A Page -- Jan. 14, 2010




Elyria High's Tess Sito, St. Ed's Collin 

Palmer, Iggy's Mark Myers, Gilmour's 

Lauren Davis, Central Catholic alumna 

Jantel Lavender, and Euclid grad 

Jessica Beard head up list of finalists


By Jenny Popis

CLEVELAND, OH – January 14, 2010 – The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission is proud to announce the finalists for the 2009 Greater Cleveland Sports Awards. Nominees were selected by local media outlets and the top three finalists have been selected in the following categories: High School Athlete of the Year, Collegiate Athlete of the Year, Amateur Athlete of the Year and Professional Athlete of the Year. The winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel


High School Athlete of the Year:

Tess Sito – Softball, Elyria High School
Collin Palmer – Wrestling, Saint Edward High School
Mark Myers
 – Basketball/Football, Saint Ignatius High School

Columbia Station native Collin Palmer


Wildcat quarterback Mark Myers

Cleve. Central Catholic grad Jantel Lavender

Collegiate Athlete of the Year:

Men’s Soccer Team – University of Akron
J’Nathan Bullock – BasketballCleveland State University
Jantel Lavender – Basketball, The Ohio State University (former Cleveland Central Catholic)

Jessica Beard 

Former Panther now Aggie Jessica Beard

Amateur Athlete of the Year:

Jessica Beard – USA Track and Field, Euclid
Joshua McAdams – USA Track and Field, Broadview Heights

Lauren Davis – Tennis, Gates Mills

Lancer Lauren Davis


Tess Sito

CSU's Tess Sito

Other awards and recognitions will also be presented. Bob Kain, Senior Advisor for Creative Artists Agency and former Chairman of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award traditionally honors an individual who has advanced sports in Cleveland through personal or career dedication and achievements.  Former recipients of the Lifetime Achievement award include Jim Brown, Mark McCormack, Bob Feller, Richard E. Jacobs, Herbert J. Score, Joe Tait and Chuck Kyle.


Gyasi Cooper, former track athlete and current senior at St. Ignatius High School , will be awarded the Cleveland Clinic Courage Award which honors exceptional student athletes who have faced a medical challenge in his or her life and approached the situation with courage and determination to get back in the game. Gyasi was found to have a high grade osteosarcoma in his left calcaneus and went through several months of chemotherapy until it was decided the best treatment was a below-the-knee amputation. Gyasi faced the diagnosis with grace and valor and is a living example of someone who displayed courage in the face of danger, uncertainty and fear. He has yet to get his prosthesis but wishes to run again once he regains his strength.


The Greater Cleveland Sports Awards is the biggest sports show in Northeast Ohio , honoring the best and brightest of the area’s amateur and professional sports. Presented by Medical Mutual of Ohio and the 2010 Cleveland Auto Show, this star-studded event features fine dining, sports celebrities, silent and live auctions that help benefit the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN Football Analyst, is scheduled to emcee the event.


Tables to the benefit are $7,500 for platinum; $5,500 for gold; $2,500 for silver or $250 per individual ticket. The Golden Ticket raffle, which will award one lucky sports fan two Season Tickets to each of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians and Browns home games in 2010, is also now on sale. Only 300 tickets will be sold at $100 each, with the winner to be announced at the Sports Awards. Tickets and additional information are available online atCleveland.com/sportsawards or by calling GCSC at 216-621-0600

Case Reserve's Dan Wolak 

wants a trip to NCAA 

Swimming championship

before embarking on journey 

to doctorhood

Jan 14, 2010

By Creg Jantz

CLEVELAND, OH - Senior Dan Wolak is currently finishing his applications for graduate school where he will pursue a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences.  He is also pursuing something else during his last hurrah at Case Western Reserve University.  That is a trip to the 2010 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

Dan Wolak

Wolak's postgraduate field is different than a pharmacy doctorate where you would go to work a pharmacy at a grocery store or hospital. Pharmaceutical science involves the research aspect of drugs, such as searching for new drugs in different biological entities and even different techniques for drug delivery to the body.

