A Page -- Feb. 9, 2011

A.J. Hicks (Student/Athlete-Cleveland Photo by Norm Weber)

Solon's A.J. Hicks on the "Heels" of a 

Division I track and field career; Comet 

senior heading to Tobacco Row to study 

and compete for UNC

Feb. 9, 2011

By Norm Weber         

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


While A.J. Hicks has the size and speed to play Division I college football, the Solon senior Student/Athlete has opted to sign a letter intent for a scholarship to study and participate in track and field at the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill.

Hicks will throw the shot put and discus for Tar Heels Head Coach Dennis Craddock and Heels Throw Coach Josh Langley and will probably learn to throw the hammer and javelin, two field events that are not offered in Ohio high school sports.

“Coach Langley first got wind of him and once we started evaluating him and Coach Langley got to know him better, it was not his statistics that jumped out at us as much as it was how A.J. is as a person, student and worker,” Coach Craddock said. “A lot of guys have raw talent and they ‘wanna’ be,’ but there are not as many who have the work ethic A.J. has. If he wants to do something specific, he will do the work to get there, whatever that might be.”

What impressed Langley and Craddock the most in regards to Hicks’ athletic talent was his quick feet, which will help in his throwing.

“That quickness in step might help him be a better hammer thrower than he is a shot putter and discus thrower,” Craddock said. “He’ll do well in all of them. No one should be surprised to look up there at the national leaders and see A. J.’s named up there some day.”

For anyone who is a thrower in Ohio, the transition to college throwing will bring on the new challenges of two new events.

“A lot of guys coming here are not exposed to the hammer and javelin in high school so he is not at a disadvantage there,” Craddock said. “He is not going to overpower his throws with his size, but if A.J. puts his heart to it, he could be a good javelin thrower. He is going to go up against bigger guys and in like any sport, he is going to have his good and bad days, but he has the heart to hang in and get better and continue to achieve his goals.”

Dennis Craddock

Tar Heel Coach Craddock

Also crucial to Hicks and his mother was the academic curriculum UNC was able to offer the family, the all-important antecedent in the “Student/Athlete” dynamic.

“His mom stressed the education part of it as much as A.J. did,” said Craddock. “He’s a perfect fit for what we have here.”

In football at Solon, Hicks was the apex of the Solon defense that posted 10 shutouts the past two seasons while going 10-0 as a team during the regular. This past season, he used that quickness to rack up 120 tackles, including 20 for losses.

Used sparingly as a wide receiver, Hicks caught five passes in 2010, but three of them were for TDs. They were not necessarily tight end shorties either as he averaged 29 yards per catch.

Last spring in track and field, Hicks placed third in the state in the discus and fifth in the shot. He holds four Solon High School throwing records.

Josh Langley

Coach Langley

“He’s used to winning and I like that,” Craddock said. “Coach Langley felt all along that A.J. would pick track over football. He has the potential to be a great Division I track and field performer.”

Trayvon Nash, Brandon Walker each score a dozen to 

lead Greenmen into double-digit win land

Trayvon Nash and Brandon Walker each scored 12 points while Joe Mims added 11 to lead Aurora to a 60-55 boys’ basketball win over Madison.

The win moved the Greenmen into the double-digit win club as they now head into the final weeks of the regular season at 10-5.

Olmsted Falls getting the hang of the "Winning 

'thang;" youngsters Steve Johnson, Eric Meehan each 

score 21 in win over the 'Herst

Just about 10 days after getting its first win of the season, Olmsted Falls’ boys’ basketball team picked up win No. 2, nipping Amherst, 64-60, in Southwestern Conference action.

The Bulldogs (2-13) are doing it with youth. Junior Eric Meehen and sophomore Steve Johnson combined for two thirds of the team’s point total, each dropping in 21 points to share game-high honors.

Amherst falls to 3-12. 


