A Page -- Aug. 22, 2011

Rocky River returns a nickel of runners who finished third in the state meet last fall; all five Academic All Ohioans worked together over the summer to get ready for D-I challenges

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


ROCKY RIVER – Since finishing just two spots away from taking it all in the state meet last fall, Rocky River High’s girls’ cross country team is in one of those unfinished-business mindsets this season.

While the Pirates would love to do better than the sterling third-place finish they had last year at Scioto Downs with a state title this year at the new Hebron site, they will have to do it against stiffer competition since the community has continued to grow in terms of families with high school-aged girls.

Five letter women return for the Pirates from that top-flight finish in 2010. Seniors Elyse Bierut, Maddy McDonough, and Megan O’Keefe will head up the leadership, while those also expected to figure in the scoring are returning junior letter gainers Madi Connelly and Ann Eversman.

Those moving up from the JV squad are sophomores Ellen Corcoran and Emma Russ, juniors Annie Swartz and Anna Eames and senior Addy Scott.


Sophomore Cassie Hamker has moved over from the soccer team to run cross country this fall while senior Blaire Wesling is new to XC. Freshmen Elizabeth Weger and Elizabeth Mead will look to crack the varsity 7 and if not learn the ropes in the B, Open and JV races.

“Those five returning from all those post-season championships have been working hard together over the summer to get stronger,” River Coach Laura Brabant. “Our goals continue to be to make it to the state meet and in doing so get every girl to run personal bests.”

In addition to finishing third at States, the Pirates won the West Shore Conference, District title at Lorain Community College and the Tiffin Regional. During the season, they also ran two D-I races, taking fifth of 16 teams at Avon Lake and fifth of 25 schools at Strongsville.

As their fellow S/As in other girls’ sports in the school already have, the Pirates will be moving up to Division I this season.

“We should be a league contender and hopefully after running two D-I races every year the past few years, we will be ready for our challenges outside the conference,” Brabant said.

The best part about the five S/As returning off the 3rd-place varsity team is that all five were also named Academic All Ohio.

Brabant is now in her 14th season as the head coach and 19 overall with Rocky River S/As. 

Having two JV teams expected to begin paying off this season for Strongsville boys’ soccer; majority of varsity roster comes from two JV teams that tasted defeat only four times combined in ’09 and ’10  

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


STRONGSVILLE – Ever since last November when the Strongsville Mustangs were upset in the district championship by Brecksville-Broadview Heights, the boys’ soccer team has been waiting for this season to come to gain what barely eluded them in 2010.

After being ranked in the top 10 and 20 in the nation for most of the season, the Mustangs hit a post-season snag and are now ready to build upon that learning opportunity.

Still, the ‘Stangs are coming off another stellar season, recording a 14-3-2 overall mark in 2010. They will look to continue that tradition of excellence in 2011.

The Mustangs took their 12th consecutive conference title dating back to the Pioneer Conference.  Strongsville has won the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division Championship since its inception four years ago.

In the final polls, the Mustangs were ranked No. 6 in the state by the state coaches’ association and No. 2 in the Greater Cleveland area by the Greater Cleveland Scholastic Soccer Coaches’ Association. The only area team ranked higher in either poll was eventual state champion St. Ignatius.

Speaking of St. Ignatius, the Wildcats are just one of three regional/national powers on the Mustangs’ schedule this season. Next weekend sees the Mustangs take on two out-of-state opponents in the St. Ignatius Tournament the first weekend in Sept.

They face ESPN Rise Magazine pre-season #30 St. Anthony’s (NY) on Saturday in the Wasmer Field sports complex and soccer pitch on the campus of St. Ignatius @ 1pm. After trying to find a way to beat St. Anthony, they then host Louisville St. Xavier on Sunday at 2pm in the Ehrnfelt Soccer Complex.

 Season Preview

They will also face Iggy on the Ohio City Wasmer Field pitch the first week of October. Next week after the Iggy tourney, the Stangs will host two other schools from Cleveland’s West Shore area in St. Edward and Westlake, in the Ehrnfelt Complex.

Evidenced by the two out-of-state opponents Head Coach Tobey Cook schedules every year, Strongsville is another one of those programs that hardly ever wimps out when it comes to the task of testing the best.

Avon Lake is also in that category, which is why the Eagles and Shoremen are scheduled to meet on the Memorial Field pitch this Saturday, which will serve as a tune-up for the Iggy tourney for Strongsville and also for the upcoming heavy hitters for AL.

“What this year’s team may lack in experience they will surely make up for in cohesiveness, as the team is laden with seniors,” said Cook, a 21-year veteran head coaching of Strongsville soccer. 


