The Yeowomen took command of the match early, earning wins in all three positions with a new doubles partnership and a reshuffling of the line up.

Finley Gates and partner Rebecca Brown earned their first win playing together this season, typically hitting in the No. 2 spot tonight the were bumped to the top slot and defeated the Fighting Scots top paring of Kelsey Jenkins and Ashley Stockwell 8-6.

Oberlin's second pairng of Preeya Shah and Brie White-Dzuro evened their record at 5-5 with a win over Suzann Hamby and Lauren Grimanis 8-5.

Carolyn Ball and Ariel Lewis easily defeated the Scots' Lauren Gilliss and Cory Smith 8-1 in the third spot.

The Yeowomen continued to dominate the NCAC match winning the top four singles match-ups.

"It is always good to win the first conference match as it just sets the tone for remainder of those matches.  We played well today and will have be really prepared and play some high quality tennis next week when we face Denison," said head coach Constantine Ananiadis.

Lewis continues to show her dominance in the top spot earning a 6-0, 6-2 win over Stockwell picking up her sixth win in a row.

Oberlin's No. 2, Gates, had to work a bit harder for her victory as she went up a set and then dropped a close second set 7-5 to Wooster's Jenkins before cranking out a 10-3 win in the super tiebreaker.

Shah was a straight set winner over Graminis 6-0, 6-3 hitting third for the Yeowomen and Ball rounded out Oberlin's wins on the evening pushing her unbeaten streak to four matches as  she was a 6-0, 6-0 winner over Boo Flynn in the fourth slot.

Wooster claimed wins in the fifth and sixth positions as they fall to 6-6 and 0-1 in the NCAC.

Oberlin (8-9, 1-0 NCAC) will have a week to prepare for No. 6 Denison University when they host the Big Red next Thursday, April 14 in a 4:30 p.m. NCAC match.

Bennies basketball coach Rob Stircula 

steps down

Albert Wilson to take over basketball 


By Wally Mieskoski

CLEVELAND (BUCKEYE-WOODLAND DISTRICT) – Benedictine High School’s Rob Stircula, head basketball coach of the Bengals since 2005, has stepped down.

Benedictine school administrators also have announced that Albert Wilson ’98, an assistant for the Bengals, will take over as the new head basketball coach.

“We believe that hiring Albert will afford the school and the basketball team a seamless transition,” said Principal Joe Gressock ’66. “Albert played at Benedictine and is already here as a teacher and coach. The players know him and know his style of coaching. He has all the qualifications we desire in a head coach and did not see a need to look further,” added Gressock.

Wilson, a star center on the Bengals Division II state title basketball teams in 1997 and 1998, returned to his alma mater in August of this current academic year as a physical education teacher and assistant coach. He played professionally for three years in Switzerland and Lithuania. Wilson was head basketball coach at Indianapolis Metropolitan School in Indiana.

He is 12th on the Bengals all-time scoring list with 915 points. In those back-to-back Division II state title years, the Bengals rang up a 43-13 record, including a school record 23 wins in the 1996-97 season (23-5).

Wilson played at the University of Toledo, where he lettered in 1999, 2000 and 2001. He is married to former UT basketball great and UT Hall of Famer Kahli Carter-Wilson.

Stircula, a 1997 Benedictine grad, brought the Bengals back to the state Final Four in the 2009-10 season for the first time since the 1998-99 season (the year after Wilson graduated). Stircula’s 2009-10 team went to Columbus but lost to eventual state champion Dayton Dunbar in the Division II state-semi-finals.

 He finishes his Benedictine tenure with a 92-55 record, with one Final Four appearance, as well as four district titles and two sectional crowns. 

This past season, the Bengals lost once again to the eventual state champions, Akron Buchtel in the district finals.\

Athletic Director Tony Russ ’66 said that Stircula indicated to him midway through this past season that he was considering stepping down but would wait until the season was over to reach a final decision. 

Stircula said, “It takes so much time to run a very competitive basketball program, that I feel it is necessary to re-evaluate my coaching career at this point. I also would like to spend more time with my wife, Tara and our two-year-old son, Carter.”

Stircula will remain as a business and computer teacher at Benedictine.

Case Reserve vs. Otterbein at Progressive Field
CLEVELAND, OH -- The Case Western Reserve University baseball team will play its annual game at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, on Wednesday, April 20 versus Otterbein University. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Prior to the game, CWRU will honor its baseball senior student-athletes.
For more information on the event and to download your game ticket, visit:

In All Cleveland College Battle, Baldwin-

Wallace Softball Team Blanks Hiram 

College, 8-0, in a Non-Conference Game

By Jeff Miller

BEREA – The Baldwin-Wallace College softball team shutout Hiram College, 8-0, today (Tuesday, March 30) in a non-conference game at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds Field. B-W improves to 11-4 overall while Hiram falls to 11-6 overall.

