A Page -- Aug. 16, 2011

  
Returning All Ohioans for the Comets Nick Davidson (L) and Cory Stuart

Solon returns 20 regulars from 12-1 ’10 team; Comets hope to ride regular-season winning streak to 21 games but must do it on the road, in daylight

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor

normweber@studentathletecleveland.com

SOLON -- With 20 starters/alternates returning from the 2010 Solon High football team that went undefeated all the way to the regional final before falling to eventual big-school state champion St. Edward, the Comets should once again be one of Ohio’s foremost teams.

The Comets (12-1 in ’10) open the season with a matinee at Shaker Heights on the 27th of this month and will be looking to extend their regular-season winning streak to 21 games. They have not lost a regular-season game since 2008. They will not have a home contest until the third week of the season when they host Buchtel in Stewart Field, where they have not lost a game in their last 18 opportunities on the turf.

The two-time defending champions of Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division, Solon will have four of its toughest games this season in Stewart Field, where they have been 40-3 the past eight years. Visiting one of the toughest places to win by an opponent will be North Royalton, Mentor, Brunswick and Strongsville.


SEASON PREVIEW


Buchtel at home will be no day at the beach either for the Comets. The Griffins were 4-1 during the playoffs in 2010, falling in the D-III state title game to Watterson.

There are only two weeks this season when the Comets are neither home nor on the road on back-to-back weeks, engaging in home-home, away-away things four times this season. Four of this season’s opponents were in the playoffs in ’10. Medina and Twinsburg each went 1-1 in the playoffs while Mentor was one and done.

Restifo

Among the returning starters/alternates are Nate Hoff, Tres Barksdale, Nick Davidson, Austin Stock, Michael Dunn, Darian Hicks, Vince Hill, Alex Knight, Justin Kresevic, Ryan Pastor, Ryan Schwenke, Cory Stuart, Drew Barksdale, Cameron Bell, Khoury Crenshaw, Kalin Etheridge, Reggie Jagers, Patrick Kramer, Anthony Restifo, and Shiloh Smalls-Moore.

Tres Barksdale

Kramer was the some times starting quarterback who completed 59 percent (51-86) of his passes in 2010, but 18 percent of his completions went for TDs (8). Crenshaw was the third-leading rusher out of the backfield with 543 yards on 82 carries.

The Barksdale boys caught 30 passes between them, Tres with 20 and Drew with 10. Tres led the club in touchdown receptions with four. Stuart caught three TD passes and overall was the team’s leading receiver with 46 catches for 451 yards including three for TDs.

Davidson was the team’s leading overall tackler with 150 takedowns, the leading solo tackler with 44 exclusive grab and wrap ups, and in tackles for losses with 24 push backs. He was Third Team All Ohio in 2010.

Hoff

Schwenke and Hoff ranked among the top five tacklers on the team while Pastor, Hill Smalls-Moore, and Stuart were among the top 10 on the club defensively. Schwenke was Special Mention AP All District, as were Stuart as a wide receiver and Hoff as an offensive guard.

Knight was the MVP kicker in the NEO. He averaged 34 yards a punt, was 52 of 52 on PATs, and 11 of 14 on field goal attempts.

In all of Ohio, Solon has the best record (24-2) among Division I schools the past two seasons.

In honor of the many American men who have died at war particularly those from their home state, the Solon Comets will wear a helmet decal in support of the Ohio National Guard’s 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team who will be deployed to Afghanistan later this year.

They will also wear a decal in memory of former Solon captain Jim Mandich, a former collegiate Academic All American who passed away at age 62 this past spring.

Glenville alumnus Donnie Fletcher named captain for Boston College

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Defensive back Donnie Fletcher, linebacker Luke Kuechly, wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah and offensive guard Nathan Richman will serve as captains of the 2011 Boston College football team, according to an announcement made by head coach Frank Spaziani Monday.

Fletcher

The quartet was elected by a vote of their peers.

Fletcher in action

Fletcher, Momah and Richman will lead the team as seniors. Kuechly will lead the team as a junior.

Fletcher started all 13 games last fall and has played in all 40 games in the last three years. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound defensive back registered 53 tackles in 2010. He led the team - and ranked 11th among all collegiate players in the nation - with five interceptions.

Note: This story could also be found at S/A-Cleveland's national electronic paper, S/A-Jesuit

 And going to the Aug. 16 A Page

Olmsted Falls girls’ soccer has enough experience, talent to reach double-digit win mark this season

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor

normweber@studentathletecleveland.com

OLMSTED FALLS – Nearly the entire team for Olmsted Falls girls’ soccer from the 2010 outfit that finished 9-7-2 in one of the toughest conferences and one of the strongest districts in the state returns, a which is good enough reason for the group to be excited about the idea that this could be its year.

