A Page -- Aug. 4, 2010

B-W Alum Jim Tressel, B-W coach John Snell and B-W Tailback Kyrell Crook at OAC Media Day today at Ohio State
(S/A Photo By Nick Minerd)

Watch short video of Coach Tressel do photo op with folks from his alma mater, B-W, by clicking and downloading

No surprises: Mount Union picked 

to win the OAC again, B-W, JCU 

picked to finish in lower tier; first Bill 

Nichols award bestowed on southern 

Ohio writer

August 4, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


COLUMBUS --- Ten-time national champion Mount Union was the unanimous choice today in both the media and coaches’ poll to win the Ohio Athletic Conference championship, at the 45th Annual Media Day here at Ohio State University Football Stadium.

The Purple Raiders, national runners up last year and 20-time OAC championships received 340 points and all 34 first-place votes from the media. In the coaches’ poll, the Raiders received nine first-place votes. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams so they pick only 1-9.

The late Bill Nichols

Special guest at the OAC Media Day was former Baldwin-Wallace quarterback and B-W alumnus Jim Treseel, the Ohio State head coach. Also Wade Nichols made the trip down with his wife Pam as the inaugural Bill Nichols Award was presented. Nichols, Wade’s father, was a sports writer covering the OAC schools for 35 years and also was a professor of sports writing and sports management at three different OAC schools in northeastern Ohio.

Nichols passed away last summer.

Wade Nichols, Ron Miller, Pam Nichols

Among the other Cleveland area schools, B-W was picked to finish seventh by the coaches and eighth by the media, while John Carroll was picked sixth by the media and eighth by the coaches.

Three athletic directors made the trip here -- Kris Diaz from B-W, Larry Kehres from Mount, and Laura Massa from John Carroll – the three with the longest rides to the state center.

Watch short video of Mount coach Larry Kehres talk about Collinwood’s Cecil Shorts III by clicking and downloading


Ohio Northern was picked second and Otterbein third in both polls.  In the three national polls, those two along with Mount appear in the top 15. Both of the O schools received a half of a first-place vote from Kehres, also the coach at Mount since he could not vote for his own team.

Heidelberg, which continues to have a healthy number of Cleveland-area Student/Athletes in its program, was picked fifth in both polls. Capital was third in both polls, while Marietta, Wilmington and Muskingum were picked in to finish in the second division in both polls.

John Carroll has healthy amount of 

experience returning to surprise 

some people in OAC grid race

August 4, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


COLUMBUS – Although John Carroll was picked to finish eighth and sixth in the two Ohio Athletic Football Conference pre-season polls today, the Blue Streaks are not going to just lie down and let it happen.

“We will be surprising some people,” said veteran Carroll coach Regis Scafe. “We are not going to let a pre-season poll get in the way of what we have to do, which is win football games.”


Scafe does have to replace Jeff Javorek, a West Geauga High product, at quarterback. Javorek graduated after a fine season last year when the Blue Streaks were not hesitant to put the ball in the air.

“We still need to find a quarterback and have about five or six men in the running for the spot,” said Scafe. “Still, we have a lot of experienced players back at other positions who are hungry to play well and have a good season.”

Watch short video of JCU coach Regis Scafe talk about his team by clicking and downloading


Sophomore Mike Locke is the front runner at quarterback.

While Carroll has always had a great influx of players from the many strong Catholic high school programs in the Cleveland area, partly due to Scafe’s decades long ties to the Cleveland area, the coach has strengthened the pipeline to those schools with Tom Zagorski and Tom Arth now among his staff. Zagorski is a Benedictine and Case Western Reserve alumnus and Arth a St. Ignatius and John Carroll alumnus.  Look for a feature story on Arth and Zagorski on Friday’s – August 6 – A page here at www.studentathletecleveland.com.

“It helps having both Tom and Tom here on the staff,” Scafe said. “The coaches in the high schools around here know them, they are still young and are able to build good rapport with the high schools and kids around here.”

Listen to interview of Coach Scafe conducted by Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading


The Blue Streaks have hovered around the .500 mark the past four seasons after averaging seven and a half wins a years in Scafe’s first seven seasons as the head coach.



