A Page -- Aug. 18, 2012

Solon girls' golf topples Cloverleaf; Comets led by medalist Alexis Gray


Solon 198, Cloverleaf 245

At Westfield CC

1. Alexis Gray (S) 48; 2. Markle (S) 49; 3. Alyssa Gray (S) 50

Eaton Kalgren''

Eaton & Kalgren Earn Preseason Praise

Oberlin, Ohio – The USA College Football organization has named Oberlin College senior Clay Eaton a First-Team Preseason All-American and also tabbed senior David Kalgren a Preseason Regional All-Star.

Eaton, who has earned numerous awards following his amazing junior season, enters 2012 as one of the North Coast Athletic Conference’s most feared defensive ends. Needing just 3.5 sacks to surpass Chris Pisani to become the school’s all-time leader, Eaton will certainly be ready to put the pressure on opposing offensives when the season gets underway September 1 at Earlham.

After playing quarterback most of his freshman season, Kalgren has worked to become one of the league’s top cover corners over the last two seasons. Last fall he started all 10 games and finished with 52 tackles, two interceptions and six pass break-ups en route to earning All-NCAC Second-Team honors. In addition to his coverage skills, Kalgren is also an excellent return man who netted 582 all-purpose yards last year.

Both Eaton and Kalgren will be heavily counted on to lead the Yeomen defense in 2012.

BW Football Team Begins Camp By Giving Back to the 


BEREA, OHIO -- Baldwin Wallace University Head Football Coach John Snell is a firm believer that community service builds character.  He believes it so much that it is the first things that he asks his team to do at the beginning of each season. Community Service is the cornerstone of his success.

When Snell’s Yellow Jacket squad of 195 Student/Athletes reported to preseason camp on Wednesday, August 8 in Berea, each student-athlete brought with him a shoe box filled with school supplies for needy children. This is the 11th straight year that Snell’s team has supported his “School Supplies for Needy Children” initiative.  It is one of at least two annual community service projects for his program. In addition to “Professor Appreciation Day”, the football team joins with Yellow Jacket Student/Athlete Services on other projects that involve the entire Student/Athlete population of the University and the communities of Berea, Brook Park, Middleburg Heights and others.

“We were overwhelmed,” said Snell of the amount of school supplies that were collected.  “This is not a knock on the great work that all of our previous teams produced for this effort, but this was phenomenal.  It was easily the most we have collected in the 11 years that we have been doing this project.  It was just outstanding.”

Snell tells his players why it is important right from the start.

“It is important that the first day that we give back,” Snell tells his student-athletes and the parents, coaches and other family members in the crowd of about 600 people who attended the team’s Family Picnic.  “It is important that we give back to those who a bit or more less fortunate than we are.  It is important to be involved in community service from day one.

“Each young man in our program is fortunate to be able to attend college,” said Snell. “We want our student-athletes to help others. We want them to realize sacrifice and how we can help others in the classroom, off the field and on the field. I think our student-athletes have grown to enjoy the programs and the interaction with others who may be less fortunate than themselves.”

This year, Snell again chose Berea’s Church Street Ministry to receive the school supplies. In past years, Snell’s program has benefitted such groups as Cleveland’s “Shoes and Clothes for Kids”, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s Taussig Cancer Center and Strongsville’s “Rainbow Quilters”. Church Street Ministry Director Frannie Milward, Jeff Jackson and representatives of her group were on-hand to accept the school supplies.

“This is just wonderful,” said Milward, who was beaming with a BIG smile. “I just want to thank Coach Snell and his young men for their charity and generosity.  The school supplies will go a long way toward helping many young people in our area begin school the right way and with a fighting chance to learn.

“These young children will go to school on the first day not wanting or needing of materials that will help them get a good education,” continued Milward. “They will not be embarrassed by not having the proper supplies. It will raise their self-esteem and in turn will give them a better chance to learn. So, on behalf of Church Street Ministry and the young people who will receive these supplies, I thank you with all of my heart.”

Then Milward explained what the school supplies meant to the children. As part of Snell’s idea of community service, each student-athlete writes a letter to the child who will receive the school supplies.