Mike Zavagno turns the heat on "Super High;" fires

up 38 points to lead Gilmour past Cornerstone

Mike Zavagno threw in a season-high 38 points to lead Gilmour to a 71-67 boys’ basketball win over Cornerstone Christian.

Kevin Dagg added 14 points for the Lancers, who moved to 9-6 with the win. 

Gators fall to tough Kenston team

In a battle of two of the area’s top basketball teams, Kenston was able to get the better of Laurel, 48-28.

Kenston improves to 14-2 with the non-conference win while the Gators dip to a still-respectable 11-6.

Alexis Guy led Laurel with 13 points.

Jimmy Corrigan has another big night as 

Rocky River maintains lead in WSC

Rocky River’s boys’ basketball team maintained first place in the West Shore Conference with a 50-48 nipping of Midview.


Jimmy Corrigan had his second game-high scoring honors within the last four days, posting a 21-point night for the Pirates, who moved to 9-1 in the league.

River is now 13-2 overall, while the Middies fall to 8-7 overall and 6-4 in league play.

Four double-figure scorers not enough 

for Solon boys, which fall to Hudson by 


Solon had four Student/Athletes score in double figures, but came up just short, falling to Hudson, 71-67.

Chris Cromity scored 19, Alex Giterman 14, Liam O’Brien 12 and DeAndre Patton 10 for the Comets, who fell to 6-9 with the loss.

Lane (left) and Lewis (right)

Lewis, Lane do a "super" job on the 

scoring to lead Cuyahoga Heights against 

Cardinal; Skins reach dozen-win mark

Austin Lane and Darin Lewis each scored 11 points while Brett Hartman added 10 points to lead Cuyahoga Heights to a 68-49 win over Cardinal, in boys’ basketball.


The win gives the Redskins a dozen victories on the season against only four losses.

Yeomen Hang Tight With No. 4 Wooster
Story Reported by Mike Mancini
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2/9/2011 11:04:29 PM

Oberlin, Ohio – The Oberlin College men’s basketball team never trailed in the first half, but in the end the fourth-ranked College of Wooster Fighting Scots proved why they are one of the top teams in the country as they came away with a 79-62 win over the Yeomen tonight. 

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Baldwin-Wallace Women’s Basketball Team  Falls, 

75-73, To Cross-Town Rival John Carroll  
By Jeff Miller

BEREA –  John Carroll senior guard Lee Jennings scored a game-high 28 points, grabbed a game-high tying eight rebounds and dished out a game-high nine assists as the John Carroll women’s basketball team was defeated Ohio Athletic Conference and Cleveland cross-town rival  Baldwin-Wallace, 75-73, tonight (Wednesday, February 9, 2011) in an Ohio Athletic Conference game in the Rudolph Ursprung Gymnasium in the Lou Higgins Center.

Jennings vs. Otterbein 

Lee Jennings

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Yeowomen Stumble Against the Scots
Story Reported by Mike Mancini
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2/9/2011 10:40:48 PM
Box Score

Oberlin, Ohio
 – The Oberlin College women’s basketball team looked out of sync for most of the night and as a result fell victim to a 66-57 overtime loss to the College of Wooster on Wednesday night at Philips Gym.

It was senior Syrea Thomas who was Oberlin’s lone consistent scoring option on this night as she finished 19 points. Allison Anderson chipped in with 11 points, while sophomore classmate Kelly Warlich added nine points while matching her career-high with 12 boards. 

Thanks to an Anderson triple-hit Oberlin led 49-48 with 1:35 left in regulation. However, the Scots would reclaim the lead with just 22 ticks remaining on a Taylor Keegan 3-ball. On the ensuing possession it was Warlich who would force the extra session as she took Anderson’s dump-down pass inside and went up strong to finish off glass. 

The Scots had a chance to win it on the next trip, but Suvi Puripattarapan had her would-be game-winning layup touch every piece of the rim before it eventually bounced out. 