SR. defenseman Bryan Wolanski (Co-Captain and 3-yr letter winner) and SR. D Jarrod Nadzan (Co-Captain) will lead the way for the Mustangs. 


Wolanski suffered a concussion and fractured orbital lobe in the Mustangs 6th game of last season against North Royalton and he didn’t return until the season-ending District Final loss to Brecksville/Broadview. 


Nadzan is expected to anchor the center of the defense along with Wolanski.  SR MF’s Mario Suarez and Chris Mir Salimi made significant contributions to last year’s success and they are both expected to help run the game in the midfield this year. 

Suarez (2G-3A=7pts) has been an integral part of the team’s success in the past three seasons.  Mir Salimi played in 17 games in 2010 scoring one goal and earning two assists.

2010 JV A team

However, after those four, the experience level dips off for Strongsville, which was made up of a group of more than a dozen seniors in 2010 that had been playing on the same teams together for the most part for 13 years.

Nevertheless, the rest of the ’11 group is made up of guys who have had a great deal of Student/Athletic success at SHS, as they have been part of Cook and Co.’s JVA and JVB programs over the past two years that have lost just 4 matches total including just one loss last season.

2010 JV B Team

SR F Jared Abston (22G + 1A=45pts) and JR F Mike Hall (12G + 6A=30pts) led the way in scoring for the JVA team last season and will be expected to share the brunt of the scoring for this season’s team.  Abston also netted five goals in five games for the Varsity last year.

SR’s Brandon Lumsden (D), Mike Lewis (D), Matt Chandler (D) and Myles Kerr (D) are vying for the outside back and holding midfield spots.  SR Midfielders Richie Jones, Kyle Wolfinger and Joungjoo Jeong are expected to play wide in the midfield.

JR Andres Waag and SR Brandon Moore have made significant strides in pre-season, pushing to make contributions in the midfield.  The goalkeeping is where the Mustangs are the youngest with JR Matt Stephano and SO Ian Simpson splitting the time between the nets in the early going as neither has stepped up to earn the first team spot. 

After Saturday’s bout with the Shoremen, the Mustangs will have another heavyweight battle in the season home opener a week from tomorrow against North Royalton. The Battle of Route 82 is the longest running series for either school as far as boys’ soccer is concerned.

Another non-league match has the Shoremen facing Amherst this season. The Comets have already had two boys on their roster verbally commit to Division I programs for the 2012 Student/Athletic season.





















Tekavec girls lead an experienced group of Solon volleyball Student/Athletes onto the court and ready to challenge this season

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


SOLON – With nearly the entire team returning after regenerating in 2010 upon the return of their coach, Solon Comets volleyball is ready to put it all together this fall and become a key challenger in the Northeast Ohio Conference and the district.

Comets coach Missy FitzGerald has one fourth-year, three third-year and six second-year Student/Athletes returning from last year’s varsity squad that learned some insights during a 9-15 season. In addition to having matured in a volleyball sense, these veteran Comets have also been achieving academically.

“Our volleyball Student/Athletes are some of the highest performing in the classroom,” FitzGerald said.  “We pride ourselves on putting the student first and these kids work incredibly hard on and off the court.  There is a strong correlation of success in the classroom and on the court and we try and encourage our Student/Athletes to do their very best.”

In terms of years of experience, the top returnee is Chelsey Tekavec (Senior/Outside Hitter/4th year varsity player, but injured last season). As far as leadership goes in relation to 2010 accomplishments, coaches and the other S/As will look toward Kristi Tekavec  (Junior/Outside Hitter/3rd year varsity player/1st team all conference and district last season/team leader in kills, blocks).

Also, Maddy Voigt (Senior/Outside Hitter/3rd year varsity player) will also be looked upon for leadership by the Comets staff and rank and filers.

Season Preview

 “This team has gained valuable experience in the off season and they have worked very hard to raise the level of success of the Solon Volleyball program,” Coach FitzGerald said.  “We should be very strong defensively and a much improved offensively.  This team is one of the most passionate, hard working teams that I have coached, and I believe that they are hungry for success.”

Also high octane on the experience side is Kaylee Kruse (Junior/Libero/3rd year varsity player/team leader in digs and serve receiving last season) who will be looked upon to provide defensive charge.

Other regulars returning are Jessie Lim (Junior/Defensive Specialist/ 2nd year varsity player), Katy Dula (Junior/Defensive Specialist/2nd year varsity player), Monica Chehade (Junior/Setter/2nd year varsity player), Andrea Kappelman (Junior/Outside Hitter/2nd year varsity player), Kelsey Ansec (Sophomore/Middle Hitter/2nd year varsity player) and Julie Ludwig (Sophomore/Outside Hitter/2nd year varsity player).