Milward said, “I just want to let you know that the messages that you young men write to these children have a profound affect. They read the notes and letters. They ask questions. Your messages motivate these young children. It means so much to them.  Again, thank you.”

During its season a few years ago, BW football student-athletes participated in a “Tackle Cancer” program. The “Tackle Cancer” program involved the members of the football team selling 200 t-shirts for $10.00 each with the BW Football Tackle Cancer logo emblazened on each shirt. The profit from the sales of those t-shirts benefitted the CCF’s Taussig Cancer Center. The “Rainbow Quilters” of Strongsville, a group that makes afghans for cancer patients at Taussig, and a number of local grade schools where BW student-athletes read and work with children each year.

“Our young men have been given a great gift of the talent and ability to be able to participate,” said Snell.  “But to become leaders, both in the classroom and on the field, they need to think about others and how to become better team players.  Giving is a great way to help others and bring us closer together as a team and family. And, it just makes a lot of sense to simply give back to our community. We are more than happy to do so.”

Two other annual community service projects for the football team are its annual Al Koran Temple/ Shriners’ Day football game and its Professor Appreciation Day.

This season’s “Shriners’ Day” game is on Saturday, September 29 when the Yellow Jackets host Otterbein University at 1:30 p.m. at Finnie Stadium.  Partial gate proceeds from that day go to benefit the Shrine’s philanthophy of helping children who have suffered severe burns.

The Shriners’ Day game is in its 35th season and was started by the late and legendary College Football Hall of Famer Lee Tressel ‘48, who served as BW’s football coach and athletics director from 1957-80 and was a Shriner himself.  The late and legendary Bob Packard ‘65, who preceeded Snell as head coach, also enjoyed the Shrine Day activities.

This season’s “Professor Appreciation Day” game is scheduled for October 27 when the Yellow Jackets host Marietta College at Finnie Stadium. Prior to the game, each BW senior football student-athlete presents a member of the College faculty with a framed cover of that day’s game program with a special message. The message thanks the faculty member for making a difference in the life of the student-athlete while at the University.

“It is important for our young men to thank our faculty, and especially those members of the faculty who go out of their way to make the student-athlete experience special,” said Snell.  “We have an outstanding, engaged faculty at this University.  They are interested in helping our students do their best both in and out of the classroom. It only makes sense that we thank them for their efforts. It is just another reason that Baldwin Wallace University is a very special place.”

Snell ideas about community never end. Next summer, he plans to extend an invitation to both the BW campus and the community of Berea to help participate in the “School Supplies for Children” initiative.

“Based on what I saw at the last two year’s of the BW Christmas Luncheon (the University collected donations of food and money for the Cleveland Food Bank), I know the BW community is a very giving, caring and compassionate. I’m also sure the Berea community, which also has displayed a great deal of care and compassion, would be open tothe idea of joining our efforts,” said Snell.  “And, if we can help more young children realize their dream of getting a good, quality education, then I am all for it.”

Three-time All-UAA senior tri-captain Deena Levey is one of five returning starters this fall. (photo by Lynne Browske)

Case Reserve soccer returns 13 letter winners

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Having completed the best season in program history last fall, the Case Western Reserve University women's soccer team features 13 letterwinners and five returning starters as it aims for a University Athletic Association Championship and a second-straight NCAA Tournament berth.

The Spartans, ranked No. 17 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III Preseason Poll, concluded the 2011 campaign at 13-4-3 overall with a 4-2-1 record in the ultra-competitive UAA. The squad ended the season with school records for both wins and shutouts (11). Additionally, Case earned the program's first-ever national ranking in mid-October and reached the NCAA Championship Tournament for the first time in team history.

Sixth-year Head Coach Tiffany Crooks, leader of the reigning UAA Coaching Staff of the Year, returns an abundance of talent and experience across the roster, but will have to replace seven seniors, six starters and NSCAA All-American Kendra Simmons (Medina, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit), who will sit out her senior year with a medical condition.