The overtime session turned into a free-throw fest for the Scots as 13 of their 15 points came at the line during extra time. The free throw line is really where the game was decided as Wooster went 20-of-21 at the stripe and was 13-of-14 in overtime. A Warlich 3-pointer made it a 55-54 Scots’ margin with 3:15 to go in OT, but the Yeowomen would get no closer as they could not convert on multiple opportunities. 

In the first half, Wooster (3-18, 1-10 NCAC) jumped out to an 18-6 lead before Oberlin could crawl back to shrink its cushion to just three at the intermission, 26-23. 

In the second half the Yeowomen (7-15, 2-9 NCAC) appeared to gain control as they built up a 42-34 lead at the 10:33 mark, but the Scots responded by using an 14-2 run to go ahead 48-44 with 3:09 to play. 

All in all the Yeowomen shot just 34.5 percent (19-of-55). After hitting 6-of-15 triple-tries in the first half, OC went just 3-of-13 from beyond the arc the rest of the way. Oberlin did finish 10-of-12 (83.%) at the charity stripe.

Wooster, which earned its first conference win of the season, shot 39.2 percent (20-of-51) overall and was 6-of-15 from long.

Painesville native Ali Tobias' perfect 

marks in the classroom land her on 

Academic All District team; envisioning 

taking Charleston team to Nationals

Feb. 9, 2011

By Norm Weber         

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


Riverside High alumna Ali Tobias has been named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All District Team as a Student/Athlete at the University of Charleston.

The Painesville native is a senior point guard on the basketball team at Charleston. Tobias was named to the third team in Division II, District 2 and thus becomes automatically eligible to become an Academic All American.

Tobias has an overall GPA of a perfect 4.0 while studying health & wellness and physical education. Her mastering the antecedent in the “Student/Athletic” dynamic has made Tobias an even better athlete and basketball player.

Ali Tobias

“I’ve always described Ali’s greatest strength as being intelligent,” Golden Eagles Head Coach Sherry Winn said . “While I still believe she is an incredibly smart player, she has made herself into an impressive shooter and a stronger athlete with tremendous stamina. There is no greater athlete than the one who has taken the skills she has and multiplied them by three. Ali has done that.”

If Tobias could use her ability to visualize and parlay that into her intelligence, this season could be a longer than expected season for the Golden Eagles.

“I’ve always dreamed of winning a National Championship,” Tobias said.  I spent a lot of time in my front yard pretending I was on a team doing so.”

Fallbrook High Rugby Team, Coached By 

Lakewood High Alumnus Mike Majewski, 

Wins Second Consecutive SoCal HS Title

By Pat Clifton
(Fallbrook captain Gabe Edwards stretching for the score. Tina Bell photo) 

Fallbrook' High'a boys' rugby team repeated as Southern California High School Champions on Sunday, shutting out Cathedral 34-0 in the final. Leading Fallbrook were captains Gabriel Edwards at No. 8 and Jarred Moore at inside center, but the win was a true team effort.

“We finally played to our strengths. We crashed the ball when we needed to and we spun it out when we needed it,” said Fallbrook head coach Mike Majewski, a Cleveland native who graduated from Lakewood High in 1978 and played rugby at B-W. 

“Like a lot of new rugby clubs, it’s easy to crash the ball and we do that very well, but spinning it out to our backs, we have a lot of success out there. Our backs were a lot smaller than their backs but a lot faster, and we made some good decisions today, too.”

Fallbrook Coach Mike Majewski, 1978 Lakewood High grad

Though the score was lopsided, Majewski says Cathedral was a very good team and his boys just rose to a formidable challenge and played their best game of the season. 

“Cathedral was tough. They’re very structured and they look like a rugby team out there 100-percent of the time. They’re very seldom out of position and good scrums, good backline, and good defensive lines. We just outmatched them today, but it was good for our boys to play against a team that was very structured. We couldn’t just overpower them with football skills, they had to pool all their rugby skills from all of their years playing together.”