Newcomers expected to make an impact are Christine Anton (Junior/Outside Hitter/1st year varsity player) and Mia Bonsignore  (Freshman/Middle Hitter/1st year varsity player).

“We have not been very competitive in the NOC the past 3 seasons, so our goal is to compete for the league championship in 2011,” the coach said. “We believe we can be a league contender this season.  We have a very competitive schedule that should prepare us for the state tournament.”

Also, some coaching changes have been made. LeAnn Fonner (head softball coach at Solon) is now the varsity assistant and Amanda Villers (formerly Somerville) is the new JV coach after serving as FitzGerald’s 9th grade coach last season.

Laurel Gibson (former Student/Athlete from Solon) is the new freshman coach, and Lisa Grimm (former varsity assistant and former college volleyball teammate of FitzGerald’s at the Univ. of Akron) is the 8th grade for a second year.

Drew Kirian is the 7th-grade coach. “Drew has coached middle school longer than I have coached in Solon,” FitzGerald said.

Garrett Klekota’s two goals spark Amherst Steele win over The ‘Wood; Connor Klekota notches two assists

Garrett Klekota had two goals to lead the Amherst High Comets to 5-0 a non-conference boys’ soccer win over Lakewood on Saturday night.

Andrew Souders  U.S. U-17 Men's National Team


University of Akron-bound Andrew Souders along with Nick Glowackiand Marcus Schmitz also added goals.

Connor Klekota, who earlier this week verbally committed to University of Notre Dame, tallied two assists.

Josh Birkline and Andrew Souders also added assists for the Comets in their season-opening win.

Maximo Meggitt and Niko Malobabic earned the win in goal.

Amherst 5, Lakewood 1

Steele @ Lakewood

Goals: Amherst - Garrett Klekota 2, Marcus Schmitz, Andrew Souders,
Nick Glowacki: Lakewood - Jacob Shelt
Assists: Amherst - Connor Klekota 2, Josh Birkline, Andrew Souders
Saves: Amherst - Maximo Meggitt 2, Niko Malobabic 2; Lakewood - Zach
Fehrenback - 7
Amherst record - 1-0; Lakewood record - 0-1

 JV score: Lakewood 1, Amherst 0

St. Joe’s soccer comes from behind with three-goal, second-half rally to topple Hilltoppers

Saturday night the St. Joseph Academy Soccer Jaguars traveled to Chardon, rallying for three second half goals for a 3-1 come-from-behind win. 

After a frustrating first half out shooting the Hilltoppers 17-3 the Jaguars were down, 1-0.  In the second half, the pressure was too much for the Chardon defense and the Jaguars scored three goals to win, 3-1.

 Freshmen Amanda Burns scored her first high school goal and Junior Niki Mikolcic added two more.  Mikolcic had an assist along with Junior Michelle Costanzo.  Senior Sarah Reinhold had five saves.  In total, the Jaguars had 32 shots to Chardon's 6.

Caroline Becker’s hat trick-plus leads St. Joe Purple JV team to shut out win

The St. Joe JV Purple team shut out Chardon, 8-0. Sophomore Caroline Becker (four goals) paced the scoring attack for the Jags.

Also scoring for the Jaguars were juniors Kristen Hegeman and Nicole Hegeman, and sophomores Catherine Carey and Ashley Santora. Each had one goal to complement Becker’s four.

The JV Gold team opens the season on Tuesday in Madison.

On Saturday August 27 at 10:00 am the Gold travels to play Elyria Catholic JV.  Later in the day JV Purple and Varsity will play Rocky River at 5:00/7:00 pm

Wright State Men's Soccer Rolls Over Cincinnati State

The Wright State men's soccer team scored twice in each half as the Raiders wrapped up the exhibition slate with a 4-0 decision Saturday night over Cincinnati State at the Athletes in Action complex in Xenia.

Cincinnati State last season reached the NJCAA national championship game and four members of that team will be playing for NCAA Division I teams in 2011.

Tim Sampson opened the scoring just 5:14 into the match as he connected on a shot following a pass from the left side by Justin Laird.  Shawn Banagis made it 2-0 at the 15:29 mark with a goal on an assist from Brian Cothern.

Finlay Milne tallied Wright State's third goal of the night at the 49:44 mark of the second half as he scored off a loose ball and Matt Greer rounded out the scoring at the 80:57 mark on an assist by Sampson.

Goalkeepers Craig Feehan and Jacob Bye combined for the shutout, with Feehan recorded a save.

Wright State opens the regular season on Friday, August 26, as the Raiders host Marshall at the Athletes in Action complex at approximately 7:30.  The match will be the second of a doubleheader as the WSU women's team faces Eastern Kentucky in the opener at 5:00.