A Page -- Dec. 25, 2010

Follow the Official Iowa Football Game Day Blog at the Insight Bowl.

Lake Catholic alum Ricky Stanzi 

leads a band of seven 

Clevelanders in the Iowa camp for 

Tuesday's Insight Bowl

Dec. 25, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


Led by quarterback Ricky Stanzi, seven Greater Cleveland area Student/Athletes will be a part of the University of Iowa’s football team when the Hawkeyes take on Missouri in Tuesday’s Insight Bowl from Tempe.

Stanzi is the Lake Catholic alumnus and Mentor native who has been the Hawkeyes’ quarterback the past five seasons. Iowa also has a good helping of defensive lineman and Glenville alumni in its football fold.


Others from the area who are members of the Iowa program are Lake Catholic alumnus and Novelty native Joe Gaglione, Glenville alumnus and Cleveland native LeBron Daniel,  Bruce Davis (Glenville/Cleveland),  Steve Bigach (St. Ignatius/Cleveland), Anthony Hitchens (Clearview/Lorain), and William Love (Glenville/Cleveland).

Joe GaglioneLebron Daniel
Gaglione (left, and Daniel

Gaglione is a 6-foot-4-inch, 242-pound sophomore defensive lineman.  

Daniel is a 6-2, 250-pound defensive lineman. He actually played three years at Warrensville High before transferring to Glenville.

Bruce DavisSteve Bigach
Davis (L), Bigach 

A 6-0, 232-pound linebacker, Davis received the Hustle Team Award and Spirit Team Award for the 2009 season. Davis is a former Co-Defensive Player of the Year for the Tarblooders.


Also a defensive lineman, Bigach is a 6-3, 272 sophomore who is majoring in integrative physiology.


Anthony HitchensWilliam Lowe
HItchens (L) and Love

A freshman defensive back, Hitchens had 76 tackles in each 2008 and 2009 for the Clippers. He also combined for 11 sacks has last two HS seasons and was an honor and merit roll student at Clearview.

Although Love is a defensive back in college, he rushed for over 2,000 yards for the Tarblooders as a running back.

Ricky Stanzi

Stanzi was a redshirt four years ago, but then two years later (2008 season) as a sophomore in terms of eligibility immediately became the starting quarterback and has been there ever since except when injured.

He threw for nearly 2,000 yards in 2008 and last year for nearly 2,500 yards despite missing two games with an injury. Last year he was named the Roy Carver Most Valuable Offensive Player for the Hawkeyes.

This year he can go over the 3,000-yard park passing for the season with just 200 yards against Missouri. He has completed 210 passes this season, 25 of those for touchdowns.

He posted an 18-4 record his first two years as the starting quarterback. This year the Hawks are 7-5.

Cleveland Central Catholic's 

LaMonte Gaddis and Terrapin 

teammates to take on college with 

geographical direction, two states as 

parts of its name (but direction part 

belongs to neither state) in

Military Bowl  

Dec. 25, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


Cleveland Central Catholic alumnus LaMonte Gaddis is the sole Greater Cleveland area Student/Athlete who will be a part of the Military Bowl, which is to be played Wednesday in Washington D.C., pitting the University of Maryland against East Carolina University.

LaMonte Gaddis

Gaddis is a freshman running back for the Terrapins, who will be taking on an East Carolina team that, for the record, is based in Greenville, North Carolina, with no part of the campus stretching into South Carolina, either the western or eastern part of it.


Still, ECU is connected with several military bases and is forming partnerships with organizations in DC and Maryland, also just for the record.

Gaddis is 5-11 and weighs 180 pounds. He runs a 4.4 40 and also served as a defensive back and special teams return man for the Ironmen while in High School.




Preppers looking to bank off tight 

battle with Iggy and sound win 

over Bee Gee for Eagle Classic in 

Serpentini Arena

Dec. 25, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


LAKEWOOD – University School’s hockey team overcame the rough going all the Cleveland teams had during the Padua Christmas Tournament last weekend and a tough one-goal-battle setback to defending state champ St. Ignatius, 2-1, Wednesday with a sound, 6-0, win over Bowling Green High School Thursday and is set to get into mid-season form for St. Edward’s After Christmas Tournament.

Formerly known as the Brother Nettleton Tournament, the Eagle Classic on the Winterhurst Ice in Serpintini Arena that begins Monday generally features a mixture of out-of-town teams and some of the brass local programs such as US, Padua and a new entry this year, Holy Name, bucking to be the next team to break the barrier and soon get into the elite Red North Division along with the likes of the Bruins, Eagles and Preppers.

The Preppers have gotten their experience against the non locals lately, including Bee Gee, a program that has won more state titles (six) than any school other than St. Ed (11) even though the Bobcats have been down in recent years. Coach Dan DeWitt still has those Bee Gee guys skating hard and any 6-0 win is worth considering as a ‘start” after the beating the Bruins, Eagles, Preppers and Lake Catholic took at the hands of Toledo area teams. At least St. Ed won more games than it lost in the tournament and did get into the title game.