Leading the group of returning seasoned veterans is wide receiver Frank Ross, who caught 69 passes for 808 yards last year. He will be joined at the other wide out by Trinity High alumnus Josh Rentz as the other wide out. Both are seniors. Also in that receiver rotation as mentioned by Scafe is junior Kyle Hubbard, a St. Edward product.



Two Benedictine High products will bring back experience and factor into the big picture for the Streaks, one on offense and one on defense. Senior Teree Harris should see a reasonable number of totes in the running back slot and fellow former Bengal Chuck Iheama, a senior, will be one of the anchors on the defensive line.

Teree Harris


That defense will also have back linebacker C.J. Seitzinger, who had 61 tackles in ’09. The experienced crew in the middle of the defense includes linebacker Emmett Lydon, a St. Ignatius grad who turned in a stellar game against St. Edward three years ago, snapping a two-season losing streak by Wildcats against the Eagles in arguably the top high school rivalry in the country, and Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin product Jake Brandt at the other linebacker.

E Lydon


One key returner in the secondary is Holy Name’s Matt Ostry.

Also Perry’s (Stark Co.) Karl Roshong is back as the punter.

Watch short video of JCU’s Phil Bokovitz talk about getting on a plane for the first time in his life and then visiting the beaches at Normandy, the site of V-E Day, by clicking and downloading



Crestwood, Ill.- The Lake Erie Crushers fell 7-4 in the middle game of their three-game series with the Windy City ThunderBolts Wednesday night at Standard Bank Stadium
The ThunderBolts were the first on the board in the contest, scoring in the bottom of the second against Crushers starter Matt Smith. Zach Aakhus and Pete Paris led off the inning with consecutive singles and after Aakhus advanced to third on a fly ball to right field, Michael Torres laid down a bunt single that scored Aakhus and gave Windy City a 1-0 advantage.

The Crushers responded immediately in the ensuing frame, taking the lead when Dom Duggan laced a double down the left field line that scored Wayne Bond, who had singled himself and stolen second, his third steal of the year. Duggan stole third himself, his 30th swipe of 2010 and came home on a sacrifice fly by Raphael Turner that put the Crushers up 2-1.

The ThunderBolts struck back in the fourth to retake the lead. Once again it was consecutive singles to lead off the inning, this time from Jeremy Hamilton and Aakhus. After a Pete Paris walk the bases were loaded for J.T. Restko, who was hit by a 3-2 pitch to score Hamilton. Smith would limit the damage from there however, coaxing Mike Torres into a 1-2-3 double play that left runners at second and third with two away. However, Paris would scamper home on a wild pitch before the inning end to leave the score at 3-2.

Once again though, Lake Erie responded, tying the game in the top of the fifth on Raphael Turner's second sacrifice fly of the game, this one scoring Bond who had reached on an error by Windy City third baseman Nick Kuroczko. 

With the score 3-3, the ThunderBolts took advantage of three Lake Erie errors in the bottom of the fifth to jump back ahead. Brandon Anderson led off by reaching on the first miscue of the inning, charged to Drew Saylor. A Gilberto Mejia walk chased Matt Smith from the contest and the man who relieved Smith, Esmelvin Jimenez was greeted by a Ryan Basham single that scored Anderson. Jeremy Hamilton followed with a single of his own to load the bases before Jimenez was charged with a balk that brought in Mejia. The Crushers looked to be able to escape the inning at that point after Aakhus flied out and Basham was cut down trying to score by Bond for the first two outs of the inning. However, a bounding ball hit by Pete Paris skipped off the glove of Lee Huggins to score Jeremy Hamilton and allow Paris to scamper to second. The very next batter, J.T. Restko, reached on an error by Saylor to score Paris and give the ThunderBolts a 7-3 advantage.

The Crushers scored a single run in the seventh when Bond doubled home Arden McWilliams with no one out against Windy City relieverRyan Quigley, but that was all the Crushers would be able to muster in the frame and the score was 7-4.