That’s one of the unique things about Fallbrook; many of their kids have been playing together since before high school.

“These boys have been winning championships since they were back at Potter Jr. High School,” said Majewski. 

“A lot of them started playing when they were in eighth grade, and they won the U14 championships, they won the U16 championships, but to win a high school championship on your home field in front of 300-400 fans in the stands, that was real special for our boys, and I’m real happy for them that they got to have that experience.”

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Charlie Prince scores 20, but Ledgemont gives way in 

fourth quarter to Lordstown, which finally wakes up

in last eight minutes

Lordstown outscored Ledgemont in high school boys’ basketball, 19-10, in the fourth quarter to sneak out of the gym with a 40-39 grazing after failing to score in double figures in any of the first three quarters.

Charlie Prince’s 20 points for Ledgemont earned him game-high scoring honors. Teammate Derek Cantrell added 11 points

Shawn Turk's 19 points lead Westlake to SWC win 

over North Olmsted

Shawn Turk’s game-high 19 points lead Westlake to a 57-54 Southwestern Conference boys’ basketball win.

Grant Gase added 16 points for the Demons, who are now 9-6 overall.

Gilmour hires Woody Patterson to head 

up boys' lacrosse program

By Kristy Booher

GATES MILLS – (Feb. 9, 201) Gilmour Academy graduate Warren “Woodie” Patterson ’72 was hired to take over the Lancer boys lacrosse program for the 2011 season.  He comes to the Gilmour program with several years of experience as both a coach and a player. 

On the coaching side, Patterson most recently served as the head coach of the Shaker Heights Middle School program from 1999-2001 and as an assistant coach with the high school program in 1998.

On the playing side, he attended the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J., where he was a crease defender for two seasons, then moved on to play defense for the state runners-up at Storm King School in Cornwall, N.Y., before finishing his high school days at Gilmour.   Patterson went on to attend St. Louis University where he earned a bachelor’s degree after majoring in history and minoring in marketing.


“I am honored and awed being back at Gilmour,” said Patterson. “This is definitely not the GA I left.  Though there are many buildings that were part of the Gilmour campus I knew, the school has matured beautifully and grown into a sophisticated academic institution.”


Last season the Lancers went 5-11, losing in the first round of the OHSLA Tournament.  Five of the team’s losses were by four goals or less.  A total of 10 players graduated from that squad.


“My expectations for this season are simple. The team has to believe in themselves and be driven to succeed.  With that said, I’d like to see our team in Columbus for the state finals in June,” said Patterson.


Patterson is the president of Dudley Properties, a real estate and management company he has overseen for more than 25 years.  He and his wife of 34 years, Mary Clare, a graduate of Gilmour’s Glen Oak School, reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and have three children – Chip, Briggs and Liz.  Patterson is a 30-plus year volunteer with the Boys Scouts of America where he has served as Scout Master and Cub Master.  

He has also volunteered with St. Dominic Church and the Little Sister’s of the Poor.  He is a 12-year member of U.S. Lacrosse and is also a member of the Alpha Delta Gamma National Jesuit Fraternity.

Krakowiak scores 16, but Namers fall to VASJ

Jim Krakowiak scored 16 points, but it was not enough as Holy Name fell short of Villa Angela-St. Joe, 61-55, in North Coast League play.


VASJ is 10-6 overall and the Namers 7-8.

Jeremiah Townes goes to town with three-

point shot; his 31 points lead Beachwood 

to win against Fairport

Jeremiah Townes scored a game-high 31 points to lead Beachwood to an 88-57 rout of Fairport Harding in boys’ basketball play.

Townes nailed six shots from three-point territory, six from the flour and one from the foul line in his quest to collect his 31 points.

Andrew Somogyi added 13 points for the Bison, which improved to 9-7 with the win.

Emily Geyer scores 15, but Lake Center 

Christian falls to Malvern by one

Emily Geyer scored 15 points and Melanie Harvey 11 for Lake Center Christian, but the Tigers were just nipped by Malvern, 39-38.