US generally is a program that under wily Coach Bill Beard might look mediocre on paper than they really are on the ice because they choose to play as many out of area opponents, almost functioning like a Gilmour but with a league schedule and no on-campus ice.

Over Thanksgiving, the Preppers did their usual travel East and fared quite well against schools from three other states. They don’t go on these trips to go on vacation just the same as they don’t play games early in the season just to win and make it look like they have a good record and therefore perceived as one of the best teams.

Don’t let the 4-6-3 record at this point lead to any foolhardy notions. Traditionally under Beard, the Preppers bloom late in the season, opting to use the first half of the “Student/Athlete” concept to go into learning mode early to see what it takes to beat each team they might see later.


Then they put in the second half of the concept and let their athleticism take over when it really counts. Beard’s teams have been known to finish near the bottom of the Red North, not make the Baron Cup but still wind up making it to state.

The shutout win over the Bobcats did snap a six-game winless streak for the Preppers, who last won nearly two weeks ago in a league game over Padua. They went 0-4-1 in the Padua tournament. Playing the defending state champs to a one-goal game right after that and then getting the win are indicators that they could very well be a team that learns the most through losses and ties.

In the win over the Bobcats, Sam Megerian was given the starting nod in goal in favor of Sam Althans and responded by registering the Preppers’ first shutout of the season, evening his personal record to 1-1-2.

(The bald-headed guy is US Assistant Coach Dave Faciana
without his black cowboy hat  -- Photo by Norm Weber)

Although the Preppers have started out as a team of streaks, going their first six games without a loss (save a shoot-out loss in the championship final of the Shady Side tournament) and their next six without a win, they have remained consistent offensively, which is its diversified goal-scoring efforts, with five different Preppers beating the Bobcat goalie Thursday.

Connor Clemens, Drew Musser, Andrew Preiser, Kevin DeGuilis, and Ian Robertson all lit the lamp against Bee Gee. Robertson, the leading scorer on the team (but not by much), was the only one of the quintet to attain multiple-goal status in this game.

Robertson, Clemens, and Matt Wipper did share a circle against Bee Gee as members of the two-assist club for the game. DeGulis and Alex Stefanski also had helpers in the 6-0 outburst.

For the week, six different Preppers scored goals as Jack Linderman earned the only Prepper tally in the loss to the Wildcats. DeGulis and Stefanski assisted.

Robertson and Wipper are tie for the team lead in goals, each with nine. Robertson leads all scorers with 18 points and is tied for the team lead in assists with Clemens, each with nine.

Wipper has six assists and Clemems has five goals. Joey Rider is fourth with three goals and four assists while Musser and DeGulis each have seven points.

Defensively, Musser, and Chapman have done the best job of defending the goal area, Athans and Megerian. Each have 18 penalty minutes to share the team lead in PIM along with Robertson, who officially is a forward.  Right up there with them is Travis Lang with 16 minutes.

Wipper has whipped up the best special teams numbers, garnering five goals in non 5-on-5 situations with two power-play goals and three short-hand goals. Wipper also leads the club in game-winning goals with two and also has the best +/- ratio with a +8.

The trick for the Preppers in the Eagle classic will be to score early and then let its defense and diversified, four-line offensive attack take care of the rest. The Preppers are 3-1-1 this season when leading after one period. Better yet, they are 3-0-1 when leading after two periods. Contrarily, they are 0-3-1 both when trailing after one period and trailing after two periods.

The converse of that statistic again would be that first part of the “Student/Athlete” concept, which would mean keeping all heads held high when down early and not letting being behind n a goal or two take them out of the game psychologically. The Preppers certainly have smart enough S/As on the squad in order to accomplish the task.

Mayfield, Garfield, St. Ed, 

Bennies, GlenOak, Oberlin to be 

represented in Texas Bowl for

the Illini

Dec. 25, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


St. Edward alumnus Justin Staples, Mayfield High grad Ashante Williams, GlenOak alum Ryan Palmer, Bendectine product Simon Cvijanovic, Oberlin High grad Hugh Thornton, and Akron Garfield graduate Whitney Mercilus will be Student/Athletes from the Greater Cleveland area to be a part of Wednesday’s Alamo Bowl will be part of the Texas Bowl to be played Wednesday in Houston.

All six young men are members of the University of Illinois football team. The Illini will take on Baylor in the contest.

Ashante WilliamsJustin Staples

Williams (left) and Staples

Staples received the "Best Defensive Effort" award for the Illni last spring.

Staples played in all 12 games this season, registering 24 tackles, 4.5 for losses, and posting one sack. He has forced two fumbles to rank second on the team and also has one quarterback hurry and one pass break up.

Hugh ThorntonSimon Cvijanovic

Thornton (Left) and Cvijanovic

Both Palmer and Thornton have been starters at offensive tackle on a line that blocked for a unit of so-called skill players ranked among the top 20 in the nation last year in total offense and have been averaging 400 yards a game this year.

Ryan PalmerWhitney Mercilus

Palmer (left) and Mercilus

Williams has also played in all 12 games and has recorded 19 tackles.

In 12 games, Mercilus has seven solo tackles, seven assists, two quarterback hurries, two tackles for losses, a sack and a forced fumble.