Despite many Student/Athletes with at least some varsity experience, the gals in this group are still short on the number of turns in high school varsity soccer.

“With five sophomores starting and one freshman looking to break into the lineup, our team is young,” said Falls Coach Kelly Yurick. “The team’s strength is that of all Olmsted Falls teams -- we have a ‘blue-collar’ work ethic.  They all work and work hard all the time.

“Other than the newcomers, everyone wants to play all 80 minutes and doesn't want or need a sub. They are in condition; all have improved in the off season on their skills and speed.  They are dedicated and play as a team.” 


SEASON PREVIEW


For leadership purposes, Yurick has two seniors Jill Mesaros and Reille Dupratt – to take the bull by the horns to lead the young pack, although not totally green, to sweeter pastures.

Mesaros (SR/3-yr letter winner) is the sweeper and now in her 2nd year of controlling the defense. “Jill has excellent vision, good speed, and is good in the air,” Coach Yurick said.

Dupratt (Sr/3-yr letter winner) is moving from defender/outside-mid to forward this year. “We are moving her because she has the best foot skills on the team and is a good finisher,” the coach commented.

Allison Duber, Nikki Sieg, Madi Woods are three juniors who also bring experience to the 2011 Bulldogs season.

Duber (Jr /2-yr letter winner/forward) was also a state track qualifier in the 4x400. “Her speed makes her great in 1-on-1 situations,” Coach Yurick said.

Sieg (Jr/2-yr letter winner) is also a defender. “She is a solid defender with good skills,” Yurick said.

Woods (Jr/2-yr letter winner) is the keeper but will play forward also this year as she splits time in the goal. “Madi has improved her speed and foot skills plus she is solid in the goal,” said Yurick.

The sophomore class is the largest one with six Student/Athletic gals competing for the Bulldogs varsity this season.

Twins Leah and Lauren Walchanowicz will be assets all over the pitch.

Leah (So/1-varsity letter) will share time as keeper as she has improved her play in the goal over the summer, the coaches observed.

Lauren (So/1-time varsity letter winner) is a defender/midfielder. “Lauren will play a lot more this year as stopper or center-mid; she has improved speed and quickness and is able to finish from distance,” Coach Yurick said.

Sherilyn Rogers (So/1-x letter winner/midfield) has “great vision,” and “good foot skills,” according to coaches’ assessments, while Madison Horvath (So/1x letter winner/midfield) has “great speed,” is “aggressive” and  “is able to finish,” per coaching notes.

Laney Haviland (So/1-x letter winner/midfield) possesses “good speed, and excellent ability to cross or finish,” according to Yurick and former JV Coach and now Varsity Assistant Paula Harter.

Helen Baszuk is a sophomore who was a varsity letter winner as a freshman. “A defender, Helen has excellent foot skills and will attack out of the back, from where she is able to close girls down and immediately attack,” Coach Yurick said.

Other upperclassmen who are expected to contribute more to varsity this season are Christine Neudeck (Jr/2-x letter winner/mid/defender), who the coach has said has “greatly improved technique, and has become more aggressive and not afraid to be physical,” and Jessica Gannon (Sr/1-x letter winner), who has “decent speed, good technical skills and will play in the midfield,” the coach noted.

Newcomers include Mikaela Eisenloffel (Fr), who Yurick said “has size, speed, good technical skills and is a great finisher” and who will play midfield, and “will be a huge asset as soon as she catches up to the speed of the varsity game;” and Elisabeth Meyer (transfer from St Louis) who according to coaches has “great ability to pull balls out of the air, is able to finish, and sees the field” and also will be an asset in the midfield.

Although final season records are hard to predict in pre-season here, the Bulldogs should at least be able to give most or all opponents a good match in ’11.

“We will be competitive with everyone,” Coach Yurick said.  “Everyone has finally gained the concept of possession.  We are still working on getting more players involved in the attack.  We have a solid defense and two very good keepers.”

Yurick and her staff also have an outstanding group of students. Mesaros has a 4.2 grade point average (on a 5.0 scale) and as a whole the varsity team is above a 3.4 collectively, which should help them achieve their goals.

“The team is focused on improving its record, getting more scoring opportunities, and advancing further in sectionals,” Yurick concluded.

 

 





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