The Yellow Jackets jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first innings as senior first baseman Katrina Resek (Strongsville) and freshman left fielder Ashley Elber (Hudson/Edison) led off the inning with two singles before senior center fielder Tanya Davis (Hinckley/Medina Highland) hit her first triple of the season down the left field line to score the first two runs.
Elber (L), Resek (R)

Freshman pitcher Justina Wise (New London) hit her first collegiate double to center field to plate the next two runs.

B-W would add another run in the second inning. Resek led off the inning with a bunt single and Elber brought her in on a RBI double to right center.

In the Yellow Jacket fifth inning, freshman third baseman Kaity Mullen (Avon Lake) led the inning off with a walk. After two strikeouts, junior second baseman Katie Finley (Vermilion) hit a base knock to right field and Mullen advanced to third on a throwing error by the right fielder. Freshman shortstop Lauren Feciuch (Kent/Field) secured the win with her first collegiate home run to left center field.
Avon Lake's Mullen (L), Vermilion's Finley (R)

On the mound, Wise picked up her sixth win of the season by allowing just three hits in five innings of action while striking out three and not allowing a walk.

The B-W offense was sparked by Feciuch who went 1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI while Davis went 1-for-2 with two RBI. Resek and Elber each had two hits going 2-for-3 and 2-for-2 respectively.

Mount moves winning streak to four games

By Lenny Reich

ALLIANCE -- Mount Union's baseball team extended its winning streak to a season-best four games with a 6-2 win over Walsh Thursday at 23rd Street Field in Alliance.
Grosscup (L) and Stotler

Lee Grosscup (North Canton/Green) had a pair of hits and drove in a run while Craig Knott (Canton/GlenOak), Tom Beklelsky (Akron/Firestone) and C.J. Stotler (Pittsburgh, Pa./Plum) each drove in a run in the victory.
Former Tiger Cody Colly

Cody Colly (Massillon/Massillon Washington) started, got his second win of the season and was one of nine Mount Union pitchers to work as the Raiders held Walsh (14-16) to just six hits.
The Purple Raiders (8-9), winners of five of their last six games, host No. 3 in the nation Marietta tomorrow at 1 pm in an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader at 23rd Street Field in Alliance.

Spartan Bats Pave Way as Softball 

Sweeps Two from Local Rival John 


UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, OH – The Case Western Reserve University softball team continued its winning ways with two dramatic victories, 6-5 and 13-12, on Thursday, April 7 against local rival John Carroll University at Bracken Field. The Spartans mashed four homeruns on the evening to move to 12-20 overall and have now won six straight.

In game one JCU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, but the Spartans answered with a pair of runs in the fourth to tie things up on a double by junior Kaeleen Boden (Strongsville, OH/Holy Name). Case then grabbed the lead in the fifth on a two-run homer by senior Beth Andrasik (Nordonia, OH/Sagamore Hills), her second of the season. The Blue Streaks responded with a score in the bottom of the fifth and went up 5-4 in the sixth to set the stage for another Spartan rally.
Lein (l) and Wolz

Trailing by one, junior Lauren Wolz (Ashburn, VA/Stone Bridge) drilled a two-run homerun to give Case a 6-5 advantage, which would hold up as freshman Mackenzie Lein (Petersburg, MI/Ida) closed out her complete game win to improve to 7-6 on the season.

In the evening’s second affair the Blue Streaks once again staked themselves to a 2-0 lead in the second, but Case would come mashing its way back with a four-run third capped off by a two-run homer by Lein.

Another two crossed on a single by freshman Amy Taylor (Brier, WA/Inglemoor). Case proceeded to add to its lead in the fourth on an RBI ground out by Andrasik and a run-scoring single by Wolz. John Carroll reclaimed the lead in the fifth, however, pushing across seven in a two error, long inning for the Spartans.

Trailing 9-6, Case countered with two in the sixth on another two-run bomb by Wolz, her second of the day. Lein then scored two more in the seventh to put the Spartans back on top, 10-9. 

After JCU evened the score again in their half of the inning, Case scored three more in the eighth inning highlighted by run-scoring singles by sophomore Kayla Lang (Broadview Heights, OH/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) and Taylor. The Blue Streaks staged another comeback in the eight, plating two but would leave the game-tying run stranded at first.

Lein returned in relief to pitch to final 3.1 innings in game two and picked up her second win of the night, improving to 8-6 on the season.