"You can either look for new drugs, figure out ways to make drugs different or what I am more interested in, and that's figuring out ways to better deliver the drugs," said the chemical engineering major.  "I want to help make a better patch or a pill that releases at a constant rate." 

The top-ranked Biomedical Engineering Department (BME) at Case Western Reserve is known for biomaterials and drug delivery and does a lot of research of those on campus.  Research is something Wolak has done since day one on the University Circle campus.

"I have worked with my advisor since my freshman year in the field of surface light scattering spectroscopy," Wolak explained.  "My sophomore and junior year I worked on enhanced oil recovery and last summer, we worked more on biological systems.  The end result in my latest research is to see why some drugs or other entities can cross barriers (blood, etc.) and others can't."

One barrier the La Grange Park, Ill. native has not been able to cross during his very successful collegiate career is the national meet.  The Spartan 200-medley relay team, which has had the best chance at making the show, narrowly missed qualifying in both 2008 and 2009.

Individually, Wolak has been an All-University Athletic Association (UAA) honoree the past three years and is a member of both the 200- (1:33.23) and 400-yard (3:27.17) medley relay school-record teams as well as the 400-yard (3:08.42) freestyle relay team.  This year's 400-yard freestyle relay team, which includes Wolak, is currently ranked 13th in the nation (NCAA. Div. III). 

"Dan has been a crucial part of our team for the past four years," Head Coach Chris Conlon stated.  "I certainly think those school records will stand for awhile, but we are always aiming to break records.  Hopefully they will break their own record." 

His individual strokes are the 50- and 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke.  Wolak, who began organized swimming at age 8, won the 50 at last weekend's dual meet against Carnegie Mellon University in a time of 22.66 and he won the 100-yard freestyle at the Kenyon College Quad in a time of 48.82.

"He has some best starts and turns of anyone I have seen at the Div. III level," Conlon continued.  "He has gotten better every season and I couldn't be any more pleased on his transition from a good high school swimmer to a quality contender at a collegiate level."   

Both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams will host local Baldwin Wallace College tomorrow night in the Veale Natatoriumat 6:00 p.m.  It will be Senior Night for the Spartans as the men have seven and the women have two soon to be graduates.  

So will the expected large crowd motivate the seasoned veteran?

"There's two different parts to that," explained Wolak.  "When you are actually in the water, you really can't hear anything, but when you are behind the block ready to race then you can definitely hear the cheering.  It gets me pumped up, we as swimmers feed off of it."

The 2010 UAA Swimming and Diving Championships are February 17-20 at Emory University in Atlanta.  Including Friday, the Spartans have three more meets leading into just over a two week resting period before the conference meet.

Cleveland State alum Bill 

Dorenkott quick in getting 

freshmen swimmers into Ohio 

State lineup; EC's Evann 

Heidersbach, Lakewood's Kelsey 

Moran already shining for Bucks 

in first two months as collegiate 


Jan. 14, 2010


By Norm Weber






COLUMBUSCleveland State alumnus Bill Dorenkott, the second-year head swimming coach at Ohio State, is not shy about using freshmen in his lineup.


In fact, this season, Dorenkott has been known to put together entire relay teams made up of only freshmen. Among his freshmen group this year are Elyria Catholic alumna Evann Heidersbach and Lakewood High grad Kelsey Moran.


In the Purdue Invitational earlier this year, Dorenkott had Heidersbach, the first Panther All American ever, anchor a 200 freestyle relay team made up of all freshmen, who fared favorably among the stiff competition by finishing fifth.

 Grafton native Evann Heidersbach

Then on the second day of the Purdue Invite, Moran was on the 200 medley relay team that took third. Better yet, they set a school record with an NCAA standard qualifying time of 1:42.38. Moran swam the first leg (backstroke) on the foursome that qualified for the NCAA championships before the season was even a week completed.