Brooklyn has experienced boys' 

soccer team in terms of time in the 

HS program but few year-round 


August 4, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


BROOKLYN – Now in its fourth phase of rebuilding, Brooklyn’s boys’ soccer ream has good reason to believe it could challenge for the Patriot Athletic Conference championship this season.

With 12 varsity regular players returning and coach Chris Roegiers now in his fourth season with the Hurricanes, the time is now. Roegiers came here from a high school in North Carolina, where he was both and boys and girls soccer coach. North Carolina of course claims the most successful women’s coach of all time in Anson Dorrance.

Couple coach Roegiers’ soccer knowledge and the experience of the current Brooklyn Student/Athletes on the team and it is grounds for a winning formula – at least on paper.


Although the Hurricanes finished 2-14-1 (1-6 in the PAC) last year, they are ripe for a good season. The Canes have been 8-36-1 under Roegiers, who was 73-44-15 in North Carolina before coming here.

He does have players who have been able to learn from his instructions with a good number of them in honors programs.

“We’re still learning how to win,” Roegiers said. “Our expectations are to simply win more than last year.”

Heading up the returning group are three-year lettermen Dan Grodek and Josh Zakucia, both seniors. Grodek, like his brother Teddy before him, doubles up in the fall by playing on the BHS golf team as well as the soccer unit. Grodek will move up from midfield to forward this year.

The five two-year lettermen returning are seniors Oscar Dario and juniors Jeff Chordrick, Chris Markus, Matt Lachowski , and Jacob Zakucia.

Sophomore Mike Byndas leads the group of one-year lettermen back.  His sister and his cousin were both key parts of the Hurricane girls’ team the past four years.

The other four returners who earned letters last year are juniors Chris  Maze  and Dillon Nieves, and sophomores  Sam Salay and  Jared Clemence.

Heading up the group of newcomers is sophomore Moody Qasem, who was the top defenseman on the Brooklyn hockey team last winter.

Incoming freshmen hoping to make an impact are Daniel Czirr, Ahmed Eddeb, Frank Matejka  and Ryan Hamulak. Other newcomers are Steven Sommers ( So), Nicholas Cuevas  (Jr), Ernie Klimeck ( Jr),  Shaun Christie (Sr),  and Gar Wai Guan (SR).

Both Czirr and Sommers had sisters or cousins who shined well in the various girls’ athletic programs at Brooklyn.

Two new opponents landed on the Canes’  non-conference schedule this year in Garfield Heights, and Southview/Admiral King (soon to be the new Lorain High).

“We are starting to build a foundation and a team identity to build off of,” Rogiers said. “Inexperience is our biggest weakness.  We need to be playing more and learning how to play at the high school level.”

While Brooklyn has the number of experienced players back it lacks those who play the sport year round due to the small numbers of Student/Athletes in all of BHS, making it necessary for some to play three HS sports, and some even four like Grodek.

Witt picked to win Westlake-based 


August 4, 2010

By Keri Alexander Luchowski

NCAC Football Special    

WESTLAKE -- Wittenberg University emerged as the preseason favorite in balloting by North Coast Athletic Conference footballcoaches for the 27th annual preseason football poll.

The NCAC stopped conducting a media poll as of last year.

The Tigers, who compiled a perfect 10-0 regular season record and earned two NCAA Tournament victories last season, collected eight of nine first-place votes from the coaches to total 79 points.  Last season's runner-up, Wabash, was close behind in the balloting with 71 total points.  The Little Giants collected one first-place vote and last won the NCAC title in 2008.  Allegheny, which went 5-2 in conference play a year ago, accumulated 63 points to finish third in the poll, while Wooster (50) and Ohio Wesleyan (41) earned the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.  Denison (32), Kenyon (30), Oberlin (19) and Hiram (14) rounded out the bottom four slots in the poll.   

Wittenberg is entering its 15th season under the leadership of head coach Joe Fincham. Fincham holds an overall record of 126-30 at Wittenberg, including a mark of 85-14 in North Coast Athletic Conference games.  The Tigers, who were eliminated from the 2009 NCAA Playoffs by eventual National Champion Wisconsin-Whitewater, are led by returning NCAC and NCAA Div. III Defensive Player of the year Eddie Vallery (South Solon, OH/Madison Plains). A senior defensive end, Vallery led the nation in sacks (16.5) as a junior.