Malvern improves to 3-15 with the win.

Nick Flasco scores 15, Dan Rice 10 in Woodridge setback

Nick Flasco scored 15 points and Dan Rice 10, but Woodridge came up short against Norton, getting set back, 65-65.

The Bulldogs fall to 6-9 over and 6-5 in Portage Trails league play with the loss.

Marietta tops Mount; Falls' Pellerite, Lakewood's Knab share top rebounding honors in game

February 9, 2011 

By Lenny Reich

MARIETTA -- With the score tied at 37 early in the second half, No. 18 ranked Marietta went on a 23-7 run to take control and go on to an 81-66 victory over Mount Union in an Ohio Athletic Conference men's basketball game tonight in Marietta.

Lakewood High alumnus Kevin Knab Of Marietta and Olmsted Falls High a;um Dave Pellerite of Mount shared game-high honors in rebounds, each with nine.

Kevin Knab

Pellerite (L) and Knab (R)

Knab missed only two shots the whole night, going four of six from the field and four of four at the line.

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Kehres to coach with national team

February 10, 2011 

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- University of Mount Union head football coach Larry Kehres has been named offensive coordinator for the 2011 U.S. Men's National Football Team that will compete in the fourth annual International Federation of American Football (IFAF) World Championship on July 8-16 in Austria.

USA Football, the national governing body of the sport, assembles America's national teams in the sport for international competition.

Kehres, who will enter his 26th season as head coach of the Purple Raiders in 2011, is the winningest coach in college football with a 303-23-3 (.926) record, winning a record 10 NCAA Division III National Championships in 14 title game appearances, including the last six in a row.  His teams have also won 19 consecutive and 21 overall Ohio Athletic Conference Championships.

The head coach of the U.S. National Team is Mel Tjeerdsma (pronounced "CHURCH-ma"), who retired in December of 2010 after 17 seasons and a 183-43 (.810) in 17 seasons at Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo. His teams played in seven NCAA Division II national championship games, winning three. He was the Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year in 2009 and was among the first three coaches inducted into the NCAA Division II College Football Hall of Fame.

The U.S. defensive coordinator is Lou Tepper, a former head coach at Illinois, Edinboro (Pa.) and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Tepper was the Illini head coach from 1991-96, going 25-31-2 and reaching three bowl games. He is 101-75-2 (.573) overall in 16 seasons a head coach. Tepper has served as the architect of elite defenses in his 17 years as a Division I defensive coordinator at Virginia Tech, Colorado and Illinois.

"I am honored and excited to lead our national team in Austria against the world's best competition," Tjeerdsma said. "Team USA will be befitting of the title 'U.S. National Team' by how we play and how we represent our country – with integrity, intelligence and pride.

"We welcome the challenge to defend our gold medal against excellent football coaches and players across four continents."


Coach Tjeerdsma continues USA Football's proud history of national team head coaches, melding great football intelligence with high character and team-first values that this game represents," USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said.

"His selection of coordinators – Coach Kehres and Coach Tepper – reinforces this team's strong foundation of leadership." 

The United States is part of Group A along with Mexico, Germany and Australia. All Group A games will be played in Innsbruck. Group B teams will play in Graz and include Canada, France, Austria and either Japan or South Korea. Japan hosts South Korea in Tokyo on Saturday, Feb. 26, for the right to represent Asia in Austria. All medal round games will be held in Vienna. A round robin schedule in group play determines who will compete for gold and bronze medals.

USA Football is accepting nominations for athletes age 20 and older to be part of the Men's National Team. Forty-five (45) players will be selected from current NCAA athletes and graduating college seniors as well as other athletes age 20 and older. The NCAA recognizes USA Football as the sport's national governing body. Participation in USA Football's national teams does not affect collegiate eligibility. A training camp will take place June 28 to July 4 prior to Team USA's departure for Austria