"Our program will absolutely miss last year's senior class as well as Kendra (Simmons)," said Crooks. "Those losses leave us with some definite holes, but we will not try to fill them. Rather, this scenario opens up space for other players to emerge and create new roles for themselves. It also gives us an opportunity to get creative and expand on what we've done in the past."

Last season, the Spartans led the conference with a program-best seven All-UAA selections and four first-teamers. Prior to that, CWRU women's soccer hadn't had a first-team All-UAA pick since 2003.

This fall, the Spartans return four of the seven All-UAA selections, including a first-team honoree in junior forward Leah Levey(Columbus, Ohio/Bexley). An NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region Second Team honoree, Levey was third on the team with eight points on two goals and a team-high tying four assists. A versatile player that can also play the midfield, Levey has 21 points on eight goals and five assists in 38 career matches.

Leah's older sister and senior tri-captain/midfielder Deena Levey (Columbus, Ohio/Bexley), also a three-time All-UAA honoree, produced a solid 2011 season with five points on a goal and three assists. In 54 career matches, Deena has recorded 22 points on six goals and 10 assists.

"The Levey sisters are key players for us," noted Crooks. "Each is very strong tactically, works hard, and has the ability to impact the game in different ways. They complement each other well, and we will count on them a great deal this season."

Also back is the honorable mention All-UAA duo of junior forward Rachel Bourque (Newton, N.H./Central Catholic) and senior midfielder/tri-captain Devyn Lee (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa./State College).

Bourque was second on the squad with nine points on four goals and an assist, while Lee had six points on two goals and two assists.

"Rachel (Bourque) has great speed and continues to develop into one of our top scorers," said Crooks. "Devyn (Lee) brings great size, experience and the ability to impact the game in key situations."

Along with Bourque and Lee, the Spartans return an additional midfielder with significant experience in graduate student Alexandra Litofsky (Columbia, Mo./Rock Bridge) as well as experienced forwards in senior Alyssa Lauzau (Pickerington, Ohio/Bishop Hartley) and sophomores Jessica Sabers (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Jerome) and Christine Straka (Prospect Hills, Ill./Saint Viator).

Litofsky saw action in 19 games with four starts and totaled a goal and an assist, while Lauzau tallied three scores, including a game-winner, with one helper. Sabers concluded her first collegiate season tied for third on the squad with eight points on a pair of goals and a team-high tying four assists, while Straka appeared in 18 matches with a pair of goals.

With the losses of several key cogs on the backline, Crooks will turn to senior defender and tri-captain Maeve Goede (Westlake, Ohio/Westlake) to anchor a unit that allowed just 11 goals in 20 matches. Goede scored her first career goal, the eventual game-winner, during Case's NCAA Championship First Round victory versus Lebanon Valley College (Pa.).

"Maeve (Goede) brings a very physical presence to our defense, and with 51 career starts, she is one of the most experienced players in the league," said Crooks. "We'll rely on her to lead the defensive effort as some of our other players settle into their roles."

Crooks also expects extended playing time for junior Katie Chapin (Basking Ridge, N.J./Villa Walsh Academy) and sophomore Nicole Harioka (Danville, Calif./Carondelet). Chapin appeared in 16 games a season ago, while Harioka logged minutes in eight contests.

The Spartan sophomore class returns six additional players that will compete for time including midfielder/forward Caitlyn McGillis(Fraser, Mich./Regina), midfielders Makenzie Best (Grove City, Ohio/Grove City) and Maureen O'Reilly (Florence, Mass./Northampton), defenders Megan Novak (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) and Samantha Wantuch (Sugar Grove, Ill./Kaneland), and midfielder/forwardAllison Debeljak (Beachwood, Ohio/Beachwood).

McGillis saw game action in 19 contests and recorded an assist. Best played in seven games with two assists, while Novak played in five contests.

The starting goalkeeper job will be up for grabs as the team loses the program's all-time shutouts leader in 2012 graduate Anna Kennedy. Junior Kerry Martenis (Southgate, Mich./Southgate) returns with the most experience, while sophomore Cameron Casson (Allen, Texas/Allen) played in one match as a rookie. Crooks also sees a pair of freshmen in the mix at the position.