Former Ranger now Buckeye Kelsey Moran 

Moran then came back here and swam the first leg of the 200 medley team against Cleveland State and although they were six seconds slower than in West Lafayette, they won the race against the Vikings.


In the first day of the OSU Invitational, Heidersbach was inserted into the medley relay lineup, swimming the third leg (butterfly) and helping the Bucks to a third-place finish.

Bill Dorenkott Bio


Then on the second day, Moran, swimming on the A unit in the medley relay with two other freshmen and a sophomore, finished second just in 1:41.61, just over a second slower than Minnesota’s team but eclipsing their season collective personal best. Heidersbach swam on the C team that day that finished 13th in the same race.

Just this past Sunday against Wright State, Moran won the 50 free in 26.53.

The highlight of Dorenkott's career as a coach is that at Penn State and OSU combined is that he has prepped 182 Academic All Big Ten swimmers and 32 college swimming Academic All Americans.

Falcons and Bulls meet in MAC 

men's action tonight

Jan. 14, 2010

By Jeremy Guy

MAC Men’s Basketball Daily – Thursday, January 14

Buffalo (8-4, 1-0 MAC) at Bowling Green (7-6, 0-1 MAC)

7 p.m. • Bowling Green leads series 14-5

• Buffalo will play its first conference road game at Bowling Green on Thursday night. Buffalo is coming off a 73-55 win over Miami on Saturday. Rodney Pierce led the Bulls with 21 points. Calvin Betts had 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Bulls are the highest scoring team in the MAC, averaging 73.8 points per game and Pierce ranks second in the MAC at 18.7 points per game and is shooting 39 percent from three-point range. The Bulls are looking to start 2-0 in conference play for the first time since the 2001-02 season...Bowling Green is is coming off a 71-45 loss at Akron on Saturday. The Falcons are led by Otis Polk who is averaging 10.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Through 11 games, Bowling Green was one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the country (ranking 329th out of 334) but the Falcons have made 32-of-38 (84.2 percent) in the last two games. In fact, the team’s 14-of-17 (82.4 percent) performance against Akron was the second-best outing of any team in MAC play so far.

West Shore Conference Seventh 

Grade Boys' Basketball Goes 

According to Hoyle; No. 1 seed 

Ridgeville tops No. 2 Avon for all the 


Jan. 14, 2010

 By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor



AVON —In any kind of a sports tournament, the seeding of teams merely gives interested parties an idea of who is supposed to win. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t.

One thing is for sure, top-seeded teams are top seeded for a reason. One of those is the seventh grade boys’ basketball team at North Ridgeville Middle School. The Rangers were the No. 1 seed in this week’s West Shore Conference Tournament held here at Avon Middle School and when the dust cleared the Rangers were everything their billing had them be.


The Rangers won the championship game over No. 2 seed Avon, 45-32.


North Ridgeville 7th Grade WSC champs

1st row left to right: Logan Armaro, Brendon Myers, Austin Leininger, Oscar Frazier; 2nd row left to right: Shayne Erny, Andrew Dowell, Tyler Arnold, Chad Ferrara, Jonah Bowden; 3rd row left to right: David Dowell, Nathan Colbert, Steven Snyder, Ben Rankin, Coach Jason Brown

In tournament play North Ridgeville opened with a 47-18 win over Vermillion followed by a 44-30 win over Midview in the semi-final. The Rangers finished the season 16 1. Rocky River was the only club to beat the Rangers. Avon had only three losses on the season – all to Ridgeville (two in the regular season and one in title game).

Mount Union-Capital Basketball Games Saturday Switched

Jan 14, 2010

Mount Union will host Capital in a an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader Saturday at The McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex in Alliance, but in a change announced today, the men’s game will now begin at 2 pm with the women’s game following at approximately 4:30 pm.