The 2010 season opens on Saturday, September 4. NCAC play begins Saturday, Sept. 11.

2010 NCAC Preseason Coaches' Poll
North Coast Athletic Conference 2010 preseason football coaches' poll 
(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by total points)

1.    Wittenberg (8)    79
2.    Wabash (1)    71
3.    Allegheny     63
4.    Wooster    56
5.    Ohio Wesleyan    41
6.    Denison    32
7.    Kenyon    30
8.    Oberlin    19
9.    Hiram    14

B-W has the kind of problem 

coaches like to have with three 

bone-a-fide tailbacks; Avon's 

O'Rourke, Hoban's Josh Masters 

and Padua's Andrew Dziak in a 

quarterback derby

August 4, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


COLUMBUS – Despite getting picked to finish seventh and eighth out of 10 teams in the OAC today, Baldwin-Wallace has not given up and is expecting to turn things back to Yellow Jacket normalcy this season.


At 3-7, the Jackets had their worst season in 43 years in 2009, but the good news is that they have their three-way tailback situation going again this season.

Parma High product Tim Miker, North Ridgeville High alumnus John McGraw and Kyrell Crook all return as the “starting” tailback. All three spent an equal amount of time in the backfield together, sometimes alone, sometimes in tandem and sometimes in threesomes.

While B-W did not pile on the wins, the offense at least kept opponents’ defenses on their toes. Using several formations, they would have one or both line up in the backfield, one or two go in motion, one line up in the slot, one line up outside and then get set back in the backfield and a number of other variations. All three have proven to gain the yardage and score the TDs. Throw in the rotation factor and one can expect something new on almost every play.


“It is good especially when we keep their defense on the field for a long time,” Crook said. “I can go out for a play, get a quick rest, and have the energy advantage over the defense when I go back in, giving our offense an extra boost.”

Listen to interview of Student/Athlete Kyrell Crook conducted by Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading



Coach John Snell said it is a problem he likes to have.

“We try to work in all three some how and in some way,” Snell said. “All are talented backs and can do the job. We just need to work all of them in as best we can. One thing about that is that there is only one ball and only so many plays that can be run in one game.”


Perhaps last year was a fluke for the Jackets.

“I think about that every single day when I wake up,” Crook said. “B-W has too much football tradition. When I came here, the only way of looking at football was winning. This has given us an extra charge during the off season to prove that B-W has not gone away for good.”

Ryan O'Rourke

Ryan O'Rourke

In any event, they will have a different guy handing the ball to them this year. No matter what, the Jackets will have a young guy behind center this year with four sophomores and four freshmen competing for the quarterback spot, including Avon High alum, Ryan O’Rourke, who was a four-year varsity starter for the Eagles and spent last year at Div. II Slippery Rock.

Watch short video of B-W coach John Snell talk about his team by clicking and downloading


 “We have three sophomores who are the front runners right now and Ryan is one of them,” Snell said. “He certainly has a good chance of being the starting quarterback on the first day of the season, but the competition is stiff among those three.”

Listen to interview of Coach Snell conducted by Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading


In Snell’s nine years in the head job, the Jackets have had Walsh Jesuit alum Dan Larlham, Olmsted Falls’ Mickey Mental and St. Edward alum Anthony Gardner at QB. Lahrlam had a tryout in the Canadian League, Gardner is now playing pro ball in France and Mental is coaching at Notre Dame in South Euclid. Mental’s uncle, Jack, was a quarterback on the Browns’ Cab Squad in 1970.


Those will be three tough acts to follow for O’Rourke, Hoban alumnus Josh Masters and Padua alumnus Andrew Dziak, who are the three front runners.



The defense will be led by Mentor High grad Ryan Dugan, who was the league leader in interceptions last year.

“He missed the first few games with injuries and still wound up leading the league in picks,” Snell. “What I would like to see is the rest of the defense play like Ryan. He is a great leader for us.”

Watch short video of B-W All American Kevin Phipps get interviewed by the Commish, Tim Gleason, by clicking and downloading