A Page -- Aug. 1, 2011

St. Joseph soccer team continues its climb toward becoming one of most formidable programs in the Cleveland area; Niki Mokolcic returns after scoring 27 goals in ‘10

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


CLEVELAND (WEST PARK) -- Ever since David Leigh took over the St. Joseph Academy soccer program after serving as the Elyria Catholic girls’ coach and Avon High boys’ coach, the numbers of Student/Athletes involved has increased to the point of outfitting two JV units to accommodate all the interested parties.

Combined the varsity and JV teams scored nearly 100 goals and let up fewer than 40 on the way to a collective 20-5-4 record in 2010, and many of the gals who made it happen are back for another season of fine soccer, as the Jaguars get better and better every year.

“This year’s varsity team is very cohesive and has depth at every position,” said Leigh. “We hope to make a good run in the playoffs.”

Season Preview

The Jaguars’ varsity (11-1-4 in ‘10) sports six multiple-year letter winners among its 10 returning letterwomen in the ’11 group.

Two-year letter winners returning are Jessica Hippler (Senior), Abby Leigh (Senior), Laura Mayer (Senior), Lauren Rave (Senior), Sarah Reinhold (Senior), and Niki Mikolcic (Junior).

For scoring punch, the Jaguars will once again look to Mikolcic, who scored 27 goals and had 3 assists in 2010 for 57 total points. As a team, the Jaguars scored 48 goals in 16 matches on the varsity level.

 Michelle Costanzo (Junior), Lauren Brooks (Junior), Carolyn Gavin (Junior), and Kelsi McCafferty (Senior) are the other returning letter winners.

Others who contributed to both the varsity and JV teams and who are returning are Monica Tent (Senior), Ali DeCrane (Sophomore) and Nicole Rave (Sophomore).

Newcomers include Chelsea Hirzel (Junior/transfer from Magnificat) and Melanie Ward (Junior).

To beef up the schedule, Leigh added three-time state champion Bay, Amherst, Western Reserve Academy and Chardon.

“If we remain healthy, we anticipate having another good year,” Coach Leigh said.

Leigh (4th year at SJA) will get help on the sidelines from Assistant Varsity Coach Alejandro Garcia (4th year at SJA), Junior Varsity Purple Coach Jim Harter (4th year at SJA), and Junior Varsity Gold Coach Marilyn McConnell (2nd year at SJA).












Trinity’s senior girls’ soccer group has a combined 27 years of starting experience at the varsity level; Trojans return all but one starter and expect to make a strong post-season run

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


GARFIELD HEIGHTS – Trinity High’s girls’ soccer hopes to bank on the cohesion it has built that past three seasons and emerge as a serious contender for a long post season in 2010.

Coach Calvin Jefferson returns 10 seniors from the 2010 unit, but not only that this is a group of 10 seniors who are now in their fourth season together.

We are going to be very fast and very experienced, with all but one starter returning from last season,” Jefferson said. “Now in D-3, our team looks to make a strong, deep run into the post season due to the closeness of out senior players who have been starting for 4 seasons together now.”


Also, a large group of incoming freshmen give the team added depth.

In that senior group are Emily Krause (Senior/3 letters), Brianna Pastor (Senior/1 letter), Mackenzie Madigan (Senior/3 letters), Catherine Hantak (Senior/3 letters), Nicole Kontur (Senior/3 letters), Allie Pirone (Senior/3 letters), Nicole Lungaro (Senior/3 letters), Amber Simun (Senior/3 letters), Rachel Grabowski (Senior/2 letters) and Marissa Smego (Senior/3 letters).

Season Preview

Even in filling out with the 11th player, the Trojans have experience with Rose Tupta (Junior/1 letter).

The new assistant coaches for the fifth-year head coach are Mindy Gary and Karen Stanley.

This group of Trojans performs well on both ends of the Student/Athlete conjunction.

“All of our players are top students and citizens,” said Jefferson. “Most all of our athletes are A and B students and at the top of their class”

The team has a collective GPA well over 3.0.

College/HS S/As welcome to run in Mastick races; several Cleveland Student/Athletes 

already signed up

In an effort to preserve prize money at the Mastick race, this years race is still wide open, and while nobody sets out to beat up on high school runners, it is easy money. For 2012, Prize Money will either be increased or done away with.
The past few years, a majority of the money, while not a big purse for winners, has been defered by athletes with HS or NCAA time left. 
"Being away from the racing scene for almost 3 years has left me out of the loop and out of contact with many of the area's top studs," said long-time Cleveland road runner John Nakel. "Neither 2011 winner is entered as of yet."

Entry deadline is Wednesday at midnight. All entries must be postmarked by 11:59 P.M. Wednesday.
Entry forms are available on the below link.  They can call John's cell with any questions.
440-476-0018 (cell)