Both games will be broadcast LIVE on the radio on WRMU 91.1 FM and simulcast online along with a LIVE STATS at http://www.muc.edu/athletics

Although baseball was his sport of 

choice in coming to Case Reserve, 

Spartans' Kyle Weaver rediscovered 

wrestling and the mat has won over 

the diamond for him

January 14, 2010

By Creg Jantz

CLEVELAND, OH - When sophomore Kyle Weaver (Delaware, OH) decided to attend Case Western Reserve University, he planned on playing baseball for the Spartans.  That never occurred as Weaver took to the mat instead of the diamond, and he has become a top wrestler for the Spartans in his second season.  

Weaver, who was an accomplished wrestler in high school with a sixth place finish in the Ohio High School state tournament as a junior, decided to give wrestling another shot after legendary Head Coach Bob Del Rosa encouraged him to try both sports as a freshman.  By the time wrestling season ended last year, Weaver realized he would not have time to do both and that wrestling was his preference.  

"When I came to Case, I was originally planning to play baseball," said Weaver.  "Then Coach Del Rosa talked to me and said 'come out to see how wrestling is and see if you can do both.' I decided to stick with wrestling because it's more of an individual sport and I do well based on what I put into the sport."

Kyle Weaver 

That work has paid off this season as Weaver's 14-7 record is second best on the team and he has been particularly hot in the last month, winning five of his past six matches and taking a career-best third place at the Citrus Open in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

"I think Kyle really started to improve at the end of least season," said Del Rosa, who is currently in his 48th season on campus.   "He's one of the hardest workers on the team and he wrestled really well (in Florida)."

It's obvious that having the experience of a year of college wrestling under his belt has been important for improvement, but finding the right weight class, which is something Weaver struggled with as a senior in high school and last season, has also been important.  He now wrestles at 157-lbs.

"Being in my second year, I've gotten a better feel for college wrestling in general," said Weaver.  "Being used to what's going to happen and getting mentally prepared helps a lot."

"Last year, I started at 141-lbs and (because of an injury) I couldn't workout for a few weeks and ended up wrestling at 165 (lbs)," Weaver continued.  "This year I'm not worried about cutting weight, so I can focus more on my techniques.  Not having to think about weight is a huge burden off my back."  

Weaver has also benefited from getting to practice everyday with one of the top Division III wrestlers in the country - 149-lbs sophomore Isaac Dukes (Ravenna, OH).  Click here to read more about Dukes.

"Issac could win nationals this year," said Weaver.  "It's amazing to just sit back and watch Issac wrestle because of how sound his technique is and how he just keeps going for an entire match."

As for the rest of his season, Weaver has set a bit of a unique goal - to finish as a National Wrestling Coaches AssociationAcademic All-American.  This honor goes to wrestlers with outstanding academic achievements who place at the regional tournament.

"I'm definitely looking to (earn Academic All-American) honors, if not better," explained Weaver.  "We wrestle the next seven weekends, so I want to keep pushing and get my conditioning and stamina up to its peek point before the end of the year.  Hopefully going into regionals I'll be in great shape and can do some damage."   

The sophomore definitely has the academic requirement covered.  Weaver holds a 3.78 cumulative grade point average as a computer engineering major, and finished the fall semester with a perfect 4.0.  

"Kyle is a very good academic student and his grades are good enough to be an (Academic) All-American," said Del Rosa.  "Now he has to win more than half his matches and place in the top six at regionals, and I'm pretty sure he can do those things."

No matter which sport Weaver was going to play at Case Western Reserve, he always knew academics would be the first priority.  

"I knew I wanted to go to a great school academically but I didn't want to go too far away from home," explained Weaver.  "Most of my friends were going to (Ohio University or Ohio State University) and I felt like if I went to one of those I wouldn't be reaching my full potential."

As wrestling season winds down, Weaver will be looking for a summer internship in the computer engineering field.  

"What would make me extremely happy is to somehow get an internship at a place like Google or Microsoft; they have great summer internships and co-op programs," said Weaver.  "I really like working with computers, hardware and software, and any internship that can get me exposed to the field and help prepare for a career later on in life would be nice."