Even with a roster full of experienced players, Crooks is looking forward to significant contributions from her freshman class.

"I expect the freshmen to come in ready to compete and to make a statement," noted Crooks. "This is a very talented group and their contagious energy will help everyone in our program."

The Spartans' 2012 schedule features matches versus four preseason nationally-ranked programs—two of which are UAA squads. The team opens with a trio of road matches versus Heidelberg University on Friday, August 31, preseason No. 12 Ohio Northern University on Sunday, September 2 and Denison University on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The team's home-opener is set for Saturday, Sept. 8 versus preseason No. 24 Centre College (Ky.) at Case Field and the UAA slate begins on Saturday, Sept. 29 at home versus New York University at 5:00 p.m. as part of CWRU's Homecoming Weekend festivities.

"The UAA, like every year, will be the best conference in the country," said Crooks. "Top to bottom, every single team can compete. Looking at our non-conference schedule, it is our toughest yet in the time I have been here. Playing top teams in the Great Lakes Region as well as the country will allow us to see where we fit in the big picture. We're very fortunate to play against the best, and we will have to show up prepared and ready to perform during every match."

Mount Union Volleyball Tabbed No. 18 in AVCA Preseason Poll

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Coming off the second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, the Mount Union volleyball team enters the 2012 campaign ranked No. 18 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll, which was released on Wednesday.
Taylor Webb 

The Purple Raiders won the Ohio Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament for the first time in school history and topped Lebanon Valley (Pa.) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament en route to a 25-8 record last season. Five starters return this year, headlined by All-OAC Second Team selections Taylor Webb(Geneva/Geneva) and Nicole Snyder (Mentor/Lake Catholic).

"It is certainly nice for our athletes to be recognized for what we accomplished last season and the promising returners we have, but where we finish is more important than where we've started," stated Mount Union head coach Leigh Ann Swartz. "We are focused on preparing for each opponent, and taking each match as it comes. We have set very specific and challenging goals for the 2012 season, and that is what we will focus on."

The Raiders are one of just two ranked team that were unrakned in the final AVCA poll of last season. This marks the third time that Mount Union has ever been ranked in the history of the AVCA poll. The most recent appearance came on September 27, 2000 when they were ranked No. 14 in the nation. The Raiders received votes in the poll during the 2009 season, which resulted in the program's first NCAA Tournament berth.

Mount Union is joined by Heidelberg and Otterbein in representing the OAC in the poll. Heidelberg is No. 21 while Otterbein received votes.

The Raiders will have the opportunity to see how they compare with the best teams the nation has to offer this year. They are scheduled to play seven teams ranked in the top 15 of the poll, including No. 3 Calvin and No. 8 Hope during the opening weekend of the season at the Capital/Otterbein Tournament on August 31st and September 1st.

2012 AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll (August 15, 2012)

RankSchool (First-Place Votes)Total Points2011 Record2011 Final Poll
1Christopher Newport (14)  676 38-5  2
2Washington-St. Louis (7) 653 34-2 6
3Calvin 590 33-1 4
4Emory 578 36-5 8
5Wittenberg (3) 573 37-3 1
6Cal Lutheran 550 29-7 9
7St. Thomas (Minn.) 544 31-5 7
8Hope 492 25-7 14
9Eastern 443 36-3 3
10Juniata 433 27-8 10
11Elmhurst 360 31-6 19
12Carthage 317 33-7 5
13SUNY Cortland 270 42-2 16
14Colorado College 231 33-7 12
15Chicago 229 30-6 T-17
16UMass-Boston 211 28-5 20
17Wisconsin-Whitewater 174 26-8 T-21
18Mount Union 163 25-8 NR
T-19Concordia (minn.) 159 26-4 1
T-19Southwestern (Texas) 159 30-4 T-17
21Heidelberg 150 32-7 15
22Springfield 147 34-3 13
23Occidental 141 21-9 T-21
24Trinity (Texas) 137 22-16 NR
25Pacific Lutheran 116 21-6 25